What to look for in this weekend’s AIA Houston home visit

There is something about a potential client who wants a modest-sized home that catches the imagination of an architect.

Of course, Houston is full of mansions and “McMansions,” but a lot of people are embracing the not-so-tall house movement as well.

Some good examples of such homes will be on this weekend’s AIA Houston Home Tour. In 2020, the group hosted a virtual “At Home With Architects” event instead of an in-person home visit.

Architect James Evans of Collaborative design work will have two projects on tour, including one he designed for a friend he has known since his days as a student at Rice University. Another is a guest house that Natalye Appel and Stéphanie Millet, partners of Natalye Appel + Associate Architects, designed for a longtime customer at Vassar Place near Broadacres.

Other architects with projects on the tour include McIntyre + Robinowitz Architects, CONTENT Architecture, studioMET architects and Inflection architecture. The projects presented were chosen by a jury of architects outside of Houston.

When: 12 pm-6pm 23-24 Oct

Houses and architects: 1323 Vassar, by Natalye Appel + Architectes Associés; 2344 Sunset, by Collaborative Designworks; 4411/4415 Woodhead, by Collaborative Designworks; 3007 Lawrence, by McIntyre + Robinowitz Architects; 1427 Allston, by CONTENU Architecture; 1116 Jackson, by the architects of studioMET; 2325 Tangley, by the architects of studioMET; and 2343 Sheridan, by Inflection Architecture

Tickets: $ 25 in advance ($ 35 per day of visit), $ 15 for children and $ 10 for individual tickets; aiahouston.org


The home Evans designed for Theo and Michelle Mallinson on Sunset Boulevard in Southampton Place is filled with elements inspired by the Mallinson’s overseas positions in Singapore and Malaysia, as well as materials he used in other houses he designed for them. Their home has butterfly-style roofs sloping inward and an unusual floor plan with bedrooms on the first floor and main living areas on the second floor – all inspired by their earlier townhouses.

Theo Mallinson’s love for gardening is evident on every side of the house. A natural wildflower garden sits at the front, with edible gardens behind a fence in the side yard. As the kitchen is on the second floor, there is an herb garden on a balcony easily accessible from a side door.

For Katherine Kohlmeyer, the new guesthouse next to her main house on Vassar Street is an escape where she can relax. In addition, the absorption of the land next door allowed it to tear down the fence between the two properties and have a swimming pool in the courtyard, a garden shed and lush gardens.

Kohlmeyer, who retired in March from his role as CFO at The CapStreet Group private equity firm, has been living in his house since 1989 and in 2013 bought the bungalow next door to make it a guest house and to prevent anyone from chopping down the sprawling oak tree in the backyard.

With the help of Appel and his team, Kohlmeyer completed a few small projects to improve the front and back porches and create more living space on the second floor of his main house. It was finally time to address the aging bungalow next door, so she called out to them again.

It wasn’t that the house was bad or even that it was collapsing. Kohlmeyer just wanted something that could function as a guesthouse and even an entertainment space when the time came for her to party again.

Its 1,100 square foot guesthouse is not connected to the main house and is considerably more modern, but the two structures complement each other so well that there is no doubt that they have only one owner. The guest house has flagstone steps leading up to the porch, which is covered and leads to a greenhouse located at the front of the property. There Kohlmeyer keeps his collection of orchids and large potted plants, such as the bird of paradise and stephanotis.

She also hung a net of crystals – a ‘tearful fisherman’s net’ first designed by Ingo Maurer – from the ceiling, and a spotlight turns on at night and stages a light show for all who pass by. after dark.

Inside, the house has only one bedroom and its full bathroom is full of simple charm. Instead of the wall-mounted vanity with sink common in many modern homes, Kohlmeyer’s interior designer Courtney Blair of Interior design Tokerud + Co, found an easel, tray and sink combination by Kreoo.

The main living room is a large open space with the kitchen facilities distributed in an L-shape, with a James Dawson concrete table and a spacious indoor-outdoor sectional. The best part of the room are the large corner glass doors that open up to make the space feel like an outdoor pavilion.

The soft glow of the paint on the walls is actually a more affordable form of plaster called Permatone, Appel said.

“I like to come with a latte and a book. I am a person who naturally feels like I need to do something all the time. In (the main house), I feel like I always have to do something. When I come here I can just relax, ”said Kohlmeyer, 66.

The Mallinsons’ 4,100-square-foot home features five bedrooms, five full baths and two powder-coated bathrooms to accommodate their family of four – Otto, 15 and Collette, 11 – plus a 16-year-old international student . – old Maria Gisladottir, originally from Iceland.

Theo Mallinson, 48, has always favored modern design, but Michelle, 47, grew up in Maryland in a home filled with Ethan Allen furniture and a traditional Williamsburg influence. After an introduction to modern design and looking at what Evans was building, the Mallinsons were living in two different townhouses he built before moving into their current home in October 2017. This was in the last month of construction around when Hurricane Harvey hit, and although the nearby streets were filled with water, their home was spared.

Evans joked that the floor on the first floor was “poor man’s terrazzo; it is actually the concrete slab with pieces of recycled glass thrown over the top and worked. The first floor has modest sized bedrooms and bathrooms, plus a TV area with a few desks for the kids to do their homework or for Michelle to work from home. Théo has his own office in a small space behind the kitchen.

Evans placed the living room above the garage at the front of the house, so the dining room and kitchen are in the middle, with their own unique setup. An island runs along the back of the dining room to serve buffet meals, with another island – a workspace – in the kitchen.

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