Included in the $1,470,000 asking price of this just-finished 3-bedroom, 3-1/2 bath house in the northern reaches of Boulevard Oaks: a pair of doors from a 19th-century house near Osaka; that Chinese wine pot (of similar vintage) sitting at the end of the central hall by the kitchen; a 46” Sony Edgelit TV; those planters on the back terrace; the dining room table and chairs; and of course the coffee table, upholstered pieces, and Buddha in the living room. “Many of my buyers have relocated to Houston without anything to sit on,” explains developer Carol Isaak Barden.
Barden’s house replacement at 1916 Banks St. is the 15th project she’s built to sell — if you count each townhouse in her earlier multi-unit ventures separately — and the second one designed by Seattle architect Rick Sundberg. Sundberg, who’s since left to start a new firm with his daughter, was still with Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen when he designed Barden’s Wabi Sabi house a few years ago (they’re now down to Olson Kundig without him). Barden called this house Wabi Sabi II until she started spending a lot of time coordinating the work of local designers and craftsmen on the project.
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Barden now calls the 4,517-sq.-ft. property (3,337 if you’re only counting air-conditioned space) the Handmade House. She says she would have used cypress instead of stucco on the exterior (like the Wabi Sabi) if the Ormond Place deed restrictions had allowed it. But nothing — despite the grumbling of the trim carpenters trying to work with it — stopped her from using Brazilian Massaranduba inside and out: on ceilings, on the deck, and in the slotted walls around the stairwell and at the entrance.
- The Handmade House [Carol Isaak Barden]
- Houston’s Handmade House [YouTube]
- Previously on Swamplot: Wood and Fruit in Place, the Tree House Is Ready for Its Photo Shoot, Wabi Sabi: Sold!, Inside the Wabi Sabi House, Not Lived In Yet: The Wabi Sabi House, Menil Townhome Sales Looking for a Lift, Menil Townhouse: Almost a Quarter Off
Photos: Don Glentzer