A VISUAL TOUR OF VILLA BEHRENS
The former home and private studio of Howard Behrens
Note: Villa Behrens was sold in 2011. Because of numerous requests from collectors to see where Howard’s last works were created (before the onset of his Parkinson’s Disease), this popular “Visual Tour” remains here on our official website.
WELCOME TO VILLA BEHRENS – The former private studio of Howard Behrens. Featured in 7 design magazines and on HGTV – Villa Behrens was situated on four wooded acres in Potomac, MD, which is located on the outskirts of the Nation’s Capital. designed and built our villa as a reflection of the mood and romance of Howard’s paintings. A Mediterranean-style villa, it was surrounded by water — from the koi breeding ponds in the front entry gardens; to the Zen Garden, koi reflecting pond, and lagoon pool. The back dining pavillion and the pool provide an exquisite view of the setting sun, as well as the forest and natural creek on the property.
A commercial fog system creates a magical mist that enshrouds the water features day and night. The lagoon pool looks completely natural, like a lagoon discovered in a forest glen. Floating copper torches light the water gardens after sunset. A replica of an ancient Buddhist temple bell and bronze torches grace the Zen garden (see photo below) and hover above the sunken Jacuzzi spa. Candles and flowers grace the gazebo and entertainment deck which rises above the pools and waterfall to next to them.
One of the most remarkable features about Villa Behrens is the 26-foot Banyan tree sculpture that is the focal point of the interior. The Banyan tree sculpture “grows” out of the center of the Italian travertine floor in the Great Room, but its braches reach out to three separate entertainment areas, unifying the entire space.
A huge, spectacular Behrens’ sunset – a scene from the Amalfi Coast of Italy, covers almost an entire wall of the huge Villa Behrens dining room. Coral and shells from Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines highlight the 24-foot “Toledo” stone table with oversized side chairs.
RED and more RED created an impact in the Master Bedroom (two photos below), where Howard’s wife Judi (who designed, built, and decorated Villa Behrens) lowered the ceiling to create a more intimate setting. One of four fireplaces in the villa, a “see through” version, sits between the Master Bedroom and the Master Bath, which looks out across a veranda (with a tropical shower) to a park-like setting leading towards a natural steam, which meanders through the property – making its way towards the Potomac River nearby.
A travertine circular staircase surrounded by Venetian-plaster finished walls and a “weeping” water wall led to the Behrens’ art gallery, where guests often relaxed with a glass of champagne under flickering gas lights while enjoying the display of Behrens’ latest works in a setting reminiscent of a castle in Tuscany.
Adjacent to the gallery was Howard’s private retreat — a Rec Room, a Game Room, and a Theater Area. Here, in his private domain, Howard shared many hours with his family and closest friends.
One of Howard and Judi Behrens’ favorite places to entertain at Villa Behrens was at the romantic gazebo dining pavillion which rises above the lagoon pool and the lower garden. Here, music always set the mood – and even emanated from the rocks in the garden. The sounds of water (from the pool waterfall and the stream below) produced a feeling of being transported to a garden in Thailand or Japan.
In his studio, Howard was surrounded with his 50-year collection of slides and working materials. There, he created his masterpieces from 2000 to 2011 (using his palette knife.)
for taking the VISUAL TOUR of Villa Behrens the last studio and private home of Howard Behrens before his retirement.