A new house in River Oaks representing the English townhouse vernacular shows that a historically correct structure can be as livable as it is distinguished. The Palladian central hall plan was employed to seamlessly connect the formal and informal rooms with 8-foot cased openings with divided-lite glass transoms. The illusion of age is owed to the generous use of clear sealed American cherry raised paneling, richly stained wide-plank walnut flooring and antique brass hardware and light fixtures. It is against this warm patina that the owner’s American furnishings, both family heirlooms and newly acquired, are tastefully composed.
From the exterior, the house is nestled behind an established oak tree on a lot rather narrow for the area. The architecturally appropriate exterior materials include the use of: Cushwa brick in a Flemish bond with grapevine tooling; smooth, buff cast stone and gray slate roof from Spain. Unusual in terms of the immense scale of many of today’s new homes, the intentional use of modest 10-foot and 9-foot ceilings on the first and second floor, respectively, contributes to the sense that the house could have been built a century before.
L. Barry Davidson Architects was the architect and interior designer on this house, completed in January 2013.