Classic Comfort – A streamlined, uncluttered look rules this house design
Text by Cathy Gordon | Pictures by Bookwalter Photography
When this homeowner sought to downsize from a larger golf-course property, definite needs came to mind. Easy access to Interstate 45 in the front part of The Woodlands was a necessity for this Houston businessman who has a demanding travel schedule.
A low-maintenance lifestyle was equally important. “I have a second home and I travel both for work and fun,” he explains. “ I was looking for a house that was lock-and-leave and that would need as little maintenance as possible. I also like the 24-hour security patrol in this neighborhood.”
So he bought a charming, gated New Orleans style house that easily accommodates his needs as well as those of his young son and daughter.
But how to decorate it? The homeowner wanted to start with a fresh slate, from new furniture to dishes, kitchenware and towels — basically all the material essentials for everyday living. Certain interior elements of the house, a former model home, needed tweaking as well. “I was looking for a change from my previous home,” he says.
“So that’s what we did,” says designer Paul Davis of Paul Davis Interiors. “With all my clients I ask, “How do you live? What rooms do you live in? What is your lifestyle, your color preferences and patterns? I like to take what they love and elevate it… bring their taste out in the best possible way.”
The homeowner visited Davis’ home and liked his clean, sophisticated style. So the template for the design was set: streamlined furnishings, a no-clutter look, handsome antiques mixed with contemporary pieces and a warm mesh of colors and textures to draw it all together. All in all, a timeless, classic look.
The home’s exterior welcomes visitors with an iron gate leading to a brick-paved front porch with comfortable outdoor seating. Just inside, a long hallway leads to the home’s main rooms. Particularly masculine in tone is the front library with rich wood paneling and floor-to-ceiling shelves. A striking Birdseye maple gateleg table holds court in the center of this space with a custom sofa in a linen/ cotton blend and gray leather taking up one end. Smokey gray chairs round out the seating here.
But the main core of the home exists down the hall, where a spacious family room and breakfast area connect with an extremely functional and handsome kitchen. Dark mahogany cabinets mix with a backsplash of creamy white subway tile. Granite countertops contrast nicely with a large island topped in Crema Marfil marble. Bright artwork and accessories provide pops of color. Metal drum pendants from Circa Lighting illuminate overhead, adding a fun element.
The family room is especially inviting with a warm sisal rug and beige walls providing a neutral backdrop. A faux-leather topped coffee table from Laurie’s Antiques centers the room. Custom sofas in a traditional English style pair nicely with an antique barley twist pub table. A custom entertainment center sits to the right of the fireplace while a metal cabinet (Laurie’s Antiques) containing art glass on the left adds a utilitarian touch. Two patterned chairs add the ultimate comfort with a Saarinen style side table infusing a contemporary feature here.
A table with nailhead-studded chairs makes up the breakfast area adjoining the family room.
The dining room is most striking with high accent white paneling meeting handsome Ralph Lauren wallpaper. Chairs from Williams Sonoma Home in a brown ultrasuede mix with head-of-the-table counterparts in a rich persimmon. A two-sided fireplace connects with the library.
The downstairs is rounded out with a small home office and mudroom, as well as an elegant powder bath.
There is nothing trendy about this home. Indeed, timeless design rules upstairs as well as down. The master bedroom catches the eye with a unique grid paneled wall that doubles as art. A cleanlined Ethan Allan four-poster bed is paired with antique nightstands for a sophisticated feel. Sumptuous bedding from Kuhl Linscomb adds a quality touch.
Down the upstairs hallway are the elevator and laundry room. A few steps further and the home reveals a most fun space, a media room that is beautiful in its simplicity. No theater steps and dark velvet curtains here. No doors cordoning it off from the rest of the house. Rather, an open space with a large screen sitting atop a low custom cabinet that runs the width of the room. A sofa and two black leather chairs mingle with two custom chairs to provide plenty of seating here.
A sleek poker table and chairs take up one end of this space with easy access to an inlet with full bar and refrigerator.
Down the hall is a built-in study space where the homeowner’s children can tackle homework. Just around the corner reveals a step-down to their bedrooms — the daughter’s is styled in all things purple, Paris accessories and other girly features; the son’s bedroom is “all boy” in walls of blue with race car bedding.
Indeed, this house is a template for classic, uncluttered design that serves this family well.
“I think it turned out great,” says the homeowner. “It’s comfortable and it was the look I was looking for. It works well for us.”