Houston Couple Replaces Starter Home With Forever Home

Houston Couple Replaces Starter Home With Forever Home

(happy instrumental music) – [Charles] The architecture of the house, it’s light, it’s airy, it’s clean, it’s very graceful. It’s a physical representation of where we are in our lives today. Our careers are over, kids are grown. What’s most important to Susan and I is spending time together
in a beautiful space that’s very serene and so this
was a canvas to create that. (happy instrumental music) – In 1981 we purchased our
starter home on this lot and we called it our
once upon a time house because it was the start of our story. It’s just a sweet little
neighborhood in Houston, Texas and I grew up here and learned how to ride
my bicycle and tricycle. My parents bought their home
six houses around the corner in 1955 and my dad’s parents they lived on the next street over. (happy instrumental music) – Our original home was a series of rooms connected with narrow doors
and the windows were small and didn’t let in much light. We tried to make the space
feel like it flowed together but with the structural
limitations of an older home we just couldn’t get what we wanted and what we wanted was lots of light. Now going to the next chapter
of our lives this is it, this is our last house. We wanted a very contemporary design because our tastes have
changed and evolved in the 38 years we’ve been married. – We wanted high ceilings. We wanted one open living space. So we started off on the adventure of doing a last final remodel of our home. So I went to Houzz and under
Find a Pro I compiled a list of about five different architects and that’s where I found RD Architecture. – They read our profile and they thought that we would be great
fit for their project because we had worked on a
series of ranch home remodels. We knew that they would
be great to work with when we showed up and there was a big plate of
homemade cookies on the table. – It was just a perfect match. – They were excellent listeners. Their first words were
we want to hear from you what your vision is for your new home. – Houzz was such an integral
part of the whole house design. Charles and I would put
together idea books, whether it was living area or bedroom so that they could see what
our style was in pictures what maybe I couldn’t verbalize. – I think it helped
unleash their creativity in looking at these images and saying oh I see what they mean. – A really important concept
for Charles and Susan’s house was to make sure it fit
into the neighborhood. So we had to make sure that
the roof line was lower so it would work with
the adjacent ranch homes but on the other hand they really wanted to have
space open to the roof. – [Susan] The demolition plan
was going to leave three walls on a 60 plus year old slab. – [Charles] It became evident early on that we were going to
have to take it down, even demolish the slab. – [Susan] We broke the
news to our daughters that their childhood home was coming down. – In my mind we weren’t really tearing
down the original home because the new home had been designed around
the original house. The spaces were still there,
we were just building new walls so all the memories would still be intact. It would still feel like their house, the house that they raised their kids in. One of my favorite parts of this project is the surprise that when you walk in the space is open to the roof. There is no attic in this main living area so it’s a high vaulted ceiling that gives you that wonderful open space. One of the tricks around
having this vaulted space that we have in here is that
there’s some coordination that we need to take into account. Air conditioning still has
to run through the house, you still have insulation,
and light fixtures in the ceiling plane
which is also the roof. We also had a builder on board early on who helped us understand how to execute the special
details that we wanted. – We found Philip Tryon of Tryon Homes through RD Architecture. They said, “Phillip, Phillip
needs to build your home,” and he was a perfect match for us also. – What was special was just
their personal connection to the neighborhood, the community. You know, we always say for
us it’s house versus home. There’s lots of houses out
there but for us it’s home. This was a very complex home to understand from a drawing point of view and also make sure that it would function and perform the way that it needed to. – One of the things that
we decided to do early on was to have a fully automated home, to make the house exactly
the way we want it from a lighting, from an audio standpoint. The lighting design is actually integrated into the automation system. And so when I walk out in the
morning I punch two buttons and in two seconds the shades come up, the lighting comes up to preset scenes, and the house is ready for the day. And at night it’s the reverse. I go to the back and I say, “good night,” and every light in the house except the light in the
master bedroom turns off. – All of the lighting
that you see in this home is all True Native LED. These have individual
drivers that go to each bulb which produces a lot less electricity. The lighting is just a whole nother world. The blinds that you see that are integrated
into the window systems, the baseboards that you see
running through the home flush with the sheet rock, this was by far the most challenging
project I’ve done to date. This is a special one. – The house is divided into three suites. I call the front area the
public area, the living suite. That’s where we live all
day and until we retire at the end of the evening. Then we have a guest
suite that is closed off with a barn door and there’s two bedrooms and a guest bathroom. (jazzy instrumental music) We have master suite and
that closes off completely. In the master suite we
have our fitness room, that’s technical the fourth bedroom. (jazzy instrumental music) And then is the master bedroom
and the master bathroom and the closet. In the living room we
wanted it to be a space where it would be multifunctional. Hence, we have it wide open. Our office area is right
as you walk in the door. Charles will tell you that it’s the first time
he’s had a corner office. We love it because I can
be in the kitchen baking and Charles can be at his computer and we still have visual
contact with one another. – [Kathleen] One of the
things that we focusd on is the scale of different spaces. In this great room we
have a big yellow beam that crosses through the space. It’s very monumental. Then off of that we have hallways, we have a nook for the
special family piano. – [Susan] It’s cozy even though we have a
large volume of space. – [Kathleen] And then
there’s different elements that we use on the walls. There’s this oversized fireplace, the big long linear element of the hearth, and then on the far wall
we have this ya know wonderful, artistic piece of granite. – The first thing that we
actually purchased for the home was the back splash on the
counter behind the oven and it’s a piece of Italian granite. It’s a big slab of granite
and it’s an art piece. The oven is Charles’ baby, so
he picked his favorite color which is real orange. – We challenged the architects to bring as much light as possible. – When I design I think of the house as
being a kind of sundial. So when I design I’m kind of imagining how the sun is going to come through and throw patterns on the floor or throw shadows on the wall. – The east side of the
house is really a sawtooth so that every guest room and every bedroom lined up on that side of the house has a beautiful corner window. Not only did we have a
clerestory feature out front to flood the house with light, we have a second clerestory feature in the back of the house that floods light through a
series of clerestory windows into the master bedroom. – What we decided to do was to put clerestory windows over the TV and also windows down low under the TV and the shadows and the light play that comes in in the
afternoon is just beautiful. (contemporary piano music) Part of being an architect,
a good residential architect is learning how to be a mind reader and fortunately with Houzz we
have such a leg up on that. – There were many pivotal moments from conception to the
reality of living in this home but perhaps none more important than finding Houzz as a resource. Without Houzz this house would not exist. The walls and roof are different but this is the space where
we raised our children. It’s like the house grew up
from a child to an adult. – For years our starter home has become our new
happily ever after home. (uplifting music)

100 thoughts on “Houston Couple Replaces Starter Home With Forever Home

  1. Wow. This really is an architectural masterpiece. The attention to detail from how to capture the natural light in every room of the house to state of the art technology in the lighting of the home. I’m just blown away. One of the first things that caught my eye was the Italian granite slab behind the stove top. It’s stunning. Never seen anything like it. Love the sky high ceiling in the main living area. What a dream home!

  2. The house is lovely but I am very sound sensitive and wonder how sounds echo around in such an open space with so few dampening elements. People watching television will have garbage disposal noise, dishwasher noise, blender or food processor noise to contend with while other's are using the kitchen. People trying to quietly do some writing at one of the computers will have to contend with football game noise or action/adventure sound effects noise coming from the television. I know the trend is towards completely open living spaces, but I do wonder about noise-related stress and lack of privacy.

  3. What an absolutely gorgeous home and such a beautiful story.  This home is personal, radiant and loving all in one.  It draws you in and makes you want to take your shoes off and relax with the owners.  Nice job to all involved in this splendid creation.

  4. I’m not much into contemporary homes, but this was beautiful, light, and airy with lots of warmth. Stunning 💕

  5. Wow! I pray my house grows up to look like this one. This how is amazing and that back splash in the kitchen is stunning!

  6. Absolutely amazing! This is exactly what a goal for me and my wife looks like in our very near future! Congratulations on a job well done!

  7. Beautiful. Any problems with birds flying into windows? Maybe in TX heating isn’t a concern. This wouldn’t be efficient in WI where I live.

  8. Wow, this house is stylish and beautiful! Does anyone know what those tables in the living room are made of?

  9. This is an absolutely beautiful house! May the owners enjoy it in good health for many, many years to come!

  10. Love the blind system ; although I wonder how maintenance is done should a problem occur. Are they accessible without cutting into the wall?

  11. This floor plan fits the "not so big house" mantra of overlapping functions into fewer rooms so that the overall footprint is smaller, but also much more consistently lived in, with the bonus of nicer finishes.

  12. All three parties did an exceptional job of producing such an evolutionary icon to compliment the three generations on this very landscape
    Surely this trendy beamer is worth replication
    The perfect last house for the owners and a rare and unique one for live as well as online on lookers

  13. I love you home and I love living in Houston! You have spectacular taste and I think it's neat that it is in the neighborhood where your lovely wife grew up. I love the technology and I love the inventive design. That granite backsplash is stunning! From a happy homeowner in City Park, Byron Landiss Graves

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