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Romantic wows: This $2.9 million home brings the flavor of Latin America to Memorial

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Shelby, On the Market, 9234 Wickford, November 2012
Photo courtesy of John Daugherty Realtors
14, Shelby, On the Market, 9234 Wickford, November 2012
Photo courtesy of John Daugherty Realtors
10, Shelby, On the Market, 9234 Wickford, November 2012
Photo courtesy of John Daugherty Realtors
Shelby, On the Market, 9234 Wickford, November 2012
Photo courtesy of John Daugherty Realtors
9, Shelby, On the Market, 9234 Wickford, November 20129, Shelby, On the Market, 9234 Wickford, November 2012
Photo courtesy of John Daugherty Realtors
7, Shelby, On the Market, 9234 Wickford, November 2012
Photo courtesy of John Daugherty Realtors
Shelby, On the Market, 9234 Wickford, November 2012
Photo courtesy of John Daugherty Realtors
11, Shelby, On the Market, 9234 Wickford, November 2012
Photo courtesy of John Daugherty Realtors
12, Shelby, On the Market, 9234 Wickford, November 2012
Photo courtesy of John Daugherty Realtors
13, Shelby, On the Market, 9234 Wickford, November 2012
Photo courtesy of John Daugherty Realtors
6, Shelby, On the Market, 9234 Wickford, November 2012
Photo courtesy of John Daugherty Realtors
Shelby, On the Market, 9234 Wickford, November 2012
14, Shelby, On the Market, 9234 Wickford, November 2012
10, Shelby, On the Market, 9234 Wickford, November 2012
Shelby, On the Market, 9234 Wickford, November 2012
9, Shelby, On the Market, 9234 Wickford, November 20129, Shelby, On the Market, 9234 Wickford, November 2012
7, Shelby, On the Market, 9234 Wickford, November 2012
Shelby, On the Market, 9234 Wickford, November 2012
11, Shelby, On the Market, 9234 Wickford, November 2012
12, Shelby, On the Market, 9234 Wickford, November 2012
13, Shelby, On the Market, 9234 Wickford, November 2012
6, Shelby, On the Market, 9234 Wickford, November 2012

Editor's Note: Houston is loaded with must-have houses for sale in all shapes, sizes and price ranges. In this continuing series, CultureMap Editor-at-Large Shelby Hodge snoops through some of our faves and gives you the lowdown on what's hot on the market.

9234 Wickford

Good curb appeal, including the soaring fig tree (see you next summer!) and the neighborhood peacocks, make this an intriguing property from the get-go. The feel is decidedly Latin but not quite Mexico, not quite Argentina, rather somewhere romantically in between.

Walk through: Entering through the broad portal, you step into a barrel ceiling entry that leads directly to the interior courtyard, so Latin in flavor that you can almost hear the marimba melodies. The ceiling is tiled in a colorful mosaic that is repeated throughout the house, around fireplaces, along arches and stairways.

 You could easily be thousands of miles away from Houston when tucked inside this beautiful property. 

To the right is an ample sized study and to the left is the living room with fireplace and beyond is the expansive dining room. Large windows throughout the house feature wide paneled sashing which adds dramatically to the ranchero feeling.

Beyond the dining room as the house flows away from the street is one of the largest kitchens I've ever seen. An enormous island centers the vast space that for a serious cook would need some redesign as the gas range is on one side and the nearest water source is clear across the room. As the realtor explained, the couple who built the house never cook so it's a showcase kitchen rather than practically functional. An easy fix, however.

The house flows beyond to the family room and laundry room, eventually to the garage. The rooms on this west side of the house overlook the interior courtyard with pool, the space defined by Spanish arches that lend a romantic feel to the house.

The opposite wing houses guests rooms, powder room and a lengthy hallway that leads to the attached casita or guest quarters at the back of the house. This little gem is larger than most single family homes with a complete kitchen (bigger than any apartment kitchen) two story ceiling over the living area, an upstairs loft area and good-sized bedroom and master bath.

Flooring throughout most of the house is stained and polished poured concrete, giving a rustic yet pleasing vibe to the surroundings.

Love: The architecture of the house is romantic and inspiring and the 12-foot ceilings offer a feeling of spaciousness. You could easily be thousands of miles away from Houston when tucked inside this beautiful property.

Use your imagination: The minimalist furnishings and decor don't do justice to the house and could detract from an initial impression. But once you get a feel for the home and imagine a talented decorator at work, the possibilities are truly intriguing.

Bonus: The house was built by the owners in 2009 so everything is relatively new and hardly looks lived in. Because the couple owns Payless Insulation, the real estate agent explained, that the place is insulated so strongly that summer electric bills run in the $800 range — unheard of in a house this size.

Square footage: 7,200

Asking price: $2,975,000

Listing agent: Sonia Tersigne with John Daugherty Realtors.

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