Modernist Houston Home With Brazilian Curves


Angelica and Gustavo Nechar moved quite a few occasions in Brazil, the place they have been born and raised, and in France, exactly where their occupations flourished and they owned a Haussmann-type condominium in the 17th Arrondissement of Paris. But it was not until Mr. Nechar’s perform as a human-resources government introduced the pair to Houston in 2013 that they understood all of their earlier households had lacked just one engaging matter: a structure conceived just for them.

The expansive suburban home they acquired on arriving in Houston, they made the decision, was not fairly right. For a person detail, it was way too massive for a couple with two grownup sons. And it was way too considerably from the action of the metropolis, which had pleasantly astonished them with its cosmopolitan vibe and cultural offerings, even following 13 a long time in Paris.

What they needed, they recognized, was to make a house in the town that would guidance an city, walkable life style.

“After 30 several years of currently being married, we made the decision to build our personal dwelling for the 1st time,” mentioned Ms. Nechar, 48, who left her occupation as a law firm to open a showroom for the Brazilian furniture enterprise Etel all-around the identical time.

Added Mr. Nechar, 55, “We experienced generally been going and buying properties from other individuals, and living in sites that did not have our soul.”

They desired to be capable to entertain pals in model. “We love to welcome people into our dwelling and to prepare dinner, which we discovered in France,” he said. “When we talked about our dwelling, we preferred a spot exactly where people would experience good about getting with us, sharing a meal or a nice glass of wine.”

In 2018, they uncovered a drained bungalow on a appealing midblock whole lot in the Montrose neighborhood, in just going for walks distance of the Menil Selection museum, the Rothko Chapel and many eating places. They acquired it for about $550,000, with programs to demolish it and get started refreshing.

Their look for for an architect to conceive the house led them to StudioMET Architects, immediately after they’d admired the boxy, modernist properties with long, flat roofs and plenty of glass that the company had designed in Houston.

“A modern dwelling — that is what we required,” Ms. Nechar said. “We didn’t want to enjoy like some men and women below who develop homes like castles.”

By the conclude of that calendar year, StudioMET experienced developed a 4-bedroom, 3,800-sq.-foot household with an L-shaped footprint, and had filed for a creating permit.

“They needed it to be fairly subtle — they did not want a big statement from the exterior,” reported Stephen Andrews, a spouse at the business. The two-tale design and style, which has an upper stage suspended above a poolside patio and outdoor kitchen area at the back, aimed to optimize organic mild and connections to the outside, he claimed, although preserving privateness from the street and the neighbors.

But as soon as the options were finalized, the Nechars began owning doubts. They nervous that the home may glimpse much too a lot like the architects’ other jobs, when they wished a little something special. So the few identified as on Meedi Hidalgo, a neighborhood interior designer, for a 2nd belief.

“I observed this was a truly amazing opportunity to highlight their cultural background and personalities,” Ms. Hidalgo stated. “I desired to genuinely seize their tradition and give some emotion and poetry to the house.”

She not only delivered direction on furniture and finishes, but also advised a couple of architectural alterations. Researching the midcentury-present day models of Brazil, she concluded that the home really should have some sensual shapes.

“Brazilian midcentury design was dominated by Oscar Niemeyer, who seriously cherished the curve, and ladies,” she said. “So I made the decision that we really should try out to provide in curved strains as significantly as we could.”

Inside of the entrance doorway, Ms. Hidalgo modified a straight staircase into a sculptural, curved just one with open up treads. She extra one more major sweeping curve where by the ceiling drops concerning the dwelling area and kitchen. Upstairs, she changed a rectangular pivot doorway to the key suite with a pocket doorway inside an asymmetrical arch. And in a nod to the couple’s time in France, she extra a floor-to-ceiling, wooden-and-brass monitor from Paris-based mostly Red Edition between the kitchen and eating region.

She also sought to insert pleasing textures and shades. Where by there have been plans to use a normal brick on exterior walls, she pushed for a thin, glazed Italian brick that wraps from the exterior to the inside of the house. For the residing space, she commissioned customized concrete panels adorned with abstract shapes, which includes one particular that rolls back to reveal a tv.

In the main bedroom, she put in dip-dyed wool curtains in a watery blue from Holly Hunt. In the most important lavatory, she used substantial-scale porcelain wall tile, for the appear of worn plaster partitions.

By the time the dwelling was finished in April 2021, the Nechars had used about $1.3 million, self-assured that they had produced an inimitable residence. “It’s a job that seriously embodies who we are, and it’s just phenomenal,” Mr. Nechar said. “We’re very content to have achieved this.”

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