Keith Boxx: Behind Closed Doors

 

It’s hard to drive past Cle, Rosemont and Proof and not notice the bass amplifying throughout the streets of Houston as the night starts. What is not obvious is who was hired to design the buildings before they became night life spots.

Entrepreneur Keith Boxx has done well over 4,500 projects in the past 25 years. They all include doing MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing) engineering and architectural design for many major Houston restaurants, bars and clubs. You could almost say, he has helped shape Houston’s social scene.

“Owners shape the culture by what they do but I help make their vision come true,” Keith said. “I make sure that what they want can be done.”

A man with an impressive background and fantastic taste in design, Keith lives comfortably in the southwest corner of the 610 loop in a modest neighborhood. As you drive down his street, his one-story house barely sticks out from the sea of common red brick houses.

What may catch your eye is his perfectly cut grass and unique walkway. The walkway is made of square blocks strategically laid out on top of dark grey gravel leading up to his black door. LED spotlights give his grey-painted house a glow and the white wood trims pop out of the dark shades.

It’s when you walk in that you notice what Keith is all about. You are met with bursts of colors, a contrast to his house’s exterior. Glass decorations glisten throughout and his furniture reflects the themes of his rooms.

“Here, I did what I could with what was already here,” Keith said. “I didn’t want to come and remodel anything majorly.”

“I just wanted to clean it up.”

By clean, we think he means to turn it into an art exhibit of amazing artists in support of local art. Once your eyes get accustomed to the colors and lights, you can’t help but wander around to admire his collection. Some of the art came from artists who currently have their studios in the Winter Street and Silver Street studios near Washington Ave. that he built.

Keith explains how textures are important for him to create dimension in the atmosphere. To him, different mediums contrast or accentuate each other, such as oil, acrylic and chalk-based. When asked where he got his inspirations from, he explained how he’s always been an avid magazine reader and keeps a collection at hand.

“I see how fashion is from all people’s point of views and I may pick a little here and pick a little there that fit me,” Keith said. “I’m not the cutting edge modern guy.”

“I’m more California, southern style, San Diego, open areas, big windows, and relaxing kind of atmosphere.”

Regardless, his house does have a modern and unique style that gives insight to what makes him who he is as a person.

“The outside of the house looks very similar to everything on this street,” Keith said. “It’s a little different with a little paint and a little landscape but what’s inside is totally different.”

“What’s inside me is totally different than what you see on the exterior.”

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Hazel Ramos
Hazel Ramos is completing her B.A. in Journalism at the University of Houston.

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