After 9 Years of Savings, Houston Woman Completes Garden Oaks Dream Home Renovation

Ten years ago, when Karen Lippe decided to buy a house, she found what she wanted in the first place she looked – in Garden Oaks, a neighborhood with mostly 1940s houses, sprawling trees and friendly neighbors.

She didn’t know the design, so her mother suggested she paint the interior with the same colors as them – earthy beiges that blended with the original parquet. She bought a large brown leather sofa and other things that fit the 1,633 square foot home.

“You know, you think one day you’ll get married and buy a house. I’m single and I had to be like, ‘You can do it yourself,'” said Lippe, now 44 and director of corporate accounting at Occidental Petroleum. “I thought ‘If I have to do it, let’s do it.'”

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So she bought the house, and for nine years Lippe, a Seguin native, lived in her tidy house, saved money and looked at pictures of beautiful rooms dreaming of what she would one day do.

At that time, her family and friends came regularly for girl’s nights, book club, prayer nights and other group gatherings.

Lippe’s numbers-driven accountant had a thirst for creativity, and she found an outlet through baking. She bakes birthday and wedding cookies or cakes for friends and family – so much so that friends’ nieces, nephews and children call her Auntie K-Cake.

“When I think about everything that’s happened here, I feel like God led me into this house,” Lippe said. “There has been so much joy and so much pain worked here. Friendships have been formed here. Tears were cried over bad things that happened, but there was also a ton of comfort and love that came out here too. It’s a joy that I was able to use it this way.

During the pandemic, she decided she had saved enough money and gathered enough ideas that it was time to renovate. She hired Brigittecq Howell and Haley Ottmanncq, Home Girls’ mother-daughter remodeling team.

Lippe left his home in February 2021 and construction was completed in December.

Around this time, the house was gutted to the studs, some walls were removed, and the footprint was remodeled. The living room at the back of the house, which used to be an enclosed porch, was demolished so they could pour a new foundation even with the rest of the house and add a new laundry room.

The home is now 1,750 square feet, and instead of being a two-bedroom, one-bathroom home, it is now two-bedroom, two-bathroom.

What was once a bedroom at the front of the house is now a dining room, open to the rest of the house. A new built-in buffet serves as a welcoming place in the entrance where drinks or snacks can be placed during a party.

Plain painted sheet metal was replaced with a combination of paneling and wallpaper, Rifle Paper Co.’s “Wildwood” pattern in navy blue. The paneling and most of the walls in the house are a crisp white, Sherwin-Williams “Snowbound”.

“When I told my mum I painted everything white, she was like, ‘You were the messiest kid we’ve ever had, how’s that going to work?’ I can grow up and not be a messy adult,” Lippe said. “My parents came over and my mom looked at my dad and said, ‘Don’t touch the white couches.’ Everything is cleanable or replaceable.

She had already chosen a rustic wooden table and French country style dining chairs, upholstered in white linen. A pair of chandeliers with brass shades and dark green velvet draperies hanging from acrylic rods add youthful glamor to the room. A natural jute rug creates a soft base for it all.

“I like to entertain more than anything and I needed a table where my family and friends could sit,” Lippe said. “And this wallpaper is my favorite pattern in the world.”

What had been a small closet in this former bedroom has been absorbed into the kitchen, on the other side of the wall, to allow for more storage space.

The kitchen space used to be split between the kitchen and the dining room, which didn’t do it justice either. The kitchen had limited counter space and a raised bar on one side didn’t work well as a gathering place for friends.

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Adding function and workspace to the kitchen was Lippe’s top priority, to make cooking easier and cooking and entertaining more convenient.

Ottmann said that while many clients talk about how they want a room or home to look, her own work starts with how it will be used.

“The most important thing to start with is performance – you need to start from a place of functionality. How do you use that space? What are your current issues?” says Ottmann. There is a performance issue that needs to be fixed.”

The large space now has a large quartz-covered island, over 8 ½ feet wide and 5 feet deep, with spacious drawers for baking sheets and pans.

Lippe wanted a place for a second refrigerator – perhaps the garage or the laundry room – but Ottmann had a better idea: buy a pair of refrigerators with right and left opening handles and place them side by side so that they look like a single extra large refrigerator. with French doors.

Her large farmhouse-style sink is very useful, and she bought a dishwasher with top and bottom drawers that can be washed separately. His old 36-inch range was replaced with a 48-inch range with six burners, a griddle and two ovens.

All kitchen appliances are from New Zealand brand Fisher and Paykelcq with a high end look but more moderate prices. They found them at K&N Sales in Houston.

One cabinet is dedicated to a coffee bar, another holds appliances that Lippe uses for cooking, and another holds other small appliances, so things don’t clutter up the counter unless they’re in use. .

Rebuilding the living room, they added space to one side for a lovely utility room – where they painted the walls and ceiling dark green – Sherwin-Williams “Crisp Romaine”.

The brown leather sofa is gone, replaced by a pair of crisp white sofas with soft green and pink pillows. The urn-shaped planters are filled with greenery, a nod to what lies outside the large glass doors at the back of the house – a lovely tree-lined, grass-filled yard fluffy zoysia, designed by Ted Gregory of Gregory/Henry Landscapes.

Throughout the house, you’ll find contemporary abstract paintings in soft, light colors by Kaila Elliott, an artist friend from Bayou City Fellowship, where Lippe attends church.

Her new patio has a dining table and set of four chairs tucked behind her living room fireplace. They installed it with a glass back for dual use, perfectly in place when viewing it from inside or outside.

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When the weather is nice, Lippe and his friends sit on inflatable floats on the lawn and watch movies projected on the side of the garage. Sometimes her nieces and nephews watch cartoons outside on the television above the fireplace mantle.

The old laundry room was used to create a new second bathroom, filled with light colors and quartz counter tops.

Her own bathroom has been enlarged, and although her bedroom is the same size, it feels larger since built-in drawers have replaced a chest of drawers.

Her girly bedroom has linen draperies and new bedside tables with a stingray finish. A friend who helped with many design decisions convinced her to buy a pink velvet bed. A pair of small crystal chandeliers that hang above the bedside tables are the finishing touch to the room.

“During COVID, we couldn’t see anyone, so it was nice to have friends come over to see the house. I’ve cooked more dinners than I’ve been in a long time,” Lippe said of his return to entertainment, including some happen organically when girlfriends come over on Friday nights when they know she’s cooking.” That was really great. Everybody can sit at the bar now. I can put charcuterie on the end and everyone hangs out there while I cook.

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