“At Home With” is a regular feature showcasing men’s homes and interior design
When you enter the home of Lloyd Gite, you might think you’ve walked into a museum rich with art from around the world. But Gite, 65, actually lives in this contemporary home he had built two years ago.
“I started collecting art on my first trip to Africa in 1976 shortly after college,” says Gite, who owns The Gite Gallery. “And I’m still collecting, just not as much for myself anymore. Everything at the gallery is for sale. But my private collection at my home is just that. None of that is for sale.”Gite, who was an award-winning reporter at KRIV-TV, the Fox station in Houston for 18 years and the Texas correspondent for Black Entertainment Television (BET) for more than a decade, decided to build his dream home in 2006. He hired architect Brett Zamore and together they came up with contemporary drawings for the new home.
Zamore and Gite originally planned to begin construction in 2007. But when the economic depression hit, many real estate development projects came to a halt.
“I had built a garage apartment behind my art gallery to live in for six months or so until the new home was built,” says Gite. “I ended up staying there for seven years because no one would give me money for a new home loan because of the economic crisis.”
Despite the setbacks, the original plans stood the test of time, and in 2014 construction got underway. One year later Gite was in his new home.
“The home was designed to showcase my art,” says Gite. “One whole wall that goes up two stories was designed especially for dozens of paintings. The light and air controls are situated low on the walls to allow paintings to hang better. There is nothing worse than a wall that has a light switch or plug in the middle of a wall. That wall can’t be used to hang much on it.”
While Gite’s art gallery specializes in the sale of African and Afro-Cuban art, Gite’s home is full of art and artifacts from around the world. There are pieces from Africa, China, Russia, Japan, the Caribbean, and the Middle East.
“I also have a large collection of art from the 1920’s Harlem Renaissance. My favorites include Elizabeth Calet and Jacob Lawrence, both of whom I interviewed before their deaths,” says Gite. “Others include Romare Bearden, John Biggers and more contemporary Houston artists such as Lionel Lofton, Leamon Green, Charles Criner, Robert Hodge, Angelbert Metoyer, Nathanial Donnette.”
The 3,400 sq. ft. home has plenty of windows that let lots of sunlight in and there are two skylights above the stairwell that allows light to flood the area. There’s a powder room on the first floor with a wonderful bright red metal chandelier that casts a shadow of webs on the wall once the light goes on. This room and the foyer are on concrete floors.
You go up two stairs into the main portion of the home where there is an open concept kitchen and dining space. As for the furnishings, Gite wanted sleek pieces like the dining room chairs by internationally known designer Christopher Guy and the understated sofas and cocktail table by famous designer Marge Carson.
The kitchen flows into the dining room where you encounter large plate glass doors that showcase an outdoor lounging area. From there you can walk into the large living room. The space features more art and artifacts along with a bookshelf that spans a whole wall. Throughout the home, you will find photos of famous people Gite has interviewed over the years. They include Rosa Parks, Muhammad Ali, Viola Davis, Patti LaBelle, Coretta Scott King, Denzel Washington, and hundreds of others.
The floors are blond hardwood except in the bathrooms where the flooring is tile. Upstairs you’ll find the master bedroom, a guest bedroom, a reading room, and a study that can be closed off with a wall of glass sliding doors.
“That’s my favorite room,” says Gite. “I love the look of the sliding glass doors. I can leave them open or closed. If I’m having a big party, I can close them but guests can still see into the room as if the glass panels weren’t there.”
Most of the walls in Gite’s home are painted shades of gray. Accent walls are charcoal, mustard, and lime green. All of the ceilings are white.
He also has several pieces of antique furniture from China such as an ornate wooden sofa table with a stone top from the late 1800s.
“African art and Chinese furniture look so good together,” says Gite.
Although Gite is pleased with the design and decor of his space, he does have one regret.
“My only regret with my new home is that I’m not here to enjoy it as much as I’d like.”