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« Decorating for Fall! | Main | Bedroom Update - Time to Move In! »

A Lovely New Start!

There are a number of defining moments in life. Some are unexpected while others you can see coming from a mile away. Some will tear you down or strengthen you or both. Following the sad and untimely passing of her husband in 2005, Anita, designer and dear friend, was faced with such a moment. We are so happy to be able to share her story of love, family, and coming home. 

Following their engagement in 1985, Anita and Jim began their life together with the purchase of a home. Situated on a corner lot surrounded by 80 year old oaks, what the house lacked in terms of ceiling height was made up for in charm and fresh air. As Anita describes,” … I fell in love with it immediately … Jim swore that I left him no room to negotiate because I was jumping up and down saying, “This is it!””.

In 2000, Tropical Storm Allison caused significant damage to the older home. Anita recalls, “I sat at the window disheartened at the 1930’s wallpaper flapping in the wind and assessing the damage.  All I could think was “We need to start over””. With the decision to rebuild made, Anita and Jim set out to create their dream home! 


While still maintaining the same footprint as the original, their new family home featured high ceilings and loads of windows for natural light. The neutral palette and stark white casework served to highlight the beautiful hard woods and wrought iron details throughout.

With two growing children and a penchant for entertaining, Anita and Jim’s kitchen and breakfast areas were designed to be both cozy and light-filled. I just love the French country look of the skirted chair slip covers and mirrored chandelier – so charming    

From the masculine, built in, black bed combo storage piece in their son’s room to the serene and feminine feeling of their daughter’s, each bedroom maintained its own personality through furnishings and palette. How unique and gorgeous is the ivory, upholstered encasement bed?!

Newly widowed with her children away at school, Anita found herself at a crossroads. The decision to sell the family home and embark on yet another fresh start emerged, this time with a decidedly Parisian air…

Modeled after Winfield House, the Georgian styled mansion built by American heiress Barbara Hutton in London’s illustrious Regent Park, the townhomes of Winfield Gate stand at a soaring 4 ½ stories  and emit all of the English charm and European refinement of its namesake. 

Anita’s new home, reminiscent of a Paris apartment, creatively features a paneled accent wall and plaster inset into the decorative molding of the ceiling; which will pair beautifully with her eclectic assortment of antique fixtures and decorative pieces collected throughout the years.  

In the custom designed kitchen, three pairs of stunning, antique doors sourced from Chateau Domingue front the refrigerator and two pantries.

Here, Segreto’s own artisans worked hard to create a sample on the new casework to match the reclaimed doors – The first step of many, it now looks like found pieces built in!

The pièce de résistance of Anita's master suite has to be her dream dressing area! The closet boasts floor to ceiling, built-in clothing cabinets with a coordinating, marble topped center island perfect for displaying treasures and laying out accessory options!

When not inclined to utilize the elevator, residents and guests can ascend the sweeping, spiral staircase to the rooftop terrace complete with outdoor kitchen, fireplace, and potting station.

Connecting the homes is a Parisian style courtyard featuring a cross shaped fountain and pool surrounded by greenery. A feast for the eyes, the exterior details are evocative of a place and time far from Houston’s River Oaks.

We are so happy to be taking part in the creation of this beautiful new chapter in Anita and her family’s life and cannot wait to see her newly finished home this fall!!        

“Where we love is home - home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.”  ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. 

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Reader Comments (3)

Hello Leslie ~ Blessings to your dear friend on her new journey in this life, what a lovely space to experience bliss and a rebirth of sorts. And congratulations to you and your team on what is already proving (of course) to be another stunning installment of unique finishes. Thank you for sharing this uplifting and positive story. Please share the source of Anita's brass fixtures in the kitchen island ~ I can't quite place them and they are stunning. Happiest of Mondays ~ xo. TJF

October 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTJF Design

Beautiful work, Leslie! And what a blessing to have a friend like you on hand to help make this transition.

October 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPhyllis

And neither can I. This seems like the perfect place to begin a new chapter and what an amazing job you are doing - love the charm and character that the painting adds, not to mention the dream closet!!

October 24, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterdesignchic

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