Projects & Improvements

Before and After: 50 Years Later, This Houston Home Is The Perfect Blend of Goop and ‘Mad Men’

published Jul 11, 2019
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If you’re looking for a home that, somehow, brilliantly blends the best of Gwyneth’s sensibilities with Sterling Cooper-era design, do I have a home for you: This three-bedroom, three-bathroom home in Houston’s Museum District. Built in 1968 and designed by architect Herb Paseur for his personal residence, it has been updated to include modern amenities but maintains its original design. (For perspective, no one knows who designed my apartment and no one cares. Updated amenities include an anxious schnauzer across the hall.)

This is what it looked like when it was first built:

And here’s what it looks like now. As you can see, it’s a mid-century modern treasure a certain type of impeccable person with a keen sense of sophistication and pragmatism would inhabit. (I imagine this person owns $900 mules by an obscure designer, savors microgreens prepared by a private chef, and employs high-end creams for every inch of their elegant frame.)

As you pull up the drive, the sleek structure of brick, wood, and floor-to-ceiling windows greets you. A courtyard with a private lily pond provides plenty of outdoor space for cocktail parties celebrating your most recent accolade, perhaps an acclaimed artistic creation or groundbreaking scientific discovery. 

Inside the home, warm square tiles line the floor, and wood-paneled walls make their triumphant comeback. Floor-to-ceiling brickwork complements the floating staircase that ascends to the second floor. A crisp, spacious living room boasts serene views of the outdoors. Nearby, a dining space fit for the bimonthly meetings of the Trendiest People On Earth Society awaits enthralling conversation from the region’s most captivating minds.

Those microgreens are prepared in a renovated kitchen with granite countertops and all the modern conveniences for the resident who appreciates design but won’t sacrifice contemporary luxury. 

The master bedroom and en suite bath offer bright alternatives to the home’s warmer, darker common spaces. Dual sinks and a soaking tub inhabit the bathroom where you’ll apply $65 lipstick and listen to a podcast on international finance which you totally comprehend because you’re both stunningly beautiful AND a genius!

Built-in bookshelves adjoin the workspace that overlooks the courtyard. Write the next chapter of your deftly humorous and insightful memoir while gazing at your lily pond from time to time. Step away from your brilliant thoughts to unwind in the home’s screened-in porch, with plenty of skylights to appreciate the outdoors without unnecessary exposure. 

At $1.39 million, the closest I’ll ever get to this property is the parking lot of a nearby museum. But I’ll always cherish the memories of poring over the images of this mid-century modern dream, where for just a few moments I, too, was the coolest gal in town.

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