This gorgeous house in Houston we are going to visit gets its colours from antique items which are displayed in every room: soft blues and platinum grays from authentic tapestries and furniture take us back in time, even though it was built in the 1980s. The whole place has an American-in-Europe mood. Calmness, a serenity and a feeling of soul and grace and history.
The interiors were designed by Babs Watkins, her daughter Julie Watkins Baker, and Eleanor Cummings.
Louis XV carved-walnut front doors with traces of the original paint open into a foyer lighted by a gilt-edged Venetian lantern.
One of the many 18th-century French tapestries. Blues and earth colours on gently worn surfaces, lead the eye from room to room.
In the living room, French and Italian chairs work well together. Extra full curtains. A 1920s Oushak carpet, an Italian tole chandelier, and a Gustavian painted breakfront round out the mix of styles.
Silvery tones are the dominant note in the dining room, where Gustavian chairs ring a table set with antique Royal Crown Derby china. Floor to ceiling French tapestry.
A Swedish hutch, aging gracefully behind a Gustavian bench in a guest bedroom.
An antique onion-dome aviary frames the kitchen range hood, perched above a backsplash of 19th-century concrete tiles. Antique Belgian blue limestone countertops, cabinets built with wood from a Scandinavian dairy, and a vintage French worktable set off the stainless-steel Viking stove and Sub-Zero refrigerator.
In the library, an Empire chaise longue and a Louis XV flank an 18th century mantel from Aix-en-Provence. Shelves hold part of the client's collection of religious artifacts.
The master bedroom with a parquet de Versailles floor, an 18th century Buffet de Corps armoire, and a Louis XVI chaise.
A Baroque Italian mirror hangs above the powder room's antique basin.
Just right for informal meals, a massive Belgian blue limestone pedestal table anchors the family room.
In the master bedroom, a painted Italian ceiling panel hangs above a headboard made from a salvaged boiserie fragment.
Rich textures in subtle shades of blue and gray give the guest bedroom a luminous beauty. Embroidered throw pillows were made to order.
Photographs by Kerri Mccaffety
Produced by David M. Murphy
Stylist Gregory BissonnetteAll images and iformation from House Beautiful