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JUNE 2014


A Before & After Look at a Pretty Kingwood Kitchen

Light & Bright in Tanglewood

The Next Hot Real Estate Markets What You Need to Know About Buying in Houston These Days

Father's Day Gifts • How to Create a Bird-friendly Backyard


Fine accessories, arts and area rugs

W W W. C A S T L E F D C . C O M 3819 Fondren Rd. (Fondren & Westpark) • Houston, TX 77063 • (832) 201-1000 2

house& home | June 2014 |


JUNE 2014


66 44 8 14 18 24 66 72 76 6

34 44 60

Creating a Bird Friendly Backyard Traditional Tanglewood Home Remodel Kitchen Update in Kingwood ON THE COVER

Editor’s Note Calendar Before & After: Kitchen Redo Project: Home Buying Tips Editor’s Picks: Father’s Day Gift Ideas Favorite Blogs: Quick and Easy Recipes Gardening: Tree Care

house& home | June 2014 |

The Lynns were so pleased with the bath remodel that Designer Carla Aston did for them that they invited her back to update their kitchen. See more results on page 60. Photo by Miro Dvorscak.




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maybe even a bit more “fun.” We can thank the Container Store for both. For those who are already fans of the merchandiser focused on selling cool-looking storage and organizational devices, you’ll be happy to hear about the new AtHome services. For others, you may become converts. The new AtHome service is available exclusively at Texas stores – in Houston, Austin and Dallas. The service connects customers with an organizational pro who can tackle just about any need you might have. And he/she comes to you! To get started, the Container organizer will come to your house and design a plan of action. The consultation costs $50. Thereafter, for $50 an hour, the company’s team of experts will do it all: sort and store your stuff, stage your home, paint walls, help re-purpose a space, downsize empty nesters, set up a nursery, and even schedule regular maintenance visits.

If you want to get the latest goods and accessories for free, consider swapping for it. Swapdom is a new online exchange system. Participants swap items from every room in the house with other people signed up on the site. Here’s how it works: users tell Swapdom what they want and what they have to swap. Swapdom then does a widespread search. All this is done for nothing more than the cost of shipping and a $1 to $2 fee. For info: Happy Summer, Susan (and Sam)


PUBLISHER ........................Mike Harrison, Ph.D. ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER ........Susie Reisenbigler EDITOR ..............................................Susan Fox CONTRIBUTING WRITERS................Anne Breux, ....Shirley Barr, Marsha Canright, Joetta Moulden CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS ................... ..............................Miro Dvorscak, Michael Hunter ART DIRECTOR ............................Robert Coplin CREATIVE SERVICES DIRECTOR......Tim Beeson SR. ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE ........Frances Dowling ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES ..........Katherine Adams ............................Melissa McGinnis, David Tree


B E R RY P O O L S l 7 1 3 . 8 2 4 . 8 1 8 2 l B E R RY P O O L S . C O M 8

house& home | June 2014 |

PRINTING ........................................RR Donnelly

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 2013, all rights reserved. HH&H is distributed at most Houston area Krober and HEB stores.

P.O. Box 701038 Houston, Texas 77270-1038 (713) 523-6523




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JUNE 2014






Discovery Green’s Flea By Night: Saturday, June 21.

Classes & Events The Historic Preservation Fair is June 7, at the Houston Permitting Center, 1002 Washington Ave. Registration begins at 8 a.m. with sessions beginning at 9 a.m. Attendees qualify for door prizes. Workshops and seminars focus on providing solutions to protect the historical, cultural and architectural characteristics of Houston’s historic districts. The event is free and open to the public. Info: 713-837-7963,

806 Main St., part of Preservation Houston’s walking tour, June 8.

June 28: Heat-thriving, colorful plants. One of many lectures at Cornelius Nursery.

Preservation Houston’s walking tour this month spotlights downtown Houston. The tour explores the city’s changed skyline over the past 100 years. A number of fascinating buildings – including 806 Main, which is called “Carter’s Folly,” and the groundbreaking Pennzoil Place – prompt a discussion about architecture and engineering. Tickets on sale at 5:30 p.m., Sunday, June 8, on the northwest corner of Main Street and Texas Avenue. Info:

The Greater Houston Builder’s Association sponsors the “New Home & Remodeling Show” at Reliant Center, June 7 & 8, from 10.m. to 5 p.m. HGTV design star Abby Vasek and TV host Steve Thomas make appearances. Attend for latest product info, expert tips and design direction. Info:

Emancipation Park’s Historic 2014 Juneteenth Emancipation Celebration takes place June 7-14. All at Emancipation Park, 3018 Dowling. For information about parades, musical entertainment and children’s activities, visit

At Cornelius Nursery locations – 1200 N. Dairy Ashford and 2233 S. Voss – free clinics take place at 10:15, Saturday mornings. June 7: “Landscaping for Wild Birds.” June 14: “Groundcovers in the Landscape.” June 21: “Summer Lawn care, Everything You Need to Know.” June 28: “Heat-Thriving and Colorful Plants.” Info: www.corneliusnurseries/clinics and

The Arbor Gates invites children, ages 6 to 12, to come decorate a wooden planter box to present to dads – or to keep themselves. Additionally, they learn about herbs and take home recipes to try. June 12, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. $50 per child, includes materials. Limited space. Instructor is Stephanie Baker, owner of Ready to Grow Gardens ( Info:

Recycling Saturday happens on June 7 & 28 at 10 a.m. at Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney. For glass, plastic and aluminum. And Discovery Green’s Flea by Night is Saturday, June 21, from 6 - 10 p.m. Food trucks, live music and vendors selling vintage clothing, antiques, jewelry, art and more under the stars and twinkle lights! Check out the space’s yoga, kayak, reading, movie and other events:

The Houston Food Bank launches its first young professionals group, which brings awareness to the issue of hunger through fundraising, advocacy and volunteer efforts. Called f.r.e.s.h., the group invites professionals between the ages of 21 and 40 to join. The f.r.e.s.h. launch event is June 17, at 6 p.m. at The Grove restaurant, 1611 Lamar St. Info:

14 house& home | June 2014 |

EDITOR’S NOTE: Please send all calendar items to by second Fridays for the following month’s issue.

The Gulf Coast Green Symposium and Expo happens June 19 & 20. Sponsored by the American Institute of ArchitectsHouston (AIA), the conferences showcases hand-selected environmentally friendly products. Info:

Exhibits Celebrate Dad during Father’s Dad weekend, June 14 & 15, at the Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, 6003 Memorial. Spend time together exploring, art, architecture and gardens. From 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Fathers and grandfathers receive free admission – and a gift from The Shop at Bayou Bend. Enjoy complimentary refreshments at the Kilroy Visitor Center. Info: At the Houston Decorative Center – 5120 Woodway, find portrait artist and photojournalist Nancy Ellison’s exhibit called “Altered Egos.” The 100-work exhibition consists of Ellison’s notable shooting career that has captured Jack Nicholson, Mick Jagger, Orson Wells, Pierce Bronsan, Elizabeth Taylor and others. Now through August 29. Info:

Old House Workshops In Galveston, “Historic Wood Floors” is the topic of discussion on June 7, from 10 a.m. to noon. Join local craftsman Bill Hynek at Galveston Historical Foundation’s (GHF) latest preservation project, where he demonstrates what to do to restore and maintain old wood floors. Location TBA. Info: The class titled, “Historic Wood Doors,” allows participants to learn how to turn old entrances into charming and attractive first impressions. Local craftsman Joey Janota does the demonstration on June 21 at the Architectural Salvage Warehouse 1940 Sears Building at 2228 Broadway. 10 a.m. to noon. Cost is $12. Sponsored by GHF. Info:

Get Out of Town The Kerrville Folk Festival is under way until June 8. In its 43rd year, the event celebrates various songwriters and musicians. Info: “Charles Schorre: The Last Show” is on exhibit at the Red & White Gallery now through June 25. Located in Fayetteville, the gallery is located on the town square. Built in 1835, the old Red & White houses both the restored gallery and updated four-bedroom inn.


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AFTER: Removing dated wallpaper and carpet, refacing the doors on the vanity, adding a new shower wall and floor tile from Dal-Tile in addition to hardware and fixtures lightened the look of this bath.


Pat Ulrich contacted me because she had seen my work in

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ANNOUNCED! Hunter Douglas Rebates $ BEFORE: This typical master bath was “tired” and did not suit this busy couple. Dated carpet, wallpaper, shower tile and brass shower enclosure made this bath feel older than its years.

“I really wanted to update the bathroom and make it feel as new as you made our kitchen look,” she explains. “I felt confident with your expertise that the colors and tiles would all work together. I was impressed with your ideas and how quickly you were able to offer suggestions. Your guidance in finding us a good contractor was greatly appreciated,” Pat says.

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After interviewing several on my list, they decided to go with Casey Capps of Capmire Projects. He replaced the showerhead, refaced the vanity’s doors, added brushed nickel hardware, and installed a frameless glass shower. Painting the walls Benjamin Moore “Clarksville Gray ” coordinated with the new tile. The carpet was replaced with tile, and we cut the floor tile in half to place in the shower, laying it in subway “brick” pattern. The pebble mosaic wall tile border came from Dal Tile, which we selected during our second (and last) meeting. KATY/SUGARLAND • 5614 W. Grand Prkwy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 281-394-0344 MEMORIAL/SPRING BRANCH • 9930 Katy Frwy #500 . . . . . . . . . . 713-469-3213 BAYBROOK/GALVESTON • 19072 Gulf Freeway . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 281-456-3052 WEST U, BELLAIRE, RIVER OAKS • 5808 Kirby . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 713-568-6017 SPRING CYPRESS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mobile Showroom 281-456-3048 SUGARLAND/RICHMOND/ROSENBERG • 5614 W Grand Pkwy S. . . 281-241-4614 WOODLANDS/CONROE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mobile Showroom 936-647-3858 *8 windows and $1,500 min. Limited time offer. ® and ™ trademarks of Hunter Douglas Inc. Patented in the U.S. and other countries. **See stores for details.



TIP: Changing out fixtures and surfaces is far less costly than a full scale bath redo. In slab construction, if you can keep plumbing drain lines in roughly the same location, you can save a lot of money on labor costs. The marble countertop and tub surround, sinks, mirrors and faucets were in great shape so there was no need to replace them. The hardest suggestion for Pat to visualize was having a frameless glass enclosure installed in place of the old brass one and new tile. “We really liked your suggestions, and you made BEFORE: Unflattering light fixtures and a busy mirror reflection of the double vanity added years to this bath.

AFTER: New lighting from Lowe’s and simplified mirror reflections of the double vanity helped to update the look of this bathroom.

20 house& home | June 2014 |


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me feel better about the things I had chosen. Now the wallpaper and frameless glass shower are my favorite changes. Friends and family commented that “it looks like a whole new bath. “We really did not envision that it would look so beautiful. I love the flow. Personally it was a huge relief to me because I am not creatively inclined and needed to know what colors/textures would work together,” Pat explains. “It was a very positive experience. “Not only would I use your professional help again, but I appreciated your being available to me even after we had concluded our transaction,” she adds.

AFTER: A new Shower Guard glass frameless shower/tub enclosure and a Moen shower fixture from Lowe’s helped make bathing dogs a pleasure.

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 and incorporated. 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, e-mail her at or call 713-461-2063. If an initial appointment or referral is booked by June 31, a 10 percent first meeting discount will be given. holds a "Pages of Happiness" rating and, for the fifth consecutive year, a “Super Service Award” presented to 5 percent of companies that achieve and maintain a superior rating on Angie’s List. 22 house& home | June 2014 |




The average price of a single-family home in Houston increased 7.0 percent year-over-year to $270,505. The median price—the figure at which half the homes sold for more and half for less—rose 5.4 percent to $195,000. Both pricing figures represent record highs for Houston. –Houston Area Reators (HAR). Photo courtesy of Below: Photo by Bruce Shippee -


High demand, low inventory equals a wild housing market The demand for housing in Houston has never been higher, and inventory has rarely been so low. The combination is fueling higher prices, razor sharp competition and bidding wars for desirable lots and houses. Recent industrial relocations, like Exxon in the Woodlands, have fanned the flames of an already hot seller’s market. Ashton Martini, a realtor with Martha Turner Sotheby’s, listed a property in the Heights one April morning and before noon, nine qualified buyers were inside viewing the house. By day’s end, there were multiple contracts.

24 house& home | June 2014 |

In his 13 years as a Houston real estate agent, Martini says he has never seen anything like the current market. And Robert Davis, a custom home builder and owner of Arista Lifestyle Homes, echoes the same thought; that this is a first for him in his 30-year career. Davis says that land prices have tripled in the past two years, which has pushed the cost of custom homes and townhouses higher. “Requests for building permits are about three times greater this year than last. In fact, it can take 4-6 months to get your permits,” he says.

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Houston home prices reached record highs in April despite flat sales, reflecting the extremely tight supply of available housing. – Shown: The Kronengerger House in the Houston Heights. Photo courtesy of Ed Uthman.

By the time a builder finishes a house, it may be worth $150,000 more than when he started. That’s one reason inventory is low, Davis adds, explaining spec builders don’t want to put a house on the market until it’s complete so they can get the best possible price. “A few weeks ago, a lot sold in West University for a million dollars, and another in upper Kirby for $500,000. In the Heights, the lots that sold last year for $200,000 are now selling for twice that much,” adds Martini. Realtor Pamela Efferson says she is upfront with her clients. “To buy in Houston now means you’ve got to be prepared to pay. It’s true that $550,000 is the new $350,000. House hunters have to be savvy to succeed,” she says. Growth is expected in every sector of the city but Martini recommends buyers consider the city’s less-explored areas. “It’s okay to go to a transitional area because that transformation is occurring rapidly,” he explains. One unexpected but newly thriving neighborhood is the east side of downtown. Martini said light rail access and other infrastructure development has increased the area’s desirability. Davis also believes other new areas of town will blossom, such as close-in Near Northside, by I-45 across I-10 from downtown and farther along the new MetroRail red line extension. He also expects buyers to move East of I-45. 26 house& home | June 2014 |

“We always knew that the market would move north beyond Garden Oaks and Brooksmith. I just didn’t think it would take off so quickly,” says Martini. Sharon Neider of Neider Mortgage reports unexpected activity around the Katy and Pearland areas and the energy corridor along I-10. For those who don’t mind a commute across a causeway, there’s Galveston Island. “Galveston’s housing market is experiencing a resurgence in multiple neighborhoods,” says V.J. Tramonte of Joe Tramonte Real Estate. “There’s a lot of variety here – beach homes, canal homes, historic homes, cottages near the Seawall, condominiums, and 1930s and 40s-style homes in Cedar Lawn.” He said many Houstonians are actively looking in Galveston for second homes, but he also welcomes those who are looking to make it their primary residence. “Galveston is still affordable, although values have increased five to 10 percent,” he says. Another plus, many of the properties tend to be in good shape: clean kitchens, nice masters, hardwood floors, granites – a nice product – and plenty of choices,” he adds. First and most important: talk with a loan officer before you start looking for a house, says Neider.

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Houston’s housing inventory has held steady at a 2.6-month supply since December 2013, but is down from the 3.4 months of supply one year ago. The inventory of single-family homes across the U.S. currently stands at 5.2 months, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors.

“For first-time buyers and for people who haven’t purchased a home in some years, the process is much different and not as easy,” says Neider. Today, pre-approvals are an absolute necessity. “When you apply for financing, get a referral from a family member or friend, find someone local if you can. There’s a lot available on the Internet, but you want this process to go smoothly, and you need service and guidance to make the best decision,” she says. She also recommends that clients really think about their comfort level with a mortgage payment. Not just what they are approved to spend. “They’ll be paying that mortgage for many years, and it’s important that it not become overwhelming,” she says. Despite the drawbacks, Martini says it’s an exciting time to be in Houston. “There’s lots of money and energy with new businesses opening and thriving,” he explains. Martini agrees with pulling out all the stops – and even has clients writing notes to the seller. “I recently put a couple in a home who did not offer the most money or even have the best offer, but they had included a video of their family, and presented an appealing option for the seller,” he says.

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Sand & Lee (Timbergrove seller and Shady Acres Buyer) said,

We used Pamela Efferson to both buy and sell our homes and were extremely happy with the entire experience! Pam is very professional and knowledgeable which worked to our advantage in the hot Inner Loop market. One of her valuable skills, that I believe have helped us the most, was how she protected us throughout the process with her attention to detail and follow-up. She always looked out for us and probably saved us from ourselves on more than one occasion. She was very careful to advise and not make our decisions for us even though we asked her to on many occasions. Many people like their real estate agent and think they do a good job, but it was more than that for us. We were proud to have her on our side and knew that it was no longer an even playing field; we were already ahead of the game with Pam.”

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Average priced homes for sale ($270,000)

On the other hand, he had one buyer who continually left notes in the seller’s mailbox. “I’m pretty sure it’s one reason we didn’t get the house,” he adds. The long search may become frustrating for clients but when it works, it’s wonderful. “Two clients of mine, a couple, had a new puppy when they started their serious search for a home. It took more than nine months to find and close on the right house, and that puppy was a full grown dog,” he says.


Resources Ashton Martini, Mar tha Turner Sotheby’s International Realty, 33, 832-878-7686, amar tini@mar

A quick search on revealed that 3-plus bedroom/two-plus bath homes for sale at an average price for the region of $270,505 are primarily located outside the 610 Loop and Beltway 8. More than 80 percent of area homes sold between 2012-2013 were outside of the Beltway. Prices increase dramatically in the Houston Heights/Timbergrove, Montrose, River Oaks, West University Place, Tanglewood/Memorial and parts of The Woodlands and Sugarland.

Joe Tramonte Realty, Inc., 409-765-9837,

Sharon Neider, Neider Mor tgage, at 281-250-8344 or sharon@neider mor Robert Davis Ar tista Lifestyle Homes 281-650-9372

Pamela Efferson, Keller Williams Metropolitan, 713822-8555,

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10 tips to give you an edge in a sizzling market Buying a home in Houston’s hot housing market is not impossible but it is a challenge that may take buyers by surprise. Here are 10 tips that may help give you an edge from Pamela Efferson, a veteran realtor with Keller Williams Metropolitan. 1.Get a real estate agent. It may sound like a cliché, but in a market like this, you’ll miss opportunities if you don’t have an agent on top of all the possibilities. You need to see a house the day it goes on the market. If you wait, there will be competing contracts, or it will already be sold. 2. Be flexible. If possible, be flexible about where you want to locate. Explore multiple neighborhoods closest to your desired location. 3. Pre-approvals. Have all of your financing in place with prequalification letters ready to go. 4. Give yourself plenty of time. Not as many properties are available so it may take more time to find and secure the home you want. 5. No bargains. Understand the dynamics of a limited inventory market. You are NOT going to get a bargain. List price is the minimum that the seller is willing to take. That’s our starting point. Be prepared that you will probably have to pay more.

6. Best offer first. When you make an offer, don’t expect to negotiate. Put your highest and best offer first. 7. Be ready to make a decision. This can be tough when you are buying in the $500- $600,000 range, because you’d like some time to process. I’ve seen this happen too many times. Within 24 hours, there are multiple offers, and yours may or may not be accepted. 8. Option period. Lower the amount of time for the option period. If you don’t need 10 days, better to take seven. This allows you time to have inspections and negotiate repairs but doesn’t keep the house off the market too long if the sale doesn’t go through. It makes you a more attractive buyer. 9. Increase your earnest money. It’s a risk but it shows you have a higher commitment to the transaction. 10. Love notes. I encourage my folks to send a letter with their offer telling the seller who they are and why they want to buy the house. This doesn’t work for everybody – but recently I had clients who were successful in buying a house in the Heights, even when their offer was not the highest. The note they sent resonated with the owner. This couple owned a local business; they were committed to the community; and they wanted to raise a family in this home. It made a difference. -- by Marsha Canright

Pamela Efferson, Keller Williams Metropolitan, 713-822-8555,

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Secrets to Creating a Bird-friendly Backyard BY SHIRLEY BARR

“Birds aren’t that different from people. They require food, water, shelter and a place to raise a family,” says Eddie Russell, manager of Cornelius Nurseries-Voss in Houston ( He says birds also are picky eaters, just like a lot of people. There are seedeaters, fruit eaters, nectar eaters and insect eaters. Also, some screech … but songbirds are melodious charmers! When it comes to shelter, they want special types of birdhouses in close proximity to the feeder, or they want plants that offer shelter. robins, jays, cardinal and mockingbirds are tree or shrub dwellers.

Kathy Huber, Houston Chronicle garden editor, created a bird and butterfly friendly yard at her home in Garden Oaks.

34 house& home | June 2014 |


And don’t forget the water! It is essential for a backyard bird habitat and here are some of the preferred water elements: ~Bird baths ~Water falls ~Ponds ~Fountains There needs to be a place for birds to stand in or around the water, such as small rocks and bricks. Gently sloping sides to your birdbaths or lily ponds help because most birds do not like deep water. Keep the water source clean with regular cleaning or by re-circulating. And try to keep your bird water sources away from potential hiding places for predators. Birds of all kinds appreciate some type of water feature, including ponds and waterfalls.

36 house& home | June 2014 |


MORE ABOUT BIRD FOOD Seedeaters include cardinals, finches, woodpeckers and wrens. They prefer specialty foods especially formulated for each bird or premium wild bird mix with Black Oil Sunflower seeds. Fruit eaters include mockingbirds. Plants, including wax myrtle and hollies, provide berries that attract fruit eating birds. Nectar eaters include hummingbirds, so you can attract them with fire bush, impatiens, lantana, marigold, pentas, petunia, salvia and zinnias. Also, shrubs like althea, Carolina jasmine, esperanza, honeysuckle and wisteria. Insect eaters including When setting out food for cardinals, note they prefer a premium mix that include Black Oil Sunflower seeds.

robins, woodpeckers and bluebirds can forge for themselves during summer months, but require feeding in winter.

38 house& home | June 2014 |

Round Top Vintage Market Weekend Market open all year: Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. A quality venue featuring Antiques ~ Vintage ~ Collectibles ~ Art Indoor Dealers Spaces ~ Climate Controlled ~ Parking Round Top Vintage Market Barbara Griffin: 281-731-5132 (text) 1235 North Hwy 237, Round Top, TX 78954


SHELTER FOR OUR FEATHERED FRIENDS Birdhouses should be selected for the birds desired. Houses with a hole opening 1.5-inch or smaller will keep larger birds (such as aggressive blue jays) out and provide a safe home for bluebirds, wrens, finches, etc. The newest birdhouses are bamboo feeders, said to be five times stronger than cedar or redwood. Bamboo is an eco-friendly sustainable product resistant to bacteria, rotting and warping. Clear plastic tube feeders are popular as well as heath houses, sweet seed and suet feeders. Clockwise from top left: Crate and Barrel sells this terra cotta teardrop-shaped modern rustic dwelling for feathered friends. Unglazed bottom contrasts with its silky green top half, laced with a sturdy rope for hanging. The bamboo bluebird box house is from And the Frank Lloyd Wright inspired birdhouse is from

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Plants that offer shelter for backyard birds include azaleas, dog-

The State Bird of Texas, designated in 1927, is the mockingbird.

woods, hollies junipers and wax myrtles. Tree and shrub nesters

The top ten birds in the Houston and DFW areas are: Northern

include robins, jays, cardinals and mockingbirds. Ground nesters

Cardinal, White-winged Dove, Mourning Dove, Carolina Wren,

prepare nesting sites in flowerbeds or shrubs, preferring low to the

Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Downy Woodpecker Red

ground shrubs for more protection.

Bellied Woodpecker, mockingbirds and blue jays.




Calloway’s and Cornelius Nurseries will host three free Saturday clinics on Birding Basics: Creating a Bird Friendly Backyard in June, July and November 2014. The 19-store garden center chain serves Dallas-Fort Worth as Calloway’s Nursery and Houston as Cornelius Nurseries.


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Reimagined Space by New Homeowners and Designers

Seeing Possibilities Designer Helps Couple Turn House into Their Own Home BY SUSAN FOX ! PHOTOGRAPHY

Previous Homeowners’ Design Top: The new owners previously had lived in a more contemporary home. When they moved into this more traditional house, the directive to the designer was to make it light and bright. Interior Designer Ashley Goforth steamlined the fireplace surround, painted the brick and chose softer taupe shades for the wall color. She also reconfigured the shelving space and lightened the backs of the bookcases. 44 house& home | June 2014 |



EDITOR’S NOTE: Back in the day – way before I began working for home decorating magazines – I couldn’t enter a “for sale” house, for example, without being greatly influenced by its interiors. If it matched my own aesthetic preferences, I stayed to look. Otherwise, I moved on without an ounce of consideration. In the 13 years of working for a variety of magazines that, besides this one, have included Better Homes & Garden, Traditional Home, Decor, Country Home – professionals and home owners have taught me a thing or two about design. I now appreciate a variety of styles. And I value what the home means to its owners.

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Reimagined Space by New Homeowners and Designers

Above: Interior Designer Ashley Goforth happily reports that they were able to use most of the furnishings that the couple had in their last home. They just reupholsted. Because it is a family with young children and a dog, the sofa is in an outdoor/indoor fabric. The Oushak rug is from Creative Flooring.

Previous Homeowners’ Design

46 house& home | June 2014 |

I bring this up because of the home Interior Designer Ashley Goforth shares with us on these pages. The homeowners, to their credit, saw another possible version of the home they toured with their realtor. So, it is not your typical Before & After, because the “before” shots represent a more traditional style that suited previous owners. Goforth helped her clients see possibilities. This month’s selected home is well loved – by previous owners as well as today’s. We hope you enjoy Goforth’s clean, serene and classic appointments.

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Reimagined Space by New Homeowners and Designers

The Moores wanted a home that is easy to live in . . . meaning they did not want any room to be off limits to the children or dog. Creative Flooring also supplied the wool rug above. The designer added new throw pillows to furniture brought in from a previous house.

Previous Homeowners’ Design

48 house& home | June 2014 |

Looming deadlines sometimes spark the best in us. Proving that theory true, Interior Designer Ashley Goforth stepped up to the plate in an unexpected instant. The Moore family – long-time clients of Goforth’s – had sold their house to discover soon after that a planned move to Fort Worth had fallen through.


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“There wasn’t much on the market,” recalls Goforth. “But they did find this great Tanglewood house. Since they have three little girls, they wanted five bedrooms that would assure them of having a place for guests. “The biggest challenge with this house was the deadline. They were in temporary housing and wanting to get settled,” explains Goforth. “We finished remodeling some of the rooms, painting and redoing floors in under four months,” she says. “We redid the master bedroom, and gutted the kitchen while also opening it up to the den for better usability.” The results reveal a home that is as elegant as it is family friendly. They did gut the kitchen, removing some of the upper cabinets. They also lessened the traditional feel of the house by lightening the look and style of the space. The custom island is on casters, which allows it to easily move from one spot to another.

Reimagined Space by New Homeowners and Designers 50 house& home | June 2014 |

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Reimagined Space by New Homeowners and Designers “Ashley was able to visualize the end product and it is absolutely perfect. I never want to move again,” says Jennifer Moore. “With every paint color, tile, moving of a wall, and appliance . . . she nailed it!” says Moore. “When I first met Ashley, I had a one-year-old and was pregnant. Our home was sparsely decorated and did not feel like a home. A friend had recommended her . . . now it’s eight years and two kids later. She has decorated three homes for us – and she’s become one of my closest friends,” adds Moore.

Previous Homeowners’ Design

52 house& home | June 2014 |

Grass cloth by Phillip Jeffries lines the walls of the dining room to impart textural interest. The antique table from Joyce Horn Antiques is made from an old French parquet floor. The curtains are a Schumacher silk.

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Reimagined Space by New Homeowners and Designers

Previous Homeowners’ Design

Interior Designer Ashley Goforth removed the shutters, wallpaper and tile flooring. She resurfaced the countertops with marble. She hired Segreto Finishes to handstencil a pretty design on top of a fresh light aqua shade of paint. The bathroom is upstairs and used by the couple’s three girls.

What She Did to Make It Feel Like Home

Because the Moores prefer a more neutral palette, Goforth selected various shades of whites to use throughout the house – in both upholstery and paint. To keep it interesting, she ensured there was a pop of color or a textural quality to each room. In the living room, for example, she paired up two orange leather and gold-framed European fauteuils to sit on either side of a majestic secretary Moore had found at Round Top. The fun orange color juxtaposes the secretary’s more serious traditional roots. White furnishings and a soft abstract also prevent any kind of heavy traditional feeling from settling into the living room. On the other side of the foyer is the dining room, where 54 house& home | June 2014 |

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The designer repurposed the curtains above, which once hung in the couple’s former home. The chipped-painted night stand is from Area. And the mirror is from Oly Studio.

Goforth put grass cloth on the walls and selected a youthful Schumacher silk leaf print for the curtains. The dining table is the focal point – and a conversation piece. An antique found at Joyce Horn, it is made of old French parquet flooring. Stacked black and white prints on the wall help keep the look fresh. In the back of the house is where most of the remodeling work took place. “We totally gutted the kitchen, removing fur-downs and eliminated the upper cabinets. “We removed the old island and replaced it with a custom one that is moveable,” says Goforth. By placing casters on the island, it can move outside to become a serving counter or put aside in the kitchen to allow for more space.

56 house& home | June 2014 |

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Reimagined Space by New Homeowners and Designers The master bedroom is a serene retreat for the Moores. “Ashley nailed it -- with every paint color, fabric and tile,” says Jennifer Moore.


Previous Homeowners’ Design

58 house& home | June 2014 |


She chose classic materials, such as the Calcutta marble for the countertops in addition to a black honed granite to place on the island. “I wanted a home where my kids could be in each room without me feeling like they might mess it up,” says Moore. “I feel like we use every room in this house. “I don’t know how else to say it except that this house feels like home.”

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The homeowner swapped out a dark iron chandelier for one that brightened up the space. The country-style faucet is from Rohl. The curtain is a Schumacher fabric.


A remodel is successful when it fits the personality of the homeowners. This pretty Kingwood kitchen is one perfect example. “It is so much like the homeowner who is soft and quiet,” says Carla Aston, principal of Aston Design Studio. The antique brass and crystal chandelier that sparkles above the new custom-made island topped with a creamy Taj Mahal quartzite served as a starting point. “The chandelier once belonged to her mother, so Ticia Lynn knew she wanted it placed prominently for daily enjoyment. She and her husband, Dave, had already lovingly restored it. 60 house& home | June 2014 |

At first the couple wanted to make a few updates. But in the end, they gave Aston the green light to do more – but without changing the footprint, and keeping the look and style traditional. “Basically, it began as a white kitchen and today it remains one – except the impact of it is now greater with a focus on better storage and overall quality,” says Aston. On the cooking wall, “we moved the oven down a bit to make room for a grander hood and more room for the cooktop,” explains Aston. She opted to paint the hood a glossy white, as well as the cabinetry, to impart a lustrous look.

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The countertop on the island is a Taj Mahal quartzite. New pillows and cushions decorate the window seat. Below: They chose to include a slide-out trash can.


62 house& home | June 2014 |

Before, the Lynn’s backsplash featured more than a little of a good thing. Portuguese painted figures on tiles wrapped the entire room. Recognizing how much Tricia Lynn loved them, the designer guided her to embrace a less is more approach. The old backsplash was removed and new, imported Portuguese tiles were then placed both strategically and sporadically among more plentiful white square tiles. “All three of us placed them (temporarily for placement) on the wall so that the tile guy knew exactly where they would go,” says Aston.

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The previous kitchen layout featured a desk that no one really used. So, in order to gain a more functional and practical space, the couple chose to have it moved and downscaled. The desk was replaced with a smaller niche at the end of the newly customized furniture-style cabinetry to house a phone and other related accessories. Another important change entailed the pantry. It was redesigned into a cabinet wall to provide improved access and increased storage, according to Aston. “I had remodeled their master bath, so I was excited that they asked to return to help with the kitchen.”

RESOURCES CARLA ASTON Aston Design Studios 281-364-6633 JASON RUEBY Rueby Custom Homes 832-527-3453 Architectural Design Resources, ADR — Faucet, Country Kitchen Collection 2808 Richmond, Ste. E The new range hood in glossy white remains traditional but grander.


64 house& home | June 2014 |

Left and center: the redesigned desk was placed at the end of cabnetry to gain increased space. The pantry was designed to offer Ticia Lynn increased storage and improved access.

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Father’s Day, June 15

OLD SCHOOL CROSLEY RADIO CRUISER TURNTABLE A sleek, three-speed turntable emphasizing portability with a briefcase-style design and built-in stereo speakers make it easy for dad to enjoy and share his favorite vinyl. Available at multiple national retailers such as Target and Urban Outfitters. Several color choices are available. $80-$100.

GIVE DAD AN EASY COFFEE BREAK Starbucks Verisimo 600 is a single-cup brewing system that lets you make brewed coffee, espresso, lattes, steamed milk and more using Verismo pods. It has a dedicated hot water button for brewing Americanos and a rinse button for easy cleaning. The machine runs more quietly than other brewing systems, so it’s as pleasant as it is easy to make coffee shop drinks at home. At Bed Bath & Beyond, Crate and Barrel, Williams-Sonoma. $149.95. GET DAD A NEW GRILL This charcoal barbecue pit/smoker, with firebox for wood or charcoal storage, features over 700 square inches of cooking surface. Texas Pit Crafters designs and builds these durable solid steel grills in Houston.

PINTEREST PRINTABLES Find fun and clever printable cards and gifts at Free.

66 house& home | June 2014 |

SUIT SUPPLY SUNGLASSES For the dapper dad. Suit Supply’s only Houston store is now open in the West Ave development, 2601 Westheimer Rd. Shown: Round Honey Sunglasses. $99.

KENTUCKY BOURBON TRAIL & CRAFT TOUR Take dad on an adventure where he can try new handcrafted brands, sample spirits and collect stamps from nine distilleries to earn an exclusive reward through their Passport program–a classic Kentucky julep cup.,

FOR THE BURGER MASTER Packed with 160 recipes, over 240 full-color photos, step-by-step instructions, and whimsical illustrated special features, Weber’s Big Book of Burgers will inspire dad to up his burger game. Available for purchase at, and Apple’s itunes store . $13.88.

AMAZON KINDLE FIRE HDX This ultra-fast 7-inch tablet allows dad to be immersed in movies, TV shows, books and games on the go. $229.

68 house& home | June 2014 |

INSTEAD OF GIVING DAD A NECKTIE, SEND HIM TO ITS BIRTHPLACE: CROATIA Originally called a cravat, the modern necktie traces it’s roots to 17th Century Croatian Mercenaries in French service. Go Ahead Tours ( offers a 10 day tour of Croatia, Italy, The Greek Islands and one Turkish island for $4,019.00 per person. Tour includes round-trip airfare and transfers, 7 night cruise ship accomodations, one night hotel, deluxe motor coach, two daily meals, tour guides and more.


GOLFER’S BBQ SET Right: Golf and BBQ: separated at birth? Both involve the outdoors and great friends. These weekend favorites are combined in this threepiece stainless steel BBQ set with soft insulated handles that look just like golf grips. The tongs, spatula, and fork are perfect for the guy who loves the links, sausage or steaks. Allow time for shipping. $28 for a set of three.

FOR THE HANDY DAD WITH YOUNG CHILDREN Handy Dad, 25 Awesome Projects for Dads and Kids, is an illustrative how-to guide by HGTV's Over Your Head host, Todd Davis. Dads will learn how to build 25 DIY projects with their kids. Handy Dad is chock-full of creative and inexpensive ways to keep kids (and dads) entertained for hours. Available at for $15.

FOR THE MANLY MAN Below: Rocky Top Soap Shop in Maine sells this natural, handmade, unscented soap set for $24. Set includes: The Grit, Activated Charcoal, Bentonite Clay and Shavin’ Soap. All soaps are pesticide-free and use non-GMO and sustainable oils. Dozens of other soaps are available. collections/unscented-soaps

KEEP DAD ENTERTAINED Left: The Roku 3 set top box allows dad to stream 1,000+ channels of movies, TV shows, sports, and more to any HDTV. He can plug headphones into the motion-control remote to play games or watch late-night flicks without disturbing the household. $99. The Roku Streaming Stick (HDMI Version) is a convenient little stick that streams 1,000+ channels and 31,000+ movies, Netflix and YouTube from a smartphone or tablet to a TV. Control it with the included remote or from a smarphone or tablet. $49. 70 house& home | June 2014 |


favorite blogs This blog is penned by a former newspaper writer whose passion is food.

Vegetarian Wet Burritos Summary: A simple grains mix and beans enlivened with Mexican spices fills fork-and-knife burritos smothered in green enchilada sauce. Serves 4. Ingredients 2 packets Minute Multi-Grain Medley (there are 4 packets in a box) 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon adobo seasoning (such as Penzey’s Adobo) 1/2 teaspoon oregano 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 1/4 teaspoon onion powder 1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans 4 large burrito-size flour tortillas 1 (8-ounce) package shredded Monterey Jack cheese 1 (10-ounce) can green chile enchilada sauce Instructions 1. Add grain medley, 1 3/4 cup water, cumin, adobo, oregano, salt, garlic and onion powders to a pot and cook according to package directions (bring to a boil, cover and simmer 10 minutes). 2. Meanwhile, place beans in a small colander, rinse them and drain. Turn oven on to 375F degrees and lightly mist a baking dish with nonstick spray. 3. When grains are done, remove from heat, add drained beans to the pot and stir. 4. Assemble burritos: Lay a tortilla out on a board, spoon on 1/4 of the rice-bean mixture, sprinkle on a handful of cheese, and roll up tightly. Place rolled burrito seam side down in baking dish. Repeat with the rest of the tortillas, to make 4 burritos, saving a pinch or two of cheese to garnish the top. 5. Pour enchilada sauce over top, making sure to cover all of the exposed tortillas. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until hot and bubbly. 6. Remove from oven and serve.

72 house& home | June 2014 |

73 This blog actually features low-sodium recipes, gathered by a writer who began watching her diet after being diagnosed with a life-threatening disease.

Coconut Milk Cinnamon Ice Cream (Adapted from Ingredients 3 cups coconut milk 2 large eggs 3/4 cup sugar

www.fannestastic A registered dietitian writes this blog. She refers to herself as a true “foodie.”

Almond Butter Banana Breakfast Bars (Vegan) (makes 10-12 bars) Ingredients [Dry] 1 c spelt flour 1 c old fashioned rolled oats 1/2 c finely ground flaxseed 1 tsp. cinnamon 1 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. baking soda 1/4 tsp. sea salt

Instructions Beat the coconut milk and eggs together in a large saucepan. Add sugar and cook over medium-low heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until slightly thickened and registering 170° F on a thermometer. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Pour mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl and cover surface directly with plastic wrap to prevent skin from forming. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or up to 12 hours. Freeze mixture in icecream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. To finish, put mixture into a lidded container, cover and allow to harden in the freezer at least 1 hour before serving. OR

[Wet] 1/2 c unsweetened applesauce 1/3 c pure maple syrup 1/4 c smooth almond butter 2 very ripe bananas, mashed

Instructions Preheat oven to 350. 1) In two separate bowls, mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients, then combine, adding wet to dry and stirring gently until mixed. 2) Pour mixture into a pan and pat it down evenly. (If you’ve learned anything from my blog, I hope it’s that you should always top baked goods with raw oats to make them look pretty) 3) Pop into the oven and bake for about 25 or so minutes. Fork check to make sure they are done.

74 house& home | June 2014 |

Fill a large mixing bowl halfway with crushed ice. Stir in 3/4 cup rock salt. The only time you’ll see salt in this blog. Then nestle a smaller, 1-quart bowl in the ice, so it’s almost completely surrounded. Fill the smaller bowl halfway with the cooled coconut icecream custard. Then use a whisk to beat the custard for 10 minutes. The mix will get cold but it will not turn into ice cream. Cover the two nested bowls with a towel and place it into the freezer for 10 minutes. Take the bowls out and whisk again for another 10 minutes, incorporating as much of the icy custard into the creamy parts of the custard as possible. Cover the nested bowls with a towel again and chill in the freezer for 45 minutes. Then remove the bowls and use a fork or spoon to incorporate the frozen custard parts (mostly on the sides of the bowl) into the creamier parts of the custard. Add your mix-ins (like ginger-bread crumbles or 1/4 tsp of cinnamon). Then mix again for another 5 minutes. At this point, the custard will start to resemble soft serve. Take the small bowl from the large bowl and cover the ice cream with plastic wrap. Freeze for another 2 hours or overnight before serving. And by serving I mean eating with a spoon while watching The Good Wife.

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FIVE TIPS ON TREE CARE A large majestic oak at Beck’s Prime.

How One of the Oldest Trees in Houston Stays Alive The majestic live oak located at Beck’s Prime restaurant on Augusta has survived rains, droughts, hurricanes and more over the course of its 400-year lifespan. This old tree continues to be vital to human health, offering environmental, economical, and emotional benefits. This historic live oak produces as much oxygen in a season as 10 people inhale per year. “Trees give back to us all year long,” says Jack Swayze, arborist for The Davey Tree Expert Company in Houston, and caretaker of this 400-year-old grand beauty. “But big trees need proper care, “ he says. Swayze offers five tips on how he and his team keep big trees in the Houston healthy: Water slowly, deeply. With drought being top of mind for Houston residents, Swayze says the best time to water is in the morning. To ensure efficient water use, run a sprinkler beneath the tree as slowly as possible, use a drip hose, or apply a slow trickle from a garden hose. Avoid directly irrigating the trunk, as increased moisture encourages root rot. Mulch, mulch, mulch! Cover the “drip zone” of the tree with one to three inches of shredded hardwood or leaf mulch. But don’t over mulch or “volcano” mulch. Keep mulch two to three inches away from the trunk. or the trunk will rot. 76 house& home | June 2014 |

Fertilize twice a year. Landscape trees compete for nutrients with lawns and shrubs. It’s important to replace those nutrients and fertilize both in the fall and early spring. Tree fertilization improves resistance to damage from diseases, insects and stressful weather. Prune dead, damaged or dangerous limbs. Properly pruning a tree not only preserves a more pleasing and natural look but also can eliminate the spread of disease and extend a tree’s lifespan. Don’t take on jobs that may be a potential safety hazard; always consult a professional. Inspect trees annually. Visually inspect your tree starting from the ground up. “If you see a problem at the base, chances are the tree has more significant problems at the top,” explains Swayze. Trees can survive drought, disease, and invasive pests if given the right care. Like people, trees need annual check-ups to stay healthy. Courtesy of The Davey Tree Expert Company, with U.S. and Canadian operations in more than 47 states and five provinces. The company provides a variety of tree care, grounds maintenance and consulting services for the residential, utility, commercial, and government markets. Founded in 1880, Davey has been employee-owned for 35 years and has more than 7,300 employees who provide Proven Solutions for a Growing World. For more information, visit

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0614 houhousehome vir