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Houston’s Own Charming Version of the French Quarter — La Colombe d’Or’s Garden Bungalows Surprise

Gin Braverman Embraces a Parisian Apartment Feel

BY // 04.06.21
photography Pär Bengtsson

The Garden Bungalows at La Colombe d’Or, across Yoakum from the historic hotel property of the same name, have long been part of the Zimmerman family real estate domain, not so long ago viewed perhaps as a rather dowdy Montrose apartment complex. But it’s a Cinderella story for the nine suites that have been transformed into bohemian-chic accommodations à la mid-century Paris, as a result of the partnership between the Zimmermans and Hines in creating La Colombe d’Or Hotel & Residences.

Unassumingly poised in the shadow of the dazzling 34-story hotel and residential tower, the bungalows have retained their original French-inspired design notes. The decorative wrought-iron grill work, brick courtyard, trickling fountains and massive oak trees actually bring to mind a quaint corner of the New Orleans French Quarter.

Houston-based Gin Braverman, who heads her eponymous interior design group, was tapped to embrace a modern Gallic aesthetic when divining whimsical interiors for the bungalows.

“We imagined a narrative of an artist who would summer at the Le Colombe D’Or  (the original) in mid-century France and then return home to their — very large — Parisian apartment,” she tells PaperCity. “We designed the units to capture the essence of what that apartment might have felt like.”

Villa1_Livingroom_v3 (Photo by Pär Bengtsson)
Interiors for the Garden Bungalows at La Colombe d’Or Hotel & Residences in Houston’s eclectic Montrose neighborhood were created by Gin Design Group. (Photo by Pär Bengtsson)

The operative word here is “large.” The suites range from 840 to 1,540 square feet with one and two bedrooms and baths, full kitchens and ample entertaining space. They are ideal for guests visiting for an extended period, for those seeking a more private experience, and those opting for a Houston staycation. The bungalows have access to all of the hotel’s amenities including room service, the restaurant and bar.

The extensive reimagining for Gin Design Group included designing new bathrooms and executing a “light touch” remodel of the kitchens, and dining and lounge areas and more.

“We selected all of the hard finishes and paint colors and designed the paint applications,” Braverman says, adding that her team “custom-made all of the furnishings; selected all light, hardware and plumbing fixtures; assisted in the selection of the kitchen equipment/barware; sourced accessories; and placed all of the art from the Zimmerman collection throughout.”

Each bungalow is a funky delight unto itself featuring mod wall coverings by artist Domenica Brockman, avant-garde color combinations, and geometric rugs, all of which provide a moody backdrop for the custom furnishings. Braverman’s GDG Design Enterprises Worldwide LLC designs and manufactures custom pieces for interior design clients, as well as outside restaurants and hotels, A&D firms and individuals seeking custom furnishings.

Villa1_Bedroom_v1 (Photo by Pär Bengtsson)
Interiors for the Garden Bungalows at La Colombe d’Or Hotel & Residences in Houston’s eclectic Montrose neighborhood were created by Gin Design Group. (Photo by Pär Bengtsson)

The dynamic furniture collection for the bungalows ranges from stainless steel credenzas, to custom-upholstered beds integrated with power and lighting, acrylic dining chairs, bouclé demi-lune sofas and swiveling lounge chairs. Think mossy green and sensuous red velvets, warm leathers and ivory bouclés. We are especially taken with the out-of-this-world tangerine-hued, multi-layered lounge daybed.

And then there was the Zimmermans’ vaunted art collection to consider.

“The Zimmermans’ extensive and eclectic art collection was an amazing resource for decorating the bungalows,” Braverman says. “It was definitely another puzzle to figure out which piece went where, but  it came together so well because as different as each bungalow is, there was art available to support and enhance each one.

The bungalows represent one of three lodging experiences. There are the five suites in the circa 1920 La Colombe d’Or mansion, 18 sleek hotel suites in the tower, and the apartment style suites in the bungalows. All three have access to all of the hotel’s amenities.

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