Anyone who wants something brand new, with all the must-have creature comforts, combined with something that feels genteel and of another time needs to hightail it over to 2023 Drexel Dr., where an elegant new build from Layne Kelly Homes and Masa Studio Architects is listed for sale at $4.5 million. Tucked away behind River Oaks Baptist School, in Oak Estates, the home is an oasis in the heart of Houston.
"Homes like this are for home buyers who are looking for life experiences," Bradley Smith, owner-developer with Layne Kelly Homes, who oversaw the project, tells CultureMap. "Most of the people looking for this kind of project are used to travel and the amenities that a larger home can provide, not just more bedrooms, more living opportunities."
The home — just completed this week after a year of work — will be available to view at an open house scheduled on Sunday, August 16 from 2 pm to 5 pm.
Smith, a lover of travel himself, wanted 2023 Drexel Dr. to be the kind of home that allowed for entertaining and gatherings spaces, as well as the luxuries of high-end resort living. By setting the home back from the street, it not only made way for a motor court that faces the three-door garage (which Smith notes can hold up to six cars), it creates a space that feels open and begs to be explored.
The 7,000 square feet of backyard, with landscape architecture and installation by Sonnier/Bishop, is anchored by a covered pavilion, the lush greenspace and landscaping adding to the home's regal presence.
Entering through the front door means being awestruck by 2023 Drexel Dr.'s opulence and the way its downstairs living spaces soar two stories to the ceilings. The entryway is anchored by the home's wide staircase, and accented with natural light and the white-oak hardwood floors make for a combination of rustic charm and thoughtful attention to detail.
Downstairs is highlighted by what Smith calls "the owners retreat," featuring a study, lounge, a wet bar, and a wine room off to the right of the entry, while on the left, the grand dining room overlooks the front courtyard. A catering space and butler's pantry are tucked behind the room. The interior finishings are by Selena McKay.
This is a home that beckons its owners and guests to explore and interact.
"As you move forward, the dining room opens up into over-sized family room with folding doors looking out in to backyard," says Smith. "The performance kitchen has room for a full size dining table as your breakfast table in the sun room area. This home is all about creating different moments for people to come together. But it also gives everyone their own space, so you never feel on top of each other."
A guest room downstairs behind the living room shares the downstairs bath, and it has it's own veranda. There's also a suite that can serve as a nanny's quarters or in-law residence. Upstairs, in the middle of the home on the second floor, is a game room, with a vaulted ceiling. The sprawling primary bedroom boasts dark oak floors, a stunning beamed ceiling, and an massive master bathroom. The spa-like space boasts marble floors and a luxurious soaking tub.
"The beams in the master bath are notched in a one-inch tray, and they're unobstructed to the sky lights," said Smith. "That master bath is unbelievable. We designed it with his and hers water closets. You really get at a true resort feeling from it."
There's also an impressive closet with windows, custom drawers, cabinet space and counters. Anchoring the primary suite is a gas log fireplace, creating a cozy spot for chilly nights.
The four secondary bedrooms provide ample space for families to spread out.
Making sure 2023 Drexel Dr. was a home that could be enjoyed was important to Smith. He said that his research showed that couples and families want outdoor spaces, meaning not only patios and places to gather, but lawns and green.
"It feels like you're out in Memorial," he said. "But, here's this great house in the heart of the city, with so much to offer. I can see families playing in the backyard. I mean, you can throw a baseball completely across the backyard and not be confined."
Smith also likes being able to offer a luxury home that can rival some of the estates in nearby River Oaks. 2023 Drexel Dr.'s location is in a neighborhood that offers the conveniences of shopping and dining in Highland Village, the Galleria, and Upper Kirby, but is still secluded enough to provide serenity from the Houston hustle. It's a neighborhood, he feels, homeowners will love.