Yes, this $8.5 million, 12,000-square-foot, chateau-inspired home is a veritable palace, but the real view is out back. Its ravine lot abuts both River Oaks Golf Course and Memorial Park just across Buffalo Bayou, the infinity-edged pool staring off into that leafy abyss while sitting just a few minutes from downtown—well, a few minutes by car. “Sometimes my kids take a kayak down the bayou,” says owner and builder Thomas O’Neill.

From the front entrance, things start French-formal, with a pair of his-and-hers parlors that flank the entryway with period chairs and monochrome decor. The space grows more modern—dare we say, elegant—as one ventures deeper into the open-plan living room and kitchen, scene of lavish events for as many as 300 guests, bolstered by the resources of a dedicated catering kitchen and sunken wine cellar off the main hall.

O’Neill says he wanted to keep things restrained in style by eschewing elements like elaborate molding, but he’ll also admit to a penchant for chandeliers. It’s hard to miss the custom-made number in the living room, or the one above the soaking tub, itself strategically placed before a view of the secluded, Amazonian landscape beyond. You’ll also clock Farrow & Ball wallpaper throughout, along with ritzy essentials like a fully equipped gym, movie theater with stadium seating (and massage chairs), and third-floor mother-in-law suite complete with elevator access.

As for the neighborhood? Crestwood is a 350-home community just across the bayou from River Oaks. You’ll still get the private security, the movers and shakers, the natural beauty, and anything within reach of Memorial Drive.

“To brush up to a 1,000-acre park with protected views—you’ll never see a high rise pop up across the way,” O’Neill assures us. “Plus, to get to a baseball game, it’s, like, five minutes. Five minutes!

Home Details

  • Size: 11,475 sq. ft.
  • Builder: Thomas O’Neill Homes
  • Year built: 2013
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