Catrina and Claude Sims saw “a home nestled in the rugged hills and mesquite trees, where the terrain was usable because it was not too steep,” and where a sprawling villa could be tucked away for endless privacy and secluded beauty. In this spot, Sims built a masterpiece, and later, Catrina Kendrick adorned a home.
As I pulled in through the winding drive, crossed the bridge that begs for a moat, and parked at the entrance to the grand courtyard, I felt as if I must be entering the realm of fairy tale. From the expansive, rolling grounds to the exquisite attention to detail, every facet of this home in the exclusive Boerne community, Estancia, invokes a feeling of grandeur, that what one sees only scratches the surface of what may be. It was this sense of splendour that drew Catrina Kendrick, of Catrina’s Ranch Interiors in Boerne to the project.
She explains that she too felt as if she were “arriving at a European villa, that grand entrance, not a lot of properties in Texas can give you the feeling that you have arrived at something special.That impression of something special about the home is the result of the distinct vision of builder Claude Sims of Claude Sims Builders LLC. Before nary a stone was moved or a foundation poured, Sims saw “a home nestled in the rugged hills and mesquite trees, where the terrain was usable because it was not too steep,” and where a sprawling villa could be tucked away for endless privacy and secluded beauty.
In this spot, Sims built a masterpiece, and later, Catrina adorned a home. Part of their vision was a courtyard that “was something more than just a pretty space to look at.” So Sims included two sitting areas, one by a beautiful, lofty fireplace and the other surrounded by lovely flowers and vegetation, and both areas enjoy the restful sounds of the water feature trickling nearby.
There are three entrances off the main courtyard. One leads to a mother-in-law or nanny suite, another to a second master suite and the third is the main entrance to the home. From the gorgeous iron work to the carefully chosen stone to the doors reminiscent of Old World charm, the courtyard makes the statement that at this home, you have arrived.
Once inside the main entrance, one notices the lovely travertine floors, the warm tones on the walls, and the beautiful décor all around. Catrina explains that in lieu of the grand piano she imagined for the room directly in front of the main entrance, she “opted to make the space a formal sitting room, with rich fabrics and wood pieces, centered around the arched window that perfectly captures the breathtaking pool and landscape beyond.”
To the left of the main entrance, one finds spaces destined for entertaining. A perfectly round dining room, which Catrina furnished with a Philippe Langdon table and her own custom designed chairs, is adjoined by a wine room, separated only by ornately-scrolled iron doors. The Peruvian, wood-carved candlesticks Catrina found beautifully accent the space. Adjacent to the dining room is a large butler’s pantry with bonus features such as a warming drawer and a great bar area.
In the kitchen, Sims’ love of cooking and appreciation for high-end appliances becomes evident. He “specializes in kitchens, and filled this one with two ovens, two dishwashers, a trash compactor, a microwave drawer, a steam oven, and a built-in espresso and coffee maker. It is the ultimate space for cooking and entertaining.” The large kitchen has plenty of space for guests to sit, relax and enjoy the company of their hosts.
The kitchen is part of a larger great room, which includes the breakfast room and living room. With its panoramic view of the estate, the breakfast table beckons to be enjoyed on an early morning, cup of coffee in hand. To accent the living room, “a comfortable room with an elegant edge,” Catrina chose her own custom-designed sofas, which give the room a sophisticated air. Large doors off of the living room open to the spacious patio area, inviting the outdoors in, and those indoors to wander outside to enjoy the views, the outdoor kitchen and the resort-style pool.
The backyard was clearly designed with entertainment in mind. Sims believes that “the entertaining areas outdoors should be just as inviting and comfortable as those indoors,” so he added plenty of space for guests to mingle, enjoy a meal and a conversation.
While the home has five generously-sized bedrooms in addition to the mother-in-law suite, it is the master suite that truly stands out. From the curving, triple-terraced ceiling to the picture windows that frame gorgeous views, the master bedroom is a retreat. To embellish the space, Catrina found a beautifully lavish four-poster bed and a rounded sofa that perfectly fits in the circular sitting area.
And according to Catrina, “while the bedroom is good, the master bath is fabulous.” With stunning mosaic glass tile accents, three shower heads, a large spa tub and bountiful counter space, this bathroom has everything, including a morning kitchen, so that homeowners do not have to leave their haven for a cup of coffee.
But the showstopper of the suite, maybe even the house if you are female, is the three-story closet, featuring a cedar closet tucked away on the third floor. With seemingly endless space for shoes, clothing and accessories, this super-sized closet may very well be every girl’s dream room.
Another dreamy feature of this villa is all of the striking ceilings. Catrina says she immediately noticed that “every important area has a unique ceiling feature,” which is one of many reasons she “had to get her hands on this home.” Sims explains that each ceiling was a work in progress, often requiring several tries to get the ceiling to look like he saw it in his mind’s eye. From the large barrel dome in the dining room finished to look as if age is causing the stucco to reveal the brick underneath, to the three-tiered beam and iron ceiling in the kitchen, each ceiling was painstakingly crafted, adding character and interest to each space.
Once inside the main entrance, one notices the lovely travertine floors, the warm tones on the walls, and the beautiful décor all around. To the left of the main entrance, one finds spaces destined for entertaining. Upstairs one finds another gem in the layout and design of what Catrina calls “a teenage son’s paradise.” A large bedroom sits adjacent to a massive theatre room, where one can imagine movies and video games entertaining for hours.
Another well-kept secret is found in the library near the master suite downstairs. While the oversized window seat and rich dark wood shelving make a bold statement, a hidden room cleverly disguised behind double hung bookshelves quietly conceals a mystery. This 7,700 square foot home has much to offer, with its ample space for entertaining as well as secluded areas for a restful respite. Sims, who has been building homes his whole life, built this villa believing that fairy tale dreams could take shape in real life. And Catrina decorated for the ball.