Making Your Home Your Own!!

In order to be closer to work and zoned for a certain school district, this family of five wanted to move from their home in Cypress to a home in Memorial. Unable to find an established house for sale, they decided to buy a lot and build. Enlisting the help of architect Todd Rice for the home’s design, builder Corbel Custom Homes for construction, and designer Janet Gust for all the initial finishes, they created their dream home with a traditional style and a homey, French country feel. Even though homeowner Laurie loved their design team, the family took a yearlong break before purchasing new furniture. Neighbor, designer and friend Holly Hibbert ( ) has been helping them furnish their beautiful new home at their own pace.

To the right of the entrance, this dining room has a warm, dramatic feel with the walls painted in SW Cobble Brown. Painting a room a much richer color that the rest of the home can create character without the expence of a specialty finish.  The light fixtures from Lighting Inc. are wonderful reproductions, pricing out much less than the antique one she first saw. To balance the lighting and the table and chairs from Restoration Hardware, Holly brought in this early 20th century industrial shelving piece from Found. Its wonderful blue-green patina looks great against the chocolate walls! And, of course, the large coral on top is fab!!! Holly and Laurie are still searching for the perfect piece of art.

Passing through the entrance you can see that you walk under a wonderful groin brick ceiling into the breakfast den kitchen area– Laurie’s favorite part of the house. The metal table was custom made and combined with chairs from Restoration Hardware. The stained bead board in the back combined with the glazing and distressing that we did on the piece definitely gives it that Country French furniture flair. I love the newly purchased white dishes!!! The painting from Kiah Denson is from the Segreto Gallery.  Laurie and her husband wanted something interesting that would add a new dimension to the room. This large ink and gesso on paper really does just that.  “I love this piece,” says Laurie, “I find myself just staring at it when I am sitting on the couch. I think it catches people by surprise.”

The family’s previous home was very colorful, incorporating greens, golds and reds. In this home, Laurie kept to a neutral palette and focused more on a play of textures with stone, wooden beams, and specialty cabinet finishes. By choosing light wall colors and furniture with clean, modern lines, this open floor plan space feels expansive yet comfortable. What a wonderful place to just hang out!!!

I love the chicken wire on the front of the built-ins – perfect for a touch of Country French! Janet did an amazing job designing all the cabinetry to look like furniture. Segreto finished these cabinets in a distressed neutral with just a hint of French blue-gray. Holly found this ‘Halo Style’ iron and wood coffee table from Foxglove. Laurie said, “We just love that table. It’s perfect for the kids and so durable.”  I think the mix of different wood tones – dark beams and trim, honey-toned floors and mantle, and the light-colored coffee table – really works in the space and keeps it from feeling too heavy.

This is such a dream kitchen! Janet brought together old and new accents so that it’s both modern and traditional. The back splash combines old French concrete tiles from Chateau Domingue with a contemporary field tile. The circa lighting fixture adds that bit of an industrial flair. The center island features gorgeous white Calcutta Carrera marble atop rich ebony cabinetry while the perimeter has black Zimbabwe granite and creamy white cabinets. We plastered the range hood to mirror the stone surround, and Janet added her wonderful touch of lighting the upper cabinets to lend more interest.

The master bathroom painted in a rich neutral felt luxurious but needed a bit more interest to create the level of sophistication that Janet and the homeowners wanted in the space. A series of glazes on the cabinetry brought them to furniture status. Since the homeowners love the arched ceiling, we stenciled and hand-embellished a border to draw the eye up and frame the room. Janet designed this rug pattern in the tile—it adds so much character!!!

The master bedroom is still a work in progress, but already you can see signs of a soothing, uncluttered retreat. Holly does a beautiful job playing with textures in similar tones through the linen bedding and lovely pillows. The lamps are perfect to add that hint of contemporary.

Still in great shape from their previous décor, this piece was formerly painted black with colorful designs on top.  To give it a more subtle feel, we changed the color to blend with the other furnishings and fabrics and finished off the doors with a line detail for a defined look that enhances the pretty shape of the piece.

Thanks so much to Laurie for letting us come by to see her work in progress! I cant’ wait to see what you do next! It has been so fun working with this bevy of talented people – from Janet Gust who headed up the initial finishes and surfaces to coming back years later with friend Holly Hibbert who has come on board to finish the house at the homeowners’ pace.   Hope everyone has a great week!!  Please join mee at River Oaks Bookstore for a fun event from 5-7 on Feb 9th just in time for Valentines day!

Thank you so much to Sharon of the Roses and Rust blog, who did a THUMBS UP review of the book!! If you haven’t seen her blog, check it out – it’s just wonderful!!

Kirsten McLean--An Art Give-Away!!
Clean, Classic, Contemporary


  1. OH-the dining room is stunning!! and the console under the TV screen is to die for..
    Leslie, it's such a well put together home…thank-you for sharing..

  2. Great home I like the kitchen tiles……… and the dining room. Sometimes it is good to take your time and wait for the right pieces………Maryanne xo

  3. Hello Leslie,
    Just became a follower of your beautiful blog, added to my blogroll and looking forward to your book on it's way to me from Amazon. I first saw your book at a friend and just had to have my very own copy. thank you for inspiring and sharing with us. So greatfulll Sharon did a post on your book, it is so worthy to share with the world and beyond! kind regards Colette ~South Africa

  4. What a gorgeous home and the kitchen is spectacular…could even get me cooking if I had this one!!

  5. AvantiSouthernHighlands says:

    All gorgeous. Love the new doors with their centuries old "look" . Stunning. Thank you for sharing these delights with us. Jan

  6. Nice post and nice information too. I read your post. It's really nice and I like your post. It’s very simple to understand……..Thank you for sharing………..

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  7. A series of glazes on the cabinetry brought them to furniture status. Since the homeowners love the arched ceiling, we stenciled and hand-embellished a border to draw the eye up and frame the room.

  8. What a pleasant place to live in a home like this. My condo has a spacious living room like what is on the photo and I am really happy.

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