High-Rise Living

The book launch party at Boxwood was amazing thanks to the Boxwood crew. Great food, great drink, beautiful flowers and a fun crowd.  The fab Red Vault was there and posted some great party pics on their blog! http://blog.theredvault.com/2011/09/fabulous-fun-at-leslie-sinclair-book.html

This charming renovation was a wonderful example of how you can take a small white box and transform it into a warm, inviting and comfortable space. After living in the same house for over 40 years, these homeowners were ready for a lifestyle change. Wanting a handicap accessible place with security, no maintenance and the comfort of a concierge staff, they moved from their 5,000 square foot Dallas home to this 1,100 square foot high-rise – now that’s what I call downsizing! Enlisting the help of their daughter, who happens to be renowned interior designer Kara Childress, they edited their existing furnishings and accessories to create an easy, fresh look that incorporated some of their favorite traditional pieces.

Because the new space is small, keeping a consistent finish throughout really helps enhance the flow. For a rich, but casual look, the depth provided by this tinted plaster, applied to both the walls and ceilings throughout the unit, makes the space feel bigger. I love how this light fixture from BROWN, the series of old herbieries in the entry, and the wonderful bench with the trim detail create a a warm inviting feel as you enter the space that continues throughout.

Kara tried to adhere as closely as possible to the “less is more” philosophy and get rid of the “dust catchers” her parents had accumulated over the years with four kids and thirteen grandkids. Kara chose comfy slip-covered pieces blended with traditional elements like the 18th century commode and glass-topped Corinthian coffee table. The mirrors seemed a bit dated when they first moved in, but by cleaning up the trim and plastering floor to ceiling, the reflection makes the space seem twice as big.

Here are the homeowners looking like honeymooners enjoying their beautiful yet comfortable new living room! The inspiration for the space came from their existing pair of hand-colored botanical engravings and two French chairs with a soft floral fabric. Preferring the morning sun, they got this spectacular view overlooking the city that Kara framed with silk draperies in the same tones as the other upholstery. “We instantly added character to the simplistic architecture, embellishing those bones with such uncomplicated objects as family photos and handsome lamps and fixtures, the space feels collected and personal.”

The kitchen was a key place to bring in that homey feel. Painting the existing cabinets, adding a backsplash of antique tiles from Chateau Domingue and removing sliding doors that closed off the space gave the small space a whole new dimension. I love the surfaces here, with elegant crema marfil honed marble floors and practical Silestone countertops.  BROWN provided these beautiful kitchen pendants – check out the great reflection they cast on the plastered ceiling!

This beautiful antique door from Chateau Domingue greets you as you enter the master bedroom retreat creating a special place. Kara mixed soft textures with warm wood pieces that create interest. To customize the original construction, all of the floors were replaced with these wide wood planks and all the door openings were enlarged or made into casements. I think having the different bedside tables and lamps is a great way to add “his” and “her” personality to a bedroom.

According to Kara, “the closet was originally a big wall of heavy sliding doors that were coming off the track.” I love the solution she came up with –  replacing the doors with a fabulous linen drape on a track installation so that the drapes literally disappear into the walls but create interest to an otherwisw utilitarian type hallway.

Kara opened up the master bath by knocking out walls and making it one big space. They built a free-standing shower and added a Restoration Hardware console as well as a mirror to conceal the medicine cabinet. This turned out to be a functional, beautiful, warm home full of character, personality and intimacy.  It really shows how a small space can feel like home with the right design and finishes!!! Thanks Kara and team and her wonderful parents for sharing their home with us!!

Well, I am off to the Marburger Farm Antique Show in Round Top, Texas this week where I will be checking out and blogging about the wonderful finds there. The Marburger Farm Antique Show has been a favorite source for antiques for more than a dozen years. I am so excited and honored to have my new book, Segreto: The Secrets to Finishing Beautiful Interiors featured at this outdoor festival with a special book-signing event. I’ll be in the main promenade area.  2248 S State Highway 237, Round Top, TX 78954.  Hope to see you there!!  Come by and say hi!!!  xoxo -Leslie

A Day With Delores!!
Giving History a Fresh Twist!


  1. Hi Leslie,
    I got some great ideas from this post! First of all, I love what this couple did–downsize! Their new condo looks absolutely gorgeous! Love how Kara put the linen drapes
    in place of closet doors. And all the light fixtures are fabulous.
    I heard Heather is coming to Houston to help with the book signing! Oh, you two are gonna have so much fun. Wish I could sneak into Heather's suitcase!
    So proud of you Leslie! Your book is so wonderful–I just looked at it again last night. So much inspiration!
    xo Delores

  2. I love this decor. The great vintage floral prints, the linen headboard and lampshade, and the great rugs. Nice work!

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  5. Where is the headboard from?!?