Step aloof a few anxiety central the West University Place home of Dr. Richard and Deborah Harper and you apperceive you’re activity to accept an absorbing visit.
The antechamber is clad in the aforementioned white oak that makes up cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms. To one ancillary is a dining allowance abounding with archetypal Thos. Moser furniture, appropriate accustomed lighting set in the beam to highlight the room’s art, which includes abundant audubon prints and an aboriginal Albert Bierstadt painting.
Across the way is a baby library, custom-built bookshelves abounding with all kinds of books — including some on his hobby, abundance aggressive — and art niches captivation the aftereffect of addition hobby, woodcarving.
The Indiana limestone on allotment of the home’s exoteric repeats in the active room, surrounding the broiler and active up a wall, laid with precision. That’s the distinct chat that best describes the ambition of the Harpers and their architect, Leslie Davidson of L. Barry Davidson Architects: precision.
“I’m a neurosurgeon, and I adulation craftsmanship,” said Richard Harper, 72, who works at the Neurosurgical Group of Texas. “To the accidental eye, you don’t pay abundant absorption to it, but this is acutely high-level stuff. (The masons and bricklayers) are so abuse good, it’s anesthetic to watch them.”
Davidson had advised their antecedent home, a 6,500-square-foot adorableness adjacent on Brompton that was featured on a cardinal of home tours.
A ancillary terrace was advised by Thompson Hanson’s Timothy Adcock.
Their newer home is downsized a bit — it’s 4,500 aboveboard anxiety — back their accouchement are developed and they appetite beneath to booty affliction of. It’s on a home tour, too, the Rice Design Alliance’s anniversary architectonics bout that’s Saturday-April 8, themed “Balance: Celebrating Women in Design.”
Each year’s bout has a altered theme. Last year’s featured homes and barrio in floodplains and ran months afore anyone accurate the words “Hurricane Harvey.” The accommodation to affection the assignment of changeable architects was fabricated alike afore the #MeToo movement began, so their timing is advantageous two years in a row.
“I anticipate that women are actual attuned to what makes the abode work. I anticipate we’re the added calm partner, usually. There are exceptions to the rule, of advance and there are a lot of men that cook,” Davidson said back asked how a woman’s architectural angle ability differ. “I anticipate you accompany a activity about storage, a activity about containment, and how the ancestors works. I anticipate that best women architects are actual anxious about ancestors activity and how to accord their audience an ambiance so that everybody can be the best that they can be.”
Photographer Jacki Schaefer, a co-chair of this year’s tour, said the women’s affair was meant to agitate things up a bit.
“The Rice Design Alliance runs into the botheration that there are several abundant architects who get featured in tours frequently, bodies you see over and over again. That’s great, but there are all these added bodies accomplishing abundant work,” Schaefer said. “We capital to footfall out of the box a little to advertise bodies who don’t get attention.”
The six bout barrio are homes advised by Natalye Appel, Kristin Schuster, Florence Tang, Leslie Barry Davidson and Vivi Robertson as able-bodied as the Transart Foundation, advised by Surpik Angelini. This year’s bout includes an app, which provides audio curation at anniversary location.
Schaefer said there will be added contest — not yet appointed — absorption on women in the profession and why so abounding appear architectonics academy but leave the profession.
“We accomplish up 20 percent of the industry — and that’s an AIA accomplishment — but if you attending at the architectonics schools’ apprentice bodies, it was 75 percent women back I matriculated,” said Schaefer, a Rice University graduate. “Why is this accident and what can we do to abutment women? What is causing them to bead out of the profession, and why are they activity into added things?”
Davidson jokes that she’s a bit OCD back it comes to the capacity of her designs, but Richard Harper says her absorption to every little detail is why he assassin her a additional time. Creating the home, she formed with him added on the anatomy and millwork, and added carefully with Deborah Harper, a clandestine academy administrator, on the autogenous finishes such as lighting, counters and tile.
The home is abounding with accustomed materials, limestone, brick, copse and a array of quartzite and granite.
The Harpers’ home is a aggregate of acceptable and abreast architecture, but the beeline feel of Prairie-style millwork is unmistakable. You’ll see it in the custom baseboards and acme molding, categorical kitchen cabinets and ablution vanities and trim that charm.
Some of the attic is buttery travertine, but abounding apartment are covered in best French oak laid berth alliance style, a alternation of concentric squares. A activating alveolate beam in the capital active breadth is covered in white oak, and a attractive architectural chandelier hangs from the center. A abate adaptation of that beam was installed in the discreet adept bedroom.
“Deborah capital a kitchen that opens to area anybody is, and I capital admirable copse and bean work,” Richard Harper said. “I achievement that bodies who appointment think, appropriate away, ‘Wow, there’s absolute adroitness here.’”
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