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« The Book Is Finally Here!!! | Main | Kid's Rooms--It Brings me Back!! »

It's all in the Details

When building a home from the ground up, where does one even begin? To realize this vision, a design "dream team" was assembled. Building designer Robert Dame started the process, builder Sandy Ballard of Suncor Builders handled construction, and interior designer Sheila Lyon was brought in to pick all selections, finishes and additional furnishings.

For me, the theme of this home embodies "Its all in the Details!" I hope you enjoy seeing what careful thought was paid to every detail and how that can impact the personality of a home. 

Notice that much of the art and details in the interior have a focus on nature and animals. The wife is a veterinarian who rescues birds and wildlife and wanted to have what she loves resonate throughout the home.


Beginning from the exterior of the home -- which looks like something found in Normandy!-- the details begin.  I love how this combination treatment of stone and brick on the facade gives an authentic European look ...It is so well done, natural and not contrived or forced looking.  The blue shutters with wonderful hardware really complete the exterior feel of the home.

"Bob" the cat enjoys the sunshine in the well lit entryway.  What do you do with that large wall space above the front door? To give the illusion of light without changing the structure of the house, this stained glass window is back lit in front of a recessed wall rather than actually facing the outside. There is not really a window there--so the outside looks like stone.

You'll notice that custom stained glass windows appear throughout the house. The idea came from the owners' love of the beautiful stained glass windows in European churches. All were made by hand in Carmine, TX. 

The mirror and sconces from Decorative Crafts are the focus of the fireplace mantle wall.  The mantle, which was first painted white,  was lost until we glazed it to bring out the details. The new finish balances out the carvings of the mirror and sconces above. 

Who would have thought to bring in the Norman design even on the air conditioning vents? This turns something utilitarian into something decorative! These wood patterned vents were selected from Pattern Cut.  

 The stenciled wall designs and decorative touches on the ceiling make this dining room oh so Pretty in Pink which is the home owner's favorite color!!

Not being able to find the perfect shade of rose to complement the dining room drapes in a wallpaper, the walls were hand stenciled with a champagne metallic paint to give the effect of silk fabric coverings.

We painted a traditional hand-drawn medallion on the ceiling to showcase the wonderful chandelier and create formatlity. This touch of rose on the ceiling ties it into the walls and fabrics.

Because the dining room is so large and open, corner treatments and line details were added to the edges of the ceiling to give this room an intimate feeling.

Of the powder bathroom above, designer Sheila Lyon feels that "In rooms with a captive audience, each detail makes an impact and adds to the overall look." The custom venetian plaster walls feel like marble and are a wonderful compliment to the crystal sink and gold hardware, all from Hollywood Hardware. The bird paintings and accessories throughout the home reflect the home owner's love of wildlife and pulls nature indoors. Surrounding yourself with accessories and art you love is a great way to make a new home feel like your own!!

Certain doors throughout the home, such as this one leading to the wine cellar, are hand carved to bring attention to them. The intricate woodwork was done by a local craftsman, who happened to knock on the door to the home owner's office one day looking for work. Loving his samples, they let him start on one door, then Sheila designed and had him add many hand carved touches through out the house- including the front doors!

 An old world gypsum based plaster was applied to the walls which sets the tone for this wine cellar. 

Another stained glass window has the fleur de lis the homeowner loves and is the center of in the wine cave! Notice how the stone carried in from the outside and the brick ceiling that was embedded in the exterior stone is used here.

Painted electrical covers - just can't resist pointing this out! These details really allow the space to be seen as a whole instead of focusing on the distracting electrical plates neccesary for city codes!!

The kitchen, den and informal breakfast table share a large space overlooking the backyard deck and pool area. This awesome room with a view of the surrounding bayou is both the home owner and Sheila's favorite space for good reason. Notice the large hand carved stove hood designed by Sheila and crafted by the same artisan that created all the doors.  It, along with the cabinets, is covered in a series of glazes to create a European furniture look.


On the island where Sheila wanted a bit more character, dimension, and detail, we distressed and applied a series of stains to lend a furniture-quality old world finish.  Notice on this island and on stained furniture pieces there is darker shadowing in the groves. 

Sheila and the homeowner worked together to create  a dramatic and fluid staircase railing which was embellished with a bronzy leafing paint to highlight the details in the design without creating an over-the-top, all gold railing.

Even the ceiling on the second floor has some detailing on it! It really breaks up what would have been a large flat white plane. I love ceiling treatments whether they are wood, plaster or hand-painted. If you look historically at ceilings in the past,  most were adorned surfaces such as this.

Now, we go into my favorite room of the house, the study. The homeowners really wanted the intricate ceilings that they had seen in past century Normandy architecture. Robert Dame did an amazing job creating this study which could have been taken from medieval times!! Sheila added the carved touches on the fireplace mantle and pulled the colors from the homeowners existing rug, which are reflected in the chair and drapery fabric to give the room depth and warmth. 

Love these detailed ceilings!! Sandy Ballard from Suncor Builders executed Robert's vision masterfully!! 

Stained glass windows, wood craftsmanship and unique ceiling treatments again appear in the circular stairwell ceiling.

The master bathroom is a serene blend of neutrals with gold and crystal accents. The custom built cabinetry, designed by Sheila to look like furiture, is complimented by their specialty paint finish.  Sheila loves floor designs and this spectacular one really makes and defines the space!!  The graceful shape of the mirrors is a nice way to add height without overpowering the room.  Sconces placed on mirrors is always a great look!
The custom armoire was built to fill the client's storage needs, and is finished consistent with the cabinetry as not to break up flow of this wall.  It allows the tub placed in between the vanity and armoire to remain the focus of this wall. 

See how the floor inset pulls the marble from the vanity tops and the tub deck. The master bathroom walls were treated with a three-color faux technique to blend seamlessly into the furniture finishes.  Gold and champagne metallics were applied first to give depth and a bit of sparkle, then a neutral top coat softened the look.

All the guest bedrooms in this house are named like rooms in The White House. Here we have the blue room. The bed was the homeowner's own when she was a little girl!! 

In this case, the vision for the blue room came from a small desk the owner's grandmother received as a wedding gift in 1901. Her father repainted it blue in the 60's for her mother and voila therein lies the inspiration for the cabinets and finishes Segreto matched in the bathroom.

The blue room theme translates to the bathroom. Finished cabinets and intricate tile work keep the two adjoining rooms consistent. Sheila designed the floor plan of this room and decided to incorporate "armoire storage"  for guests and added an arch to soften the tub area. Love the beautiful tiles above from Walker Zanger.  

The antiquing really makes the mirror frame so custom.  Here is another birdie element--a beautiful soap dish for this room.


 The pink room has a floral theme which is carried onto the tile in the bathroom, also from Walker Zanger, as well as the soft pink marble. 

 So pretty the detail in this tile.


Because there was a unique space between the doors of the cabinetry and the granite top, a hand-painted design was added to give interest to the cabinets, while pulling the fleur-de-lis pattern from the tile and custom mirror. 

Green tile designs keep the color scheme consistent on the walls in the green room suite. 

The multi- functional upstairs game room incorporates a bar area, comfy seating, TV and various games. Here again are the amazing details and wonderful shapes of the ceiling. 

Little well thought out details again!!! The fleur-de-lis appears in a new format, as hardware and carving on the cabinetry!! The walls here started with a black base paint, and were topped with a metallic faux finish to pull in the shine from the tile backsplash.


 Curved paneled walls and arched ceilings lead to the movie theatre. Look at the shape - even the wrought iron has a beautiful curve and detailled posts.  

The second downstairs powder room is located adjacent to the outside living space. The custom stone sink from Hollywood Hardware resembles an outdoor bird bath, again pulling the homeowners love for nature and animals inside. The mirror from the Ellouise Abbott Showroom was painted to alter the tones and dress up the space. 

The pool and outdoor living room area (which is air-conditioned by the way!) overlook the bayou view and catch a prefect breeze. Yes- I actually  felt a breeze in Houston in August! The animal theme resonates in the backyard with swan statues and a trickling fountain that surrounds the pool.  
Thanks so much to the team who did such a great job on this home!!  I had so much fun doing the project and really enjoyed seeing how the thoughtful consideration on all of the details truly added up to one amazing house! Would love to hear some comments and until next Monday when i post again!!
Also great news! Our new website is up! Check out the new look at Segreto Finishes !!! --hope you all have a great week.

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Reader Comments (2)

Nice post. I read your post. It’s very simple and informatics. Thank you for sharing..............

Marble Polishing

January 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarble Polishing

I love the wood floors on the second floor! Can you tell me what stain you used for them?

January 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPhil

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