Houston homeowners in The Heights find good things come in small spaces

by HomeDecorBeauty


Throughout the Heights, many small bungalows have larger, two-story additions created in recent years to satisfy the modern desire for larger rooms and closets—simply, more space for today’s lifestyle.

However, the 2022 Norhill Bungalow Tour celebrates the neighborhood’s post-World War I origins in its simplest form, small Craftsman bungalows or Tudor Revival cottages. Even though some of the homes on the tour have had smaller additions, four of the six homes on the tour are about 1,300 square feet or less.

Patrick and Cat Reville, who moved from Cleveland to Houston six years ago for Patrick’s medical oncology residency, purchased their 1930 Craftsman-style home in late 2020. After living in a townhouse for several years, the couple longed for a single-story life with a real yard.

He liked older houses and she liked more modern styles, so this house was perfect for both, as a builder bought it from the original owner, modernized it and put it back on the market. In addition to adding a 1.5-car garage, the builder painted the home’s bright blue exterior white, added a modest primary bedroom suite to the rear, allowing the rest of the home’s main living area to stretch out a bit, for a more spacious living-dining room – kitchen area.

When: noon-4pm Saturday-Sunday October 15-16
Houses: 1127 Fugate, 1129 E. 16th, 1038 E. 16th, 4610 Oak Ridge, 830 W. Temple and 1115 Walling
Details: $25; norhill.org
please note: On the days of the tour, tickets can also be purchased at 803 W. Temple or 1038 E. 16th


A wood-lined ceiling and exposed beams warmed up the space, and Pat changed some of the lighting and swapped out unlacquered brass plumbing fixtures and hardware to warm up the otherwise all-white space. Slabs of dolomite with gray swirls and a matte finish are a beautiful touch.

Patrick (35) works long hours as a doctor, and Cat (33) travels almost every week for work, so this house is a haven for them. She loves white and cream and mid-century modern style, so the home’s interior feels relaxed.

“I just like a clean, safe space. Because I travel (for work), I like to come back to a house that feels calm,” Cat said. “I work from home when I’m not traveling, so love the flex space I use as an office.”

Jon Albrecht and Liz Roberts were friends in college and both ended up working as dealers for Chevron in San Francisco.

Roberts grew up in Houston and moved back from the Bay Area in the spring of 2018, staying with her parents for a short time before buying her home in Norhill, which she renovated during the pandemic.

“I thought I was renting for a year, and then I thought, ‘I could buy a house, maybe I should house hunt,'” Roberts said of her search, which took her through about 30 homes in the Heights and Montrose. has. “I wanted to be close to downtown and I wanted a walkable neighborhood. This house is only 1,400 square feet, but it’s bigger than any apartment I’ve had in the Bay Area.”

Albrecht moved back in 2019, buying his house in the same neighborhood and renovating it before moving in.

“I love the sense of community here. You’re so close to the city, but you feel like you’re in the suburbs,” said Albrecht, who also lived in a townhouse straight out of college. “I didn’t like how compact the living area was, and how different the houses could look right next to each other. I wanted curbs and gutters, sidewalks and a walkable neighborhood. Norhill is the epitome of that.”

Like the treatment the Revilles’ home received, both Roberts and Albrecht modernized their homes, making kitchens and bathrooms much more functional.

Roberts went bold with Benjamin Moore’s deep Essex Green for her kitchen cabinets, and studied rooms on Pinterest before choosing tiles with different patterns and textures. “I have an artistic eye, and it was a fun outlet during the pandemic to have this as a project,” she said.

She turned one bedroom into a home office and installed a wine nook for the wine she began collecting during her time in California. Roberts was lucky to order kitchen appliances before supply chain issues started, but she had to deal with a paint shortage.

Her primary bathroom used to be cramped with just a pedestal sink and a tub-shower combo. Now she has a larger walk-in shower and the counter that now has two sinks has lots of drawers for storage.

The Benjamin Moore Hale Navy paint she used in her bathroom is the same color her friend, Albrecht, used in his kitchen. He opted for white upper cabinets and used the deep blue shade on the lower cabinets.

Albrecht and another neighbor, Sarah Watson, are the tour’s organizers, and in the days leading up to the event, he will spruce up his home. He bought a new painting to fill an empty spot, and he will buy some plants to replace the ones that didn’t make it through the hot, dry summer.

“The homes on this year’s tour are ones where we’ve updated the interiors. Most of them are 1,500 square feet or less, so you can see the difference in how people can make bungalows work for their particular tastes and lifestyles,” said Albrecht said.

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