01/05/15 12:15pm

2042 Forest Oaks Dr., Meadowcreek Village, Houston

2042 Forest Oaks Dr., Meadowcreek Village, Houston

Juxtaposed “before” and “after” pics (recreated above) of the 1963 used-to-be-Mod house at 2042 Forest Oaks Dr. in Meadowcreek Village have garnered a mere 1002 comments (so far) on a Facebook Mid Century Modern fan page. Many of the comments decry the roofing and landscaping changes made to the home, explaining that the renovator doesn’t appear to “get” the style of the original. Others wonder whether some sort of Photoshop trickery might be involved. But a few commenters note that the home, whose Houston Mod open house was featured on Swamplot in 2012, was a foreclosure, that many of its modern features had been altered before its most recent sale, or that the 4-bedroom, 3-bath, 2,650-sq.-ft. home appears to be much more livable in its current state.

Unfortunately, the earlier listing included only a few additional photos, making direct before-and-after comparisons of the extensive changes made to the home’s interior — including the addition of laminate floors and granite countertops — difficult. The home was listed for sale in mid-December for $210,861. Pre-renovation, it sold in March of 2013 for $78,000.

12/08/14 3:15pm

1535 milford interior

1535 milford front-2

In a niche neighborhood near the Museum District, a 1994 modern home designed by architect Natalye Appel blends into the stretch of custom homes on a wishboned street pair between Mandell and Montrose Blvd.  The corner property was listed a week ago with a $995,000 asking price and held its opening open house last weekend. Updates since its 2012 change of hands (at $730,000) include a kitchen remodeling and access from the master suite downstairs to a new courtyard and pool.


Space Efficient
10/08/14 4:00pm



Over in the Mod Mecca of Meyerland, a well-tended 1960 home rolls out the red carpet — and terrazzo tile, wood paneling, and other mid-century finishing touches. In near-original condition, the tilt-topped property is located east of Chimney Rock Rd. and south of S. Braeswood Blvd. Its listing earlier this week comes with a $459,900 price tag.


Ready To Remuddle
10/03/14 4:45pm



The Stone Age mashes with Mid-Century Modern in Friendswood, where an updated 1961 stunner designed by architect M. Bliss Alexander accents its crisp and clean lines with 12 tons of rock from Wimberly. Listed a week ago with a $1.19 million asking price, the home last sold in 2007, for $585K. It sits on 1.3 acres in the Perry Grove neighborhood, located southwest of Friendswood Dr. and W. Spreading Oaks Ave.


Playing It Safe
08/25/14 5:00pm



Apart from the snazzy red cars parked by the home’s courtyard entry, a flat-topped 1963 Hilshire Village property keeps a low profile beneath the canopy of mature trees on its large lot, which is located in the Burkhardt Plaza neighborhood west of Wirt Rd. and just north of the Christ Evangelical Presbyterian Church on the eastbound I-10 feeder road. Updated in 2009, the midcentury modern with the not-so-modern decor landed on the market a week ago, asking $1.1 million. By the weekend, though, the price had dropped to $997,500.


Price Drop
08/22/14 3:30pm


It’s big, but not the biggest home on its cushy Bay Oaks block. Bigger still are the fairways of adjacent Bay Oaks Country Club, on display behind this fully loaded property that’s located south of Clear Lake Blvd. The updated 1989 contemporary clad with stucco, stone, and tile was listed this week. The asking price of $1.399 million marks a noticeable spike from the $898,000 paid in 2011, when the current owners took hold.


Clear Lake City
08/12/14 2:30pm

Penguin Arms Apartments, Kuhl-Linscomb Campus, 2902 Revere St., Upper Kirby, Houston

The owners of the quirky Kuhl-Linscomb home-goods store, arrayed in 6 separate repurposed buildings just east of the Upper Kirby Whole Foods Market, have plans to attach a large addition behind and next to the Penguin Arms apartment building at 2902 Revere St. — and to turn the completed building into an additional showroom. The proposed addition to Arthur Moss’s distinctive 1950 structure (above), one of the best surviving examples of the Frank-Lloyd-Wright-meets-diner-mashup ‘Googie’ style, would almost quadruple the amount of space in the building, from the current 5,938 sq. ft. to 23,427 sq. ft. A proposed site plan submitted to the city shows how the addition would hang back and to the side of the structure, preserving views of 3 of the rock-and-glass building’s corners:


To Preserve and Expand
07/21/14 4:30pm



Like sharpened cuspids, a 4-pack of aligned and angled columns screens the entry of a 1960 modern home in Meyerland. Could a toothy grill off the circular driveway have been the intent of the long-term owner, a dentist? The home’s initial design is attributed to H. Oberdieck in architectural chatter about the property and its records. Listed earlier this month, the home’s asking price is $899,000.


Say ‘Ahhhhh’?
07/11/14 5:00pm



A woodsy-sited Broad Oaks property hidden from the street sports and sprouts enough ivy on its walls and walkways to offer a high-end diploma. But how secluded can the 1957 home’s side pool (top) be from view of the more recent townhomes next door (at right in the photo above)? From inside, there are extensive views out of the window walls — sun dappled no matter where you sit — and plenty of perching possibilities from which to appreciate the inside-outside views . . .


Ivy and Light
06/25/14 5:30pm

6404 Lakeshore Dr., Lago Vista, Texas

6404 Lakeshore Dr., Lago Vista, TexasWhy is Houston architect Karen Lantz putting up for sale the 1963 split-level cabin near Lake Travis she painstakingly brought back to life and renovated? To free up funds for more on-her-own projects for her family, she tells Swamplot. Of course, a real-estate listing of an architect’s own home can do double marketing duty: There’s always the chance someone might see your home and want to buy it! But there’s also a chance someone might see your home and want something kind of like it, but somewhere else. . . .

So Lantz went a little wild with the online show-and-tell, repurposing many of the images she had had taken and drawn of the property when she submitted it for professional recognition (both Lantz and the home won awards from the AIA last year) into a fancy listing website that pokes into all sorts of different sections of the half-acre lot, pointing out the “drainage swale,” “bamboo grove,” “firefly grotto” (with video of the bugs in action), “firefly patio,” BBQ patio, “arroyo,” swings (above left), and — oh, yeah, the house too:


Letting Go in Lago Vista
06/25/14 2:30pm

DRESSING UP THE MENIL HOUSE, SCARING THE ARCHITECT AWAY Dressing Room of Menil House, Decorated by Charles James, 3363 San Felipe St., Houston“Philip [Johnson] felt we should have a Mies van der Rohe settee, a Mies van der Rohe glass table and two Mies van der Rohe chairs on a little musty-colored rug,” explained Dominique de Menil about the distinctive yet undeniably Miesian modern home at 3363 San Felipe St. the already-somewhat-famous museum curator-turned-architect had designed for her and her husband. “We wanted something more voluptuous.” And so in 1950 the first family of Schlumberger hired Mr. Voluptuous himself, the dress designer Charles James, to create the new home’s interiors — something he had never done before, and never would do again. How’d that turn out? Here’s Joanna McCutcheon, giving some background to the Menil Collection’s current exhibition featuring clothing and furniture James designed for his patron: “Upon entering the house — a clean, strictly modernist construction of brick, steel and glass, he immediately demanded that the ceilings be raised 10 inches. He wanted additional room to facilitate his plan of coating the walls in lurid felt and velvet. . . . The walls of the Johnson house were swaddled in dyed felts, while dark spaces were illuminated with shocking colour. Horrified, Johnson refused to include the house in his portfolio for decades afterwards.” [Disegno Daily] Photo of Menil House dressing room: Menil Collection

06/11/14 4:15pm



Clear Lake laps placidly (at least for now) at the shore of a Mies-inspired home designed in 1974 by Houston architect Edmund Furley and located in Glen Cove (the one in League City, not the one near Houston’s Memorial Park). The waterfront retreat’s undated renovations (top) are attributed to interior designer J. Randall Powers and William Caudell (the still-living designer, not Bill Caudill the late CRS architect). Photos in the property’s listing last week generously tour the interior and grounds, but present just one through-the-gate peek at the home’s front (above). There’s a $4.3 million asking price dangling above the wowza waterside spread, but its $12 annual maintenance fee appears to be a real deal.


Weather Channel
05/28/14 4:00pm


Berry Bayou’s banks lie behind an aqua-tipped and aqua-tinted 1962 mod in Meadowcreek Village. The ravine lot property popped up on the market today, with a $99,900 asking price. Many of the home’s original details are intact:


Hollowed Grounds
05/07/14 2:15pm



Almost matching wings of a deep set 1960 “rancho deluxe” mod extend across the front of a wedge lot formed by the street curling off Forest Oaks Dr. in Meadowcreek Village. When listed last week, the asking price was $215,000 for the property — believed to have been custom built back in the day for the owner of Moore Paper Co. It’s still a swank spread offering many period details — and a few curiosities . . .


Roofing Hangover