A “Tower of Mansions” is Changing Houston’s Skyline

by decwells
A “Tower of Mansions” is Changing Houston’s Skyline


While developing the interior design of 1661 Tanglewood—an opulent 34-story high-rise being built in one of Houston’s most sought-after neighborhoods—interior designer Randall Powers reflected on a phrase he often heard his grandmother repeat: “Buy once, cry once.”

By that, his grandmother meant, “buy the best you can and hold out if you can’t,” explains the Texas native. “At the end of the day, you will never regret great things. But you shall regret the stuff you use as filler.”

Prospective residents can currently see that philosophy in action in a model residence that Powers has filled with the finest finishes from around the world, to give buyers an immersive taste of what life at 1661 Tanglewood could be like.

1661 Tanglewood

Named after the family developing the project, the high-rise Tanglewood is similar to a “tower of mansions,” housing residences ranging from 3,000 square feet to a sprawling 12,000 square foot penthouse. The target buyer is someone who has grown tired of dealing with landscaping but is still eager to hold on to their baby grand piano and collection of designer shoes. In other words, for a discerning audience, builder-grade material wouldn’t cut it.

Acquiring custom finishes

1661 tanglewood

1661 Tanglewood/Par Bengtsson

Powers has built a career out of creating elegant, intriguing luxury residences in Houston and around the world. Based on that experience, he turned to favorite collaborators to help pull out Tanglewood: Stark Carpet rolled out custom flooring, Chesney Fireplaces in London manufactured the two to three hearths in each unit, Rose Tarlow Melrose House provided the lobby furniture , and Parisian artist Alexandre Vossion created a five-foot version of his dramatic crystal Dream chandelier to hang near the building’s entrance. “When I brought that light to the table,” Powers recalls of the presentation to the team at Tanglewood Corporation, “all four of them were like, ‘Wow. Now it is art.”

Refinement of a color palette

1661 tanglewood

1661 Tanglewood/Par Bengtsson

For the interiors, Powers chose an elegant color palette of taupes, creams, grays and soft peaches to allow for special details—like de Gournay picturesque wallpaper in the living rooms. “I believe that everything should have a tremendous amount of detail to make it feel special,” says Powers. “But it also has to have so much silence to make it feel interesting.”

Personalize every last detail

tanglewood

1661 Tanglewood/Par Bengtsson

Powers certainly left his mark on the building. But the final design of each luxury condominium is up to its future owners. Prospective buyers have a whole menu of options to choose from to create their ideal home. “If you just want to buy raw space, it’s available,” Powers notes. “We can put basic things like the plumbing in place and from there you can use your own architect to build it out as you wish.”

Then there’s what Powers calls the ‘signature package’, where he and his team “completely design the space, and all you bring is your own furniture. Or we can take it to the next level, where you get a key operation.” If buyers wanted, he says, “I can put two luxury cars in your driveway, have fine crystal glasses in your cabinet and choice silverware ready for you to eat dinner on.” All that’s left is to pack your clothes. Although, he jokes, “If you really want to take it that far, we can get you a personal shopper.”

The project is designed for buyers to maintain total autonomy. “We went in with the theory that ‘no’ really isn’t in our vocabulary,” he explains. Beyond obvious physical limitations—“No, we can’t put a pool in your apartment,” Powers jokes—the team aims to honor any and all requests.

Built-in luxury at every turn

1661 tanglewood

1661 Tanglewood/Par Bengtsson

If buyers do choose a luxury condo as Powers designed it, their home will be outfitted with his team’s custom moldings, Waterworks kitchen faucets, a La Cornue range, TV screens in the mirrors of the master bedroom bathroom—even the signature Cire Trudon scent Powers chose to waft through the building. “We really went above and beyond,” says Powers. That may be why, after just a month of showings, he says, “We’ve gotten a significant amount of advance bookings for a building that hasn’t even broken ground yet.”

The project was something of a dream job for the longtime Houston resident, who relished the opportunity to plan spaces destined to be filled with sublime details and hand-picked antiques once completed. (Among his favorites: a pair of 16th-century lions that came from a palazzo in Venice and a set of Ming Dynasty consoles.)

It’s a vision the Tanglewood family and Powers hope will feel like a fantasy come true for future residents. Or, as Powers says, “It’s so over-the-top that there’s really no way to top it.”

1661 tanglewood

1661 Tanglewood

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