Real Estate / Mansions

Remarkable River Oaks Mansion Brings British Vibes and a $26.5 Million Asking Price

One of Houston's Most Expensive Homes

BY // 03.02.21
photography Julie Soefer

When the remarkable mansion at 3996 Inverness in River Oaks went on the market last week with a list price of $26.5 million, the 18,265 square foot dwelling emerged near the top of Houston’s most expensive homes for sale. It ranks third behind 100 Carnarvon Drive at $29.9 million and 120 Carnarvon Drive at $29.5 million.

Just as the two leaders in HAR listings are exceptional, so this home has numerous special features, which contribute to the warm ambience of an English country manor house. In fact, the flooring was imported from the Cotswolds in England, and the home design by architectural designer Robert Dame soundly echoes the style of an Old World residence.

Deana and Lawrence Blackburn, energy industry mogul, worked with Dame from 2008 to 2011, seeing through the design and completion of their dream home including the $1 million in stonework. Alas, professional obligations called them away to New Orleans leaving the future of the estate in the hands of Douglas Elliman Texas broker associate Jeanine Kaminski-Ditzel and realtor associate Richard Ray. List price $26.5 million.

Tucked into 2.3 beautifully manicured acres (valued at $5 million an acre), the residence employs English architectural elements, materials and motifs including a gabled slate roof with dormers, stone parapet walls and English Tudor parterre gardens.

The English accent permeates the house. The living room boasts groin vault ceilings, custom stone and steel windows with stained glass quatrefoil accents, crown detailing and custom decorative Tudor rose ornamental accents on the 16-foot-high decorative ceiling. Five oversized, hand-carved fireplaces add to this River Oaks mansion’s charm.

3996 Inverness in River Oaks (Photo by Julie Soefer)
3996 Inverness in River Oaks (Photo by Julie Soefer)

In a home like this fit for a British lord, one would indeed require that 800-bottle wine cellar featuring triple-barrel-vault brick ceilings and wine label tiles imported from only England? And what would a home like this be without the paneled billiard room, complete with full bar and built-in aquariums?

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Let us count the ways that this residence was built for entertaining: six bedrooms, seven full and four half baths, a media room and a separate guest cottage, a saltwater pool, disappearing fountains and a custom summer kitchen outfitted with a commercial grill, pizza oven and even a crawfish boiler.

The expansive home has been the site of numerous swank fundraisers including the World Master Chefs Dinner fundraiser for the Harris County Sheriff’s Office for which famed chefs Thomas Keller, Paul Bocuse, and Daniel Boulud cooked for diners who paid $2,500 each for the privilege.

Some houses are one of a kind. Get a closer look at 3996 Inverness in the photo gallery below:

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