24 June 2009

The Bennison House

 

Janewoodinteriors 190

 

I received an email a few months ago from an interior designer that lives in Ann Arbor Michigan.   Uh…where?  She started her career in Houston, and  besides one year in 2006 spent here, she has been living out of state for the past ten years.   Yet, she informed me, she still designs in a “Texan” way – and judging from the photos she sent me, I knew immediately what she meant:   seagrass and slipcovers, linen and wicker.  She had been working long distance on a house in Houston and planned to be here in June - would I be interested in seeing it?   Well of course I would – especially when she told me that she had spent time working for Jerry Jeanmard and his partner, Houston icon Mr. Herbert Wells.   I know that Jeanmard and Wells don’t hire just anybody, so accepting the invitation was a no brainer. But still.  I’ve been burned too many times to count with promises of decor that is “so you!” and “you will love this!” that I approached the tour with some trepidation.   Once the front door opened – all my hesitation vanished straight out with the wind, the house was “so me” and yes, I did “love this”  with a capital L.

Jane Wood, the Michigan based designer with her heart still in Texas, explained the house to me as this:  the owner, a single woman was downsizing from a nearby larger River Oaks abode that was filled with wonderful antiques and furniture all designed by my favorite Houston interior decorator, Carol Glasser.  The homeowner bought the two story house four years ago and hired Wood to help guide her through the gut job, taking it from 3 bedrooms, 1 1/2 baths to  2 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths.    The furniture needed to edited, the fabrics all changed, new pieces needed to be bought,  and the upstairs decor was to be all new.    The homeowner herself is quite a talent – she designed all the landscaping and the pond in the back courtyard and in fact does garden designing for others.   The two of them, both quite beautiful, very well mannered and very genteelly Southern – were delightful as they eagerly finished each other sentences - describing to me what the house looked like before the gut job.  I had a wonderful time touring it and stayed way too long, oohing and aahing over it’s quiet elegance and cozy atmosphere.  Of course, I left there and came straight home wanting to purge, edit, paint, and redo my entire house.    But, the kind of design that  Jane Wood and Carol Glasser does – has that effect on me.  So, let’s tour the house - I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!!!!

 

 

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The front part of the two story house is one long room – divided by the front door.  To the left is the seating area, to the right is a dining area/library where the fireplace is.  By opening a wall, the staircase was exposed, and an iron railing was added.  In the middle of the house a hall runs straight through to where a new vista was created, allowing light from the back yard to filter through to the front room.  The family dog,  Sophie, joined in all the fun – notice how wonderfully her blonde fur matches the walls and seagrass!

 

 

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To the left is the main living area – simply furnished with two arm chairs and a small sofa – the perfect scale for the space.  The entire house is covered in custom cut seagrass downstairs and wall to wall seagrass upstairs.  The walls are a perfect shade of cream - “Linen” by Martin Senour, a favorite upscale paint of Houston interior designers.  To get a true idea of the color – notice the white ceiling against the wall paint.   All the upholstery was designed by Jane Wood and made by Hien Lam, another Houston favorite.   Notice the row of buttons on the back of the chairs.   And notice the length of the hems – just barely draping on the floor – not too short, not too long – just perfect!    To the right is the dining room.    The art work in the house is spare – but adds the right touch to enhance the mood.   The best part of the house are the curtains – all Bennison – and yes, another Houston designer favorite.  

 

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Looking towards the front door – with the library/dining area to the left and the seating area to the right, you can see the wonderful curtain treatments.  Carol Glasser designed the curtains and they were moved to the new house.  The curtains here are the Bennison Stripe – a faded green on beige linen.  Bennison is not a linen to ever be thrown away,  and Wood refashioned the curtains so they look like they were made for this house.  Nothing, nothing, nothing, except perhaps Kime fabrics, replicates Bennison.  The fabric is so special – hand screened in England – that the luxury of curtains made out of the dense linen can set the entire tone of a room, as these curtains did.   Very simple iron rods were chosen to not draw attention to themselves.   And traditional tortoiseshell blinds were paired with the curtains – another favorite way that the best in Houston dress their windows.   The attraction of a room like this – with all the seagrass and linen and Bennison – is there is no sheen, no shine, everything is matte and calming.  There is no fancy wall treatment, no venetian plaster, no faux – just matte Martin Senour Linen.  Together all these elements create the mood that Jane Wood, Carol Glasser, Ginger Barber, Pam Pierce and others from Houston have all become famous for.   It might look easy to do – but it takes a deft hand, an ability to edit, and the willingness and ability to use the best fabrics available. 

 

 

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The tables are English – a cricket table on the left and an oval gate leg table on the right.  The throw pillows are made from antique Dutch tapestry, velvet and gold trim.  The lamps are antique tea canisters with custom made fabric shades.   The accessories are sparse – but that is a very deliberate choice.  Editing is never easy, especially when downsizing from a larger home.  But this look requires strict editing to achieve it’s quiet, calming mood.

 

 

 

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A close up of the smalls.   Every piece is antique and carefully chosen for its place.

 

 

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Notice the throw pillows – constructed of velvet and tapestry pieces.  A vintage Kenneth Turner candle – another much loved Houston product – sits in its wicker and clay pot.  Unfortunately Turner no longer makes this classic.  Why?  Why?    The vignette with the mirror and chest includes a lamp with a shade made out of rawhide.   Need I say that rawhide lampshades is another favorite of Houston interior designers?  The furniture is constructed with down cushions – the finest material in upholstery.  It’s all about comfort and coziness in this type of decor.   And nothing is cozier or more comfy than down. 

 

 

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Though there is a dedicated dining room, the owner and Wood chose to make that side of the room into an extra dining room and library.  In the winter, the fireplace is an added attraction for meals taken in the front room.  A large English gate leg table was placed in front of the mantel, flanked by simple slipcovered chairs. 

 

 

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The iron railing becomes a major design element in the room – something that is matched by the curtain rods and two floor lamps. 

 

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Above the mantel is another Italian landscape, dark and moody.   Two simple floor lamps flank the table.  Notice that in this large room – only two fabrics were used – the beige linen and the Bennison stripe.   This lack of pattern further contributes to the quiet mood of the room.   The shelves are filled with sets of antique books – some black, some red, some brown.    The tablescape is again highly edited with a chinoiserie tea caddy and a French confit pot.   The slips on the chairs are double ruffled for extra detailing. 

 

 

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Through the living room is the dedicated dining room, a large space, which is without a doubt, the fanciest and prettiest room in the house!  Here the curtains are Bennison again – Roses, in a shade of faded teal on beige that can only be custom ordered.  To see it in use was the highlight of the tour for me.   The Roses fabric in this colorway is so soft, so luscious, so special – it may be the only time I will ever see it person!   The Mona Lisa wouldn’t mean as much to me!  Again, the room is painted in Linen, which blends into the custom cut seagrass – creating the sedate backdrop to the furnishings.  The table is a large English gate leg paired with a set of ivory and gilt painted chairs that are absolutely beautiful.   I can only imagine that the search for this set of chairs took quite some time.   They are exquisite to say the least.  A set of botanicals is placed in all the corners, and a crystal chandelier – the shiniest object in the house – bathes the room in a soft light.

 

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Across from the window is a gray painted chest paired with an antique mirror.  Two doors lead to the hall through which is the kitchen and stairway.   A simple French yellow ware bowl sits on the table.  The antique chandelier is quite a beauty, another piece that I am sure was hard to find and well worth the hunt.  And notice – a small tassel hangs down from the chandelier instead of a crystal!

 

 

 

 

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A close up of the painted chest – accented by antique girandoles.

 

 

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Looking at the dining room from the adjacent sitting room at the back of the house.   Sophie!!!!!!!

 

 

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A close up of one of the gorgeous painted chairs with a closer look of the gorgeous fabric, Roses.

 

 

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And looking towards the side window and front living room.   Absolutely beautiful!

 

 

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Next to the dining room is a small sitting room also furnished in the English style found throughout the house. 

 

 

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The small sitting room was once a porch which was completely gutted during the renovations.  A small sofa was slipcovered in the linen and paired with a blue checked Claremont fabric.  Bamboo tables flank the sofa and a tole tray becomes a coffee table. 

 

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Dark brown wicker chairs upholstered in the blue check are paired with a pine cupboard that hides the TV.   Oriental red pieces on top provide extra pops of color.

 

 

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And through the wonderful paned window in the sitting room is the first glimpse of the oasis like back yard. 

 

 

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The kitchen is another room that was completely gutted and redesigned by Jane Wood.   Stainless appliances and soapstone form the basis of the room.   Long open shelves take the place of upper cabinetry.  

 

 

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Windows were removed to make an alcove for the range and its hood – set against a white tile backsplash.

 

 

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A bank of French doors were added to the kitchen to access the back yard.  The table is an antique, marble topped French piece – and here you can see the one thing that is still unfinished in the house – chairs!   These chairs are temporary until the “real” ones are chosen!

 

 

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The back space is a large courtyard, designed by the homeowner.  The main focal point is the square fountain which looked mighty tempting on this hot afternoon.   The landscaping is all green - yew hedges and box mainly.  

 

 

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On one side is the garage which instantly becomes a charming pool house with the addition of windows and shutters, thanks to Jane Wood.

 

 

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A metal table and chairs sit on the slate patio which leads back up the steps into the kitchen.   Surrounded by walls of ivy, the courtyard is truly a greenscape in the middle of the city.

 

 

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Off the hall, under the staircase, the original sink with faucet was skirted in a Rogers and Goffigon print. 

 

 

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Ready to go upstairs?  The window in the stairhall is treated as all windows upstairs are – with simple white linen shades.

 

 

 

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On the landing, a painted chest in aqua and gilt outline holds a pair of urn lamps and an antique Louis Philippe mirror.

 

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The guest room/office is a vision in peach linen from Rose Tarlow.  The color is to die for!    Jane designed the bedding and had Hien Lam make it.  Notice the mini ruffles everywhere – so darling.  Jane also designed the iron scrolled bed frames and had them custom made.

 

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Six dark etchings hang between the beds.

 

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And a skirted table – in an oval shape – with the a small gathered ruffle – is too cute!

 

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The guest room doubles as a working office for the homeowner.   The desk is antique pine as is the chair.   And above it is another moody dark painting.  Definitely not styled for the photograph!!!

 

 

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The original bath upstairs serves the guest room.   The entire upstairs was reconfigured from 3 bedrooms and 1 bath to 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.   Here a large vanity was created with open shelving below.

 

 

 

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The master bedroom’s bed is the focal point of the room.  Two Spanish styled consoles sit besides the high, slipcovered bed – all in white linens.   The antique tapestry pillow is the only color in the room.  

 

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A gold mirror tops the bed and an iron and crystal chandelier lights the room.  The windows are treated like all windows are upstairs – simple linen blinds.  

 

 

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And across from the bed is another Italian styled piece of art work – I loved all the art work in the house.  There was a similar feel to the canvases throughout which helped further create the peaceful atmosphere found here.

 

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Hello!!!  The large adjoining bath and closet were created out of the extra bedroom.   The vanity is topped with another gorgeous gold mirror and flanked with sconces which resemble the chandelier from the bedroom. 

 

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The wood floor warms up the bathroom, accented by the area rug, and bamboo shelves hold towels and toiletries.

 

 

 

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And the large window above the tub is shaded by white linen, of course!

 

 

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I hope you enjoyed The Bennison House and have gotten more familiar with the look that the best and the most popular Houston interior designers so love – Bennison, seagrass, linen, Martin Senour, Kenneth Turner, boxwoods, white jean and flip-flops!!    Jane Wood, on the left, has a web site that will launch in a few weeks – I’ll let you know when and where!  And on the right is the homeowner who designed all the landscaping.  If you would like to get in touch with Jane to talk to her  – her email is janewoodinteriors@yahoo.com.  To contact the homeowner, please email me for the information!

Oh, yes, I almost forgot – the shutters are coming down!   And Sophie, wake up!!!!!!!

121 comments:

  1. Oh the fountain, the pond & the outside dining made me swoon.
    I'd be out there until it was just too hot, every meal!!!

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  2. Alicia- trust me: It's too hot in Houston lately to enjoy anything outside!

    The house is gorgeous. A kind of monastic elegance. Spartan and luxe at the same time. Minimalism certainly enjoys a deft hand.

    I kind of chuckled a few times at your mentions of what Houston interior designers embrace... your generalizations are great.. maybe a tad specious...

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  3. Hi Joni,
    Another great post what can I say. Actually I was so wrapped up in every word and the pictures when you said now let's go up stairs...I'd temporarily forgotten about bathrooms and bedrooms. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Take care,

    Janine Marshall
    Tasmania, Australia

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  4. Hi Joni,
    Another great post what can I say. Actually I was so wrapped up in every word and the pictures when you said now let's go up stairs...I'd temporarily forgotten about bathrooms and bedrooms. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Take care,

    Janine Marshall
    Tasmania, Australia

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  5. What a beautiful home. Thanks for letting us tag along!

    I love the HL bed linens, the rose fabric, the fountain and the addition of the shutters to the new pool house.

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  6. Just lovely. That tansu is a knockout.

    Something about the living room reminded me a bit of Anne Cox Chambers's living room in New York City.

    See Chambers's Chambers
    http://aestheteslament.blogspot.com/2008/12/chamberss-chambers.html

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  7. Joni: well that oval bedside table with the grey linen and the little ruffle at the top is a keeper - yes, and your comment about wanting to go home and redo everything is bringing a familiar smile to my face - again, here's a house where it becomes a backdrop for the owner when she is dressed to the nines - and a background for her guests and the color they bring into the house when she entertains - thanks for sharing!

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  8. Just lovely!! How fun to go on this house tour. I really liked the gorgeous drapes. My favorite room was the dining room. Fabulous chandelier, wonderful painted chest and mirror and a round table. So pretty!
    xx-Gina

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  9. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!!!! My dream interiors!
    Wish I could redecorate my home right now (if only I had the money!). Thanks so much for the wonderful photographs!

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  10. Just wonderful, serene, soothing, relaxing, calming, just yummy. I love so many details I wouldn't know where to start in the compliments.
    PS: Did you not notice how well you matched the space as well in your outfit? :) Thanks again for sharing such dreamy spaces.

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  11. Absolutely stunning!! I barely have words. Was the master bedroom painted the same color as downstairs? Wow!! I love this house. I love the shutters!! This house seems to have a mediterranean feel to it especially in the kitchen and the first bath. Amazing!! Thank you so much for bringing this masterpiece to us. I would never see a house like this here without you. Thanks Joni!!
    joni

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  12. Oh, Joni, I so enjoyed my tour of this lovely house! It's elegant in a classic easy way! Just loved it! Love how she seemed to have designed her home around her doggy!! :)
    Those two gals look alike and even dressed alike! How cute is this!

    Joni! I have another Diva shot of you! Woo Hoo! You know what I'm going to do, don't you?
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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  13. Wow! That's an absolutely beautiful home. Thanks for the tour.


    Jennifer

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  14. I thought the house was lovely and serene. It is going to be another 100+ day here. I may sit in front of the screen and meditate to coolness. Sophie is adorable!

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  15. I love these tours you always get the inside scoop on! Wow that really is a texan look I don't know if I'd clued into that as much as today!

    Thanks for another wonderful post!

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  16. Oh, I love this! You are one lucky lady to view these homes in person! Regarding the Martin Senour Ivory paint color, do you know if Ivory is the exact name or if it's "_____ Ivory"? I hope this is not a pesky question. Just trying to find this shade of white. Thanks, Deborah

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  17. Wow Joni- I am in awe of this home, thank you for sharing! If only I could 'de-clutter' my home like that AND add all of those wonderful antique pieces, truly amazing.

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  18. What a FABULOUS home! Charming in every detail. The kitchen with its view of the backyard is wonderful. The neutral palette is so calming and soothing. The dining room is perfection with the amazing chairs and chandelier. I could go on and on. And to think this was done long distance makes the end result even more impressive. The designer and homeowner make a great team.

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  19. So beautiful! What a treat of a tour, and what pretty ladies!

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  20. Just my kind of house, it seems as if every items serves a sculptural purpose, the fabric, the depth of texture and the quiet perfection. Such a talented pair.
    Love Sophie, too.

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  21. OMG what a perfect house! I could move in tomorrow. I love that it's human scaled too and not ginormous! Perfect for a couple or single person. LOVE that backyard -and the new master bath -and the kitchen!

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  22. Thank you for the wonderful guided tour

    I have a question on the seagrass rug since I am about to order one for my den. Do you prefer the 3 strands of seagrass woven over one strand (like on the floor of Creative Flooring, MAI, Brian Stringer) or the 3 strands woven over two strands. I like the one because it is easier to walk on but I'm wondering what you prefer. Thanks!

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  23. It is amazing to me how you never dissapoint. Every post a visual or conversational jem. Lovely home. Thanks to you we all get a taste of what we are missing in all the magazines!

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  24. Wow. Too much loveliness to list - but for starters:
    Antique, weathered mirrors
    Bermuda shutters in black
    A dog that matches the decor
    These are a few of my favorite things.

    I'll be back to stalk more closely later! ;)

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  25. OH. MY. WORD. Joni - that was FANTASTIC and some seriously awesome decorno! Every time I read your blog it makes me want to extract every print out of my house and go almost all neutral. Your work, and obviously Jane's as well, is so timeless. And I can't think of a better compliment than that!
    Thanks so much for sharing that!
    xx
    Kara

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  26. btw-do you have a website for your business?

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  27. Sophie looked like she was proud to show off her new diggs, what a sweet baby. My Boxer, "Topper" was drooling right along with me on this Home tour.
    This post is hitting home for me with the downsizing, being single (after 40 years of not), buying a new home that was 3 bedrooms 2 1/2 baths and making it into 2 bedrooms. Thank You, to you for saying this, and to the home owner for doing this. Why have a waste of real estate when you can have results like this. Wonderful!

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  28. Lovely rooms. They look very much like your own style, Joni. And Sophie is the most divine accessory!

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  29. Joni, I love it, I would be tempted to add more accessories, I understand your reasoning though!Gorgeous fabrics!

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  30. Thanks for letting us come along with you, Joni!! The kitchen, and the way it opens onto the backyard like it does, is perfect. And all the fabrics and accessories are so great there's just too much to say. Except that, had I been with you, I would have totally stolen the art over the liv rm sofa!

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  31. Human-sized house, gorgeous luxe fabrics, objects choosen with love and care....Thank you, Joni, for this beautiful house tour!

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  32. *THANK YOU, once again Joni, for a delightful "WAKE-UP-with and to-a-SMILE" blog!~

    This fantabulously simple, smaller, elegantly comfy & divinely understated residence, so carefully edited, was a joy to see & experience!

    May I note a few FAVES? The GUEST ROOM room w/ the CHARMING, fabric-covered OVAL TABLE (& the sumptuous bed linens)... the old aqua chest w/ the biiig, round wooden pulls...the "NORMAL-LOOKING" desk (NOT "set" for photos, & it sure makes M*E feel better & like this lady ALOT!), the simple, charming marriage of kitchen to yard, the fab green vines & gray shutters, and BEST of ALL, SWEETEST S*O*P*H*I*E, who adds that last "SPECIAL touch" of "grace" to an already gracious home.

    It was also nice to see a smaller home, simply done & withOUT losing one ounce of warmth!

    Warmest thanks,
    Linda in AZ *

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  33. Lovely, lovely home!

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  34. Gorgeous home!! Just perfect -- not too big nor oversized -- so very charming and elegant and gracious! And Sophie is the perfect accessory -- just the right color -- even her favorite toy blends right in! LOL! Many many thanks for the superb photos and tour!

    Jan at Rosemary Cottage

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  35. The button details and the length of the skirt say it all .. .
    good work , Jane!

    Also love the subtlety of the landscaping ... .
    good work, "homeowner!"

    Judith

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  36. GORGEOUS!! I adore this post and am a big fan of the Houston 'look'. Now, here's a challenge for you...I am trying to replicate a similar look for my LR but my dog holds me back. Try as I might, I can't get him off of the furniture. He's a Dalmatian and leaves quite a mess behind. So, I struggle between the look I want and the reality of living with a dog. Recently, I hit upon the idea of using linen indoor/outdoor fabric. What do you think - will it work?

    -Inspired Living

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  37. I am so grateful to you for always sharing such cool stuff with the rest of us!

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  38. A shame about the fake library. Instead of the "antique" books that will never be moved or read, why not real books, ones that the homeowner cherishes? The display she has now is lifeless.

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  39. Ooooo, ahhhh! That is beautiful. And does look like you. Editing, yep that is my problem.

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  40. What a gorgeous home. The subtle qualities that exude quality are what make it make it work so well. The appropriate editing is masterful.

    Tricia - Avolli

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  41. Fabulous and much more inspiring than 99% of what I've seen in magazines lately. I love both of the painted chests! I didn't realize this was a "Texan" look. If so, I guess I am living in the right city although it doesn't feel like it on a 100+ day like today!

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  42. Oh, it is wonderful, Joni! Just a delight. Thanks for sharing with us, and I want that sweet dog. She does blend with the decor. LOL! Very well done, indeed.

    XO,

    Sheila :-)

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  43. Instead of all this endless drooling why don't you just stick a price tag on the items and photograph that? Oh, because you think you are classy!

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  44. Instead of all this endless drooling why don't you just stick a price tag on the items and photograph that? Oh, because you think you are classy!

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  45. What a lovely house. How neat for you to get a look inside! I bet it is breath taking seeing these houses in person!

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  46. Here are the paint colors - I got it wrong, said Ivory instead of Linen.

    From Jane:

    Martin Senour Linen all downstairs living spaces, then cut in half upstairs. Pratt & Lambert "Nickel" in kitchen - everywhere - kitchen cabinets, walls and ceiling.

    Thank you for all your wonderful comments - much appreciated!!!! I'm glad you all loved it as much as I did.

    Joni

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  47. thanks joni, jane, sophie and sophie's mom for the tour. so serene. my first reaction to the kitchen...oh my goodness, no view from the sink. but then you flipped the camera and there are those french doors leading to that gorgeous outdoor space. wonderful. especially like the "pool house" shutters.

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  48. Wow!!!
    It is a beautiful house! Can I just say that I love the kitchen?? And most of all, I love those giant doors that open up to the outdoors?? Gorgeous!

    And I love her Master Bath.

    Really, though, the entire house is perfect!

    And Sophie!!! You've got to love her giant sherpa toy! ;-)

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  49. Beautiful home. I am impressed, Joni, that you don't worship big, pretentious houses exclusively like a lot of people in my area do. I love the way the owner is downsizing to make this home work for her life now, not a past life. I love the REAL design for real living that you bring us. Carol

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  50. The garden and house are a vanishing threshold of delight.

    Love everything but haven't the strength to edit so profoundly, yet. It's coming and your post teaches the way.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

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  51. You had me at hello...LOL

    Now I want to edit too!!

    I love the pictures of you in the mirror; you are so chic!! Tres chic!!

    Thanks for the tour!

    Michelle

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  52. I have know Jane Wood for years and was delighted to see that you featured her work on your blog! I have lived in both Houston and Ann Arbor and have seen all of her projects. There is no doubt that Jane has been inspired by some of the best Houston Designers, but she has taken her style to another level. Jane is an expert at making sure every room is not only breathtaking, but functional. So many designers use things that have good design, but there is no warmth. I hope you get the opportunity to see her own home in Ann Arbor. I have had many a glass of wine there, and have lingered extra hours just to feel inspired to make my own home Jane worthy. Thank you so much for inspiring me today! I am off to measure my backyard to see if I have a spot for a pond like this one.

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  53. Joni, I think this has been my favorite home tour so far...and you've had some great ones! It's Texas perfect!

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  54. Anonymous is apparently synonymous with ASSHOLE. As is thus been made cleverly apparent by ANONYMOUS June 24, 2009 2:31 PM. HIM

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  55. I love the idea of living in a home that is just the right size - not too big and not too small. This house seems to be perfect for the homeowner.

    The chandelier in the dining room is my favorite. I wonder if the side tables in the master are by Tritter Feefer?

    Lovely home, thank you for the tour! Your pictures are looking really good!

    P.S. - My dog matches my interiors too, and it is a great thing! It was not by design, more of a coincidence, but it sure is nice for ignoring the dog hair. My dog has the same gingerbread toy as Sophie and it is his favorite toy!

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  56. Joni! Wow! I'm speechless! All those details and all the skirted chairs, sofas, tables... oh... It is my dream home!! Lots and lots of inspirations going through my mind... I just turned my bedroom into a completely pure white place. This room gives me great ideas! Wonderful!!

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  57. What a fabulous home. So many wonderful details...those Benison drapes are to die for. I just wish in the LR that they had hung them at ceiling height. Couldn't you just move right in?
    The designers are just adorable!
    Blessings...

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  58. Joni, I hope this isn't a stupid question, but could you please tell us how the ruffled skirts are attached to the table in the guest room and the sink in the downstairs powder room? Those are my favorite details! Leigh

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  59. Love the elegant simplicity of this home. Just wish I had known that paint color last week when one wall was painted four times and still not REALLY happy with the result. There ARE other walls. Beautiful home and thanks for letting us inside with you. Love your blog and the places you take us!

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  60. This one is another great example of understated relaxed & elegant style. I am a fan of the linen, seagrass and skirted beds & tables!
    I could put some roots down is a home filled with these good looks!
    Avery wonderful home & a great decorating job! Looks undecorated, which is the idea, right?
    Leslie

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  61. I so "luved" both of those bedrooms. The whole house is dreamy, but the bedrooms stole my heart. Such pretty fabrics throughout the home. Is the gorgeous ivy growing on the house coming down too? What's going to happen until the ivy grows enough to fill the blank space left by the former shutters? laurie

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  62. Very lovely. My favorites are the candelabra on the sideboard in the DR and the mirror over the bed in the master. It's one case where I would say that a mirror not reflecting anything works - the room is so serene that it works there. I don't care for the puddled skirts on the tailored button chairs - they look too long and wrong for a tailored slip. However, the puddling on the softer shirred and gathered pieces is gorgeous! The kitchen makes me plan envious and Joni, your photo looking at the tall table and out to the backyard is a photographic triumph! That camera is paying off!!

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  63. Oh my goodness! You amaze me time and time again...just gorgeous. Just one favor...where on earth do you find the wall to wall seagrass? I have searched and searched, even asked a local retailer and was told it was impossible. Well, maybe in Tennessee, but certainly not in Texas! Thanks for sharing!
    Donna

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  64. I find this house a tad too stark. I think it is missing some of the homeowner's character/touches. I am a big fan of this look, but prefer some of your other posts i.e Octogon House,Stalking the Wheats and also more of Pam Pierce's look. Great photography on your part. I do love the fabrics and the chandelier in the dining room.

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  65. i'm actually in pain - it's just that good. I love how you showcased a home with upscale taste but in a smaller venue. and the mirror on the painted chest - ACTUAL PAIN from loving it so much. i swoon with delight seeing how the neutrals are mixed with naturals here. talk about seagrass indeed joni!

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  66. oh yes I enjoyed this, especially love the ruffles in the guest room and the bed in the master - amazing how she has tied in the soft feel with it still looking fairly plain, the romantic without the fuss...I am walking away with ideas and referring to that last post which I missed completely but wholeheartedly agree with is what it is all about - opening the pages of a mag or blog and leaving it with a head spinning full of ideas...even if you can't replicate them, we pay for the pleasure to dream & have a go

    Sarah

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  67. I just finished reading the Good Money for Nothing! post and had to re-view this one so I wouldn't have design nightmares - lol.

    Simply beautiful, Jane Wood, did a wonderful job. Then again maybe it is just the Texan in me!

    Samantha

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  68. That was such a lovely home ...

    I love the outdoor spaces and the bathroom with wooden floors that looks so inviting and feels so warm, a good place not just to take a bath but also to relax.

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  69. Oh... and all those nice looking antiques are to die for.

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  70. Very pretty. I love all the seagrass carpets. I would love to use seagrass in my home but I am concerned about stains. How does it fare with spills?

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  71. After your last blog...that is what a home is...and should be in magazines for us to enjoy...
    Thank you for sharing Joni, A+
    Love your blog, so look forward to yours and Marias @ colour me happy
    xx Carol Ann

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  72. I love French doors - they are classic... but my favorite picture is your self portrait!

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  73. I'm CRAZY for the exterior and my gawd -- the back yard!!!! I love the color palette inside -- the pale walls with a hit of meaty, weighty furniture pieces and well-edited accessories. Joni, thank you for providing the paint color info. Very helpful.

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  74. Like Scarlett O'hara, I'd lie, cheat, steal or kill for those linen bennison draperies in the living room---don't worry, though, I don't plan on turning them into an outfit.

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  75. oh i just love everything about it!!!! gorgeous!!!! such an ease & elegance about it...
    WOW

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  76. Dammit, Joni... I hate my house again! I had just started to get over the photos of YOUR redo and now THIS! Just beautiful beautiful beautiful

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  77. I think I shall just have to move to Houston! I do love the style of Houstonite Decor.....and yes I wud welcome the very hot weather twelve months of the year. :)

    A big thank to Jane the homeowner and to yourself for the wonderful guided tour. Exquisite!
    -Brenda-

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  78. Ooops shud read, 'a big Thank YOU to.......' (Sorry about that Joni.)

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  79. Thanks Joni! I'm currently working on my new house & needed some Southern Inspiration!

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  80. I know it will vary, but can you give us AN IDEA of what it costs to do wall-to-wall seagrass? Can't find anything online w/ price attached, just that it's "affordable" (affordable is all relative, though). I want to know if I am living in dreamland with the thought of doing wall-to-wall or if it is a real possibility for me.
    I wish I could afford to hire you for my house! I tell you, you have really opened my eyes to slipcover possibilities.
    You're the best!

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  81. Here's my other question... while I dream away about wall-to-wall seagrass, in the meantime, I have ugly standard wall-to-wall carpet. Should I live with it as is until I can change it or pretend it isn't really there and put rugs over it? (Not technically a fan of rugs on carpet, but if I'm pretending it's not there...)

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  82. Way to work that wide angle lens! Your blog is going to make me buy a new monitor so the right sides of the photos aren't cut off. A beautiful home. I imagine she returns home and says "aaahhhhh" each time she walks in the door. My favorites- the pine cabinet to hide the TV, the gateleg table placed in front of the fireplace, that the dining chairs are upholstered in two different fabrics, and the photo toward said fireplace including the stairs with a glimpse of a wagging dog tail over the top of the upholstered chair. THAT says "home". Thank you!

    Liz in Upstate NY

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  83. Seagrass is extremely affordable, and holds up VERY well with dogs, kids, and all the gross things that come along with both. I have experienced black permanent marker in my daughter's entire room on seagrass, and water/vinegar took it right up. Amazing! I know Jane Wood can order the seagrass for you, and you will just need a local installer. The installer can measure for you too. We had it glued directly to the concrete when we lived in California, but Jane used padding underneath at her house, and I liked it better.

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  84. I like the house, calm colors, beautiful furniture. And yet...
    I miss a bit of detailing, perhaps they are brand new in the house? You see, just the fern pot on one of the hall table, a bouquet of flowers on the kitchen table/ counter, all comes across like a show house. A bit too staged.
    I love the office desk the best, it shows some personality...
    I am not a fan of ruffles everywhere...but I know, it's the look!

    Don't get me wrong, it is all very perfect, perhaps a bit too much for me. I am trying to put my finger to it, well I guess it's too monchromatic for me.

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  85. Amazing, beautiful, thanks for sharing! Being from Michigan myself, I can't wait to see Jane Wood's website and some of her work up north. Question: what is that natural wood molding around the window frames (inside). Is that something that was added or part of the original architecture? I just found some amazing antique beams at a salvage warehouse and think this may be a neat use for them.

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  86. What a beautiful home! It looks alot like you for sure, she was right :) I think my favorite part is the dog and her toy, she is beyond cute.

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  87. I was also wondering what "Texan" style is. Now I see. A powerful set up, featuring the center pieces, be it sofa, bed, or vanity counter. A controlled use of color, fully showcasing the beauty of simplicity.

    Nicolette
    http://www.furnitureanddesignideas.com/

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  88. I love it, thank them for sharing with us, please, Joni. I love the pond and slate back porch, too!

    Jane

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  89. I adore this house, feels tranquil and swank at once. Downsizing has so many definitions... Be well, Joni!

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  90. I adore this house, feels tranquil and swank at once. Downsizing has so many definitions... Be well, Joni!

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  91. I adore this house, feels tranquil and swank at once. Downsizing has so many definitions... Be well, Joni!

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  92. Love your blog but sometimes it's painful to read. You say "Need I say that rawhide lampshades is another favorite..." Did you mean "Need I say that rawhide lampshades ARE another favorite..."
    Worse yest was "A bank of French doors were added to the..." Did you mean "A bank of French doors WAS added". (A bank were added is NOT proper English. I hate criticizing but please ... EDIT EDIT EDIT!!!!!!!!!!

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  93. No, HIM, just get a bit sick of you sycophants who think you're touching glamour by reading this blog when all she does is endlessly profile the houses of people with money. It is pretty apparent it doesn't equal class.

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  94. Joni doesn't profess to be a grammarian and, in fact, has admitted in a previous post that it's a weakness. Instead of nitpicking her typos and errors, why not spend a litte more time appreciating her for her true talent?

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  95. If I wanted to look at pictures of middle-class decorating I'd just walk around my own messy, mismatched one-story. Back off haters!

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  96. omg - I TRY at the grammar! But I don't have an editor, I reread and reread and sometimes it just slips by me. If it upsets you - then just don't read it. No one is asking you to read it. OR - why not offer to be my editor? I would gladly send it to you to edit first. This isn't a magazine -it's a blog. And thanks Mary for sticking up for me. I actually just did discuss this - while it's not terrible - I am very well aware it's not perfect.

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  97. About the class issue - I have written many many times about budget things I love - things to buy that give you the look without spending the money. What would you want? for me to not show a house because the owner spent money on it? Interior design IS expensive, which we just discussed on the Skirted Roundtable. But I am the FIRST one to say that money doesn't equal taste and taste doesn't equal money. No cash? Buy the Ikea $349 slipcovered white sofa, a rug from PB, drop cloth curtains and a few wicker chairs from Pier One - and you will have a great looking room. Again - if you don't like the blog - just don't read it. I'm not going to change because of you, so go somewhere else where the writer appreciates being put down and made fun of. Personally, I don't like it. It's very very very hurtful to be told you are something that you are not. `

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  98. AND TO THE GRAMMAR POLICE:

    DID YOU MEAN TO SAY YET OR YES? NOT SURE WHAT YEST MEANS?

    SEE HOW EASY IT IS TO MAKE A MISTAKE????????????

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  99. About the seagrass - why not wait until you can get it. It's very very economical so you probably won't have to wait as long as you would with new carpet! layering rugs over pile carpet is never good. but if your carpet is flat - you could do it! Good luck!!!!!! and start saving up!

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  100. I really am not sure exactly what wall to wall seagrass is. Maybe $20 installed? it's cheaper than most carpets. Jane could probably tell you better. The last three jobs I did with it - the client paid the installer directly. email Jane to ask her if she knows exactly.

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  101. It's very very very hurtful to be told you are something that you are not.

    Surely you jest. You keep writing that you are a designer and so well-schooled, and blahblahblah, yet all you do is show the work of others, often to the point of what seems to be plagerism.

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  102. about the skirted table -
    the skirt is sewn onto the top - that's how it is attached.

    as for the skirt on the sink - i believe it is held up with velcro. not positive, but probably!

    hope this helps.
    Joni

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  103. Joni...do not let these troubled "anon" folks bother you. It's obvious how much you're appreciated, sought after and read. Meanies - go elsewhere! Regarding the skirt sink: mine is held up (well) with velcro.

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  104. Joni, no one does it better than you! I have spent hours enjoying this blog. I'm with Virginia..."meanies" go elsewhere! You are not welcome here! Joni is the most generous designer I know. Always giving free advice and great inspiration. Don't change a thing!!!

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  105. Don't pay attention to the negative ones, Joni. You do a fantastic job and I very much appreciate that I can see other designers on your blog. Inspiration comes from many.
    I think the nay sayers should stay away from decorating blogs and locate some self help blogs. Frankly, I'm tired of all of that negative energy.

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  106. Don't pay attention to the negative ones, Joni. You do a fantastic job and I very much appreciate that I can see other designers on your blog. Inspiration comes from many.
    I think the nay sayers should stay away from decorating blogs and locate some self help blogs. Frankly, I'm tired of all of that negative energy.

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  107. Let me third that.....Meanies go away!!!!

    I don't understand what gives people the right to be so unkind. Joni's right, no one has forced you to come over and read her blog. You choose to do so! If things bother you that much....don't come back! Thank you!!!!!

    Y'all, Dianne is right, Joni is one of the most gracious, wonderful, classy women you will ever meet. She's soft spoken and smart as can be....she knows her stuff!!!! :)

    Finally, who wants to see mid-income homes?!?! I would bet most of us following Joni's blog live in mid-income homes. I for one don't have a magazine worthy home. I bet most of us are still saving for that new sofa or new carpeting or drapes or whatever. How many magazines feature mid-income homes? I'd venture to say, not many if any. Instead, we dream, and look at these beautiful upper-end homes that can give us inspiration. We then can do what fits our budget.

    As the saying goes, if you can't say anything kind than please don't say anything at all!

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  108. Anon- what ARE you talking about? Do you read my blog? I NEVER claimed to be "well schooled" - I went to UT design school over 25 years ago and say repeatedly -I am self taught. Period. I never have claimed to be well schooled at all?????? where - show me where I said that! AND - you say I never show my own work - you are so wrong - I show my own work to the point of it being nauseating. I just showed work on a house I recently completed. I show work on my own house every other week. I have shown work on a budget bedroom I did, on a house on Chimney Rock, on a house on the Bayou, on a highrise, on a house in Bellaire. What are you talking about? I show my work own work all the time. You obviously don't read my blog. I never claimed to be a fabulous designer, I know i'm not. that doesn't mean I can't look at something and not recognize that it's not good design or recognize good design when I see it. And - for your information - ok - the magazines LIKE when you post about them -good or bad. I receive emails from editors who actually are grateful when I put their photographs on your blog. Their PR directors email us bloggers and ASK us to post about their magazines. You are SO wrong about the magazines not liking it. Plagiarism - by the way - you don't know how to spell it - is when you take something that isn't yours and portray it as yours. I have NEVER published one word or sentence on this blog that wasn't written by me. EVER. Show me where I have. NOR have I EVER published a picture and said it was my design when it wasn't. I have no idea where that accusation is coming from. My blog is about design - what I like, what I don't. I have every right to talk about design that isn't my own if it is published in a magazine or on the internet. for some reason you have singled me out. I'm not sure why. I have no idea why you detest me so much - but if you do - why not go somewhere else where you like the author. I just write a blog. If you hate it - don't read it. There are 1,000s of other design blogs out there - go find one that you like. ok?

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  109. Anon, you are really getting out of hand here. No one has tied you down and made you read or look at anything on this blog. Leave and we will all be happier! We come here because we love Joni's work and Joni's opinion. Don't let the door hit you on the way out!!!

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  110. Joni, I love your blog! I just read the mean comments from annonymous, and just want you to know that anyone who feels so strongly should use their real name. They must be fantastic, and I would love to know who this amazing person is. Obviously someone who doesn't understand that blogs are just for fun.

    Jen

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  111. Joni, Jennifer, and Dianne - just as you can comment so can I. This blog takes up space that belongs to everyone. As Joni says, "I have every right to talk about design that isn't my own if it is published in a magazine or on the internet."

    This is just one of the instances where you talk about your schooling, "Maybe this is wonderful and I should get my hands slapped and go re-enroll in design school"

    As for you designing, I heard the last time you did was when your wide load of a backside knocked the cans off the shelf at the grocery store and you had to reset them.

    The rest of you need to wipe the brown off your noses from having them stuffed so far up Joni's very wide backside.

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  112. Joni, have you ever looked into blocking anonymous bloggers? Then if they use inappropriate language on your very kind blog, you can block them. If someone does the same and uses their name, you can block them that way too. I just googled it. I think this person is mentally insane.

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  113. When I said I should go back to design school and join AsID? That's the best you can about me bragging? OMG. That was a joke. Seriously. Leave. ok? Your posting here is a priviledge - do you know understand that I can erase every comment you leave? I don't but I could. You have no "right" to pose here - I LET you. dufus. And if you call friends brown nosers, I really feel sorry for you. leave. now. or I'll just erase them as they come in. if you have something constructive to say, say it. if not - it will be erased from now on.

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  114. Oh and if you think you are bothering me by talking about my very wide backside - I think it's hysterical. EVERYONE knows that about me!!!! Yes - it IS a very wide, ample tush and I'm the first to admit it - sorry, but it's doesn't bother me in the least. My husband actually likes it.

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  115. Anon - may I "pose" as a shrink? I do believe your feelings have been hurt, that the insecurity level of your soul is over the top. What do you get out of this? Do you get pleasure out of being outwardly cruel? Please remove yourself - wide backside or not.

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  116. Dear Sir or Madame Anonymous~ First, how cowardly to post as Anonymous and say such strong statements. We are all entitled to our opinion. However, I do not understand the mean-spiritedness of your comments. Dear one, I think you need to find another hobby.....Bullies are not allowed here nor will they be tolerated! Enough attention to you and your comments!

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  117. Oh my, I think a change of subject is in order! I'll answers Joni's question at the beginning of the post (although it may have been a rhetorical one!). Ann Arbor, MI, for those who don't know is a lovely place! I will admit that I am biased as I did grow up there (and now live in Austin, TX). It is located about 40 minutes Southwest of Detroit and is the home of the University of Michigan. The central part of town is filled with shady tree lined streets and pretty old homes with gardens full of Hostas, Hydrandea and Peonies. There are also great restaurants , shopping, and a permanent farmer's market in the downtown and campus areas. Joni, I think you'd quite like it! As much as I love Austin, I'd much rather be in A squared (as we lovingly call it) on a 100 degree + day such as today!

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  118. I agree with Liz about Ann Arbor. My 1834 home had an acre backyard that looked like the Arboretum in Dallas. The Peonies were AMAZING!! Speaking of yards, Jane Wood has an amazing yard that was created out of a heavily wooded hill. I was shocked to see what they accomplished. They now have a basketball half court in the back for Jack that turns into an ice rink in the winter. He has a tree fort worth a page in a magazine. They are creating the most charming dining space, and lawns. The front of her home is always a work in progress, but one that would make Thompson Hansen proud.

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