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J A N U A RY

2 0 1 0

A 1937 River Oaks Classic Restored GOOD BRICK AWARD WINNERS FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION

PLANNING TO SELL IN 2010? TIPS TO GET YOUR HOUSE READY

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contents

J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 0 | Vol. 15 Issue 1

departments

8 Editor’s Note 12 Around Town 14 DIY Decorating:

18

Lighten Up

New windows and fresh paint transform a master bath

22

28 Pet of the Month: Sassy

features

18

Dress your house for Sales Success

Planning to sell in 2010? Realtors and Stagers offer some great tips

On the Cover The newly restored 1937 home of Jan and

22

Ron Smulcer is one of 13 Good Brick Award winners for 2010. Please see Page 22.

American Home With History

Photography by Miro Dvorscak.

A determined couple saves a 1937 River Oaks home

34

7

editor’s note

T

he classic two-story white clapboard houses of River Oaks, like those seen in the early ’80s movie Terms of Endearment, are disappearing. When these homes were built in the 1920s and ’30s, they were grand. But many have been torn down to make way for 20,000 square- foot Mediterranean-style homes that are all the vogue these days. Even homes designed by revered architects John Staub and Birdsall Briscoe get torn down with impunity. The good news is that a hearty band of Houstonians continues to seek out these vintage and historic houses and restore them lovingly and appropriately—not just in River Oaks but in other older neighborhoods as well. I find it heartening there were so many residential entries in this year’s Greater Houston Preservation Alliance Good Brick Awards for historic preservation. One of those houses is our cover feature this month. The house fairly shimmers with charm as you drive by it on the street. Surrounded by brand new large Mediterranean mansions, it looks sort of like the Lone Ranger because it’s obviously smaller and original to the neighborhood.

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ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER ......Susie Reisenbigler EDITOR ........................................Linda Barth CONTRIBUTING WRITERS .............................. ......Debi Bryant, Sandra Cook, Joetta Moulden ART DIRECTOR ..........................Robert Coplin CREATIVE SERVICES DIRECTOR ..Tim Beeson CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS .......................... Miro Dvorscak, Janet Lenzen SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES ..............................................Frances Dowling ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE ....................................................Lisa Kindred INSIDE SALES ....................Kim Schwenk Tees PRINTING ..........................DROR International

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One very lovely couple, Jan and Ron Smulcer, fell in love with the 1937 house instantly and the day they saw the house, they had to bid against several developers to get the house. Jan Smulcer calls it a Father of the Bride house, referencing both the 1950 movie with Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor and the 1991 Father of the Bride with Steve Martin and Diane Keaton. I’m a fan of both these movies because the houses are so spectacular. The producer of the 1991 version was a house remodeler/ contractor in Los Angeles before he started making movies, and it shows in the loving details he gave the house, even though it certainly had its challenges. The FOB houses are supremely American in spirit and style, as is the Smulcer house in Houston. If it were not for this couple’s extraordinary dedication, the house would be gone forever. That’s reason enough for celebration, along with all the excellent Good Brick Award winners this year. Here’s wishing you a Happy New Year.

HOUSTON

Blue Thumb Inc., dba Houston House & Home ("HH&H"), is a news magazine with emphasis on interior design and remodeling. HH&H does not knowingly accept false or misleading advertising or editorial content, nor does HH&H or its staff assume responsibility should such advertising or editorial content appear in any publication. HH&H has not independently tested any services or products advertised herein and has not verified claims made by its advertisers regarding those services or products. HH&H makes no warranties or representations and assumes no liability for any claims regarding those services or products or claims made by advertisers. Readers are advised to consult with the advertiser and/or other home repair and renovation professionals regarding the suitability of an advertiser's products. No reproduction is permitted without the written consent of the Publisher. Copyright 2010, all rights reserved. Subscriptions available for home delivery at a cost of $25 per year.

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around town January 2010

Starting Jan. 23 at Hermann Park, the monumental sculptures of Bernar Venet. 97.5º Arc x 8, 2004. Cor-ten steel. Height 750 cm. Photo by Patrick de Warren

At Hermann Park, sculpture by Bernar Venet. 220.5º Arc x 24, 2007. Cor-ten steel. Height: 330 cm. Photo courtesy Archives Bernar Venet, New York. Garden and Room 317 for the two-part installation Migration Center. The ongoing SNACK PROJECTS mini exhibition space will feature the work of Gerardo Rosales. Information: 713.528.5858 or www.lawndaleartcenter.org

The Julia Ideson building downtown, part of the Houston Public Library System, has completed its expansion phase.

exhibits Your Bright Future: 12 Contemporary Artist from Korea, the first major museum exhibition in the continental United States in almost two decades to focus on contemporary art from South Korea, features a generation of artists who work on the cutting-edge of international art trends and within a distinctly Korean context. At the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 5601 Main St., through Feb. 14. Information: 713.639.7300 or www.mfah.org. New Orleans artist Keith Perelli opens a new show, “Empathy, Recent Paintings and Monotypes” at the Nau-haus Art Space, 223 East 11th on Jan. 9. Information: 713.261.1409 or www.Nau-haus.com

12

Lawndale Art Center opens five exhibitions Jan. 22, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., with artist talks beginning at 6 p.m. Members of the artist collective UPPA Crust, Robert Hodge, Lovie Olivia and Michael Kahlil Taylor, explore their interest in cross continental interactions, specifically the conditions of war ridden countries of the African continent in the exhibition DARe to go FURther. Christopher Cascio and Anne J. Regan use sound and music as a focus for the exhibition, Harmonic Spheres. Ned Dodington's installation Poly-Lawn-Dale combines the artificial and natural through his living sculptures made of nylon pods growing grass. Sally Heller uses brightly colored scraps of post-consumer waste in the site specific installation Ab-Scrap. Jarrod Beck will use both the Mary E. Bawden Sculpture

Starting Jan. 23, Hermann Park will be transformed into a sculpture garden when the Texan-French Alliance for the Arts unveils a nine-month exhibition of sculptures by the internationally acclaimed French artist, Bernar Venet. Houston will join the ranks of over 20 other international cities to host a Bernar Venet exhibition. Fifteen monumental sculptures will be sited by the artist and McClain Gallery, Houston in eight locations throughout scenic Hermann Park. The sculptures are made of cor-ten steel, stand up to 30 feet high, and weigh up to 12 tons.

events Target Free First Sunday at the MFAH on Jan. 3, 1 to 5 p.m., immerses families into the exciting world of installation art. Step into Art lets you and your family experience the museum’s unique works of art designed to transform entire environments. Create your own mobile using colorful and light-reflective materials, inspired by artist James Turrell’s light tunnel installation The Light Inside. Be inserted into the story with Houston Playback Theater and their interactive theater experience. Use everyday objects to create unexpected art, sketch or take a guided interactive walk through the new exhibition Your Bright Future: 12 Contemporary Artists from Korea, and

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more. Target Free First Sunday takes place at MFAH’s Audrey Jones beck Building and Caroline Wiess Law Building, 1001 Bissonet St.

what’s new The Spanish Renaissance-style Julia Ideson building at 500 McKinney St. in downtown Houston has completed its expansion phase. Part of the Houston Public Library system, the Ideson building is home to the Houston Metropolitan Research Center and includes an extraordinary collection of rare books, maps and photographs relating to Houston and surrounding areas. The new 21,500 squarefoot state-of-the-art archival wing includes a spacious research/reference room on the first floor and three floors of highdensity shelving for the valuable holdings of the HMRC. The wing is complemented by a new south loggia and adjacent public garden, also called the outdoor reading room. The two-story loggia, like the wing a part of the original plan for the 1926 building but never constructed, provides open-air seating on both levels and a transition from the first floor of the original building to the outdoor reading room. The new wing is scheduled to open to the public in the first quarter of 2010 after the archives are moved into the new facility. When the move is complete, work to restore the architecturally rich public spaces of the 66.000 square-foot 1926 building will begin. The project is expected to be fully complete by Spring 2011.

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diy decorating

Lighten Up

By JOETTA MOULDEN Photography by JANET LENZEN

A N E W W I N D O W, S K Y L I G H T A N D F R E S H PA I N T M A K E A L L T H E D I F F E R E N C E I N T H I S M A S T E R B AT H Carol and Leonard Ferguson called me when they were ready to work on their master bathroom. We had successfully completed several projects before: an upstairs guest suite created out of their two grown sons’ bedrooms (“Do It Yourself Decorating,” Houston House & Home September 2006, “Sweet Suite”); a master bedroom expansion (November 2009, “Borrowed Space”) as well as transformed an upstairs bedroom into a nursery for BEFORE: The master bathroom felt small, dark and gloomy and the false ceiling over their grandchild. the sink vanity furdown looked “stripe-y.” For their new master bath, they wanted to enlarge the small room visually and to make it lighter and brighter to coordinate with their fresh new bedroom. The first thing I noticed was the dark and dated wallpaper and the lack of a window at the end of the room. The furdown seemed dated and I suggested it be removed or painted over, and the lighting moved up into the ceiling over the sinks. To save money, the couple chose to prime and paint over rather than remove the wallpaper and leave the furdown over the sinks-- but remove the furdown above the tub. Because the window in the shower would be eliminated when the adjoining bedroom wall was bumped out to enclose the exterior porch under roof, I suggested they add a window to the blank exterior wall at the end of the room. Additionally, as an option I suggested they add a skylight over the tub to visually expand the height of the ceiling and bring in even more light. (We have a skylight in our master bath and it is so nice to be able to see the treetops, sky and clouds while showering.)

Before

Just because the builder did not give you a window in

tip> the master bath doesn’t mean you can’t add a window, skylight — or both — later. Since the bedroom and bath is an en suite room, I recommended they continue the master bedroom’s Benjamin Moore “Decatur Buff HC 38 ” wall paint color into the bath along with Benjamin Moore “Bone White” enamel on the bath’s vanity cabinets and trim. One of the biggest mistakes I see is painting the bath-

tip> room a completely different color in an en suite bedAFTER: Hunter Douglas Nantucket blinds add privacy to the new bathroom window. Painting over the wallpaper lightens the space.

14

house& home | J a n u a r y 2 0 1 0 | h o u s e a n d h o m e o n l i n e . com

room and bath, which visually chops up the space. The couple chose to replace the tile in the shower, building in a storage niche for toiletries, and updating the tub area. They kept the existing porcelain tub and refinished it, and brought the plumbing up to code by installing a posi-temp, posi-pressure valve.

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Before BEFORE: The old tile around the tub, dated towel bar and dark shower curtain made the bath feel enclosed and dark.

AFTER: A new skylight over the tub, new tile and lighter shower curtain from T.J. Maxx brightens the small room, making it feel larger.

trade secrets

By keeping the cabinets and tile flooring, they could justify adding the skylight and window. The couple installed matching brushed nickel knobs they had used in the master bedroom remodeling. Additionally, the lighter T.J. Maxx shower curtain brightens the room and adds subtle color. For continuity, I suggested installing the same Hunter Douglas Nantucket blind from Venetian Blind and Floor in the new window that they had installed in the adjoining bedroom. This is one of my favorite window treatments because it is so versatile. When you don’t want a window treatment, it pulls up entirely into the head rail. When it is down and the vanes are open, it acts like sheers, allowing privacy during daylight hours but allowing a view of clouds and trees. At night, the horizon-

tal vanes can be closed completely. “I was surprised and very pleased with your suggestion re remove the furdown, add a glass shower enclosure, skylight and window to bring more light into the space,” Carol says, even though because of budget she and her husband didn’t do everything. Carol admits that the skylight was the hardest idea to visualize but she loved the idea. Due to their budget, the couple chose to keep the existing floor tile and furdown over the sink and eliminate the glass shower enclosure. “The photos you emailed after the meeting really helped us prioritize and decide what we really wanted and could afford,” Carol says. The couple was able to accomplish what they wanted within their budget. The options I gave them helped them choose where they wanted to keep their costs down based on their needs. “Adding the window was a good idea, and we do open it sometimes when the weather cooperates,” says Carol. She admits she never enjoyed taking showers in the room until they added the skylight. “It really opened up the bath and made the bath look larger,” she adds. “Our family and friends think the room is beautiful and that the small changes have made a huge impact.”

AFTER: The couple saved money by using the existing floor tile, furdown over the vanity and cabinets. The furdown looks fresh and new with primer and paint on top of the wallpaper.

• Think outside the box. A custom tub tile border costs far less than retiling the floor, yet adds a touch of color and luxury. • Think “green”— existing bath cabinets can be painted and hardware replaced instead of buying new -- which keeps cabinets out of the landfill and saves money, too. • Paint consistently gives the most “bang for your buck.” If your wallpaper is tightly attached, it can be painted if the proper primer is used. • Sometimes the most effective strategy is not to gut your bathroom, but to first rethink the cabinets that are already paid for.

16

JOETTA MOULDEN offers home makeovers using your own home furnishings to create the home you’ve always dreamed of. Joetta believes your pieces collected through the years reflect your personality and can be artfully arranged. Her ability to focus on your personal style and not let her own preferences influence the design of your home makes her unique. See more makeovers on her Web site at www.shelterstyle.com, e-mail her at joetta@shelterstyle.com or call 713.461.2063. If an initial appointment or referral is booked by January 31, a 15 percent first meeting discount will be given. Shelterstyle.com holds a "Pages of Happiness" rating and, for the third consecutive year, a “Super Service Award” presented to 5 percent of companies that achieve and maintain a superior rating on www.angieslist.com.

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Dress Your House for Sales Success BEFORE YOU PUT YOUR HOUSE ON THE MARKET, READ THESE TIPS By DEBI BRYANT

Thinking of selling your house in the New Year? Here are some great ideas from local Realtors and stagers on how to make your property attract potential buyers in today’s market:

• Start at the curb. “You want to make a good impression from the moment the buyers pull up to the curb,” says Lisa Thompson, owner-broker of Collins Thompson Realty. Ann Knoche, Accredited Staging Professional (ASP) and Realtor associate with Heritage Texas, backs up this opinion, “You have one opportunity to capture the buyers’ imagination. If the right feeling isn’t there from the beginning, buyers rarely come back.” • Landscape around the front. “Is your landscaping near the front door looking tattered? Clean it out. Put in some new green plants. Also add two potted plants on either side of the door,” suggests Martha Turner, CEO and president of Martha Turner Properties. • Prime the entry. Pamela O’Brien, president of Room Redo, points out that front doors take a beating in Houston. “Restain them or give them a fresh coat of paint,” she says. Also, change the locks. “I’ve sold million-dollar homes whose owners warned me that the front lock was a little stubborn. If the front lock doesn’t work, buyers think you haven’t maintained your house,” Thompson points out. Clean is critical. Scrub the windows and light fixtures and power-wash the sidewalks and driveway.

Make sure the landscaping around your front door is pristine, says Martha Turner, CEO and president of Martha Turner Properties. “Put in some new green plants. Also add two potted plants on either side of the door,” she suggests. Photo courtesy Martha Turner Properties.

• Repair, replace, restore, redo. “Make a list of the things that have always bothered you about the interior—your deferred maintenance items—and fix them,” says Thompson. Knoche says, “Re-purpose any rooms. If you’ve turned a dining room into a playroom, change it back to the original, whenever

“Focus on the kitchen and baths,” advises Lisa Kornhauser, top-producing realtor with John Daugherty Realtors. “They’re the most important rooms in the house.” Photo courtesy John Daugherty Realtors

Trying to fill out a room so it doesn’t look empty? A simple arrangement of leftover furniture can do the trick when properly placed, advises Pamela O’Brien of Room Redo Home & Office. Photo courtesy Room Redo Home & Office

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possible.” Focus on the kitchen and baths, says Lisa Kornhauser, top-producing realtor with John Daugherty Realtors. “They’re the most important rooms in the house.” • Clean, clean, clean, clean. “Wipe down the window casings, dust the ceiling fans, clean every air-conditioning register,” advises Turner. “If your wooden floors have been ridden hard, re-polish them. Steam clean your carpets. And if your carpets are really worn, replace with them with new, inexpensive carpet. It is money well-spent.” • Un-clutter. Pack away your treasures and collection. “If it’s smaller than a cantaloupe, I tell my clients to pack it away. One client had several collections and was unhappy with this suggestion, but when her house sold in five days, she was thrilled,” says Knoche. And don’t forget to clean out the garage, says Peggy Robinson, owner of Peggy’s Services— “Potential buyers look at everything.” • Hire a stager. “Staging is about professionally de-personalizing a home. You’re not selling your furniture and belongings—you are selling the house. So you want to appeal to the most potential buyers,” explains April Davis Meier, ASP with Staged Right. “Staging is an investment. The fee is usually less than the first price reduction.” Attractive window treatments and gracious views help clinch the sale, according to Peggy Robinson of Peggy’s Services, who offers staging for resale, as well as custom drapes. Photo courtesy Peggy’s Services/Hazel’s Custom Drapes

resources Most realtors have multiple locations in the area—check out the Web sites for an of fice near you: COLLINS THOMPSON REALTY, 832.279.6367, www.collinsthompsonrealty.com HERITAGE TEXAS PROPERTIES, 281.582.3911, www.heritagetexas.com JOHN DAUGHERTY REALTORS, 713.626.3930, www.johndaugher ty.com MARTHA TURNER PROPERTIES, 713.520.1981, www.mar thaturner.com PEGGY’S SERVICES/HAZEL’S CUSTOM DRAPES, 281.345.0077, www.peggyser vices.com ROOM REDO HOME & OFFICE, 281.794.4830, www.roomredo.com STAGED RIGHT, 832.788.3973 International Association of Home Staging Professionals, www.iahsp.com

20

house& home | J a n u a r y 2 0 1 0 | h o u s e a n d h o m e o n l i n e . com

• Think neutral. “You want to strive for universal appeal with paint,” says O’Brien. “Well-selected neutrals can give your home warmth, interest and depth. Any dramatic colors should be used in small amounts.” • Add a cool factor. Class up your home with some updated features. Thompson suggests putting up great-looking light fixtures in the kitchen. • Spruce up the back yard. “The back yard is an extension of your home. Plant now for any future sales,” advises Kornhauser. • What not to do. Don’t over-accessorize. “Taking away one or two pieces can really update the whole look,” says O’Brien. Don’t overlook the small spaces like pantries and closets. “Throw out outdated food and line up cans and boxes in the pantry. In the closets, make sure the coat hangers face the same direction and put all your shoes in pairs. It’ll make these spaces look bigger,” says Turner. Depending on the price range of the home, you can spend from $1,000-$3,000 fixing up your home, says Knoche. “But my clients always get that money back,” she says. Until it sells, though, you do still have to live there, so don’t go overboard. “Simple and elegant is a good approach,” suggests Robinson. Most of these ideas are viable for your to-do list even if you plan to live in your home through retirement. Lisa Kornhauser with John Daugherty Realtors says, “You wouldn’t believe how many clients tell me that they love their home more than ever at the time of sell.” So go ahead— make the improvements, spend now, enjoy now. You can always reap the benefits later.

Call or email today for a free consultation.

Renovative Construction Services, LLC is a full service construction company that provides a broad spectrum of commercial and residential construction including:

• Residential New Construction and Remodeling • General Contracting • Tennant Build Out

281-831-4563 ph 281-997-6558 fax info@renovativeconstruction.com www.renovativeconstruction.com

Upgrade Your Style Today! Pamela O’Brien BEFORE

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AFTER

R U B I N ’ S Custom Rugs and Fine Carpet

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281-499-8823 21

The Good Brick Award-winning home of Jan and Ron Smulcer is furnished in Colonial-era and Colonial Revival antiques. The portrait above the fireplace from an estate in North Carolina is believed to a work by a 19th-centruy English artist studying 18th-century painting styles.

22

house& home | J a n u a r y 2 0 1 0 | h o u s e a n d h o m e o n l i n e . com

AN AMERICAN HOME WITH HISTORY A DETERMINED COUPLE TRANSFORM A 1937 RIVER OAKS HOME INTO THE SYMBOL OF ELEGANT SIMPLICITY IT WAS ALWAYS MEANT TO BE AND WIN A 2010 GOOD BRICK AWARD FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION. By SANDRA COOK • Photography by MIRO DVORSCAK

F

or many, the idea of a dream home involves building from scratch – meeting with architects, selecting contractors and choosing materials, colors and characteristics.

For Jan and Ron Smulcer the dream was set in River Oaks, and did not start with a blank slate, but with a cluttered and confused one. The Smulcers share a love for Houston – she’s a native and longtime docent at Bayou Bend; he moved to Houston to attend Rice University. They also share a love for American history and specifically American decorative arts. They had been living in Sugar Creek while looking for homes for sale in River Oaks. This is a subtle endeavor, as homes for sale in River Oaks are not allowed to post for sale signs on the property and must be discreetly advertised. The Smulcers’ dedication paid off when they found a two-story, 1937 gem that was in need of polishing, so much so that competing bidders would likely tear it down to make room for a massive, new mega-Mediterraneanstyle home. “The day we first saw it we went straight to Starbucks to write up the offer,” says Ron. “We were so caught up in the way the house itself looked, Jan later said, ‘Wait a minute, there’s a pool back there?!’” “I could tell it would be so wonderful, like the Father of the Bride house,” recalls Jan. “The moment I ran my hand along the banister as it curves around at the volute, I knew this house was special. Just the sound of walking on the floors was magical.” The Smulcers immediately saw the beauty of the home’s simple lines and classic design, despite modifications applied over the decades, such as vinyl siding, room additions and odd placement

The breakfast room was originally a library but had been converted by subsequent owners to a breakfast room. The Smulcers kept the low ceiling in the room because it makes the space feel cozy.

23

Shifting the doorway from the kitchen to the dining room yielded better flow and function for both rooms. The space where the kitchen range is located was once a blank wall; behind it was the hall closet. Classic Carrera marble tops the counters, while brushed, antiqued black granite covers the new island made of warm maple. The range hood in the kitchen is painted with blackboard paint so menus can be written on the hood.

of appliances.Thankfully, multiple majestic oaks framed the front yard, delivering the neighborhood’s signature charm. A determined researcher, Jan set out to uncover the history of the house to aid in its restoration. She unearthed an advertisement from a 1937 real estate page in the Houston Chronicle, featuring a rendering and description of the home. She also tracked down the son of the original owners, a couple who had lived there for 50 years. He recalled many stories of growing up there and helped piece together design details. Jan and Ron proceeded to assemble what they call the “A-Team.” “We learned from when we built our previous house that you have to find the right craftsmen before you start—or you just won’t get the results you want,” says Jan. Ron collaborated with their nephew Colin Shelton, who had worked for a Houston-area builder and was ready to break out on his own. Uncle and nephew served as co-general contractors, and today Colin’s company specializes in remodeling and restoration. The Smulcers also found craftsmen who were skilled in preservation, such as Chip Boehle, who reproduced moldings and trim work in perfect harmony with the original details of the home. THE ART OF THE ARCHITECT

Jan and Ron were referred to architect Sharon Perry of Perry & Associates through a one of Jan’s docent friends at Bayou Bend. With 24

architecture degrees from Rice and Harvard, Sharron Perry, also a registered architect, registered interior designer and AIA member, was the ideal match for Smulcers and their project. Perry’s firm has designed and remodeled homes in Houston since 1979 and has a great deal of experience in remodeling older homes, especially in River Oaks. “Jan had done a lot of research and was well-armed with pictures of houses she liked and details she wanted,” says Perry. “We had a lot to fit into a relatively compact house. It had been remodeled several times before, so it was a challenge to get to the bare bones of the house.” “Jan was very clear on what she wanted and gave me lots and lots of ideas and examples,” says Perry. “I culled from that pile what was appropriate for the house. It’s good to be respectful, but you can’t be a complete purist with a house that needs to be a function modern home.” Perry strives to do justice to an older house, likening her approach to the medical mantra to first do no harm. Improving the

house& home | J a n u a r y 2 0 1 0 | h o u s e a n d h o m e o n l i n e . com

Before

ABOVE: After interviewing the son of the owners of the original house, the Smulcers learned the dining room had built-in shelves flanking the bay window. They reinstated the shelves to frame the bay window properly. The color of the lavender walls, taken from the iris petals on the couple’s china, lend a regal air to the formal dining room. A pair of intricately inlaid antique knife boxes top the 18th-century George III sideboard.

BELOW: The den at the back of the house was added by a previous owner. Save for a small door at one end of the room, it did not connect well with the rest of the house. An arched door to the breakfast room was created for better traffic flow. A fireplace and shelving was added, as well.

Before

JAN SMULCER

JAN SMULCER

The Smulcers restored the hexagonal window, replaced vinyl

resources

siding with wood siding and removed the car park to restore the front lawn.

footprint/floor plan, air circulation and ratio of rooms to windows are primary goals for Perry. “If you don’t get the basic footprint right you never get the chance to rework it,” says Perry. “You cannot decorate your way out of a bad plan – that goes for both new construction and remodeling projects.” One example is the small den that was previously a kids’ playroom. It was initially accessible only through one small door from the kitchen. By adding a doorway to the breakfast room, the den became more connected to the whole house, practically adding a room. The room was further refined by adding a fireplace and maximizing the view of the pool, turning into a relaxing grown ups’ retreat. A similar transformation happed with the transition between the dining room and kitchen. Shifting the connecting doorway not only gave the dining room a more formal and serene tone, but also contributed to adding space and modern functionality to the kitchen. Perry points out that scale and detail are also priorities when remodeling an existing home. Rooms and hallways in the Smulcers’ house that were undistinguished were reworked and spruced up just enough with moldings, cabinetry, even changing the marble on the fireplace surround in the living room to a honed black slate which is more historically correct. By strategically placing doorways and carrying

26

Architect SHARON PERRY, AIA, Perr y & Associates 713.523.8494

Primary Contractor

Before

COLIN SHELTON, Southland Homes of Texas 832.758.0289

Molding & Trim the wood floors throughout the entire home gave it continuity. The entire home now makes sense due to careful decluttering not only of small areas, but also both upper and lower floor plans. REWARDS OF DEDICATION

The assessment and planning took almost a full year, while the remodeling and restoration took another year, with Ron and Jan residing in the garage apartment (now that’s dedication!). “To see it finished – it’s like the house was alive again, says Jan. “It is as if we have given it a second life. Everything feels right, but not like it’s a new house. Friends who saw it before and then after have said, ‘We had no idea this was possible.’” On Friday, Feb. 5, the Smulcers will be among 13 Good Brick Awards winners to be honored by the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance for their outstanding historic preservation efforts. See Page 34 for more details.

house& home | J a n u a r y 2 0 1 0 | h o u s e a n d h o m e o n l i n e . com

CHIP BOEHLE, Chip Boehle Construction 713.851.1465

Stone work CINDAY AND ROLAND LAWRENCE, Natural Stone 713.678.4407

Landscaping THOMPSON + HANSON 713.622.0602

Interior Hardware SETTLERS HARDWARE 713.524.2417 BRADY PAINTING 713.721.7797 DAVEY TREES 713.973.8733

Before BEFORE: In the main entry of the house, a closet fronted with bi-fold doors had previously been installed to house a washer and dryer. The laundry was relocated and the closet opening erased, allowing more room in the kitchen. AFTER: Antique English-style reproduction lanterns and sconces replaced a hodgepodge of modern light fixtures. Owner Jan Smulcer connected with the house the first time she touched the graceful stair rail.

27

River Oaks Quality at National Street Prices

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guess you could say I’ve been “widowed.” My owner died, and I was brought to the SPCA in hopes someone would step forward to take good care of me in the few years I have left. I’m a 10-year-old Doberman mix, but not nearly as large as a regular Doberman. I’m housetrained, sweet natured, good tempered, and I love my treats. I’m done raising puppies and kids, so I’d probably do best in a home without children. This month, January, is a cold month, probably the closest to winter Houston ever gets— except for that crazy snow Dec. 4. Don’t you need someone to cuddle with? I’m gentle, warm and a bit misnamed. I’m more sweet than sassy, but “Sassy” has been my name for 10 years, so I’m sticking with it. Come take me home. Ask for Sassy — ID #A087085 — at

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28

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2010 Good Brick Awards

1940 Air Terminal Museum. Photo by David Bush

No. 4 Courtlandt Place. Photo by Eric Powitzky

When Greater Houston Preservation Alliance presents the 2009 Good Brick Awards on Friday, February 5, the awardwinning projects will run the gamut from a modest West End bungalow to a gracious Courtlandt Place home and include the volunteer effort to preserve one of Houston’s aviation landmarks.

Nancy and Neal Manne will accept their Good Brick Award for renovating their 1931 Tudor Revival style home on Inwood Drive. Shannon Sasser 2121 Brentwood Drive. Photo by Shannon Sasser designed the rehabilitation and sympathetic addition for this project as well. Jan and Ron Smulcer will accept a Good Brick for their sensitive rehabilitation of the 1937 Jacques P. Adoue House on Looscan Lane. Perry and AssociatesArchitects guided the renovation. Monica Savino and Mark Kusey will receive an award for their “green” renovation of a 1927 bungalow in the Old West End. Savino Architecture planned the rehabilitation. Carol Triebel and Rick Gist are receiving a Good Brick for preserving their 1935 cottage in West University Place. Natalye Appel + Associates Architects designed the project. Chris and Max Lukens are being recognized for the renovation and sympathetic addition to their historic house on Willowick Drive. Celebrated architect Birdsall Briscoe designed the New Orleans-inspired house in 1940. Miller Dahlstrand Architects planned the renovation and addition. John W. Gabriel, AIA, will accept a Good Brick for the adaptive reuse of his 1919 historic house in the Museum District. Gabriel Architects, Inc. designed the renovation. Rice Building Workshop at Project Row Houses earned an award for the Core House project, a prototype for renovating historic houses on a limited budget. Houston Public Library is receiving a Good Brick for the renovation of the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research in the 1917 William L. Clayton House. Glassman Shoemake Maldonado Architects designed the project.

The annual awards showcase outstanding historic preservation efforts and the people who make them happen. This year, 13 projects were chosen to receive awards from the 32 project nominated. A jury of design and preservation professionals, former Good Brick Award winners and community leaders selected the recipients. GHPA board member and former Houston Chronicle home design editor Madeleine McDermott Hamm chaired this year’s jury. “The majority of this year’s nominations were for the preservation of private homes,” said Madeleine Hamm. “The quality of the residential projects reflects the high level of pride and personal commitment found among homeowners in Houston’s historic neighborhoods.” In addition to the juried awards, GHPA will present its 2010 President’s Award to the Heritage Society for more than 50 years of preservation and heritage education programs in Houston and Harris County. GHPA is also presenting a new named award this year. The Martha Peterson Memorial Award honors the memory of the dedicated volunteer who co-chaired GHPA’s walking tours program for many years. The first annual Peterson Award is going to the City of Houston’s Summer Jobs for Youth Program for the College Memorial Park Cemetery genealogy project. The Houston Aeronautical Heritage Society will receive the Stewart Title Award for its decade-long volunteer effort to preserve and restore the 1940 Houston Municipal Airport Terminal. The streamlined Art Deco building on the west side of Hobby Airport had been vacant for ten years when the HAHS began its work in 1988. The City of Houston Protected Landmark is now open to the public as the 1940 Air Terminal Museum. Amy and Eric Powitzky are being recognized for their restoration of Number Four Courtlandt Place. Built in 1910, the impressive Tudor Revival style house is one of the oldest in the Courtlandt Place Historic District. Shelley Homeyer was the architect for the restoration. Ann and Salvador Guercio are receiving their Good Brick Award for rescuing a late 19th-century house in the Old Sixth Ward. The 1887 Tajan House is a classic Victorian featuring extensive original woodwork. J.D. Bartell designed the renovation. Cathy and Paul Chapman will receive Good Brick Award for the renovation and sympathetic addition to their historic Brentwood Drive house. Shannon B. Sasser, AIA, was the architect for the preservation project. 34

Greater Houston Preservation Alliance will present the 2010 Good Brick Awards during the Cornerstone Dinner at 7 p.m., Friday, February 5, at River Oaks Country Club, 1600 River Oaks Boulevard. Tickets start at $200 per person. For reservations and information: 713.216.5000 or www.ghpa.org.

house& home | J a n u a r y 2 0 1 0 | h o u s e a n d h o m e o n l i n e . com

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Houston House & Home Magazine: January, 2010 Issue