What does it mean to reinvent the American row house? Just ask Matt and Tina Ford, the founders and lead designers of Houston-based Shade House Development, who collaborated with investor/developer/airline exec Holden Shannon on a multi-family project in the Heights.
"I wanted to do something different," Matt Ford told CultureMap.
"[Shannon] didn't put any restrictions on me at all, which took away all of the pressures we normally have in multi-family development."
The result is the Row on 25th, a string of nine homes on a just-over-an-acre plot that marry a modern mindset and a classic building technique.
Ford wanted the structures to hold up both aesthetically and qualitatively, he explained, comparing the design to a "really, really good song" — one that can be appreciated by architectural connoisseurs and novices alike.
Shannon's home, pictured here, was outfitted by locally-based designer Barbara Hill. The front room opens up to a galley kitchen.
A custom window faces out onto a private courtyard, the enclosure bounded by the neighboring house.
Kitchen cabinetry for the units were custom-designed and locally-made. Other perks include Sub-Zero refrigerators, ASKO dishwashers and Bertazzoni gas ranges.
The front room gives way to the stairwell . . .
Which leads up to the sleeping quarters.
"We always made design decisions that benefited the overall collection," said Ford, rather than the solitary unit.
"The Heights just looks like it has the most growth potential of any area in town," Ford explained of their attraction to this site.
The master bedroom, pictured here, faces out to 25th Street.
Most units are two bedroom, two bath with a bedroom/study option; several offer three bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms.
"The response has been crazy," said Ford. Out of the five completed houses, three have already been leased.
Shade House Development offers two alternative flooring styles — like ash, pictured here.
Or reclaimed wood flooring from the 1880s, pictured here in the home of Houston Ballet principal Joseph Walsh and soloist Lauren Strongin.
Strongin dances before a custom window in the master bedroom.
Ford said that the modern, streamlined units fit nicely into the fold of the surrounding neighborhood.
"We are working on doing another development across the street," hinted Ford. "One that is equally exciting if not more so."
The Row on 25th's 1,900-square foot units are available for lease for $2,850 per month.