It’s All In the Details
So, say you like a floor plan, but a few changes would put it more in sync with your lifestyle. Some might feel obligated to stay with the original format, never mind that certain rooms would rarely be used. But if you’re Tony Marimon, you’re already rearranging things in your head.
“He’ll look at something and say, “Oh, there should be a window instead of a door there. We should eliminate this and add that, raise this, extend that…that’s just Tony. It’s the way his mind works,” says Kristi Marimon of her husband. “He’s very good at that. But please, don’t leave him to pick out colors!”
Between Kristi’s understanding of color, Tony’s floor-plan finesse and builder Darling Homes, this couple has achieved a low-maintenance, charming dwelling in Grogan’s Forest that boasts clever use of space within its 3500 square feet.
“It’s all in the details,” explains Tony, owner of Marimon Business Systems. “You’ve got to know your lifestyle and make the house go with it, from the lighting to the yard to where you put the little hook for the dry cleaning, you know? It’s just that simple.”
Accordingly, the Marimons’ dry cleaning hook hangs discreetly at the side door instead of the front entrance. A minor thing, but a minor thing that makes sense. And their exterior planters are rigged with sprinklers and plumbed with drains so they can be watered automatically without leaving a leaky under-the-pot mess.
“I know. I know. He thinks of everything. Every last detail,” says Kristi. “But it makes things simpler. He’s right!”
The couple has always valued their home space. Most recently, they moved from the Waterway Lofts after receiving an offer of sale they couldn’t refuse. “We didn’t know where we were going to go,” says Kristi. They leased for a while and thought about moving to Carlton Woods where they own a lot. But an internal magnet keeps drawing the couple back to the front section of The Woodlands. Proximity to Interstate 45 was a big draw.
And the low maintenance aspect of a patio home had great appeal. They own other properties in Telluride and Manhattan. So being able to lock up and leave without worry is essential. “We basically touch a button, close the door and we’re out of here,” says Tony, who also loves returning to this abode. And why not? He pulls into a beautiful trimmed out garage with sparkling finished floor and is greeted by lovely music piped into this “man space.”
Visitors who arrive by front entrance are in for a treat too. Even before ringing the doorbell, they follow a charming path to an iron gate and courtyard with fountain. Inside to the left, a beautiful dining room awaits with a wall awash in reclaimed old Chicago brick. Indeed, this same brick is used in accents throughout the home, adding rich texture to the mix. A circular dining table, great for entertaining, is paired with chairs in warm upholstery.
While the original floorplan called for two guest rooms off the front hallway, the Marimons reconfigured this space to allow for a spacious mini-master bedroom, replete with a Hollywood glam-style open closet for formal gowns and a marble and granite bathroom with pulls that resemble diamonds. “My daughter Macy designed this space. She loved Sarah Jessica Parker’s closet that you walk through on the way to the bathroom in Sex and the City, Kristi explains. “Macy loved it because it’s very New York.”
Macy is living her own life in Manhattan these days as an up-and-coming jewelry designer. Her company, Marguerite Jewels (margueritejewels.com) takes a vintage-style approach to jewelry with Macy’s original inspiration coming from a brooch that belonged to her grandmother. Nora Blue boutique in Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas recently picked up her jewelry line. At the Marimon home, the jewelry doubles as art on a tabletop. “We’re very proud of her,” says Kristi.
Speaking of works of art, the home’s study has plenty with a wall of late artist Steve Besselman’s architectural drawings and an amusing Todd White oil painting of a golfer with martini titled “Drinking and Driving.” This space with barrel ceiling captures great views.
Natural light floods the main living area, kitchen and reading nook, a space originally intended as a breakfast area. “We didn’t need another eating area,” says Kristi, pointing to comfy barstools at the kitchen island. The kitchen is beautiful in creamy white cabinets that were modified by the Marimons to reach the ceiling.
Indeed, many changes like this were done throughout the house — raised ceilings, added windows, bumping out the back of the house a few feet, doing away with a sunroom and adding a spacious pantry and master bedroom closet, constructing a eye-catching beam that ushers in the living room. The list goes on….
Lucia Harness Designs helped with drapery and fabric choices throughout.
“It’s a true custom home,” says Tony, who points out that by eliminating the sunroom, they could center the living room fireplace and flank it on either side with two large built-in shelf units. “Doing away with the sunroom changed a lot in this house. We wouldn’t have used it and we used that space for other needs.”
The master bedroom is spacious as well with great views of the yard. An accompanying master bathroom preens in neutral granite and wallpaper that carries the feel of a washed handpainted stencil.
The Marimons chose to build out a bonus area on a second floor, creating a movie theater as dramatic as it is functional. “We love to watch movies up here,” says Kristi of the room that is outfitted in bold red and black.
Even the laundry room is ultra-functional in this house. The Marimons did away with a door at one end of the space, opting to put a workstation there for a printer. “We wired everything so that I can press print on my laptop in the kitchen and it prints out in the utility room,” she says.
A powder room down this same hallway is exceptional in a floor of antique French pavers.
The home exudes charm from the outside too. It sits up nicely from the street with a retaining wall adding interest. They hired landscape architect Kate Yoklavich of Alterview, Inc. to design an eye-catching front courtyard. Indeed, the home’s compact grounds are a visual feast thanks to Yoklavich’s handiwork. The finishing touch to this serene picture is family dog, Zoe, who loves to chase a ball around a side yard fountain pond.
It’s pretty much a serene scene here everyday at the Marimon house.
“The details make it a home you really want to live in,” says Tony. “I’d say we accomplished that.”
TEXT BY CATHY GORDON
PICTURES BY BOOKWALTER PHOTOGRAPHY