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« Updating Without Renovating!! | Main | A Day With Delores!! »

New Orleans Influence 

Originally from New Orleans, this family wanted a house that would suit the artwork and furniture that they had collected and inherited over the years.  With the help of builder Tom Byer, building designer Rudy Colby and designers Frances Treadway and Emily Webster, these homeowners created their dream house – a mix of classic, timeless architecture, calm, peaceful interiors and European influences that draw on their New Orleans background.

Completed in 2007, the homeowners custom built this house as eminent empty nesters so they wanted a space that wasn’t overwhelming. The clever use of a mirror here – this one from Shabby Slips – makes this foyer feel larger while the beautiful 18thcentury Walnut Lyonnaise Commode from Liz Spradling Antiques sets an elegant tone for the rest of the home.

The homeowner’s favorite part of the home is this stunning iron and glass front door that was inspired by the door of a beautiful Italianate-style home in the Museum District. “When we were interviewing architects, the same house was in Rudy Colby’s portfolio. I had no idea that he had designed the house I had admired since moving to Houston,” said the homeowner. Sounds like the perfect match to me! I love how she combines this more modern but classically inspired element with her amazing collection of antiques.

Off the entry, this living room’s muted color palette imparts a light and airy feel. The voluminous ball gown effect of the silk satin curtains is great for adding a sense of formality to the room. Designer Emily Webster, who moved to Houston after Hurricane Katrina, had these draperies made by a seamstress in New Orleans. While the windows pour in natural light, the limestone fireplace mantle from Francois & Co. and mirror from Maison de Provence in New Orleans which we at Segreto altered in color to go with the room provide a wonderful focal point. The homeowner’s New Orleans roots stayed with her – many of the antiques and artwork throughout the home are from shops on Magazine Street in New Orleans. “Now that we have lived in Houston for 11 years, it’s comforting to have these pieces from New Orleans in my home.”

Inspired by Mrs. Howard’s showroom in Atlanta, the homeowner decided to do a glazing over the wood paneling in this study and office space. The glaze treatment brings in a wonderful character and softness and allows all the old family pictures and paintings to stand out.

The homeowner loves hosting seated dinner parties for 8 so having a separate formal dining room for entertaining was important to her. She used most of her existing furniture and added in the eye-catching 18thcentury, Italian chandelier from Karla Katz in New Orleans and the sideboard from an Atlanta dealer. These homeowners have so many pieces with interesting stories – the dining room table and chairs were a wedding gift from their parents and the oil painting, circa 1861, is a French farm scene that was purchased by their great-grandmother. Designer Frances Treadway who is based in New Orleans did the draperies made with Beacon Hill taffeta stripe fabric.


This intricately patterned wallpaper from Stark brings in an elegant feel to the powder bath while the neutral color keeps it from becoming too busy. Using this as inspiration, one of our artists added a hand-painted design to the sink that compliments the mirror from Liz Spradling Antiques and sconces from Mac Maison in New Orleans.

The den continues the same soft color palette seen throughout the rest of the home and also parallels the design of the front door with these big windows. “Designing the interiors was definitely a collaboration,” says the homeowner. “I chose all of the lighting and new furniture in the house but needed help with fabric, upholstery and just pulling it all together. Frances helped in the early stages and worked on the downstairs spaces. Then, toward the end, Emily now based in Houston, helped me finish the project.”

I love the way the homeowner accessorized the home, combining different architectural and textural elements but sticking to one color palette. This contemporary, abstract art by New Orleans artist Paula Landrem is perfect for adding a hint of the unexpected. Notice here the beautiful wide plank walnut floors that Bob Taylor of Sun Belt Floors found for the homeowners and installed throughout. A wax gives the wood that warm, rich glow.

For entertaining, the homeowner wanted the ability to close off the kitchen when needed. Even though she couldn’t find old doors to fit the space, these new ones we painted to impart texture, interest and an age-old look. To create a cohesive flow with the rest of the home, the homeowner chose materials that echo those seen in other rooms – the farm table from Uptowner Antiques in New Orleans and reclaimed ceiling beams complement the darkness of the wood flooring in the other spaces while the limestone floors from Paris Ceramics recall the limestone mantle in the formal living room and the chandelier from Niermann Weeks evokes a similar look to the iron windows and doors.

Great job to the homeowners and design team! This being the third home we did for these homeowners was a fun one!! Thanks so much for showing us inside your home.  Next week we will feature a wonderful Rice Military Townhouse makeover on a budget that's for sale.  It is wonderful with lots of ideas!!!  Have a great week and see you next Monday!!  xo  Leslie

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Reader Comments (4)

Love love love the soft colors in this home! I especially love the way the wood work is done in the study. Can you share the color of the base coat before you did the glazing? Simply beautiful!

October 10, 2011 | Unregistered Commentershurly

This is simply beautiful!!! Would you mind sharing the color of walls in foyer and living room. In addition, do you know the name of fabric that is on 2 chairs under the paula landrem painting. I would also love to see some more close-up pictures of the kitchen.

October 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermary

Nice and very interesting. Thank you for your sharing...........

Dental Clinic Eureka CA

January 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew

Thank you Leslie Sinclair helping to find out the color base coat of the walls

Leslie Sinclair " The color that is in the living room and den is Benjamin Moore 957 (papaya). The living room is at full strength and the den is cut to 75%. I hope this helps!!!"

May 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMinh

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