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house& home | July 2017 |

C&D F Hardware & Gifts


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house& home | July 2017 |


J U LY 2 0 1 7




Editor’s Note Calendar Project: Financing Your Remodeling Project Product: Improving Indoor Air Quality ASID Designer Show House Editor’s Picks: Finishing Touches Gardening: Backyard Water Features Pet of the Month: Allie



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8 14 18 22 62 70 74 78

The River Oaks Luxury Condominium, a modernist masterpiece with perfectly elegant finishes and inspiring views, will take your breath away.

house& home | July 2017 |

FEATURES 26 Before & After Redecorating Ideas 34 Three Bathroom Remodels 42 Kitchen Remodeling Trends 48 Refreshing a Classic River Oaks Home 64 The River Oaks Luxury Condominium

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Over 30 Years of Experience on Residential & Commercial Properties. • Dramatic Uplighting • Delicate Moonlighting • Feature Lighting

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e are chock-full of remodeling and redecorating ideas for you this month, beginning with a peek inside The River Oaks Luxury Condominium, where residents will enjoy the finest of appointments and amenities when they move in near year's end. Also in Houston's most exclusive enclave, a Southern Colonial receives a sophisticated yet livable interior makeover, all the while retaining traditional architectural elements — including the front door that has greeted family and friends since 1930. Architects, builders, interior designers and more experts come to the rescue with their tips for kitchen and bath remodeling, as well as advice for freshening every room in your home. The ASID Designer Show House opens its doors for the entire month, showing members' talents for achieving "Sustainable Elegance" in a 10,000-square-foot estate built by Peterson Homebuilders Inc. These articles combined share all the resources you need — and then some — for your own project. Speaking of resources, we inadvertently misidentified the official website in our June issue for Natchitoches, La., and apologize for the error. Check out for THE information you need before traveling to this beautiful city. HOUSTON

PUBLISHER........................ Mike Harrison, Ph.D. ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER........ Susie Reisenbigler EDITOR...................................... Barbara Kuntz CONTRIBUTING WRITERS.................................... .... Anne Breux, Barbara Canetti, Marsha Canright, ..................................Linda B. Gay, Whitney Radley CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS.................... ..............Linda B. Gay, Michael Hunter, Julie Soefer ART DIRECTOR............................ Robert Coplin ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES.................................... ............................ Christina Garza, Gia Montalto PRINTING........................................ RR Donnelly

Now accepting Credit Cards-


house& home | July 2017 |

More goodies in this month's issue include financing your remodel, keeping your indoor air quality clean as a whistle and gardening with a focus on water features for your landscape. I needed this issue decades ago, as I was attempting my first wallpaper job in a spare bedroom. I thought I had considered everything: Measuring, selecting the necessary roll amounts and sizes, putting down protective plastic drop cloths down the hallway from the bath to the room, etc. Heck! I even used a plumb line! Well, as I was about to finish, I realized I had hung the abstract floral wallpaper UPSIDE DOWN. In a swoon, I fell onto the bed, only to realize that from a reclining angle, the wallpaper looked just fine. I had to smile...and laugh out loud. Cheers to your redecorating and remodeling efforts, Barbara Blue Thumb Inc., dba Houston House & Home ("HH&H"), is a news magazine with emphasis on interior design and remodeling. HH&H does not knowingly accept false or misleading advertising or editorial content, nor does HH&H or its staff assume responsibility should such advertising or editorial content appear in any publication. HH&H has not independently tested any services or products advertised herein and has not verified claims made by its advertisers regarding those services or products. HH&H makes no warranties or representations and assumes no liability for any claims regarding those services or products or claims made by advertisers. Readers are advised to consult with the advertiser and/or other home repair and renovation professionals regarding the suitability of an advertiser’s products. No reproduction is permitted without the written consent of the Publisher. Copyright 2016, all rights reserved. HH&H is distributed at most Houston area Randalls and HEB stores.

P.O. Box 131845 • Houston, Texas 77219 (713) 523-6523 •


10 house& home | July 2017 |


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Compiled by bARbARA KUNTZ

J U LY 2 0 1 7


Make several different folded paper creations at Pop Shop America’s origami workshop July 7. Photo courtesy of Pop Shop America

DESIGN/INTERIORS JULY 7: POP SHOP AMERICA MODERN ORIGAMI ART CLASS, 7-9 p.m. Work with Austin-based artists “Origamisms” to make several different folded paper creations. You’ll have all the materials you need. This Friday night workshop presented by Pop Shop America also includes in the $32 ticket price small bites by Greenhouse Catering Co. and light cocktails. Pop Shop America Houston Boutique, 321 W. 19th St., JULY 7-30: 2017 ASID DESIGNER SHOW HOUSE, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, noon-5 p.m. Sundays Don't miss this decorating extravaganza of “Sustainable Elegance” when 20-plus ASID designers show their skills in a 10,000-square-foot estate built by Peterson Homebuilders Inc. Discover the latest sustainable ideas for every room of the house, as well as learn about trends in construction and home technology. The event takes place in Willowcreek Ranch near Tomball. JULY 8: FRESH ARTS SUMMER TOUR AT SAWYER YARDS Fresh Arts hosts an intimate look at the artists of Sawyer Yards, with visitors exploring the campus through five monthly guided tours and featured artist talks. Spend the afternoon discovering an extensive selection of paintings, sculpture, jewelry, photography, clothing, textiles, printmaking, mixed media and more. It’s a laid-back way to meet some talented artists, explore the Washington Avenue Arts District and maybe find a treasure or two. 1502 Sawyer St.,

EVENTS JULY 4: HOUSTON: CITGO FREEDOM OVER TEXAS, 4-10 p.m. Houston’s official Fourth of July celebration, CITGO Freedom Over Texas once again offers something for everyone. Bands and musicians take to stages for live entertainment, including

Country Music Awards-winning Hunter Hayes. Children of all ages enjoy the Walmart All-America Kids Zone with fun and interactive educational activities. Head to the Bud Light Bayou Beer Garden and the Dr Pepper Zone, and don’t miss the chance to win round-trip tickets at the Southwest Airlines Porch. The day culminates with a spectacular display of fireworks set against the downtown skyline. JULY 15: PATIO, PORCH AND POOL CONTAINER GARDENING, 10 a.m. Learn how to spruce up your favorite outdoor spaces at this workshop presented by Linda B. Gay of The Arbor Gate. The class promises to be a “party with your plants.” The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball, 281-351-8851, JULY 15-16: HOUSTON HOME + DESIGN SHOW, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. You won’t leave empty handed at this extravaganza with home improvement seminars, on-the-spot home loan and home equity line of credit approvals, opportunities to participate in hands-on experiences through workshops and seminars — and regular door prize giveaways both days. Free admission and free parking. Presented by Michael Kelley Properties. Sam Houston Race Park indoor pavilion, 7575 N. Sam Houston Parkway West,


THE AGE OF VICTORIA” “Decorative Arts” showcases objects from the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and Rienzi collections and includes porcelain, glass, jewelry, miniatures, wallpaper and furniture. This exhibition is one of two special shows presented at Rienzi this year. Rienzi, 1406 Kirby Drive,

OUT OF TOWN JULY 4: BAY CITY’S SPARKS IN THE PARK, 5-10 p.m. Enjoy a festive day in Bay City’s pretty Le Tulle Park with games, food, vendors, music and, of course, fireworks. 979-323-1660, JULY 4: FOURTH OF JULY IN GALVESTON Celebrate America’s birthday at this patriotic party, complete with an all-American parade down Seawall Boulevard and an explosive fireworks show over the Gulf to conclude the evening. JULY 4: MANSFIELD ROCKIN’ FOURTH OF JULY Mansfield’s annual Independence Day festival focuses on recreation, rockets and rock ‘n’ roll. Held at Big League Dreams Mansfield Sports Park, the free event features family activities, live music, food and fireworks. Free shuttles are provided from Mansfield ISD’s Newsom Stadium. JULY 4: ROUND TOP FOURTH OF JULY PARADE, noon Look no further than Round Top for a small-town, flag-

EDITOR’S NOTE: Please send all calendar items to by second Fridays for the following month’s issue. 14 house& home | July 2017 |

One view of “Houston Bridges.” Photo by Maribel Amador/SWA Group

waving parade, billed as the “longest running Fourth of July parade west of the Mississippi River.” Parade floats and entrants begin at the Round Top Rifle Hall and make their way through town. Enjoy live music and great food, too. Round Top Rifle Association, JULY 27-29: THE GREAT TEXAS MOSQUITO FESTIVAL The “buzz” you hear is coming from Clute, where the mascot, Willie-Man-Chew, the world’s largest mosquito standing 26 feet tall and wearing a large cowboy hat and boots, greets visitors to enjoy three fun-filled days of entertainment, food, contests and family activities. There are even “Mosquito Calling” and “Mosquito Legs” contests. 979-265-8392, 800-371-2971,

THE TALK OF THE TOWN: “HOUSTON BRIDGES” JULY 28-30: GREAT TEXAS BALLOON RACE IN LONGVIEW In its 40th year, the event draws professional pilots from across the United States in this colorful race, following a 2017 theme of “Lifting Up Longview.” Catch the “Balloon Glow” on Saturday night and, throughout the weekend, Kids Land, arts and crafts booths, food and drink vendors and musical entertainment.

UPCOMING AUG. 25-27: DESIGNER SAMPLE SALE, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and noon-4 p.m. Sunday It only happens once a year, so head over to The Houston Design Center for great discounts — and awesome finds — on designer goods. 7026 Old Katy Road, 713-864-4735,

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You can almost hear the quick footsteps and delightful chatter of children on their way to school or back home again in “Houston Bridges,” an urban art installation spanning gateway bridges that connect some of the city’s most vibrant neighborhoods. “Houston Bridges” features enormous ribbon graphics woven into the existing 6-foot-tall chain link fences above each bridge. “While the city is engaged in a long-term plan to reconstruct its I-59/69 interchange, for now, however, it’s embracing a bold short-term solution devised by landscape architects at SWA: Transform bridge infrastructure into a canvas for art. The results are driving the public wild,” says Kerri da Silva of the SWA Group. “‘Houston Bridges’ is the talk of the town.” Imagery centers on pixelated mosaics derived from photographs of Houston school children submitted in a design competition sponsored by Houston First Corp. The concept was created by Rice University professor and author Geoff Winningham and his wife, Janice Freeman, who helped sift through thousands of children’s photos to create a Photoshop mosaic of the original image for the graphic banner. To make “Houston Bridges” a reality, Houston First Corp. partnered with a consortium including Scenic Houston, TxDOT, HISD, the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs and Sparq 1200, in addition to the SWA Group and Winningham and his wife. This approach to urban art in the right-of-way is an initial step in SWA’s vision for a larger beautification program of Houston’s freeways. The project will most likely be up for three to five years.


BY BarBara Canetti


A remodel in an existing home usually will bring added value to the house. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

HOMEWORK TIME Consider the Options When Financing Your Remodeling Project


hinking of a major remodel? Think it will be easy? Think again. At least that is the advice from lenders, contractors and homeowners who have been through a remodeling project — and survived. Yes, a remodel in an existing house usually will bring added value to the home, but the process to pay for it — and choices — can be more cumbersome. An updated kitchen starts at about $10,000, although in the Houston area, an average remodel runs about $19,000, according to HomeAdvisor. Bathrooms run about $8,000 to $10,000 to replace all fixtures. These rooms are the two most popular remodeling projects.

THE HOUSTON MARKET The Houston market for remodeling is a bit different than in other parts of the country: Most loans in this area are for new homes, rather than renovations, says Nancy Trennel, senior vice president at First Community Credit Union. “Because of the low interest rates in recent years, we don’t do many refinancings. But we do a steady business of Home Equity 18 house& home | July 2017 |

Lines of Credit, where customers are using the money for the remodels,” she says, adding that most transactions First Community Credit Union handles are for new home purchases. “I would advise borrowers to seek out local lenders. We can close on a deal quickly because we know this market and we make decisions here.” Before any financing can be arranged, homeowners have to do their homework. • Define the project, with a list of items to be accomplished and then prioritize that list. • Plan the project. Determine how much the project will cost. • Select a contractor with a proven track record, expertise and appropriate licenses to complete the project. • Get a written bid. • Work with a banker, contractor or mortgage broker to determine methods and limits of borrowing. If the project is a do-it-yourself, remember to add in the cost of materials, tools, permits and equipment rentals — and then tack on an additional 30 percent for unexpected incidentals.



ALL SERVICES Minimum Job, $500. Must be presented at time of estimate. May not be combined with other offers. Expires 7/31/17


Make a list of items needed for the project and prioritize your desires. Photo courtesy of Wikihow/Creative Commons

MONEY MATTERS However, financing is available for most remodeling jobs and can take several routes, from loans to paying cash. Some contractors can help arrange financing, which assures them of being paid. But other methods are available. • As Trennel explains, refinancing a home should include the additional cost of the remodeling in the total. This is a good option if the original loan has a high interest rate and the savings on the lower rate can free up funds to help pay for the job. • Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) allows the borrower about 10 years to draw on a pre-arranged amount for the remodel as if it were a checking account. The maximum amount of the HELOC is usually 80 percent of the home’s value, minus any existing loans. • Home Equity Loan, or second mortgage, is a lump-sum loan. This

is an option if the existing mortgage is low interest. Home Equity Loans commonly come with higher interest rates than first mortgages, but usually incur no closing costs. • Personal loans are those in which the borrower does not use their home as collateral. Good credit is required to get a good interest rate, but usually the pay-off time frame is shorter than Home Equity Loans. • Credit cards are another option, but use these as very, very short-term financing because of the high interest rates. In fact, industry experts advise paying off credit cards in the very first month. The big bonus is many cards come with “loyalty points,” such as cash back, airline miles, etc., which are benefits to the cardholder. • Just save up the necessary funds and pay cash. This requires a strict budget and no overages. Stacy London, division president of Houston Capital Mortgage Co., offers a more unique idea for borrowing to pay for a remodel: Borrow against an existing 401K. “As long as a person is employed by their company, they can borrow against their own 401K — and there is no real cost involved,” London says. “They are creating a loan for themselves and although there is no tax advantage (such as writing off interest), there are no tax penalties. This is a great untapped solution for loans under $50,000. Payback can be done by payroll deductions and usually over a 10-year period.”

RESOURCES Capital Farm Credit 877-944-5500

Open Mortgage LLC 888-602-6626

First Community Credit Union 800-456-3228

TDECU Mortgage Numerous locations 800-829-1154, ext. 4614

Houston Capital Mortgage Co. 1717 St. James Place 713-787-6333

20 house& home | July 2017 |

Financing is available for projects, from loans to borrowing againist a 401K. Photo courtesy of


Compiled by barbara Kuntz


Indoor air quality is something that should never be overlooked by a homeowner. Photo courtesy of Lennox Industries Inc.

CLEAN AS A WHISTLE Keep Indoor Air Quality Healthy for the Entire Family


ith a reported* 10-30 percent of our population having allergies, the time is now more than ever that homeowners make clean indoor air a top priority. People spend most of their lives inside their homes, so proper air quality can significantly impact health…and comfort levels, too. Here’s a sampling of what you can do to ensure the air your family is breathing inside is “clean as a whistle.”

many homeowners are aware that ozone is a natural lung irritant and shown to be dangerous in enclosed spaces and can negatively affect their health. Our Healthy Climate Solutions line from Lennox takes all clean air and home health needs into consideration and provides the best solutions for our customers.”


Where you put your head — and body — every night is not only important for a restful sleep, but is also a direct impact on health and well being: Your mattress. Stop breathing in Indoor air quality is something that should never harmful chemicals used in mass-produced matbe overlooked by a homeowner, starting with the tresses by replacing them with organic versions air conditioner. “It is an investment in the home or even custom-made models using natural and an investment into the homeowners’ health,” products, such as Talalay latex foam derived says Blake Edwards, senior product marketing from a sap extracted from a bountiful rainforest Austin Air Systems’ purifiers are clinimanager with Lennox Industries Inc. tree. cally proven to be effective relief for Lennox offers a whole-home, indoor air-quality “Talalay latex is an innovative material that people with asthma, COPD, severe allergies and chemical sensitivity. product line, Healthy Climate Solutions, which uses material from rubber trees,” Texas Photo courtesy of Austin Air Systems includes its Healthy Climate PureAir air purification Mattress Makers’ website reports. “It offers the system. Edwards says it is the only air purification system that comsame pressure relief as memory foam with an enhanced ability bats all three classes of indoor air contaminants, those being partito provide support and just the right amount of bounciness to cles, microorganisms and bioaerosols and chemical vapors and provide the push back to enable easier surface movement. Its odors. rubber cell structure lifts your body and allows air to flow “Further, our full Healthy Climate Solutions is 100-percent through, creating an escape path for body heat, which creates ozone free, which is important for homeowners,” he adds. “Not cooler and more restful sleep.”


22 house& home | July 2017 |

Texas Mattress Makers, in business for 26-plus years, offers other custom mattresses incorporating features to best suit your sleeping needs, such as cooling gel, acid reflux foundations and more. Another great source for organic mattresses is New Living in Rice Village, where you’ll find such brands as Naturepedic, OMI and Posh + Lavish. These products are established behind the principle of a healthy home without unnecessary and potentially dangerous chemicals and materials. Check out the company’s lines of handmade furniture, air and water filters, nontoxic paint and air purifiers. New Living is a certified local b-corporation with a mission of sustainability and environmental and social awareness.

Stop breathing in harmful chemicals from your mattresses by switching to organic versions using natural products. Photo courtesy of OMI Mattresses

Red-edged dracaena marginata can grow to be ceiling high, making it a great plant for decorating as well as air purifying. Photo via Pinterest

VACUUM TOP PICK The right vacuum is key for good health, cutting out the amount of dust you inhale that can trigger allergies and asthma. If you want to truly capture all that dust, dander and other allergens and not just blow them back into your house, look for models that have a sealed HEPA air-cleaning filter. Miele vacuums are known for their super-suction power, as well as crazy longevity (20 years isn’t uncommon). The latest and greatest from Miele: The Dynamic U1Jazz vacuum. This model’s features include a swivel neck design for cornering and maneuverability, automatic height adjustment and rotary dial speed control, as well as an HEPA filter that traps 99.9 percent of all particles down to 0.3 microns. Its LED headlights and canary-yellow color make it pretty hip, too.

PLANTS NASA scientists learned living and working in places rife with air contaminants and lacking decent ventilation can lead 23

to "sick building syndrome," which can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea and eye, ear and nose irritation. Their answer: Use houseplants to clean the air from pollutants and toxic chemicals. You’ll find these plants readily available at your favorite nursery or garden center. Some plants on the NASA-approved list include English ivy, in fact the scientists’ No. 1 best air-filtering plant when it comes to absorbing formaldehyde. The attractive bamboo palm also made NASA’s top choices of air-cleaning plants. Aloe provides a double-dose of healing power, as it absorbs contaminants and also soothes minor skin burns and cuts. Clean air-power dracaenas can grow to be ceiling height, making them great plants for decorating and filling space with living green. And Peace lilies, low in maintenance, produce beautiful flowers indoors.

PETS Your dog may shed, sniff weird stuff and track who-knows-what into your home. We love them, and they may be leaving us in return a loving trail of microorganisms that actually help stave off a variety of illnesses. Children who grow up in homes with dogs show a lower risk for developing asthma and allergies, recent studies** show. So consider your Fido adoptee as the "next probiotic" and friend for a doggie lifetime. *Asthma and Allergy Foundation,

**Health Freedoms,

Extend the Life of Your AC with These Important Tips


o help consumers add years to the life of their existing air-conditioning systems, Jennifer Franz, energy-efficiency expert with Lennox, suggests the following tips to ensure clean air in the home.

CHANGE THE FILTER. Dirty air filters are the No. 1 preventable cause of a system breakdown. When the air filter becomes clogged by dirt and other particles, the unit can’t produce enough airflow, which results in a lower volume of air and the system having to work harder. Clean filters allow the system to run more effectively and can help save energy by reducing operating costs. CALL FOR AN ANNUAL CHECKUP. Systems should be serviced by a qualified service technician at the beginning of each cooling season. While this service generally includes a check of all major system components and equipment operation, it also allows the technician to identify and eliminate any concerns, should they exist, thereby helping to prevent more costly repairs if those concerns are left uncorrected. KEEP THE UNIT CLEAN AND CLEAR. Another important thing a homeowner can do for the health of a system is to keep the outside air-conditioning unit clear of debris. Leaves, weeds and grass collect on the outdoor condenser during the fall and winter months, resulting in blocked airflow and reduced energy efficiency. Clearing debris will allow for unrestricted airflow to better cool the home and improve the system’s efficiency, reduce operating costs and keep the air clean. SET IT AND FORGET IT. Programmable thermostats keep the air conditioner operating only when necessary to maintain a steady, even temperature, which prevents it from running constantly and helps conserve energy.

24 house& home | July 2017 |

RESOURCES Austin Air Systems 800-724-8403 Burden’s Vacuum Cleaner Co. 1534 Campbell Road 713-468-6952 Extreme Air Duct 832-699-0888 Lennox Multiple dealers Miele Multiple dealers New Living 6111 Kirby Drive 713-521-1921 Payless Insulation 1818 W. 15th St. 713-868-1021 Texas Mattress Makers 4619 Navigation Blvd. 713-341-6252 www.texasmattress


Living room by Pamela Hope Designs. “After” photo by Lauri Perez

BEFORE & AFTER Update Your Home, Room by Room, with These Tips from the Pros Compiled by Barbara Kuntz


efresh your home with a rejuvenating splash of new, whether by painting, rearranging a room and adding missing key pieces or going shopping for that furniture you just can’t live without. To begin, consider the room’s activities, needs and size. Consult with a certified interior designer and scour magazines online and in print. Visit your favorite stores…and take photos as you peruse! We turn to area designers and more experts in the interior creative fields for their invaluable advice. They offer great suggestions and ideas for every room in your house.

FOYER Go beyond a new front door mat to great visitors to your home, as well as make your return each and every time a home-sweet-home welcome, with a revamp of your foyer. That space, whether large or small, immediately sets the tone for the rest of the house. “The foyer is your guests’ first impression of your home,” Jeffrey Merriman, design director at MainStreet America Furniture & Accessories, says. “A great way to spruce up your entry and add a bit of drama is with color. A punch of color adds interest and contrast to your space.” 26 house& home | July 2017 |

SherwinWilliams’ “Rosemary,” a lovely moss green, instantly brings a sense of richness and style to this foyer. “We added a beautiful antiqued mirror to give Foyer photo courtesy of MainStreet America Furniture & Accessories dimension to the space, and the tall buffet lamps finish off the look,” Merriman continues. “You can also use a unique piece of large-scale art in place of the mirror, if you desire.”

LIVING ROOM The living room in a quaint Houston Heights home already had beautiful wood flooring, big windows, a fireplace with surround and mantel and French doors separating the space from the dining room. The challenge: The owners have young children and several pets. They wanted an attractive living room that would still stand up to the demands of their growing family. “Making the front of the home pretty and keeping the space cozy for guests were top priorities for those who love to play host,” Pamela O'Brien of Pamela Hope Designs says. “Having


Family room by Ann P. Brennan Interior Design. “After” photo by Savannah Montgomery

a room for entertaining that still works with a growing family and lots of pets was a must for this client.” A classic gray sofa, the biggest investment in this project, with its high back and shiny, oversized nail heads, now provides comfortable yet chic seating. A great rug always anchors a room, and this gray-and-white version takes a classic pattern and shakes it up a little. “Sometimes the best way to create interest in a room is to add pops of color,” O’Brien says. “Here, the abstract art provided lots of inspiration and is balanced with a turquoise lamp shade and a blue and green Ikat-inspired chair.”

FAMILY ROOM If you’re sick and tired of the heavily used furniture in this room and are ready to say out with the old and in with the new, Ann Schamberger of Ann P. Brennan Interior Design comes to the rescue. “Purchasing furniture is expensive, and if not done wisely, can be a costly mistake,” she says. “First, evaluate how the space is to be used. Do you have a lot of family members who often congregate in the evening to watch TV? Are there pets 28 house& home | July 2017 |

to consider? Is the space used for reading or perhaps regular meetings? These questions will help guide what type of seating and tables would be needed.” Schamberger also notes size and scale are important, so sketch out the room’s dimensions and grab a tape measure before you head out the door to shop. “Displays are misleading,” she says. “Furniture may appear in-scale due to the fact the store room scene has no doors or windows factoring into the space. Stores also have high ceilings and large walkways between each setting, which visually makes furniture appear smaller in scale.”


DINING ROOM If you already own a gorgeous dining table and comfortable chairs, then what can you do to freshen this room? “A quick solution to this often-asked question is as simple














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Dining room by Ann P. Brennan Interior Design. “After” photo by Savannah Montgomery

BEFORE arrived on the scene, her dining room was a robin’s-egg blue. After a brief consult, I suggested we paint the room.” The walls, as well as the molding and ceiling, received coats of a deep, earthy gray paint, changing the entire ambiance of the room and providing a neutral background for the rustic wooden dining table to take center stage. The off-white, slipcovered chairs add lightness to the space.

Bedroom by Pamela Hope Designs. Photo by Cody Bess

as adding a fresh coat of paint,” says Schamberger. “Recently, one of my clients wanted to update her interiors to reflect the unique style that Restoration Hardware is known for. When I

30 house& home | July 2017 |

BEDROOM This couple went through a very complicated renovation of a classic 1940s Southern home. They needed a soothing and





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beautiful bedroom to come home to each day. “The wife loved the blue, gray and white marble in the adjacent bathroom,” says O’Brien, “so a soft blue-and-white color scheme set the tone.” The blue-on-white fabric on the chair is a nice counterpoint to the pattern on the bed. Reversing the colors in a fabric is a sure-fire way to balance pattern while keeping the interest and staying within your palette. An upholstered headboard, in a neutral fabric, is always a great idea — for almost any

decorating style. “The splurge in the room was the Barbara Barry fabric on the duvet and shams,” O’Brien says. “It was balanced, both in design and price, with equally lovely but less costly solid blue draperies and a beige pillow. “The vanity was a special request from the lady of the house,” O’Brien adds. “It was created in the space that had been an unneeded closet and adds depth, beauty and function to the room.”

RESOURCES Bedroom INTERIOR DESIGN Pamela Hope Designs 713-880-1934 BEDSIDE TABLE AND HEADBOARD Ethan Allen 11431 Katy Freeway 713-464-8359 CARPET BY MOHAWK Roberts Carpet & Fine Floors Numerous locations CUSTOM DRAPERIES BY PAMELA HOPE DESIGNS Fabrication: Alexandra’s Custom Draperies, Bedding & Accents 9000 Hempstead Road Suite 372 281-599-9909

TABLE Pottery Barn

Family Room INTERIOR DESIGN Ann P. Brennan Interior Design 713-703-8258 FLOOR LAMPS Restoration Hardware LARGE TREE For All Occasions 7069 Old Katy Road 713-880-4333 LEATHER SLIPPER CHAIRS AND SOFA CONSOLE TABLE Four Hands Furniture Austin

VINTAGE LAMP Antiques & Interiors at The Pavilion 2311 Westheimer Road 713-520-9755

MIRRORS Uttermost

Dining Room


INTERIOR DESIGN Ann P. Brennan Interior Design 713-703-8258 PAINT Sherwin-Williams “Eagle” Multiple locations

Foyer MainStreet America Furniture & Accessories 18750 Interstate 45 Spring 281-301-1446

32 house& home | July 2017 |

Living Room INTERIOR DESIGN Pamela Hope Designs 713-880-1934 PAINT Benjamin Moore "Van Cortland Blue" at 25-percent tint Multiple dealers ACCENT CHAIRS Home Goods Multiple locations COUCH James Craig Furnishings 4500 Washington Ave. 713-741-2266 RUG Oriental Rug Gallery of Texas 5620 Westheimer Road 713-622-0647 TABLE LAMP Anthropologie WOVEN WOOD SHADES Hunter Douglas Multiple dealers

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Project No. 1: Working Wonders in Bellaire Designer: Marie Flanigan Marie Flanigan Interiors 2525 Driscoll St. 979-574-9686 This elegant master bath was part of a much larger Bellaire renovation. The owners wanted a lighter, more inviting space where they could unwind at the end of a long day. The room was taken down to the studs and reborn as a serene, spa-like environment. “The space was craving light, so we used brighter finishes, lighter paint and multiple lighting sources and mirrors to brighten everything up,” Flanigan



Marie Flanigan Interiors “after” photos by Julie Soefer

LUXURY LOOS Today’s Remodeled Master Baths Bring Light-filled Openness and Lots of Luxury By Marsha Canright


nce upon a time, bathrooms were the least celebrated room in home design, but no more: The loo is having a Cinderella moment. “Master bathrooms are becoming a natural extension of the home’s most beautiful spaces,” says Houston designer Marie Flanigan. “The essential desire is to create a luxurious space where you can retreat from the hustle and bustle of daily life.” Once a private place that only the homeowner would see, the new master bath is a statement space with grand light fixtures, eye-catching architectural details and dramatic wall coverings. “It’s part of a general trend toward openness throughout an entire house, including the master bath,” says architect Charles Todd Helton. Having a place to de-stress is the key. Spa-like baths have become the American standard, leaving behind the simple toilet and washroom for an upscale, soothing retreat. “Whether it’s small or large, a dream bathroom creates an atmosphere for relaxation of the mind and body and provides personal space for pampering,” says designer Suzanne Alexander.

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says. You enter the space through Alder Wood French doors. Honed marble floors serve as the subtle base for more daring design elements. The sleek countertops are Lagos limestone, which also is used to frame a deep soaking tub. A wall of white hand-molded subway tile is accented by an artistic mosaic motif, and minimalist hardware adds a touch of brass to pale gray cabinetry. Benjamin Moore’s “Soft Chamois” colors the background, and the cabinets are painted in “Light Pewter” semi-gloss. The flooring is white honed marble, and the Roman shades are custom made in Houston. The chandelier above the tub was refinished in antique brass to match other fixtures, including vanity lights and the antique brass towel holders. The artwork is a personal piece of the owner and was incorporated into the design. The skirted vanity chair is covered in a tufted Perennial Fabric’s “Rough ‘N Rowdy” material, and the custom bench is upholstered in taupe and white cowhide with brass nail heads. The closet features a 20th-century, Venetian-style mirror (not shown). TIP FROM A PRO: “Toilets get more sophisticated every year: From illumination to self-flushing to toilets with heated seats. A new trend is floating toilets, which are visually interesting and ideal in tighter bathroom spaces where every inch matters.” — Marie Flanigan


Project No. 2: Master Bath Redo in a Victorian Cottage

Susan Alexander Interiors Inc. photos by Lindsay Canright

Designer: Susan Alexander Susan Alexander Interiors Inc. 713-667-6733 The spacious rooms and soaring ceilings in this 120year-old Galveston cottage appropriated less space for the primary bathroom, which was shared by two bedrooms. The design goal was to create a luxurious private master bath solely for the master bedroom with more storage and a larger closet. Still, it was important to keep the integrity of the original plaster moldings and hardware while integrating contemporary fixtures to provide greater function. “We took great care not to disturb the original plaster moldings by hanging the French doors below them,” Alexander says. “A contemporary closet with ample space and built-in capabilities is hidden behind a mirrored wall.” An antique cabinet was repurposed as a linen closet and vanity. It has a Brazilian marble top with a leather finish, and the frosted glass has an etched porpoise, a subtle nod to the island home. A large 18th-century mirror with detailing at the pediment hangs above the vanity with polished nickel sconces on either side. All existing hardware was stripped and plated in polished nickel to add sparkle. A point of pride is the Sherle Wagner toilet paper dispenser with a French porpoise design, also plated in polished nickel. The porpoise design is repeated in the damask pattern stenciled on the walls. Paint is a “Comfort Gray” by Sherwin-Williams in an eggshell finish. The shower, which replaces the original tub, is lined in oversized subway tiles made of Asian statuary marble. Perrin & Rowe fixtures add a 19th-century feel to the room. The Venetian chandelier was custom designed to replicate the Sabino collection shown in the wall cabinet. Sabinos were collectible cameo-style medallions popular in the 19th century. TIP FROM A PRO: “Lighting is of utmost importance in a bath. Natural light, recessed light and task lighting are all important elements. Lighting should have the option of being dimmed for relaxation and intensified for personal grooming. I like to provide a surprise in lighting, such as an illuminated cabinet or lighting at the base to provide a soft night light.” — Susan Alexander

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Photos courtesy of Charles Todd Helton Architect Inc.

Project No. 3: Transforming Light in The Woodlands Designer: Charles Todd Helton Charles Todd Helton Architect Inc. 4115 Irish Ivy Court, Spring 281-528-8181 Located in The Woodlands, this master bath was in serious need of an update. The owners wanted to brighten the space and make it more appealing, but they didn’t want to add square footage. “For me, the key is to discover what the homeowners want to do in the space and help them to do it in the best way possible,” Helton says. In this case, the goal was to bring in natural light, and the way to do it was to remove the solid shower wall and enlarge the window. The use of light-colored finishes and mirrors helped to make the most of the natural light.

The new bathroom appears to be much larger, but the actual size did not change. The "before” mirrors were larger but not attractive. The new ones are smaller, framed and very pretty. The countertops and the flooring are marble with pale color variations. The new shower has glass doors that allow light from an enlarged window into the bath’s interior. Shower surfaces are a mix of marble with tile accents. The cool bench along the outside wall is a custom addition.


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TIP FROM A PRO: “People are worried about privacy in a bathroom, and that makes sense, but you can have natural light to brighten the space. Don't be afraid to use windows and light colors to make the bathroom brighter and also seem larger. Don't be afraid to ask a specialist for advice. Sometimes 15 minutes on the phone can steer you in the right direction.” — Charles Todd Helton


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RESOURCES Project No. 1: Working Wonders in Bellaire DESIGNER: Marie Flanigan Interiors 2525 Driscoll St. 979-574-9686 ANTIQUE BRASS TOWEL HOLDERS Westheimer Plumbing Houston Showroom 3600 Kirby Drive 713-942-9519 m

713-861-5551 SKIRTED VANITY CHAIR Creative Style Furniture 1291 N. Post Oak Road Suite 110 713-927-3720 www.creativestyle VANITY FIXTURES IN AGED BRASS Lighting Inc. Showroom 4218 Richmond Ave. 713-623-6500 WALL-TO-WALL SEAGRASS FLOORING Creative Flooring 2410 Bissonnet St. 713-522-1181 MARBLE TILE Tile Bar SEAMLESS SHOWER Shower Doors of Houston 1655 Townhurst Suite 190 281-220-6885 SHOWER, FAUCETS AND FIXTURES BY PERRIN & ROWE Ferguson Showroom 4245 Richmond Ave. 713-626-3300 STENCIL DESIGN Cutting Edge Stencils

FLOORING Lone Star Marble Corp. 4315 Clark Road 713-462-4800 LIGHT FIXTURES Anthology Lighting 32411 FM 2978 Suite A Magnolia 281-298-5200 MIRRORS Milstead Glass & Home Decor 710 Honea Egypt Road Magnolia 936-321-3300

Project No. 2: Master Bath Redo in a Victorian Cottage

TOILET Kohler Multiple dealers

PLUMBING FIXTURES Ferguson Houston Showroom 4245 Richmond Ave. 713-626-3300

DESIGNER: Susan Alexander Interiors Inc. 713-667-6733

Project No. 3: Transforming Light in The Woodlands

WINDOW Windows by T&R 5701 Woodway Drive 281-252-4150

CUSTOM ROMAN SHADES G&S Custom Draperies 8570 Katy Freeway Suite 119 713-464-9554 www.gandscustom

ANTIQUE CABINET AND VANITY AND MIRRORED FRENCH SCREEN Big House Antiques 2212 Mechanic St. Galveston 409-762-0559

ARCHITECT: Charles Todd Helton Architect Inc. 4115 Irish Ivy Court Spring 281-528-8181


COUNTERTOPS Texas Custom Granite 5606 Old Greenhouse Road 281-861-8775

BUILDER QCB Custom Homes LLC 281-330-5725

BRIDGE HARDWARE KNOBS AND HANDLES Lee Valley Tools COUNTERTOPS AND TUB SLAB Lagos limestone from Materials Marketing

HAND-FORGED IRON SIDE TABLE Kuhl-Linscomb 2418 W. Alabama St. 713-526-6000 PRESERVED WHITE HYDRANGEAS Creative Branch LLC 7246 Wynnwood Lane

CUSTOM CHANDELIER BY LUCIA ITALIA Lumens LED STRIP LIGHTING Lighting Inc. Showroom 4218 Richmond Ave. 713-623-6500

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COUNTERTOPS Simmons Custom Granite & Fine Flooring 5611 Highway 105 Conroe 936-756-0714 www.simmonscustom


A new island, copper-colored backsplash and a coat of paint help update this kitchen. Photos courtesy of Charles Todd Helton Architect

NOW YOU’RE COOKING Kitchens Blend Easy Flow, High-end Appliances and Accent Details


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n any given day, it’s not unusual for a kitchen to serve as a makeshift office, a staging ground for a science experiment and the set of an elaborate dinner. The modern kitchen may be the most utilitarian room of the house, but that doesn’t mean it has to look like it. If your kitchen needs a makeover, professionals recommend starting by opening up the room to maximize space and improve flow.

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OPEN CONCEPT “Sometimes taking down one wall can make all the difference in terms of openness,” says architect Charles Todd Helton. But, he cautions homeowners, “You do not want to sacrifice all of the upper cabinet storage for the sake of open concept.” First embraced in the 1950s, open-concept living has become a trademark of today’s home. Gone are the days when cooking meant

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Sherwin-Williams’ “Zurich White” complements a mix of countertop and backsplash materials. Photo courtesy of Monte Smith Designs

sure isolation: Kitchen islands increasingly link the workspace with the living and dining areas, sometimes even taking the place of a formal dining room. Helton cites the example of a recent renovation where he removed a large wall between the kitchen and living room, built an island and installed wooden beams on the kitchen ceiling to echo the design of the living room. The result is a workspace that simultaneously feels more intimate yet flows seamlessly into the living space.


and crown molding in the kitchen, showing a preference instead for square corners and strong horizontal lines that lend a more modern look. With this sleek backdrop, Smith recommends that homeowners really think about what is on display.

APPLIANCES & BUDGET “The microwave shouldn’t be a major part of what you’re looking at in the kitchen,” says Smith, “and building out of a box with a trim kit only draws attention to it.” He encourages clients to think of it as a countertop appliance, like a coffee maker, or to put

Shawn Gottschalk, a partner at studioMET Architects, notes that many of his clients are looking for dramatic accent lighting over an island or an integrated breakfast table. This touch, once reserved for

it under the counter where it’s out of the line of sight. More home cooks are incorporating commercial-grade appliances, like Sub-Zero refrigerators and Viking gas ranges. Automation is also increasingly important, from hands-free faucets

dining table treatment, further illuminates the trend toward the kitchen as the social center of the home. Aesthetically, Gottschalk sees an increasing affinity for natural colors, clean lines and a mix of materials. Hardware is either hidden or

to programmable espresso machines. For homeowners on a budget, both Gottschalk and Smith suggest sticking with the configuration and cabinets you have. Simply repainting the cabinet fronts can give a kitchen the appearance of a

concealed, and backsplashes are large tiles or seamless panels, rather than mosaics. For a home cook or a busy family, the countertop needs to be

renovation for a fraction of the price. “Updating the hardware is also a really inexpensive and quick way to freshen up the kitchen,” says Helton. “This can be as simple as going down to the hardware store, picking out new cabinet pulls

durable and resistant to heat, spills and scratches. “People are moving away from natural stones like marble and opting for engineered surfaces like quartz,” says Gottschalk. “With any natural stone, homeowners have to seal it and reseal it over time, whereas quartz is virtually maintenance free.” Builder Monte Smith sees clients moving away from heavy trim 44 house& home | July 2017 |

and replacing them yourself.” The biggest mistake in renovating a kitchen is losing sight of a budget. With appliances, paint, surfaces and fixtures to consider, budget creep can easily set in. But, says Helton, “There are plenty of things that can be done, within budget, to update your home.”


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The architects at studioMET designed this kitchen concept joining cooking, dining and living spaces. Photography by Luis Ayala

RESOURCES Charles Todd Helton Architect Inc. 4115 Irish Ivy Court Spring 281-528-8181 APPLIANCES Dishwasher and ovens Bosch Multiple dealers Range top Wolf Appliances Multiple dealers Refrigerator/Freezer Sub-Zero Multiple dealers Wine refrigerator U Line Multiple dealers BUILDER Schany Custom Homes 3818 Waterbend Cove Spring 281-443-8495

DECORATIVE TILE Copper-colored sheets American Tin Ceilings 888-231-7500 VENT HOOD Vent-A-Hood Multiple dealers Monte Smith Designs 6265 W. Highway 105 Suite 102 Conroe 808-688-6400 INTERIOR DESIGN Interiors by Sherry Smith BACKSPLASH Floor & Decor Multiple locations COUNTERTOPS Saucedo's Granite Fabricators 11526 FM 2854 Conroe 936-756-1383

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LIGHT FIXTURES Capital Lighting Fixture Co. studioMET Architects 2000 Edwards St. 713-255-0008 APPLIANCES Thermador Multiple dealers BACKSPLASH La Nova Tile 2325 Fannin 713-796-9050 COUNTERTOPS Caesarstone 818-779-0999 FAUCETS Hansgrohe LIGHT FIXTURES Lighting Unlimited 4211 Richmond Ave. 800-447-5240


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The S teinbach Ha us is Castroville’s Visitor Center. Built in Walbach, Alsace, France between 1618 and 1648, the house was a gift from the citizens of Alsace to Castroville because of the Alsatian roots of the original immigrants that settled here in 1844. The fachwerk framing was shipped to Castroville and Alsatian volunteers came and rebuilt it, and then donated most of the period piece furnishings. The Center is open every day but Thanksgiving and Christmas. Poppies are the provincial flower of Alsace and many sites in town are planted with them.

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REFRESHING A CLASSIC Sophisticated Interiors Brighten and Revive an Original River Oaks Home By Marsha Canright Photography by Julie Soefer


t was 1930 and Houston was booming, even though much of the nation was suffering serious economic collapse. Hermon Lloyd, architect for Rice Chapel, the Astrodome and more than 80 other houses in River Oaks (some have been demolished), designed and built this red brick Southern Colonial when the city’s most exclusive enclave was virtually brand new. The structure was under construction when Hobby Airport was still a 600-acre grassy landing strip with no commercial airlines, and the city’s population had not yet topped 300,000. It's a traditional home beneath arching oaks and ringed in deep red azaleas, but still, it has a modern feel. Now, more than eight decades later, designer Marie Flanigan has transformed the home’s interior into a sophisticated, livable space for new owners who fell in love with the house at first sight, but also wanted a fresh interior. A previous owner made structural changes to modernize the house, and the current ones updated infrastructure, like elec-

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Built in 1930 when River Oaks was new, the house retains traditional elements like the original stove and stovepipe.


Neutral colors create a light, fresh feel for theliving area, which iselegant, comfortable and designed for active family use. A botanical by Paulette Tavormina purchased at the annual Theta Charity Antiques Show pops on the wall.

trical and plumbing, before the rejuvenation of the primary living areas got underway. “This house is a classic. The bones are so special that we kept neutral colors to allow its character to shine through,” Flanigan says. “Every older home comes with a unique set of challenges. That’s what makes them so much fun.”

HIS & HERS For Flanigan, the greatest challenge was to design an updated interior that was respectful of the home’s original character while creating a comfortable environment that reflected the homeowners’ individual tastes. “Her style is more French Traditional, and he has a more tailored, masculine vibe, so our team was tasked with bringing the two together,” Flanigan says of the homeowners’ personal preferences. Texture and subtle bursts of color through furniture and accessories were key to creating the right look without overpowering the architecture. Flanigan took care to highlight original elements, like the black stove in the den and the sturdy 50 house& home | July 2017 |





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French Traditional combines with a masculine vibe to create a family room with texture, leather chairs and comfy pillows.

front door that has welcomed guests for more than 87 years. The new owners married in 2013, and this is their first real home together. “We moved around quite a bit before finding our home, and the minute we moved in, we truly felt settled,” the wife says. “It’s perfect being so close to downtown and yet, it feels far away when you are surrounded by towering oak trees, crepe myrtles and azaleas. We take evening walks, and we’ve made great friends in the neighborhood.”

PERSONAL TREASURES The couple brought their own special treasures to the house, including a handsome botanical, which seems to glow on the living room wall. 52 house& home | July 2017 |

“It’s a piece by Paulette Tavormina that I found it at the annual Theta Charity Antiques Show,” the wife says. “I ended up walking away from it, but I kept talking about it, and my husband surprised me by giving it to me on our first anniversary.” The botanical is one of three that the artist made. One of the others hangs in the American Embassy in Paris. Another standout design piece is the dining room wall covering, which is hand painted by Gracie Studio. “Marie was able to find the perfect hand-painted wallpaper and had it customized to match the colors in our Herend ‘Queen Victoria’ wedding china. It is an incredible piece of art,” the wife says. “Formal dining rooms are less popular these days, but we love to have dinner parties and use it frequently when friends come over

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or when it’s just us two and our little one has gone to bed.” From start to finish, the refresh took almost a year, but for the owners it was worth the effort. “We have a comfortable, welcoming home that feels updated, but still has a special historic charm,” she says.

The formal dining room is frequently the scene for dinner parties and also for the couple’s dinners-for-two. The light fixture is a gilded branch chandelier.

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Marble and brass make a stylish powder room, and a well-lighted corner becomes a cozy reading nook.

RESOURCES INTERIOR DESIGN Marie Flanigan Interiors 2525 Driscoll St. 979-574-9686

Breakfast table (and living room chandelier) Aidan Gray Home Numerous local retailers

BREAKFAST ROOM Chairs Noir Furniture (also coffee table and wingback chair in living room)

Pendant light Urban Electric Co.

Area 3735 Westheimer Road 713-668-1668 High Fashion Home 3100 Travis St. 713-528-3838

Seagrass walling covering by Phillip Jefferies David Sutherland Decorative Center Houston 5120 Woodway Drive 713-961-7886 DINING ROOM Chandelier (and powder room light fixtures) Circa Lighting 2427 Westheimer Road 713-526-4100

56 house& home | July 2017 |

Hand-painted wallpaper Gracie Studio Table and chairs Bernhardt Furniture Co. Numerous dealers FAMILY ROOM Accent tables and end tables Interlude Home

Rug Madison Lily Rugs 1727 Post Oak Blvd. 713-338-2803 Sofas and leather chair (and sofa and cocktail ottoman in living room) Lee Industries Multiple dealers

Chandelier and coffee table Gabby Home Multiple dealers

LIVING ROOM Accent chairs Restoration Hardware 4030 Westheimer Road 713-328-3100

Round storage ottomans by Suzanne Kasler Ballard Designs

Artwork over fireplace Segreto Finishes 1414 Antoine Drive 713-461-5210


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Creativity Soars at the 2017 ASID Designer Show House


he 2017 ASID Designer Show House is a labor of love that promotes comfortable and elegant indoor and outdoor living for the modern family, following this year’s theme of “Functional Sustainable Elegance.” The Show House is staged 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and noon-5 p.m. Sundays from July 7-30 in a beautiful home built by the craftsmen of Peterson Homebuilders located in Willowcreek Ranch in Tomball. The estate is designed and fully furnished for four generations of family members. What do you do when you consider the cost of long-term residential living for aging parents or the need to help care for a grandchild? Families are faced with these decisions daily, and the design community becomes a crucial part of the conversation to address the need for a healthy and productive quality of life with suitable design solutions. Created by an architect, Wyrick Residential Design Firm, and designed and furnished by 21 gifted interior designers of the American Society of Interior Designers, this year’s ASID Designer Show House features 10,000 square feet on a single level (a main house and attached in-law residence), 1,400 square feet of covered porches that incorporate retractable-screened outdoor living areas and kitchen, a fully functioning work barn decorated in a wedding theme, a classic swimming pool with a convenient pool bath and skillfully paved pathways nestled on six acres. Combine these highlights with a beautiful 62 house& home | July 2017 |

landscape design by Smelek Designs and implemented by Graham Land Designs, and you’ll agree: This place is simply amazing! Be inspired by the casual collections of furnishings and innovative ideas delivered by the design community, ASID industry partners and other vendors, all of whom showcase their collective design talents and products in the large family room, kitchens and dining room. Look for holiday storage ideas for seasonal decorations. Take in the indoor exercise room, guest suites, powder baths and a fanciful child’s playroom and loft. You’ll see ideas for his and her offices, a media and game room combination for quality family time, a welcoming grand entry and sitting room and a master suite that provides a relaxing private retreat. And just when you think you’ve seen it all, you can also enjoy the inlaw residence that is completely independent of the main house, but attached for ease of communal support and daily life with the entire family. Take the opportunity to meet and talk with the show house designers and the builder. Pick your favorite rooms — and pick the designers’ brains. Participate in a silent auction that benefits the ASID Foundation, which works to advance the profession and communicate the impact of interior design through research, scholarships and education. Help support the Show House charity, The Alzheimer’s Association, which will receive a portion of the proceeds.

In addition, mark these fun Show House events on your calendar now: Thursday, July 13, 6-9 p.m. — Design CommunityOpen House for members of GHBA, NKBA, AIA, NEWH, IDS, TAID, IIDA and all associated with the community Thursday, July 20, 6-9 p.m. — Ladies Night Out All ladies’ organizations are invited to bring the group and sip and see as a panel of interior designers and vendors share trade information and answer participants’ design questions. Friday, July 21 — Student Day Thursday, July 27, 6-9 p.m. — Man Cave Night All men’s organizations are welcome to catch up on the latest trends in home technology and maintenance. The builder and vendors will be on hand to talk about new products.

Tickets, at $20 per person, are available through Eventbrite, See you there!


A fully furnished model unit now on view showcases how interior designer Lauren Rottet's open-concept approach seamlessly joins the main living areas.

THE RIVER OAKS Renovated Mid-century Modern High-rise Offers the Finest of Appointments and Amenities By Barbara Canetti Interior Photography by Michael Hunter

Rendering courtesy of The River Oaks Luxury Condominium 64 house& home | July 2017 |


ack in the day, the River Oaks Apartments high-rise was quite a desirable place to rent with its great location, mid-century modern architecture and easy access to social centers and freeways. Noted Houston architect Cameron Fairchild designed the iconic building in the early 1960s with almost 200 rental units. But time passed by this 19-story building, and it was sold in 2013. The new owner, Arel Capital, opted to renovate rather than tear down the building, and it is being transformed into a 79-unit luxury high-rise and ready to be re-inhabited by year’s end as The River Oaks Luxury Condominium. The remodel of this classic building has been ongoing for over a year, and the changes to the property have been staggering and dramatic. Although the individual living spaces range in size from 1,600 square feet (starting at $1.5 million) to two whopping 6,500-square-foot penthouses ($7 million each), all new units exude elegance. The three acres of lush grounds are also being meticulously manicured for residents to enjoy. Lots of natural light contrasted against the dark floors and high ceilings give the residences a casual yet chic ambience. The units are designed with an open concept to combine the kitchen/dining/living rooms. Acoustic engineers were employed in the renovation to ensure quiet — inside and out.


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H O U S TO N G L A S S C L U B For more information, contact Nancy Norman 281-240-0382 l


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The model unit is spacious with unobstructed views in every direction.

Master bedrooms easily accommodate king-sized beds and comfortable sitting areas.

Interior designer Lauren Rottet of Rottet Studio in Houston says the units have been carefully designed to “reflect a modernist point of view, allowing the outside to flow seamlessly inside so that interior and exterior spaces are seen as one and acting as a minimal backdrop to the owner’s own collection of objects. “The River Oaks epitomizes Houston’s refined taste in and love of both contemporary and vintage design,” she continues. “The model is furnished with the finest hand-crafted contemporary living, dining and bedroom furniture complemented with vintage lounge chairs, coffee tables and accessories. The model is intentionally minimal, allowing the potential homeowner to fill in the blanks and envision their own style within the space.” 66 house& home | July 2017 |

STANDARD FEATURES Standard features in the residences are kitchens with customdesigned cabinetry by Poggenpohl Houston Studio and appliances by high-end manufacturer Gaggenau, giving the spaces a sleek, modern feel. A large pantry has been designed in the kitchens for additional storage. The white natural stone bar accommodates extra seating, and a large dining room nearby provides adequate space for a comfortable dinner party. The dining room and living rooms are connected and enjoy lightness and brightness from the walls of windows. The unobstructed views from these rooms make the space feel larger than it is, plus the added outdoor feature of the terrace lets residents enjoy indoor and outdoor living. Corner units have the added benefit of the wrap-around covered terraces. An extra

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bonus is the railing on the balcony is all glass, too, allowing for seamless vistas across the city. In the two-bedroom unit, an additional study/library with its own full bath is separated by pocket doors for privacy. In fact, it could be used as an additional bedroom or guestroom. The master bedroom is truly well designed, with a large walk-in closet that can be customized by Madeval to the owner’s taste and an ensuite bathroom with a large 6-foot-long marble soaking tub, as well as an oversized frameless glass shower. The commode is in a separated area, and the bathroom floor and walls are covered with large travertine tiles. The bedroom is vast enough to easily accommodate a kingsized bed and furnishings, as well as a comfortable sitting area for a couch and chairs. Another standard feature is the dark walnut-colored floor in the living areas. The bedrooms are carpeted in a neutral color.

PUBLIC SPACES Master bath highlights include a marble soaking tub and a frameless glass shower.

Residents will have access to many public spaces within the building and on the grounds. A lap pool, a soaking pool and a mini-spa will all be available in a lovely terraced garden with mature trees and flower gardens. A fitness center, yoga room, massage therapy area, dog spa and barbecue pit are all located on the ground level. Inside the massive lobby are the mailroom and a dining/meeting room with couches and comfy chairs. An attached full-catering kitchen is accessible to residents for larger gatherings. In addition, two for-rent apartments will be available for overnight guests, if needed.

Dual vanities feature light-catching mirrors and contemporary fixtures.

RESOURCES THE RIVER OAKS LUXURY CONDOMINIUM 3433 Westheimer Road 713-600-5078 INTERIOR DESIGN Rottet Studio 1-866-629-4284 DINING ROOM Chandelier Lindsey Adelman New York

KITCHEN Appliances by Gaggenau Gaggenau products are available locally at Kitchen & Bath Concepts 7026 Old Katy Road 713-528-5575 Custom cabinets Poggenpohl Houston Studio 5002 Westheimer Room 832-582-2620

68 house& home | July 2017 |

LIVING ROOM Credenza Intersource Custom Furniture Austin 512-383-9003 Pillows and throw Kuhl-Linscomb 2418 W. Alabama St. 713-526-6000 Regency chairs Lynn Goode Vintage 3637 W. Alabama St. Suite 340 713-522-5252

Rug Madison Lily Rugs 727 Post Oak Blvd. 713-338-2803 Sectional (Also dining room table) Internum 3303 Kirby Drive 832-242-9470 Seleted & Curated Art The Weingarten Art Group 713-520-0561 www.weingartenartgroup .com



Compiled by barbara Kuntz




our remodeling project is almost complete, so whew and congratulations! Now that you have your space back, without workers coming and going, sit back, relax and take it all in. You might discover there’s something missing, that “icing on the cake,” so to speak, that special element that augments, adds an element of surprise or is just plain needed. Check out our suggestions. One…or more…may be just what your “new” room needs for a finishing touch.

it. Is transitional more in keeping with your house design? Check. Contemporary or modern industrial? You’ll find those, too. C&D Hardware and Gifts, 314 E. 11th St., 713-861-3551, TILE HOUSE MARKERS JADE TRIPOD TABLE

Special price for HH&H readers: $849 This fabulous chair-side accent jewel is sure to complement any remodeling or redecorating project in your home with a pop of color — and as a conversation piece. The metal table features a jade stone top and stands 24 inches tall and 15 inches in diameter. The regular price for this great find is $999. Available at Dazzling Décor Rugs & Accessories, 3003 Fondren Road, 832377-4665, FORMICA® LAMINATE JONATHAN ADLER COLLECTION


$825-$1,045 Despite the over-the-top company name, Big Ass Fans has been at the forefront of ceiling fan development for years now. Starting out with commercialsized products, the company offers a line of smaller-scale fans that work in homes, including the Haiku collection with bamboo blades, drawing only 30 watts at high speed (read: energy efficient) and superquiet operation. Just hit the remote and chill out. Big Ass Fans & Haiku Home showroom, 1224 N. Post Oak Road, Suite 120, 1-855-651-3061,


Prices vary Add some curb appeal to your home with a new mailbox, and C&D Hardware and Gifts has you covered as a headquarters for multiple styles and sizes. Prefer a Victorian- or Arts & Crafts-inspired look? They have

70 house& home | July 2017 |

$42-$60 per tile, also sold in sheets It’s not too late to bring color to your home project with durable, affordable and easy-tomaintain laminate, thanks to the recent partnership of Formica® Brand and iconic designer Jonathan Adler. Perfect for countertops and other indoor surfaces, the line includes nine bold colorways and pattern combinations to make quite the splash wherever you use them. Check out “Lacquered Linen,” “Malachite” and “Greek Key,” just to name a few. You’ll fall in love with them all. The Home Depot, multiple locations,; Lowe’s, multiple locations,

$33.99 for three numbers, $23.99 for three house letters Announce your address with pride — and pizzazz — with these crackled glass and ceramic tiles handmade using a layering process and then fired in a kiln at each step. White raised letters pop against the happy and bright cobalt-blue finish. Each tile, at about 4.25 inches tall and 2.5 inches wide, includes two counter-sunk holes for screws (not included). The framing rectangular plaque can be mounted horizontally or vertically, your pick! Ecco, available through Wayfair,


$838 That new kitchen island you just installed looks fantastic, but still needs a bit of accessorizing. This hand-twisted wire vine pot

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rack combines overhead lighting and functionality with 10 pothooks all in one bundle. At 36 inches wide, 20 inches high and 20 inches deep, the combo can also be used as a downlight to illuminate any food prep area. By Kalco, the product comes in a dark brown finish and takes two PAR20 bulbs (not included). Kalco products are available at Custom Lighting & Hardware, 13511 Westheimer Road, 281-556-6500,; Lighting Inc., 4218 Richmond Ave., 713-6236500,; and M&M Lighting, 5602 Rice Ave., 713-667-5611,


Prices vary Windows can go beyond the traditional idea of glassed openings to the outside world and add a new look to any room. “The design of the

window can enhance a wine room’s ambiance with the scene of vineyard in the distance,” says Kim Gibson of February’s Glass Designers. “If the style is more modern, one-of-a-kind abstract designs could be created with any possible color to add to the flow of the room.” The possibilities are only limited by your imagination. February’s Glass Designers, 26440 Interstate 45, Spring, 281-367-6921,

Prices vary Whether from a favorite florist, an open-air flower market or from your garden, fresh flowers — even a single stem — add that final touch of lovely. For inspiration from Portland, Oregon-based Floral Design Institute: Add zest to flower arrangements with fresh fruits. Here, vibrant oranges, lemons and limes are paired with sunflowers, roses, freesia and more. Mix and match the colors or keep a central theme. Then make yourself a glass of lemonade and enjoy. Photo courtesy of Leanne and David Kesler, Flower Factor/Flickr


$35-$140, depending on style Complete your landscaping endeavors with a single addition: A birdbath. Bird-lovers already know the relaxation and even joy watching birds come to perch, sip and bathe. Be sure to keep the bath full of clean water, which is as simple as using a hose. Place the bath within viewing distance, but away from heavy traffic areas.

Birds need their privacy, too! Available at Garden Accents Inc., 15131 FM 2920, Tomball, 281351-4804,

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Thelma’s Garden at the Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Gardens near Spring

THE SPLASH ZONE Cool Off with a Backyard Water Feature Inspired by Houston’s Public Gardens


Story and photoS by linda b. Gay

ummer days are here, planned with trips to the beach or lake, so what can you do to stay cool between those getaways? You can visit public gardens with wonderful water features or create your own cool space at home to enjoy.

WET & WILD McGovern Centennial Gardens is the new public garden that replaced the Houston Garden Center in Hermann Park. It has the coolest water features in the museum district and is surrounded by beautiful gardens, walking trails and sitting areas. The mount is 30 feet tall with a spiral, winding path crossing four cascading waterfalls that get you to the top. Once at the top of the mount, you have a bird’s-eye view to see the beautiful architectural design and layout of the eightacre theme garden. Admission is free, and the gardens are open daily except on major holidays. Another public beauty where to see water features is Mercer

74 house& home | July 2017 |

Any pot can become a disappearing fountain.

Arboretum and Botanic Gardens, which sits on Cypress Creek close to George Bush Intercontinental Airport. You can visit Thelma’s Garden to view the unique water wall or walk the path to Storey Lake, sit on a bench and listen for the pileated woodpeckers that live nearby. This 300-acre facility includes five miles of walking trails, picnic tables and barbecue areas. Admission is free, and the gardens are open daily except on major holidays.

BACK AT HOME After all this traveling about town, you’ll want to relax at home with your own private garden of water. The sound of water is calming and cooling to the spirit, so kick off your shoes and relax. A disappearing fountain has a self-contained water reservoir and requires minimal maintenance. You can place it on the patio with rocks or in the garden surrounded by plants, whichever location best suits your desires. Growing plants around water features can get a little tricky because of the “over splash” that keeps soil constantly moist. In the splash zone, work 50 percent expanded shale into the soil before planting to loosen up and aerate the soil for both sunny and shady areas. Don’t forget to add organic fertilizer when amending!


McGovern Centennial Gardens has the coolest water features in the museum district.

A whimsical water dragon at Nelson's Water Gardens

SUNNY MOIST GROWERS • Lysanthes/Lindernia — Blue Moneywort, a blue lobelia-type plant with flowers all summer that grows 2-3 inches tall • Lobelia chinensis — Creeping Perennial Lobelia grows to 4 inches tall, spreads quickly and flowers until frost. • Penstemon tenuis — Gulf Coast Penstemon is native and will grow in sun or shade/wet or dry with pink flowers in the spring.

SHADY MOIST GROWERS • Acorus minimus aureus — Dwarf Sweet Flag grows to 4 inches tall and has chartreuse foliage. • Sedum makinoi “Ogon” — Sedum Ogon makes a dense, golden carpet of small rounded leaves. • Carex “Mt. Everest” — This green and white foliage grows to 6-8 inches and gives a vertical feel in a garden. • Caladiums are known for growing in water gardens, so try some strap leaf varieties. Saving the easiest for last is the indoor water flame called “Aquaflame” (The Arbor Gate, $60, in many colors and styles), which looks just like a pillar candle, has an LED light flicker in the middle of bubbling water and even a remote. I think this is such a cool product for the indoors: Unpack, fill with water, plug in and voila! Be creative and personalize your own “Aquaflame” with a theme that is special to you. Happy gardening! Silver ponyfoot creates the illusion of water as it “drips” down its container.

Linda B. Gay is a horticulturist and staff member at The Arbor Gate Nursery in Tomball. 76 house& home | July 2017 |

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