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Breaking New Ground

Interior designer and major girl boss Lauren Rottet perched on the Esperson building.

I break for “for sale” signs—or “for lease,” or “sale pending” or “sold,” for that matter. When you spend the formative years of your career writing and editing for various interiors magazines and websites, interior design, architecture and real estate start to become part of your DNA. Which is why I’m especially jazzed to introduce our 2019 Real Estate issue. These pages are filled with the people, places and ’hoods that are literally shaping Houston, from top-selling agents, historic high-rises and coveted listings to architecture teams and interior design pros. Like others in most industries, design professionals have had to adapt to the way their respective fields are changing.

I sat down to lunch with Lauren Rottet and Jorge Munoz, who are spearheading the design of La Colombe d’Or Hotel & Residences and they explained that, now, they are having to plan the built environment for “a more connected generation.” Of course, they are not the only ones thinking ahead. I felt so inspired chatting with Lisa Pope Westerman, of startup LUCID—the Uber of the design world—and many from her roster of talented designers (more in our Design & Realty section). And how about Matt Esfahani and his daughter, Sarah, who just rescued a series of historic bungalows in Upper Kirby and transformed them into a picturesque shopping destination, The Cottages at Matt in his million-dollar listings. The movers and shakers on Houston’s design team are revved. And we are thrilled to be along for the ride.

Also, summer is (almost) here! As I type this, it’s mid-May, a cool 74 degrees and blissfully breezy. I’m looking forward to pool days and rosé-fueled lunches, and shimmying into a new Pippa Holt caftan. But more than anything, I’m looking forward to slowing down. This spring has been delightfully jampacked, with the Opera Ball, the Alley Theatre masquerade gala and countless luncheons, launches and glasses of Champagne. Since I moved here in October, I’ve been told numerous times that “the city comes to a halt in summertime.” We’ll see about that.

—MODERN LUXURY: Mimi Faucett Traham, Editor-in-Chief