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Updating Without Renovating!!

My sweet design assistant, Leslie Carrigan (yes, another Leslie - it was very confusing!), is selling her beautifully updated townhome that's full of specialty finishes. While at Segreto, Leslie worked as the liaison for Houston's high-end builder spec homes market and saw firsthand how finishes can lend a custom feel to a spec home.

This wonderful townhome is situated in the Rice Military neighborhood, close to Memorial Park and plenty of other great Houston attractions and restaurants. This tri-level unit has three bedrooms and three and a half baths, as well as a two car garage!

Leslie and I gave the home a completely new, elegant look with wall, ceiling and cabinet treatments. In this main living and dining area, the walls formerly had a blown-on texture while the ceilings were covered in a stomp texture. While these textures hide sheetrock imperfections, they can really detract from a home's appeal. We updated the room by plastering the walls and ceilings to give Leslie the sophisticated feeling she was looking for. Notice how beautiful the ceilings are!!

All the furnishings were hand-me-downs and leftovers that she had recovered for a facelift.  By using textiles found at Interior Fabrics and High Fashion Home, we achieved a charming French look for a fraction of the cost. I love the medium-toned wood floors - they have so much character to them!

We chose the plaster color to complement the existing marble on the beautiful fireplace, creating a neutral, cohesive backdrop for furnishings. The trim was still in great condition, so we made sure the plaster color was light enough to seamlessly blend into it, rather than plastering all the way to the floor, which can be costly.

I love this window treatment. The previous owner placed a rod just above the door, which chopped up the room, made the ceiling feel lower and left a big gap between the doors and the ceiling. This cornice effect, with shades that can drop down for privacy, lifts the room and really adds great architectural interest.  We used neutral burlap and brought in French blue with the cornice accent fabric. And the best part - she's leaving it with the home since the draperies are customized to the door size!!!


Because the cabinets were previously spray-painted white, the granite stuck out too much for Leslie's tastes. Applying glazes to the island in a neutral tone found in the granite and to the perimeter cabinets in a soft blue shifts the focus from the countertops to the overall kitchen. By changing the cabinet finishes rather than the granite, Leslie transformed the beautiful kitchen with very little expense. The colors bring a warmth and coziness to the wonderful open floor plan. We brought the burlap into the breakfast area window treatment as well.

For this charming master bedroom, we did a very soft ragging faux treatment on the walls and added a pretty stencil design to the ceiling, playing up its pretty shape and height!!

The master bathroom is painted the blue base color of the fauxed walls in the bedroom. I really love how the bedroom and bathroom flow together -  It makes you feel like you're in a spa retreat!! What a great, relaxing place to come home too.

This is one of the guest rooms with a great neutral paint color that will be so versatile.  I love the carpet that she picked... it'll be a great color for hiding dirt!!!

The downstairs sitting room on the ground floor is such a peaceful room to sit, relax and visit with friends.  Both the walls and ceillings are wrapped in the same paint color to avoid chopping up the room and distracting from the overall feel. For rooms with no crown molding, like this one, this is the way to go. A white ceiling would just draw your eye to the break between the ceiling and the walls. I love the wall to wall seagrass carpet throughout - it's a great durable material. Leslie, you did a beautiful job!!!

I have two exciting booksigning events this week.  The first is at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church located at 717 Sage Road at Woodway at their 21st Annual Joy of Giving Market at the Preview Night on October 18th, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. ($15 admission).  Enjoy hors d’oeuvres and the opportunity to be the first shop at over 80 merchant booths.  For more information call 713-985-3844 or visit the website at

I also will be atThe Urban Market Houston Antique Show during their midtown Saturday and Sunday festival October 22nd and 23rd. This outdoor extravaganza has become THE event for dealers as well as bargain hunters who are looking to spend a weekend in the beautiful outdoors looking through tents filled with incredible treasures.  3101 Smith Street at Elgin & Louisiana Houston, TX  77006    [View website] 

Saturday, October 22: 4pm-6pm
Early Buying Event: $25 entry fee includes early buying, wine/drinks & hors d'oeuvres, and re-entry on Sunday.
Sunday, October 23: 9am-4pm $5 entry fee.

Hope to see you there and have a great week!!!

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Reader Comments (9)

I love this home. The window treatments are so different from the norm. All the textures and wall and ceiling finishes are so beautiful!

October 16, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermimi

Although the town home has some really nice spaces, the furnishings, window treatments and the wall, ceiling and cabinet specialty finishes has made it the beautiful and elegant home that it is. I especially love the plaster treatment on the walls and ceiling in the main living and dining area. What plaster product did you use? I also really like the muted color palette.... makes the spaces feel so serene.

October 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLori

Eventually a perfect masterpiece of a dream house.I always dream big for myself because I know that's the only way so that I can imagine that I'm getting what I want.And this is the reason why I'm working hard to earn for my dream house.

October 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGarage Equipment

The rooms look vintage with the color of the furniture. The materials are well organized. And the table in the living room is really cool.

October 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterplumbing supplies

Cream colors makes the atmosphere of the house elegant. It makes the surrounding cool and cozy for visitors.

November 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterplumbing

This information is really nice. This type of post is attracting people to read. Thank you for sharing................

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January 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew

this is just beautiful! would you please share your painting colors and process for the kitchen cabinets? i love them! thanks!


March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBeth Chastant

Just a stunning space. i can't imagine what her new house must be like to give up this one! kBtw, I'm wondering if the long burlap drapes are lined as they hang so well. I'd love to do whatever she did !

November 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterteresa

Just lovely! Wish I needed a place and lived in your area!!! Is it possible to find out the color of the neutral walls in the guest room? Or even a comparative paint color to the plaster in the LR and dining area? Thanks so much for sharing this beautiful space!!!

November 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAna

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