When it comes to building a classic French luxury home the right way, nothing much has changed since the 17th century. Our Monday Morning Millionaire at 3516 Lexington Avenue draws inspiration from one of the most famous residences in the world, the baroque French chateau, Vaux-Le-Vicomte.
A few centuries ago, Nicolas Fouquet, the superintendent of finances for Louis XIV, built Vaux-Le-Vicomte. He not only started a style revolution but also began the concept of building with a team. Not just any team mind you. He gathered the best. Three of the most famous artists of the day, architect Louis Le Vau, painter and decorator Charles Le Brun, and landscape architect André Le Nôtre collaborated on this masterpiece. This is the same talented trio that built Château de Versailles.
The concept of using a collaborative process with highly skilled artisans worked in 1658, and it continues to work today. It’s the basis of what makes this Highland Park French luxury home so successful. When you bring together the architectural genius of Richard Drummond Davis, the unparalleled skills of builder Jim Reilly, and the unmatched style of interior designer Barry Williams, not to mention delightful clients with exceptional taste, you have a winning team before you break ground.
“The right team is the most important thing when it comes to building a home,” Reilly said.
When I was interviewing these talented individuals for this post, it was clear there was a deep mutual admiration between them. They’ve worked together on multiple projects over the years, so you get the sense that this is like a family get together. They already know each other so it’s going to be a smooth process. And they’re going to have a great deal of fun while producing something magnificent.
That magnificence begins immediately and never stops.
“It’s a classic French luxury home,” Williams said. “In an effort to honor that, it has a lot of traditional French details. The limestone and black cabochon entry floor is exactly what you would see in a stately home in France. Everyone’s favorite area is the entry hall.”
This is where you plainly see the Vaux-Le-Vicomte inspiration, and it’s jaw dropping. You just want to lie on the floor with a glass of champagne and stare up for 35 feet at three levels of gorgeous architectural detailing, but you know there is much more to explore!
The formal dining room, wrapped in Gracie wallpaper, is to the left of the entry. “We wanted a traditional house, and the client found this wonderful scenic paper.” Williams said. “We put it on silver leaf, so it’s fresh and has a youthfulness to it.”
Turn right off the entry, and you are in an almost picture-perfect reproduction of the library bar at London’s Lanesborough Hotel. “It feels intimate even though it’s grand,” Williams said.
That statement sums up this 9,281-square-foot Highland Park classic French luxury home. While the entire house feels grand, every room also has an intimacy you seldom find in houses of this size today. It’s always about scale. Builders have been enamored of enormous rooms for so long that it’s refreshing to see a grand home in which you feel putting your feet up is not only completely acceptable but also welcomed.
Let’s get into the mechanics of this house, because beauty without brains is not going to last, and this house has an IQ Mensa would appreciate.
“It has an unbelievable mechanical room,” Dave Perry-Miller listing agent Julie Boren said. “Everything is labeled perfectly, and all maintenance is done from the garage area. There are multiple drain systems in the basement. The electric sump pump is attached to the backup, natural gas generator. If the power in Highland Park goes out, the generator kicks in and provides power to the sump pump, the master bedroom, the refrigerator and freezer, and several lights in the home.”
An elevator runs from the garage to the second floor and stairs take you to the third-floor gift-wrapping room and game room. There are five bedrooms, five full bathrooms and three powder baths, a wine room, and wait for it — a recording studio. This house really does have it all.
Boren has this Highland Park classic French luxury home listed for $9.975 million. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more perfect home in Dallas than this one, and don’t forget what we’ve been telling you about luxury listings in Texas. Sales increased 19 percent last year, and we are all betting Dallas is going to break another record in 2018.
Let us know if you buy this beauty. We’ll bring the champagne, lie on the floor, and admire the entry ceiling with ya’ll!
Karen Eubank is the owner of Eubank Staging and Design. She has been an award-winning professional home stager for more than 25 years and a professional writer for 20 years. Karen is the mother of a son who’s studying music at The University of Miami. An ardent animal lover, she doesn’t mind one bit if your fur baby jumps right into her lap. Find Karen at www.eubankstaging.com