ASID Designers Ushered In The Holidays In 12,000-Square-Foot 2015 Show House
Text by Cathy Gordon / Photography by Miro Dvorscak / Interiors by ASID, Texas Gulf Coast Chapter / Renovations by Peterson Homebuilders
Assignment: Take a 12,000-square-foot-house in The Woodlands and renovate nearly every aspect of its interior. Gut every bathroom, revamp the kitchen. Replace room upon room of outdated orangey-red cabinets and molding. Basically, transform a home born of the ’90s into a current style, albeit with its own personality.
And do so within 10 weeks. For a public unveiling. For the holidays.
“Okay, well, we don’t really like advertising the time frame,” jokes Donna Vining of Vining Design Associates, Inc., chair of the ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) Texas Gulf Coast Chapter house. “I’d like to think we won’t ever duplicate this kind of time frame again! But seriously, it came together seamlessly. It was meant to be.”
Eighteen of the Houston area’s top designers, including Vining and co-chairs Donna Jarnigan and Shundra Harris, pulled off a seemingly impossible task with builder D.C. Peterson, a friend of Vining’s, at the ready, his crew tearing out, replacing and tackling whatever renovating was needed.
Like little elves, they worked around the clock on this three-story home with 300 feet of frontage on Lake Woodlands, readying for its December 2015 unveiling to an eager public.
It didn’t disappoint.
From the grand foyer — a glistening winter wonderland of ornaments and Christmas greenery — to a two-story library with roaring fireplace, light and bright kitchen and bedrooms transformed into enchanting retreats, this home has it all.
A conversation between its homeowners, their realtor and Vining kick-started the massive project.
The homeowners had downsized to a different home in The Woodlands and needed to update this one before putting it on the market. Vining met with them and their realtor in September 2015, kicking around ideas for a limited remodel.
“At first we were talking just renovating the kitchen and I reminded them that often that leads to this and that. A few days passed and I had picked out materials and we were having a meeting here at the house. I was presenting what I could do within budget,” Vining recalls. “The realtor leans over and says, ‘Donna, why don’t you make this an ASID show house?’ ”
A little contemplation had the owners excited about the idea, but could it be ready in time for the holidays? Vining checked for interest among ASID designers. They were on board. She then put a call in to her builder friend, Peterson.
“I remember she said something like ‘You’re going to hate me for this. It’s a really tight deadline,’” Peterson recalls. “It was kind of like mission impossible but we were happy to accept. The fuse was lit.”
The stone dwelling is the picture of elegance, inside and out, but at the same time doesn’t take itself too seriously. There is plenty of whimsy to be had here. And an abundance of cozy retreats await within.
Take, for instance, the first-floor Ladies’ Retreat, a rich, glamorous space with fun patterned Stark carpet underfoot and a long window seat for reading, creating or just looking out at the home’s lush lawn. The room is a cocoon of dark rich swaths of navy highlighted with silver, brass, crystal and rich wood accents. (Aston Design Studio.)
An elegant dining room invites visitors to sit in chairs that look for all the world as if they’re swathed in an artist’s watercolor. (Jillian O’Neill Interior Design.) An upstairs craft room with custom art and herringbone lime green, gray and beige carpet is a visual feast and supremely functional as a homework space or any kind of creative endeavor. (Mark W. Todd Architects.)
The kitchen, Vining’s baby, was revamped from one of dark stone to a light and bright space that reflects the beautiful lake beyond. Walls in Sherwin Williams Rainwashed almost sparkle. Cabinets combine a stain and faux technique with accents of silver and pewter to complement stainless steel appliances. “I do tons of kitchens and right now the trend is that people like the grain of wood showing,” Vining says.
The space boasts two marble islands for entertaining with a steam/convection oven that cooks to perfection.
A stunning living room with contemporary and transitional pieces in multiple textures and finishes is a popular sitting area for just visiting or taking in views of the backyard grounds, infinity pool and views of the lake. (The Garrity Design Group.) The designer incorporated large, abstract pillows on the chairs to draw attention to an adjoining space with similar colors, the wet bar. Its walls are swept in a handpainted mural in metallic and acrylic paint by artists at Anything But Plain.
A sleek marble wall is a focal point in the den, its smooth texture contrasting with a custom fireplace of charcoal limestone that warms up the space on those winter days. Hardwood floors in a dark finish contrast with walls of soft aqua that bring in the color of the lake. Transitional and Art Deco furniture styles mix textures like leather velvet and linen, making for a comfortable, yet elegant space. (Cecilia Pacheco Interior Design.)
Veronica Solomon of Casa Vilora Interiors couldn’t wait to tackle one of the home’s bedrooms, formerly used as sleeping quarters for a young boy. These days it’s a sleek first-floor guest suite that combines an eclectic mix of styles from traditional to mid-century with a sisal wallpaper on the cove ceiling depicting a cloudy sky. The color palette of mostly whites is accented by kelly green, navy and fuchsia used in pillows and accessories. Warm gold tones add a timeless element. Especially fun in this space is a lamb’s wool bench, acrylic chair and funky chandelier.
Elegant whimsy resides in the downstairs powder bath too. The space by CLR Design Services is like a beautiful jewel box with shiny marble floor and counter and reflective wallpaper behind wall niches. Large print diamond wallpaper mixes with fun sparkling lighting overhead to round out the theme inspired by “Tiffany & Co.”
Just around the corner, the master suite continues with the theme of comfort and elegance. CDB Interiors created the space as a serene retreat outfitted in furniture and accessories that draw in the outdoors. To that end, Italian-woven silk linens from Tribute Goods depicting flora and greenery accentuate the bed. A light and calm sitting area with fireplace is perfect for taking in views of the grounds and lake. The accompanying master bathroom is a visual feast in smooth marble and a sparkling chandelier.
Indeed, this house doesn’t lack for spots to explore. A game room upstairs intrigues the eye with its streamlined interiors and cool wall tones that accentuate unique architectural angles. Chiffon Interiors achieved a family friendly, yet elegant vibe by mixing soft surfaces, rich tones and pieces that enhance the room’s architecture.
And it is whimsy galore in a second-floor guest suite by R. J. Clifton Designs. The quaint retreat took its theme from the modern style of film director Tim Burton’s movie Alice in Wonderland, incorporating a rich color palette and bold textures for a magical feel. Comfy bedding, an off-kilter, whimsical side table and bonnet chair mix with a curtain valance in bold black and white stripes. A mounted Bighorn sheep named Larry takes up residence here, surrounded in a wild splay of flowers.
The third floor is full of surprises too. An exercise room, exquisite powder room and a man cave to beat all man caves make up this upper level. A dazzling, standout mosaic antique mirror runs the length of the bar in this versatile gathering space. A soothing temperature-controlled wine cellar with must-touch smooth plaster walls and slate floors is just off this space. A table with comfy chairs and inviting outdoor views is perfect for a card game or just visiting, as is a sitting area with a plush, brown velvet sofa and Art Deco chairs.
“There aren’t any places in this home that aren’t inviting,” says Vining. “It’s just been a great team of designers. It couldn’t have come together better.”