There may not be many in Houston who can claim they are "to the manor born," as the saying goes. But those looking to be "to the manor bought" ought to look closely at the gorgeous expanse that is The Manor on Carnarvon. The four-acre estate tucked into a winding roadway off Memorial Drive just outside the 610 loop (120 120 Dr.) is now for sale.
Asking price: $29.5 million.
Listed by Douglas Elliman, the six-bedroom, seven-bathroom, single-family home will have its new owners living a life that feels a bit like Downton Abbey, but with every modern convenience. (View a video of the manor here.)
The owners built the estate in 2003, enlisting R.B. Ratcliff for the project, to echo the English estates of their birthplace. The result is a striking expanse unfolding across more than 26,000 square feet, complete with a guest house, lavish gardens, interiors by Ed Harris of Harris Sanders Interiors, a circular motor court with a six-car garage, sport court, and playground.
Part country retreat, part city dwelling, this is the sort of home that gives its owners a feeling of utter exclusivity and privacy, even though the heart of Houston is mere miles from the front door.
Begin by walking through The Manor's glass-and-wrought-iron front doors and stepping into the rotunda that is the home's foyer. Crema de Marfil tiles in a sunburst pattern welcome guests to this exquisite space, flanked by an elegant bar and "retiring" rooms for ladies and gents.
A formal living room with faux gold leaf beckons, its walnut floors, massive fireplace, and interior French doors providing accents to a place that offers multiple seating and spots for cozy conversations and larger gatherings alike. The dining room is intimate, with its own fireplace, plus a butler's pantry (naturally) that flows seamlessly into the main kitchen, which itself is a room made as much for coming together as it is for cooking food.
Designer wallpaper and custom cabinetry accent the kitchen, anchored by a massive island with Bluer Pearl granite deck. There's also a planning station for those who prize organization in their menu making, as well as a coffee bar and built-in TV, along with the professional-grade, full-sized stainless steel appliances. An adjoining breakfast room unfolds through French doors to the home's terraces.
The downstairs primary wing is completed with his-and-hers studies, each with stunningly detailed paneling and floor-to-ceiling bookcases, complete with library lighting, and an oversize indoor gym with a rubber floor and mirrored wall. There's a massage room and tanning room, as well, adding to the space's overall spa-like feel.
Ascend the grand staircase to the second floor's primary suite and encounter a world-within-a-world. Custom carpeting and chinoiserie wallpaper accent the suite's sitting room, which also features a marble fireplace. The primary bedroom has its own vestibule entrance that lead to the suite's two bathrooms, each with dressing rooms and closets, offering ample space for every pair of shoes, every handbag, every suit, every gown, every accessory.
One bathroom boasts an antique cabriolet-leg sink cabinet, while the other features a glass-and-marble shower. Taken together, all the elements of the primary suite combine to create a positively posh living space.
The secondary bedroom suites are accessible via their own staircase and each has its own sitting room, marble bathroom, and room-sized walk-in closet. A playroom with its own crafting space and a balcony overlooking the pool, the home's main laundry room, and an in-law suite or nanny's room complete the second floor.
The outdoor spaces of The Manor are as impressive as its interiors. An expansive stone terrace winds from the main home to the guest house. A sapphire-blue swimming pool with a wide pool deck is the perfect place for basking in the sun or enjoying an evening glass of wine. Magnolias surround the property, adding to the home's away-from-it-all ambiance.
The Manor's infrastructure includes two elevators, one in the main house and one in the guest house, along with a generator that can run the entire home, including its air conditioner.
This is a home that was made for luxury, while also being a place for living. Fine details and every thoughtful consideration to the modern homeowner's needs coexist happily here, creating a place that will make its new owner feel like a lord or lady of the manor.