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Fine accessories, arts and area rugs

W W W. C A S T L E F D C . C O M 3819 Fondren Rd. (Fondren & Westpark) • Houston, TX 77063 • (832) 201-1000 2

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house& home | September 2015 |





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Editor’s Note Calendar Editor’s Picks: Luxurious Finds Recipe: Gluten Free Crepes & Pancakes Before & After: Den and Living Room Project: Hardscaping Tastemaker: Kevin Davis Gardening: Planting Ginger Pet of the Month: Honey

54 44 ON THE COVER: Architect Natalye Appel worked on a “dream project” in Bellaire, creating what the writer calls an indoor/outdoor engima. Photography by Claudia Casbarian

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Decorating with Fall Foliage & Produce Montgomery County Area Guide Custom French Country Home in Magnolia Bellaire Modern Embraces the Outdoors Master Bathroom Design Ideas

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My apologies!

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Two resources for two separate stories were incorrectly stated. So, let me set the record straight, please. In our August issue — in the story titled “1800s Cottage Gets New Life,” we mistakenly stated that Ciarinn Higgins of Higgins, Inc., is a structural engineer. He is not. He was a consultant on Lisa and John Walker’s home in Round Top. Alfred C. Shulle Floors did the flooring work on a renovation project completed by Bungalow Revival, which we featured last month in a story titled “Saving a Piece of History.” Regretfully, we conveyed incorrect contact information for him, which should have read: Alfred C. Schulle, 1415 Lone Oak Rd., Houston, TX 77093, 281-442-1334, On another note, NCV Custom Wine Rooms opens a showroom in Houston. The company’s intent is to enable wine aficionados a place to examine — in person — the various types of racking offered, in addition to the functionalities of other wine room components. It certainly makes sense to select the desired design style in person. That way you know what you’re getting. To visit the showroom, an appointment is necessary. Jost Lunstroth is the managing director of NCV. He has been building “custom wine features” throughout Texas since 2005, and is the twice recipient of the Sub Zero/ Wolf Kitchen Design Award for wine storage. He also is the creator of the wine storage concept, Nos Cave Vin, which has two locations in Houston. For info: call 713-524-2554 or visit This month, we feature what writer Barbara Canetti calls an “enigma” of a house -- designed by architect Natalye Appel. Barbara writes, in part: “The first thing a visitor notices is all the open space – three large oak trees spreading shade over a courtyard, planted with ferns and other ornamental plants. But looking at the house – rather, looking through the house – is where the uniqueness of this structure unfolds. The whole focus of the house is an indooroutdoor feel: where does the outside begin and the inside end? It is hard to say because virtually all the walls, made of thick, tempered glass, are moveable . . . .” Turn to page 54 to read the article in full. Happy shopping at the Round Top Antiques Fair — which begins Sept. 28! Susan (with Sam)


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PUBLISHER ........................Mike Harrison, Ph.D. ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER ........Susie Reisenbigler EDITOR ..............................................Susan Fox CONTRIBUTING WRITERS ...............Shirley Barr, ........Marsha Canright, Barbara Canetti, Linda Gay, ......................................................Joetta Moulden CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS.................... ..Michael Biggs, Steve Chenn, Claudia Casbarian, ..............................Miro Dvorscak, Janet Lenzen ..............Emily Mintorn Redfield, Camille Tokerud ART DIRECTOR ............................Robert Coplin SR. ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE ........Frances Dowling ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE ......................David Tree PRINTING ........................................RR Donnelly

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 2015, all rights reserved. HH&H is distributed at most Houston area Randalls and HEB stores.

P.O. Box 131845 • Houston, Texas 77019 (713) 523-6523 •


house& home | September 2015 |



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EDITOR’S NOTE: Please send all calendar items to by second Fridays for the following month’s issue.

The Round Top Antiques Fair, September 28-30, and Oct. 1-3, showcases hundreds of antiques dealers. The Houston Antiques + Art + Design Show (formerly HADA) happens September 18-20, at the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston.

Showtime The Houston Antiques + Art + Design Show (formerly recognized as HADA) features on Sept. 18-20 at the downtown George R. Brown Convention Center, 125 premier exhibitors from across the U.S., Canada and Europe. Beautiful room-settings showcase -for sale -- fine antique furniture, and decorative and fine arts representing all design movements —from ancient to 20th-century modern. Tickets are $10 per person for all three days. Discount given via Web site. Since 1964, the show’s primary objective has been to bring quality dealers to Houston and give a percentage of its ticket sales to local charities. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Info: The 20th Annual Texas Home & Garden Show is Sept. 19-20, at the NRG. Saturday times: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. From windows and doors, to roofs and floors, this show covers more than 100,000-square feet. Find everything needed to build or update a home. Score deals at the 8th annual GHBA Remodeler’s Council Charity Garage Sale. Admission: $10 for adults. Info: 14 house& home | September 2015 |

The 48th bi-annual Round Top Antiques Fair is Sept. 28-30, and Oct. 1-3. The “original” show includes four venues: The Big Red Barn Tent, The Big Red Barn, Continental Tent and Carmine Dance Hall. Entry for general admission is $10 per person. VIP tickets: $20. (Info: The Marburger Farm Antiques Show begins on Sept. 29, and showcases 350 dealers on 43 acres in 10 tents and 12 historic buildings. Early buying ticket: $25, and general admission: $10 (Info: Surrounding communities of Warrenton, Shelby, Carmine, Fayetteville, and others all play host to a vast array of dealers — with no entry fees.

In the Garden Cornelius Nursery at 2233 Voss hosts every Saturday morning at 10:45, a variety of garden topics by Texas-certified nursery professionals. Coming up: “Fall Lawn Care; Tips from a Pro,” Sept. 12; “Explore Rich, Colorful Flowers,” Sept. 19; and “Let the Garden Sing with Song Bird,” Sept. 26. Free of charge. Info: 713-292-0898 or

At The Arbor Gate in Tomball (15635 FM 2920), six classes are scheduled this month: Sept. 12, at 10 a.m.: “The Fall Garden” with Bill Adams and Tom LeRoy, authors of The Southern Kitchen Garden; Sept. 19, at 10 a.m.: “Bulbs and Buddies,” with Chris Wiesinger from The Southern Bulb Company, and Heidi Shelley at the TreeSearch Farms; Sept. 20, at 11 a.m., “Square Foot Gardening — Not by the Book,” with Angela Chandler from The Garden Academy. Square Foot Gardening is perfect for table gardeners; it is scaleable and requires no tilling or time consuming preparation. On Sept, 24, at 10 a.m.: “Basic Organic Gardening — psst . . . it’s all about the soil,” with Angela Chandler from The Garden Academy. Come learn the basics about soil fertility and how nature works to keep plants healthy. Sept 26, at 10 a.m.: “Fall into Spring” with horticulturist Linda Gay. Achieve dramatic and lasting color through the spring. On Sept. 27, at 11 a.m., “Grafting 101,” with Bill Adams. A whole host of programs take place between now and Oct. 3, at the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, 4501 Woodway Dr. They include: “Nature Revealed: Forest Ecology” on Sept. 4, 9 a.m.; “Edible Wild Plants” on Sept. 12, at 9 a.m.; “Naturally Wild Families – Geocaching,” Sep 12, 2015 at 1 pm; “Critters Uncorked – an Evergreen event,” Sep 18, at 7 pm; Nature Revealed – Biodiversity: Understanding Plant Diversity Patterns; Sept. 19, at 9 a.m., “Edible/Medicinal Wild Plants;” Oct. 3, at 9 a.m., “Nature Revealed: All About Birds.” Info:

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In October The Garden Club of Houston hosts its 73rd Annual Bulb and Plant Mart, Oct. 1-3, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Free admission. Mariachi/party on Friday, 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. – $20 per family. At St. John the Divine, 2450 River Oaks Blvd. Info:

On September 18, the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center features the program “Nature REvealed—Biodiversity: Understanding Plant Diversity Patterns.”




The fifth annual HOUSTON MODERN HOME TOUR opens doors to six residences on Saturday, Sept. 26, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit and walk-through some of Houston’s most amazing modern private residences, and meet the local architects behind the designs. Tourgoers get the inside scoop from homeowners on what it is like to live in a modern home, and to learn about the inspiration for each from the participating architects. This is every Houston resident’s chance to see the inside of ‘that unique, cool house you always drive by.... Continuing a very solid partnership, Lawndale Art Center has been named the Houston Modern Home Tour’s local non-profit beneficiary for the fourth, consecutive year. They will help staff the event, in return for a small donation and the opportunity to use the tour as a fundraising vehicle to help further their mission of presenting contemporary art from regional artists to the masses. PARTICIPATING ARCHITECTS AND DESIGNERS, AND FEATURED NEIGHBORHOODS:


(1) In the West University Place neighborhood, studioMET Architects created a sustainable house for a young family that exemplifies “doing more with less” in a modern style. The home features an open concept kitchen-dining-living space, a yoga terrace, a sliding wall of glass to let in plenty of sunlight, and a small Brazilian wood patio that extends the living space outside where water, grass and sky meet. (2) Merge Architects Inc. showcases a home they designed in the southern part of the Bellaire neighborhood that sits upon the concrete piers needed to meet flood plain requirements. The central pivot of the home is a two-story high great room, from which each wing of the house stems. All common areas of the house open up to this room on all levels, including the large covered back patio. (3) In central Houston’s Upper Kirby District, visit a contemporary home on double lot, designed by architect Scott Ballard. The home features a large open living area with a double-height glass wall that opens to a pool area, via an operable wall system, plus a central covered outdoor room with outdoor kitchen and deck above.



(4) MASA Studio Architects introduces their second West University Place home, which welcomes visitors through a 5x10 pivoting glass door. Located at the rear of the house, the family room extends, via a large sliding glass pocket door, to the outdoor living spaces and infinity-edge pool. At the center of the home, a dramatic two-story window is the backdrop for a robust steel and wood staircase that spirals around a glass bocce ball chandelier to the private spaces on the second floor. (5) Up in Garden Oaks, visit a home by Intexture Architects. A central axis divides the home into two halves and also creates a circulation spine throughout the home.



(6) In Midtown, see the recent renovation of a stunning loft in The Edge. By the Wendt Design Group. Tickets are $30 in advance, online -- or $40 day of. Info:

16 house& home | September 2015 |

K & D Home & Design Studio HOUSTON SHOWROOM

Contemporary Furniture 3190 Fondren Rd. • Houston, TX 77063 Tel: 713.574.2457 • Fax: 713.782.6678 Mon–Sat 10–7 • Sun 12–6


EDITOR’S PICKS PENDANT TIME Following the success of their initial collection launch several years ago, lighting and accessories manufacturer Wildwood Lamps has unveiled a new collection of midcentury-influenced fixtures, with a romantic, vintage element. At Louis Shanks, two locations www.louisshanks Comprised of mesh in an antique brass finish, the Lipton Pendant straddles the line between vintage and industrial. Place a pair of these pendants over the kitchen island for a visually dynamic look. 6.5 (D) x 15.5 (H) — $270 The Aurora Pendant exudes an exotic, Moroccan vibe with its tulip-shaped shade. Perforated brass add an additional layer of visual interest. 10 inches (D) diameter x 16 inches (H), $600. WALLPAPER Farrow & Ball’s Fall 2015 Collection introduces three designs that celebrate their British roots. Hornbeam celebrates the hedge grows characteristic of the British countryside. Made popular by English gardener Tom Stuart-Smith, hornbeams are often cloud pruned into the shapes seen in this design. $225-$260 /11-yard roll — available at Boxwood Interiors, 1320 W. Alabama St., or

PAPILLON BATHTUB Constructed of contemporary polished black granite or stunning carrera marble with rich natural veining, the Papillon Bathtub evokes elegance and organic simplicity. Its unique shape enables the bather to slip into their calming inner sanctum. $26,500. Available at Morrison Supply (713 861-2343), Westheimer Plumbing (713-942-9519), Hollywood Builders Supply (713-644-8301). 18 house& home | September 2015 |

LEXI BENCH Fabric furniture manufacturer Jessica Charles may be known for their swivel and dining chairs, but their ottomans and benches are not to be missed. Typically an afterthought, these accents prove otherwise, showing that despite their small size and neutral upholstery, these ottomans and benches are no wallflowers. The Lexi Bench’s petite frame and transitional style allows it to fit in any space. Long, slender legs, narrow arms, high-sheen navy silk upholstery, and button tufted back complete the look. 32 (W) x 24 (D) x 29.75 (H) — begins at $997, Louis Shanks, two locations,

Round Top Vintage Market

Weekend Market open all year: Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A quality venue featuring Antiques ~ Vintage ~ Collectibles ~ Art Indoor Dealers Spaces ~ Climate Controlled ~ Over 12,000 Sq Ft • 1235 North Hwy 237, Round Top, TX 78954

Fall 2015 - ROUND TOP ANTIQUE SHOW September 24, 2015 to October 4, 2015, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free Parking ~ Free Admission ~ Food Court ~ And More! See Show Events at the Round Top Chamber of Commerce website,

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Even the smaller, quainter French bistros – not just the fanciest restaurants – often serve crepes and soufflés. Both dishes are so versatile, it’s not surprising they have a following – on both sides of the tables, meaning the cooks and the diners. But for the everyday cook, they do they sound a little too sophisticated and difficult to make at home. Then again, maybe not. Local Whole Note Food Company ( offers a short cut to what may become your favorite brunch recipes: a mix that turns out a tasty veggie crepe, or that can be used to create a delicious spin on Bananas Foster Pancakes-light. Houstonian and Rice University engineering graduate Paul Morris reinvented himself to food product developer after searching for gluten free (GF) baking mixes. As the baker in his family, he started experimenting with different flours (“anything but wheat, barley and rye”), until he combined seven grains into becoming the base of mixes. He says the mix maximizes complex carbohydrates, minimizes sugar, and optimizes protein content and calories from fat. The part mad scientist, part engineer and part musician tagged his new local gluten-free product Whole Note GF … flavor that sings! He says there are other GF baking mixes on grocery shelves, but “they weren’t both nutritious and tasty.” “If the whole family will follow a gluten free diet, even if only one member is gluten intolerant, it will make it much easier on the cook,” says Paul. His goal was to make his mixes so close to 20 house& home | September 2015 |

traditional that you can’t tell the difference. Customers for his eight products—crepes, muffins, pancakes, waffles, and pizza mix—say he succeeded. And when his own daughter preferred Whole Note GF pancakes over her great grandmother’s, Morris knew he had a homerun. Order Whole Note GF baking mixes online, on or purchase at Whole Foods Markets in Houston, Austin and San Antonio. These images show the crepes filled with fruit and pancakes topped with fresh fruit. But here are two recipes developed by Whole NOTES FOR A DIFFERENT TASTE EXPERIENCE: Whole Note GF Crepes with Pesto, Mozzarella, Sun-Dried Tomato and Fresh Spinach Make crepes with Whole Note Original Crepe Mix, following the directions on the back of the package: A 9-ounce box yields about 20 8-inch crepes. For fewer crepes, 8 to 10, use half of each ingredient listed. Ingredients for making the whole box: • Whole Note Crepe mix which is about 2 cups • 4 large eggs • 3 tablespoons oil • 2 1/2 cups milk • 2 tablespoon butter

Directions: Beat eggs until light and fluffy; adding oil and half the milk. Add crepe mix and blend with whisk or electric mixer until smooth, then mix in remaining milk. Heat crepe pan or skillet or griddle to medium heat. Add as much butter as needed to coat the pan, and when it begins to bubble, pour in 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup batter, immediately tilting the pan in a circular motion to spread the batter forming a thin crepe. Cook until lightly browned on underside, flip with spatula and start filling immediately. Ingredients for filling Add these ingredients to half of the top of each crepe before folding: 1) 1/8 cup per crepe pesto sauce (spread lightly) 2) 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese 3) 1/8-1/3 cup julienned sundried tomatoes in oil 4) 3/4 -1 cup fresh spinach (final ingredient added on top of sundried tomatoes) Fold crepe in half, press once with spatula to spread spinach. Flip crepe, remove from pan when spinach wilts. Crepe should be lightly browned on both sides. Continue making and serving crepes. BANANAS FOSTER PANCAKES LIGHT All the famous New Orleans restaurant recipes for Bananas Foster seem to call for twice as much sugar as this light version, plus rum, but if that doesn’t sound like breakfast fare to you, try this recipe developed for pancake mix: Yield: 4 servings First make bananas Foster sauce in a small saucepan and hold: Ingredients for bananas Foster 4 tablespoons butter 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 4 medium-ripe bananas Directions: Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until sugar has completely dissolved. Simmer until mixture thickens, about 5 minutes and add about one tablespoon of water if sauce seems too thick. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Cut each banana lengthwise, leaving the skin on and brush with butter and the brown sugar sauce. Arrange bananas, cut side down, on the oiled grill pan or grill. Cook until caramelized, about 4 minutes. Turn the bananas over and grill about 5-6 minutes more until the skins are blackened. Remove from the grill and with tongs, easily peeling off the back skin from bananas and cut each banana crosswise into 4 pieces. Pancakes: A box of Whole Note GF Buttermilk Pancake Mix will make about 810 pancakes by adding 2 large eggs, 1 3/4 cup water and 4 tablespoons melted butter or oil, blending well with whisk or mixer. With Whole Note mix, or your own favorite pancake recipe, cook on medium-high setting on grill or skillet, flipping when top is bubbly or beginning to look dry. Freeze any extras, toast or microwave for quick breakfast or snack. To serve: Pile grilled and cut bananas into your Foster sauce and ladle on top of each stack of pancakes drizzling with extra sauce. To gild the lily, you can top with nuts and whipped cream. Yum!

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AFTER: A larger 8x10 rug hid the carpet sample on the floor and unified the seating area. The Great Rug Company allowed the couple to take rugs out on consignment to try them in the space. BEFORE: This den needed some real attention, according to the busy couple who hired me. They were referred to me by former yet happy clients. My previous clients apparently told them that they appreciated how I worked, and how I approached the design ideas with them.

22 house& home | September 2015 |

Debi Kiemsteadt contacted me because she had seen my work at a friend’s house and liked how little changes make a huge difference. As it turned out, she wanted my help sprucing up her main rooms and making them feel new – on a budget. “I felt confident with your expertise that the colors would all work together. I was impressed with your ideas and how quickly you were able to offer suggestions,” says Debi.

It is a good idea to stay on the same color strip when selecting colors for walls. Trim gives you license to change strips, especially if you are matching what is already there.


“When we knew we were about to redo our main living areas, we called you to get your input on our plans and see what ideas you had on color, furniture, rug size and accessories. Painting the walls Sherwin Williams’ “Nomadic Desert” was a good starting point. We selected the wall color during our first meeting.

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Changing the rug for a larger 8x10 one is far less costly than a full-scale redo.

“We really liked your suggestions, and you made us feel better about the things we had chosen – like the furniture and its appropriate size,” the couple say. Friends and family commented that “it looks like a whole new room.” One of the things that surprised Debi was her reluctance to hang pictures on the wall. Once everything was new, I was scared that I would make a mistake and not like it. With everything so nice and new, I wanted it to look perfect,” she says. It took me awhile, but once I started, it got easier. The whole family is proud of our house and how it looks,” Debi explains. “We like to invite people over now. Before, though, there was some reluctance in entertaining. But not anymore. We love our updated den,” Debi says.


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TRADE SECRETS • A DECORATOR CAN HELP you stretch your budget, no matter how small it is. • HIRE A DECORATOR to look at your spaces and make suggestions that will help you redecorate on your budget. • SOMETIMES THE MOST EFFECTIVE STRATEGY is to first rethink what’s already paid for. 24 house& home | September 2015 |

AFTER: (TOP OF PAGE) Painting the den walls Sherwin Williams’ “Nomadic Desert” was the ticket. Balancing lighter and darker elements helped the bookshelves regain prominence. BEFORE: (ABOVE LEFT) We painted the back wall of the bookshelves Sherwin Williams’ (SW) “Hopsack.” AFTER: (ABOVE) Lighter paint and overhead lighting and “American West” artwork by G. Harvey brightened up this niche. The back wall was painted Sherwin Williams’ “Hopsack,” and the side walls were painted the same color as the hallway.

Joetta Moulden offers home makeovers using your own home furnishings to create the home you’ve always dreamed of. Joetta believes your pieces collected through the years reflect your personality and can be artfully arranged and incorporated. Her ability to focus on your personal style and not let her own preferences influence the design of your home makes her unique. See more makeovers on her Web site at, e-mail her at or call 713-461-2063. If an initial appointment or referral is booked by Sept. 30, a 10 percent first meeting discount will be given. holds a “Pages of Happiness” rating and, for the fifth consecutive year, a “Super Service Award” presented to 5 percent of companies that achieve and maintain a superior rating on Angie’s List.




One landscape architect favors gravels, which come in a variety of size and color -- and facilitiate water absorption. (all photos courtesy McKinnon & Assoc.)

LAYING THE GROUNDWORK How to Lay Concrete Pavers; Trends in Houston Hardscaping Hardscaping, the part of the landscape that isn’t planted in the ground, is one way to create a balanced, livable exterior. It’s the built environment: the walkways, the water works, the decks, patios, pergolas, sculpture, wide wooden fencing, even retaining walls and raised beds. Blending wood, water and stone; new designs are transforming outdoor living spaces into ecofriendly retreats just in time for the fall months when being outside is more welcoming. “Balancing non-living elements with the living part of the landscape can create a beautiful design,” says Russell Bundick, with Creative Contours Landscaping Co. 26 house& home | September 2015 |

TRENDS IN HOUSTON HARDSCAPING “The shape, the curve, the texture of materials all play a role in making your landscape interesting and useful as an extended living space. Here’s what’s trending in Houston: 1. Material Matters: Stone and other natural materials are consistently in demand in area landscaping. Bluestone, limestone, and reclaimed brick pavers are paving paths across Houston. Also popular are durable ceramic tiles in multiple patterns and colors. Still, the top trend is permeable paver. “Permeable pavers allow rainwater and storm water to infil-

trate the soils,” says Mark McKinnon, a landscape architect and principal of McKinnon Associates. Pavers come in many styles and can be grass or interlocking, he adds. “If you have an area that requires detailed water management and drainage, needs to withstand heavy traffic and abuse, and doesn’t need to be aesthetically exquisite, grass pavers (also known as turf pavers, pervious pavers, and porous pavers) may be the best choice for you. The grass paver differs from concrete pavers in that they are hollow and “grid-like,” according to Concrete Pavers Guide ( McKinnon is also keen on gravels, which come in many sizes and textures, and facilitate water absorption. Other good choices include stamped and stained concrete, available in many patterns and colors, and natural stones like Travertine and Cantera, says Wes Hackney of Native Texas Landscapes. “Travertine is a natural stone with a warm feel and costs less now than it has in the past. I especially like the Versailles pattern, which is a combination of squares and rectangles,” he says. Cantera is a natural stone imported from Mexico and laid like pavers. “There is a limited assortment of colors, but it has an Old World feel and should be used more often,” he says. 2.Water Wise: The greatest drawback to hardscaping is that it can cause additional runoff and exacerbate drainage problems. “Not good for low-lying Houston. However, runoff can be limited by careful planning,” says McKinnon. Using but not losing water resonates with Houston homeowners and landscape architects, reflecting a nationwide trend. An interest in conserving water ranks high at the national level, according to the 2015 survey by the American Society of Landscape Architects. The organization found that consumers are most interested in permeable pavers, low maintenance landscapes, drip and water-efficient irrigation systems, native and drought-tolerant plants, and rainwater harvesting.

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3. Zero-Lawn Xeroscapes by David Morello, Garden Enterprises, and other local landscapers, has a following in The Heights, West University and other Houston neighborhoods inside the loop. No-lawn designs may include such elements as a water feature to serve as a reliable source of water for wildlife, a stone terrace for entertaining, or raised beds for plantings. 4. Bringing Indoors Out. Creating a focal point, a seating area, and a respite from the sun, additions like arbors, covered decks, and pergolas with canopies are in demand for many built-in backyards. These may be an adjunct to a swimming pool or stand-alone structures for reflection and outdoor entertaining. “Fountains, boulders, and structures, such as cabanas or pergolas, statuaries too, all can be a successful focal point,” Hackney explains. “Probably the best are fountains. They arouse the senses of both sight and sound and put us at ease,” he says.



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The brick edging defines the garden and adds visual interest.

Hardscaping is especially helpful in defining areas around a pool.


Fountains can be simple or elaborate and there are many styles to choose from. “When you consider a water feature, keep in mind that the pump should be easily accessible when replacement is necessary,” Hackney adds.

Home Depot offers these instructions for making you own concrete paver patio or pathway: PLANNING • Create a project design and plan • Obtain a building permit, if needed • Check for underground utilities and mark accordingly • Measure the project area • Estimate type and quantities needed of: • Underlayment -- base materials • Edging • Pavers • Calculate materials needed, including waste • Arrange for any special equipment needed • Schedule pickup or delivery of pavers SITE PREPARATION • Excavate soil to the recommended depth and remove rocks and other debris • Tamp or “compact” the soil, removing any large plant roots • Level the surface • Ensure proper drainage UNDERLAYMENT • Install a weed barrier • Add base sand and level • Moisten and tamp sand until packed and smooth INSTALL PAVERS • If needed, cut pavers to appropriate size (rental available at the Home Depot Tool Rental Center) • Install edging around the perimeter to keep stones in place 28 house& home | September 2015 |

5. Hotspot. Not new to the mix but with a stronger showing in 2015 is the desire for wireless, Internet connectivity in outdoor areas.

RESOURCES Russell Budnick Creative Contours Landscape Co. 832-722-0130 Mark McKinnon McKinnon Associates 713-869-2797 Wes Hackney Native Texas Landscape Spring, TX 281-651-1971 David Morello David Morello Garden Enterprises, Inc. 713-880-3224


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Free garden lectures every Saturday morning at 10:45. On Oct. 3, it is Family Day, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Pumpkins Inspire Fall Landscaping Décor BY SHIRLEY BARR

When is the best time to start decorating your yard for fall? Whenever the decorating bug bites – this month onward. Then, you can take your time and gradually add things you can keep right through Christmas, like clear sparkling strings of lights. But, you will want to remove your friendly Jack-o-lanterns and ghosts right after Oct. 31, and before you start preparing for Thanksgiving. “Many successful fall landscape decorating ideas came from fun country gardens,” says Cindy Champion, who conducts the free Saturday Garden Series at Cornelius Nursery. “Farmers first made those wacky ‘scarecrows’ to scare off the crows … figuring a male figure complete with hat and corncob pipe would send them packing – and it worked.” 30 house& home | September 2015 |

Cornelius also sells a lot of standing cornhusks and bales of real hay that simply fascinate children, according to Champion. “Add in a scarecrow or two, some pumpkins, and your fall landscape is complete.” Cornelius Nursery shares these other ways to add fall décor to your home: • Unfurl a porch flag appliqued with fall symbols and autumn hues. • Create a terrarium—a bell jar and shallow bulb dish can showcase mini pumpkins and bright colored faux leaves. • Cornucopias can be fashioned from any shallow basket filled with mini pumpkins, dried fruit and nuts, and a few other faux “naturals.”

Find inspiration for decorating -- in the garden or on produce stands.


Mums in a pretty container provide instant fall color -- for a porch or at a front door.

• For height, fill the base of a tall pottery vase or pitcher with bright yellow and orange squash and then top with graceful branches • Acorn squash and mini pumpkins make superb candle holders. Just cut off the top, hollow out the center, pop in a candle, and tie on a brown string to complete the natural look. Gail Bullion, an interiors designer at Cornelius, says if you want something more permanent, a fall front door wreath welcomes guests from September right through Thanksgiving. “Intense reds, oranges, golds, and maroons simply glow in the autumn air! These wreaths are perfect for celebrating football, Halloween themes, or simply fall, with Indian corn, and dried grasses and leaves,” says Bullion.

Free Garden Series: THE ART OF FALL LANDSCAPE DECORATING Saturday, Oct. 3, Family Day 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 10:15 Cornelius Nursery 2233 South Voss Road Pumpkins, fall plants and bales of hay are great for decorating. 32 house& home | September 2015 |


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36 house& home | September 2015 |


A 123 Acre development designed for year-round resort-style living on the lush green western slope of Lake Conroe. • Award-winning Builders are ready to assist you in building your dream home.

• Amenities include a custom pool, outdoor kitchen, and a membership at the Walden on Lake Conroe Golf Course

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Located 54 miles from Downtown Houston, 25 miles from the Woodlands, three miles from Lake Conroe Restaurant Row. Contact or call 832-741-3475


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Lake Conroe at sunset. (Photo by Michael Biggs Photography,

MONTGOMERY COUNTY is home to 34 nearby towns — some of which were given some interesting monikers: Stagecoach, Cut and Shoot, Beach, Four Corners, Bobville and Cowl Spur. But the county, which is one of the fastest growing counties in the state, also lays claim to two of the most impressive communities just northwest of Houston. Conroe and The Woodlands are thriving towns that are growing jobs, erecting homes, and attracting businesses and residents. Conroe revved up in the late 1900s, during the lumber boom that took place in the area. Soon, it became a major shipper of cotton, lumber and livestock. Today, it’s the county seat of Montgomery County and a suburb of the country’s fourth largest city. It is also home to Lake Conroe, a 22,000acre man-made lake renowned for its boating, water sports and beautiful shoreline homes. The Woodlands, which ranks in some studies as the fastest growing city in the state, was a vision of an oilman and entrepreneur, the late George Mitchell. In 1964, Mitchell bought 25,000 acres to launch his thoughtfully planned master community. It has 150-plus miles of walking and bike paths, and golf courses. Recently, ExxonMobil opened a new business complex there, home to 10,000 employees. There is also a town called Montgomery, which is one of the oldest municipalities in Texas. Home to numerous antique shops, it is considered by many to be the birthplace of the Texas flag. 38 house& home | September 2015 |

Each of Montgomery County’s towns has its own history and personality — all of which are worthy of exploring.

Not to Be Missed: THE HERITAGE MUSEUM OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY 1506 I-45 North Feeder (Next to Candy Cane Park) in Conroe, TX. It maintains four current galleries: “Glimpses of Montgomery County,”“Towns, People and Events,” “Hands-on Children’s Room,” and an entire room devoted to the renowned Texas painter and sculptor, Mark C. Clapham. Info: 963-539-6873 and THE CYNTHIA WOODS MITCHELL PAVILION 2005 Lake Robbins Dr., Spring, TX. Surrounded by lush forests, the pavilion, presented by Huntsman, is an outdoor amphitheater that provides the Greater Houston region with an array of performing arts events, educational outreach programs and contemporary entertainment. The picturesque venue is the Summer Home of the Houston Symphony, Home Away from Home of the Houston Ballet and a presenting venue for the Houston Grand Opera. The Pavilion is also known as The Center for the Performing Arts at The Woodlands. This month: Kelly Clarkson (Sept. 1); Music of the Americas (Sept.10); Lenny Kravitz (Sept. 17); Rick Springfield (Sept. 22); Van Halen (Sept. 25); and Daryl Hall & John Oates (Sept. 26). Info for future events:


they also offer their own Merlot, Chardonnay, Rancher’s Red, Cowgirl Blush and Pearl wines, which are made at Salado Creek Winery & Vineyard. • Cozy Grape Wine Bar & Bistro (832-461-9892 or, 14340 Liberty Street, Montgomery, TX 77356. Their vision of the Cozy Grape: to provide something new and unique in the Montgomery. They are an intimate, cozy, comfortable and affordable wine bar, offering a world class assortment of wines. They offer a varied selection of Craft beers, many of which are produced in Texas or just down the road in Conroe. • Bernhardt Winery (936-894-9829 or, 9043 County Road 204 Plantersville, TX 77363. 2015 Concert Series April 12 thru November 15. Every Sunday evening about an hour before sunset, enjoy a lawn concert with great music and relax with family and friends. At sunset, the music stops and all raise a toast to life and love. The winery is open for tasting and purchasing — by the glass or bottle. Bernhardt Winery produces approximately 6,000 gallons of wine each year. Their Tuscan-style tasting room sits on top of a beautiful hill overlooking endless hills and valleys. They carry traditional wine merchandise, along with fine jellies, jams and sauces. Waterfront homes abound along the shores of Lake Conroe.

CONROE’S 26TH ANNUAL CAJUN CATFISH FESTIVAL 334 N. Main St., Oct. 9-11. Three stages of continuous top-notch live music (Wayne Toups, Parker McCollum, Roger Creager Crowd, LeRoy Thomas and others), carnival, art show, catfish pageant, food and beverages. The 2015 festival takes place Friday, Oct. 9, from 6 p.m. to midnight, Saturday, October 10, from 11 a.m. to midnight, and Sunday, October 11, from noon until 6 p.m. Info on musicians and more: www.conroecajun

THE TEXAS RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL (800-458-3435 or, 21778 FM 1774, Magnolia, TX 77363. The 2015 Texas Renaissance Festival is one of the most anticipated events each year. Stroll through the 60acre site and enjoy live music and entertainment, great food, cold drinks, shopping opportunities full of unique and handmade items, carnival rides, theatrical performances and more from different cultures of 16th century Europe.The Texas Renaissance Festival (Ren Fest) is scheduled for every Saturday and Sunday between October 10 - November 29. Admission is $27 per adult and $13 per child.

THE MONTGOMERY WINE & MUSIC FEST takes place Sept. 19, in the historic downtown of Montgomery, TX. Wine tasting tents open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sixteen wineries from across the state are participating. Two music stages and a children’s area. Wine tasting package: $25 online or $30 at the gate. Includes 5 tastings and a souvenir wine glass. Info: www.experience

IN MONTGOMERY, TX: Liberty Bell Antiques, 14363 Liberty St., 936-597-4606. Hours: Tuesday -Saturday 10am to 5pm, Closed Sunday & Monday or — For Current Estate Sales Check Us Out at

If you happen to miss Montgomery’s wine event, here are four of the county’s wineries to visit when you can: • Cork This Winery (936-597-4030 or, 21123 Eva Street, Suite 100 Montgomery, TX 77356. Cork This! is a boutique winery specializing in custom made wines created from the highest quality varietals. • The Rancher’s Daughter (936-449-4100 or www.ranchers, 14387 Liberty St Montgomery, TX 77356. The wine bar offers various home décor and accessories, in addition to over 50 wines from other Texas wineries. In addition to the other wines, 40 house& home | September 2015 |

Garrett House Antiques, 315 Caroline, 936-597-5400. Garrett House is a hand-picked collection of fine antiques, jewelry, and art—to name just a few. Deer Lake Lodge & Spa, 10500 Deer Lake Lodge Road. 936647-1383. The spa and lodge are conveniently located in the idyllic Lake Conroe resort community only 40 minutes from downtown Houston and minutes from The Woodland. Immerse in personal attention from staff while indulging in many body-pampering and beautifying spa treatments.

Montgomery County events:


42 house& home | September 2015 |


Adele Hanson, Owner 315 Caroline Montgomery, TX 77356

Friend us on Facebook Garrett House Antiques

936-597-5400 •


This house was modeled after the country homes found in Europe.

French Connection


The cream colored, two-story French Country-style stone house sits on a quiet green landscape framed in Loblolly and Longleaf pines. A split stone retaining wall accentuates the front entry. The four-bedroom, five-bath house is situated on a one-acre lot, which opens onto the north side of the High Meadow Ranch Golf Course. The homeowners originally moved into the house a few years ago, after falling in love with the serene beauty of the golf and equestrian neighborhood. High Meadow sits between Tomball and Magnolia, about 30 miles northwest of downtown Houston. 44 house& home | September 2015 |

It’s a luxurious home, comfortable, with open, freeflowing spaces,” says custom builder Ted Cummins, who owns Morning Star Builders with wife Yvonne. Completed in 2012, the 5,000 square-foot house was designed with architect Mark Todd working in close cooperation with one of the homeowners, who said she started the process by sketching the first-floor on a piece of paper. The architect took it from there. The owners have grown children and one grandchild, and they wanted this home to have sufficient room to comfortably host family members. “The house has a modern rustic feel,” Cummins says, who chose engineered stone for the exterior and selected European-style shutters to accent the windows. “The house exterior is a nice complement of brick, stucco and manufactured stone, which doesn’t mildew or collect pollution,” Cummins explains. “Engineered stone also

The homeowners fell in love with the lush landscaped countryside of the High Meadow golf and equestrian community.

The pool and covered outdoor living area allow the owners to enjoy a resort-like setting. 45

Large picture windows provide views and light.

The kitchen is a simple design, opening to the breakfast room.

A brick archway frames the dining room with its dramatic groin vaulted ceiling. 46 house& home | September 2015 |

offers greater flexibility.” There is a lot of interplay between interior and exterior spaces – with a broad, covered patio in the rear housing a full outdoor kitchen and dining area, which overlooks the pool and Jacuzzi. When you first enter the soaring foyer, you see a chandelier. The fixture is actually attached to an electric wench in the attic so it can be raised or lowered to be cleaned or change bulbs. Beyond the foyer and open staircase is the expansive first floor living area with exposed beams. A wall of rear windows overlooks the golf course fairway. Cummins’ favorite space is the dining room, with its dramatic double groin ceiling and where French doors open to a side courtyard with a fountain. There’s a hidden spotlight, and at night, when you dim the chandelier, the fountain is perfectly lighted, and the dining area is truly warm and inviting, he says. Other favorite features are the study’s handsome arched brick boveda ceiling – a signature feature of Morning Star, along with the double-sided, cast stone fireplace with a mantel in both the breakfast room and family living area. The kitchen is a simple, efficient design opening onto a breakfast room. It has professional grade stainless appliances, double ovens, and honed granite counters. The island is topped with an elegant walnut slab. Upstairs, a large game room opens onto a rear balcony with a sweeping view of the pinedotted countryside.

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Now in their 15th year of home building, the Cummins family has completed between 50 and 60 custom homes. They focus on building in Magnolia, Spring, Montgomery, Cypress and The Woodlands areas. For people who are considering building a home, Cummins recommend that they follow the recommendations and list of questions suggested by the National Association of Home Builders, called “How to Select A Contractor,” at their Web site:

Resources The interplay between indoors and outdoors is evident in many rooms in the home.

The house has two bedrooms on the first floor and two on second floor, all part of a larger master plan. One of our strategies as a custom builder is to talk with our customers about how this house will fit their needs now and 10 years from now, Cummins says. It’s not something people always want to think about, but it’s an important conversation when you are planning a home, he

explains. How will the house meet the residents’ needs as they age or have an elder come live there with them, or deal with a temporary injury? Not only does Cummins initiate a conversation about the growing trend of aging in place, Morning Star kickstarts the process by building wider hallways, 36-inch doorways, pocket doors, and stacking closets that can be transformed into an elevator at a later time.

BUILDER Morning Star Builders 832-304-2310 ARCHITECT Mark Todd 281-363-2593 LIGHTING Carol’s Lighting 281-363-0114 POOL Sundance Custom Pools 281-290-7997 KITCHEN CABINETS Kent Moore 713-722-9511 SHUTTERS Magnolia Shutters 214-637-6277 WINDOWS Pro Build APPLIANCES Ferguson Supply 800-721-2590

The outdoor kitchen overlooks the pool area. 48 house& home | September 2015 |

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The limestone and ipe wood house – designed by Natalye Appel + Associates Architects – celebrates nature and art.


Architect Natalye Appel has created an intriguing indoor/ outdoor enigma in a Bellaire neighborhood. From the street, the limestone and ipe wood (a dark, dense wood that doesn’t rot) looks like it belongs to a mid-size, modern house mixed into the eclectic combination of nearby ranch, Tudor and maxi-mansions. But once behind the 8-foot-high fence, a most unusual home evolves. The first thing a visitor notices is all the open space – three large oak trees spreading shade over a courtyard, planted with ferns and other ornamental plants. But looking at the house – rather, looking through the house – is where the uniqueness of this structure unfolds. 54 house& home | September 2015 |

The whole focus of the house is an indoor-outdoor feel: where does the outside begin and the inside end? It is hard to say because virtually all the walls – made of thick, tempered glass – are moveable, eliminating the shell of the house and opening up the sitting room, dining room, living room or study onto the pool or outside kitchen. Appel, of Natalye Appel + Associates Architects, called the project a “dream job” – saying the owners were adamant about integrating the spaces and, although designed in a modern style, wanted to keep a warm, organic feel to the house with interesting textures and materials. Basically the two-story house was designed with almost all the

The pool and deck were built before the house, and everything thereafter was constructed around it.

The living walls are garden art pieces created by Rita Hodge at RH Factor. 55

courtyard walls being transparent, and the wildly interesting array of large sculptures collected on international vacations, can be seen from every room. Additionally, the owners support emerging artists by buying their unique creations – many times while they are still in school. Water is seen and heard in several rooms, from gurgling fountains or the large pool which butts up against the dining and living rooms. “Actually, the pool and the deck were built before the house. Everything was constructed around them,” Appel says. “They definitely wanted a pool for swimming, but they wanted to hear it too.” The front wing houses two large offices, each with floor to ceiling bookshelves, and insulated to keep the noise both in and out. One of the owners is a musician and uses his study to practice. Each study was designed with high windows that allow for privacy but also allow an abundance of natural light to shine into the rooms. The heart of the house in the center – the public spaces – includes a sitting area, living room, dining room and kitchen. But a sliding custom-made pocket door of wood and steel between the dining table and busy kitchen can turn that open space into a private, intimate room for dinner parties. Almost all the rooms are painted in a soft white color, which complements the large-scale white floors – keeping all of the rooms airy and bright. Most of the rooms lack overhead light fixtures, opting instead for recessed cove lighting that makes the rooms cozier, Appel explains. A show stopping floating staircase made of thick laminated wood with

56 house& home | September 2015 |

The home is full of surprises, from the floating firepit to the numerous retractable glass walls throughout the house. 57

The winding staircase, made of glass and wood, sweeps around the room and up to the second level.

glass panels sweeps around the living room to the upstairs bedrooms. It is really the focal point of the downstairs. It is almost a piece of art in itself. The house is almost completely automated: all the lighting, air conditioning/heating, pool settings, fountains, music and security is monitored through a complex system in the house but easily accessible from the owners’ cellphones. It is also extremely energy efficient and well insulated: the roofs are

58 house& home | September 2015 |

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The house easily flows into one room after another. Pocket doors can close to turn open spaces into smaller, more intimate ones.

The kitchen features walnut veneer cabinets by Stonewood Studios.

60 house& home | September 2015 |

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The open fireplace, constructed of limestone, was created by Spark Modern Fires. The glass ball pendant lights below is from Y Lighting.

planted with ornamental grasses that keep the heat away from the house. And rather than use electrical lights in some areas, the owners had solar tubes installed, which are a type of skylight lined with reflective metal in the flue to keep hallways and closets well lit, using only natural light. “All the materials used in this house are durable, but it is a fun house to see and a fun house to live in,” says Appel. “It is just so inviting.”

Resources ARCHITECT Natalye Appel & Associates Architects LLC 713-522-7992

LIGHTING Lighting Inc. Martin Sunday 713-623-6500

POOL Texas Pools Thom Blumenkamp 281-367-4660

INTERIOR DESIGNER Alvaro Lozado did backsplashes, hardwood and bath flooring, and bath countertops.

LANDSCAPING RH Factor Rita Hodge 281-686-6810 62 house& home | September 2015 |

MC Pools Construction 832-884-2872


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1. Incorporate an interesting wall design for dramatic effect. The look for this master bath, located in The Woodlands, is a clean, elegant transitional style.



The design objective was to create a luxurious master bath by first opening up the space. The design team raised the ceilings to 11 feet, straightened out and moved walls to expand the area. All the plumbing was moved. The original bath had been faux painted to death — everything from the countertops to the walls was saturated in a design that did not suit the current owner. The custom cabinets were stained a dark walnut. The new countertops are marble, and the fixtures are chrome. The walls — behind the tub and in the shower — are comprised of 6x12-inch gray ceramic tile, installed in a basketweave pattern. The open shower and free-standing tub lighten and balance the space. Interior Designer: Kathy Anderson, Eklektik Interiors,1300 Shepherd Dr.,Houston, TX 77007, 832-804-6300, RESOURCES: Cabinets: Accent Cabinets, 2024 Airport Rd., Conroe, 936-441-3467 Tile: La Nova Tile, 9051 Knight Road, 713-796-9050,

2. Add personal touches — design elements that make your heart sing.


It might be the smallest room in the house, but it doesn’t mean it lacks importance. After all, the bathroom is where most of us begin the day, so it makes sense for the space to greet us appropriately. It doesn’t have to be hugely expensive, but the bathroom helps set the right tone when it’s personal, clean and functional. When you have a chance to remodel or build your own personal space, here are eight inspirational bath ideas to consider:

Photo by Emily Minton Redfield When one set of homeowners built their home, they designed two master bathrooms. This is one of the bathrooms; the other, with an English feel, is indicative of the other owner’s personal style and tastes. The owner bought the 150-year-old Chinese teak door, with its intricate detailing, about seven years ago. It was stored until the timing was right. And right it is for this space. It is this type of personal touch that helps makes this bathroom a success. The owner’s travels to Asia inspired the design direction. The objective was to have the bath convey a clean and quiet meditative feel. The “to-die-for” sink, which is made entirely of glass in a seafoam hue, was a must-have for the owner. When the water hits the sink, rings of iridescent appear. The floor and countertops are white carrera marble. The vanity is a natural grain oak stained with an ebony lacquer (Sherwin Williams’ “Black of Night,” SW6993). The white paint used is Benjamin Moore “Vanilla Milkshake,” OC-59, and the wall paint: “Dovetail” in flat, SW7018 Interior Designer: Michael J. Siller Interiors, 5120 Woodway, Ste 190, 713-528-4343 ,

2. 64 house& home | September 2015 |

RESOURCES: Hann Builders Custom Home Builder, 5210 Spruce Street, Bellaire, TX,832-435-7792, Heights Glass, 613 West 19th, 713-861-3729 Cabinet Company: Del Potosi Cabinets, 14619 Sommermeyer St., 713-480-1170, and 10603 Alcott Dr., 713-480-1170

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3. Creamy and dreamy. Stencil designs can deliver a pretty, artistic focal point. The key is to do it well and in moderation. This master is a Spring, TX, interpretation of a nice mix between Country French and elegant European styles. It begins with a very symmetrical design, with two dressing areas flanking the paneled-encased tub. The approximately 8x4-foot shower behind the tub wall offers entries from each dressing area. The soft stenciling is richly executed but in a very soothing and subtle manner. Notice it on the wall and on the double coved, lighted ceiling above the tub. The floor is a cut travertine with medallion tile. Builder/Designer: Rory Caton, Heavenly Homes,12345 Kingsride Ln., 281-582-6596,


RESOURCES: Hardware Resources, 21240 Foster Rd., Spring, 281651-1580, Carol’s Lighting, 1710 Humble Place, Humble, 281-446-7613, Imago Dei, 5250 Gulfton St. Suite 2G,713-520.5557, www.imagodeigaller Royal Design Studio Stencils, 800-747-9767,

4. Go bold with color; you only live once. And, it’s your private space! Photo by Steve Chenn The home itself reflects Spanish Colonial architecture. And because of the Moorish influences in such a home style, according to the homeowner, it paved the way for having exotic fun in the master bath. The light fixtures from Morocco definitely set the tone, along with the vaulted ceiling and uniquely arched windows, which are framed in carrera marble. The paint color is a mix of two: Sherwin Williams’ “Magical” finished with a glaze called “Kismet.” The floor is also carrera marble with a glass tile design. Directing the project was homeowner Carlita McMahon. RESOURCES: Builder: Thompson Custom Homes, 9039 Katy Fr wy, Suite 230, 832-327-0197, Soaker Tub: Kiva Kitchen and Bath, KIVA Kitchen & Bath, 7071 Southwest Fr wy., 713-781-2222, Stone: Materials Marketing, 3433 Alabama St., 713-960-8601,

4. 66 house& home | September 2015 |


SOUTHLAND HARDWARE THE STORE THAT HAS Almost EVERYTHING 1822 Westheimer • Houston, TX 77098 • 713-529-4743 • 832-834-5443 fax shop online @ • Mon-Sat 8-6pm and Sun 9-5pm

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5. Turn the bathroom into a place where you might want to accomplish all you need to do — bath, groom and dress all in one room. Photo by CBJ


This Uptown Houston remodel took a cramped 1990s bathroom and turned it into a spacious room that invited in light and provided good “work flow.” The new design called for a large glass double shower to take the place of the original tub. The shower lacks the typically found threshold in order to accommodate future aging-in-place needs. Additionally the shower walls were constructed with water-resistant Sheetrock. The makeup vanity and cabinetry were custom made to look like furniture, adding special touches like the antique chair legs. Porcelain tile is used to mimic the look of marble. Paint colors used: Benjamin Moore’s “White Christmas,” #872, and Benjamin Moore’s “Pearl River,” #871. Design/Builder: Craftsmanship by John, 1418 Cedar Post Ln., 713-984-8834, RESOURCES: Tile: Horizon Italian Tile, 2702 W. Alabama St., 713-5234504,

6. Think about using a mix of materials to get the specialized look you desire. Here, find stone, wood, copper, concrete and brick tying the look together. Using highquality antique and re-claimed pieces underscore the want for authenticity. Homeowners wanted a “Tuscan” feel throughout their new home, located around Magnolia, TX. The design objective was to create as much of an authentic space as possible. The concrete sink used in a separate area from this one is a “relic” the designer found in small village located in central Italy. The walls are plaster, and the large old beams reclaimed from an older property that was demolilshed. Above the copper tub is a bricked barrel ceiling, which is common to Italian architecture. Interior Designer: Kathy Anderson, Eklektik Interiors,1300 Shepherd Dr.,Houston, TX 77007, 832-804-6300,

6. 68 house& home | September 2015 |

RESOURCES: Cabinets: Accent Cabinets, 2024 Airport Rd., Conroe, 936-441-3467 Stone: Materials Marketing, 3433 Alabama St., 713-960-8601,


7. Create a spa-like ambience . . . Invest in a great tub, if you like to soak and relax. Photo by Miro Dvorscak It is hard to envision the huge cultured marble columns that stood in this space along with all the mauve tile and carpeting that also once consumed the 1990s bathroom. The house is located in The Woodlands. It has been nicely transformed . . . creating for the homeowner a very simple and tranquil space. The owners, former residents of Pakistan, prefer a quieter look — liking what they call the “bare naked spaces you see over there.” They brought the rug back to the U.S. with them, but found the light fixture at a local antique store, which has since closed. The functional limestone ledge is 9 to 12 inches in depth and offers a soft, pretty backdrop to the wonderful freestanding tub. Interior Designer: Carla Aston, 26202 Oak Ridge Drive, Ste. A101,The Woodlands,


RESOURCES: Limestone/Durango: Walker Zanger, 7055 Old Katy Rd., 713-880-9292, Hardware:/Santec: Moore Supply, 300 West Loop 336, Conroe, 936-441-3666 Tub: MTI (, Moore Supply, 300 West Loop 336, Conroe, 936-441-3666

8. Small doesn’t have to be cramped, typical and ho-hum. Add soft color, interesting tile . . . and a surprise — like the open shelf inset into the wall above the tub. This bathroom is one of the five found in a newly constructed home on Galveston Bay. The owners wanted light, bright and a subtle beach style. The vanity is custom made, and casters were placed on the slipper chair so it could roll out of the way if needed. The countertop is a “Mystery White” marble, and the tile floor is Greek white marble. Mosaic tile around the tub is called “Seafoam” from Marrazi. The wall color is Sherwin Williams’ “Alabaster,” SW7008, and the walls are painted “Contented Green,” SW6191. Interior Designer: Peggy Hull at Creative Touch Interiors, 2402 Quenby, 713-529-7681 or 832-877-1357,

8. 70 house& home | September 2015 |

RESOURCES: Marble: Colours of the Rainbow (now Master Tile Colors) with eight Houston stores, 4340 Southwest Freeway,713.993.0727, Greek marble:


on Yale

Fine Antiques & Accessories Mon - Sat, 10 AM - 6 PM • Sun, 12 - 6 PM 2110 Yale Street • Houston, TX 77008 713-861-3335 • 71



Kevin Davis surrounds himself with art and fellow artists – so it’s not surprising he is one of the best in his line of work: providing luxury wall finishes to a variety of clients. He talks with us about some of his most memorable projects, along with giving us the scoop on how he got his start in this business.

Are you from Houston? My studio is in my home now, here in the Montrose, the heart of the Houston Arts, and although we started out at Isabella Court – a Spanish Colonial building now on the National Registry of Historic Places – on Main in the late ’90s, I find the commute downstairs much more tolerable with the increased traffic in Houston.

Silver Leaf over Gold Leaf Doors - Camille Tokerud Photography

What does your professional background entail? Did you apprentice with other painters? I apprenticed with Decorative Arts, the premier company in Houston, and I have always had a fond place for them in my heart. They taught me everything, how to paint, how to interact with clientele, and how to run a proficient and exacting production to ensure the highest quality and meet the most demanding client’s wishes. I went on to train specifically in Venetian plaster from several of the country’s plaster ateliers. I have studied with master muralists (though I still let my artisans handle those requests), and I have studied with Merriam Ellner, the top in the field of verre églomisé, the process of back painting glass with precious metals. After 20-plus years in the business, I have acquired many skills, but I think it’s our creative use of the materials that sets us apart and gives our clients a unique treasure. Your Web site indicates you do historical work. Tell us about that – or please share a successful project; its scope and objective. How did you get involved in that aspect of painting? How does one train to become such a paint sleuth? Our sister company, Conservation Lab, belongs to my old business partner, Jhonny Langer, and through his talents, I learned about the historical preservation of decorative finishes. He’s truly one of the best color analysts in the business, and I have been very fortunate to work with him on several of our state’s courthouses, and many places of worship and other historical buildings throughout Texas. We are currently restoring the Scagliola columns at the Navarro County Courthouse in Corsicana, TX. These columns consist of a faux marble technique that you cannot tell is not marble. It’s a lost art that very few in the world can duplicate. One of only five buildings left in the United States with this particular type of finish in it, we are helping to take years of grime and neglect off the surface of the columns and restore them to their former glory. We also recently helped replace and restore original finishes in Bishop’s Palace in Galveston. Our work together spans the entire state in many small counties’ courthouses, and they are a true Texas treasure. What types of paint finishes and techniques do you offer? Do they respectively convey or underscore certain looks? For example, is plaster more commonly used in European-style homes?

Resin Doors- Friedman - Camille Tokerud Photography 72 house& home | September 2015 |

We offer a full spectrum of decorative finishes and art projects, from glazing and gliding, to resin cabinet doors. We like our contemporary clients, as I specialize in creating one-of-a-kind looks that really transform an environment, and we have glazed miles and miles of cabinets and walls. I like to work with plasters, the palate lends itself to both contemporary and traditional, and true lime plasters are so eco-friendly and lustrous to work with. Our latest foray into verre églomisé has me very pumped. They take forever to accomplish, but the results are absolutely stunning. I hope to have a completed line of patterns ready for installation in the spring. What is your most memorable project to date and why? What was involved? I think that would have to be a project we did for (interior designer) Sharon Staley. The builder wanted to transform a 10,000-plus square foot house into a palace in only six weeks, in July, with no air conditioning. We were insane, but we pulled it off; it was very much reality TV. Either that job or the courthouse in Clarksville, only because the guys taught me to play golf in the evenings when we got off. Plus we stayed in the best little B & B next door for months at a time. The people who have worked with me really are the best. How do you work with clients? What is the process? Most of our jobs come through the design world, and we work with our clients to create what best suits them. I have opinions, but when it comes down to it, the client is the one who will live there, so we come up with the best solutions to whatever their dreams may be. We have hundreds of samples here in the studio to get started with, and then we always make a fresh unique sample in their color wave or hues. For the adventurous and creative types, we will work on creating something that is truly once only and unique to their project. Once approved, we are a one-at-a-time job crew, so we do their project from start to finish before moving on to our next project. Absolute satisfaction is always a guarantee. What inspires you personally? Personally, I’m inspired by my artist friends, their work is always catching me off guard and presenting the world to me in new ways. From Patrick Medrano to Lucinda Cobley, Sam Sartorius and Marco Villegas, and the many others I call my family.

Getting Personal What do you do on your "off" time? What’s “off” time? I have a good separation from work and personal these days. We don’t work weekends. And I try to shut the phone off on Sundays. I love to bike, and I take pottery at Foelber. I make all my friends ride bikes now, too. What can you NOT live without? My Bike! I take it everywhere. If we work out of town, it’s in the back. I make whomever is working with me take theirs too. It’s really the best way to exercise and unwind and with Houston’s great new trails coming online, we are the perfect city for many biking adventures.

Kevin Davis Wall Artisans, Luxury Finish Boutique • 832-277-5054




C. Laddawan

Hedychium Gardenerianum Kahili

Butterflies, peacocks and dancing ladies . . . these sound like what you might see on a walk attending a fall festival, but they are actually the names of beautiful ginger plants that thrive in our long, hot, Houston summers. As the summer garden flowers fade and hardy perennials start to look tired, gingers are stepping up on the late summer stage. The ginger family is a large group of rhizomatous and tuberous plants that emerge when the soil warms in late spring, flower through the summer, and go dormant when winter arrives. Gingers offer beautiful variegated foliage, colorful and exotic flowers, and perfumed flowers for the summer garden. Gingers used in the kitchen, such as in Turmeric spice, which is a deep golden yellow color, known as Curcuma longa. It is also known as Hidden Ginger in the garden because the flower blooms at ground level and is hidden by the leaves of the plant. Another well-known culinary ginger is the common ginger spice known as Zingiber officinale. This spice is used medicinally in teas as it soothes upset stomachs and promotes digestion. You can grow the gingers you buy at the grocery store and plant them, but know they are grown for their flavor and not their ornamental beauty. Harvest ginger roots in the fall as this is when all the flavors have returned to the rhizome. Butterfly gingers, known as Hedychium, can grow in sun to part shade and prefer a moist, wet soil. This group of gingers

grows from an underground rhizome, which is on top of the soil most of the time and can grow to 3 feet in one season. They do not stay in a tight clump, as they grow; they travel around the garden. The growth habit resembles a corn plant, with a cluster of sweetly fragrant flowers that sit on the top of each stalk. Butterfly gingers produce a large cluster of flowers called an inflorescence, which is made up of two dozen flowers that resembles butterflies. Hedychiums with white, pale pink or light yellow flowers are the most fragrant, and this fragrance attracts night pollinators, such as the sphinx moth. Hedychiums with dark colored flowers are designed to attract day pollinators. Hedychium varieties to look for are: H. coronarium, H. ‘Kahili’, H. ‘Sherry Baby’, H. ‘Lemon Beauty.’ Peacock gingers are a lovely group of low growing, shade loving, drought tolerant plants that grow in “rock pockets” in the wilds of Vietnam and Thailand. These deep shade-loving beauties have multi-colored zonal patterns of silver, light green, dark green, and black, topped off with purple iridescent flowers throughout the summer. Kaempferias grow from tiny tubers and produce many underground during the growing season. Grow Kaempferias as a ground cover in well-drained soil, such as, at the base of large trees where nothing will generally grow. This plant is popular because the beautiful, silvery foliage accents deeply shaded areas, returns every year, blooms, and has been

74 house& home | September 2015 |

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Kaempferia Mansoni

referred to as the Hosta for the South. Varieties to look for are: K. ‘Pink Lace’, K. ‘Bronze’, K. ‘Mansoni’, K. ‘Silverspot’. Dancing Ladies are grown in dappled shade, and can also be grown in a shaded container with a variegated ivy or trailing plant. Globba winetii produces a beautiful, long, dark purple florescence with yellow flowers on a compact, upright plant, and resemble ladies or fairies, lasting about one month. There are two varieties of Globba to look for: ‘White Dragon’ and ‘Mauve Dancing Lady’. Lastly, I must mention the genus Curcuma; these plants look like dwarf banana plants with large green leaves, which can reach 6-feet tall, and grow in a half day of sun. ‘Choco Zebra’ it is the first one to break dormancy in spring, has chartreuse green, chocolate red and purple flowers on a stem that is held above the foliage. Curcuma ‘Laddawan’ has a dark pink inflorescence with large leaves and gets 3 feet tall. Curcuma alismatifolia (tulip ginger) is a true sun loving shorty (12-16 inches), and produces leaves and flowers all summer long. This is just a short list of the wonderful world of gingers to get you interested in trying some in your garden. Gingers are foolproof; just grow most in well-drained soil and the right sun exposure. Are you ready to plant some in your garden? Head out to the Arbor Gate Nursery in Tomball, to shop the wonderful selection there.

Since 1996, Heights Lights & Things has worked with builders and decorators assisting them with their lighting process. Our showroom features an array of lighting products for both indoors and out, ceiling fans, landscape lighting, etc.

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HI, HONEY! THAT’S MY NAME, TOO! I’m a 10-year-old labrador mix who was brought to the Houston SPCA, because my owners didn’t have time to take care of me anymore. Don’t get me wrong — they’re good people; there was just too much going on. I love to go for walks and I’m trained; I know “sit,” “stay,” and “shake” commands. I’m comfortable with other animals, such as dogs and cats ... and kids! I’m joking. I love human pups and am very good with them. I also love long walks and am house trained. I like to let my humans know when it’s time to go outside. Since I’m a senior dog, I’m available to adopt at a discount price, and I’ve had extra diagnostics done to ensure that I’m a healthy old (er, um) YOUNG girl. After being here for a month, I’m just aching for a loving home to live out the rest of my days surrounded by family. Won’t you be my friend and help a girl out?

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The Houston SPCA, 900 Portway Drive, is open seven days a week, Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., to make choosing the adoption option as easy as possible!

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