Liz Hanks and Steve Schroder brought a bit of California with them when they moved back home to Houston in 2015—specifically, to their century-old Mission Revival on Harvard Street. In Long Beach they’d owned an old Craftsman bungalow that had been revamped with modern amenities. “That’s what we were looking for here in the Heights,” Hanks says.
After more than 30 home tours, they found it in this historic abode, renovated by HDT Builders in a project that doubled its size, making it more functional while preserving much of its charm—like many a remodel in the neighborhood. Five original wavy-glass French doors pour light into the converted formal sitting and dining areas, where restored hardwoods and period lighting meet Hanks’s modern pops of color in the cobalt front door and vibrantly wallpapered powder room.
Where the new portion of the house begins, so does the expansive first-floor great room, where the family spends almost all their time—whether it’s eating at the T-shaped quartz island, playing pretend in the breakfast-nook-turned-kids’ kitchen, snuggling up on the plush den furniture, or hosting benefits for political candidates and musicians alike. Up a tucked-away staircase, past locally made stained glass and a giant portrait of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the family reads bedtime stories before retiring to dinosaur- and mermaid-themed kids’ bedrooms and a tranquil master suite.
Still, some of Hanks’s favorite aspects of the home are found outside its walls. The family added a deep brick patio to the lawn-art-and-toy-sprinkled front yard, where neighborhood kids and parents meet up and hang out. The home lies steps away from some of the area’s most-loved shops and restaurants, too. “We go to 19th Street all the time,” Hanks says. “We could spend the day grabbing a bite to eat, popping into Big Blue Whale, and maybe walking into the antiques shops. There’s always an excuse to go down there and just waste the day.”
- Size: 4,172 sq. ft.
- Builder (remodel): HDT Builders
- Year built: 1914
- Current owners: Liz Hanks and Steve Schroder