Article by: Diane Cowen (Staff Writer)

The coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation or postponement of nearly every home design event last spring. A hopeful new schedule of fall events is still on the calendar for those interested in venturing out with masks, hand sanitizer and social distancing.

Access Design, an event hosted by the Houston Design Center, will be part of the Oct. 6-9 Fall Design Week, a new event intended to promote the growing cluster of design-oriented businesses on Old Katy Road, from Washington Avenue well past the 610 Loop.

Some Design Week events are meant for the trade, but many, including Access Design, are open to the public. Tickets are $10 for events open to the public; seating capacity is limited, so RSVP early at starting Thursday.

Speakers of interest to the general public will include an 11:30 a.m. Oct. 7 talk and book signing by Houston interior designer Marie Flanigan at the James Craig Furnishings showroom and a 10 a.m. Oct. 8 talk by The Impeccable Find lifestyle blogger Natalie Ariz at Memorial Antiques & Interiors, both of whom are at the Houston Design Center, 7026 Old Katy Road.

Access Design events will run 4-6:30 p.m. Oct. 8 and 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Oct. 9. At 4 p.m. Oct. 8, Lynne T. Jones of Lynne T. Jones Interior Design will speak on “Adding Comfort and Color to Your Home,” followed by Marcus Mohon of Marcus Mohon Interiors talking about “Transportive Environments for the Evolving Family” at 5 p.m in the Leisure Collection Showroom at the Design Center.

Star Benjamin Johnson and Sarah EilersAt 10 a.m. Oct. 9, interior designer Benjamin Johnston and builder Brian Thompson will talk about their interactive roles in “Today’s Ultra-Luxury Home With Benjamin Johnston Design and Thompson Custom Homes.” At 11 a.m., design partners Sarah Eilers and Sandra Lucas of Lucas/Eilers Design Associates will talk about their new book, “Expressive Interiors.” The talk will be followed by a book signing in the James Craig Furnishings showroom at the Design Center. Books by Flanigan and Lucas and Eilers will be available for purchase at those

Other Houston area design events include: The Guild Shop: The thrift store at 2009 Dunlavy reopened its doors after a brief pandemic closure and will mark its 58th birthday Sept. 14-19 with door prizes and giveaways. The store will operate at 25 percent capacity and all shoppers and staff must wear face coverings while in the store. Store hours are 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-noon Saturday. It is operated by the Church of St. John the Divine and benefits the elderly in need.

Sidewalk Sample Sale: This year’s sample sale at the Houston Design Center will be an indoor-outdoor experience 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 21-26. Shoppers can save up to 70 percent on antiques, art, accessories, lighting and floor samples of home furnishings at Design House (showroom 115), James Craig Furnishings (showroom 298), Johnson Simon Resources (showroom 161), MAI (Memorial Antiques & Interiors, showroom166), RR Home (showroom153), Scene One Interiors (showroom109) and Stites Gorman Associates (showroom 260). Shoppers will be expected to wear masks and observe social distancing. The Design Center is located at 7026 Old Katy Road. For information go to

Good Brick Tour: Preservation Houston’s annual Good Brick Tour, which showcases its Good Brick Award winners, has shifted to a virtual tour, with videos of single homes appearing on each Saturday, Oct. 10-31. On Oct. 10, the 1910 Sterling Myer House in Courtlandt Place will be featured, and on Oct. 17 you’ll see a colorful, art-filled loft in the 1889 W.L. Foley Building near Market Square downtown. The Oct. 24 feature will be the Rosenbaum House, a meticulously restored home built in 1964 in Meyerland. The first three videos are free, but to see the Oct. 31 featured building — the 1927 Neils Esperson Building and the adjoining Art Deco (1941) Mellie Esperson Building downtown — you will need to donate $25. (Note: the Esperson buildings’ videos will include a peek at parts of the building, including the tempietto at the top of the Niels Esperson Building, which are not open to the public.) AIA AustinHomes Tour: Most Houstonians might not drive to Austin just for a home tour, butour newly discovered  virtual social lives have reframed that. AIA Austin’s fall home tour will be conducted virtually Oct. 16-19, for those who want to see architecture by alter studio architecture and Mell Lawrence Architects, baldrige ARCHITECTS, Charles Di Piazza Architecture, Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects, Jobe Corral Architects, Mark Odom Studio, Tim Cuppett Architects, Thought barn and Studio 512-Nicole Bair. Tickets are $25-$85 at 2020.

AIA Houston 2020 Virtual Home Tour: In lieu of an in-person home tour this year, AIA Houston will hold “At Home With Architects” on Oct. 24, a showcase of the work of architects in Houston. Architectural historian Stephen Fox will contribute commentary. Go to in October for information on tickets and featured architects.

Round Top antiques shows: The fall shows were pushed back a month from their usual dates. The Original Round Top Antiques Fair will run Oct. 26-31 and the Marburger Farm Antique Show starts a day later, Oct. 27-31. Other shows at The Arbors, The Compound and Excess fields run two weeks, Oct. 15- Nov. 1.

WoodlandHeights Home Tour: This neighborhood tour, which would have been held last spring, was postponed to fall, though a tour spokesperson said they now hope to conduct their tour in late March 2021.

The Houston Design District