Jun 1, 2013 17:13 The Gardens Drive The Gardens Drive 11435 The Gardens Drive Advocate story June 01, 2013 Comments With a style influenced by old New Orleans and the villas of France, the home at 11435 The Gardens Drive in The Settlement at Willow Grove is an escape from the city right in the heart of town. You can make your escape to relaxing courtyards, elegant balconies, a big home theater, a gym and even your own sauna. If you can’t find a way to relax in this home, you might need to consider medication. And with its narrow lot lines, a Weedeater-sized front yard and a brick-walled garden, you’ll have little to worry about in the way of maintenance. The entrance is up five brick steps to the front porch, which is framed by three tall arches and topped by a New Orleans style wrought iron balcony. Ceilings in the downstairs part of the home are 12 feet, doors are 8-feet and baseboards are the tall kind. The living room has a clean, almost contemporary look, with a wide fireplace at one end. Old bamboo is the flooring choice throughout the home; there is no carpet. An elegant formal dining room adjoins the living room via a narrow corridor which frames the elegance of the dining area. A crystal chandelier illuminates the room, as does a big, square, four-light wood window. From the formal dining room, a cased entry leads to the kitchen and breakfast room. A massive center island is has a stainless double sink, and a pot-filler is above a 6-burner Vulcan gas cook-top and oven. Glass tiles back the granite counter tops, and some of the cherry cabinets have glass fronts. A large breakfast room is located near the butler’s bar, which has a wine refrigerator, a wine rack and a television cabinet. Wide French doors lead from the breakfast room to the side courtyard, a private gathering spot with an outdoor kitchen containing top notch outdoor appliances. Floored in travertine tile, the courtyard has a most interesting and unique feature that combines the best of nature: fire and water. A waterfall splashes in front of a fire ledge below a television cabinet. The effect is soothing to the eyes, ears and soul. The home is large – nearly 6,000 square feet—and has two master suites, one downstairs and one upstairs. There are five bedrooms in all, five full baths and two half-baths. The downstairs master has views of the side courtyard and a long travertine bath with a deep and lighted air-bubbler tub across from granite vanities. A glass walk-in shower has a rain-head and a handheld unit. The upstairs master is accompanied by two other bedrooms, each with full baths. But before you get up to the second floor – at the turn of the stairs – there’s an exit to an awesome home theater. The vaulted theater is floored in old bamboo planks and it has a vaulted ceiling with exposed beams. But the highlight is the 133-inch movie screen and projector; Rave Cinema would be proud. Also on this level are an L-shaped room that could be an office, and a small gym room. Finish your journey to the second floor and you’ll find a huge bonus room with a wet bar. Also floored in bamboo, the bonus room has exits to the front balcony as well as another balcony above the side courtyard. Topping it all off, behind the wet bar, is a private 3-person dry sauna room with controls. The home has a three-car garage that loads from the alley in back, a security system and three zoned air conditioning units.