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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

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JUNE 2016



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Editor’s Note Calendar Product: Creative Concrete Uses Decorating & Entertaining: Cottage Appeal Editor Picks: Father’s Day Gift Ideas Gardening: Growing A Vertical Garden Pet of the Month: Jasmine

54 ON THE COVER: One of Showcase Builders' stunning Cape Cod style lake homes located in the Legends on Lake LBJ. To see more of their beautiful work, visit

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30 35 54 64 70

After the Flood Texas Hill Country Special Section Heights Craftsman/Foursquare Remodel Patterned Fabric Master Bedroom Poolside Living Products

345 W 19TH ST HOUSTON HEIGHTS HOME FURNISHINGS & ACCESSORIES 713.869.1414 Monday-Saturday 10am-6pm Sunday 1pm-5pm




The lifestyles and preferences of today’s consumer have inspired us to reimagine the kitchen. With innovations like the first Hands-free Autofill water dispenser, the first dishwasher with 102 cleaning jets and a clean modern appearance, the GE kitchen is more intelligent, intuitive and beautiful than ever. l

ACCEPTANCE APPLIANCE CENTER, INC. Authorized As-Is Dealer 6765 N. Sam Houston Pkwy. W. • Suite 200 Houston, TX 77064 • 281-955-0861

reimagining home

. . . this summer in your own town. A few weeks ago, I enjoyed a leisurely Sunday afternoon at the 445acre Hermann Park. I hadn’t been over there in years. And what a nice surprise it was to find the stunningly beautiful McGovern Centennial Gardens in bloom. And at the garden’s edge is a vegetable paradise that HEB maintains, presenting seasonal harvests to two local food banks. Founded in 1992, the Hermann Park Conservancy oversees the area’s natural resources and physical infrastructure. With many projects in the ground or under way, the Conservancy has made a visible impact on the park that includes: • Creating the 7-acre McGovern Centennial Gardens, as well as the Cherie Flores Garden Pavillion that can be leased for special events. • Expanding McGovern Lake and renovating the Jones Reflection Pool. • Developing Lake Plaza, which includes Pinewood Cafe and the scenic Tiffany & Co. Foundation Bridge. • Restoring the Japanese Garden, designed by world-renowned landscape architect Ken Nakajima. The garden area features a tea house, winding paths and a gift of cherry trees by Japan. • Renovating Miller Outdoor Theater, its landscaped plazas, and 85 bathrooms. Within walking distance of the park is the Museum of Fine Arts-Houston, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, gift shops, and many other places of interest and eateries. HOUSTON

PUBLISHER ........................Mike Harrison, Ph.D. ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER ........Susie Reisenbigler EDITOR ..............................................Susan Fox CONTRIBUTING WRITERS ....................................

Over 30 Years of Experience on Residential & Commercial Properties. • Dramatic Uplighting • Delicate Moonlighting • Feature Lighting

• Mercury Vapor Lighting • Low Voltage Lighting • LED Lighting

Barbara Canetti, Marsha Canright, Lindsey Canright, ..................Sandra Cook, Linda Gay, Amitha Verma

• Accent Lighting • Mosquito Misting • Maintenance

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS.................... ................................Max Burkhalter, Doria Rosa ART DIRECTOR ............................Robert Coplin SR. ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE ........Frances Dowling


ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE......................Karen Sims PRINTING ........................................RR Donnelly

My recent Sunday visit included two 30-minute presentations at the Burke Baker Planetarium, a nice stroll through the McGovern Centennial Gardens, a stop at nearby Hotel ZaZa to enjoy a lovely al fresco setting and a refreshing Buffalo Bayou “More Cowbell” brew, and then on to find delicious bites at Helen’s Greek Food and Wine — a cozy taverna in Rice Village. As an aside, Helen’s Greek Food and Wine has been named by several to be one of Houston’s best new restaurants. What are your favorite Houston sights and places? As you savor the thought of Houston, enjoy pieces within by writers Barbara Canetti and Sandra Cook, as they give us a peek into a lovely bungalow and a delightfully decorated bedroom, respectively. And if you’ve seen it all in Houston, consider a trek to the Hill Country. Writer Marsha Canright gives us some ideas of where to go and what to do on page 38. Happy Summer! Susan Fox 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 2016, all rights reserved. HH&H is distributed at most Houston area Randalls and HEB stores.

P.O. Box 131845 • Houston, Texas 77219 (713) 523-6523 •


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Hardware & Gifts

FULL LINE HARDWARE STORE l UNIQUE DECOR & GIFTS Yeti® Premium Coolers The best in premium coolers and accessories that are the ultimate in design, performance and durability.

Traeger— New redefined features The #1selling wood pellet grill in America.

Enhance your entrance

Summer is here!

with a new mailbox that is original and timeless with lasting value and quality.

Metal window screens made and repaired.

Other styles & finishes available.

Ultimate all-in-one outdoor cooking experience. Convenient : 1. Set temperature 2. Place Food 3. Relax and let the grill do the work. "Stop grilling, START TRAEGERing!"

314 E. 11TH STREET (THE HEIGHTS) • 713.861.3551 •

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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 ~ Over 12,000 Sq Ft • 1235 North Hwy 237, Round Top, TX 78954



Expect to look good... Expect the best!

Natural Stone Landscape Supplies Masonry Supplies Receive 10% OFF with this ad Serving The Houston & Surrounding Areas

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Stainless Steel Smokers •

Stainless Steel Charcoal Pits • Custom outdoor kitchen including gas grill and stainless steel smoker

Outdoor Kitchens •

Pizza Ovens– real wood burning!

Custom full outdoor kitchen with smoker, stove, grill and multiple burners—the ultimate!

Patio Covers and Pergolas •

Seaside Casual Furniture Patio cover and deck with full outdoor kitchen including churasco wood burning grill

Custom grill/sink/bar island for great entertaining

Manufacturer of Gas Grills, Burners, Smokers/Pits & Outdoor Kitchens Product and Design Service • Visit our Showroom in Tomball

281-356-2168 • 13

JUNE 2016


The AIA Sandcastle Competition returns to Galveston on June 4.

Interiors/Design June 4: 2016 AIA Sandcastle Competition 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sandcastles become sand-mansions at this annual competition in Galveston, hosted by the Houston branch of the American Institute of Architects. More than 60 shovel-wielding teams battle it out for the 2016 Golden Bucket Award. JUNE 4: GALVESTON LOFT TOUR 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Historic Downtown Galveston Partnership announces the The Downtown Lofts Tour. View urbane lifestyles and décor in historic properties.Tickets: online at www.downtowngalveston. org or at The Grand, 2020 Postoffice St., Edna’s Room, 9 am, the day of the event. June 8: New Faces in Design, A Celebration for Emerging Professionals 3-7 p.m. Mingle with Houston’s emerging design professionals at a celebration put on by the American Society of Interior Designers, Houston Design Resources, and The Houston Design Center. Graduates and professionals share their portfolios.

June 14-15: Dad’s Day at Bayou Bend 1-5 p.m. Celebrate Father’s Day weekend exploring art, history, architecture and gardens at Bayou Bend collections and Gardens, 6003 Memorial Drive. Fathers and grandfathers receive free admission and a gift from The Shop at Bayou Bend. June 23: An Evening With James Victore 6:30-8:30 p.m. Renowned artist, designer, author, and teacher, James Victore has inspired others for decades with his "design like you give a damn" philosophy. His bold and expressive work can be found in MoMA's permanent collection.

Events June 11-12: Pop Shop Houston Summer Modern Crafts & Art Festival Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Beat the Texas heat at the Modern Crafts & Art Festival, where artfully curated handmade goods, live music, and small bite tastings are all on the docket. $8 for adults; Kids 12 and under are free; Free Sunday after 4 p.m.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Please send all calendar items to by second Fridays for the following month’s issue. 14 house& home

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June 11: Tomato Contest 10 a.m. Growing tomatoes is a Texas tradition. If you think your crop has what it takes, head out to The Arbor Gate where judges will crown winners in various categories.

July 4: ‘Freedom Over Texas’ at Eleanor Tinsley Park 4-10 p.m. Fireworks and country tunes on Buffalo Bayou on Allen Parkway. Darius Rucker headlines. $10 per person

June 14: Nature Revealed: The Nature of Color 2 to 4 p.m. Students learn answers to age-old questions: why is the sky blue? The group hits the trails for a short hike through the arboretum for nature’s color spectrum. $20 for members, $35 for nonmembers, $10 for volunteers

July 4: Patriotic Celebration at Bayou Bend 1-5 p.m. It’s a free day at Bayou Bend Collections and Gardens, 6003 Memorial, with performers, crafts, activities and refreshments. A reading of the Declaration of Independence begins at 3 p.m. followed by birthday cake.

June 5: Montrose Print Market 2 to 7 p.m. This craft market spotlights local printers and print artists. Over 20 vendors see original work, T-shirts and publications. Music, food and a printing activity that celebrates dads. Free

July 4: Summer Symphony Salute at Miller Outdoor Theater 8:30 pm Patriotic classics by the Houston Symphony with conductor Steven Reineke. Following the 1812 Overture finale, spectacularfireworks. www.milleroutdoortheatre. com

July 1: Wood Block Photo Transfer Art Class 7 to 9 p.m. This class teaches a photo transfer technique called gel medium transfers, which uses blocks of wood as the surface to print photos. Attendees go home with a new piece of art ready to hang. $38

Antiques June 4-5: Vintique Flea: Summer Addition 2.0 Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The second Silver Street Studios for “Vintique Flea” market. Find chic home decor, industrial elements, memorabilia, vintage furniture, jewelry and more.Beer, wine, food trucks. Free

Upcoming Red, White, Blue July 3: Star Spangled Salute By The Houston Symphony 8 p.m. Celebrate America's birthday with a free concert of patriotic favorites at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 2005 Lake Robbins Dr, The Woodlands. 6:30 p.m.

GARDEN & HOME SHOW OFFERS IDEAS The Texas Home & Garden Show provides homeowners with the opportunity to shop hundreds of goods and services all under one roof, June 25 & 26. The show’s first annual summer edition will be held at NRG Center in Houston, 8400 Kirby Drive. Homeowners will find expert advice, money saving tips, remodeling ideas, landscape features and more. This year’s spotlight feature will be Loot Vintage Market, a collection of fabulous vendors offering the best in vintage, retro and repurposed treasures, including bohemian-inspired furniture, art, home decor, gifts, fashion, and other one-of-a-kind pieces. In the Kidzone, youngsters can enjoy story time with Aunty Nnenna and her cast of characters. PRICE: $10 for Adults, $8 for Seniors & Military, Free for Children 14 and under. TIMES: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday INFO: 1st-texas-home-and-garden-show-summer





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Etchings Transoms Stained Glass Entry Doors Sidelights Domes Shower Enclosures • On-Site Repairs

Hien Lam Upholstery “Where quality, service and price make a difference” Since 1962

Phone: (713) 523-3416

12307 Chimney Rock Houston, TX 77035

Fax: (713) 523-8610 819 West Drew St. • Houston, TX 77006

(713) 729-3699 •

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A concrete fire pit by CSW Creations.

A stained and stamped concrete patio by Native Texas Landscapes.

A stamped concrete patio from Decorative Concrete Solutions.

Concrete countertops and sink by Decorative Concrete Solutions.


Concrete is ancient, and it’s hip. The Egyptians used it to make pyramids 5,000 years ago, and the Romans used it to build the Colosseum and the Pantheon with the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome. Other famous structures made of concrete are the Panama Canal and the Hoover Dam. Concrete is made from a mixture of broken stone or gravel, sand, cement, and water. When it is spread, poured or sprayed into molds, it hardens and becomes like stone. But that’s only the beginning. Once the go-to choice for durable driveways and sidewalks, concrete has evolved into gleaming polished floors, stamped and patterned patios, and sleek industrial-style kitchen counters. It’s a versatile material with an artistic, textured look and limitless color choices. Newer trends top it off with metallic

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flakes or colorful paint chips for a three-dimensional look. Concrete is definitely cool, but it is not inexpensive or maintenance free. “Many customers appreciate the patina of age and use, but having the right expectations is key,” says Andrea Haley, co-owner of CSW Creations, a Houston company that specializes in glass-fiber-reinforced concrete kitchen counters. This means understanding that concrete is a living material and that even the highest quality product and professional sealers can’t prevent wear and tear forever. “Concrete is unique; it has a look like no other. And you can produce it in almost any color, which opens up design possibilities,” she says. “It’s not for everyone, but those who like the way it looks don’t want anything else.”

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Stained concrete countertops by CSW Creations.

POLISHED CONCRETE FLOORS It’s hard to top a diamond-polished concrete floor for its sheer beauty, durability and shine. “It looks organic; it’s a good investment because it’s low maintenance; but it’s not cheap or an easy do-it-yourself project," says James Branscum, owner of Texas Concrete Effects. His most frequent residential request is for industrial or loft-like concrete floors. “Gray and sleek, a Restoration Hardware look,” he says. It’s also true of commercial projects, like the 6,000-square-foot wedding and events center in Lake Jackson that Branscum just finished. “Now, after any event, they can clean and buff the floor and it looks brand new,” he explains. His company focuses on diamond-polished concrete floors, and he has seen all types of concrete throughout the city. With new construction, there are more liberties since you start with a blank canvas, he adds, but refinishing some floors is especially fun. “I like working on the concrete floors in Meyerland and Memorial and other established neighborhoods with Mid-Century Modern architecture,” he says. 22 house& home

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“These 1950s-era houses have the coolest floors. Their concrete is very hard, dense and fully cured. We do a mechanical polish and it is just like granite. It makes a perfect pallet for almost any kind of floor a designer can imagine,” he says. Concrete grinding and polishing is a mechanical process that uses heavy machinery with diamonds embedded in metal to grind and hone the concrete. It’s a labor-intensive process, requiring skill and time, so he only uses his own crew and never subcontracts the work. Costs vary depending on the slab, the topping, the thickness and the finish. It’s about $5 to $8 a square foot depending on the depth of the first cut and the degree of polish. He requires a standard minimum of $2,000 per project. “What you often see on HGTV is a concrete floor with acrylic sealer. Because this is cheaper and easier, some people choose to do that – which is fine – especially if it’s for a pool house or rental property,” he explains. “I like my customers to know that this kind of concrete floor must be constantly maintained. To keep that look, the floors will have to be resealed every 18 months,” he says. MAKING CONCRETE PRETTY: NEW TRENDS Metallic flakes and colorful vinyl paint chips are hot trends for sprucing up and topping off basic concrete, says Kim Creager, owner of Decorative Concrete Supply, a 26-year-old family business that provides everything you need to make concrete pretty, except the labor. That means color hardeners, acid and water stains, stamps, dyes, countertop supplies and much, much more. If it has to do with decorative concrete, she has her finger on the pulse. “Nothing is scratch resistant but with this metallic-epoxy mix, topped with polyurethane, it looks fantastic, and scratches are minimal with care,” she says. That makes it a popular choice for restaurants and other commercial venues, although it is also being used in homes. There are many techniques and eye-catching results that look reflective and three-dimensional, she says. Another trend is using vinyl paint chips in different color combinations to dress up the garage floor and make it easy to clean. “The existing concrete has to be prepped with grinding or an acid wash, because it has to be porous, “ she says. On top of that, you roll a pigmented epoxy and while it’s wet, you toss in the vinyl paint chips in different color combinations. For the chips that don’t stick or partially stick, there is a sweeping,scraping process, and then it’s sealed with polyurethane. Many new high-end homes are offering that in their new garages, she said. “It gives your garage floor a pretty, uniform look that’s easy to clean. I know because I have it in my garage,” she adds.

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Stained and stamped floors. Photo by Native Texas Landscapes.

GLASS-REINFORCED CONCRETE COUNTERS “Concrete kitchen counters are a very different animal than concrete floors or patios,” says Andrea Haley at CSW Designs. At the beginning, she worked with husband Daniel to provide concrete countertops for high-end contemporary homes but over the past five years, Haley has witnessed a growing demand for concrete countertops in new and remodeled homes where clients are interested in custom products. “We create all our concrete counters from scratch in a workshop, where we have complete control of time and temperature to insure the product’s integrity,” she explains. Counters are usually one and one-half inches thick; although they can be thicker, and an average kitchen with 40 X 60 square feet would cost $4,000 to $6,000 installed and edged. The finished product is low-maintenance but not maintenancefree. “You have to stay on top of it. Acids, vinegars, soap residues, red wine, citrus can all leave stains,” Haley says, which is why, as part of their ongoing work, the couple tests new sealers to see which are most effective. “We recommend adding a layer of beeswax every six months to give added protection,” she adds. DECKS, OUTDOOR KITCHENS, WALKWAYS A covered concrete patio with ceiling fans can be used year round in Houston, says Wes Hackney, owner of Native Texas Landscapes. “My job is to get people outdoors, breathing the fresh air, enjoying nature,” he adds. His company specializes in outdoor kitchens, decks, patios and other landscape design elements, and they have a long history in Houston. In 30 years, they have stamped and stained all manner of concrete. “We can make it look like a wood floor, flagstone, all different types of stone, travertine or tile. You can be very creative with multiple stamps and endless colors,” Hackney says. 24 house& home

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Color is added by using a fine powder that penetrates the concrete. There’s artistry involved in knowing when to stamp it. This type of installation does have pros and cons. “If it is exposed to the elements, it’s going to fade after several years and will have to be resealed,” Hackney says. Using concrete to build a permanent addition to your landscape requires expert know-how. Hackney puts rebar 18 inches on center, which makes the concrete stronger and less likely to crack. “I’m freaky about the way we engineer it,” he says. “Because we want to install patios that will last for generations.” KEEPING A TIGHT SEAL What if you already have a concrete patio or you are planning to build one. How best to seal it? Robert Peterson, Sealmasters in Houston, recommends Dinacrete. “We’ve had great success with this product because it penetrates and reinforces the concrete, or wood, and creates a silicon bond to prevent moisture, mold, debris, dust from penetrating into the concrete, or wood, and basically destroying it, he says. The seal also helps the material accept a stain. “We use this product on gazebos, decks, fences, docks, walkways, even log cabins. Their jobs range from 400 square feet and up, with a price tag of 400 to $4,500

RESOURCES Native Texas Landscape Specializing in outdoor kitchen, decks, patios, hardscape Wes Hackney 281-651-1971 2635 Old Louetta Loop, Spring www.nativetexasland Concrete Raising Corp Patios, driveways, pool decks, warehouse floors Curtis Miller 713-991-1777 SealMasters of Houston Seals any wood or concrete project Robert Peterson 281-362-8100 16107 Kensington Dr Sugar Land

Texas Concrete Effects Specializing in diamond-polished floors James Branscum 8310 Castleford, Suite 330 832-573-7136 Decorative Concrete Supply Specializing in concrete supplies Kimberly Creager 8310 Castleford St # 250 713-462-8884 CSW Creations Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete Kitchen counters Daniel and Andrea Haley 35529 FM 1093, Simonton (Workshop) 281-839-9790


Engineering Elegance

TEXAS CONCRETE EFFECTS, INC. polishes every floor to the smoothest finish attainable with the same diamond polishing equipment and technology used on fine marble and granite surfaces. Color is unleashed from minerals that naturally occur in the concrete through the use of genuine acid stains. The finish will never peel or bubble.


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At South Pool & Spa, sound aquatic engineering and beautiful pool design are never mutually exclusive. We’re not just building pools– we’re Engineering Elegance.

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713-423-4663 • 832-237-3860 9010 Rippling Fields • Houston, TX 77064


832.573.7136 cell 8310 Castleford, Suite 330 • Houston, TX 77040 HOUSTON I BRENHAM I BEAUMONT I CONROE I VICTORIA 25



COZY COTTAGE APPEAL 5 MUST HAVE PIECES TO CREATE EFFORTLESS COTTAGE STYLE Changing the décor of your home to match the seasons is a quick, inexpensive, and easy way to keep your home fresh. I love taking inspiration from the long, lazy days of summer and adding a few brighter touches throughout my home. Are you ready? Then keep reading because I’m about to share my top five MUST HAVE summer styling pieces and exactly how I would use them. These pieces will help transform your house into an idyllic summer cottage. But don’t think you can’t continue to use them in the fall! Almost all of these décor pieces will make sense during any season, so you can enjoy the cottage-style year round. Amitha Verma

Antique Shutters Inside and Out I absolutely adore this perfect “summer is here” statement piece. Use antique or vintage shutters to flank a long wall or piece of art, or place them behind a buffet or bed. If you want to take the look outdoors, you can install the shutters along a wall near an outdoor seating area to create timeless beauty. The best part? These versatile pieces can be used year ’round to create major drama, texture and interest along any wall in your home. If you already have a pair of shutters, but need to create the antique look, then our Amitha Verma Chalk Finish Paint is just what the doctor ordered! 26 house& home

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Do the Unexpected: Add Statement Iron Pieces Indoors Bring a bit of the beautiful rough luxe texture indoors with antique iron fragments. I love this stunning, oversized fragment we found while we were in France. It would be perfect for the wall of a double height great room or as the anchor of your kitchen décor.

Style With Oversized Mirrors There’s an undeniable casual elegance to full-length, elaborately carved mirrors propped against the wall. My Tip: Set them up in a corner, behind furniture, or include them in your casual living spaces to add a pinch of je ne sais quoi — a“I don’t know what” — to your home.



Wicker, Cane, and Rush—Add These Textures Seating textures are often overlooked when changing your home’s décor. But these gorgeous, comfy wicker chairs embody effortless cottage and summer style. They’re beautiful, casual, and easy to maintain, and can instantly change the overall feel of your home.

Mix In Lighter Wood Tones Dark wood and lighter wood fall in and out of style rather quickly, so to avoid looking dated, it’s important to mix BOTH into your home’s décor to create a truly year-’round style. What are your interior decorating goals this summer? My best piece of advice is to focus on one small area and commit to finishing it. At Village Antiques, you can find design consultants to help you cultivate your own cottage style. Stop by.

Amitha Verma, founder of Amitha Verma Furniture Paint and owner of Houston’s popular French décor store, Village Antiques. For over four years, top designers and home design aficionados head to Village Antiques for one-of-a-kind furniture, art, décor and expert design advice. With a growing fan base of over 30,000+ passionate followers, Amitha Verma holds the top spot for Houston Design Shows. Visit for access to Houston’s #1 design show and sign up for FREE expert design advice, tutorials and tons of education on all things home and decor.

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nd 4 2 Anniversary Visit our established location in the Champions Area

Lighting Your Way® Since 1974

6265 Cypress Creek Parkway Houston, Texas 77069 281-444-9299

What we have here, you won’t find anywhere else. Houston’s creative source for interior designers and curious connoisseurs offers unique and unexpected solutions for your design projects. You owe yourself a visit. l 713-520-9755 2311 Westheimer Rd. Houston, TX 77098 Open daily from 10 to 6 - Sundays from 12 to 5



2. GET EXPERT HELP. Talk to your city or county’s building department to find out what flood protection level is recommended for your area. If there has been a flood higher than the level they give you, you should use that level plus more for safety’s sake. The Harris County Engineering Department’s number is 713247-3900. The office is open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, at 10555 Northwest Freeway, Suite 120. The City of Houston Permitting Office can be reached at is located at 832-394-9000. It has “flood recovery” information on its website at 3. FLOOD PROOF AS YOU REBUILD. If you are rebuilding after a deluge, it’s the best possible time to flood proof by using materials and methods that will prevent or minimize flood damage in the future. Here are five protective measures to consider: Elevate the structure so that floodwaters do not enter or reach the lowest floor above flood level.

After The Flood How Do You Prepare and Protect Your Home from Future Deluges? EDITED BY MARSHA CANRIGHT

The sad news about the torrential rains that pummeled Houston in April and May is that the city likely will experience more destructive flooding in the future. Increased rain intensity, poor draining clay soil, and a low lying terrain are partly to blame for flooding, but the city’s rapid development is the main reason a bad problem is getting worse. “Houston has 25 percent more pavement than it did 15 years ago, and there isn’t any place for the water to run except to the bayous,” says Sam Brody, a Texas A&M scientist who studies local floodplain issues. He says millions of people and hundreds of structures are vulnerable, and areas like Brays Bayou, and other locations that routinely flood, will continue to do so. If your property was flooded in recent storms, or even if it wasn’t, here’s what you can do to protect yourself in the future. 1. FACE FACTS: Find out how likely your home is to flood. Houston’s Floodplain Management Office can tell you about the causes of flooding in your area, what the city is doing about it and what you can do to protect your property. That number is 832-394-8854. You can check out the Texas A&M flood map at http://

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Move the house out of a flood-prone area. Most houses and smaller commercial buildings in good condition can be moved, and it is usually easy to find an experienced contractor. The drawback is that you will have to purchase a new lot. Build a barrier from compacted soil or concrete between the building and floodwaters. There are floodwalls, berms and levees. Dry flood proofing is a way to make the building walls and floor watertight. This means sealing a building to keep floodwaters out. Walls are coated with plastic or rubberized sheeting or special waterproofing compounds. Openings such as doors, windows, sewer lines, and vents are closed permanently, or temporarily sealed. Wet flood proofing means preparing a building so that floodwaters enter areas such as parking or storage, causing minimal damage. Think of raised beach houses. The AC/Heat, water heaters, appliances, and bookcases must be installed on platforms or upstairs. This can save thousands of dollars. 4. TRY THESE TIPS Move the main breaker or fuse box and the utility meters above the flood protection level for your home. Make sure each circuit is labeled so you know which circuits control which outlets. If you replace a water heater or air conditioner, install the new one on a higher floor. Walls Wash and disinfect the studs and sills if the wallboard and insulation had to be removed. If you are going to rebuild the walls, remember that metal studs and sills are not damaged by water as much as wooden ones. Pressure-treated wood will






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resist mildew and wood eating insects outdoors, but it may swell as much as untreated wood when soaked. Wallboard Think horizontal rather than vertical. Install the wallboard panels sideways so they are only four feet high. If the next flood is less than four feet deep, you only have to replace half the wall. Paint Do not paint until the surface is completely dry. If the surface still contains moisture, the paint will peel. Be aware that the surface will look dry long before it is inside. It will take weeks to dry out. Waterproofing paints can protect a deck from rain but they cannot keep floodwaters out. 5. IF YOU HIRE A CONTRACTOR If you need a contractor, try to hire someone that you have used before and been satisfied with the work. If they cannot help you, ask them for recommendations. Check the Better Business Bureau at or the Greater Houston Home Builder’s Association at Important to ask: • Ask if the firm has unanswered complaints filed against it. • Ask the contractor for proof of insurance including disability and worker’s compensation. • Ask for references of previous customers; call and ask if they would hire them again. • Ask for a written estimate, although some contractors will charge a fee for this. • Ask for a contract. If a lot of money is involved, ask an attorney to review it. Be sure this includes guarantees in writing and who is responsible for the guarantee and how long it is valid. Obtain a copy of the final signed contract. Once signed, it is binding on both you and the contractor. A reasonable down

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payment is up to 30 percent of the total cost of the project. If you are a victim of fraud or have problems with a less than reputable contractor, contact Houston Consumer Action for free advice at 415-777-9635. Leave a voice mail message with a brief description. 6. GET FLOOD INSURANCE The City of Houston participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Insurance rates are based on the flood zone of your property and the risk of being flooded. Purchasing federal flood insurance through the NFIP is one of the best ways to protect your home and belongings. Standard homeowner policies do not cover damage from floods. There is normally a 30-day waiting period when purchasing a new policy. Flood insurance is sold through private insurance companies and is backed by the federal government. For information about obtaining flood insurance, contact your insurance agent or or Other Resources: Harris County Disaster Recovery Hotline: 713-274-3880. Apply for disaster recovery assistance: FEMA: For flood insurance information: For information on your flood potential: mainatlas.html Harris County Flood Control District: Harris County Flood Warning System:

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Hill Country Great Escape

Discover Six Luxurious Hill Country Homes at the 2016 Tour of Homes at Comanche Trace in Kerrville




COMANCHE TRACE Welcomes Visitors to 2016 Tour of Homes in Kerrville


e invite you to join us for the 2016 Tour of Homes at Comanche Trace presented by Centennial Bank. The event will be held over the weekends of June 24-26 and July 1-3. Our preferred builders are excited to display their craftsmanship, architectural style, and design. This year our Tour of Homes will feature six luxury homes. Participants in the Tour include BCI Homes, Chambers Design Build, Brad Moore Builders, Stavinoha Homes and White Construction. We are offering developer lot incentives now through the Tour of Homes! Check out our website for more information about this year’s tour at

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Comanche Trace is continuing to experience growth every year and had a record breaking 2015 year. We are excited to have teamed with CENTURY 21 The Hills Realty to lead our sales efforts for Comanche Trace. Toni Manchester and her team of REALTORS at CENTURY 21 The Hills Realty have extensive knowledge of the market place, as well as their command of the local and Texas Real Estate Business. Toni is the broker/owner of this successful real estate firm, and we are proud to count her, as well as several of her agents, among the residents of Comanche Trace. As Comanche Trace continues to grow and develop, it is wonderful to have such an experienced team like CENTURY 21 The Hills Realty to support Comanche Trace’s buyers and sellers. It is a very exciting time for our entire community. Comanche Trace has developed into a highly recognized golf course community in the Hill Country area. Comanche Trace has been named one of the Top 25 Private Golf Courses in the state and Where to Retire Magazine named 50 Best Master-Planned Communities in the USA. We are proud to offer one of the most respected and well-conditioned

golf course facilities in the State. When our development is complete, our community will have an estimated 1,000 homes. Our amenities range from a private 8-acre river park and walking trails to a private catch and release fishing lake. As a Club, we offer a selection of memberships that have been carefully designed to meet individual preferences and exceed all your expectations of a private club. With several memberships to choose from – social to full golf- we are sure you will find exactly what you are looking for. We host numerous social events throughout the year that make living a Comanche Trace an enjoyable experience. The Hill Country, and especially Kerrville, continues to grow and evolve, and Comanche Trace is excited to be a part of this vibrant community. People from across the country are continuing to discover the many great benefits that the Hill Country lifestyle has to offer. These include numerous wineries in the area, the City’s River Trail, Sports Complex, mild climate, and overall beautiful scenery. All of this, combined with the amenities that Comanche Trace has to offer, will ensure the continued growth and excellence of our community for generations to come. 37

When Visiting the Texas Hill Country…. Compiled by Marsha Canright


AUSTIN It's not everyday that you come across a city that's both lively and laid back. Both the world capital of live music and the capital of Texas, Austin continues to convert new residents and visitors to the way of “weirdness.” Long before the capital city was chartered, people settled along the Colorado River bend for its beauty and bountiful resources. EAT: There are plenty of old favorites offering a quintessentially Austin eating experience. A longtime cornerstone of South Congress Avenue, Guero’s Taco Bar has been serving up delicious queso and cervezas for more than 30 years. It may not be quite as iconic as Stubb’s, but Franklin Barbecue has, in this new era of Austin, come to define the city’s culinary scene since it opened in 2009. SEE: There's so much to see in Austin, it's tough to decide what should come first. You could start by making the climb up the stairs at Mount Bonnell to take in an incredible view of the city: yours for the taking. Or, you could take to the trail around Lady Bird Lake and extend your jaunt over to the boutiques on South Congress Avenue. Art lovers, and really anyone, will find something of interest at the Blanton Museum of Art. PLAY: At cocktail hour, check out the quirky compound of watering holes around Rainey Street. Lots of big names come to play ACL Live at the Moody Center, but a visit to Austin would not be complete without a trip to the decidedly smaller, longstanding beacon of bluegrass, the Continental Club. Austin may have the market cornered on music, but Bandera takes the brisket in all things buckaroo. Located just northwest of San Antonio, the Cowboy Capital of the World is a very doable one-tank drive from Houston. EAT: For morning caffeination, head to DogLeg Cafe and imbibe in a warm cup of Joe and one of many pastries. At lunchtime, Old Spanish Trail has a cowboy vibe and a menu to match with offerings like the Chuckwagon Breakfast and the Ranchhouse Hamburger Steak. Or, you might grab a bite at the Backyard Bistro, which offers an eclectic menu of American and Mexican cuisines.

prop your feet up, and let nature entertain you. As the stars light up the sky, break out your boots and dance the night away at 11th Street Cowboy Bar or Chikin Coop.

COMFORT It’s all in the name— Comfort is a place you go when you’re looking to escape the maddening pace of city life. But, there’s more to this little Texas town than just lazy days. Settled by a group of German immigrants who called themselves Freethinkers, the town of Comfort has long been a haven for artists and creatives. EAT: Stop by for a sandwich at High’s Cafe or head over to Comfort Pizza for delicious wood-fired pizzas served out of a 1920s gas station. New to Comfort is Ceslie’s Texas Café, featuring wholesome meals and lively music. 814 A Texas Bistro is on the swankier end of the spectrum, offering the gourmand’s take on Texas cuisine. SEE: There are two wineries, Bending Branch and Singing Water Vineyards, very close by, Buckhorn Golf Course, river access, biking and hiking trails, a bat tunnel and scenic hill country drives.

SEE: A trip to Bandera is about spending time out on the range, but even the burliest buckaroos have to stock up on provisions. Taking an amble down Historic Main Street is nice any day of the week, but on Saturday afternoon, you're likely to come across cowboys, steers, horses, and wagons at the weekly event celebrating cowboy culture. Either way, be sure to stop in at Bandera General Store, and ladies will love Thelma and Louize, a chic-country boutique with lots of fabulous finds. Also in town, The Frontier Times Museum features a 40,000piece collection of old west, pioneer, and prehistoric artifacts. PLAY: Dip an oar, or a toe, into the Medina River with rentals available at Medina River Company. If you’re water-shy, Hike Lost Maples or learn about dinosaurs and animals at the Bandera Natural History Museum. At the end of a long day, grab a cold one,

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PLAY: Rent a colorful cruiser from out front of Comfort Pizza and pedal the streets of Comfort. Nestled among century old buildings, you will find intriguing places to shop: The Elephant Story, Miss Giddy’s, Huckleberrys, Intermezzo Gallery, and Elizabeth Daniel Boutique to name a few, along with several antique stores. At the end of the day, drop by the tasting room at Hill Country Distillers on Front Street for a little bit of cactus moonshine.



It’s hard to believe the quiet Central Texas community of Dripping Springs is only 25 minutes from the sights and sounds of the Texas capital. Come for the views and the wildlife sightings and stay for the barbecue and the spirits. Yes, creeks and spring-fed pools aren’t the only things dripping in Dripping Springs, they’re also known for both vodka and wine. EAT: It’s worth a trip to the Duchman Family Winery and its adjoining restaurant, Trattoria Lisina, which serves creative modern Italian food alongside their label’s Texas wines. For more casual fare, head over to The Barber Shop Brewpub or the Creek Road Café, which has delicious lunch and dinner menus. SEE: History buffs will appreciate The Homestead at the Dripping Springs, a triad of historical buildings on downtown’s Mercer St. Olive enthusiasts will find more than enough to satisfy their palates at Texas Hill Country Olive Company, Texas’ only organic olive orchard, which has a beautiful tasting room for olive oils, balsamic vinegars and wines. If you're a music lover, head on over to Texas Hill Country Guitars, a shop that specializes in handcrafted electric and acoustic instruments. Naturalists who haven’t yet been introduced to the haunting natural beauty of Hamilton Pool should pack their swimwear and take a dip ( PLAY: There are lots of places to experience the Central Texas booze culture in and around Dripping Springs. The September Dripping with Taste festival features

local and other Texas wine, beer, distilled spirits, Hill Country food, artisans and music. But, any time of year, you can explore the local establishments in town. When you’re ready for a cerveza, stop by Twisted X Brewery, which serves up Tex-Mex style craft beers. Wine lovers will delight in the offerings at Hawk’s Shadow Winery & Vineyards, where handcrafted wines from the limestone cellar are served with a side of breathtaking country views. One of the hippest spots in town is the Bell Springs Winery & Sidecar Tasting Room, a Prohibitionstyle tasting room in heart of downtown historical district.

JOHNSON CITY Johnson City has long been known as the

boyhood home of Lyndon B. Johnson and the last stoplight in route to taste the best Hill Country wine. However, after a leisurely stroll around the courthouse square and neighboring streets, visitors can seek refuge in an unhurried, charming town with an emerging cultural uniqueness all of its own. EAT: At breakfast time, roll on over to Rolling In Thyme and Dough, which puts out scratch pastries and sandwiches from a renovated 1920s bungalow. Later on, kick your boots up at Pecan Street Brewing Company or East Main Grill for craft brews, Hill Country wine and hearty American dishes. SEE: While strolling around the courthouse square, it’s hard to miss the abundance of historical markers—the James Polk Building, the Blanco County Courthouse and the 1894 Blanco County Jail—which tell the story of Blanco County & Johnson City, which goes all the way back to 1858. One of Main

40 house& home | June 2016 |

Street’s most beautiful is the barn-house red Withers & Spaulding building. Built in 1893, the wood structure originally served as a dry goods store and was fully restored by The National Park Service to showcase the building’s history. After grabbing a hot cup of Joe from the Black Spur Coffee & Emporium, head north to the courthouse and through the Nugent Avenue Arts District. This emerging cultural arts scene includes A Smith Gallery, Taste Wine Art and Lee Casbeer Gallery. The welcoming trio regularly showcases exhibits by local and nationally renowned artists as well as regular receptions. Fine art, painting, drawing, sculpture, jewelry, photography and more can be enjoyed along two city blocks with a glass of wine in hand. PLAY: Looking to spend a day in the great outdoors? Pedernales Falls State Park, Bamberger Preserve, LCRA River Park are a great start. If it’s shopping you want, the local selection of stores offers everything from antiques to handmade artisan goods. Stop by local favorites Stidham Outfitters & Custom Leather, Echo, Vintage 205, Rustik by Choice, Black Spur Emporium, Texcetera, Gypsy Lady, The Old Lumberyard, Junque Dynasty, Pieces of the Past, Nest and Whittington’s Jerky.

HELOTES If the Hill Country were a family, Helotes would be the younger sibling— determined to be seen as an individual in spite of the fact that it sits in the shadow of San Antonio. But, that’s not because it’s a bedroom community. Though it was only incorporated in 1981, this easygoing small town was once a stagecoach stop between San Antonio and Bandera, and has been on maps for much longer. EAT: Helotes’ name was derived from the Spanish word meaning “ear of corn”, but there’s a lot more on local menus than just maize. Bobby J’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers, a casual counter-service establishment with cool toppings and cold beer. For fancier fare, put on your Sunday best and head over to the Moss Inn, a quintessentially romantic restaurant with a wine list as long as its history— that opened in 1929. A stop by Gable’s Ice Cream Sliders is a must.


SEE: It may be small—fewer than 10,000 people live there— but Helotes has boomed over the past few decades and boasts a few can’t miss Hill Country sights. The epicenter of Helotes is Old Town, which grew up around the homestead of Arnold Gugger, who built his limestone residence and general store in 1881, both of which are still standing today. Sixty years later, John T. Floore, then the manager of the Majestic Theater in San Antonio, put his name and his money on a venture that might have seemed more than a little out there: he built a honkeytonk on a patch of land way north of town. John T. Floore Country Store has since become an icon, having hosted the likes of Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and Patsy Cline.

But there are also three state parks within easy driving distance: Inks Lake State Park, Longhorn Cavern State Park, and Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. The local favorite for swimming holes is The Slab on the Llano River.

KERRVILLE EAT: At lunchtime, you’ll enjoy the historic ambiance from inside the restored 1890 Weston Building while you enjoy a sandwich or a salad at Francisco’s. When it’s time to wind down, celebrate with a meal and a glass of wine at Grape Juice.

PLAY: With its wide Texas sky, the landscape around Helotes feels never-ending, and especially so with a bird’s eye view. Helotes Hill Country Ziplines gives adventures visitors just this opportunity. If you prefer your feet on the ground, go for a hike or a bike through nearby Government Canyon, a spaghetti bowl of trails more than 40 miles long. After a long day, hop on over to the Helotes Creek Winery for a glass of Blackberry Merlot.

EAT: If you don’t scare too easy, have breakfast or lunch at Grand Central Cafe, which operates out of the actual house where the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre was filmed, which was moved to Kingsland in 1998. SEE: Bluebonnets and wildflowers bloom in Kingsland during the spring months, making it a popular tourist attraction. Just down the road from downtown Kingsland, The Inks Dam National Fish Hatchery and the Nightengale Archaeological Center, which has thousands of artifacts from the area’s earlier inhabitants. PLAY: If you’re looking to hit the links, Kingsland boasts two top-tier golf courses. For a town with such a rural backdrop, Uvalde has born an impressive number of notable Texans including Matthew McConaughey and Dale Evans. They even have something resembling a walk of fame — plaques lining the outside of downtown’s Janey Slaughter Briscoe Grand Opera House. Nicknamed the Crossroads of America, because of its proximity to two of the longest highways in America, it could also be said that Uvalde’s identity is at a crossroads— somewhere between Old West and 20th century. EAT: Start your day off with a full breakfast at Sunrise Cafe on Main Street. For lunch on the go, swing by Live Oak Drive Thru for Tex-Mex that’s as quick as it is tasty. Later, if you’re in the mood for ‘cue, meet your meat craving at Evett’s.

KINGSLAND On the shores of Lake LBJ, the tiny town of Kingsland is the ideal getaway for water sport enthusiasts or those who want to kick back in a rocking chair and take in the lake views.


SEE: Kerrville plays host to a variety of annual events and activities that are perfect for the whole family. See some of Kerrville’s finest homes on the Tour of Homes by Comanche Trace (www.comanchetrace. com/tour-of-homes or see Page 36 for info). There’s also plenty of shopping—whether you’re looking for hidden treasures in a twostory antique shop or for something that will channel your inner Will Rodgers. Pay a visit to The Museum of Western Art at 1550 Bandera Highway. It’s an opportunity to relive Western heritage through great Western art. Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. PLAY: Being built on the banks of the Guadalupe River is just one of the many things that makes Kerrville a unique destination. If you’re planning on exploring by boat, stop by Kerrville Kayak and Canoe to rent gear.

42 house& home | June 2016 |

SEE: Experience the uniqueness of Uvalde's town square on Four Square Fridays… . Uvalde has a bevy of museums worth browsing. Collected by former Governor and Mrs. Dolph Briscoe, the Briscoe Art and Antique Collection has everything from western oils to bronzes, and includes works by Rembrandt, Gainsborough, Remington, Warren, Wood, and Salinas. Housed in an original Garner Army Air Field hanger, the Aviation Museum at Garner Field is dedicated to preserving local and regional aviation history. PLAY: Garner State Park is ideal for families looking to spend the day tubing, swimming or fishing and also for passionate bird watchers on the look out for large flocks of wild turkeys, fleet-footed roadrunners, and rare golden-cheeked warblers, which make their nest in the Hill Country.

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uilt of carved Leuders limestone, rough-hewn cypress, and stucco, the hill country home rises on a lofty incline overlooking the Comanche Trace, south of Kerrville.

This is the long-awaited dream house for builder Mike Stavinoha (Stavinoha Custom Homes) and his wife, Stacy, a Century 21 real estate agent. The couple built the house in 2013.

“It’s a place of peace and natural beauty. You feel like you are outside, even when you are inside,” Stacy Stavinoha says. Built on three quarters of an acre, the single story house is composed of natural materials so it blends with the exterior

Two walls of floor-to-ceiling windows frame a sweeping view of the pastoral hill country, the wide, blue Texas sky, and to the southeast, a verdant private golf course. Stavinoha designed the house himself and sited the structure to create a panoramic vista in every room.

landscape and reflects the beauty of the hill country. “This is our oasis. It is quiet and we see all types of wildlife: blackbuck antelope, axis and white tail deer, red fox, and all kinds of birds,” she adds. At the end of a slate stone sidewalk is a broad front porch

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Almost every room in the home enjoys a panaromic view of the countryside.

that welcomes visitors. Abundant natural light fills the open concept living space with its 12-foot ceilings. A wall-size stone fireplace anchors the central area, and a woven Turkish rug brings in vibrant colors: orange, blue and brown. The structure contains 3,700 square feet of living space, including a master suite with an exercise room and two guest bedrooms with their own spa baths joined with a private den. The master bath is lined in earth-colored Travertine marble and features his and her walk-in closets, a walk-in shower and a garden tub. A laundry room is attached to the master closet. Kitchen cabinets are made from rifted white oak.

Stacy Stavinoha says her favorite spot is here on the enclosed porch that features a stone fireplace -- perfect for chilly evenings. 46 house& home | June 2016 |





Stavinoha Homes is committed to crafting quality homes that complement our client’s lifestyles and provide a true value for their investment


The master suite also enjoys access to the outdoors.

Mike Stavinoha has a large home office with built-in shelves, and a wide view of the golf course. The décor is contemporary country and was created with assistance from interior designer Eileen Phillips. To give the house a serene, contemporary look, the Stavinohas chose light maple wood floors throughout and painted interior walls in soft grays and browns. The interior four-panel doors are made of alder. “Our kitchen is a cook’s dream with its oversized island, Thermador professional appliances, a large porcelain sink, and

beautiful rifted white oak cabinetry,” Stacy Stavinoha says. The kitchen counters are made of a granite called crème of valentine. One of Stacy Stavinoha’s favorite places in the house is the back patio with its outdoor stone fireplace, cypress flooring and private garden. “It’s the most comfortable place you can imagine and perfect for entertaining,” she says. Exterior landscaping is the natural countryside – beautiful, easy to maintain, and best for water conservation.

Comanche Trace is the remnant of an ancient Native American trail used by Apache, Comanche and Kiowa tribes who hunted in the region. Dart points, arrow points, fist axes, knives, scrapers and other tools made by early native tribes are found throughout the county. Other remnants left by the early residents of the area are burned rock mounds.

48 house& home | June 2016 |

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This house, which was featured on the recent Heights Home Tour, is at the front of the Germantown Historic District.

CRAFTSMAN-FOURSQUARE STYLES CONVERGE WITH MOROCCAN FLAIR IN THIS HEIGHTS HOME By Barbara Canetti • Photography by Doria Rosa Restoring an old house is sometimes complicated and not a black and white issue. Unless you are Laura and Dan Lensgraf –- then it is black, white and gray. Their 1919 home, adjacent to the Woodland Heights, is considered the gateway to Germantown Historic District, a small 100year-old wedge of a subdivision facing Woodland Park on Houston Avenue. The Lensgraf’s home was featured on the 2016 Woodland Heights Home Tour. The 3,375-square-foot house is an interesting mix of American Four Square and Craftsman styles, according to Gilbert Perez, of Bungalow Revival in the Heights. 54 house& home | June 2016 |

Craftsman styles are usually one story with large, broad front porches, but this two-story house also has the Four Square window arrangement. Perez has been restoring Heights-area houses for the past decade and has had his work featured almost every year on local home tour itineraries. This house was one of his favorite restorations. “This house was a bit perplexing. It has the windows of a Four Square but so many details of a Craftsman. It is truly a mixture of styles,” he says. The large entertainment sections of the house –- all of the first

Broad front porches are a hallmark of the craftsman style; the screened-in porch, below, is a signature touch of Bungalow Revival.


The light-filled dining room and adjoining living area, along with the kitchen below, features original loblolly pine floors.

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The bed’s headboard in the master suite is a re-purposed antique shutter, giving the new space a sense of history.

floor –- are bathed in natural light, although the large, original windows are semi-covered in black plantation-style shutters. The walls offer soft gray tones, but the ceilings are painted a dark brown, and the original floors are all loblolly pine, stained dark. Some of the walls have been Sheetrocked, but many are original shiplap wood. The light bounces off the walls and creates a glow in the rooms. Three glass doors line the dining room, which when opened onto the wrap around porch, create a huge space versatile enough for entertaining. Perez carved a large black and white kitchen where the living room once was, and added a butler’s pantry/wine room between the kitchen and dining room. The style of the kitchen is modern and industrial, yet it fits in perfectly with the old style of the house. An oversized island in the middle of the kitchen, made from a workbench covered by a half-inch slab of glass was the show stopper during the home tour, says Laura Lensgraf. “This is totally unique. Gilbert created it and we just love it,” she says. A back splash behind the stove is made from bricks from an The sitting room located off of the master bedroom. 58 house& home | June 2016 |


The bathroom is newly added space.

The black furniture-style vanities standout in this crisp space.

interior chimney. The bricks are imprinted with “Houston” on them and Laura found a lone brick at an antique store that says “Texas” and added it to the design wall for effect. One of the more interesting finds in the attic was sections of an arch, which, when reconstructed by Perez, fit perfectly between the living room and dining room. “It was like putting together a puzzle,” says Lensgraf. The arch 60 house& home | June 2016 |

added such an interesting dimension to the room that Perez duplicated it three more times: into the pantry area, then the kitchen and finally into a library/TV room, where the original kitchen once was. The divided staircase to the second floor is accessed either from the living room or from the library/TV room in the rear of the house. Large bookcases line one wall in the library, with colorful book bindings organized by colors fill the shelves. Bold oversized modern art, many by local artists, give the gray tone walls color and texture. The second floor of the house is all bedrooms and baths. Each of the secondary bedrooms has four windows, dark floors and black doors. They are furnished with furniture, which has been in the family for generations. But it is the master bedroom that is so inviting. Part of the bedroom was added on when the 260-square-foot screened-in porch below was created. From that additional space, a luxuriously bathroom was added with a walk-in shower and a claw foot tub. A small “quiet corner” was also incorporated in the room. The rustic headboard actually was the shutter from the original

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The attic space, in part, became a bedroom.

front door, and had come to the original owners from the Rice Hotel. In the hallway, Perez had a little fun. First, he reproduced the design on the small telephone nook, which looked to be Moroccan style. He used that design to enhance the hallway and add a bit of flair to the entrance of the bedroom. Also in the hallway, he built a functional-looking cabinet which actually hid the air conditioning ductwork, which came down from above. “I didn’t want to see the ductwork. This is the only place it would have been seen, but it is hidden in the cabinet,” Perez says. Another staircase leads up to the attic. This space, which is really large, was not used at all except as a dark storage area. But Perez worked with the Lensgrafs to create a functional media room, art studio and pool table area after he reconfigured the ceiling, leaving exposed rafters and painting them white. He added another small bathroom as well. “We looked at this and saw all this extra space and thought ‘why don’t we capture it,’” Perez says. “We were able to insulate the area and add the windows and increase the floor space.” One other addition to the house was a large screened in porch behind the kitchen. A fireplace monopolizes one wall, but the room adds to the entertainment space of the house. A ”cocktail”

62 house& home | June 2016 |

pool and outdoor kitchen rounds out the corner lot. Perez also added a two-car garage with an upstairs apartment, but stayed loyal to the architecture of the existing house. The garage, although hidden behind the house, looks as if it was part of the original construction. The restoration of this house was a team effort, Laura Lensgraf explains. “We just trusted Gilbert. As we uncovered ideas, we realized we could change our designs and see the possibilities. We had an original design, but it changed.” she says. Perez says homeowners and their contractors have to be flexible. “Things can look great on paper, but once you are in the space, you see potential for changes. You don’t realize there’s a window there or you may need additional light in that corner,” he says. “Plans evolve.” Once outside, the Lensgrafs continued the black and white décor: the gardens are filled with gardenias, crepe myrtles, roses, jasmine and azaleas. And they are all white. “We met family members who grew up here. They said there was always a lot of happiness and laughter,” Laura Lensgraf says. “We think there is good energy in this house.”




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Designer Lauren Haskett enhanced the window by adding molding and softening the look with drapes.

GLOBAL ACCENTS PATTERNED FABRICS PUNCTUATE A PEACEFUL RETREAT By Sandra Cook • Photography by Max Burkhalter When a couple approached designer Lauren Haskett of Lauren Haskett Fine Design to create a serene master bedroom for their home in West University, Haskett found inspiration in artful textiles. “The clients wanted the bedroom to feel lighter,” says Haskett, who studied Interior Design and Art History at the University of Oklahoma. While Haskett was shopping for decorative elements for her clients in Dallas, she spotted a very special piece of fabric, a stunning suzani, which is framed and hung above the bed. A suzani is a Persian fabric traditionally created to show off the artisan’s intricate needlework talents.

64 house& home | June 2016 |

“The clients owned the bed, nightstand and bone-inlay chest, so the look developed into a ‘soft global’ theme,” says Haskett. “I chose grass cloth for the walls in a small pinstripe and opted for various patterned fabrics inspired by the suzani.” She explains that her clients wanted to keep the existing shutters, so Haskett enhanced the window by adding molding and softened the look with drapes. “I selected a print fabric by Carolina Irving for the trim on drapes, which accents the offwhite fabric for calming, peaceful look, but with a touch of color,” she adds.

The framed suzani fabric print, along with the inlaid furniture piece and accessories, helped to set the global mood throughout the room.

The blue-patterned bolster pillow on the bed complements the room’s cub chairs.

RESOURCES Interior Design — LAUREN HASKETT FINE DESIGNS, www.laurenhaskett Miscellaneous Accessories, Vintage table in between two chairs — MEMORIAL ANTIQUES & INTERIORS Vases, tray on bone inlay chest; Jewelry box on nightstands — WEST ELM Throw pillows on tufted chairs — KUHL LINSCOMB Drapery and custom pillow fabrication — L'ATELIER, THE WORKSHOP King Coverlet & Throw — KUHL LINSCOMB Book collage — NATURAL CURIOSITIES, Fabrics — CAROLINA IRVING, A blend of neutrals and patterns conveys an exciting look.

The clients asked for a spot in the bedroom to sit and work on her book, so Haskett placed a vintage bamboo table and a pair of club chairs opposite the bed. The spot serves as a relaxation and writing area for the client, who is writing a book. Haskett selected a soothing green fabric for the two chairs, which feature blue accent pillows. She found a unique collage made from antiqued book pages and hung it behind the seating area. The resulting blend of neutrals and patterns is a timeless and comfortable space that is both intriguing and relaxing for the homeowners.

DESIGN TIPS FROM LAUREN 1. Don’t be afraid to mix and match. You don’t have to match every single thing. Go for different designers and patterns. 2. Grass cloth on the walls adds so much dimension to a bedroom – you just can’t get that from paint. 3. Give windows special panache by placing drapery rods two inches below the crown molding and let them extend eight to 12 inches beyond the width of the window. 4. When you have the space, include a seating area in a bedroom to add a relaxation spot to the room, even if it’s just one comfy chair. 5. Try to incorporate something old in every room, such as a vintage table. You don’t want everything to be all new. Older pieces lend a sense of history. 6. Don’t forget accessories. Existing bookshelves can be bland, so fill them with objects that you love, and they’ll become beautiful accents

66 house& home | June 2016 |

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Hooray for the special guy. Happy Father’s Day. This year, let’s skip the belt or tie and get him something he will enjoy. Dads love to grill. They love to cook outside and play with fire. Here’s one way to prepare a whole chicken, and have it come out perfect every time: cooked just right on the outside, and juicy on the inside. It’s a Texas Fowl Mouth, created by Texas Pit Crafters ( This stainless steel stand can be used on any fowl on the BBQ grill or in the oven. Fill the can with beer, wine or another liquid, place the chicken on top of the can and then cook. Easy. And affordable at $24.95 Ever wonder which way the wind is blowing? Check out one of these Good Directions Weathervanes to show Dad the way. The rooftop sculptures, which stand 4-feet-high, are made of copper and brass, which develop attractive patinas over time. $349 Tom’s Thumb Nursery, 2014 45th St., Galveston, TX. 409-763-4713 Practice makes perfect. Perhaps Dad is spending too much time on the golf course, and all he really wants to do is practice his shots. Why not get him his own synthetic turf putting green? It is a 900-square-foot turf, plus chipping and lawn areas. Installed by Green Links Inc. and prices vary. 713-9329997. Carry it. And when he wants to take a little nip of his favorite beverage, why not give him a flask to carry it in. The stainless steel flasks made by Concord and Maxam, come in a variety of sizes, ranging from 6 ounces to 1 gallon. Smart, sleek, and some will even fit discretely in his pocket. or any Spec’s Liquor Store. From $7- $30. Help Dad keep all his stuff together. A handmade 100 percent leather valet, made by a Houston artist, will be the perfect place for tossing keys, change, cell phones, wallets. They all can be in one place for easy access. Available in 20 concho selections, 15 various brands, and comes in brown, black and red. 7 x 6 x 1 inches. $38 Info: or call 713-785-1215. Cherishing time with “Man’s Best Friend.” How about a leash for his dog that can easily convert to one used for either control or a leisurely walk. The light-weight nylon leash is attached to a slip collar. When control is needed, the leash can be lifted and used – in two different lengths, depending on the situation. A 22-inch leash which fits most medium to large dogs is $21. A 27-inch leash for larger breeds is $22. Extensions are available, if needed. 68 house& home | June 2016 |


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Any day now the weather deities will crank up the heat on Southeast Texas, which will leave the majority of Houstonians searching for a way to cool off. Nothing says cool quite like a pool, but it takes more than just water to outfit your outdoor space. We’ve scoured the streets for the coolest poolside finds in the Bayou City and beyond.


-Giant Flamingo Pool Float, $48 Paddle aside, inflatable swan. There’s a new blow up animal in town— the Pink Flamingo. Urban Outfitters,



-Wild Ride Slide, from $1,892.99 Add a slope to your swimming pool to take it to the next level. The Wild Ride Slide’s ‘Zoom Flume’ lets out a gush of water to grease the track, bringing the thrill of a waterpark right into your backyard. Blue Haven Pools, -MerFin, $89.98 Ever since Disney’s The Little Mermaid was released, it’s become the summertime wish of lots of little girls to swim like Ariel. This amazing mono-fin lets this dream become more of a reality. Made of recycled rubber, the MerFin is flexible enough to let kids move like a fish in the ocean. HearthSong,


-Ledge Lounger Instead of dashing for the lounge chairs flanking your swimming pool, why not set up camp in the shallow end? The hottest poolside seating to hit the market in recent years, Ledge Loungers feature a sleek, modern design that holds up in or out of the water. Custom Design Pools, -Clair Barstool Outdoor living doesn’t mean you have to check fashion at the patio door. These understated metal barstools are a sleek option for seating behind the bar. K&D Houston, ABOVE: Ledge Lounger. BELOW: Kamp & Co. Torrey Beach Towel.


-Metal ‘Pool’ Sign, $29 To point visitors to the pool, sometimes a little signage is in order. Painted a vibrant shade of aqua, these charming cursive letters show a hint of their metal patina underneath. Haggards Rustic Goods, -Kamp & Co. Torrey Beach Towel, $138 Designed with style and sturdiness in mind, these Turkish terrycloth beach towels will stand up to months of backyard adventures. Anthropologie, 70 house& home | June 2016 |

-Newport Hanging Chair Bring an island vibe to your poolside hangout in meticulously handwoven hanging chairs by Yellow Leaf Hammocks. Yellow Leaf Hammocks,


-Outdoor Bar, $484 Handcrafted in Texas, this outdoor bar will bring a little bit of shabby and a whole lot of chic to your open-air eatery. The rustic grain of its weathered barn wood is lightly sanded to give it a farmhouse appeal that will last for many hot summers to come. Haggards Rustic Goods, -Salus Outdoor Kitchen Sink by Stone Forest Carved from blocks of black granite, the Salus Outdoor Kitchen sink is designed to withstand the elements while fitting seamlessly into the most cosmopolitan outdoor kitchen. Westheimer Plumbing & Hardware,


-FireDisc 36 inch HR, $399.99 What’s an al fresco fiesta without a bit of grilling? Instead of being stuck in the outdoor kitchen, you’re free to join the party with this FireDisc Grill, a portable option that doesn't skimp on sizzle. FireDisc Grills, -PM800S, $8,495 If the guest list of your poolside party includes Houston’s hungriest and a persnickety grill master, portable just won’t cut it. With over 1,100 square inches of cooking surface on its pit side, this high end hybrid grill features a stainless steel barbecue pit, smoker, and a three-burner gas grill to feed appetites as stout as the Houston Texans. Texas Pit Crafters, -Napoli Pizza Oven and Cart by Lynx Cooking a pizza outside might sound like a culinary catastrophe waiting to happen, but not with the Napoli Pizza Oven by Lynx. This gas-powered powerhouse comes portable, but can easily be built-in to add a zesty punch to any outdoor kitchen. Morrison Supply Company,

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-Daiquiri Whacker, $365 Both a conversation piece and a convenience the gas-powered Daiquiri Whacker is taking blenders on the go. Powerful enough to whip up a batch of your famous margaritas, it’s also easy to operate and built to last for summers to come. Texas Pit Crafters, -Yeti Cooler There’s no way to play it cool when your beverages are warm. And, with skyrocketing Texas temperatures, Houstonians will need something a little tougher than the average icebox. 71

The creme-de-la-creme comes courtesy of Austin-based brand, Yeti Coolers. C&D Hardware and Gifts, -Dante Fire Pit, $1,309 Even in the heat of summer, fire pits give an edge to poolside living. With its square concrete facade, the Dante Fire Pit is both functional and modern with a centerpiece of black glass rock shards. K&D Home and Design,


Dante Fire Pit

-Kosmos Umbrella When poolside in Houston, throwing shade becomes a necessity, and with portable poolside cabanas, it’s not like you have to make a huge space commitment. The Kosmos Umbrella creates a cool, relaxing space where you can take a break from the rays. Janus Et Cie, -Shade Pod If you’re not in the mood for an afternoon dip, Tuuci’s Vineyard Shade Pod will take your backyard from sweltering to shady. Supported by a single mast to offer the maximum amount of coverage, buyers can choose from different sizes— one to four canopies— to accommodate any size pool party. Tucci, -Geodome Playhouse, $199.99 Pop up a shady space for the kids to call their own. This pintsize mod retreat is as roomy as it is angular. Land Of Nod,

Napoli Pizza Oven

-Shoreline Adirondack Chair, $367.00 Setting up a weekend poolside cabana means you’ll need seating that isn’t hard to move. Crafted from recyclable materials, Breezesta’s line of Poly Outdoor Furniture mimics the look of a classic Adirondack chair. Haggards Rustic Goods, -Designer Series Solar Stake Lantern, $26.99 To keep your pool party going after dark, means choosing efficient light fixtures that don’t skimp on style. Enter, the Designer Series Solar Stake Lantern, a clean and classy backyard light that’s also conveniently automated to switch itself on at dusk. If style weren’t enough, these mobile fixtures are self-sufficient, collecting energy all day long even when its cloudy to emit a steady, soft glow all through the night. Blue Haven Pools,

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The vertical space in the garden is a hidden gem until discovered. And once discovered, you will become a Vinomaniac — defined as a person planting vines everywhere. (It does not refer to your love of wine but, heck, grapes are a vine too!) As a Tendril Twirler, you will be filling your garden airspace utilizing a small “root-print” of soil that nurtures the aboveground green mass. With most of the plant growing in midair, vines free up the ground space to add more companion plants around and near the base. Vines are climbers by nature, and they attach themselves — use of tendrils, clasping leaf stems, or sucker disc feet — to supports by either twining clockwise or counter clockwise. Knowing how plants climb help us determine the best form of support to provide to the plant. Gardening is about being creative, a wonderful time to nurture nature and grow your green spirit. Using vines to accent your airspace or to complement a wall is fun and creative. Whether you want to grow vines in the ground or in a beautiful decorative container — or both, the following questions will help you choose the right vine for the right space. 74 house& home

| June 2016 |

SELECT THE RIGHT VINE FOR THE RIGHT SPACE BY ANSWERING THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS: -Will you plant in the ground or in a container? (large vs. small) -Do you receive six hours of direct sun or less? (flowering plants need 6 sun hours) -Do you want flowers or decorative foliage? -Is evergreen more important? (covering an arbor for summer sun protection) -Do you want fragrance? (always or whenever possible)

LARGE-GROWING, FLOWERING, EVERGREEN VINES FOR SUNNY SPACES . . . Six-plus hours or more in June, July, and August. • Bignonia capreolata — Cross Vine ‘Tangerine Beauty,’ ‘Helen Friedl’ produces vibrant, deep-orange tubular flowers that attract hummingbirds and humans. Evergreen foliage is dark green and glossy, and shades arbors, swings, and pergolas very quickly.

• Quisqualis indica –- Rangoon Creeper can freeze with severe winter temperature drops but returns. Clusters of flowers start out red, fade to pink, then white and has a musky, odiferous scent. Climbs using large hooks on the stems. • Podranea ricosoliana – St. Johns Creeper is the pink flower, summer blooming cousin to the cross vine, if orange is too hot for your tastes.

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SMALL TO MEDIUM EVERGREEN VINES . . . Perform with six hours of direct sun and are easily maintained on a 6-foot fan trellis. • Bauhinia yunnanensis has exotic, hoof-shaped leaves with quarter sized purple flowers produced all summer long. • Mascagnia macroptera – Butterfly Vine produces clusters of yellow flowers most of the year, followed by a butterfly shaped seed pod, a great vine. • Solanum jasminoides variegata – Variegated Potato Vine has green and yellow

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SMALL EVERGREEN VINES FOR SHADE . . . Need minimal or no direct sun but do need good airflow to prevent insect pests. • Clerodendrum thomsoniae – Bleeding Heart has a white calyx with the red flowers and can bloom three times per year. Shear the plant to a desired shape after blooming in preparation for the next bloom. • Manettia inflata – Candy Corn Vine is the cutest little twiner that will grow up yaupon, or on a fan trellis. The orange and yellow flowers look just like Candy Corn flanked by medium green thick glossy leaves.

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DECIDUOUS VINES . . . Vines that go dormant every winter or loses leaves on woody stems. • Antiginon leptopus – Coral vine is fast growing, produces long clusters of pink or white flowers, plant both together for added interest. • Lonicera sempervirens – Native coral honeysuckle will attract hummingbirds to your garden when the orange tubular flowers appear. • Wisteria is a large woody vine that produces clusters of fragrant flowers in the spring, great to provide summer shade and winter sun on pergolas.

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soils to promote healthy roots during the winter, also benefitting from the alkalinity of the cement or limestone. • Strophanthus gratus is a tropical woody liana from Central and South Africa; produces sweetly scented flowers throughout the summer. • Clerodendrum splendens ‘Delectum’ is a winter-throughspring bloomer with red flowers and lavender calyx and dark green waffled foliage. • Solandra sp. -– Chalice Vine or Cup of Gold originates in Central Mexico and grows very erect and upright; it doesn’t bend or twine and uses surrounding vegetation for support. Produces large, cupshaped yellow flowers with the sweet fragrance of coconut.

CONTAINER VINES . . . Mandevillea ‘Alicedu Pont’ H & G

• Akebia – Chocolate Vine is a woody twiner with interesting five leaflet leaves with the clusters of purple flowers reminiscent of chocolate.

FAST GROWING FLOWERING SUMMER VINES FROM SEED . . . — Fast and fun germination (sprouting) occurs within a week once the seed has been soaked in warm water overnight — or until seed swells). • Dolichos lab lab — Hyacinth Bean produces purple flowers and purple seed pods. • Ipomoea alba –- Moonflower produces four- to six-inch white flowers that open at dusk, bloom with fragrance all night, and close at dawn. • Ipomoea quamoclit — Cypress Vine has ferny foliage with starshaped, red tubular flowers that attract hummers. • Thunbergia alata – Clock Vine or Black Eyed Susan Vine twines its way to the sun producing yellow/orange or pink shades with a black eye zone. • Gourds are fast growing in summer and produce many uniquely shaped gourd fruits.

SUMMER BLOOMING TROPICAL VINES • Mandevilla ‘Alice du Pont’ produces long red radish type tubers and re-sprouts every year as long as tubers don’t rot. • Bougainvillea should be grown in limestone-laced or rocky

Require an armature or form to climb on, such as an obelisk, fan trellis, or some creative bamboo structure you have crafted yourself. Just remember, you need to get a small vine to keep in a small space and don’t think you can prune a large vine to live in a small space as you will be cutting off all the flowers to do so.

PLANTING YOUR VINE . . . After you have selected your vine, you will take it home and plant it. The planting process is easy, but the icing on the cake is to remove the vine from the wooden trellis or bamboo teepee and separate all the “leaders” so you have the option to rewrap it and train it onto the new climbing support. If it is too tangled and you are short on patience, you can remove 50 percent of the growth, then separate. I always trim (remove) about one-third of the leaders to activate the swelling of new buds that send new shoots to find the structure to climb. If the vine is flowering, prune the little leaders that are never really going to make a good, strong grower.

COMBINATION PLANTINGS . . . Planting two vines together can be beautiful or disastrous, so choose two vines that die down to the ground together, or two annual vines, or two vines that are evergreen and have same growth rate, as a faster growing vine will outgrow and smother the other. So have fun, be creative, and go vertical!

Linda B. Gay is a horticulturist and gardener at The Arbor Gate Nursery in Tomball, TX (, 15635 FM 2920, 281- 746-6320, Dynamic Hours Sunday to Wednesday 9-5, and Thursday to Saturday 9-6. 76 house& home

| June 2016 |

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The Houston SPCA, 900 Portway Drive, is open seven days a week, Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., to make choosing the adoption option as easy as possible!

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Open to the Public • Trade Welcome Serving Southwest Houston & Fort Bend County

11925 Southwest Fwy. #2 • 281.879.6300

Free On-site Estimates

281.397.8703 81

82 house& home | June 2016 |




SMALL JOBS & REPAIRS Kitchen & Bathroom Remodeling Room Additions Patio Covers & Enclosure Replacement Windows

Siding & Repairs Flooring • Wood • Tile • Carpeting Plumbing & Electrical Repairs Painting & Repairs

Insurance Claims

For Prompt Professional Service •

281-392-9111 Frederick Cilurso 83

0616 houhousehome vir  

The Complete Resource Magazine For Your Home

0616 houhousehome vir  

The Complete Resource Magazine For Your Home