Majestic, may be a bit of hyperbole, nevertheless from the stone paved drive to the gabled, turreted roof the 9156 square foot 5 bedroom, 5.2 bath, house at 9517 Bella Terra, featuring four fireplaces and an astonishing 8-yes-8 car garage, certainly gives the impression of baronial scale and splendor. That in gated Montserrat, where lot price is often $1,000,000.00 and competition is robust in the grandeur department. That aside, there are elements of restraint and attention to detail which begin with exterior. A relatively lean repertoire of materials-Palo Pinto stone-rusticated and brick cut form a textured backdrop for the delicately banded cast stone Romanesque-style arches.
Open the front door and prepare to be over-awed all over again. The exterior stone is prudently carried into the interior and soars upwards to an antique stained glass canopy (an European auction get) which crowns the entry. Delicate tracery caps the dining room to the right. Handsome iron doors frame the study to the left with a fireplace centered between bookcases. Random rectangular cut travertine floors run from the front to the columned living area at the back.
A centrally located bar with access to dining room, kitchen and hall is the fulcrum on which the public rooms of the downstairs seem to turn and together with the commanding expansiveness of the open plan, aver that this is is a house built for entertaining.
The kitchen is command central for the back of the house. A groin vault is the dominant architectural feature which floats over the large island. Naturally the kitchen is appointed with all the high end appliances-6 burner Wolf double range with griddle, Sub-Zero fridge/ freezer and a built in espresso machine thrown into the bargain. Cabinets are of knotty alder. Floors in the kitchen as well as the large living area it overlooks, are hand scraped oak. Wrought iron fixtures here, as in the rest of the downstairs, are of massive scale.
A well equipped laundry room off a back hall has the added charming, yet practical bonus of a doggy shower. A guest bedroom along another hall is almost hidden and could be used for live-in staff.
A discretely scaled, groin vaulted corridor with prettily executed Venetian plaster, off the main foyer leads to the master suite. Ample, capped by a vaulted ceiling, it is oriented around a central fireplace and large windows with views to the cloister like arcaded patio and pool in back. His and hers closets are as roomy as would be expected in a house of this scale and contain two of three safes-the third is so secret that its location is revealed at closing.
A baldachino canopies the tub of the luxurious master bath whose ionic columns frame the fireplace. The circular shower is illuminated by stepped mini-arched windows. Opulent crystal encrusted hardware round out the list of many luxury details. In addition, there is access to a private, walled patio with outdoor shower.
The upstairs houses the remaining three bedrooms (two of which have their own balcony), a bonus living area/library and small but serviceable media room. Under the eaves is a work out room of nearly public gym proportions with floors reinforced to sustain however much weight an owner cares to install. Exterior features include out door fireplace, attached grill, pool and a cabana with bar. The cabana bar has an in-sink dishwasher eliminating the need to cross hardscape with fragile glass.
Listed at $2,599,000.00. Listing Agent: John Zimmerman Briggs Freeman Sothebys International Realty
Eric Prokesh is an interior designer whose work has appeared on HGTV, in books and publications including D Home, Southern Accents, House Beautiful, and House and Garden. In January 2005, HG named Eric one of the 50 tastemakers in America and D Home has included him as one of Dallas’ Best Designers for 10 years. Having lived most of his life in Dallas, he now calls Fort Worth home and is one of our experts on beautiful Fort Worth Dirt.