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2013 Holiday Home Tour

In the New Old-Fashioned Way —
2013 Houston Heights Association Holiday Home Tour
Rain or Shine: the tour will take place on Friday, December 6, and Saturday, December 7. We hope to see you there!

"Rockin' Holiday Party"
Thursday, December 5.

Mark the calendar now for the 2013 Houston Heights Holiday Home Tour, "In the New Old-Fashioned Way," set for Friday, December 6, and Saturday, December 7; and for the "Rockin' Holiday Party" on Thursday, December 5.

The Tour provides a rare opportunity to look inside five unique spaces that reflect the rich Houston Heights architectural tradition of this charming neighborhood. The Tour homes will be all decorated for the holidays, with musicians and carolers adding to the festivities.

Homes on Tour:

Cavanaugh Home
1028 Arlington

Lisa and Brian Cavanaugh, homeowners
Last year at this time, the Cavanaugh's were preparing for a six-month exhibit of Brian's sculptures at The Art Car Museum entitled "Full Circle" while preparing to move out of their home for a major renovation to their 1920s bungalow. "Our goal was to blend the original character with a more comfortable contemporary style," says Brian. With the help of architect Tim Schorre and Lucas Craftsmanship, they removed load-bearing walls to create an open concept living space with a new kitchen and added new structural laminated wood beams and columns. Brian's studio is also located on the property, and it will be open during the tour. He’s currently working on a new show. In retrospect, Brian says, "We really have come full circle. We now describe the renovation experience, even with preplanning, as “throwing track in front of a runaway train.” They survived and now this year they’re looking forward to relaxing and sharing cocoa and cookies with family and friends as their toy holiday train circles round the tree.

Head Docents Mark and Kathleen Williamson
Table Design by Pottery Barn and Flowers by Whole Foods Market

Chase Home
625 Cortlandt Street

Christie and Tyler Chase, homeowners
Buying their Heights bungalow 10 years ago was the start of a creative collaboration for Christie and Tyler Chase. On a limited budget, they knew, with the help of family, they would have to do the bulk of the work themselves. Since both Christie and Tyler are creative, artistic and not afraid of making things, they enthusiastically began to update and renovate their tired-out bungalow by creating a personal living space that reflects their love of DIY and thrifting. Their most recent accomplishment is situated at the far end of the property and overlooks the pool. The Pottery Cabana, built by Tyler with the help of his father, is home to Christie's kiln. She set to work designing, hand cutting, firing and then painting the tiles for her kitchen backsplash. Renovating in stages, Tyler just completed the kitchen by building a built-in corner bench seat and custom breakfast table for two. The house, with original pine floors, was built in 1919, and they are only the third owners of the property. “We feel it’s pretty unique for a house that will be celebrating its 95th birthday in 2014 to have only had two previous owners,” commented Tyler.

Head Docent Judy Cummings
Table Design by Christie Chase and Flowers by Whole Foods Market

Cox Home
711 Mosby Circle

Howard Cox, homeowner
This home was built in 1994 in Italianate style, reflected in the windows and decorative pieces under the eaves and around the base of the house. The owner purchased this property in 2010 and undertook considerable renovations to refresh the tired interior of the house. The renovations reflect a transitional style in keeping with the design of the house, but incorporates modern refinements to create a warm, light and inviting home. Manchee Designs provided the creative flare for the renovations, incorporating changes the owner requested to improve functional living space and flow through the home. In 2012 the owner completed a large landscaping project in the back yard to transform the outdoor space from a plain backyard into a lush green haven with patios and a sun-catching wrap around deck. In 2013 a pool was added to complement the outdoor living experience. “The circle is an amazing place to live," says homeowner Howard Cox. "The neighbors are awesome, the Heights as a whole fosters an environment of community and acceptance, and you can’t beat the short commute to downtown."

Head Docent Christie Hanaford
Table Design by Manchee Designs and Flowers by Whole Foods Market

Gomez Home
418 W. 8th

Riaro Gomez, homeowner
The three-story, one-bedroom 2,300 square foot home of Riaro Gomez is a design jewel that’s full of surprises. Visitors to the modern home, which features high ceilings and the simplicity of concrete floors throughout, will delight in seeing the furnishings that include a tasteful treasure trove of warm, eclectic groupings of objects, art and furniture and a holiday tree designed from among Riaro’s favorites of more than 3,000 holiday ornaments. As Riaro says, “The holidays are a great opportunity to be creative!" Riaro has lived in his home for approximately 10 years. Although he grew up in a military family, Riaro decided to put down roots in Houston, where he has worked as a well-regarded hairstylist for more than 40 years. He spent his formative years living in Japan where he grew to appreciate modern design. Ten years ago, it was the modern style that drew Riaro to his home, which was designed by Scott Strasser, one of Houston’s premiere contemporary architects. The design is a favorite of others who had the privilege to tour the home when it was previously featured on the AIA Houston Home Tour.

Head Docent Mary Hooper
Table Design by Riaro Gomez and Flowers by Whole Foods Market

Wilson Home
716 West 15th

Dennice Wilson, homeowner
If houses could talk, this one would say thanks for the memories. Saved from the wrecking ball and moved to its present location in 1985, from Columbia Street, by the late and well-known Heights builder Steve Waters. This quaint cottage became the home of Dennice Wilson and Kim Dulany until Kim lost her struggle to cancer in 2011. "Kim and I loved this house and she cherished it until the day she died." Dennice, who now lives in Singapore with her life partner Choon Neo, contracted Bungalow Revival to breathe new life into this very special and sacred space. The home was carefully restored and renovated to reflect its nostalgic past while providing modern day amenities. Today their friends David and Elaine Morado, who took care of Kim in her last days and who were invaluable in helping with the house all along the way, live in the home. "The house is priceless and we will always keep it in our family," says Dennice. "It holds so many special memories for me and a very special place in my heart. So often I think about Kim and how she would absolutely love the new house." In Loving Memory of Kim Dulany.

Head Docent Nick Eronko
Table Design by Bespokeand Flowers by Whole Foods Market

Tour Headquarters will be at the Houston Heights City Hall and Fire Station, 107 West 12th Street at Yale, Houston, Texas 77008. There, visitors can explore the Holiday Craft Market, listen to live music, and enjoy a tasty bite from one of the food trucks. At the market, attendees can pick up a $12 limited edition Houston Heights ornament, which will also be on sale before the tour at area shops. Shuttle buses to the tour homes will be available at Tour Headquarters, and parking will be available close by.

Tour Hours
Friday, December 6, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 7, 3:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Tour Tickets
Tickets for the tour are available online and at area shops – including Davis Hardware, Jubilee, Another Place in Time and Buchanan's Native Plants – for $20 through Thursday, December 5. Tickets purchased on tour days, Friday and Saturday, will be available at the participating area shop locations and the Houston Heights Fire Station for $25.

Rockin' Holiday Party
The neighborhood will be rockin' around the Houston Heights on Thursday, December 5, starting at 7:00 p.m. and rockin' on 'til 10:00 p.m., with a 50s-style party and fundraiser at the newly renovated historic Houston Heights City Hall and Fire Station. Enjoy the 50s food and drink, live music and a holiday-themed silent auction. Ticketholders for the Rockin Holiday Party get a private tour of the decorated homes before the party, from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. Tickets are just $75, with all proceeds benefiting the Houston Heights Association.

Holiday Destination
The Houston Heights Holiday Home Tour has become a favorite seasonal destination, where visitors can also enjoy getting in some holiday shopping in the antiques and vintage clothing shops, art galleries and eclectic boutiques. There are coffee shops for a relaxing break, and fine dining at world-class restaurants in the area.

To volunteer for this festive event, e-mail