A Vision of Houston

{French Influences abound at this Private Residence on Inverness}

As a lifelong resident of Houston, the past several days have been extremely difficult. By the grace of God, we are safe and dry in our home and our family is also safe. Unfortunately, countless others were not as lucky and have lost everything in the devastation of Hurricane Harvey and the unrelenting rain for the past several days. My heart is shattered seeing neighborhoods all across the massive Houston metropolis completely destroyed. I am sad to report that we have several clients in various parts of the city whose homes were also affected. For those who are not familiar with our beloved city, it is the fourth largest in the nation and the greater metropolitan area spans over 2,200 miles. It is roughly the size of Delaware with twice the population of Manhattan and it has been massively devastated. Houston is hurting, but it is strong and resilient. It has been so heartwarming to see neighbors helping neighbors, first responders putting life and limb in danger to help those in desperate situations while their own homes are under water, and to see the generosity of strangers from across the country.

{Versailles Planters and Limestone Pavers at Inverness}

I have struggled with what to feature on my blog and social media this week because I am sad and I honestly just want to weep for my city. However, I am reminded that these channels serve a purpose and that is to share the beauty and importance of home– wherever that is and whatever it means to you. If you’ve been watching the non-stop news coverage, you might welcome a small distraction and that is my goal today. Houston is my home. I was born and raised in Houston and love it deeply. Houston is a beautiful city with impressive architecture by great architects from the last century such as John Staub and Birdsall Briscoe; its boulevards are lined with hundred year old Live Oak trees, and it is home to  world-class art and restaurant scenes. Houston is also home to an extraordinary community of scrappy people who have kept the Texan spirit of picking oneself up by the bootstraps alive and well. Houston will rebuild and will reclaim its glory once again. 

{A Classic Georgian House on Inverness}

Houston is also home to the extraordinarily talented Curtis & Windham Architects, lead by Bill Curtis and Russell Windham whose body of work exemplifies the genteel beauty of Houston. Their book, A Vision of Place, has become a recent favorite of mine and is filled with stunning residences in some of Houston’s oldest and loveliest neighborhoods. I am featuring several of my favorite Curtis & Windham houses in this post which are among  the most beautiful homes in Houston. It is important to me to share the beauty of my beloved city with you– A Vision of Houston, if you will.

{Elegance and Restraint on Knollwood}

{An Updated English Country House on Sleepy Hollow}

{Residence and Gardens on Houston’s Beautiful South Boulevard}

{18th Century French Influence meets Texas}

{A Whimsical Round Pool and Tent Pavillion}

{A Closer View of the Tent Pavillion}

While all of these homes are stunning and are situated in some of Houston’s most exclusive neighborhoods, this is not all that Houston is comprised of. Houston is a melting pot of cultures with people from all walks of life. It is an urban metropolis and is home to suburban sprawl. As you read this, I hope you’ll see some of the beauty of Houston, but also keep the residents of Houston and victims of this storm in your hearts. Countless people will be without a home for months, if not longer. So many people have had their lives torn apart and need our help. Please consider donating to one of the following charities, if you find it in your heart to do so and please share this post with anyone you think might also be willing to help.

 Houston Hurricane Harvey Relief FundAmerican Red Cross | Houston Humane Society Disaster Relief Fund | J.J.Watt’s Houston Flood Relief Fund | Houston Food Bank Harvey Relief Fund | Houston SPCA

 

20 thoughts on “A Vision of Houston

  1. Paloma,
    You are a graceful soul and I commend your strength while
    your home is in a state of devastation. what happens to others happens to us
    too. You are a beacon for others in a time when others need to see a light in
    the storm. This is the true measure of integrity as far as I’m concerned.
    Still praying for everyone. My cousin lived in Katy and like you is heart broken.
    The nation is watching and praying. We support the Red Cross.
    Keep on. Sending you more prayers,
    Erica

  2. What a lovely, clear and honest post. We are praying for and with you and everyone I know is donating towards relief efforts. We may not be there with you, but we are here for you. xxxx

  3. The news has been heartbreaking to see. Such a tribute to a good city.

    Whether the people had grand homes or humble homes, some have lost everything. Some have lost people they loved. When I was younger, I lived through a massive and devastating tornado. A couple of my friends died, and others lost all their possessions. Its so difficult and sad – but the city will recover – people will come together and help and love each other and recover. May God bless the cites and people hit by this terrible storm.

    I gave to the Salvation Army. They have a history of remaining in place for a longer time than the Red Cross. (although the Red Cross does good work!)

  4. I’m so glad to hear you were spared flooding. This has truly been a nightmare. It’s going to be a long road to recovery for South Texas. My whole family lives in the Houston area (and were very, very lucky as well), but the sheer volume of people filling the shelter areas is utterly heartbreaking. Healing thoughts for Houston and the entire affected area. Hope your friends find relief soon too.

  5. What a thoughtful and deeply moving tribute to such a beautiful city. We are heartbroken with you Paloma for a city that embodies the strength, diversity, and generosity that makes this country so great. The pictures of devastation, the stories of lost loved ones are profoundly sad. We pray with you and we stand with you in the knowledge that Houston will rebuild. We have donated to the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, SPCA and Samaritan’s Purse. So many wonderful agencies ready and willing to help. Stay strong. #Houstonstrong.

    • Thank you for the kind words, Carol. Everything you said about Houston is true and I have no doubt that we will come out of this stronger than ever. Thank you for your prayers and for donating to these charities. XO

  6. I have family near the Brazos in Sugar Land, so I have also been on high (water) alert. They are fine except for a minor roof leak, so we are counting our blessings. But the stress and anxiety of waiting for the next evacuation order or the next levee failure take a huge emotional toll. My hat is off and my purse is open to the selfless volunteers and the capable government departments that have been a lifeline to our loved ones. Fort Bend County has been on point with rolling updates and advisories. And let us acknowledge that without social media, many more lives would have been in grave jeopardy — thinking particularly of the urgent Reddit and Twitter pleas to rescue not only trapped people but also chained and abandoned pets stranded by rising waters. The images on social media have broken my heart and given all of us a glimpse of how devastated — yet how tough and resilient! — Houstonians are. Thank you for your thoughtful post, a beautiful love note to a great city. Best wishes!

  7. Such a beautiful post…brought me to tears again for what you are all going through. I have never been to your beautiful city, but I plan to visit as soon as it can handle tourism. Like New Orleans, Houston will need the country’s support not only now but in the years to come.. Out here in California, many grocers and retailers are soliciting donations for Harvey and, from what I have noticed, everyone is contributing this way as well as through the more traditional charity organizations. Hoping it goes to those who need it most.

  8. Thank you so much for this beautiful post. It was a wonderful distraction amongst emails and phone calls with insurance adjusters. Our city is amazing and the spirit and love and faith I have felt over the past few days truly gives me a renewed hope in our country. I am so happy to hear that your family is safe. God Bless!

  9. Thank you for this lovely post. My heart breaks for the people of Houston. It has felt strange reading design blogs this week knowing that so many are displaced to shelters! You have done a wonderful job of honoring Houston’s beauty while paying tribute to the strength of Texans.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *