NEW KID ON THE BLOCK
Contemporary House Joins the Neighborhood in Historic Riverside Terrace
Article by Barbara Canetti Photography by Ben Hill
This house in the Riverside Terrace neighborhood stands out. Among the many colonials, mid-century moderns and traditional homes is a new kid in town: A contemporary one-story structure with lots of windows and angular rooflines that defy gravity.
Dave Marshak and Pat Ward left their two-story home in Old Braeswood and teamed up with James M Evans of Collaborative Designworks to come up with a 3,500-square-foot wood/stucco house on a large corner lot that is very different from its neighbors. It replaces a dilapidated structure that was a neighborhood blight and adds a different feature to this residential community near the Texas Medical Center.
FROM THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
The exterior, a combination of durable golden-brown Siberian latch wood coupled with white stucco walls and accented with brown brick screening walls, was designed with many windows to allow for lots of natural light inside. The interiors are almost all white, Sherwin-Williams’ “Extra White,” as is the concrete floor created by Texas Concrete Effects with shards of blue, green and amber glass embedded, grinded and then polished and sealed, creating a whimsical yet sophisticated look throughout the house. Only the living room has a different floor. It is covered in the wood matching the house’s exterior.
The living room, which is almost a flow-through room connecting the kitchen with the master suite, is lined on both sides with three sets of 9-foot-tall sliding doors. The front set of doors reveals a small private deck facing the street and enclosed with the decorative brick. The back wall of the living room opens onto the yard and large pool, along with the Marshak’s garden (and an outdoor kitchen in the future).
The living room is furnished only with a couch, two chairs and a family heirloom: A walnut-colored harvest table located under the television. The table, Marshak says, belonged to his mother and it “was the centerpiece” of her house in La Jolla, Calif.
“It was already quite old when my parents bought it in Philadelphia about 60 years ago, and we recently refinished it here,” he says. “It now has leaves folded down, as it would during storage. During harvest time, when there were extra people to feed, it would have been opened up and used. Replicas of these tables have recently become popular, but this is the real thing.”
The kitchen is an open-air room, with sleek book-matched walnut cabinets from Stonewood Studios and a long Silestone (“Zeus” white matte) work surface facing the dining area and living room.
“Pat and I enjoy cooking, and now there is plenty of room for us to do that at the same time. Even when guests congregate in the kitchen, they are out of the way, thanks to the peninsula design of the countertop,” he says. Additional seating is available at the counter, as well as at a small breakfast niche in front of windows in the kitchen.
The house was designed in three sections: The master suite, the public area and a two-bedroom guest wing with its own lounge and bathroom.
“They wanted something separate from their room to give their guests privacy,” Evans says, explaining the grand plan of the house. The well-lit lounge in the guest rooms is also home to the Marshak’s orchids, which seem to thrive in the sunny location.
Because of their interest in gardening, in addition to the orchids, the couple had several raised gardens constructed by Rita Hodge of RH Factor Landscape Design in the front and side of the house, as well as in the yard and around the pool. And an attached greenhouse accessible from the back of the house will be filled with seedlings and sprouts this spring.
“One year I bought some tomato plants a little early, and we had an unusually cool spring. As a result, we had to keep the plants in our breakfast area for a while,” Marshak says. “Now that won’t be necessary. We are going to install a grow light and start seedlings in there before putting them into the beds. We may eventually add a pottery studio for Pat in the greenhouse.”
Each of the couple has a private office: Ward’s is in the vestibule in the front of the house off the foyer, while Marshak’s is on the other side of the house near the bedroom and is decorated with an assortment of Japanese prints of colorful fish. The master suite is a relaxing wing with lots of windows and access to the pool.
ROOFLINE & OPENESS
Because of the house’s interesting roofline — it slopes in different directions with large overhangs for shade and to protect the house in inclement weather — the ceilings in each room are different from adjacent rooms.
“The ceiling heights relate to the roof design. Some are slightly sloped and some are higher than others,” Evans says. “It’s a modern and contemporary house, inside and out.”
The house was designed with few obstacles: No door jams or unnecessary hurdles and wide entrances to rooms and closets in the event those requirements become necessary in their future. But for now, the openness is an asset — and another reason why they love their home.
James M Evans, AIA
4415 Woodhead St.
Crestview Homes LLC
Factory Builder Stores
4242 Richmond St.
8700 Fallbrook Drive
Upchurch Kimbrough Co.
7401 Westview Drive
(polishing and finishing)
Texas Concrete Effects
8310 Castleford St.
Vivaldi – The Stone Boutique
8566 Katy Freeway, Suite 124
Commercial door painted “Black Rose Metallic” by Maaco
5250 Gulfton St., Suite 2G
RH Factor Landscape Design
4202 Richmond Ave.
Edgar Brothers Pool Co.
MILLWORK (kitchen cabinets)
Q-motion by Phil Staley Associates Inc.
5320 Gulfton St.
SLIDING GLASS DOORS
8600 Commerce Park Drive
WOOD FLOORING AND SIDING
Stein Wood Products