I've heard that everything is bigger in Texas. What I didn't realize is that apparently anything can be made — but bigger! — in Texas. As in, you can build anything you want. This week alone, I saw listings for mansions claiming to be copies of châteaux, mansions inspired by Spanish monasteries, mansions that brought back the ranch style of the old West, and finally, this gloriously over-the-top mansion that's an homage to Morocco in the middle of Houston.
Here's the entry to the nearly four-acre gated compound, with what looks like a person standing in the right-hand gate for scale. You can just barely see some non-Moroccan buildings above the trees, but otherwise, the illusion of an exotic locale is pretty convincing.
From the main entrance, the property extends into a house with three kitchens, a six-car garage, and a principal suite on each of the two floors (in case you're too tired to take the elevator). To be fair, though, you'd probably get sleepy after just a few minutes of looking at the swirling patterns of the tile and rugs.
The marble-floored dining room slides into French style, perhaps as a nod to Morocco's colonial past. Both this room and the similarly Francophile living room (which you can see in the listing) are fully decked out with crystal-and-gold leaf chandeliers.
The chandelier at the centre of this photo is actually hung from a gorgeous dome inscribed in red, green and gold. White stonework was custom-carved in Morocco, then imported to middle America. Through the doorway on the left at the rear, you can see the kitchen cabinets, which also have a Moorish, horseshoe-arch motif, but are perhaps a lesser example of craftsmanship (and colour choice).
A central courtyard has seating room and fountains to spare. (I'd imagine the hallways surrounding the courtyard have plenty of light, too, thanks to those wooden doors.) For actual swimming, there's a large pool — also shaped like a horseshoe arch — in the backyard.
If you could build a pastiche of any architectural style, which would you choose? Dream big — it's Texas!
Find more over-the-top mansions for sale in our Surreal Estate blog.
1-5. Martha Turner Properties