Nantucket Charm

I had such a fun time working with homeowners Stacey and Gene on their newly purchased 4500 sq ft home!  The cute couple loved the location and bones of this lovely house, built in 1994 and designed by architect Jay Baker, but wanted to make it their own. Though they chose to do the design work themselves, they hired the fab builder, Patti Barnett, who had built their last home, to help with the remodel and construction. Stacey felt that Patti’s incredible eye for design and detail would be the perfect fit for this new project.

This house, with its freshly painted exterior, is so charming! It reminds me of Nantucket architecture – a style we don’t see too much of in Houston.

Stacey added the shutters, and we gave them an old world, blue glazed finish for extra charm.  When applying a special finish to an exterior surface, it’s important to finish the sides and backs and then put three coats of sealer on top. In a place like Houston where it is so hot and humid, a new coat of sealer needs to be reapplied once a year.

This is the entrance way when Stacey and Gene first purchased the home.

Wow, look at the transformation! The new floors and double door really make a big difference.  I love the lighting from Brown and the large sliding barn door which we finished in a neutral Frenchy color.  This is a beautiful, decorative way to close off the kitchen area to which the door leads. We plastered the walls and ceiling throughout the main part of the house – the reflection is really beautiful with all the natural light the homeowners get. Looks like Max, their 8 year-old Westie, really loves the new decor as well!!

This dining room, photographed with the previous owners’ furnishings, is certainly beautiful but not quite the style that Stacey wanted for herself! The room was very dark, so Stacey opened it up by removing two walls and then creating a half wall with pillars.

Now, this gorgeous space is flooded with natural light from the East. “The result is a happy room,” says Miss Stacey!!!  She used the furniture from her previous dining room, which she still loves, and is searching for the right chandelier. I think she’ll know the second she sees it… It’s always so fun to shop for that last perfect piece!  

This is the living room before!

And here it is after! I really love how light and fresh the space is!  Using for the large part existing furnishings, most of the changes to this room were cosmetic- plastering the walls and ceilings and opening up the space from the living room to the bar.

This is the bar before.

Here is the new one!! The cabinetry is divine, and I again love the fixture, salvaged from an old hotel in Belgium, that Stacey found at Brown. The brick backsplash was probably the most economical change that the couple made to the home. Stacey had purchased some beautiful, handmade damask tiles for this area, but once the cabinets were complete, she realized that the tiles weren’t going to work. Patti suggested these inexpensive, thin tiles that just look incredible! The bar tiles that were originally slated for the space will be used in the upstairs master once they renovate. I wish I had taken a close up of the inset wine label tiles – they are actual wine labels that Susie Atkins, owner of ADR, helped make into tiles. She even had the artist create a roman numeral tile with the date that Stacey and Gene purchased the home.

The cabinets were distressed and painted giving character to the space!

Here is a look back down the hallway between the entrance and the kitchen.  The wonderful light that pours in through the windows along the house is what originally made Stacey fall in love with the home!

Here is the original kitchen – get ready for a wow!

I absolutely love all the changes that were done here – it was so well thought out in every aspect, from the layout to the design and functionality of the kitchen. The stove, a French La Cornue in pebble gray, was the inspiration for everything in the room! Stacey says this French masterpiece cooks and functions even better than it looks!!! The marble is honed Statuary Marble from Walker Zanger, the perfect choice for this French-inspired kitchen.

Even after being married for 9 years, Stacey and Gene are so sentimental. The island incorporates Gene’s family butcher block, which has been integrated into every house they’ve owned.  We put the finishing touch to the island, applying a textured finish and creating a distressed top to complement the family heirloom. We hand-scraped the fir beams to evoke age, character and charm!

This is the before pic of the den which is directly across from the kitchen.

This is the after!!  Can’t you just see Stacy and Gene starting a leisurely morning with a cappuccino, a favorite magazine and the Today Show!  Though the den serves primarily for movie watching, Stacey is a fantastic cook and loves to turn on the TV and follow along with Barefoot Contessa. I love the color combo of the orange and gray blue, and I think the use of 4 chairs rather than a couch is a great idea for this space.  Stacey agrees, “In my experience, couches are really only good for two people…one person sitting on each end of the sofa! So having the four chairs for this cozy den just made more sense to me.” These great club chairs from Roche Bobois have held up with the two dogs and the occasional spilled beverage.

The den cabinets are Stacey’s design! “Gene is a big audio/video buff, so I had to create something that would house a large TV and a center speaker.  I also wanted a place to display my antique school books and Staffordshire dog collection which my mother-in-law started for me several years ago.”  I think Stacey has a future in cabinet design – these are beautiful!!  Segreto textured and glazed these as well.

Prepare to see a big change to this laundry room!

OMGoodness, I want to move in!!! Chris Lewis helped with the plans for this dream utility room, and Patti and Stacey picked all the cabinet styles and finishes. The tile, floors and backsplash from ADR make the space feel so special.

We can’t leave the house without seeing the powder room!!  This was the before pic.

Here is the after! “I kind of have a thing for powder baths,” smiles Stacey! “I always think that they should be beautiful and offer something unexpected.” An oval window was added to allow for natural light, the antique chest from Vieux Interiors was topped with Jerusalem stone, and the sconces are a charming addition from Brown. Stacey wanted a Gracie-inspired mural with a softer, older touch to it.  We handpainted the design over a plaster wall to create the beautiful faded effect.

How cute are these two! Max and Miles really enjoyed giving the tour of their gorgeous new home!  Stacey, you, Gene and Patti did such a wonderful job on all the details and decisions!  What a fun project this was for me to work on!!!

Thank you to Donna from A Perfect Gray Blog for writing such a great review of the book!  I knew I would love to follow her blog cause I love the name!! Take a peak she is filled with great ideas!!  Thanks again Donna!  I hope everyone has a great week!!  xo  Leslie

It's All About Blue
Inspiring Papers


  1. Victoria Athens says:

    Such wonderful changes, Leslie. I especially love the kitchen. It went from floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall cabinets to built-in furniture. The finish is stunning.

  2. What an amazing transformation and your finishes make every room warm and inviting. Love the kitchen and the laundry room…a dream!!

  3. Wow! What a gorgeous transformation. Your finishes are amazing!

    Have a great week!


  4. Absolutely stunning!

    I love to see the before and after shots. Photos like these just reinforce that you should decorate your home not for resale but for yourself! The right person with the right vision and the right finishers and resources of course, can transform simple to simply sublime.

    Lovely work Leslie and again thank you for great photos!

    The Gilded Barn
    Alexander Cook Custom Finishes

  5. Leslie – every single "after" picture took my breath away! All of you came together to do such a beautiful work in that home! Lovely! Thank you all for sharing – especially Max and Miles!

  6. What a wonderful transformation and I love all the paint effects that add such patina to the walls and woodwork. You clearly made a great team. x Sharon

  7. Leslie the transformation on this home is simply stunning I love the New Looks in each and every room!!

    Bravo you have such a great eye for choosing just the right finish, beginning with the blue glaze on the shutters!

    Art by Karena
    Artists Series 2012

  8. Okay wow! Every room here is a dream. The finishes are amazing! Have a fabulous weekend!

  9. Love the transformation. The bathroom walls are gorgeous. In fact, everything is gorgeous!

  10. Honestly I was amaze for it was not a typical design and interior for house. I really love the way it was design and the ambiance was very classic and elegant.

  11. Wow!!!! A rare makeover of "someone lives here" and elegance! Love the laundry room, especially that beautiful sink.

  12. Truly one of the most beautiful makeover is have seen. Everything has been very detailed inch by inch. Kudos to those who have been a beautiful work here.

  13. Wow, love everything about this house. Can you share your color/finish of your bar cabinets? They are awesome!!

  14. Judy Vest says:

    Impeccable!! You’ve done it again………..!

  15. Wow. Amazing work! Beautiful home.