Sweetwater ChateauFrench Country elegance in Fort Bend County
If the elegance of French Country architecture and design along with the ease of suburban country club living are your style, then you’ll easily imagine the allure of Dr. Chris and Sherry Angelo’s 11,000-square-foot home on a vast, sprawling lot. This accomplished couple — he a family practice physician; she a family law attorney — formerly lived in a more traditional home nearly half this size.
“We looked for a very long time before we considered moving,” Sherry says, “but we when we found this lot, we fell in love with it.” Along with the custom home, which they helped design, the couple enjoys the country club amenities offered by their community as well as the walking trails, the trees and the friendly neighborhood.
Custom and Chateau-esque, it is. This astounding abode sits behind a circular brick drive on a 45,000-square-foot lot and is stunning in its façade. Encrusted with decorative flourishes, the handsome masonry exterior of smoothed square limestone and stucco is crowned by a dramatic front entrance. The rounded entryway tower topped by cone-shaped roof is true to its architectural heritage, and once inside, the period and architectural influences are even more spectacular.
Gleaming white marble floors and huge white columns define the formal living room. Beautifully elaborate architectural design in the ceiling offsets an elegantly embellished chandelier and the large, stone-carved fireplace offers its sophisticated mantle to an equally impressive hand-painted period oil. The soaring 22- to 32-foot ceilings downstairs are only one of the custom upgrades the homeowners enjoy.
This home is loaded with luxury enhancements: beautiful, big crown molding and baseboards in every room of the house; mahogany wood floors in all the living spaces, both up and downstairs including the kitchen; marble floors in the formal living and dining rooms; the gallery and entry; and even a custom, wrought-iron spiraling staircase which showcases another amazing chandelier. Paired windows allowing abundant natural light, beautiful French doors and graceful arches that lead from room to room are characteristic French Chateau-style elements that are lavishly included in this home’s design.
Entertaining is a natural, easy occurrence here. Sherry reminisces, “Every year at Thanksgiving and Christmas, we host our favorite parties for family and close friends, and those gatherings often include 20 or more. But we also enjoy having political gatherings and formal lavish parties where more than 50 guests get together.” She continues, “Visitors love our huge entry and the big picture window that greets them as soon as they enter our home, allowing a gorgeous view of the outdoor space in the back.” In fact, the magnificent size of the rooms and windows throughout the home make this domicile fit for royalty.
Along with the finishes, the Angelos love their kitchen, completely outfitted for the most discerning of chefs. A Thermador gas range, Sub-Zero refrigerator, two dishwashers and a double sink, not to mention the butler’s pantry, allow for gourmet cooking, convenient service and easy clean-up no matter the occasion. The breakfast area serves as the “morning room” where sipping coffee and reading news is the norm. Adjoining this gathering space is a “sun room” or more casual family room where three huge French floor-to-ceiling windows provide vistas of the backyard and outdoor living space.
The outdoors is unique in its size and presentation, which allows for even more comfortable entertaining. The lot size, lavish landscaping, a wrought-iron fence, the lanai with its two ceiling fans and French Carlisle dining and seating area make this outdoor space accessible year-round. Another kitchen also offers outdoor cooking options. A big Viking grill with additional burners for side dishes, a sink and even an ice-maker afford a place for more food and more fun.
Aside from the more social spaces this home provides, the private spaces are just as inviting. The master suite is both ample and comfortable with a French mahogany Henredon bed dressed in champagne-colored custom linens. French doors and large windows with 4-inch shutters open to allow views and access to the backyard. In the master bath, his-and-her vanities, large tub and separate shower, along with the oversized, walk-in closet with custom cabinets and mahogany shelving provide both spa-like luxury and order to these homeowners.
There are two spaces in the home where the Angelos get work done. One smaller office spaces sits adjacent to the kitchen, and here to-do lists get made, meals get planned and bills get paid. “We manage our household in this office,” Sherry explains. The main office/library is at the front of the house off the entry and formal living area. Here they each meet with clients or consult with colleagues. This room is superlative in both its size and style. Glass and wood French doors open to reveal walls and floors of rich, warm mahogany. One wall houses books behind gracefully arched built-in bookshelves and on another wall facing the front yard are paired windows with matching arches, true again to the home’s Chateau design. The large desk and comfortable Chesterfield leather sofa are fitting pieces that perfectly complement this room’s aesthetic. Sherry says, “The sofa in here is one of our favorite pieces of furniture. We’ve had it for more than 15 years and it still looks sparkling new.”
The upstairs makes room for kids and guests with four more bedrooms, each en suite. A large game room, complete with a pool table, and a home theatre outfitted comfortably with sofas, movie posters, and a huge 70-inch entertainment console allow for indoor fun. Additionally, a technologically-equipped computer room allows a quiet study space for kids or teens where they can get their work done in solitude and quiet, without imposing on the other more grown-up office spaces. In fact, the entire upstairs is conveniently isolated from the main areas of the home, making this abode a tranquil place for both parents and kids.
When asked to name the favorite parts of her home, Sherry had two answers: “Décor-wise, I love the formal living and gallery spaces; they so elegantly reflect the home’s French style. But time-wise, I love the family room because it is so cozy and warm. We love curling up on the sofa in our downtime and just watching TV.”
Opulent and grand, this Chateau-style home has decidedly European sensibilities and impressive scale, makes a bold statement in its upscale neighborhood and provides privacy and room to roam for a large or extended family.
(Top image: Stunning in its façade and embellished with decorative flourishes, the smoothed square limestone and stucco exterior of this amazing abode is crowned by a rounded entryway tower and topped by cone-shaped roof — true to its architectural heritage.)
Text by Cheryl Alexander | Photography by J Pamela Photograph Builder: Christopher Sims Custom Homes | Architect: Robert Dame