Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Upcycle Old Furniture Into Something New

How to Add Upcycling Into Your Home Decor

Got an old dresser gathering dust in your attic? Or maybe you inherited your mother's Mason jar collection but not her love of canning? Instead of trashing it, try upcycling hand-me-downs into something new. There are a million options for turning one person's trash into another person's treasure. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Vintage Dressers -- Transform an old wooden dresser into a charming bathroom vanity, a television stand for your guest room or a storage bench for the front entryway. All it takes is a little bit of paint and some DIY know-how!
Window Shutters -- Give old wooden window shutters new life as a room divider, shabby chic sideboard, succulent planter, wall-mounted magazine holder or a cottage-inspired armoire.
Posts and Railings -- Turn those architectural elements into functional furniture. Used wood stairway posts are useful as legs on a children's desk. Just add a wooden top and a fresh coat of bright paint, and you have a colorful place for the kids to study.
Old Doors and Windows -- Repurpose old doors and windows into beautiful furniture pieces with a touch of history. Turn doors into kitchen tables, nightstands, room dividers, headboards and coffee tables. Repurpose windows into picture frames or a chalkboard calendar.
Mason Jars -- Convert Mason jars into fun, functional home accessories. From wall-mounted bathroom storage to patio lanterns, here are a few DIY projects you can tackle over the weekend.
If you need some help with your upcycling, Houston has many resources for beginners who want to tackle repurposing projects. Houston Makerspace, located in an EADO warehouse, offers classes and memberships where you can master a variety of skills from woodworking to ceramics to metalsmithing.  Texas Art Asylum, also in EADO,  is a craft warehouse meets thrift shop where they host a schedule of classes geared toward creative re-use. Check their website for the 2016 schedule. Adkins Architectural Antiques in Midtown maintains a wood shop on their premises to assist in renovation projects that go beyond DIY. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Why I Love Houston: Christmas Traditions

Welcome to my Why I Love Houston Series, where I share my favorite Houston experiences and excursions. My goal is to make my hometown of Houston more accessible to the ever-changing mix of folks adopting our amazing city as their home base and reminding natives of the hidden gems throughout H-town.

Why I Love Houston...Christmas Traditions!

Our House Decked Out In Christmas Cheer!

As a native Houstonian, I'm still carrying on the Christmas traditions I enjoyed as a child with my husband and son. Here are a few of my favorite ways to celebrate the season in Houston along with some new holiday traditions I can't wait to experience with my family!

The Zoo Lights are a must-see Houston event. Over two million lights decorate the zoo grounds, including the African forest exhibit along with a walk-in snow globe that's guaranteed to be on everyone's Facebook page!

Visiting family and friends are always impressed by a ride through River Oaks to view the lights adorning the mansions and grand grounds of Houston's stateliest homes. 

My son, Jean-Luc, will be joining many other Houston children for his first trip to see The Nutcracker at the majestic Wortham Center. We recently attended a performance of the excellent musical version of The Little Prince so my son is on his way to becoming a theater regular! This year's performance is bittersweet as the Houston Ballet will be debuting a new production of The Nutcracker next season featuring totally different sets and costumes but we look forward to seeing what the 2106 version brings to the stage. 

A new holiday ritual that's very popular with Jean-Luc is our wooden Advent Calendar filled with chocolates in each drawer. Although Jean-Luc has already investigated the contents of each drawer, he only partakes in the assigned chocolate for the day. He must know Santa is watching! 

On Christmas Eve, we make the rounds visiting family and always come bearing kolaches for a holiday treat. Then it's off to Midnight Mass at Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Church where we arrive early so we can join in for the caroling before the service. 

Christmas Day feasting at our house includes Texas staples, chili and tamales, paired with Christmas cookies from Moeller's Bakery and French Gourmet Bakery pastries. 

We hope to cap off 2015 with a visit to the live Penguin Encounter at Galveston's Moody Gardens, which is also decked out in holiday lights. The penguins will be making appearances through January 3, 2016.

Wishing all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Kathlyn 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Current Listings and Open Houses: December 18th

Current Listings


211 E 22nd St., Heights: Beautifully renovated large home in this desirable location. 

425 W 21st St., Heights: Charming bungalow with a cute front porch and large yard.

814 E 28th St., Sunset Heights: A well-maintained gem nestled in Sunset Heights. 

2124 White Oak Dr., Heights: New construction to be built. Great lot location with scenic view. 

102 Lanai, Tiki Island: This is must see property, with amazing, unobstructed waterfront views of Galveston Island.

1922 Ebony Ln., Oak Forest: Priced at lot value, this property offers a huge corner lot in the booming Oak Forest neighborhood. 

6018 Hummingbird St., Westbury: Immaculate mid-century modern ranch home.

3908 Spring Circle Dr., Pearland: Gorgeous 4-Bedroom home with a huge backyard on a cul-de-sac lot.

Open Houses


Why I Love Houston Properties is hosting the following Open Houses this coming weekend, Dec. 19-20. We hope to see you there! 

211 E 22nd St., Heights: Beautifully renovated large home in this desirable location.
  • Saturday, December 19th 2-5 pm
425 W 21st St., Heights: Charming bungalow with a cute front porch and large yard.
  • Sunday, December 20th 2-5 pm
6018 Hummingbird St., Westbury: Immaculate mid-century modern ranch home.
  • Saturday, December 19th 2-5 pm
  • Sunday, December 20th 2-5 pm

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Why I Love Houston...Lights in the Heights


Welcome to my Why I Love Houston Series, where I share my favorite Houston experiences and excursions. My goal is to make my hometown of Houston more accessible to the ever-changing mix of folks adopting our amazing city as their home base and reminding natives of the hidden gems throughout H-town.

Why I Love Houston...Lights in the Heights!
Lights in the Heights Sneak Peek - Norhill Esplanade

Lights in the Heights is a yearly tradition in my Woodland Heights neighborhood where we roll out the welcome mat to our fellow neighbors and the entire city to celebrate holiday decor in all its megawatt glory - from LED spectacles to luminarias lining the driveways. Whether you're attending a house party like me or simply admiring from the sidewalk, there's no better way to get into the holiday spirit! So mark you calendar for Saturday, December 12, from 6-9 pm. Be on the lookout for the towering palm trees decked out like candy canes on the corner of Michaux and Woodland, along with the glowing dinosaurs on the Norhill Esplanade.

Candy Cane Palm Trees 

Pterodactyl Sighting on Norhill Esplanade


Practical tips for enjoying Lights in the Heights: This year's route is on Euclid and Woodland, from Studewood to Houston Ave. Please be mindful if parking in the neighborhood as you will not be able to park on closed streets which are barricaded around 5 pm and re-opened at 9 pm. There are port-o-lets located on the Norhill Esplanade and along the route.

If you need a break from all the festivities, the Red Dessert Dive on Studewood is open until 10 pm and you can enjoy a glass of cocoa or wine with their decadent dessert selections. Be aware seating is limited in their cozy space. Antidote Coffee, also on Studewood, is a great spot for refueling during the festivities, especially for their cajeta latte!

Here's to making spirits bright!

Kathlyn

Friday, December 4, 2015

Current Listings: December 4, 2015

Current Listings


211 E 22nd St., Heights: Beautifully renovated large home in this desirable location. 

425 W 21st St., Heights: Charming bungalow with a cute front porch and large yard.

814 E 28th St., Sunset Heights: A well-maintained gem nestled in Sunset Heights. 

2124 White Oak Dr., Heights: New construction to be built. Great lot location with scenic view. 

102 Lanai, Tiki Island: This is must see property, with amazing, unobstructed waterfront views of Galveston Island.

1922 Ebony Ln., Oak Forest: Priced at lot value, this property offers a huge corner lot in the booming Oak Forest neighborhood. 

6018 Hummingbird St., Westbury: Immaculate mid-century modern ranch home.

3908 Spring Circle Dr., Pearland: Gorgeous 4-Bedroom home with a huge backyard on a cul-de-sac lot. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

How To Protect Your Home While You're Gone


The holiday season is prime time for thieves looking for an easy opportunity to break into your home. While you're enjoying the hustle and bustle of this festive period, a thief could be taking a leisurely stroll through your home in search of valuables. Keep your home safe and secure over the holidays with these five thoughtful tips.
Alert the Neighbors -- Let the neighbors you're friendly with know about your travel plans and ask them to watch for any suspicious activity. Arrange for someone you trust to enter your home every couple of days to ensure everything's running smoothly.
Put the Post Office on Pause -- Temporarily suspend mail and newspaper delivery services while you're away. (Or ask a neighbor to collect them for you.) Nothing signals that a home is unoccupied like a week's worth of newspapers at the doorstep.
Keep Gifts Under Wraps -- Don't advertise what you've bought over the holiday season via social media, and ensure gifts and valuables aren't visible from the street or at the trash. Many a holiday has been ruined by thieves making off with all the presents carefully chosen for friends and family.
Secure All Entry Points -- Ensure all doors and windows in your home have functioning locks that properly fasten. Be sure to remove any spare keys you may have hidden near your door.
Install a Security System -- A professional security system gives you peace of mind while you're away. Modern systems often include remote video monitoring that allows you to check in on your home from wherever you are.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Why I Love Houston....Houston Holiday Festivities

Welcome to my Why I Love Houston Series, where I share my favorite Houston experiences and excursions. My goal is to make my hometown of Houston more accessible to the ever-changing mix of folks adopting our amazing city as their home base and reminding natives of the hidden gems throughout H-town.

Why I Love Houston....Houston Holiday Festivities!


Via Colori 2014 

Among the many things I am thankful for this time year of year, I'm especially grateful for the time I get to spend with my family enjoying many of Houston's holiday festivities.

We'll be starting the family fun this weekend with Via Colori, the 10th annual street painting festival held ​downtown Saturday and Sunday (11/21 & 11/22). Over 200 artists participate in painting the streets surrounding Hermann Square at City Hall with their unique and temporary chalk creations. Plus it's all for a good cause​ because ​the festival benefits The Center for Hearing and Speech, which helps children with hearing impairments. Even though it's free to attend the event, please consider ​mak​ing​ a $10 donation and your kids can participate in Via Bambini ​where they create their own masterpiece to be viewed by the masses.

Frostival!, the opening celebration for ICE at Discovery Green, is Tuesday, November 24th. The many free activities include a snow zone, ice sculptures, live music and guest appearances by Houston Rockets' Corey Brewer and local roller-blading phenom, Juan Carlos aka The Montrose Rollerblader. You can also purchase tickets for your first go at ice skating this season! 


We hope to enjoy the artistic floats, high-flying balloons, and marching bands of the Thanksgiving Day Parade​ when it hits the streets of​ downtown Houston. Jean Luc, my son, loves all the hustle and bustle of a parade!

And our family favorite, Zoo Lights at the Houston Zoo, returns on ​Friday, November 20th​ and runs through January 9, 2016​. This magical winterscape​ made up of 15+ miles of tree lightings and festive scenes is always a hit ​with ​our household ​and great for visiting relatives and house guests​.



Happy Thanksgiving!


Kathlyn

Friday, November 13, 2015

Current Listings: November 13, 2015


Current Listings


211 E 22nd St., Heights: Beautifully renovated large home in this desirable location. 

425 W 21st St., Heights: Charming bungalow with a cute front porch and large yard.

814 E 28th St., Sunset Heights: A well-maintained gem nestled in Sunset Heights. 

2124 White Oak Dr., Heights: New construction to be built. Great lot location with scenic view. 

102 Lanai, Tiki Island: This is must see property, with amazing, unobstructed waterfront views of Galveston Island.

1922 Ebony Ln., Oak Forest: Priced at lot value, this property offers a huge corner lot in the booming Oak Forest neighborhood. 

6018 Hummingbird St., Westbury: Immaculate mid-century modern ranch home.

3908 Spring Circle Dr., Pearland: Gorgeous 4-Bedroom home with a huge backyard on a cul-de-sac lot. 

Open Houses

Why I Love Houston Properties is hosting the following Open Houses this coming weekend, Nov. 14-15. 

425 W 21st St., Heights: Charming bungalow with a cute front porch and large yard.

  • Saturday, November 14th 3-5 pm
  • Sunday, November 15th 3-5 pm
814 E 28th St., Sunset Heights: A well-maintained gem nestled in Sunset Heights.
  • Saturday, November 14th 2-5 pm
  • Sunday, November 15th 2-5 pm
6018 Hummingbird St., Westbury: Immaculate mid-century modern ranch home.
  • Sunday, November 15th 2-5 pm
3908 Spring Circle Dr., Pearland: Gorgeous 4-Bedroom home with a huge backyard on a cul-de-sac lot. 
  • Sunday, November 15th 2-5 pm


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Holiday Entertaining Made Easy- Your Complete Checklist


Is the whole family coming over for the holidays? Or perhaps you'd like to share some festive cheer with your neighbors? Whatever the reason, 'tis the season, so now's the time to start planning.
Stock Your Pantry -- Get ready for hosting with a well-stocked pantry and freezer. Must-haves include quick, no-cook appetizers; basic baking ingredients; spices and marinades; and frozen puff pastry, pie and cookie dough. Head to Airline Drive where you can create your own cheese plate to keep on hand from Houston Dairymaids, along with olives, cured meats, and crackers. Visit nearby El Bolillo Bakery for a bag of their delicious wedding cookies coated with powdered sugar that pair well with a glass of bubbly! 
Set the Mood -- Keep decorative accessories handy during this season of entertaining. A vase with fresh-cut flowers and tea lights in frosted glass holders are enough to add that festive touch. Emerson Sloan in Rice Village specializes in "Modern Goods for Happy Occasions" featuring seasonal decorations and party supplies to add festive charm to holiday entertaining at home. 
Pre-Plan and Prep Cook -- Come up with a few go-to holiday menu plans and try to prep cook many of the elements in advance. This will prevent you from spending the day slaving over a hot stove and allow you to enjoy your guests. Or let Houston's best chefs do the cooking for you. Revival Market, Hugo's Mexican Restaurant, and James Beard award-winning restaurant, Underbelly, all offer holiday menus featuring main dishes, sides, and desserts. Be sure to check their websites for ordering deadlines! 
Find a Place for Everyone -- Consider your holiday hosting capacity. Do you have enough space at the dinner table? Do you need extra chairs or place settings? Is your oven space adequate from the quantity of food you'll be preparing?
Bring on the Fun -- Have a variety of board games, books, playing cards and movies ready for those times when your guests need to entertain themselves. If you're hosting young ones, have a few age-appropriate toys available as well. Big Blue Whale in the Heights is a great local shop for picking up toys that will keep the little ones entertained. For kids (or adults!) into gaming, Bedrock City Comic Company has multiple Houston locations. If you visit the Washington Avenue store, be sure to pick up treats from Three Brothers Bakery or splurge on their famous Pumpecapple Piecake -three layers of cakes with three pies baked into it that weighs in at 23.5 pounds! (Please note they require 5 days notice for ordering.)
Ready the Guest Room -- If your houseguests are staying overnight, make sure they have everything they need to enjoy their stay. Set out extra towels, toiletries and bed linens, as well as maps and guidebooks for the area. Treat your guests to a neighborhood guide created by local experts, Trip Chandler, for a unique gift that will make your visitors feel right at home in our great city of Houston! 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Why I Love Houston: True South


Welcome to my Why I Love Houston Series, where I share my favorite Houston experiences and excursions. My goal is to make my hometown of Houston more accessible to the ever-changing mix of folks adopting our amazing city as their home base and reminding natives of the hidden gems throughout H-town.

Why I love Houston....exciting public art exhibits like True South.


I'm passionate about our local art scene in Houston.​​W​e're lucky to not only have access to world class museums, but also amazing public exhibits like True South-- A Historic Trail of the Arts. This temporary installation along Heights Boulevard features eight sculptures by contemporary Texas artists. These pieces bring a smile to my face everyday as I make my neighborhood commute to the Why I Love Houston Properties' office on the Boulevard, where Kermit Eisenhut's Heart of the Heights sits​ right out ​side of​ our front door!

I highly recommend making a pilgrimage along the Heights Boulevard Trail to get up close and personal with these day-brightening artworks before the exhibition ends on December 15th. Plus these installations make fun family photo backdrops and selfies for Facebook and Instagram​! A few favorites are Sharon Kopriva's Marcella, a whimsical, bird-like figure whose wings are made of paintbrushes; Hans Molzberger's Retired Cowboy Clown, an over-sized rocking chair with a tiny cowboy clown perched atop; and Joe Barrington's Sock Monkey, a playful take on this iconic stuffed toy.

While in the neighborhood, make sure to stop by one of my favorite​s​, Revival Market, for breakfast or lunch, or grab a coffee and snack to go. Another great refreshment option along the trail is EQ coffee house. And if you're ready to make the Heights your new neighborhood​, ​be sure to set up a viewing of this charming bungalow or this lovely, newly renovated house, both just a short walk away from the trail.

Happy Trails,


Kathlyn

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

5 Ways to Warm Up Your Patio


Maximize the use of your outdoor space even if there's a little chill in the air. Try these five ways to warm up your patio as the crisp Fall nights approach: 
Light up the Chiminea -- Buy or build a fire pit to take full advantage of cooler nights.  These outdoor pits come in a variety of materials from clay to copper and allow you to take full advantage of the cooler temps coming our way in Houston. Find your own at Barrio Antiguo in the Heights where they are getting a truckload delivered on November 7! 
Add an Outdoor Heater -- When temperatures start to dip, take a cue from Houston restaurants like Dolce Vita and Coltivare and add an outdoor heater to keep a patio area cozy and comfortable. There are many options to choose from, including propane, electric, tabletop or stand-alone models.
Serve up Hot Beverages -- A cup of hot cocoa or a hot toddy might be all it takes to keep your outdoor space cozy. Shop for exotic hot chocolate mixes at Central Market or head to Spec's for a grown-up version. 
Curl Up in a Blanket -- Invest in a snuggly throw or blanket to keep warm while you enjoy the welcome drop in temperature. Bed, Bath, and Beyond has a wide selection of throws to extend your stay outdoors. And if you shop at their Kirby location, be sure to pick up a slice of pie at nearby House of Pies!
Warm Up the Porch -- A screened-in porch can get too cold for comfort without protection from chilly fall drafts. Adding curtains or shutters can help block the breeze and keep warm air in, turning this favorite summertime space into a fall retreat. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Current Listings

102 Lanai, Tiki Island

Current Listings

102 Lanai, Tiki Island: This is must see property, with amazing, unobstructed waterfront views of Galveston Island.  

211 E 22nd St., Heights: Beautifully renovated large home in this desirable location. 

425 W 21st St., Heights: Charming bungalow with a cute front porch and large yard. 

2124 White Oak Dr., Heights: New construction to be built. Great lot location with scenic view. 

1922 Ebony Ln., Oak Forest: Priced at lot value, this property offers a huge corner lot in the booming Oak Forest neighborhood. 

6018 Hummingbird St., Westbury: Immaculate mid-century modern ranch home. 

13935 Grafton Bridge Ln., Brunswick Lakes: Lovely 4 bedroom, single-story open floor plan home.  




Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Why I Love Houston: Sunday Streets




Welcome to my Why I Love Houston Series, where I share my favorite Houston experiences and excursions. My goal is to make my hometown of Houston more accessible to the ever-changing mix of folks adopting our amazing city as their home base and reminding natives of the hidden gems throughout H-town.


Why I love Houston ...... because of inventive programs like Cigna Sunday Streets.

With the cooler temperatures, I'm really looking forward to the next Sunday Streets where a few blocks of a selected neighborhood become a pedestrian oasis where you can walk, bike ride, or glide along the city streets without a car in sight. Mark your calendar for Sunday, November 1, from 12-4 pm, for a power walking session, family bicycle ride, or maybe just a leisurely stroll in the Museum Park area. Here are some ideas for a full day of explorations in the Museum District.

I suggest starting with Sunday brunch at Lucille's for southern classics (their chili biscuits are to die for) or Danton's for fresh gulf seafood paired with a live blues band.

After you've done the Sunday Streets circuit, nearby attractions to check out in the Museum Park area include the Houston Museum of Natural Science (be sure to view their exquisite gem collection) and the delightful Cockrell Butterfly Center. If you still have energy left to burn, take a walk along the reflection pool in Hermann Park where you might catch a sighting of couples posing for their engagement photos or a Quinceañera photo shoot.

My son, Jean Luc, is a big fan of the Health Museum and its interactive exhibits like the Debakey Cell Lab where kids can don a lab coat for fun with DNA and mystery microbes. And the Children's Museum is always a big hit with the younger set!


See you on the streets!

Kathlyn

Thursday, October 15, 2015

How You Can Use Lighting to Dramatically Change a Room


Proper lighting isn't just about creating functional spaces; it can also add interest to an area. As a realtor who regularly hosts open houses, I know that lighting is essential to making a positive first impression on potential buyers. Rooms can feel bigger, brighter and more beautiful with the right lighting techniques. Take your home from dreary to dramatic with these simple lighting tricks from the pros.
Use Ambient Lighting for Overall Feel -- Choose fixtures that provide sufficient brightness for the room's basic activities, like watching television, eating dinner or relaxing. Does the room have significant natural light? If the area is primarily used during the day, take advantage of that sunlight and complement it with other sources, like recessed lighting, if more is needed. Browse for statement-making fixtures at Brown, a quaint shop in Upper Kirby. 
Install Dimmer Switches for More Control -- The lighting required in the family room when you're watching a movie is different from the lighting needed to work on a puzzle or kick back with a book. Use dimmer switches in rooms that serve multiple purposes to vary the lighting quickly and easily. Instead of the big box stores, support neighborhood shops like Southland Hardware in Montrose aka, "The store that has almost everything," or Berings in West U where you can pick up gourmet coffee too. 
Add Accent Lighting to Highlight Features -- Accent lights draw attention to a room's focal point, such as a fireplace, artwork or feature wall. Options for accent lighting include recessed spotlights, track lights, sconces, uplights, and even some decorative table and floor lamps. Two local resources for fun and practical lighting projects are Light Bulbs Unlimited in Montrose and the Light Bulb Depot in the Heights. 
Optimize Task Lighting for Specific Lighting Needs -- Supplement ambient lighting with task lighting designed to provide light for a specific activity. Common places for task lighting include above the stove and countertops, on bedside tables and computer desks, and over bathroom mirrors.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Open Houses and Listings

211 E. 22nd St., Heights, Houston


Open Houses

Why I Love Houston Properties is hosting the following Open Houses this coming weekend, Oct. 10-11. 

Saturday, October 10th 2-5 pm (Heights)

211 E 22nd St., Heights: Beautifully renovated large home in this desirable location.

425 W 21st St., Heights: Charming bungalow with a cute front porch and large yard.

Saturday, October 10th 2-4 pm (Westbury)

6018 Hummingbird St., Westbury: Immaculate mid-century modern ranch home.

Sunday, October 11th 2-5 pm (Heights)

211 E 22nd St., Heights: Beautifully renovated large home in this desirable location.

425 W 21st St., Heights: Charming bungalow with a cute front porch and large yard.

Get to know the Heights neighborhood with window shopping on 19th Street!

Current Listings

102 Lanai, Tiki Island: This is must see property, with amazing, unobstructed waterfront views of Galveston Island.  

211 E 22nd St., Heights: Beautifully renovated large home in this desirable location. 

425 W 21st St., Heights: Charming bungalow with a cute front porch and large yard. 

2124 White Oak Dr., Heights: New construction to be built. Great lot location with scenic view. 

1922 Ebony Ln., Oak Forest: Priced at lot value, this property offers a huge corner lot in the booming Oak Forest neighborhood. 

6018 Hummingbird St., Westbury: Immaculate mid-century modern ranch home. 

13935 Grafton Bridge Ln., Brunswick Lakes: Lovely 4 bedroom, single-story open floor plan home.  




Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Why I Love Houston: Seasonal Celebrations!


Welcome to my Why I Love Houston Series, where I share my favorite Houston experiences and excursions. My goal is to make my hometown of Houston more accessible to the ever-changing mix of folks adopting our amazing city as their home base and reminding natives of the hidden gems throughout H-town.

Why I Love Houston...Fall means cooler weather, Halloween, and Day of the Dead celebrations 

With October's arrival, I plan on spending quality time with my family in the great outdoor spaces of Houston with a nod to the approaching Halloween season. 

Fall is perfect for enjoying Buffalo Bayou Park. This Houston green space is even better with all the recent improvements, including hike and bike trails, public artwork, and a dog park. It's also home to the Waugh Drive Bat Colony, a family favorite. There's nothing quite like witnessing the bats emerge from under the bridge and early fall is prime bat-viewing time. A bit of wildlife in the city!   

As a fifth-generation Houstonian, I'm an avid fan of learning about the city's beginnings. With our city's stunning skyscraper-filled skyline as a backdrop, Founder's Cemetery on 1217 West Dallas is a great introduction to Houston history. The cemetery is Houston's oldest burial ground and the final resting place of John Kirby Allen, a co-founder of Houston. After exploring this designated "Texas Historic Cemetery," I plan for an early Italian dinner at nearby Nino's down the street which has been open since 1977! 

I also look forward to partaking in the many festive Halloween celebrations with my son. The ArBOOretum is a fun family outdoor event hosted by the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center. Jean-Luc loves the hay rides, pumpkin decorating and the Trick or Treat Trail! Mark your calendar for Saturday, October 24th, 12-4 pm. 

In my Heights neighborhood, Mexican folk art gallery, Casa Ramirez, on 19th Street holds free classes every Saturday in October that explain the traditions of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) so you can build your own personal altar to memorialize loved ones. Be sure to join in a long-standing Heights tradition when the owners invite the community to celebrate the Day of the Dead with an outdoor procession and Aztec dancers.
Happy Fall Outings! 

Kathlyn

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Brighten Your Home With A Statement Wall

Convert a Bland Wall Into a Stunning Design Feature

Just because a new home comes with fresh white walls doesn't mean they have to stay that way. A statement wall can pull a design together, add personality, and make furniture and accessories pop. Creating an eye-catching feature can be simple, starting with a wall to highlight.
Whether you choose to make a statement with a bold, bright wall color or an exotic, textured wallpaper, the key is to balance it with other design elements in the room.
Choose a Focal Point -- Decide what aspect of the room you would like to draw attention to. Fireplaces, large furniture pieces and artwork are popular focal points. If your room doesn't lend itself to having a statement wall, highlight existing features like a small office nook or an inset wall.
Pick a Bold Color or Pattern -- Choose a bright color, interesting texture or striking pattern for your statement wall. Pick up a color from the furniture or textiles already in the room or go with a contrasting color to stand out more.
Place Furniture for Maximum Impact -- Arrange pieces of furniture to draw attention to your statement wall. For example, two light-colored occasional chairs on opposite sides of a darkly painted wall attract the eye and create a focal point, particularly when they're coupled with pops of color in pillows, lamps and art.
Add Accents -- Finish off a room's design by carefully placing accessories that highlight your statement wall. This is the perfect opportunity to integrate your personality into your home. Show off your favorite artwork, family heirlooms or travel keepsakes.
Incorporate Houston Street Art -- Adorn your walls with ReThink! Tile's limited edition Houston Streets, a selection of  50 excerpts of Houston street art and murals printed onto tiles created from recycled fluorescent light bulbs. Explore their other collaborations with local artists to give your statement wall a unique Houston vista.    

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Why I Love Houston: Discovery Green's Sounds Like Houston!

Welcome to my Why I Love Houston Series, where I share my favorite Houston experiences and excursions. My goal is to make my hometown of Houston more accessible to the ever-changing mix of folks adopting our amazing city as their home base and reminding natives of the hidden gems throughout H-town.

Why I Love Houston...Discovery Green's Sounds Like Houston! Thursday Concerts

Discovery Green Park is the perfect setting for catching live music under the stars and skyscrapers of Houston's downtown​. Houston native and blues wonder woman, Carolyn Wonderland, kicked off the free concert series last Thursday with a powerhouse guitar performance showcasing the sounds of Texas blues greats mixed in with her own original songs. 

Pack your blanket and chairs, bring the kids, create your own picnic from nearby Phoenicia Market and savor the tunes while admiring our city's ever-growing skyline. The diversity of Houston really shows at these events and gives our big city a small town feel when everyone's gathered on the green taking a break from carpool lines and cubicle life. I love to see young and old alike boogie on the dance floor in front of the stage and LED hula hoops are all the rage! The concert series ends Thursday, October 22 so be sure to make it out for the rest of the music lineup which ranges from Dale Watson honky tonk to zydeco. The opening bands start at 6:30 pm with the headliner wrapping up just before 9 pm. With free parking easy to find on the street, this is a low-budget way to enjoy the best the city has to offer. 

Hope to see you out there soon!

​Kathlyn

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Tiki Island At Dusk

Take a video tour of my gorgeous Tiki Island Listing. Contact me for details about this amazing waterfront property. 



Wednesday, September 16, 2015

5 Areas to Tackle to Make Your Home Office Perfect

What Do You Need to Create a Useful Home Office?

Working from home has serious benefits. You can't beat the commute or the flexibility you have when it comes to structuring your day. But there are also drawbacks. Creating a makeshift office at the kitchen table could mean important documents end up with a coffee ring or worse, go missing.

Whether you work full-time from home or just need an occasional workspace, thoughtful room design can make all the difference. From task lighting to functional storage, here are a few pointers for setting up an effective home office:
Lighting -- Ensure you have both general and task lighting to prevent eyestrain. Ideally, office lighting should illuminate your work space without adding glare to your computer screen. For an elegant home office look, browse the selection at Circa Lighting. Find a one-of-a-kind piece at Bluebird Circle in Montrose. 
Ergonomics -- Arrange your desk, chair and the computer screen so you're sitting in a neutral position while typing. Avoid any positions that require twisting or leaning forward, as both put a strain on your back.
Cable Management -- Keep control of cables with color-coded ties and clips. Don't forget to include a charging station for all of your electronic devices.
Aesthetics -- Consider the view from your office window. If you don't have the luxury of overlooking a beautiful outdoor space, add decorative touches indoors to create an office you'll love spending time in. Stock up on fun and whimsical office accessories at FIT, a Japanese dollar store, in Houston's Chinatown. For statement stationery, Paper Source in Highland Village has a large selection to choose from. Plus you can pick up a quick treat at the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM next door!  
Storage -- Integrate functional storage into your office space, especially if other members of the family will also be using the room. If space is at a premium, go vertical, adding storage boxes and file holders to shelves.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Mini Murals Sneak Peek!


Don't forget to join me for the Beyond the Box Mini Murals Gala on Saturday, September 19 at Silver Street Studios which is free and open to the public. As a co-chair of the event, I hope to see many of you in attendance to celebrate this civic arts project in our wonderful city of Houston! Mini mural artists will also be there and VIP admission is available which includes a preview with the artists, an auction, light bites, and drinks. 


Before the Beyond the Box Gala, map out your own Mini Murals tour with the handy online Mini Murals map.
Here are a few ways to enjoy the artwork and explore Houston. ​

I brake for Mini Murals! Plan for pit stops along West Bellfort to view many of the murals. Score points for who can spot the box first! 

If you have soccer fans in the family, take a trip to the Futbol Mini Mural at the corner of South Braeswood and Buffalo Speedway where there's also a nearby trail along the bayou for a bike ride or a walk. 

Transforming everyday objects into extraordinary works of art also transforms the neighborhood by making the daily commute more colorful and creates a conversation piece for the community. Please spread the word and share photos of your favorite Mini Murals with the hashtag #MiniMuralsHou

See you at Silver Street Studios!

Kathlyn

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Unusual Homes

Unique Buildings That Have Been Converted Into Homes

Have you ever dreamed of living in a home unlike any other? Thanks to a little creativity and a whole lot of work, what's old is new again with these spectacular home conversions. From former firehouses to built-upon barges, check out these truly unusual residences:
Historic Firehouse -- Artists Vincent Valdez and Adriana Corral converted a 1928 fire station located in San Antonio, Texas, into an art studio and loft-style apartment. The former fire station offered the perfect blank canvas for the artists with its white walls, concrete floors and high ceilings.
Old Water Tower -- An 1877 water tower in London, England, was transformed into a luxury home by homeowners Leigh Osbourne and Graham Voce. The 99-foot tall brick structure required significant restoration before it could be converted into the four-bedroom home with an ultra-modern living space on the ground level.
Barge -- A 1909 barge used for transporting heavy goods is now a floating home in Södermalm, a district in central Stockholm, Sweden. The 1,600-square foot residence features three levels outfitted with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, an open-plan living room and a dining room.
Schoolhouse-- This Federal-style schoolhouse was built around 1840 in the Catskills of New York. Unfortunately pipes burst and the ceiling fell in one week after closing, so the homeowners had to deal with a complete renovation. After a year of hard work, the schoolhouse was transformed into a colorful and vibrant weekend retreat.
Unique Houston Homes-- For a Houston tour of unusual homes, the Beer Can House is always on the list. The home, located in the Rice Military neighborhood, pays homage to the former owner's beloved brew with woven, intricately patterned aluminum cans welcoming visitors. The Orange Show Center for Visionary Art acquired the house and offers tours Wednesday-Sunday, 12-5 pm but you can always drive by for a quick selfie with out-of-town guests!

Minimalist and modern is the look of architect Ronnie Self's St. Emanuel House in the Third Ward neighborhood where most of the dwellings are traditional, wood-framed homes. The California dreamin' style residence perches over the freeway and has dramatic views of the downtown skyline. The home has been featured in the New York Times Magazine as a roadside attraction-right in our hometown!

Be sure to be on the lookout for historic neighborhood and unique home tours offered by Preservation Houston and AIA Houston, the local chapter of the American Institute for Architects, which has a Museum District Walking Tour scheduled for October 3, 2015. If you attend, be sure to pair your walk with a meal at Danton's Gulf Coast Seafood Kitchen on Montrose for their fresh gulf coast seafood.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Krause Springs Weekend Retreat

Best watering hole in Texas?  Krause Springs in Spicewood near Austin.  Still craving summer memories after school starts?  Take a weekend trip here before the heat dissipates.  You will think you've died and gone to heaven.  Relaxation incarnate.  Almost private until about noon - just what this overworked soul needed to recharge!  Campgrounds too. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

​Houston​ ​Restaurant Weeks​ ​Season


Welcome to my Why I Love Houston Series, where I share my favorite Houston experiences and excursions. My goal is to make my hometown of Houston more accessible to the ever-changing mix of folks adopting our amazing city as their home base and reminding natives of the hidden gems throughout H-town.


​​
Why I Love Houston...Houston Restaurant Weeks Season.

Nothing represents a people and their culture like food. Houston’s cuisine – like the city itself – is diverse, innovative, and accessible. As much as I love to travel, there is truly no place like home for this fifth-generation Houstonian – and food plays no small part in that romance for me and the millions of others who are proud to call Houston home. There’s always a new​ ​place ​to try​ and Houston Restaurant Weeks is the perfect opportunity for plotting​ culinary adventures​ ​while benefiting the Houston Food Bank. Here are some of my favorite picks from this year's list of participating restaurants.

For refined casual cuisine with a Southern flair, I love the flavors and ambiance of rooftop dining at Harold’s Restaurant on 19th Street – housed in the hallowed remains of the landmark upscale department store by the same name. Take advantage of Metro's free bus service through August 22 and catch a ride to your dining destination. The White Oak route in my neighborhood makes a stop near Revival Market where you can also pick up locally made condiments like pickles and jams. Brennan’s famous New Orleans-style dining decadence and Damian’s Cucina Italiana are Midtown musts. In Montrose, ​​sophisticated, ​Mexican cuisine is on the menu at Hugo’s. After a full day of gallery-hopping in the Museum District, make a reservation for a table at the Monarch Bistro ​in swanky Hotel ZaZa (formerly the historic Warwick Hotel) or 
Lucille’s, ​named after the first black female business owner in Texas whose recipes are dished up proudly by her descendants for ​all the Southern comfort​ food​ one art-loving soul could desire. On the weekends, be sure to catch the live Blues brunch, oysters, and fresh fish Texas-style at Danton's Gulf Coast Seafood. Houston Restaurant Weeks runs through September 7, 2015, so be sure to start making those reservations to dine out for a worthy cause.

Bon appetit!

Kathlyn



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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Clutter Busters

Home Organizing Tips 

Spring may be a popular season for cleaning, but fall is a great time to get your home organized, especially if you have students who are starting school. Clutter creates chaos. Once an area gets messy and disorganized, it becomes the de facto dumping ground for everything else. Here are a few clutter busters to keep the chaos under control.
Start With the Hot Spots -- Clear flat surfaces that tend to accumulate piles on a daily basis. If you find yourself tempted to leave items in those areas, replace the clutter with artful decorations to remind yourself that it's no longer a dumping zone. Build a collection that's full of character rather than clutter at Texas Art Asylum where the shelves are stacked high with odd objects or shop for unique home decor with regional flair at Biscuit Home
Designate a Space for Everything -- Find a home for everything in each and every room of your house, including the garage. If it doesn't fit, consider it a sign that you need to go through and purge the items you no longer use. Declutter destinations for donating items that you no longer use but are in need of a second home include The Guild Shop of St. John the Divine for consignment-worthy pieces or drop off your gently used goods at one of the many Goodwill locations in Houston. You can also schedule a pickup for your "retired" household goods with Purple Heart.  
Arrange by Frequency of Use -- Keep regularly used items near the front or at eye level in closets, drawers and pantry spaces. Store the stuff you rarely use high up or in the back. Head to the Houston Food Bank with non-perishables from your pantry. Be sure to check their list for the most needed food items. 
Compartmentalize to Avoid Clutter -- Use drawer dividers and storage containers to group like items together. Each compartment serves as a placeholder when items are in use, which prevents the space from being overtaken by random clutter.
Zip and Store Small Things -- To keep clutter under control, group small items by category and store them in resealable plastic bags inside a larger storage container or drawer.
Swap out the Extra Stuff -- Rotate clothing, toys and accessories by season so you aren't tripping over winter boots when you're looking for flip-flops and vice versa. This strategy also works for taming the toy room. Turn in your couture for cash with consignment-friendly boutiques, More Than You Can Imagine and The Little Bird. Try Buffalo Exchange for trendier attire. After you've tamed the toy room, Thread offers in-store cash and credit for stylish kids clothing, gently used toys and books, and maternity wear.