“Labor of love” is an oft over-used term, but no other phrase will do to describe a Columbia couple’s elegant 21st-century reimagining of a majestic 1980s home.
“We put our heart and soul into recreating this space. It is a beautiful home with excellent bones in one of the most beautiful areas of Columbia. Our goal was to bring it up to the next level and equip it for the 21st century,” says Alfredo Mubarah, who co-owns the home with Beau Aero.
The 7,542-square-foot house, nestled at the end of a secluded cul-de-sac in Woodrail Estates, is minutes from city conveniences. The property sits high on a bluff overlooking protected wetlands near the confluence of Hinkson and Flat Branch creeks. The couple had their eye on this particular block for some time, leaving handwritten notes in mailboxes expressing their desire to purchase a home there should anyone ever want to sell. Their persistence paid off, and they acquired the property in a private sale in September 2014. Serving as their own architectural and design team, the couple immediately embarked upon the meticulously planned and executed nine-month-long transformation.
“We loved the bones of the home — the dramatic high ceilings, the natural light,” Mubarah says. But the house — indoors and out — was ready for a refresh.
Mubarah, founder of The Columbia Foundation, is from São Paulo, Brazil. He set out to absorb his hometown’s contemporary international design aesthetic into his vision for the home. Aero, who grew up amid the mid-Missouri countryside, has an affinity for the natural beauty of the outdoors. Together, the pair merged these sensibilities while incorporating favorite elements gleaned from design studies and extensive world travel.
“We wanted to create a harmonious sense of bringing nature inside, welcoming it in,” Aero says.
The couple entertains often and required every square inch of the house to be equal parts inviting and functional. Dark colors and carpeting made way for warm, lustrous walnut and serene whites echoed throughout the home — while leaving some original natural features like the stone entrance foyer and quartz living room fireplace mantel wrapped in copper. The back wall of windows overlooks the woods.
Extensive landscaping with refurbished and new garden and seating areas augment the livable outdoor space throughout the property in addition to the newly renovated pool, deck, fire pit and hot tub.
The house, with its dimmable LED lighting and other sustainable features, received a 96 percent efficiency score from Columbia Water & Light. State-of-the-art technology allows for comprehensive yet nuanced programming of all systems from tablet, smartphone or Apple Watch.
A recent expansion of Aero’s business has necessitated a move to Atlanta for the couple. The home on Vistaview Terrace is now on the market, listed with The Susan Horak Group/ReMax Boone Realty.
As hard as it is to leave their Columbia treasure, “It’s the kind of house that needs to have lots of people in it to use and enjoy, so it’s time for us to let someone else have that experience,” Aero says.
Besides, adds Mubarah, “We’re getting a little antsy. Maybe it’s time for the next project to begin.”