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Unexpected treasures fill a Vermont corner cupboard in the main room of the house.
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Borden and Briscoe are the third owners of the 1895 manse built for Conrad Schwarz, a pioneering vehicle manufacturer who made his fortune selling carriages and early automobiles on Preston Street in downtown Houston. The spacious main room of the house has hosted countless parties, weddings and even the funeral of Schwarz himself in 1919. In the window box, a 1967 Willem de Blaise double-manual harpsichord is flanked by Laura Lark’s Cheveux d’Ange ink on Tyvek drawing (left). Ted Kincaid’s Lunar photograph (right) hangs above a 1920s Santa Fe mission table from Installations Antiques in the Heights. The 1910 slag glass lamp is from Antique and Design Guy on lower Westheimer. Both Lark and Kincaid are headliners in Borden’s stellar stable.
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The handsomely carved paneling is a striking feature of the entire house. The motif of the turned finial on the newel post at the bottom of the staircase is repeated inside and outside the extraordinarily intact Victorian.
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The Vermont corner cabinet in the main room is filled with curiosities and topped with a vintage Dutch bee skep from Installations Antiques in the Heights. Center: Houston-based Geoff Hippenstiel’s oil on canvas Untitled, 2010. Resting on the floor, right: Terrell James’ oil on vellum Field Study, 2005, from Hiram Butler Gallery.
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Kate Shepherd’s handmade paper work from 2006 hangs in the spacious main room. Eileen Gray designed this adjustable glass and chrome side table in 1929 for her sister who loved to eat in bed; at Design Within Reach. Here it’s paired with a vintage George Nelson swag chair Borden found at a Montrose junk dealer in the mid-1980s. The music room (background) overlooks the rear garden of the house and features a Steinway grand piano made the same year that the house was built: 1895.
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A wood-and-glass case from the estate of Sue Rowan Pittman is filled and topped with modest examples of ancient glass and pottery from Whisnant Galleries in New Orleans. Resting against the wall, Robert Rauschenberg’s Shirtboard series from 1991. Overhead, Joseph Havel’s Drinks Are Boiling, 2005.
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This Art Deco drawing of a woman by Francisco Lardies was acquired from the collection of Blaine Hickey and Ogden Robertson, photographers who recorded Houston art and interiors for more than 40 years. It’s festooned with a crocheted work by New York artist Sheila Pepe and rests on an Eastlake side table from August Antiques in the Heights.
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Friscoe and Borden fondly call their sun-filled library “the Florida Room” and have filled it with books and plants. The blue-pickled floors and simple maple bookshelves were added in 2006.
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Left: Untitled 1977, a colorful Jasper Johns crosshatch, hangs over a series of Chris Akin drawings inspired by The Menil Collection’s rectory-table marble skull. Lower left, a 19th-century calligraphy drawing from Andrew Spindler Antiques in Essex, Massachusetts. Center, a recent painting by Matt Messinger hangs above an oversized vitrine housing the very petite Sherrie Levine Two Shoes from 1992.
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The music room adroitly combines diverse furniture and artwork. the recent Jordan Johnson tapioca drawing Funk hangs over Mark Flood’s Monster, Borden’s prescient first art acquisition from 1988. A pair of 19th-century Morris chairs in black leather and teal velvet surround a Darryl Lauster cast-resin tea table, inspired by the original at Bayou Bend, and a 19th-century chowder glass lamp from Andrew Spindler Antiques in Essex, Massachusetts.
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Millie the whippet relaxes in style on a mid-19th-century ombre velvet Louis Quinze side chair. Over the matching settee hangs a silver-and-pink oil by Geoff Hippenstiel, whom Borden represents.
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A chocolate tart, paired with Tillen Farms Bada Bing cherries from Central Market, makes an understated but sumptuous dessert. Serve with whipped cream. A wood-and-glass case from the estate of Sue Rowan Pittman is filled and topped with modest examples of ancient glass and pottery from Whisnant Galleries in New Orleans. Resting against the wall, Robert Rauschenberg’s Shirtboard series from 1991. Overhead, Joseph Havel’s Drinks Are Boiling, 2005.
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The Texas Tamale Company offers a healthy vegetarian spinach variation on the Tex-Mex classic. The nasturtium and dianthus salad is as colorful as it is delicious.Devin Borden, Pahl Samson and Geoff Hippenstiel. Hippenstiel’s rich impastos are on view at Devin Borden Gallery from March 8 through April 30.
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Vinyl aficionado Borden was among the first to snap up the recently rereleased Beatles catalog at Vinyl Edge Records in the Heights. Shown here: Abbey Road and its iconic cover.
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Painter Geoff Hippenstiel and sculptor Sharon Engelstein gather in the entry of Borden and Briscoe’s home for a casual lunch with friends on a recent afternoon. The rare and distinctive woodwork throughout the house is heart of pine, still pristine 118 years after it was built.
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Solkem N’Gangbet and Pahl Samson catch up on all the art news over Briscoe and Borden’s favorite party beverages, cane-sugar Dr Pepper (Central Market) and Ommegang Lambic Ale from Cooperstown, New York (Three Philosophers, available at Whole Foods Market). In the foreground, a collection of early 20th-century porcelain fragments are nestled in a bell jar. Borden found them in Germany.
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Borden and Briscoe’s casual but elegant lunch fare is served from a wheeled Shaker laundry table, which also functions as a dining-room table, from shakerworkshops.com.
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Devin Borden, Pahl Samson and Geoff Hippenstiel. Hippenstiel’s rich impas tos are on view at Devin Borden Gallery from March 8 through April 30.
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Devin Borden and his partner, Robert Briscoe, are the third owners of the house built by Conrad Schwarz in 1895. “The perfect condition of the original bald-cypress siding and porch details are a testament to the superior craftsmanship and quality of materials available in late 19th-century Houston,” notes Borden who, with Briscoe (a descendant of one of the first families of Texas), are both fascinated with history.
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A cast anatomy skull is combined with Renaissance-inspired Juliska glassware from Kuhl-Linscomb and mineral specimens to create a Vanitas-themed cabinet of curiosities in the corner cupboard.
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Unexpected treasures fill a Vermont corner cupboard in the main room of the house.
In this photo:
The handsomely carved paneling is a striking feature of the entire house. The motif of the turned finial on the newel post at the bottom of the staircase is repeated inside and outside the extraordinarily intact Victorian.
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