This house for a couple and three children in a traditional residential neighborhood in Houston, Texas is a contemporary version of the English country house. The owners were very specific about wanting an English house that would accommodate their various interests. The herringbone brick pattern, half-timber framing and Chippendale wrought ironwork all project a coherent style. Three telescoping gables complete the classical asymmetrical façade.
The parti and front elevation both hint of the complexity of the house in three dimensions. The plan is basically a core with flanking wings, breezeway and terraces that connote both ‘nouvelle English’ crispness and sprawl at the same time. The house’s rambling roofs and brick-on-brick details which connect this suburban house in its wooded setting to the English houses it is fashioned after.
Many custom touches include honed stone-like tile floors, elegant tile counters and kitchen splash, arched openings throughout the family area, and the cool neutral paint colors harmonize the homes’ interior with its exterior design concept. The all-brick three-car garage with studio apartment above is connected to the house with an arched brick breezeway. An aviary with wrought iron railing overlooks the vegetable and herb gardens surrounding a lily pond. A raised concrete pier and treated wood foundation resists Houston’s unstable clay soil. With its organized spatial complexity, its fine exterior brick details, its colorful finishes and well-proportioned interior moldings, the owners and architect of this unique residence have created a very special personal setting in which to enjoy family life.