The Shearers’ French Country home is a curbside stunner. (More photos at bottom of story)
Text by Cathy Gordon | Pictures by Bookwalter Photography | Builder: Rohe & Wright
Some families look back and regret leaving out certain details while building their home. But in the case of Rob and Kelly Shearer, they pretty much thought of everything, right down to the interior built-in kennel with charming iron door.
“There was a lot of space under the stairs. Instead of making it storage, we thought a little kennel for our dog, Cady, would be good. It’s like her bedroom!” explains Kelly. “She sleeps in it at night and it’s a great little room for her when we have to leave the house for a while. She really seems to like it!”
There’s a lot to like about this home, a French Country charmer in Carlton Woods built by Rohe & Wright. The couple and their three children — daughter Shelby, 14, Jackson, 11 and Justin, 10 — have lived here four years, coming from Bellaire. And they’re happy they made the move.
“We wanted more green space for the kids and good public schools and a better sense of community,” Kelly explains. “We found that here.”
The Shearers loved their home in Bellaire, so brought that aesthetic to this dwelling. “We like the French Country look, a warm house with that kind of feel. We wanted to keep that feeling, but just with more space. And for better or worse, I’m the decorator,” Kelly jokes. “My mom always loved decorating and my sister and sister-in-law too, so maybe I picked up some of their tips.”
It’s apparent that Kelly has a design knack, single-handedly decorating this 5,700-square-foot home. “And we use every bit of it. No wasted space!” she says. “The architect really understood what we needed and pretty much did a great job of designing it on the first go-around.”
The home is elegant, but cozy despite its size. Upon entry, a formal dining room in warm historical colors is the perfect space for entertaining. Wine niches are built on either side of the dining room entrance, coming from the butler’s pantry. Opposite the front foyer is Rob’s study, a masculine room in rich wood and leather furnishings with a cowhide underfoot. It also happens to be Cady’s favorite hangout when the family is at home.
“She pretty much blends with the leather furniture. It’s her spot!” says Rob, an attorney with Baker & Hostetler.
Indeed, this house is plenty pet-friendly with their other little dog, Shipley, a Havanese, scampering about behind Kelly as she gives the tour. The family cat watches from its perch on the staircase.
“Above all else, I wanted this house to feel like a home, like a place that is warm and inviting. My goal was all about making it cozy and welcoming,” says Kelly, pointing out “family central,” the large kitchen, breakfast and family room in the back of the house.
The den is especially striking with rich wood floors and beams overhead. A floor-to-ceiling limestone fireplace anchors the room. Warm upholstered pieces set the tone here.
“I really like having a spacious feel in the back of the house, where the family room connects with the breakfast room in the middle, and then the kitchen,” she says.
An 1830s breakfast table is an eye-catcher here, paired with reproduction chairs. A large, open kitchen in New Venetian Gold granite countertops and light walnut tumbled travertine backsplash is not only functional, but also beautiful in its streamlined design.
“I kept a binder that we could show the architect,” Kelly says. “I clipped pictures from magazines. That was the best way to get our ideas across.”
One thing this house has in spades is a delightful view. The dwelling sits on a little more than an acre with a large wooded buffer separating it from neighbors. The tastefully landscaped property and newly built pool and firepit (Tim Ferguson of Tim’s Pools) are visible from all the back rooms, including a lovely master bedroom suite.
The downstairs also includes a charming mudroom with black and white tile floor and cubbies for their children’s schoolbooks, shoes, backpacks and anything else requiring “a dumping off spot,” says Kelly. “The best thing we ever did!” In the corner of this room is a small office for Kelly.
Across the hall from the mudroom is a private guest suite for visitors. “I like the fact that it’s situated where it is,” she says.
The upstairs can be accessed two ways — from a back staircase in a hallway past the kitchen, mudroom and guest bedroom, and from a handsome formal staircase with custom iron railing (ironwork by Williams Welding and Services) just past the main foyer.
Once upstairs, “it’s all about the kids,” says Kelly, pointing to daughter Shelby’s room with ice blue walls, white furnishings and girly soft bedding. Shelby’s love of soccer is apparent here. She plays for the Texas Rush Soccer Club.
Brothers Jackson and Justin are into sports, too, both playing football or the South County Football League. “And they’re into baseball and basketball, you name it,” says Kelly, who has accessorized their rooms to reflect their passion for sports.
Another example of the home’s use of space? The boys’ rooms are cleverly connected via ladders that lead to a shared loft space, replete with couch and television. “Basically the fun place where their friends always want to go first,” says Kelly.
Both Shelby and Jackson have balconies off of their front-facing bedrooms, as does a gameroom across the hall that overlooks the backyard. Doors off of the gameroom lead to a media room. On this day, Cady has decided to leave her comfortable leather chair in Rob’s office to hunt down Jackson and Justin who are in this inner sanctum. The utility room and a computer niche are also situated along the upstairs hallway.
“The way this house is laid out really works for us,” says Kelly, who is especially excited these days about the addition of the pool. “With the summer we had, it’s been great!” she says, pointing out a back section with diving board that is 9-feet-deep. “It’s a dedicated deep pool and the kids absolutely love it!”
A cleverly designed firepit to the side of the pool will get lots of use when cool nights arrive. And everyday is blissful with the view from their back porch with fireplace and tucked-away summer kitchen.
“It’s a great house and it was a wonderful experience working with our builder,” she says. “We are very happy here.”
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A fun topiary appears to dance about the yard.
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The Shearers’ backyard is a beautifully landscaped and wooded property and a has a large pool with all the bells and whistles, including a dedicated 9-foot-deep back pool with diving board.
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A cleverly designed firepit is great for those cool evenings.
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This spacious kitchen meets all the needs of the Shearer family. Cabinets are painted in Sherwin Williams Pale Almond. The breakfast table from the 1830s was a wonderful find. A stickler for detail, Kelly made sure to include room for the shelf that holds a beautiful pewter collection.
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Wooden beams, a floor-to-ceiling limestone fireplace and warm textured furnishings give this French Country home an inviting feel.
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The dining room is stunning in soft, warm colors. Walls – Benjamin Moore’s Shenandoah Taupe. Built-in wine cubbies are not only functional but elegant.
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Rob’s office definitely gives off a masculine vibe with leather furniture and stately wooden pieces. Built-in shelves hold a variety of books and memorabilia. A cowhide underfoot adds to the handsome feel.
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Ice blue walls are canvas for the décor in daughter Shelby’s room. Fun bedding and white furnishings make the room pop.
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Eldest son Jackson’s room reflects his love of sports. The ladder leads to a loft that connects to his brother Justin’s room.
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Youngest son Justin’s room is “all things boy” with caps hanging above the bed and sports references everywhere.
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The family’s cat finds a favorite perch on the staircase. Ironwork by Williams Welding and Services.
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The family’s sweet dog, Cady, relaxes in her favorite chair in Rob’s office.
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The family’s Havenese, Shipley, shows off a unique feature in this house: a built-in kennel replete with charming iron door and scripted saying overhead.
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The master bathroom is a stunner in muted colors. Light Emperador marble countertops mix with light walnut travertine floors.
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A dramatic master bedroom in rich brown bedding and curtains is a private retreat with views of the backyard.
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Stacked wood fills a cleverly designed niche beside the outdoor fireplace.
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Chalkboard sayings reflect a happy family in the Shearer abode.