Estate living

Show-stopping and storied River Oaks mansion hits market at $22.5 million

Show-stopping and storied River Oaks mansion hits market at $22.5M

3996 Inverness Dr
The manse is inspired by English country castles. Photo by Julie Soefer
3996 Inverness Dr
A classic English facade. Photo by Julie Soefer
3996 Inverness Dr
The jeweled pool. Photo by Julie Soefer
3996 Inverness Dr
Backyard living. Photo by Julie Soefer
3996 Inverness Dr
A massive wine room. Photo by Julie Soefer
3996 Inverness Dr
A cavernous room. Photo by Julie Soefer
3996 Inverness Dr
A moderninzed screening room. Photo by Julie Soefer
3996 Inverness Dr
Fun and games. Photo by Julie Soefer
3996 Inverness Dr
More outdoor living. Photo by Julie Soefer
3996 Inverness Dr
The brick kitchen. Photo by Julie Soefer
3996 Inverness Dr
Note the architecture.  Photo by Julie Soefer
3996 Inverness Dr
More Tudor design. Photo by Julie Soefer
3996 Inverness Dr
The grand staircase. Photo by Julie Soefer
3996 Inverness Dr
An open-air vista to the courtyard. Photo by Julie Soefer
3996 Inverness Dr
3996 Inverness Dr
3996 Inverness Dr
3996 Inverness Dr
3996 Inverness Dr
3996 Inverness Dr
3996 Inverness Dr
3996 Inverness Dr
3996 Inverness Dr
3996 Inverness Dr
3996 Inverness Dr
3996 Inverness Dr
3996 Inverness Dr
3996 Inverness Dr

It's not every day home buyers get the chance to purchase an estate. We're not talking about a relative's estate, with a few pieces of property and some great antiques. We mean an actual estate. Think manor house with outbuildings set against a gorgeous landscape.

That's a fair description of 3996 Inverness Dr., a stunning, Tudoresque, 18,265-square-foot home sitting on two and a half acres in River Oaks. It's for sale for $26.5 million.

Represented exclusively by Douglas Elliman, the six-bedroom, seven-bath single-family home is inspired by English country castles, and designed to be a sanctuary, tucked away from the cacophony of Houston's busy bustle.

This is the kind of home where everything is thoughtfully designed, the kind of home made just as much for entertaining as relaxing. It's been host to events such as Historical Texas Treasures and the World Master Chefs Dinner benefitting the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Foundation.

Visitors include Houston's usual bold-faced name set, along with world-renowned chefs Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, and Jérome Bocuse.

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin has been a visitor here. So have American Idol winner Jordan Sparks and country music artist Clay Walker.

Guest list aside, 3996 Inverness Dr. offers some spectacular features. It was designed by Robert Dame, and built with $1 million in stonework, giving it a true country estate feel. Inside are limestone arches, five carved fireplaces, and flooring imported from the Cotswold, England.

Wood beams that were salvaged from the property's fallen trees following Hurricane Ike accent the whole house. The home's grand foyer was inspired by a scene in the movie Atonement, and leads to a wine cellar designed with triple barrel vault brick ceilings. (It offers storage for more than 800 bottles of wine.)

In the clubby billiard room, there's a full bar and built-in aquariums, along with a state-of-the-art theatre built for tiered seating of eight.

Inside and out, the manse blends luxury and detailed design, from the English gardens to the saltwater pool to the separate guest cottage with lower-level gym and sauna. A styled motor court and four-car garage accommodates car lifts.

For the buyer looking for a retreat in the heart of the city, 3996 Inverness Dr. is sure to deliver.