Editor’s note: This 1960s modern mid-century home is now on the market. Visit this home at 1407 Brookhollow Drive in Lufkin. For more information, please contact Courtney Gould at Legacy Real Estate Group, (936) 414-5322.
My wife and I didn’t look at this house and say in perfect unison, “That’s the one,” but I’m pretty sure we made the same face, and it was not a good one. We were pretty confident it had a strong case for being the ugliest house in Brookhollow. Not a runaway winner, but definitely a strong contender.
It was the poster child of mid-century modern design. Blue bathroom, pink bathroom, flat roof, sunken living room ... you name it, it had it. So, being the fearless contractor I am, I walked away, briskly. In fact, we chose to move forward on another house we were very excited about. Things did not work out on that one, so with strong encouragement from our Realtor, I came back to this one. I spent around three hours each day drawing and figuring a way to make it work.
Luckily, my wife trusted me enough that I did not have to spend the same amount of time convincing her we could make it great. The house was built in 1966. In 1971, they closed in the garage and made it one large room with an attached half bath. I spent the first two months of the remodel splitting the large room into two bedrooms and converting the half bath into a three-piece bath that included a shower. (I was doing all of this after work every evening and on the weekends, so don’t judge me on the two-month timeline.)
Then the idea of the century came along, and we decided to move in. My wife and I and our three kids. In the two bedrooms. With no kitchen. And one sink.
I moved straight to work on the kitchen and living area. This house was begging for an open concept. The kitchen was small and completely closed in. I decided to open it up and stretch it out into the extra space the upper living area had to offer. The island is a 4-by-9 with a soapstone top. My wife and I both love the wear that soapstone shows. It’s a strong contrast to the clean, modern look of the quartz covering the rest of the kitchen, which is really the design of the home in a nutshell. We both really enjoy the contrasts in the home and not committing to a single design style.
The sunken living room was surrounded by a black square tubing handrail that had one small set of carpeted stairs leading down to it. We called it the wrestling pit because it appeared to be made for elevated spectators to enjoy a Lionheart-style fight to the death below. I removed that railing and made side steps out of laminated beams. I took the scraps from that project and made the 10-foot bar that is attached to the island. I decided to make my own cable railing cover the other open side to allow visibility throughout the space and keep the open-concept feel.
The glass along the entire back side of the house is a staple for the mid-century modern design and is probably what I loved most about the house when we were looking at it. From almost anywhere in the main area of the home, you can see the large backyard and mature trees that line the lot.
My wife’s favorite part of the house is our master bathroom. It was the pink one. All pink. Yes, even the toilet. We decided to swap the locations of the master closet and the master bathroom. The long, narrow design of the existing bathroom did not lend itself to reconfiguration. The existing master closet, on the other hand, was perfect for it. I knew what I wanted: a large, modern shower with two shower heads and a glass enclosure. She knew what she wanted: a large, freestanding soaker bathtub with a chandelier above. The floating vanities continue the modern look as the barnwood beam in the ceiling keeps with the contrasting theme of the home.
It took a lot of work — late nights, long weekends and repeated tests of patience — but we are very proud of what we’ve made of our now-50-year-old home. I could not ask for more than it has given us.