4 Houston House Styles and Interior Design Ideas for Renovating Them

 
Image: We Love Houston Facebook Page

Image: We Love Houston Facebook Page

If you currently live or plan to move to the Houston area any time soon, you know or will soon find out that there are 5-8 well-known home styles here in the Bayou City and today we are going to explore my favs!

This is a fun topic for me. I grew up on a “construction site” if you will.  From the age of 5 all the way until I graduated high school, my mom and dad built 8 of the homes we live in!  Yes eight!!!! 

I think I can safely label my parents as the first real estate investors I ever knew.  They would put a ton of sweat equity in each home. From dad drafting out the plans late at night by the light of his desk lamp (he built these homes for a hobby AND had a full time job) to both of them framing up walls, staining all of the wood trims, painting siding, and more every weekend until it was completed.  My job was cleaning site of all the construction debris and trying to stay out of trouble.

So when it comes to talking about, designing and building homes, I am truly in my element.

Let’s get into it, lets explore 4 of my favorite architectural home styles in Houston.  These are styles that I LOVE to help homeowners and real estate investors with their renovations and interior design.

 

The Craftsman

Image: HAR.com

Image: HAR.com

Also known as bungalows, Craftsman are found primarily in the Heights area of Houston, just west of I-45 and north of I-10 as well as the Montrose neighborhood near downtown between I-10 and Highway 59.

For an interesting take on the houses found in the Heights check out this website!

The Craftsman style bungalow was found to be Americas most popular architectural style of single-family homes in a recent Trulia report  conducted online by Harris Poll “of more than 2,000 Americans age 18 and older asked and found that the top home styles Americans cite as their favorites are craftsman (43%), ranch (41%), and colonial (36%). However, this varies by age. Millennials, age 18–34, were more likely to favor craftsman-style homes (52% vs. 36% of those age 55+), while older adults, age 55+, were more likely favor ranch-style homes (52% vs. 28% of millennials)”

So how does an interior designer approach the redesign of a Craftsman home for resale or even for a homeowner remodel for that matter? Well first of all we love to try to capture the original design intent for the house with it’s clean, organic feel, natural wood tones and fabulous architectural elements like this fireplace.

Image: HAR.com

Image: HAR.com

We keep much of the original architecture by simply updating the interior with a fresh coat of wall paint and perhaps changing out old cracked and dated tile.  We update the floors by either restoring the original wood floors or installing new hardwoods.

Our advice to those rehabbing these old beauties; be sure not to paint over all wood or demo the old charm that people love about Craftsman homes.

It didn’t take long for this lovely to go under contract once it hit the market. 

The Rancher

A  Trulia survey of favorite home styles of Texans and you guessed it, the Rancher came in at #2!!!

 
 
 
Investor Flip in Spring Shadows. Staging by REI Design Solutions

Investor Flip in Spring Shadows. Staging by REI Design Solutions

In fact, they go on to state that “in Texas, you can find the most ranch-style homes on the market in the Fort Worth-Arlington area, Trulia reports; Houston comes in at No. 6. Overall, the Trulia survey shows Americans favor craftsman-style homes (43 percent), followed by ranch (41 percent) and Colonial (36 percent). However, most U.S. adults 55 and over (52 percent) vote for ranch-style homes.”

Why do you think that is? I think it has something to do with the simplicity of the Ranch style home and the ability to be quite creative within the confines of the interior layout. We love helping investors and homeowners with the interior design of their Rancher and give them an updated look. Families love being on one level too and of course those 55 and older I am sure relish the fact that they don’t have to climb stairs. Interior design details are easy to update and creating fabulous family-friendly spaces with an open concept is a breeze with one or two strategically placed beams for structure.

We use all kinds of interior finishes for the design of Ranchers because they are so versatile when it comes to design!

Investor Flip in Spring Shadows. Staging by REI Design Solutions

Investor Flip in Spring Shadows. Staging by REI Design Solutions

Investor Flip in Spring Shadows. Staging by REI Design Solutions

Investor Flip in Spring Shadows. Staging by REI Design Solutions

Investor Flip in Spring Shadows. Staging by REI Design Solutions

Investor Flip in Spring Shadows. Staging by REI Design Solutions

Investor Flip in Spring Shadows. Staging by REI Design Solutions

Investor Flip in Spring Shadows. Staging by REI Design Solutions

Additionally, according to this Trulia report, it should be no surprise that ranch homes are much easier to find on the market. According to We Buy Ugly Houses, “In Houston, Ranch houses can be found in almost every neighborhood. This house style, known for its long, close to the ground profile and austere decoration on the inside and out, became prevalent in Houston after the Second World War. The style has Texas sensibilities, as it was intended to blend modern ideas and living styles with classic structures of the American West, namely, the ranch.”

Some popular Houston neighborhoods for newly updated Ranch style homes are Spring Shadows of Spring Branch, Oak Forest/Garden Oaks and Westbury to name just a few.

The Contemporary

Image: HAR.com

Image: HAR.com

Oh yeah, Contemporary houses. We love them!

Well know for their boxy but clean simple lines and towering 2 stories, contemporary homes are not for everyone.  If you like warm cozy interior design with lots of rich textures, fabrics, shapes and patterns, jewel tones and oriental rugs, a contemporary home is probably not for you.  The clean lines from the exterior are usually carried into the interior and the rooms boast of lots of big open space and high ceilings taking away from the cozy feel you get in your 15x18 rancher living room.

In Houston, many of the Ranch style homes are being scraped and replaced with 2 stories contemporary homes, scattered about in several Houston neighborhoods.  Contemporary houses are popular in Highland Village, Tanglewood and River Oaks. They typically are listed at upwards of $2MIL or more.

We love to design contemporary interiors and exteriors. There is so many fun and rich things you can do to make the spaces opulent and inviting so if you’re in the market for a new home, don’t write off the Contemporary style just yet!

Check out theses BEFORE and AFTER photos from a recent flip in Highland Village. REI Design Solutions helped an investors with interior design, finishes and kitchen Design.

Chatham+front+before.jpg
Chatham+kitchen+before.jpg
Chatham+front+after.jpg
Chatham+kitchen+after.jpg

The Modern Farmhouse

Last, but certainly not least on our list of absolute favorite houses to design is the Modern Farmhouse (MFH). 

With their exposed structural beams, vast kitchens and open spaces, MFHs are very popular right now as the go-to new-build style in many Houston neighborhoods. Oak Forest is one of the most prominent areas where these 2 story beauties are going up as well as in Garden Oaks, replacing the 1 story Ranchers.

Image: Eplans.com

Image: Eplans.com

An article in Homedit.com tells us a little about the MFH: “Farmhouses originated back in Europe, in the wide open fields of Germany and Scandinavia. Back then, homes were not just a place to keep out of the rain but every element had to be thought out and productive. Farmhouses were made of wood which was simple to obtain and easy to work with, saving time and money for the owner. You would find farmhouses in the countryside, standing on flat ground with a water source like a lake or river nearby. Many featured front porches that spanned the house but rather than just a decorative accent, these spaces also served as storage for wood, a holding space for muddy boots and a gathering place when the days work was done. Inside the house, the downstairs was divided into two main parts. The front of the house held the rooms for entertaining like the parlor and dining area. The back of the house always had a spacious kitchen and if there was a second floor, the staircase that led to the upstairs bedrooms. Ceilings were low and doorways were narrow but when you spent most of your time outdoors or in the kitchen, it seems that no one minded.”

How is that for painting a lovely picture of home!? 

We love farmhouse style because there is so much creativity that can go into the interior design of the spaces within.  Often you will see antiques, industrial style elements and even contemporary lines like in this design below.  This lovely MFH spec house was designed by REI Design Solutions and sold even before completion!

Oak Forest New Build. Exterior Design by REI Design Solutions

Oak Forest New Build. Exterior Design by REI Design Solutions

Oak Forest New Build. Interior Design by REI Design Solutions

Oak Forest New Build. Interior Design by REI Design Solutions

Oak Forest New Build. Interior Design by REI Design Solutions

Oak Forest New Build. Interior Design by REI Design Solutions

So, what is your favorite home style? Have we covered yours here? If not, leave a comment below and let us know which one you love and why!

…be surrounded by beauty

Christine