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Frank Lloyd Wright's designs have resulted in some of the most celebrated homes in all of architecture, having paved the way for many staples of modern and contemporary construction. Midcentury-modern homes embody Wright’s principles by spotlighting organic materials, wide angles, and a mixed use of windows, both tall and clerestory—which is the case for this week’s dream home in Houston, packed with top-tier design history.
Built in 1960, the home was designed by renowned architect and Wright protégé Karl Kamrath of MacKie & Kamrath, which was among the first firms to introduce modernist buildings in Houston. Kamrath’s aesthetic was profoundly influenced by Wright’s principles at their first meeting in 1946, after which Kamrath committed himself to Wright’s outlook on architecture.
Prominent aspects of this midcentury-modern gem are large glass windows, art glass panels, hardwood floors, and its secluded location above a wooded ravine along Buffalo Bayou. The home, which once served as Kamrath’s personal residence, is now on the market for $5.2 million.
Here's a closer look:
The 4,691-square-foot home is on a 1.5-acre lot that slopes down to the south bank of Buffalo Bayou in the River Oaks subdivision. It has five bedrooms and five full and one-half bathrooms throughout its two stories. Lush greenery surrounds the estate and can be admired from inside the home as well, thanks to plenty of large windows.
The midcentury aesthetic is on full display as you enter the home. Beautiful herringbone-patterned wood floors and wood paneling lead to the living room and kitchen’s open spaces with angled ceilings.
The kitchen has a wood-plank shed ceiling, cork floors, accent lighting, and full glass windows with a view of the pool and the jungle-dense landscaping surrounding the estate. Fellow daydreamers, take note: the sink is on a spacious island facing the large windows—suddenly dish duty will feel like a brief escape from the day.
A sunken living room offers the feeling of both wide-open space and coziness thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows and a fireplace. The room is made up of natural elements such as wooden floors and ceiling and a brick accent wall.
In addition to the treehouse-like feeling the windows create, small stained-glass accents such as these inset window panes are both fun and functional.
A large dining room is surrounded by wood paneling and floors and a slanted shed ceiling. Steps from the entry lead up to the space, which is perfect for an evening with guests.
The wall of windows continues into the primary bedroom, which also has a fireplace and brick wall accents.
The heavily wooded grounds surround a four-foot-deep saltwater pool. There are also several cleared areas for entertaining and lounging, such as a flagstone patio with twinkle lights and a garden.
The pool area offers a beautiful view of the openness of the kitchen, breakfast, and sitting areas—a consummate expression of the midcentury-modern tenet of connecting the built environment with natural surroundings.