Versailles on One Acre

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The House: 3812 Willowick Road Houston, Texas

The Broker: John Daugherty Realtors

The Agent: Debbie Hartstern

Nick Churton of John Daugherty Realtors’ London Office discovers a passion for French design in Houston, Texas.

Perhaps it is understandable that some Texans enjoy French design in their homes. After all, France did have some influence hereabouts from 1685 to 1762.

This was before the French Revolution when French tastes and designs were de rigueur in the best society all over the developing world. The French – and the British – colonialists are long gone, but their influence remains in many houses.

If French design is to your taste and a chateau is your dream – but regular transatlantic air flights from the US seem a bore – then look no further than Houston where there is the perfect answer. Number 3812 Willowick Road, in the highly desirable River Oaks area, brings a touch of French classical élan to this already beautiful neighbourhood, which is a national model for community planning.

There is an ambassadorial quality to this home with an interior that shows off what traditional French design is all about. It looks amazing. If Marie Antoinette were to wander down the grand foyer or be seated in the dazzling dining or drawing rooms, one would hardly be surprised.

This is a house full of surprises. I loved the second-floor loggia that overlooks the classically styled pool and rear garden. I was also delighted with the fabulous home-theatre and wine room with tasting area – ideal for storing some of the best French vintages!

But perhaps the most pleasing feature of this beautiful home is the front elevation that acts as a perfect backdrop to a delightful formal garden. Within it are so many elements of beautiful French style. No wonder this look remains popular in Texas, – even two-and-a-half centuries after France released its grip on its American territories.

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