A head in the clouds

The master bathroom at 10 Via Aragon in The Dominion luxury-home subdivision has a bathtub, shower, toilet and the requisite lighting to shave your whiskers — but not likely of the ilk to which most mere mortals are accustomed.

The home of neurologist Braden Neiman, his wife, Traci Neiman, and their children is a Zen-like idyll throughout, but nowhere is the concentration of fine woods, luxurious stone, tile and other exotic finishes more pronounced that in that salle de bain.

A $10,000 crystal chandelier, suspended from a marble-tiled ceiling and cloaked by a circular wall of sparkling miniature tile melds its lighting with natural sunlight from high-set, castle-like windows. Calcutta gold marble covers the floor, bath and countertops. A clear-cherrywood dressing room (a closet on steroids) off the bathroom has scads of shelves underlit to make the otherwise mundane activity of shoe selection spectacular.

A mini-fridge is at hand — indubitably for champagne-and-caviar dreams.

For the price tag of $3.5 million, the home should be a looker, and it will indeed get lots of looks this weekend as the 2012 Greater San Antonio Builder Association’s Parade of Homes includes it on the latest incarnation of aspirational homes. More than 40,000 people are anticipated to attend.

The home in the Aragon at The Dominion in the southernmost area, orchestrated by builder Kyle Lindsey, features “some of the most expensive materials that we’ve seen in a long while – a lot of it applied in unusual ways,” said Lindsey.

A $17,000 coffered ceiling, 20 feet high, in the family room (one of several gathering areas) caps cool grey walls concealing eight stereophonic speakers for the sound system, supporting an indoor-outdoor theater created by retracting Nano doors that lead to a travertine patio, pool and swim channel.

Lindsey, conducting a preview while workers bustled all around, pointed out an where a small patch of carpet had yet to be installed in the study, said, “I don’t know what the carpet looks like, but I know it’s expensive.”

A home electronics system makes the environment controllable from near (via an iPad in the wall) or far (from the owners’ iPhone).

With such surroundings, one might expect its occupants to be, well, on the uppity side. Not so, judging by the down-to-earth aura emanating from the woman of the house, who says she will be doing the hands-on house chores herself.

“Scrubbing the soap scum!” Traci Neiman said brightly. “If you’re like me, you’ll be doing it.” Hands on has been her motto on the entire home-building process, she said, noting that she has scoured both bricks-and-mortar stores as well as the electronic marketplace for materials and furnishings.

“It has been a very fun process. We’re really excited. We’ve had two homes and never sat in one of our dining rooms,” she said, explaining their decision to turn a formal dining space into a wine lounge.

Not to worry about the family’s nutritional requirements, there are two other dedicated dining areas.

She fought against the Tuscan trend that is so entrenched that the word trend is now passe. No oil-rubbed bronze finishes here, she said, opting instead for polished chrome.

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