PaperCity Magazine

July / August 2016 - Houston

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JULY/AUGUST | PAGE 53 | 2016 dream house — a contemporary, light-filled take on a Mediterranean villa. The new house would serve as a receptacle for a sublime collection of 20th-century works on paper, artifacts gleaned from their travels, well-placed antiques, and contemporary sculpture and painting. The 16,250-square-foot house, despite its grand size, has a minimalist bent. Nine and a half years ago, the Kramers moved in, and designer Cherry Curlet was enlisted to create orderly room vignettes that honored the expansive volumes, perfect symmetry and ample light invoked by Murphy Mears' architectural design. While art and finds have been added to the original design within the past decade, the bones of the home and its remarkable restraint have remained consistent (except in Lauren's closet, where her love for pattern and textiles, handbags of all size and form beyond designer names, and an exuberance of vintage Bakelite is very much in evidence). "I collected photos for years after building our first very traditional house in Piney Point village," says Lauren, "in case I ever got a chance to build again. Steve selected the home's windows and doors and the grain of the wood on our floors. He also selected his bathtub and everything having to do with his garage and shoeshine shop (yes, we have one, and Steve does the shining)." B est of all, the Italian-informed house has been opened up on many occasions to the causes that the Kramers support. Among the most active members of Houston's chapter of the World Affairs Council, the couple has made their villa the scene of many cocktails for World Affairs' board members, supporters and speakers including a reception for Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz. The house also hosts more vernacular occasions — family entertainments where grandsons mindfully race around the house, navigating a drapery sculpture by Glassell School director Joe Havel by the spiral staircase in the circular entrance hall. "Yves Klein made these acrylic rectangles filled with color and crumpled gold leaf. His dealer set them on their sides and attempted to sell them. They just would not move. He suggested Mr. Klein put legs on them so they could sell them as coffee tables. He did, and they sold." — Lauren Kramer

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