New Orleans-style Family Home Gracefully Blooms in Garden Oaks
By Marsha Canright • Photography by Ben Hill
When Southern elegance meets contemporary Texas, the result is a handsome blend of wide porches, antique brick, ironwork and a modern light-filled interior.
Inspired by a New Orleans-style manor, but softer, this two-story family home has four bedrooms, three and a-half baths, more than 25 windows, 10-foot ceilings on both floors and white oak hardwood flooring throughout. It sits comfortably on curvy Gardenia Drive, a tree-lined lane in the Garden Oaks neighborhood, which borders the Heights.
Built by David Gordon’s company, Whitestone Builders, the house is new but has the presence of a century-old abode.
“Our vision is to build beautiful homes for our clients. That’s what we do,” says Gordon, owner of Whitestone Builders.
Besides visual appeal outside and in, Gordon also emphasizes energy efficiency, sustainability and the use of high-quality materials throughout the home.
The interior of the house is open and airy with a ledge stone fireplace, a farm sink in the kitchen and shiplap throughout the house.
The kitchen is about 19 feet wide with a double island, ample storage, multiple cabinets with inset cabinet doors and a backsplash of elongated white subway tile creating long, clean lines. It also features a stylish 48-inch range from Bertazzoni, an Italian appliance manufacturer.
All bedrooms are on the second floor, along with the master suite. The master bathroom has floating vanity cabinets, marble countertops and a Randolf Morris double-ended freestyle tub with a contemporary double-post freestanding tub faucet. The master shower has a frameless glass surround, and the shower tile is Daltile’s new marble look-a-like tile called “Calacatta MA-87.” A utility room connects with the master closet.
On this project and others, architects Brickmoon Design enhance Whitestone’s creative power, although Gordon remains the hands-on curator. They have worked together for more than eight years.
“This particular team is part of our secret sauce. They help put together beautiful design options and then we decide what looks best to us,” Gordon says.
“One of the things I love about the house is the over sized covered back porch,” Gordon continues. “It's perfect for entertaining. We had a Kentucky Derby party earlier this month, there were more than 60 people on that porch and there was still plenty of room to move around.”
The house also has room for a pool and spa, and the 8,700-square-foot lot offers plenty of space for more outdoor amenities and landscaping, he says.
Another goal of Whitestone is to build energy-efficient homes.
“It’s the details that make the difference,” Gordon says. “For example, we put our plugs in the baseboards, not the walls, and there are no outlets in the backsplash, which we feel can hurt the look of the backsplash.”
For heating and cooling, they install Lennox high-efficiency AC systems with wireless thermostats in their homes.
Gordon selected the Garden Oaks site with the help of his realtor, Deanna Zugheri, an expert in this area. Whitestone has spent more than a decade building luxury homes in the Heights.
“It’s an up-and-coming neighborhood with very large lots, easy access to downtown and a great elementary school,” he says.
Gordon primarily builds custom homes for his clients, but also builds a few speculative homes each year that attract buyers who are looking in the $1.2 million market and up.
“Our philosophy at Whitestone is to find clients who appreciate the benefits afforded in our higher-end luxury homes because our pricing is at the higher end of the spectrum,” Gordon says. “Then we work diligently with those clients to exceed their wishes.” He adds: “We don’t necessarily want to build the same house over and over. We want to work with clients who are passionate about design and have an eye for the details that we put into our luxury homes. That makes it more fun.”
At the time of this writing, the house, located at 974 Gardenia Drive, was listed at $1.199 million by Zugheri of Keller Williams Realty.
2233 Yale St.
1438 Campbell Road
Beech Design Group
Collaborative Design Group
2501 Central Parkway
AIR CONDITIONING AND HEARTING
Lennox Central Air & Heat
ANTIQUE BRICKS AND TRIM MATERIALS
The Detering Company
6800 Helmers St.
DOORS, HARDWAREAND LOCKS
13511 Westheimer Road
2427 Westheimer Road
Keller Williams Realty
5050 Westheimer Road Suite 200
WINDOWS BY JELD-WEN
Grogan Building Supply Co.
2419 Yale St.