This one-of-a-kind home captures the Mediterranean architecture sought after by the homeowners in a way that is not only authentically European, but also comfortable and easily maintained. With an incredible team of famed designer Eleanor Cummings, architect Kirby Mears of Murphy Mears Architects, and builder Allan Edwards, it's no wonder that this home continues to stay on my mind! Though the homeowners moved-in 4 years ago, we recently took some new pictures that I just had to share with you!
Featured in Veranda magazine's April 2010 issue, this beautiful house was my first project working with Eleanor, and it was such a treat! I loved seeing how Eleanor, Kirby and Allan's work complemented one another, each member of the team contributing different elements: Eleanor thoughtfully selected and placed antique furnishings and accessories in a way that seems effortless yet elegant; Kirby created a truly European feel, drawing influences from both his own place in Antibes, France, and his experience working abroad; and Allan was able to construct this intricate architecture that incorporates many reclaimed elements.
Filled with interesting shapes and exquisite architectural details, this home combines an inviting, livable feel with sophistication and elegance - not an easy combination to achieve! The entry hall showcases a beautiful mix of Italian and French antiques, instantly evoking a sense of warmth. With minimal trim details, the plastered walls and ceilings, coupled with the reclaimed French limestone floors from Chateau Domingue, are a true testament that, in many cases, less is more. Notice that there are no baseboards - the plaster meets the flooring.
The custom steel doors and windows create such a statement in this formal living room! Their arched shapes are echoed by the wall arch details leading to the bedroom's entrance - so beautiful! Look at the wonderful coffee table - a French daybed covered in Kravet velvet. The antique Italian chair in its original leather brings warmth and a lived-in feel to the formal space. In the Veranda spread, there wasn't a rug - two beautiful looks!!
Balancing the lovely Italian painting, this French Marquette atop the antique mantle from Chateau Domingue is such a wonderful architectural element! Notice how Eleanor wrapped the arms on the skirted French chair upholstered in a Holland and Sherry cashmere. She's so creative in designing unique pieces!
These passageways leading to the kitchen and dining areas are so charming! Plaster really enhances this style of architecture, hugging the walls and transforming the original sheetrock into a heavy, substantial look that makes the walls appear almost as if they were carved. There's just enough movement in the plaster to create warmth while maintaining subtlety.
This kitchen is perfection! From the cabinets made of vintage French mercantile pieces and the reclaimed French limestone counters from Chateau Domingue to the La Cornue range and light fixture from Brown - absolutely amazing! I adore the industrial stools for the homeowner's three kids - they are so cute at all different heights!!
Off the kitchen, the den is a cozy place to hang out and watch TV, which is housed in this beautiful antique armoire. These three custom light fixtures from Brown accentuate the unique ceiling tresses.
This pass-through serves as both the butler's pantry and the bar - so functional with a large sink dishwasher and open shelving while still maintaining the home's unbelievable charm!
This ceiling is magnificent - another one of Kirby's wonderful touches. I love how Eleanor has combined furnishings here, from the Italian fixture to the French table to the wonderful custom chairs. Look at the great tops and wonderful trim along the sides of the chairs which are covered in a linen-jute fabric from Great Plains.
These antique doors that serve as the entrance to the master suite have an incredible patina! Describing them as beautiful would definitely be an understatement. I would love to try to duplicate their finish!
The painting of Avignon over the reclaimed Italian fireplace sets a tranquil yet elegant tone for this master suite!! The collection of French, Italian and Spanish antiques, upholstered in comfortable, natural fabrics, and the plastered walls create a serene ambience that must be such a welcoming retreat to come home to. If I were to stay in a Tuscan villa (on my bucket list), this is exactly what I would hope the master would feel like!!!
Calgon take me away!! This combination of an antique Roman-style tub, a Venetian mirror, the little cherub side table and those plastered walls look like a piece of heaven!
The powder room was centered around this wonderful marble sink. So clever how it sits on a slab which was cut to seamlessly continue with the mirror!!! The basin was designed by Eleanor, built by Allan Edwards and finished by Segreto in a manner that would maintain the sink's premier stance in the room.
Even the upstairs passageways to the kids' rooms are dreamy!! Once again, Eleanor mixes French and Italian pieces - this linen-covered Italian daybed combined with a French screen is a great place to read a book or visit with friends.
I love the way this fireplace and seating group forms a cozy outdoor living space! The limestone floors are seamless from the inside out, adding to the flow of the home. Again, the use of interesting, reclaimed elements conveys a great sense of character and history. The Spanish tile roof complements the stone and pigmented stucco exterior so well!
The shutters add that perfect villa look to the exterior architecture!
Thanks to the homeowners for being so gracious to let us peek into their beautiful home. It was so fun seeing it years later - I think the lived-in feel it has now is a true testament that fantastic architecture and interior design using easily maintainable surfaces hold up well to a busy family! Allan, Kirby and Eleanor have truly done an amazing job. This home achieves the same charm and character of the homes I've been to in Europe! You can check out another must-see home of Eleanor's in my book on page 111 European Farmhouse as well as several other projects of Kirby's and Allan's!!! Thank you, Wade Blissard, for taking these wonderful photographs!! Hope everyone has a great week!! Please join me at River Oaks Bookstore (3270 Westheimer) for a fun event and booksigning from 5-7 on Feb 9th just in time for Valentines day! http://riveroaksbookstore.com.
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