Single-Family Residence | Houston, TX | 2017
| Interior Design: Jill Egan Interiors |
How do we make a house on a very busy street private? How do we manage the transitions from public to private space? This house for an interior designer and her husband is located on a double lot across the street from a university campus and one half mile from the Texas Medical Center. Early planning focused on the access to a landscaped private garden from as many first floor rooms as possible. In total, eight pairs of steel French doors lead from Living, Dining, Kitchen, Mudroom, and Study to the pool terrace and garden.
Because the Living room is set back from the front building line, there is space for a small landscaped street-side garden. The garden screens the room from traffic, and creates views and balanced natural light for the Living room. The covered front entrance passes under the stair of the entry hall that leads directly to Living, Dining, and Kitchen spaces. The Pantry or “Back Kitchen” containing additional appliances and preparation areas provides the same buffer from the street to the Kitchen that the garden provides for the Living Room.
White oak beams at the Kitchen and outdoor covered seating, which are true structural load-bearing elements, were installed “green”. The beams were blocked and supported during construction and left to dry in place. French stone floors extend throughout the first floor and contrast with glassy-smooth plaster walls. At the exterior, mortar washed brick, plastered concrete moldings at the eaves, and slate roof were selected to help the house blend with its early 1930’s neighbors.
Around the house, trimmed Japanese boxwood hedges are interspersed with meandering climbing Boston ivy. The steel trellis, planted with evergreen wisteria overlooks the pool that is set within a zoysia lawn. Limestone gravel paths with stone borders define guest parking areas and outdoor paths through a series of spaces transitioning from the public side of the property to the private pool terrace and gardens. The house was featured in the Summer 2019 issue of Milieu Magazine.