06/24/15 4:15pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: NEW HOMES HAVE BEEN GROWING BIGGER FOR LESS Large House“The funny thing is that back in the 1930s, people actually needed more space than they do today. The average size of a household in the 30s was just over 4 people. It has shrunk to ~2.5 today (although some rich folk do breed like rabbits for some reason). In the olden days, people would have large libraries of books. Now, all that can be kept on an iPad or kindle. People used to have large record collections and “hifi” stereos that were their own pieces of furniture. Now, you can store all your music on your phone and plug it into a massive sound system that is completely built into the wall of each room. Same goes for a TV set. I remember my mom chewing me out for leaving my soda cans on top of the old RCA because it left a ring on the wood. Now, the TV hangs on the wall and is just a few inches thick. Rich folk today do like to have a closet full of clothes that look like a small version of a high end retail clothing store. But today, most people, even rich folks, dress casual all the time. Back in the 30s, 40s, 50s, etc., people would dress up to ride on a plane, men would wear suits all the time, and women would have a collection of hats in large hat boxes to fill up the closet. But houses just keep getting bigger and bigger and bigger as people have fewer reasons for living in such huge houses.” [Old School, commenting on Daily Demolition Report: Lakes Out] Illustration: Lulu

04/24/15 3:00pm




Until neighboring homes now under construction weigh in, the largest home — by just a couple sq. ft. — on its Museum District block in Jandor Gardens is a custom 2006 contemporary by Stern & Bucek. The home stacks up on one side of a wide, slightly terraced, slightly dog-legged lot. The property avoids pesky back neighbors entirely — the lawn, landscaping, and pristine pool extend to the street behind. Earlier this week, the listing appeared on the market with a $3.95 million price tag.


Back Stretch
04/15/15 3:15pm



Craggy stonework and red roof tiles rock a rustic Euro farmhouse vibe in Hedwig Village at a 2011 custom home by and for the builder behind Cunningham Development (and the Andalusian-inspired Cáceres enclave community in the Rice Military area). The listing, posted yesterday, has a $3.895 million asking price, but doesn’t include too many peeks at (or around) the property. It’s just north of Beinhorn Rd., between Piney Point Rd. and Voss Rd., in a neighborhood with several newer built homes mixing in with the remaining mid-fifties inventory.


Roomy Rooms
04/09/15 11:30am

1704 Stuart St., Midtown, Houston

New photos posted to the listing of the dollhouse-like townhome under construction 2 blocks west of the Eastex Fwy. in Midtown appear to capture some sort of floral delivery in progress, a reader who’s been monitoring it notes. Between the arrival photo (above left) and the ready-to-go image next to it that appears to be the next in sequence, 5 new flower baskets appear on the grid masking the structure’s prominent garage forehead. The design by architect Martin James Lide morphs a shotgun house plan into a 2-story townhome configuration that manages to fit 3 bedrooms in 2,425 sq. ft.:


Finishing Touches
04/08/15 5:00pm



To take a dip in the atrium pool of a sleek Glendower Court home in Upper Kirby, you’ll need to head up a level. It’s a second floor feature of the 2006 contemporary by Steve Howard Designs. Located east of Westgate and north of Fairview, the April Fools Day listing has a no-joke $4.3 million asking price.


Pooling Resources
04/07/15 11:45am

Entrance and Toilets, SkyHouse Houston, 1625 Main St., Downtown Houston

SkyHouse Houston, 1625 Main St., Downtown Houston“Not sure if you can see from this picture,” writes the Swamplot correspondent who sent the image at the top of this story, looking into a few of the units in the new 24-story apartment tower at 1625 Main St. from Pease St., “but it appears the ‘view’ from the bathrooms at the new SkyHouse will be excellent.” Of course you already knew that.

Bonus: The design of the SkyHouse Main going up across the street will be identical.

Photos: Swamplot inbox (view); Simpson Property Group (tower)

04/02/15 4:00pm



The craggy terrain backing Buffalo Bayou in River Oaks near the neighborhood’s decorative gates at Shepherd Dr. sprouted several Usonian-design inspired homes by the architecture firm of MacKie & Kamrath back in the fifties. One of the modernist properties that still remains on the Tiel Way loop landed on the market Monday — and it’s in near original shape, right down to the redwood siding and built-in furnishings. A 1957 structure noted in architectural circles for its angles, wedges, cantilevered terraces, and detail-layered ceilings, the bayou-view home on a ravine lot now bears a $2.5 million price tag.


River Oaks Wrightists
03/26/15 3:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHAT YOU’VE EARNED Basketball in Pool“How do you have the time to use all the various leisure areas of a house like this? You gotta be working a lot to afford it so when do you have the free time to ski, play hoops, work out, dine in the dining room, swim in the pools, sit in one of all the outdoor sitting areas, sit in the kitchen or the bar or the living room or the den and so on . . .” [jost, commenting on Katy Home Listing Photo of the Day: Can’t Miss] Illustration: Lulu

03/17/15 4:15pm



An expansive Mediterranean number in The Woodlands borders a nature reserve, but there’s nothing reserved about the sprawling home itself, which looks over the 11th fairway of the Carlton Woods Creekside Golf Course. Even the listing description eventually runs out of over-the-top adjectives to go with the photos. Envisioned by Patrick Berrios Designs and built by Termeer Custom Homes, the former Showcase of Homes home landed on the market earlier this month with a $3.35 million price tag. Its lot occupies about an acre well beyond the (manned) entrance gate of the community, which is accessed from Kuykendahl Rd. south of Spring Creek’s swath. Amid the interior’s layers of materials, iron ornamentation unspools (top) throughout the home, keeping anemia at bay.


Indoor Grilling
03/16/15 5:00pm



When architect Tom Wilson designed a contemporary residence for himself in West U back in 1977, he divvied the lot down the length, giving home and extensive poolscape each narrow side-by-side footprints. Twenty years later, the current owners took over, paying $535K for the privilege. Last week, the property popped up on the market with a $1.45 million price tag. Architectural guides peg the design as “a low-key medium tech house” engineered with steel and panels of metal and wood. The “front” door is on the side; it lies inside the porch and privacy screen (above) facing the street, which is located south of University Blvd. and west of Buffalo Speedway.


Skinny But Loaded
02/26/15 4:30pm




Its spread wings don’t fly, but a horizon-hugging 1960 mod in Memorial — once known as the Lapin House — did rise to prominence in 2009 after a Good Brick Award from the organization now called Preservation Houston was bestowed on its humdinger of a renovation. Actual bricks on the property are mostly to be found on the street side of the home. Window walls in back face the poolscape, yard, and a bend in Buffalo Bayou, bringing the outside in. To reach the waterway, take the stone steps set into the slope backing the almost-an-acre property.

It’s located in the Willowick neighborhood of Hunters Creek Village, west of Voss Rd. and south of Memorial Dr. The original design by Wilson, Morris, Crain & Anderson (yes, the Astrodome architects) has a later addition attributed to architect Joel Brand. When listed earlier this week, the posh property’s asking price was $2.495 million.


Adjusting the Horizontal
02/20/15 3:45pm




Somewhere behind this leafy garden wall, which rises 14 ft. high along Mason and Pacific streets, a 1910 home in Montrose’s Avondale area has been holding on to another era — and another city, maybe. From the garden gate at curbside (top), glimpses inward, toward the brick-paved courtyards and patios (middle), appear to be a bit more challenging than the views outward from the pier-and-beam property. Its neighborhood watch vantage point is located south of Fairview Ave. on a corner east of Taft. St., borders 21st century townhomes, and features a mid-century commercial space across the street that’s brewery bound. Listed a week ago, the self-secluded spread has a $875K asking price.


Horror Vacui
02/19/15 4:45pm




Some of the shadows in Pasadena’s Shadowlawn Terrace neighborhood fall within a property fitted with a cavernous structure soaring over the pool and terrace (top). The 1978 custom contemporary was designed by Richard Ainslie (“with input from O’Neil Ford,” the listing says — the San Antonio architect was a family friend of the owners). Well-tended by its original (and only) owners, the climate-controlling property splashed onto the market last week bearing a $250K price tag. It’s located east of S. Richey St. between W. Harris and W. Southmore avenues. Let’s take a peek at the teak within . . .


Shadow Play
02/12/15 2:45pm



You might want to grab a spoon to dig into this 2001 neo-Victorian on a big corner lot in the Bellewood (spelled Bellwood in some places) neighborhood of Spring Branch. Its frothy paint pairings with chocolate- or vanilla-stained trim would be right at home in an ice cream shoppe. The pier-and-beam property last changed hands in June 2012, at $765K. Its listing last week has a $1.15 million asking price. There’s an open house scheduled for Sundae afternoon.


Lots of Lot
01/29/15 4:00pm



Which way is the view? From the balcony beneath the cantilevered section that marks the entry of the Modern mansion on nearly an acre in Pine Wood Estates? Through a pair of driveway gates off Memorial Drive, right where it makes its first bend west of the West Loop? Via butt-jointed glass walls, which open up further an already open floor plan (above)? MC2 Architects (pronounced Emcee Squared; publications have problems lifting their digits) designed the minimalist-but-lux tiltwall assembly for a client in 2012. It was first offered for sale 100 days ago, for $4.99 million.


Modern on Memorial