“Villa Amore,” the beautiful estate designed for the Love family in 1922 by Adams & Adams is an exquisite example of Italian elegance. It is one of only three homes built using this type of architecture in Monte Vista. This elegant estate offers the charm of its historical background alongside the desired amenities sought by owners today including beautifully landscaped grounds, sparkling heated pool, cabana, 1000 bottle wine cellar, cigar room, billiard room, media room, and dream kitchen for the gourmet cook.
This Mediterranean 3-story home has a Stone/Stucco exterior with tile roof. Inside, floors of marble, hardwood, and tile are featured. The interior also includes four bedrooms, seven baths (five full and two half), eat-in kitchen, utility room, study/library, two dining areas, high ceilings, dine-in wine cellar, shop, Florida room, game room, three living areas, pull down storage, maid’s quarters, auxiliary kitchen, media room, laundry lower level.
The home’s outdoor areas offer many opportunities for recreation and relaxation. Enjoy the estate’s beautifully manicured and landscaped lawn, take a break from the Texas heat with a dip in the pool or pour yourself a glass of wine and recover from the day’s stress in the hot tub. Entertainment opportunities abound!
Additional home spaces and amenities include: storage building/shed, wrought iron fence, mature landscaping with landscape lighting, detached quarters, workshop, garage apartment. The estate also features a security system and sprinkler system.
Don’t miss your opportunity to bid for ownership on this unique home where Italian elegance meets southern comfort and charm.
Villa Amore’s Historical Significance and Renovation
This beautiful Mediterranean style home was designed by an architectural firm founded in the early 20th century by Carleton W. Adams and his uncle, Carl Adams. Other structures credited to the firm include Thomas Jefferson High School, the Alamo Cenotaph (with Pompeo Coppini sculptures) and the Texas A&M University Student Union Building.
The story of this beautiful home can be found in Monte Vista, the gilded age of an historic district: 1890-1930 by Donald E.Everett – North San Antonio Times – 1988. The home was built by Everett Love for his Italian bride and is, understandably, an Italianate villa aptly christened “Villa Amore.”
Regal steps lead to the porch entry and into the piano nobile or the “noble floor.” More specifically, it is a receiving area on the first floor above ground level in a Renaissance building — the area in which the distinguished nobles are received.
There is evidence that Villa Amore was built utilizing the “golden section,” a formula based on a marriage of mathematics and visual arts used by the Greeks to assure that a structure reaches near perfection in symmetrical patterns. “The proportions are correct, and it just feels right,” declares the homeowner. “There is no room in the house that feels wrong because it was mathematically designed.”
There were originally 32 rooms in the main portion of the home until current owners Jennifer and Jimmy Day (Jennifer is an ASID-certified interior designer) decided to make this home their own in 2005 with a renovation that lasted 8 months.
It is interesting to know the original kitchen was in the service area located at basement or ground level, and the butler’s pantry, serviced via a dumb waiter, was where the informal dining area is now located.
The adjacent kitchen of today and the informal dining area hold state-of-the-art cabinetry and appliances. The kitchen’s butcher block island is primitive and the genuine article. The same is true of the breakfast table centered with a copper “raised,” or hammered, bowl with a green patina. It was created by Jennifer. Her stove is a custom Lacanche imported from France, where a gas oven is used so that roasting meats retain moisture and an electric oven addresses the needs of pastries. There is a third oven for warming.
Cabinets hold a painted glaze, and tray-like drawers pull out so no container item is obscured from view. Counters and backsplash are four-by-eight-inch hand-glazed bricks in pale yellow by Dunis Studios.
Kitchen and nearby hallway chandeliers feature bare light bulbs fitted with a “beauty ring.” Clear Thomas Edison bulbs showing the light filament are used in the hall. Above the sink is a gas fixture converted to electric; small holes in the glass shade once released the fumes.
Beyond the entry with groin-vaulted ceiling, the receiving parlor exhibits an entirely different architectural feel with its barrel-vaulted ceiling. The round room is centered with a massive round table that was left in place by two previous owners. “We will leave it also, should we move,” says Jennifer. Above the table is a Baccarat crystal chandelier original to the home.
The adjacent former formal dining room, now the library, is centered with another Baccarat crystal chandelier. “I don’t like a formal dining room,” declares Jennifer, who chose instead to create a dining-in wine cellar on the ground floor, which was originally the basement. Meantime, the library area is the “heartbeat of the house,” where homework is done, phone calls received and visitors welcomed.
Throughout the house are call buttons for servants, and until the renovation in the mid 2000’s, they were in operation. A console at the wall displayed the area from which a call for service came.
The rear portion of the home has been totally reconfigured, transforming it from inconvenient to grand with a groin-vaulted ceiling in a hallway fitted with niches where antiques reside in the warm glow of subtle lighting.
The master bedroom is pale green, giving a nod to the treetops seen from casement windows on three sides of the room. Believing bedrooms are for sleeping only, “we have a rule there are no TV’s, computers or telephones in any bedroom,” says Jennifer. The elevator leading from the driveway opens close by.
The master bath, once three separate rooms, is awash in sea foam glass tile. Vessel lavatories in free-form shape have chrome fixtures set at the side, counter to traditional center placement. A column offers architectural accent while concealing a cast-iron pipe that extends from basement to ceiling. Three framed encaustic paintings are created from pigmented beeswax-based paint and hang above a vintage bathtub.
The room-size master closet took six weeks to build, and clothes are organized in units from the floor to the 12-foot-high ceiling
Excerpts from Myers, Kay McKay. “New Life for a Monte Vista Beauty.” San Antonio Woman 28 Nov. 2006: n. pag. Web. Read the full story here.
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