In The News

Home In Style - Brenham Family's Dream Home By Bill Mau
The Eagle Home In Style Magazine

There are many words that can be used to describe Carl and Tracey Buckner’s home just outside of Brenham. This article will try to use 1,000 or more in an attempt to do so, but there is only one word the Buckners hear people say when they first walk through the front door: wow.

Visitors feel like they’re in for star treatment from the time they enter the front gates. Recessed waterfall fountains spring from the walls flanking the front gate. At night, colored lights bring the fountains to life and really make the entrance pop.

A long driveway leads up to a home that would look more in place in a Hollywood setting than on a rural highway. Palm trees and lush garden planters help carve out a very distinct atmosphere from the 66 acres of ranch land that surrounds it. It took three and a half years to build, but both the Buckners and their guests agree that it was time well-spent.

The massive front doors open into the house’s foyer and formal living room. This area makes use of the full vertical space in the home, with only the upstairs bridge-way above. Two large amethyst geodes flank the doorway while a floor-to-ceiling window opposite the door opens into the backyard.

“When you first walk in, we want you to be amazed with the view,” Tracey said. “This is where the house makes its first impression, so we wanted it grand.”

The formal living room features a Roman-style design with a decorative theme of angels and cherubs. A large painting on one wall depicts a tired angel resting its head. The Buckners call it their guardian angel.

Home In Style - Wine CabinetThis room, as every other room in the house, was put together by interior designer Sherry Renfrow Moore with The Design Source. She said working with the Buckners was easy because they have a love of beautiful things and she was able to learn a lot about them personally. This helped in many areas of the house, but the formal living room was where she was able to make the strongest connections.

“When I found the painting of the guardian angel, I thought to myself that it must be Carl’s guardian angel,” Moore said. “But I decorated this room as a memorial to Tracey’s late mother. That’s why there are so many angels in here, and I think of the angel in that painting as Tracey’s mother watching over the family here. She’s trying so hard keep everyone in line and the cherubs are the music she makes for everyone.”

Three dining areas allow the Buckners to entertain a large number of guests without bringing out extra tables and chairs. A formal dining room sits in view of the less formal breakfast area. The formal dining room was designed to be soft and  elegant. Venetian plaster covers the walls, providing a striking backdrop of the Louis XV wall screens. The chandelier above the table hangs from a stunning hand-painted ceiling that gives guests the impression that they could be dining with royalty.

The breakfast area is a circular nook with a round table. This is frequently used for family meals. They also take meals at the island bar between the kitchen and family room. Between the dining areas is the wet bar and wine room. This small area makes a big impression thanks to the mascarello granite countertops. The mascarello features deep, rich colors and patterns that instantly make it a conversation piece for guests.

Kent Moore Cabinets Entertainment Center“This granite is a top grade and you don’t see it very often,” Moore said. “We combined that beautiful stone with a chiseled edge, because that tends to take this home where there is so much formal going on and add in something more primitive and casual.”

When the weather is nice, guests will undoubtedly be drawn to the resort-style back yard where they can enjoy two levels of patio, tropical palms and cabana style décor and a swimming pool that would not be out of place at a high-end hotel.

The pool is easily the most dominant piece of the back yard. It features a beach-style entrance, a water volleyball area, a lazy river, waterslide, diving platform and a grotto with in-pool seating. The lazy river rings a center island, reachable by a pair of footbridges. The side of the pool nearest the tropical pool house has a swim-up bar offering a place to socialize or watch the game without leaving the water.

The pool house has a covered kitchen area with a grill, stove and oven for cooking, as well as its own refrigerator and food storage areas. The Buckner’s goal in building this area was to be able to have everything they need to entertain guests poolside without having to run into the house to get food or drinks. A flatscreen television completes the feel of a Caribbean bar, and makes it a popular place for Carl and his friends to gather to watch a game. The building also has a full changing area and washer & dryer making it easy for pool visitors to change in and out of their pool attire without having to go back up to the house.

“We wanted a Caribbean feel, so that’s why we designed things like we did out here,” Tracey said. “We’re going to get a fire pit set up on the island, that way even if someone doesn’t want to swim, they can still be comfortable right there and talk to people in the hot tub or going by on the lazy river.”

When the weather isn’t quite as nice, there’s still plenty of fun to be had inside. A quick trip up the home’s opulent stone spiral staircase leads to the game room and home theater.

Home In Style - Game Room - Entertainment CenterThe game room offers guests a place to play pool or video games with access to the backyard balcony and a breath-taking view of the land. The hardwood floor sports an intricate inlay pattern that is every bit as captivating as the furnishings in the room.

The home theater was not quite finished as of this writing, but the room’s promise is evident. The walls are soundproofed with surround sound speakers built right into the walls. One end of the room will house the massive viewing screen, while the rest will feature a mix of theater style seating options.

“The seating is going to be a combination of both mine and my husband’s styles,” Tracey said. “I like to stretch out when I watch a movie with pillows and blankets, and Carl likes more of a theater-style reclining seat. We’re setting up so that one area will have three big theater recliners and the part along the back wall will have a big L-shaped lounging couch for me and the kids to lay on.”

The Buckners expect to be able to comfortably host parties of up to 200 people by making use of the inside and outside entertainment spaces. With accommodations like the ones in this house, filling that guest list should never be a problem as the home is sure to be a favorite spot for holidays, summer cookouts, birthday parties for the kids or even just small gatherings of friends. From it’s seemingly ordinary location on a country highway, the Buckner house manages to be anything but that. No matter how many times someone visits, Tracey and Carl hope their guests leave with just one word on their minds…wow.

Read part two: Brenham Family’s Dream Home Has A Little Something For Everyone

View additional photos from this home.

Editor’s Note: This is the first of two articles about the home of Carl and Tracey Buckner from Brenham. It focuses on this
remarkable home as seen by visitors, namely the common and entertainment spaces. The next issue of Home in Style will
feature the family areas of the home and how the Buckners enjoy their home when not entertaining guests.

Photos By: Chandler Arden