Braeswood Place Home Tour: Modernist Edge Meets Southwest Sensibility
Over the last three years, the Laura U Design Collective collaborated with the architecture firm studioMET, and our Braeswood Place clients to craft a truly special space that honors their love of family, zest for travel and penchant for entertaining. At the same time, this home marries the owners’ very different aesthetics in a singular, cohesive design that captures both sensibilities. Taking inspiration from the owners’ travels and love of the Southwest, this home’s interior is a fresh, poppy take on mid-century modern. By working closely with the architecture firm and the homeowners, we were able to make Braeswood Place warm and welcoming for a family of six. Their new home is just down the street from their original family home. Not wanting to leave the neighborhood and the many memories made there, the homeowners decided a new construction home down the street was the best solution for their family. Some of the couple’s children live at home while the others have since moved away. Yet, the Braeswood Place homeowners consistently sought ways to incorporate each family member’s interests and values into the design of the home. There are guest bedrooms designed with the adult children in mind. There is a craft room where our client and her youngest daughter love to scrapbook together. Truly, this home is an ode to quality time. While an intimate portrait of its family, Braeswood Place is also elegant enough for entertaining the couple’s colleagues and hosting countless events. Read on to learn more about our goals for this project and how we tackled challenges alongside our amazing partners at studioMET. Follow below for a home tour of the Braeswood Place interior. Stay tuned for Part II where we wander through the property’s expansive outdoor entertaining area.
All About Our Braeswood Place Project
For nearly three years, LUDC designer Shannon Smith met weekly with our clients. In these meetings, Shannon and the rest of the LUDC team sought to understand our clients’ aesthetic, lifestyle, family, needs and values. We worked with studioMET to make their dream home a reality.
. P R O J E C T G O A L S .
The primary goal of this project was to create a space their children would love to come home to. Our clients wanted a home in which their kids could gather to share old stories and make new memories. They also wanted an event space for visitors — where guests would also have memorable experiences and where they could host community fundraisers. Because of this, most rooms in the home had to express multiple functions.
In short, this home’s design needed to be the perfect mix of fun and function. We needed to pair a resort style-feel for visiting adult children and functional activity space for the kiddos who still live at home. There also had to be an emphasis on open space for the clients’ networking events, school fundraisers, and larger family get-togethers. Our team delivered by creating an open living concept between the kitchen, dining room and outdoor area. For example, the kitchen seats 20 people between the custom live-wood edge dining table and the large-scale kitchen island.
Our Connection to Braeswood Place
The family’s love of nature and diving also spurred our team’s creativity. We included large aquariums to serve as functional and beautiful room dividers. They separate public spaces used for entertaining from private areas of the home.
Interestingly, the unbroken connection to nature and family that our team created in Braeswood Place is reminiscent of Laura and Shawn’s own homes. In an interview with Dwell‘s Alia Akkam, studioMET principal Gottschalk identified this as a key goal when designing his Houston home. Gottschalk told Akkam that “‘it was important…that everyone be on the same level, connected to each other and the outdoors.'”
This same theme can be felt in our newly renovated Mountain Lane Show House. Mountain Lane was designed in large part to foster connections between LUDC founder Laura Umansky, her family, her guests and the powerful Aspen landscape.
. P R O J E C T C H A L L E N G E S .
While studioMET tackled building challenges, the LUDC team tackled interior challenges. studioMET had the challenge of meeting local building codes. These codes required living spaces to be situated at least two feet above the 500-year flood plain. According to studioMET principal Shawn Gottschalk, their “solution was to use planters at various levels.”
The sheer size of the home presented its own challenges. To temper the scale of the elevated two-story home, studioMET created strong horizontal rooflines. These rooflines are complemented by layered planes of stone walls, board-and-batten and cement-board panels, and expanses of wood. The wood is both functional and beautiful, spreading warmth with its color and texture.
For the interior, our team worked to bring in furnishings sized to match the home’s grand scale. These include everything from the entry console table long enough to display name tags for 100 guests, to a massive quartzite-topped cocktail table.
Another challenge was presented by the homeowners’ two very different styles. Our challenge was to marry those dichotomous styles in an aesthetically pleasing way. He loves the monochromatic, modern look, while she loves color and pattern.
Thankfully, there are many intersections between his and her styles. They both collect art from their travels, all of which have a Southwestern theme. We allowed the hues from the art to inspire the color palette used throughout the home. This bold and vibrant yet calming and organic color palette nods to Southwestern sunsets and natural elements. For example, the walnut paneling used throughout the entire home provides continuity and warmth from room to room.
. P R O J E C T P A R T N E R S .
This was a highly collaborative project with studioMET — the architect and builder –, trusted local artisans here in Houston, and the Braeswood Place homeowners. LUDC designers Laura Umansky and Shannon Smith worked closely with Yoonchul You and Shawn Gottschalk from the studioMET team and with our clients. We were brought in at the same time as the architecture team to ensure a shared, cohesive design vision where no detail was overlooked.
All photos included in this post were taken by talented Swedish photographer Pär Bengtsson and styled by Walker Wright. Dallas transplant Pär Bengtsson excels at interior photography, once working as an editorial photographer for Elle Decor. The Walker Wright Abodes studio recently expanded from SoCal to Houston. The studio brought along their incredible eye for interiors, architecture and the people that inhabit them.
Join Us for a Tour of Braeswood Place – An Ode to Family, Fun and Fabulous Design
This home spans over two lots and boasts bespoke pieces with an elegant yet functional and approachable feel. The family is warm and welcoming, and the home mirrors their fun-loving personality. It carries the warmth they embody from room to room. Many spaces — especially the study and library — have furniture, colors and accents reminiscent of Mid-Century Modern design. While interiors from that period can feel heavy and dark, Southwestern elements in this home add light and color. Angular silhouettes add that masculine, modernist feel. Some spaces — like the craft room and bar — are wholly contemporary with a fun and poppy feel. To learn more, join us for a tour of the home’s interior below!
Warm Walnut Paneling Wows in the Entry
This grand entry is very warm, with walnut paneling and a custom pivot door that reveals it. The rhythm of this warmth is carried throughout the home. As such, the entry sets the tone of Braeswood Place. The dynamic abstract artwork floating above the console table is part of the homeowners’ existing collection.
El Dorado Live Edge Table Dazzles in the Dining Room
From the entry, we proceed to the open concept dining room which then spills into the attached kitchen. A custom El Dorado Wood live-edge tabletop with a brass ModShop base serves as the defining feature of this dining room.
An Extended Island Allows for Elegant Entertaining in the Kitchen
The transition from dining room to kitchen is practically seamless. Our team chose to make the flow of both dining room and kitchen open for easy entertaining.
With a large-scale waterfall-edge island and bespoke cabinetry, this space is elegant but not overly-dressy. The kitchen’s cabinetry represents a collaboration between Madeval, the Laura U Design Collective and studioMET.
Tones of a Southwestern Sunset Create a Serene Living Room
Custom Living Room Furniture Details
A Walnut-Encased Fish Tank Separates Library from Living Room
The fish tank separates the living room from the library, which is pictured in the image above. The handsome library sits outside the homeowner’s (his) study, and is where the couple sits to relax together. This space also features custom-built millwork, the back of which is painted in Sherwin Williams SW6348 Reynard.
Library Furniture Details
Moody Blues and Grays Make for a Masculine Mid-Century Study
We chose Sherwin-Williams, SW 6252, Serious Grey for the study walls and collaborated again with studioMET on custom cabinetry. The artwork positioned just above the Silestone Eternal Saturario countertop is by Sydney Yeager. Entitled , this oil on linen painting is also from Laura Rathe.
Study Furniture Details
The Guest Bedroom Boasts Barclay Butera Prints
Calming with a couple punches of color, the downstairs guest bedroom and bath feature custom tile and artwork by Barclay Butera. In the bedroom, a custom House + Town channel tufted headboard and platform bed greet visitors. The headboard is upholstered with Mokum Collection fabric from Holly Hunt.
From here in our home tour, we head up to the second floor.
An Aquatic Color Palette Compliments the Family Room Fish Tank
Our first stop on the second floor is the family room. It was important to have lots of seating for the family of six to sit together comfortably. The homeowners wanted a casual family room where the kiddos could hang out with their friends after school. There is plenty of room for them to spread out on the large sectional or do a puzzle on the table.
Family Room Furniture Details
Natural Light and Bold Accents Ensure the Craft Room is a Source of Creativity
The homeowner and her daughter love to scrapbook. Both collaborated with the LUDC team to create a space specifically designed around this craft. We included custom-sized cabinets — a collab with studioMET — and drawers to perfectly fit their paper and equipment.
Neutral Tones and Luxurious Textures Transform the Primary Suite Into a Retreat
Somewhat of a departure from other spaces in Braeswood Place, the primary suite is a serene retreat for the homeowners. They have an intimate sitting area with a double-sided Silestone Eternal Charcoal Soapstone Matter fireplace that joins to their bedroom. Kelly Wearstler Melange Small Elongated Pendants from Visual Comfort provide gentle lighting. Off the primary suite is a large deck that overlooks the pool. They use this space for yoga and relaxing on cool evenings.
Accents and Soft Finishings
A Window Seat Reading Nook Nurtures Their Daughter’s Love of Books
Last on our home tour are the children’s bedrooms. In the daughter’s bedroom, we included a window seat reading nook to foster her love for books. The homeowners’ daughter loves pastels and was very integral in the design of her room. We even conducted a separate design presentation just for her.
Details of Accents and Furniture
The Boys’ Room Highlights Their Interest in Sports
Stay Tuned for Part II of Our Braeswood Place Home Tour
All outdoor spaces were intentionally designed as an extension of the indoor living space. The interior boasts large floor-to-ceiling sliding doors that open to a multi-level outdoor oasis. An expansive outdoor living space connects the main home to the pool house — complete with a full kitchen and guest-suite.
The home’s outdoor area features comfortable furnishings, an outdoor kitchen, a billiard table, pool, spa, and fireplaces. This outdoor haven is a place for the homeowners, kids and guests to relax — even on cool Houston nights. We explore the Braeswood Place pool house and outdoor area further in Part Two of this home tour.
Thank you for joining us in the first half of our Braeswood Place home tour. For even more about Braeswood Place, read our feature in the July / August 2022 issue of Luxe.