Crafts­man Aes­thetic ON THE BAY

Restora­tion of this mag­nif­i­cent house in Texas in­cluded the imag­i­na­tive and heart­felt re-dec­o­rat­ing of the sum­mer-home in­te­rior.

Old House Journal - - Inspire - BY REGINA COLE | PHO­TO­GRAPHS BY GRI­D­LEY + GRAVES

The Galve­ston With splen­did a pyra­mi­dal Bay house is the roof home perched and of essen­tially Terry on a bluff and a Paul over­look­ing foursquare Gar­ber. plan, the house has Arts & Crafts-era de­tails and neo­clas­si­cal al­lu­sions. Porches sur­round it. Rooms in­side fea­ture colon­nades and high wain­scots, stained dark and pol­ished, sur­mounted by Aes­thetic Move­ment friezes. Visi­tors are for­given for think­ing this is a metic­u­lous restora­tion. The in­te­rior was in fact com­pleted in 2014 and de­signed by owner Terry Gar­ber.

• “When we bought the house in 2010,” she says, “ev­ery room had bead­board laid hor­i­zon­tally on walls. It was a sum­mer house with­out any of the ar­chi­tec­tural de­tails seen in a pri­mary res­i­dence. We added de­tails span­ning the late Vic­to­rian to Arts & Crafts pe­riod, to get the look we wanted.”

She and Paul, a geo­physi­cist in the oil and gas in­dus­try, had searched for a long time be­fore they found this house in Mor­gan’s Point.

“We wanted to be in a com­mu­nity with old houses and large trees,” Paul says. “We looked at this one once, but thought that the work would be too much for us. When it came back on the mar­ket, we took the plunge.”

Built in 1911 by H.S. Fil­son, a Hous­ton lum­ber mag­nate, the house’s bal­loon frame has 24-foot-long studs. Its frame, ex­te­rior clap­boards, floor­ing, trim, and the bead­board are made from vir­g­in­growth, Texas lon­gleaf pine.

Paul ex­plains that the lon­gleaf heart pine has hard­ness scores meeting or ex­ceed­ing that of hard­woods like red oak. “This is a hur­ri­cane area, but the house has with­stood ev­ery storm. Bal­loon fram­ing is very wind re­sis­tant, and the hor­i­zon­tal bead­board ap­plied per­pen­dic­u­lar to the studs made [the frame] stronger.” The Gar­bers re­tained the bead­board, which un­der­lies the new wain­scots, wall­pa­per borders, and crown mould­ings.

For the orig­i­nal de­sign, Fil­son had en­gaged the Dal­las firm San­guinet, Staats & Barnes; the young drafts­man who com­pleted much of the work, Al­fred C. Finn, be­came a prom­i­nent ar­chi­tect re­spon­si­ble for the trans­for­ma­tion of much of down­town Hous­ton. When H.S. Fil­son en­larged his sum­mer home in 1923, he again hired Finn to de­sign the ad­di­tion, which added two bed­rooms, three bath­rooms, a laun­dry room, and a large sleep­ing porch. From then un­til 2010, when the Gar­bers bought it, the house re­mained un­changed.

“We are only the third own­ers,” Terry Gar­ber ex­plains. “Mr. Fil­son’s daugh­ter

still lived here in the 1980s. Then there was just one other owner be­fore us.”

The Gar­bers re­con­fig­ured the in­te­rior, turn­ing the at­tic into a dormered bed­room suite and re­lo­cat­ing the kitchen, liv­ing room, and din­ing room. Although Terry Gar­ber’s field of study was eco­nom­ics and her hus­band is a sci­en­tist, they de­scribe them­selves as stu­dents of architecture and de­sign; they used house-de­sign soft­ware as a tool dur­ing the seven months they planned the ren­o­va­tion.

“We were lucky that the house al­lowed the changes we wanted to make,” Terry says. “The laun­dry room that was

ad­ja­cent to a bed­room is now its bath; we widened a hall­way to make a new laun­dry room. The for­mer sleep­ing porch ad­ja­cent to the mas­ter bed­room be­came the per­fect mas­ter bath. And the lo­ca­tion of an old but­ler’s pantry and break­fast room was per­fect for the gal­ley kitchen of my dreams.”

As far as style, Terry knew ex­actly what she wanted. “I’ve al­ways said that my first love is a clas­sic late-Vic­to­rian style Queen Anne,” she says. “But, in New Or­leans, we lived in a 1902 Crafts­man house and loved it. When we bought and ren­o­vated this house, we based the de­sign more on the later pe­riod.”

Thus, a sum­mer cot­tage with whitepainted bead­board rooms be­came a year­round home with a for­mal Arts & Crafts per­son­al­ity. It may not be what Mr. Fil­son had in mind, but the style suits the house. Terry re­placed the square stair balus­ters with a nod to a stair­case she saw at the Catawba County Mu­seum in North Carolina. She hung lush Aes­thetic Move­ment wall­pa­per friezes above deep wain­scots. For those wain­scots, the Gar­bers con­tacted a dealer spe­cial­iz­ing in re­cov­ered hard­woods, who had a cache of the wood the house was built of: re­claimed, old-growth, lon­gleaf pine.

In 2015, the cou­ple added a garage and a side porch that leads to it. That year, Paul Gar­ber fin­ished a project dear to his heart: a 550-foot pier with two boat slips. He loves the house, but his voice warms when he talks about sit­ting at the end of the pier, do­ing noth­ing but hold­ing a fish­ing pole.

A well-lo­cated laun­dry be­came a bath; the for­mer sleep­ing porch eas­ily be­came the mas­ter’s en-suite bath. The old but­ler’s pantry and break­fast room be­came a large gal­ley kitchen.

The din­ing room oc­cu­pies space for­merly used as a liv­ing room. Terry Gar­ber took the de­sign of the stair­case af­ter one she saw at a his­toric house mu­seum in North Carolina.

LEFT A small break­fast table and chairs is vis­i­ble look­ing from the kitchen to­ward the den. RIGHT Terry Gar­ber was in­spired in the de­sign of the in­te­rior from an Arts & Crafts-pe­riod house she and her hus­band had oc­cu­pied in New Or­leans. In­spired el­e­ments in­clude the wain­scot and the colon­nades. OP­PO­SITE (bot­tom right) A cher­ished new el­e­ment is the 550-foot long pier ex­tend­ing into Galve­ston Bay. It in­cor­po­rates two boat slips and, at the end, a shel­tered spot for fish­ing. ART WALL­PA­PER Brad­bury & Brad­bury’s Vic­to­rian and Arts & Crafts col­lec­tions of wall­pa­pers fit the tran­si­tional house; this is ‘Iris Frieze’ from the Fen­way suite.

RIGHT One of the bath­rooms added in 1923 is on the back, or bay side, of the house. The room was cre­ated from space taken from a porch. FAR RIGHT The al­cove that pre­vi­ously housed the shower now holds a van­ity with a stone counter and a cop­per sink. BOT­TOM The bath­room next to the mas­ter bed­room oc­cu­pies what was orig­i­nally a sleep­ing porch. The bath­tub, orig­i­nal to the house, was moved here. OP­PO­SITE The mas­ter bed­room was de­signed around a fa­vorite wall­pa­per de­sign. The wain­scot height was de­ter­mined by the depth of the frieze.

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