Eastwood home has modern style, eclectic art in Eastwood area home

When Daniel Wallace and Christian Staples moved into their new home in the Eastwood area, it was a perfect opportunity for a fresh start for both.

Wallace, 35 and a buildings architect at Dow Chemical, had worked on plenty of projects for big companies from which he could borrow great ideas. Already a fan of modern art and architecture and a bit of a collector of midcentury furniture and accessories, he could purge the things not worthy of a new home so that he and Staples, whom he met in 2018, could fill the home together. Slim Desk Fan

Eastwood home has modern style, eclectic art in Eastwood area home

Earlier, Wallace lived in a 900-square-foot condo in EaDo, and then the couple moved into a 600-square-foot apartment while their new home was being built, making paring down absolutely necessary, since they had no extra space.

"Growing up in The Woodlands, there was tremendous growth. School took me away from residential work, but growing up, I had a fascination with the newly built environment coming up around me," said Wallace, who studied environmental design at Texas A&M University, then earned a master's degree in architecture from the University of Oklahoma.

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"I always thought Eastwood was a jewel. It’s very different from where I grew up — for starters, it's much older. The area has a unique history and has been slowly changing for the better in the past 20 years," Wallace said. "You can see progress made in the neighborhood in small restaurants and bars, activity on the street, with people mingling, and homes on a positive trajectory. I see the same kindness and hospitality in neighbors here (similar to what) I grew up with."

In his prior job with the Ziegler Cooper architecture firm, Wallace watched the increasingly blurred lines between commercial, hospitality and residential settings. Knowing he'd someday have his own home, he took note of great Bocci lighting used in one job, a gorgeous table used in a conference room in another and the warmth of the materials palette of yet another.

He leaned on all of that experience and exposure when making selections for this new house, leaning on his partner, Staples, as a sounding board. 

Construction on their compact, 2,200-square-foot home by InTown in a smallish development called Eastwood Green, began in 2020, and they closed and moved in early 2021 with their 9-year-old cat, Ralphie. Wallace travels some for work and Staples travels a lot for his job in commercial project management for Cushman & Wakefield, so between that, the coronavirus pandemic and related manufacturing and shipping delays, entertaining in their home was slow to ramp up, Wallace said.

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Daniel Wallace and Christian Staples shifted from a condo in EaDo to a new construction home in Eastwood and filled it with modern furnishings and art.

Wallace is a fan of modern and midcentury modern design, and chose a mix of pieces by well known modern designers such as Charles and Ray Eames and customizable things from Room & Board.

A modern chair upholstered in teal fabric from Poliform holds its own on one side of the living room.

A modern chair upholstered in teal fabric from Poliform holds its own on one side of the living room.

Houston artist Rachel Gonzales created the painting that hangs over the sideboard in the dining room. She and Wallace were coworkers in their prior jobs at Ziegler Cooper.

The painting over this dining room sideboard is titled "Lumikha," a Tagalog word meaning "to create" or "to expand." The artist is Rachel Gonzales of Sawyer Yards, an architect who left that career to be a full-time artist.

The open main living area includes a roomy kitchen, a niche for a dining area and a living room.

The primary bedroom has art by Paul Carola and Sarah Giannobile.

The primary bedroom has art by Paul Carola and Sarah Giannobile.

Finishes are simple and neutral in the primary bathroom.

Furniture from Room & Board fills the guest room, which also has a trio of paintings by Alonzo Garcia.

Wallace keeps his architecture books stacked on a bookshelf in the guest bedroom.

Black glass tile lines the tub/shower walls in the guest bathroom.

The home's third bedroom is used for a home office and has a desk, molded plastic chair and credenza designed by Ray and Charles Eames.

The Eames credenza debuted in 1950 and has been popular ever since.

This single Poliform chair, covered in teal upholstery, brings a unique shape to the living room. 

The Eastwood Green home of Daniel Wallace and Christian Staples was built by InTown.

"Between COVID and waiting for furniture, there were not enough places for people to sit," Wallace said of waiting a year or more for some pieces. "We couldn’t bring people over until enough furniture was here."

The home has three bedrooms and two and a half baths, with one of the bedrooms used as an office that Staples, 31, a native of Charleston, S.C., and a Clemson University graduate, uses when he's not managing construction projects elsewhere.

While the home office is really where Staples works, it's filled with things that line up with Wallace's favored aesthetic: modern design.

There's an Eames desk unit, molded plastic armchair and a credenza, all designed by Ray and Charles Eames. The desk debuted in 1949 and the chair and credenza launched a year later in 1950, iconic styles that have long been popular. A lounge chair and ottoman in red bouclé from Knoll sit in one corner, near a Le Corbusier poster that touts one of his masterpieces, the French country house known as Villa Savoye. Wallace bought it on a trip there years ago, and framed it.

Wallace loves great lighting, and this room has a dramatic Artemide desk lamp with a cantilevered appearance and minimalist Flos floor lamp with a white glass globe perched atop a chrome base, a Michael Anastassiades design. There's a piece of Chris Cook acrylic art and a Muji cuckoo clock that looks like a birdhouse.

The open main living area was important to Wallace and Staples and it's filled with a contemporary gray sofa and a pair of darker gray chairs plus a beautiful Jean-Marie Massaud armchair from Poliform.

In the nearby dining room, there's more of a Scandinavian style, with a simple table — a glass top on a wood base — and chairs, a beautiful chrome ring light and a sideboard with a wavy sculptural front. A midcentury modern bar cart was a special find, and Wallace took it to Boxwood Interiors to have it refinished to look like new.

Hanging over the sideboard is a beautiful painting by Rachel Gonzales, who worked with Wallace at Ziegler Cooper before leaving her job in architecture to launch a career as an artist. She maintains an art studio at Sawyer Yards.

The kitchen has a big island covered in a dark blue semitransparent stain and topped with white Cambria quartz. It features Bosch appliances, including a double oven and microwave drawer. Both men like to cook, with Wallace claiming to do more of the day-to-day quick meals and giving Staples credit for being a better cook for fancier things.

Staples' mother is Filipino, so he likes to infuse American dishes with flavors he grew up with, including ube, a purple root vegetable comparable to a potato or yam. Wallace is trying his hand at healthier versions of desserts, such as banana bread and cheesecake, and there may be a quart or more of homemade ice cream in their future.

Wallace created artwork from acoustical tiles in shades of blue, pieces that wrap their way up the staircase as soft, geometric art.

The bedrooms are all upstairs, and the two filled the primary bedroom and a guest room with simple modern style.

The guest room, filled with customizable furnishings from Room & Board, is where Wallace keeps his favorite architecture books stacked on a bookcase. There's also a trio of paintings by Alonzo Garcia, done over 10 years and showing a growing sophistication of the artist's work. There's a mod pop of black and white in the guest bath, where the tub/shower walls are lined with black glass tile.

The primary bedroom has an adorable midcentury chair and ottoman that Wallace had reupholstered. The vintage chair had belonged to his grandparents, and he later found an ottoman that looks like it was made to pair with it.

There's more art here, too, including a wide painting by Sarah Giannobile over the bed, an epoxy paint-on-wood piece by Houston artist Paul Carola and a George Rodrigue Blue Dog silkscreen of "Blues Can Hide a Bad Apple," a gift from Wallace's parents.

"I feel like the house is right sized to us," Wallace said. "It’s very important to us that there’s no part of the house that we don’t go into."

Eastwood home has modern style, eclectic art in Eastwood area home

Small Heater Fan For Office Desk Diane Cowen has worked at the Houston Chronicle since 2000 and currently its architecture and home design writer. Prior to working for the Chronicle, she worked at the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune and at the Shelbyville (Ind.) News. She is a graduate of Purdue University and is the author of a cookbook, "Sunday Dinners: Food, Family and Faith from our Favorite Pastors."