Modern Outdoor Design Tour

For even more exteriors and interiors at the Modern Outdoor Design Tour, check out our slide show.

Open houses are fun -- if you want to walk around your old/potentially new neighbors' homes -- mainly because this could be the only time that you're invited inside. The Modern Outdoor Design Tour was much like any other open house, except some houses weren't for sale and, instead of walking in pretending to be a potential buyer, you had to pay $30 and slip on blue shoe covers.

The tour itself took place for only one day and gave a look into some interesting modern designs around Houston, with no two homes taken from pages of the same playbook. The tour consisted of 13 houses, nine of which are currently on sale for prices that could move Occupy Houston away from downtown to their front doors.

To see all of the homes, you really had to be moving, even though only two of the homes were outside 610 Loop and the others were in close proximity to either Memorial or Hermann parks. The number 13 was still unlucky for many tour-goers and a bit ambitious for anything besides a paper route.

Kicking off the tour was a large house at 11602 Lou-Al where the interior was closed to the tour. Luckily, the standout features to this house could be found outside in the form of two large fans by Big Ass Fans that looked like someone removed the propellers from a helicopter and hung them upside down to cool off their weekend barbecues.

Next on the list of residences were two houses by Solution Builders. The more interesting of the two was at 538 Arlington. The feature that really set this one apart from the other home was the 200-year-old tree that the entire house was built around.

The following three homes on the tour would have given the creators of the Slinky a warm, fuzzy feeling with their multiple floors and unique staircases. The house at 6504 Rodrigo probably had the most interesting light fixtures of anything on the tour and a small outdoor fireplace in the entryway between it and its twin house on the left. The house at 5007 Dickson had great use of natural light and two yellow entire doors that would feel right at home in a Tim Burton movie.

The home at 719 Bomar was across the street from Peggy H. Shiffick Park. If you don't know this park, don't feel bad. It consists of only two benches, one tree and a big green sign with "Peggy H. Shiffick Park" written on it.

While not the most glamorous from the outside, the house more than makes up for it with what is going on inside. The fourth floor of the house offers the best view of the Houston skyline on the tour, but the real view was looking down from the large staircase, resembling M.C. Escher's "Relativity" in the way that the staircase moved.

The house at 1906 Park was probably one of the more popular homes on the tour with its beautiful bedrooms and windows that really open up the place.

However, the most interesting home on the tour was at 3231 Audley. Converted from an old weather museum, the home seemed to gather elements from a modern art gallery into a beautiful home.

The homes that were still under construction were at 5301 Chenevert and 1815 Southmore. The house on Southmore was a part of a larger community of similar homes, with the entire neighborhood looking something like a group of homes built out of Legos. Last house on the tour was at 5910 Grace Street, designed by M + A Architecture Studio.

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