Why move to Italy and spend years restoring a crumbling farmhouse when you can have your own Tuscan village (yes, village!) minutes from downtown Dallas? We watched in awe as 4636 Chapel Hill Road was being built back in 2006. It just kept growing into what seemed to be much more than a grand house — in fact it began to resemble a Medieval town rising above White Rock Lake. When you have 13,555 square feet on 1.57 acres that is accessed by a bridge over a running brook, yards of red tile roofing, multiple courtyards, and a watchtower that rivals those in San Gimignano, we can easily call that a village even by Texas standards. Don’t you think?
No one does a better job of balancing light, texture and materials than Charles Travis. His Dallas firm, Chas Architects, is responsible for the design of the five-bedroom, six-full-and three-half-bath villa. Travis has perfected blending the look of simple rustic beauty and the feel of a grand palazzo while honoring the importance of light and the home’s relationship to the water. He’s mixed different types of stone and wood together, bringing outdoor elements inside, in true Tuscan style, on a Texas-sized scale. Incorporating six fireplaces, a library, game room, gym, staff quarters, media room, wine room and tasting room without compromising style is quite simply genius.
Entering the home it’s evident that light was paramount in the design. A 43-foot wall of mahogany-clad, double glass doors overlook what can only be described as a resort-style backyard with intricate landscaping, terraced garden retreats, outdoor loggias, dining and cooking areas, and an infinity pool with spa.
A massive stone fireplace extends to the 23-foot ceiling, dividing the living and dining areas. The wide plank floors and beamed ceilings impart a cozy feeling despite the grand height of these rooms.
The centerpiece of the kitchen is a 24-foot island that seats seven and, of course, has the very latest appliances. The double Wolf range is nestled into a stone surround with a beam embeded above, giving you the feeling that an ancient fireplace must have existed here, and this space was carved out to make room for a modern-day chef.
The owner’s bedroom suite has views of the lake, pool, and grounds and the master bath leads to an additional private courtyard.
A temperature-controlled wine cellar holds 2,000 bottles, and we are in love with the tasting room. It would suit the most discerning oenophile. You can host a sizable crowd by the fire, dine and even dance down here. Now where is my glass?
There is plenty of room for guests, in fact so much room you might not see them for a few days. Of course, there are second-floor bedrooms, but there is also a “casita” located within the house with a private entry off the main courtyard. There’s also a romantic guest house on the grounds with a private entrance.
You may be wondering why anyone needs a watchtower. A stairway inside leads to a balcony with sweeping views of the grounds, sailboats on the lake, and the marina. If you can make it out of the wine cellar with your glass, this is where you want to pop that bottle of Dom Perignon and sign the papers with The Gromatzky Group, so this $6,995,000 palazzo can be your very own.