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Inside a Carlton Woods Designer Dream House — This Woodlands Mansion Is a Sprawling Stunner With a Bar to Swoon Over

Interior Designer Sarah Bartholet Gwin Raises the Bar

BY // 12.21.23
photography French Blue Photography

For Sarah Bartholet Gwin, a third-generation interior designer and color enthusiast, design is more than just a profession. It’s her lifelong passion. From the very beginning, Gwin’s journey into the world of design was inevitable. Growing up in a family of interior designers, with her family owning the furniture and design firm Bartholet Home Furnishings, she was immersed in creativity.

As a lead designer at Bartholet Home Furnishings, Gwin has worked with numerous clients who have become like family. Including a number who own houses in The Woodlands. Her most recent house project in the exclusive Carlton Woods neighborhood started in 2022, and came with all the challenges that post pandemic era projects face.

Gwin worked on four of this client’s previous homes, which were historically traditional and formal. However, the family’s new Carlton Woods project turned out to be a departure from the past. A journey into contemporary. Gwin had a blank canvas at the new home, a sprawling 10,000-square-foot showpiece boasting contemporary architecture, towering 24-foot-tall ceilings and custom steel and glass entry doors.

This Carlton Woods estate sits gracefully on a one-acre corner lot on the prestigious Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course in Carlton Woods. Hand-painted Valhallan wallpaper adorns the dining room walls, a walk-in wine cellar is centered in the home and an open floor plan sets the tone for grand gatherings.

The vibrant colors of the bar area at this Carlton Woods estate make this a prime entertaining spot.
The vibrant colors of the bar area at this Carlton Woods estate make this a prime entertaining spot.

The family moved in right after construction was completed. However, the process of furnishing the residence extended well into mid 2023.

The couple who owns this unique home craved vibrant colors, clean lines, edgy pieces and an elevated yet comfortable style for their two sons and the friends they love to entertain. The challenge came in the sheer scale and volume of the space, which seemed to swallow everything within its reach, according to Gwin. 

“Nearly all of the furniture in the house was completely custom,” Gwin notes. “And what used to take 10 to 12 weeks was taking anywhere from 35 to 40 weeks to ship so it was difficult. But we were happy to take on the challenge. Every piece of furniture, rug, artwork and accessories in the house was selected from Bartholet Home Furnishings vendors.”

The two-story foyer is the at the heart of this Carlton Woods mansion.
The two-story foyer is the heart of this Carlton Woods mansion.

One of the striking features of this incredible home is the custom bar. The homeowner couple is ready to introduce a new level of excitement to their legendary parties — and Gwin proves up to the challenge. With bold colors, mixed metal accents, onyx elements, lacquered cabinetry and backlit counters, she created a custom bar that exudes fun and leaves many visitors in awe. This space becomes the heart of the home, where craft cocktails and conversations flow freely while music cascades through the house.

“Our family couldn’t have been happier with how our home turned out,” the homeowners share.”We built this house with the vision of a modern design that didn’t compromise comfort. Attention to detail was thorough as every piece of furniture and decoration was thoughtfully curated by the Bartholet team.

“We were especially in awe of our downstairs bar, which is the epitome of what we sought to achieve with this house. It’s vibrant, expressive and a great place to host friends and family.”

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