Giving History a Fresh Twist!

Sep 05, 2011

When Paige and Todd first saw this home in the heart of Memorial, a lush, tree-filled Houston neighborhood, they fell in love before they even walked through the door – and who wouldn’t? This tucked away home built by the infamous Detering family in the 1950s was designed by well-known architect John Staub.  Entering the house for the first time, Paige immediately felt the soul of the house and knew this was the perfect place for her family of seven to call home. This fabulous house and guest cottage has just too many beautiful spaces to share in one blog so it’s a two-parter (and believe me, you’ll want to stay tuned)!!!

Steve Goodchild of Goodchild Builders was enlisted to complete the renovation. Paige, who has always had a love for design, decided to tackle the interiors on her own! Growing up, Paige’s favorite thing to do was spend time with her family decorator, Ernie Hankins.  Whether they were scouring the antique shops or looking for fabrics, they always had fun together. She can still hear Ernie constantly reminding her Mom, "Not everything in a room can be the star, Stephanie!"  This advice has stayed with her every step of the way.  

Although the house was more traditional than Paige’s personal style, its elaborate moldings and beautiful hardwood floors are original to the home and add great character and history. ” I felt that the classic elegance of the house would serve as a great juxtaposition to our art collection. I knew this combination would make the house feel young and alive again.”  The walls were originally plastered with a canvas backing on top and then covered with layers and layers of paint through the years, causing the plaster to lose its original luster. To give the surface more depth and a hint of sheen, we removed the backing, tinted the same type of gypsum plaster used originally and re-plastered. “The plaster played a very important role in the overall look of the home,” states Paige. ” I wanted the walls to be elegant and special, yet not overpower the moldings, our art collection, and special pieces of furniture. Plaster creates a polished backdrop and is something that you feel the instant you want in the room.”

 Adjacent to the foyer is the formal living room. I say “formal”, but Paige has done an amazing job of not making any room “off limits” to their five children. Paige’svision for the home was to have a feel of casual elegance with some very special touches, and she succeeded in designing just that while also bearing in mind that their five boys would be running in and out every door with their cleats on!  "There isn’t a floor they can ruin or a fabric that can’t be washed."  I love this tree limb table that Paige purchased over 12 years ago from Annette Schatte Antiques.  It is still one of her favorites as well!!!  

These homeowners have a wonderful art collection!  It’s been a shared passion for the couple for years, and whenever they find a piece that speaks to both of them, they buy it.  "We don’t have a rhyme or reason when buying art, we just collect what we love," says Paige.  Her favorite part of this calming room is the coffee table from Chateau Domingue that originated from an orangerie outside of Paris. " I love anything with a story." 

Paige effortlessly combines modern elements like this acrylic coffee table with a variety of fine antiques. The arrangement of the living room furniture was so important because she wanted to have an area that was comfortable whether she was just having a glass of wine with a girlfriend or hosting a large party.  The different seating areas allow for plenty of versatility.  

Off the living room, there’s this beautiful den area that doubles as both a library and a study.  Applying a high gloss varnish brilliantly updated the original glazed finish on the paneling!!! Paige instantly fell in love with the Ikat fabric from Bergamo and used it for everything in this room.  She creatively coupled the fabric with this great cow hide – a perfect material for her family because they have an elegant look but are virtually indestructible!

The dining room walls were originally covered in hand-painted wallpaper. While this treatment is authentic to the era of this home, it just wasn’t Paige. Instead, we chose to plaster in a richer color than seen in the rest of the home and then paint all the trim and casements to match. Notice that by having the walls, casements and ceilings the same color, the entire room is seen as a whole, and not the individual lines of the trim. This is an easy way to change the feel of a very traditional home. Theto-die-for vintage Italian Murano glass chandelier from AREA and gorgeous antique dining table are perfect for this 1950s home. Notice the centerpiece on the dining table – again, so unexpected!!

She creates a contemporary feel by bringing in this large, abstract mixed media piece entitled “Biloxi” from Thornton Dial. Dial is most often classified as an outsider artist, a term that attempts to cover everyone from naive painters like Grandma Moses to institutionalized lost souls. The strong colors in the work pop against the mellow colors in the walls. Keeping the look clean, Paige enjoys not having a rug under the dining room table.

The charming main powder bathroom centers on this rustic stone sink from Chateau Domingue, a reclaimed 19th century stone fountain from a garden in France.  The 18th century Italian mirror, also from Chateau Domingue, and the unique scones from Bill Gardner Antiques draw the eye towards the ceiling.  I love the ledge on top of the sink – great for placing soaps and accessories – and the one handle for hot and cold–soooo unusual!!!  

The bright and cheery office is Paige’s favorite room in the house! It’s her "black hole" where she comes to disappear. As Paige explains, "When you have five kids, having a room to call your own is essential!"  Wonderful floors are a great way to give character to a small space. Whether you use paint, carpet or tiles like these reclaimed concrete ones from Chateau Domingue, be creative and don’t be afraid to add personality.

I love the charm of this bar area!  The pot sink from Chateau Domingue is such a beautiful, outside of the box accent! And the scones from Round Top Antique Fair and reclaimed Belgian blue limestone counter top are great accompaniments to the plank paneling.   

And, of course, here’s the talented and beautiful Paige!!  Thanks so much for trusting me in the home renovation and for opening your home to us, Paige!!! Be sure to stay tuned for more next Monday! We’ll be checking out the amazing kitchen renovation, guest house and grounds!!! Better watch out, Paige – you may just have to start designing interiors as a profession!!! Many thanks to Wade Blissard for the wonderful photography.

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