Puttering around the internet on a recent Sunday turned my head to 14888 Lake Forest Drive in Addison listed for $2.559m by Mayo Redpath of Virginia Cook. And so I got my passport and pedaled up to Addison. It’s 7,724 square feet with just three bedrooms and five full and two half bathrooms – this is a seriously sized, empty or never-nested, entertainer’s dream (even though the current owner has two school-age children). Who knew there were things this fantabulous in Addison?
The first thing that grabs you about the home is the privacy. On a street of in-your-face French and Mediterranean knock-offs, this home hides from prying eyes. You enter the first gate to cross a 9,000 gallon koi pond over large stepping platforms. In the distance between the gate and the home’s front-front door is an oasis garden to calm visitors before entering this “wow” of a home.
The second thing visitors are struck by is glass … glass aching to pull the outdoors in. Glass forcing engagement with nature, to be exposed to nature. If it’s raining or snowing, there’s no escape, the mood washes over you … everything from snow’s serenity to the disquiet of a roaring thunderstorm.
And it’s every room. The home is a series of semi-connected pavilions. The main living pavilions are enclosed in seven-foot tall glass walls on three sides. Every room looks out of the home as well as across it – even the garage has a floor-to-ceiling glass wall overlooking the inner garden.
It’s so harmoniously, timelessly modern, who’d think it was built 20 years ago by Bud Oglesby-trained architect Max Levy? Remember, 20 years ago we used Windows 95 and were listening to modems synching to AOL … and our first iPod was still six years away! Of the lot, this is the only one that still feels fresh and new.
The front-front door opens onto a glass-roofed colonnade which immediately draws visitors outside even though they’ve barely set foot inside. Flanking the view are adult-size museum-like dioramas containing the main living, dining and cooking areas of the home that murmur “sit here, sit here.”
Of course I zero in on the kitchen just off to the left. And of course the best appliances are on display in this very sleek food prep area designed by chef Richard Chamberlain of his eponymous steakhouse. It’s not often you see a residential kitchen with this much fire-power with two steam ovens along with 72” of cooking surfaces – including a jumbo wok burner. You may be wondering what’s on those book-matched fridge-freezers? They’re three tiny people door/drawer pulls who appear to be scaling their stainless steel “mountain” – perhaps a whimsical nod towards Chamberlain’s Tarragon restaurant in Colorado ski country?
Need some wine before, during, and after your kitchen duties? Just hop into the glass and steel elevator and glide down to the lower level (ever experienced the wine tower at Aureole in Las Vegas? It’s like that.). Fittingly, that’s where you’ll find this knock-out wine cellar. Again more glass – even underground — and an ingeniously modern display of wine on deceptively strong steel pegs that seem to float the bottles on the wall.
It’s time for a good night’s sleep and this posh “campsite” bedroom is magic. Imagine laying in that bed transfixed by the view outdoors. Thankfully, there are recessed shades (everywhere) to keep the morning sun out (I like nature, but I’m not a fanatic!) as well as a recessed screen to turn the room into a boudoir Alamo Drafthouse. The only change I’d make is to turn that chaise around to look out the windows.
Even though completely private, if you’re hounded by the paparazzi, this may not be the bathroom for you. But I can’t imagine a more invigorating start to my day. It’s open-air without the “open.” I simply can’t help but calling this a “loo with a view.” Need a smidge more cover? Afraid your birthday suit will scare the squirrels? There are more recessed blinds here, too.
I’m almost so mesmerized that I forgot to mention the final pavilion – the guest suite. It’s a separate bedroom and bath at the front of the property accessed via stepping stone from the koi pond. For owners, guests are on site, but not in your business, while guests get to sleep to the burbling of the pond.
I bet you’re thinking that there’s got to be a little bit of crazy I’m not telling you. Well there is … the prior owner installed two enormous side-by-side Diebold vaults measuring 42” x 72” each in the basement. The current owner doesn’t use them and what exactly was in them before is equally unknown. Of course the biggest mystery is how the heck they got ‘em in the house.
I have to say, if I had to give up my high-rise life, something like this would keep my glass forever half full. This home is precisely what happens when a great architect is allowed to think.
It also made me wonder where, after living in nature’s theater, where would the current owner go. Why, even further into nature of course … to a sprawling Texas ranch.
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