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Custom Italian Space
in Valencia's The Woodlands
October, 2008 - Issue #48
"Custom" is rarely the theme of a home; more often, it's simply an adjective used to describe particular characteristics. However, in the case of Kim and Randy Andrews' 7,000-square-foot house in Valencia's The Woodlands, it just might be the most apropos summary of the expansive estate, which holds five bedrooms, six bathrooms, a home theater, a gym, a wine cellar, a home office - and the couple's three teenage boys.

Still partially under reconstruction, the 9-year-old edifice has already received a substantial facelift. With the help of Joseph Kearney Construction, the home has seen the addition of a detached guest bedroom; a three-car garage has evolved into a wine cellar; a spare room now serves as a bar area and seemingly every square inch of the place is enhanced with the addition of exquisite moulding.

"I like to customize everything," says Kim Andrews. "There's nothing standard in this home." She credits Joseph Kearney Construction for making her plans a reality. "I know what I want, and I have a good sense of design, but I'm not a professional. I don't know how to verbalize it all. Somehow, they took what was in my head and actually created it. It really was a collaborative effort, but they are responsible for everything turning out so beautifully."

Andrews channels her enthusiasm for the unique into every detail of the home - even her floral arrangements. "I use Acton Country Flowers because they really go out of their way to find me special pots and glassware, and they'll locate any flowers I request. I use them for everything. A lot of work goes into each arrangement, so it's especially nice that they last so long!," she explains.

Customized appliances from Appliances Unlimited fill the home, too; an ideally-sized commercial-grade refrigerator was recently installed in the couple's copper-highlighted bar area, and an impressive Sub-Zero refrigerator is the star of the show in the kitchen.

With such an extensive grouping of high-value items and improvements, safety is a concern. Randy Andrews, a former member of the prestigious SWAT team, now owns Andrews International, a personal security company. His expertise in the industry lead him to K & S Access Systems, which provides the highest-end cameras, security systems and hardware. "A Sony executive is one of our clients, and he was very impressed with K & S. Guys especially like to check out the hardware; it's like high-tech movie equipment. We can access the system via the internet, so even if we are out of the country, we can see what's going on in our house!," says Kim.

Perhaps the greatest example of customization, however, is not what lies within the walls, but on them. Andrews, who admittedly swoons over anything feminine and sparkling, sought very particular shades of metallic for her interior paint. "I worked with a colorist from A.Allbright so that we could get a super-custom result. We went through a lot of different drafts, especially for the closet and the home theater. Finally, we created colors and even names using specialty metallic paints," she says.

If "custom" takes first tier in the descriptor category, "Italian" comes in at a very close second.
The Mediterranean structure contains all the elements of Italy; stylized windows, tiling and a unique roof line combine with opulent interior decor that in some cases could rival the cathedrals of the Old World.

Gold-guilded moulding. Murano chandeliers. A Tuscan inlayed-wood dining room table. Marble floors in shades like Honey Onyx. The home quite possibly may be the closest one can get to Rome without a passport.

What couldn't be obtained from outside our borders was created or sold locally.

Even the smallest of details did not go unnoticed. Leather-inlayed door handles were selected from My House Plumbing & Hardware, which carries the highly-customizable Rocky Mountain Hardware brand. "You choose the style of the handle, the finish, the color of the leather - everything - and then it's custom made and arrives in eight weeks or so," says Andrews.

Sublimely-finished, bold pieces were purchased from local furniture purveyor, De Mejico. A copper-paneled bar has, in fact, inspired additional home improvements. "We want to put the same copper panels on our ceiling above the bar," says Andrews. The couple also purchased the doors to the wine cellar, gift wrap room and bathroom from De Mejico.
The final result is a home that honors the couple's favorite places, while remaining uniquely their own.
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