Ah, the Rienzi, my home away from home. Okay, this is wishful thinking. But this former home of philanthropists Carroll Sterling Masterson and Harris Masterson III is the most potent reminder I have ever had of one of my absolute favorite places in the world, dad's store. Ever since I was 5, our antique store was a safe place for play, inspiration, and socializing. Read, my happy place!
So when I heard that the Rienzi was open on Labor Day (oh, Labor Day... the best way to celebrate work (by not working) sine 1887), I quickly switched my original plans for the day (sorry, Brazos Bend, you will have to happen next weekend). I also suspected that not a lot of people would know that the Rienzi is open today. And boy, was I right. For all intents and purposes today I toured this expansive mansion alone. Literally. There was no other visitor in sight. Which, amazingly, turned into a private 2-hour tour of the house with 4 of their very knowledgeable docents.
One of my favorites, by the way, was the Mexican Room. It's part of the original house that was designed by the prominent Houston architect John Staub in 1952. It boasts gorgeous Spanish tiles, beautiful white stucco walls and 4 stunning wooden columns (you can see a detail from that below).
But wait, there's more...
The gardens of the Rienzi are worth their very own gallery (conveniently featured below). In the heart of River Oaks, these grounds are some of the finest in Houston's oldest and richest neighborhood.
Stunning finish to a much needed three-day weekend! Happy Monday (that feels like Sunday!).