The beautiful West Houston home is being rebuilt after Hurricane Harvey


David and Jennifer Bradshaw thought they were clear when the rains of Hurricane Harvey subsided. They had been evacuated from the rising water on the street and were almost ready to celebrate when the Addicks and Barker Reservoirs were cleared – a move that changed the lives of thousands of west Houston residents.

The Bradshaws had lived in their Yorkshire home since 1999 and had remodeled and expanded the 1960s ranch-style home to 3,700 square feet in the years leading up to Hurricane 2017. The release of the reservoir sent about a foot of water into their home, where it stood for several days.

In the same situation as so many others, you decided what to do next: mucking out and gutting and remodeling again; demolish and rebuild; or scrap everything and move somewhere else.

Ultimately, they decided to demolish the house, raise the property 2½ feet, and start over. Although it was nowhere near all of their costs, they were fortunate to have good flood insurance, which Jennifer had taken out a year earlier.

Part of their search led them to open houses, where they pondered and thought about specific houses, and where they met builders, including Stuart Beken von Metropolitan Custom Homesthat they hired together with architects Alan Kent and her longtime friend and interior designer Joani Scaff von Paisley house.

The Bradshaws, married for 34 years, are a fun-loving couple who have long had fundraisers, baby and wedding parties, and all kinds of parties for friends and family. But a Christmas party for 125 people was the first event they had been able to hold since moving into their new 6,300 square meter house in August 2019.

The original house stood empty for over a year when they considered what they would do. When they did, they donated the contents of the house to Habitat for Humanity, which walked in and removed everything from cabinets and lighting to upstairs wooden floors and the brick facade.

Shortly after they moved in, Jennifer’s father fell ill and moved in with them, turning their guest room on the first floor into a hospital room. After his death, her mother used it while she was recovering from knee replacement surgery.

Then COVID arrived and the future empty nests – two sons are grown and a third is a senior at Texas A&M University – bought exercise equipment and a Goldendoodle named Lucy and crouched down.

Because they love to chat and hoped for a welcoming atmosphere, they wanted this place to feel more casual and relaxed. They also insisted not to live in a white box.

The foyer and dining room offer the first splash of color: a deep red buffet in front of a back wall. There is also a custom-made alder table and upholstered chairs.

David, 60, spent his career in healthcare IT, first for IBM and then for 20 years at Memorial Hermann Health System, where he retired as Chief Strategy Officer. He recently started an IT consulting firm, WayPoint Healthcare Advisors, and when he needs to meet clients, they meet in his lovely “conference room” – the dining room.

The large main living area includes the kitchen, living room, breakfast area, a “cozy area” and a nice bar.

Scaff urged Jennifer to step out of her comfort zone, mix metals in lighting, hardware and plumbing fixtures, and use white paint on perimeter counters and deep blue on the island.

David left a lot of the decorating decisions to Jennifer and Scaff, but insisted that their kitchen have a deep and wide sink that becomes an important prep area when you put a tray on top. Jennifer was skeptical – until she used it.

A different ceiling treatment helps establish the living room with wood-stained tongue and groove paneling and white beams throughout the space. The comfortable furniture includes a pair of soft navy blue couches and a pair of light brown chairs. Two other options – upholstered stools – can be tucked into the corners of the large coffee table.

Instead of built-in cupboards that flank the fireplace, matching cupboards with stone slabs offer additional storage space.

The breakfast area has built-in banquets, and the cozy space nearby includes a couple of chairs for the Bradshaws to sit in with a cup of coffee and a view of the backyard.

The hidden bar is a gem. The brass and glass shelves hold nice barware, but the brick ceiling is what David and Jennifer admire.

“I just wanted a few things, and one was brick,” said David, a native Texarkana. “I’m the son of a bricklayer, so there is no stucco (outside) of this house. And I wanted a really big garage and a brick ceiling in the bar. It is real craftsmanship to lay bricks like this. “

The master bedroom conveys a feeling of calm with soft neutral tones. A pair of armchairs with a small round table are the only pieces they brought back from their former home. Your four-poster bed has a head and footboard upholstered in a tone-on-tone pattern from JF Fabrics that looks remarkably like a much more expensive Fortuny fabric.

It’s also separated from the main living area by two doors and a short hallway, and David jokes that if Jennifer’s girlfriends drop by, he can go into the bedroom to block out their noise.

It took some convincing, but Jennifer and Scaff managed to dissuade David from having a ceiling fan in the room. Instead, a pretty chandelier hangs over it and David gets a cool breeze from a small tower fan. The automated curtains open or close by remote control.

The main bathroom contains perhaps the greatest splendor of the house: a window behind the bathtub is lined with an onyx panel.

Jennifer has her own office, an energetic room with teal paint on the walls and a coffered ceiling, printed curtains with an ocher background, a chair and ottoman made of garnet velvet and decorative pillows made of floral print velvet.

A powder bath across the hall has peacock-colored wallpaper hanging from her study, a brass-framed mirror, and a natural stone vanity.

Steven’s room and guest room are upstairs, along with a tricky game room. There’s a full bar – the cabinets are painted red and the carpet is printed with animal motifs – and a pool table that can be turned into ping-pong with a different top.

David wanted the two-car garage for a man’s cave – not parking. He and his sons – 27-year-old Riley, 24-year-old Jacob, and 21-year-old Steven – are avid cyclists, so there are bike racks, exercise equipment, and a big screen TV here.

He likes to work with his hands, which is why there are carpentry and welding equipment, and David points to a table that he and one of his sons built from scrap wood.

There is a cozy terrace with seating and meeting facilities and an outdoor kitchen with a Big Green Egg, a gas grill, a burner for occasional fry and a refrigerator.

Overall, the Bradshaws have shifted from a fairly traditional to a transitional style.

“I like that every space can be used. You can have a meeting in each room, ”said David.

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