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When doing renovations around Houston, we often get requests from clients all over the city. Once in a while, though, we will get a special request for the kind of home that you cannot find just anywhere in Houston: A home with a view of downtown. In the case of Kelly and Cody, this was exactly what they were looking for. Having grown out of their current, three-story townhome, they were ready for something new to accommodate their growing family. However, as working professionals with ties to downtown, this house would also have to be one with a view.

In order to find and transform the perfect home for Kelly and Cody, we first had to find ways to maximize the sale value of their current three-story townhome. After an initial visit, Mary saw a few items that would have to be prioritized when it came to updating design. The first of those checklist items would be the front garden area as it was the first area seen by potential buyers coming to visit. With HVAC units and gas meters front-and-center, Mary’s first thoughts were to redecorate the space to make it look less like utility housing and more like a small but private garden space. After some light landscaping and creative use of trellises, plants, and other decor, the front walk-up had a whole new look. Next up: the interior.

"After some light landscaping and creative use of trellises, plants, and other decor, the front walk-up had a whole new look."

Inside the house, there was not a tremendous amount of work to do. After a full walkthrough, Mary decided that just a few design updates would make the interior stand out from other houses in the neighborhood and help potential buyers imagine themselves living there. Throughout the whole house, the wooden floors were in rough shape. This could be quickly remedied however, with some sanding and refinishing. With a coat of paint in some areas in need of a touch up, the majority of the big ticket items were done.

On the ground level, there was one bedroom being used as an office. With some readjusting of furniture, Mary chose to keep the room staged as an office, reusing the existing furniture to maximize the look of the space. With a new light fixture, this room had everything it would need! In the stairway leading up to the second floor, some minor repairs to the stair treads were made and then, in order to give the entryway a bit more appeal, Mary used decals on the steps, adding a touch of color and a geometric design that seemed to encourage people to go discover the upstairs.

The second floor of the home was the main living space with a kitchen, dining, and living room. In order to make the kitchen stand out more from the traditional design in the neighborhood, Mary decided to repaint the cabinets and then paint the grout between the white, beveled subway tile backsplash, in order to make the tile stand out more and bring the color palette together. With some new light fixtures and some trendy staging items brought in, the transformation was complete!

In the dining room, the original chandelier was already a beautiful design element so Mary simply brought in some new staging furniture to match the shine coming from the chandelier. Some complementary design pieces were brought in to the living room as well, along with new lighting and smaller furniture items which made the space look larger and ready to accommodate a variety of family types.

Finally, the upstairs bedrooms were also given a makeover, matching the beautiful designs and color schemes found downstairs. Ceiling beams in the master bedroom, which had been previously left plain, were painted to match the beams on the second floor, and the light fixtures were updated here as well. All in all, with these slight changes and some original staging furniture brought in, the house was ready to wow the market.

The perfect home...

With a few kids at home and another on the way, Kelly and Cody needed a home that could fit their growing family. So, when they discovered a house with three bedrooms (and space to expand one bedroom), and a view of downtown, it did not take much time before our team got to work on renovations. With a prime location near downtown Houston, this home was already in good shape. Our goal however, was to not only make the home as beautiful as Kelly and Cody imagined it, it was also to personalize it so that every part of the home would fit the needs of their family.

One of the first rooms seen upon entering the house was an office, which would absolutely be used by Cody, who frequently worked from home. The space was open to the rest of the home, however, and in a home with several kids under the age of ten, this had to be changed. With a new set of sound-proof iron doors in hand, we were able to build the walls out and install the doors to completely close off the area. Then, with a few personalized decor items, the office transformation was complete.

The next space to transform in the house was the under-stair area. Often closed off or used for storage in other houses, Mary decided (with Kelly and Cody) to make this space a dedicated play area for the couple’s children. With the help of a local woodworker and an artist, the area was retrofitted with a custom dutch door, allowing the girls to enter and exit through the bottom (and allowing mom and dad to keep an eye on things with an open top door!). Inside the play space a small loft area was installed and equipped with a ladder to climb up on. A tree-shaped book case and floating clouds hanging from the ceiling completed the look and the nature-themed playscape was almost complete. Mary’s artist friend added his touch to the space as well, giving the wooden play space a coat of paint, transforming once blank walls into a land of ladybugs, butterflies, sunshine, and white puffy clouds. It was everything the kids could want, without overwhelming any family living space.

“It was everything the kids could want, without overwhelming any family living space.”

Around the corner from the play space, the kitchen also saw some major updates. Often ones to host events at their home, Kelly and Cody were hoping to make some updates in the kitchen to make it stand out more. With that idea in mind, Mary got to work, looking for some new countertops. After some discussion, Mary selected a translucent option, which would be installed with a waterfall edge. With added light panels underneath, the entire countertop would be able to light up from the bottom, showing every intricate pattern in the material.

In the living room, a new mantle and updated light fixtures were installed to bring some more consistent design features throughout the rest of the house. Upstairs however, some more major changes were being made. With three bedrooms already in place, Jon pointed out to Kelly and Cody that the master bedroom had plenty of space for an addition, which could add just enough square footage to provide an attached nursery. This new floorpan would not only add value to their home, it would also fit the needs of their growing family. As construction progressed and the room came together, Mary came in and designed the space so as to be useful as a nursery, but also practical for future use, when the baby would be moved into their own room. A support column became the side of a little reading nook, and a set of French doors separated the addition from the rest of the living space. All in all, the expansion brought in more space and more purpose, without taking away any of the light in this bright, master bedroom.

"All in all, the expansion brought in more space and more purpose, without taking away any of the light in this bright, master bedroom."

With the extension complete, one more storage area had to be added in to make the master suite complete. With some small closet space lost to the extension, we decided to add a built-in closet on the wall opposite the new extension to provide a secondary closet - in this case, the “his” part of a “his and hers” closet set. Jon designed the closet space and then built the appropriate built-in shelves and hanging areas so that just like the other places in this home, everything had a place.

A place with a view

As a finishing touch to this home, Jon and Mary brought in another talented partner to help transform a walk-up patio space with an eye-opening view on downtown Houston. With plenty of space to host on this patio, some structures still needed to be added to make the space as usable as possible. With new countertops added in the kitchen, Mary decided to reuse the old countertops for bar seating in this outdoor patio space. Then, in the back corner of the patio, a custom piece of furniture was brought in, serving as a dry-bar, with a cooler installed as well. A few pieces of outdoor furniture were added and the new patio was complete. The house that had started as a traditional two-story family home was now transformed to fit the needs of working parents, growing kids, and a family that loved to host!

Looking for more details?

To see this project take place from start to finish, check out Episode 3 of HGTV’s Two Steps Home. Here, you will see the process from start to finish, with every detail captured on film. If you have any additional questions or you would be interested in speaking with us about your own renovation or design projects, please contact us and a member of our team will reach out to you directly!

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