In the nascent community of Memorial Green, set just off the road from which the gated neighborhood takes its name, are 85 spaces for the patio homes of tomorrow, 22 of them already spoken for. They’re built up, not out—a dictate of post-Harvey planning—and hold grand staircases but also elevators, which is fitting for the demographic that’s flocked here: convenience-seekers.

These empty-nesters and downsizers are drawn to the lock-and-leave lifestyle, ready to part with their yards and pools but not their way of life. They’re people who want to walk their dogs but not mow their lawns, to live where a blowout or a Pilates class or a good cut of steak is always close. People like the Ferraris.

Two years ago John and Susan Ferrari traded their large home in Wilchester just west of the Beltway—the one they’d renovated and raised their children in—for a three-story custom build in this pocket paradise. A study in French country-chic, their new abode is stylish, cozy, and, best of all, manageable.

The nucleus is the kitchen, where everyone gathers around the enormous white Calacatta marble island. Its ceiling is painted “Peppercorn,” with reclaimed wooden beams that span that room and an open-concept living space, where glamour is found in a fur-covered ottoman or Chanel matchstick box; warmth in light that floods through gargantuan, black-grille windows; and comfort in stacks of textured rugs, a soft place for Dixie the Boykin spaniel to curl up. Everywhere there are European antiques sourced from local shops (Renouveau, Joyce Horn, Back Row Home) and during vacations to Italy.

Susan is behind every inch of the interior design, from the 12-foot ceilings to the white oak floors. “It’s just my passion,” she says. Her favorite space is the formal dining room, with its sliding wooden doors, Murano chandelier, and table for 10, though the family takes most meals outside, in the extension off the living room.

Perhaps the most charming detail is found in a third-story bathroom, where the wallpaper reveals itself as not standard damask but whimsy itself: The elaborate flourishes and baroque motifs are actually playful, Texas-centric symbols—footballs, longhorns, oil rigs. Susan found it in New York, of all places, part of a series called “Yee Ha!” And in this home, where European flair meets Southern sensibility, the wallpaper’s shade couldn’t be more fitting: “Limestone Cowboy.”

Home Details

  • Size: 5,465 sq. ft.
  • Architect/Builder: Wes Thomas Designs, McCollum Custom Homes
  • Year built: 2017
  • Current owners: John and Susan Ferrari
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