Devastated by Harvey’s losses, Memorial Glen family gets ‘bold, fresh and new’

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As Andy and Elizabeth Cloud saw the drywall removed in what had been a bedroom closet in their Memorial Glen home, the pain from the trauma of Hurricane Harvey’s damage began to dissipate. .

The couple lived in their 1960s home in Memorial Glen for 15 years and in the fall of 2017 they thought they might have been one of the few homes in their neighborhood that hadn’t been flooded.

The rain had been falling for days and the floodwaters were rising, inch by inch, in their backyard. They had evacuated to a neighbor’s house in a higher area and traveled to their house several times a day by boat.

It remained dry until the Addicks and Barker reservoirs were released; 18 inches of water flooded inside back, one foot in front. Their hardwood floors popped up 3 feet high, throwing furniture all around.

They had done renovations in stages. An addition that included a new master suite and renovated laundry room was completed less than two years before the hurricane. The work added about 1,000 square feet to their 2,600 square foot home.

MORE FROM DIANE COWEN: Stunning West Houston home goes laid back and rebuilds after Hurricane Harvey

The Clouds, who recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary, spent weeks cleaning and cleaning their home before Andy, now 57, returned to his job as an investment banker. Elizabeth, 49, took a long break from her job at a major insurance company.

She sprayed her home daily with Concrobium Mold Control spray and met with Cade Wiley of Wiley Homes, the contractor who had worked on their previous projects, and interior designer Joani Scaff of Paisley House, who helped the family for many years.

“I looked at old photos and where we were (with the house) and said, ‘Let’s drop what’s expected and do what’s right for this family, right now,'” Scaff said. .

Their goal was a bold, fresh and new home.

After a prolonged cleanup and seven months of construction, the family returned to live upstairs. Four months later, they were able to move back into the master bedroom and use their new kitchen. The dining room finished last.

In addition to extensive damage to a house they had invested heavily in, the floodwaters damaged furniture made by Elizabeth’s grandfather, a beautiful sleigh bed, wardrobe, bench and other pieces of wood which was a hobby for him but which seemed to have been made by skilled craftsmen.

The cost of restoring everything was prohibitive, so they picked a handful of things to restore and had to abandon other things. The loss has contributed to Elizabeth’s anxiety, but now she looks through her finished home and knows she’s moved on.

“My grandfather had two daughters and three granddaughters, and he made everything for us. The sleigh bed was a wedding present,” Elizabeth said, standing in a guest bedroom that was originally the master bedroom in the house. This room contains most of what remains of her grandfather’s carpentry, a place where she can see everything together.

“The building process isn’t fun for a lot of people, but the day we expanded the entrance was a fun day,” Scaff said. It was a pivotal moment early on, when the Clouds could see just one positive change.

The Clouds now have a hall complete with a hall table made by Elizabeth’s grandfather and an ornate gold-framed mirror. Teal wallpaper with a wavy pattern covers the walls. Because the house has lower ceiling heights in the 60s, they were limited to a recessed light fixture, but it still brings a bit of glamor to the space.

The main living area saw another drastic change, with Wade and Scaff creating a new footprint with fewer walls.

Scaff found an Oushak rug with an orange background and a detailed pattern with a variety of colors. It’s the highlight of the room, so the furniture is kept neutral in a gray velvet sofa with blue and green pillows and a pair of sleek, dark gray leather recliners.

The Clouds found the couch and chairs — along with new artwork — at Scaff’s Paisley House home goods store, which moved to a Heights-area location on Washington Avenue at the start of the pandemic.

“Andy sat down in the recliner and said, ‘I want two of these, because Thomas and I want to sit on them and watch TV,'” Scaff said.

Elizabeth previously prepared meals in the kitchen and her husband and two children – Guinndalyn, now a sophomore at Texas Christian University, and Thomas, a sophomore at Stratford High School – gathered at the breakfast table .

There is no longer a breakfast table, just a comfortable place to sit with a cup of coffee. This space and this room on the other side have been absorbed into a larger kitchen. Now they can have an extra-large fridge-freezer, a bigger cooker and a wine cellar too.

“We eat on the island and we congregate on the island, and we didn’t do that before,” Elizabeth said. “During COVID, when the four of us were at home – not at school and not at work – it was definitely the center of our house. When we have people, that’s where people hang out.

The kitchen cabinets around the perimeter are painted Sherwin-Williams “Aesthetic White,” a popular white with greige undertones, but the island is coated in the paint brand’s “Moody Blue,” a nice blue-gray with undertones. green. (Most of the walls are Sherwin-Williams “Gossamer Veil”, another white leaning towards greige.)

Warm-veined quartzite countertops add to the richness of the room, and a pair of pendants above the island, with blue-green glass shades and gold trim, add just enough color.

A small bathroom adjoining the kitchen has a white porcelain sink decorated with tulips, Elizabeth’s favorite flower. They managed to save it from the previous bathroom, adding a bright red framed mirror to complement the sink.

Since they had just added the master bedroom a few years before, they mostly bought new versions of their ruined furniture and added three-drawer dressers as bedside tables.

Scaff remembers visiting the house shortly after moving in and said Andy’s closet had very little in it. He had lost all his clothes in the flood and had become a minimalist. His closet is still skinny. The Clouds are minimalist in other ways too, foregoing window treatments in favor of draperies, for example.

In a small room off the dining room, they keep a roll-top desk made by Elizabeth’s grandfather and an antique sofa that belonged to her grandmother. The sofa was damaged, so they recovered it in purple velvet.

The dining room is visible from the main entrance, so the teal of the wallpaper is repeated in the upholstery of the chairs, a solid color fabric for the accent chairs and a teal animal print for the end chairs , all with a custom-made table — in wood that exceeds Elizabeth’s high expectations.

“Our house makes us smile,” Elizabeth said. “It’s great to be home. Kids make comments like that, when they come home from camp or college, they like to come home with that.

diane.cowen@chron.com


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