Pages from my sketchbook

Now that Christmas is past I can publish this sketch without ruining any surprises.  The sketch was commissioned by a good friend and Heights resident as a present for her husband, a builder who restored their old bungalow when they were newly married.  Our friendship with this couple and our frequent visits to this bungalow inspired John and I to buy our own bungalow in the Heights 8.5 years ago, so it was with much pleasure that I set out to make this drawing and this gift special.


Merry Christmas!

Wishing you and yours the happiest of Holidays!

"Zoo Lights".  Christmas decoration at the Houston Zoo.  Houston, Texas.



Heights Living: Lights in The Heights

One of the reasons I love living in The Heights is the numerous seasonal festivals, the annual "Lights in The Heights" being my favorite.  The festival, organized by the Woodland Heights Civic Association, started in 1988 as a neighborly gathering with lights, music and cookies, and it has grown to enormous popularity attracting visitors from all corners of Houston.
The neighbors line the streets with paper lanterns.  Lights in The Heights 2016. Woodland Heights, Houston, Texas.

Lights twinkle in the Jasmine covered entrance to a craftsman bungalow in the Woodland Heights. Houston, Texas.

A local band gets everybody in the holiday spirit from the front lawn of a craftsman bungalow in the Woodland Heights.  Houston, Texas.

A 1920's craftsman bungalow dripping with Christmas lights in the Woodland Heights' annual 'Lights in the Heights'.  Houston, Texas.

A private porch party mingles with the public block party in the Woodland Heights.  Houston, Texas.

Bungalows, lights, and revelers at the Norhill Esplanade in the Woodland Heights.  Houston, Texas.



Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you all many blessings on this day of gratitude.


Trick or Treat!

Happy Halloween!


Happy Fall!

I know, I know...I've been neglecting the blog.  A 10,000 sq. ft. residential project and an active toddler will do that to you, but here are some images of one of my favorite buildings in Houston to tide you over, the gorgeously Georgian St. Luke's United Methodist Church, built in 1958, whose annual Pumpkin Patch is a very popular attraction every fall.

Tower of the Winds Corinthian capital.
Ionic column base
Cornice modillions.
The aforementioned toddler.


The Azalea Trail - part 1

Azaleas in bloom.

Azalea is the name of the various flowering shrubs of the Heath family that are in full bloom every March in Houston, Texas.  The River Oaks Garden Club has been hosting a garden pilgrimage to see the azaleas since 1935.

This year was my first attendance and I got to see the Sewall House, a fabulous Spanish Revival house built in 1925 by Boston architect Ralph Adams Cram.  The house interior was influenced by El Greco's house in Toledo, Spain (a museum now) and the traditional houses of Sevilla which combine gardens and terraces with porches and verandas for indoor/outdoor living.

Mudejar style tile in a fountain.

Formal gardens.

Formal gardens.

Formal gardens.

Rose garden.

Formal garden.

Entrance to the house.

The grotto.




Heights Living: Before & After

 Before and After: Master Bathroom in The Heights, Houston.

Recently I was asked by a couple to remodel the master bathroom of their Houston Heights townhouse.  The bathroom was small and dark, poorly planned, and lacking on space to accommodate two people, but the biggest problem was that we couldn't make it any bigger, so my challenge was  to create the illusion of space by carefully arranging the fixtures and fittings.


Floor Plans.  

The homeowners wanted a big shower and a double vanity, so I relocated the toilet, eliminated the bathtub and replaced it with an ample double shower.  The new arrangement gave me just enough space for a double vanity, which was purchased from Restoration Hardware.  To give the illusion of more space I also relocated the door the bathroom directly across from the vanity and replaced the small swing door with a wider barn door that would not obstruct the furniture in the bedroom.  With the barn door open the 5 foot wide bath now feels much more spacious.  To make the bathroom brighter I added two small windows in the shower and made the wall of the shower a glass partition. I trimmed the vanity area with wood paneling for a tailored look and chose white paint and white surfaces to reflect the light coming from the windows.




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