A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Houston developer Carol Barden. It was an interesting series of events that got us in touch. Several weeks ago I posted photos of one of my favorite Houston homes that is on the market. The photos were picked up by several other sites which brought them to the attention of Carol. Why is this significant, you ask. Well, Carol is responsible for saving the home from the scrap heap several years ago. Swamplot wrote an interesting article breaking down the time line. So, we got in touch and I got the opportunity to visit with a fascinating woman with strong convictions on what makes a house a home.
As the developer, Barden conceives of every new project and then infuses her personal touches throughout the space. Several details I like in her homes, are first, the importance of nature. When a new home is ready to be built, existing trees are left standing. This is not something that is done nearly enough in Houston. Also, windows are placed to allow the homeowners to actually enjoy the beautiful greenery. This doesn't sound like an Earth shattering idea and yet many builders never actually do that! Perhaps my favorite details are the natural feeling brought inside via natural materials and textures. For someone who loves texture and earthy colors as much as I do, these homes really entice me:)
Carol believes women have a natural advantage when it comes to building and designing homes because they can visualize all the small details that a home needs. For example, the idea of having natural light in a bathroom for applying makeup. Separate vanities in the master bath, so couples don't have to watch each other spitting into the sink every day. Hey, we gotta keep some of the romance alive somehow! Barden's company is especially known for their beautiful and well thought out kitchens. Of course, designed with real people who cook in mind.
The Wabi Sabi house is one of Barden's most recent projects that garnered a lot of attention. It was based on the ancient Japanese concept of essentially finding beauty in imperfection. Personally, I am a believer in this concept and I'm sure many readers would not be surprised to know that about me;) If you are unfamiliar with the concept of Wabi-sabi, I highly recommend studying it.
This beautiful home was completed so succesfully that Carol already has a second one in the works. It should be scheduled to finish in the fall of '09 and I can't wait to see it! Hope you find these photos as inspiring as I do and have a great weekend, everyone.