Reinventing the American Row House in Houston, Texas
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Is this a new vision for American suburbia? We think so. Located in the Historic Houston Heights neighborhood in Texas, the Shade House project consists of nine symmetrical buildings settled in an expansive Texas-style grassland. The homes were designed in homage to the American architectural standard, the row house, but this development, by green design and construction firm Shade House, is different. Matthew and Tina Ford of Shade House teamed up with Atlanta-based developer Holden Shannon to design something beyond the average tract home while keeping costs down to just $170 per square foot in each 1,900-square-foot home. Shade House works under the principle that, as the Fords say, "by integrating design, development and construction, we have the ability to control costs while pushing the design and quality further." At Row on 25th, they've done just that with an easy-to-build design, cabinetry built in house, and humble materials. With green design in mind, the Fords installed a reflective metal roof to combat the Texas heat, energy-saving water heaters, and finished the floors and cabinets with a zero-VOC protective coating. The nine homes are available for lease at $2,850 each per month. Visit Shade House directly; to read more about the project, go to Dwell . Above: The compact kitchens feature Sub-Zero refrigerators and gray limestone counters and backsplashes. Above: The houses are available either with custom laminated kitchen cabinets and ash flooring (shown above) or custom stainless steel kitchen cabinets and reclaimed wood floors from the 1880s. Above: A view of the kitchen area from the living room; Holden Shannon decided to purchase one of the homes himself, enlisting designer Barbara Hill to orchestrate the interior design. Above: A vintage rosewood desk paired with an Eames side chair. Above: Polished chrome fixtures and fittings above and below the powder room sink. Above: The stairways are minimally detailed. Above: In the bedroom, a pair of Kofod-Larsen chairs sits beneath a print by Elva Stewart. Above: Hallway lighting is made from simple hardware store sconces and silver tip light bulbs. Above: Natural light travels through the open floor plan. Above: The master baths feature gray limestone counters. Above: A selection of Row House are designed with reclaimed longleaf pine salvaged from demolished 1880s homes. Above: Olive trees potted in concrete separate the houses from one another. The architects' goal with the nine houses was to maintain a high level of privacy while allowing for community with a common area in back of the lot. Above: As the Fords say, the intent of the project was, "to rejuvenate the style of old row houses by way of warm minimalism." Above: Although the emphasis was placed on the overall image of the houses together over the individual homes, each house is painted in a slightly different shade of white, low-VOC paint (for more, see 10 Easy Pieces: Eco-Friendly Paints ). Above: A field of native Muhly grasses sway in front of the nine white houses. Looking for prefab-like homes with a strong sense of design? See our previous posts Architect Visit: Beach Cabins from Sommarnöjen and Steal This Look: DIY Scandinavian Outdoor Dining Space .