Pink Goes White

Dining Room with pink striped french chairs, pink striped draperies, and pink pillows.

If this room looks vaguely familiar to you, it's no wonder why. First published in Traditional Homes in 2003, this house has been in print each year since in one magazine or another. I'll admit that I was intrigued with this house when I first saw it. The owner hired Suellen Gregory to design the entire place in pink. And as it was explained in detail, the pink is not just any pink, but a very specific blue pink that she had grown up with, as her mother, apparently, loved this shade of pink, too. I had never before (save for Martha Stewart's pink guest house) seen a house decorated all in pink, but it was pretty and obviously other people thought so too, because it has been the most published house ever, probably.

So, yesterday, after reading about the pink house for the umpteenth time, this time in Decor, 2007, I decided to check out Gregory's web site and take a look at her portfolio. Lo and behold, imagine my surprise to find that the pink house is no more. Today it is white, completely redone by Gregory, with the pink totally banished except for small accents here and there. Funny, but the white version of this over-publicized house has never been shown in print. I wonder why?

Living Room with pink pouf, pink French chairs, pink chintz slipper chair.

Another picture of living room with pink pillows, pink skirted table, pink french chairs.

More pink, more french.

Living room today: white fabrics, new chairs, new mirrored glam table.

More glam details: newly mirrored mantel, newly painted french chairs, newly upholstered pouf, new fireplace screen, new curtains, but the same sconces.

Dining Room: new chairs, new Niermann Weeks console, floors still checkered but with more dramatic colors, same table with but newly mirrored top.

Which do you like better, the white house or the pink house?

Viva la Padre!

And so, last Friday, the three of us, Ben, Elisabeth and myself took off in my new Jeep Commander for our annual trip to the southern most tip of Texas, South Padre Island. We'll be here for about three weeks, not doing much of anything except sitting on the beach and eating shrimp and crab.

It's a long car ride as you can see from the map - Houston to South Padre Island (where the red star is!). It takes about six hours with a few stops along the way.

And here is an aerial shot of the little island, in fact, I think it really is considered a sandbar!

This is the view to the right from our condo taken at about 7:00 pm today. Nice house on the right, always empty and boarded up. Hey, we'll take it!

And, the view to the left. Slightly hazy because the lens on my camera kept fogging up. There is no sunset because this is facing east!

The most exciting thing happening on the island visually is the new town called The Shores. As you can see, it is modeled on all those trendy Florida beach towns like Seaside and Rosemary Beach. It may be cheesy to be excited about copying Florida, but the lack of town planning on this little island has left a lot to be desired design wise, so The Shores is a breath of fresh air. It's been slow going for a long time, but this summer Ben and I are pleasantly surprised at the amount of building that happened over the winter. Many, many new homes on both the beach and bay side sprang up since we were last here. This is exactly where we want to live when we don't have to work anymore.

I love the picket fences, it reminds me of Seaside, Florida.

The portal to the beach. This reminds me of Seaside, Florida (see a pattern here?)

Front row viewing of the beach.

Now, this is what I call paradise.

Michael Smith in Malibu


Architectural Digest published an article in 2005 on this Malibu house decorated by Michael Smith. It was my first introduction to the now very famous designer. I loved this house then and I love it still today. I think it was the blue checks that sold me on him, because I love checks and I love blue and white, so there would be no question about me loving Michael. Some of these pictures didn't make his book, so for your viewing pleasure, earlier Michael Smith.

I love this Dutch door.

The infamous blue checked living room with chintz draperies.

Another view. Note the green garden seat with shells.

Bennison fabric on sofa, Chelsea Editions on blinds.

Love the mirror. Note the sofa.

The master bedroom, carrying the red, white and light blue theme throughout the house.

Love the black bed.

Typical Californian outdoor room.

Aw, so cute! And so young looking here! This is pre-debonair Michael, no one styled his hair!!

Stalking Houston Real Estate: Part Deux


Persuing a favorite pastime of mine (see earlier article: Stalking Houston Real Estate) while on vacation in not-so-sunny South Padre Island (more about that another time!), I struck oil! It isn't often that a home published in Architectural Digest goes up for sale in Houston, but one has and it is fabulous. Designed by Michael Siller for himself and his partner, the owner of Hokanson custom rugs, the house is located in River Oaks, Houston's most exclusive neighborhood. More of a townhouse, than a home, the interiors are filled with Russian antiques and paintings. The house is so perfect, I am wondering, where are they possibly moving to?

For the truly eagled eye, if this looks vaguely familiar, featured in this April's AD, is the house next door, a sort of "sister project," also designed by Michael Siller. For those who missed the original story in AD, here are some pictures from the Houston Associates of Realtors web site. Enjoy!

The piano nobile living room. Note the detailed moldings.

Checks, done by Michael Siller. Love this!

Green library, note the rug, by the owner Larry Hokanson.
Very formal dining room.

Master bedroom, rug again by Hokanson. Note the doorway pediments.

Gorgeous multifloor stairwell with parquet wood floors. Again, note the doorways.

Houston, French Style: Indulge


It seems people who read this blog were interested in this pink headboard I posted under "A Touch of Pink." The headboard is the design of a darling, fair-haired shop owner named Cynthia Davis. Her charming store, Indulge, is located in Houston's tony River Oaks area in an even more charming building rebuilt by her husband, noted architect Issac Preminger. The Provencal inspired gardens and interiors of Indulge are so overwhelmingly beautiful, that shopping is sometimes a secondary excuse to visit. The entry, guarded by her three large Briard dogs, is shaded by an awning. Just inside the front door is a room fauxed the most beautiful shade of blue. In the foyer, Cynthia has displayed the entire Juliska glass collection. Upstairs are baby goods. To the left and right are plates, glass, kitchenware, gardening goods, bath linens, and furniture. Weekly delivered orchids of every variety are available, along with French home magazines. Though this location is still new, Cynthia has already outgrown the space and is opening a second location to showcase her furniture. Truly an indulgence of the senses from the fragrances to the eye candy - Indulge is a delight.

A faux bois vase sits on a table styled by Cynthia.

The soft spoken Cynthia and her debonair husband Issac at home with their three "babies."

The entry, with stucco walls. Note the stone doorway on the left.

The powder room at Indulge.

The "Issac" headboard available from the web site.

Another headboard custom designed by Cynthia lies under a typical french window.

Furniture by the French based Blanc d' Ivoire, a personal favorite of mine.

Cynthia and Issac's bungalow was the cover story of Cottage Living this spring.

Gates custom designed by Issac lead to the front courtyard, allowing the couple to utilize the outdoor area for extra living space.

Provencal inspired landscaping.

Rattan, iron tables, and wood antiques give the house it's French charm.

That touch of pink with a faux bois table and antique French leather chairs.

The original "Issac" bed that started it all.