Winter 2016


Bentwood of Houston

Houston, Texas


Designers: Laura Umansky and Blair Foster of Laura U Interiors

Photography: Julie Soefer


Our Winter 2016 "Featured Project" is part of a complete remodel of a mid-century ranch style house in Houston, TX. The design was completed by Laura U Interior Design, and the remodel work by Adam Josef of Crossroads Construction. Laura Umansky partnered with Shawna Roorda at our Bentwood of Houston showroom to complete the kitchen and surrounding areas. 

This 1957 home was purchased in the Spring of 2014. It was remodeled in 1990, and the young family sought to update the home to reflect their personalities and lifestyle  The couple, one from London, one from Texas, wanted to maintain the mid-century vibe of the home while integrating a whimsical feel reminiscent of 1960's London, and honoring his Texas roots. Thanks to the large windows on the rear of the home, sweeping views of a backyard overlooking Buffalo Bayou provided an abundance of greenery and nature. It truly makes one feel like they have left the city.


The original kitchen layout, as seen below, was an L-shaped design and included a dropped ceiling. The area not only felt confining, but lacked an island and adequate preparation areas. The client wanted to open the space up and raise the ceiling to create a more spacious feel. The kitchen also felt dark, with a lone fluorescent light box and slate flagstone flooring. Their desire was to lighten things by using bold pops of accent colors.

Pulling inspiration from the client's saved Houzz photos, the design team quickly decided on the composite Zebrano material for the perimeter cabinetry. This material has a similar visual texture to that of Teak which was often used in mid-century homes. In the adjacent utility room, a Smeg refrigerator with a Union Jack design drove the red color used on the kitchen island. Borrowing further from kitchens of that era, full height end panels were used at the end of the cabinet runs to give more of a "furniture" feel.  Because the client also liked industrial objects and materials mixed in with the mid-century design of the space, a SubZero Pro 48 refrigerator was specified. Additionally a custom 60" Blue Star range, aluminum toekick to compliment the island door style, and a commercial-style faucet were installed in combination with a Shaws farmhouse sink. 

The new countertops and terrazzo tile floors used in the kitchen and utility room truly brighten the space. The client wanted durable work surfaces so they chose Silestone's "White Storm" in a polished finish, and then paired it with a matte finish, back painted, glass slab backsplash in the kitchen. The island, one of the great focal points in the kitchen, offered its own unique challenge with a 3" thick cantilevered Walnut butcher block top. This beautiful piece, which is reinforced with concealed steel supports, makes a bold statement. The new pantry space was outfitted with Zebrano floating shelves and enclosed by matching side panels and a Bentwood-crafted door. The interior of the door was veneered with a magnetic chalkboard material so this busy family could make notes, post lists, etc. 


After an extensive remodel, this home is a wonderful place for entertaining with its fun furnishings, beautiful accessories, thoughtful architectural details and lovely views of the outdoors. The kitchen was recently awarded an ASID collaboration award this past October. To view the complete project on Houzz, click here.

These are just a few of the many photos of the remainder of the complete remodel... enjoy!

We would like to thank Laura U Interiors and Bentwood of Houston for sharing this project with us. For more information you can contact Bentwood of Houston at 713.952.4357 and find them at 2800 Sage Rd., Suite A500 Houston, TX 77056.

Bon Appétit! 


External Links

Bentwood of Houston

Laura U Interiors

Julie Soefer - Photographer