22 July 2009

Rhapsody in Gray

As someone who peruses the Houston real estate listings religiously, I often wonder why I bother.    99.9999 percent of the listings are not worth the time it takes to open the browser.  Do that many people really live with absolutely no style at all?   I suppose so judging by the houses for sale not just here, but in every city.   This must be why we are all so banded together – design blog readers definitely have an appreciation and love of good design.   That’s why when a beautiful house comes on the market, I usually post it here – so you can enjoy it with me!   Today a new listing in West University came on HAR and it really caught my eye:  seagrass, linen, slipcovers – you know the drill.  The agent is Sharon Ballas, the same one who hosted the wonderful antique sale on Virginia Street here.   So, enjoy a pretty house with your morning coffee while I’m poring over photographs from Lauren Ross’ Austin house to show you tomorrow, I hope!    For more information on this house for sale, the listing is here.

 

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Built in 1994, updated last year, white stucco, three car garage – which is a true rarity for West University!

 

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The arched, gray painted front doors mimic the arches that lead into the dining and living rooms.

 

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The living room is my favorite combination of linen and slips and seagrass (LISS – my new acronym or is SLIS better?).   The living room and dining room were decorated by – guess who?

 

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I really like the skirted buffet with its banded trim and the French chairs.  Did you guess Ginger Barber?   Yep, she designed the two front rooms. 

 

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Brett Duhon of Foxglove designed the rest of the house.  I like to look at the family rooms in West University houses because they always have the same basic layout  (like mine, in other words) and I like to see how other people arrange their furniture.   Here, the two large arm chairs divide the room – I like that.   Foxglove sells wonderful upholstered furniture and great accessories.   They have two stores, both on West Alabama.  

 

image The kitchen and breakfast area.  I love those barley twist bar stools.   This house looks brand new to me, but it is actually 15 years old. 

 

 

image The breakfast room has a wonderful antique buffet with a shelf hanging above it.  This is a great way to get the look of the breakfront if you just have a buffet – add a hanging shelf!

 

 

 

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Upstairs is a cute vignette on the landing – a painted drop leaf table with an ottoman underneath it.  Notice how the lamp is on!  I always keep my lamps on during the day – I think it warms up the house and makes it look much cozier than using overhead light.   But – the best part is the wall to wall seagrass.    So much less expensive than wall to wall carpet – and so much better looking!   Love it.

 

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Cute master bedroom with a fireplace.  

 

 

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Slipcovered linen headboard and dust ruffle in the guest room.    Seagrass and linen always looks so clean and chic.

 

 

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The office has a wonderful desk – love that! 

 

 

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Now this is really something – a putting green in West University!  That is a first, I think.   The owner must be a huge golfer.

 

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There’s even a rooting section to watch the golfers from!   To contact Sharon Ballas about the listing, go here.

News from Cote de Texas:

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After I posted this picture and said I had no idea where these lamp shades were from, I got a call from Watkins Culver.  These shades came from Watkins and the good news is they have ordered a new shipment which should be in the store shortly! 

 

Be sure to come back tomorrow to read all about Lauren Ross’ beautiful house in Austin, that is if I get finished with the article!  I’m trying!!!!

64 comments:

  1. Joni...Georgeous.. My husband especially enjoyed the little putting area as he IS a wonderful golfer. I on the other hand am mesmerized by the seagrass throughout the entire house. A wonderful concept. xoxo~Kathy~ @Sweet Up-North Mornings...

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  2. What a gem of a house you have found! Everything is lovely--the colors, furnishings, accessories, and SLISS. It's hard to believe it's 15 years old. And, thanks for sharing the information about the lamp shades! I don't have the right lamps for them yet, but that's just a minor detail ;) Deborah

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  3. I met a very nice lady who owns a shop in So Tampa called Chez Orleans. She told me how she loved your blog so I decided to come for a visit. Well she was so right although there never was a question when I saw her beautifully decorated shop. Your taste is just georgous. I loved yesterdays post on the Lauren Ross' slipcovers and todays house was just wonderful.
    I will be visiting you often.
    Becky

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  4. What a beautiful house! One of the many things that I love is the pallet continuity throughout the house. It is calming and lovely. A second thing that I love is the use of antiques. There is just no substitute when the goal is adding warmth, depth and texture.

    Tricia - Avolli

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  5. I love the seagrass look Joni. I have a question. How does it hold up to wear and tear and spill?

    Thank you for sharing this gorgeous house. I read your blog every day.

    Susan in Dallas

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  6. Thank you for this post, the home is just beautiful. The outside is gorgeous, and I love how they decorated it. The putting green also shows that the owners are not afraid to have fun!

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  7. Hello! I am a SAHM in a small town in Indiana. I just wanted to let you know that I look forward to your daily posts. I do not know the names of the latest fabrics, styles of lamps, or details of lovely designers, but you have brought out my inner love for design and decor and I am quickly learning! So, thank you. Your blog is quite an inspiration and I am now finiding my own style and how to work it in my home!

    P.S. No magazine could compete with the fantastic pictures from your blog! Your style is fabulous!

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  8. Beautiful home! For the opposite, go to lovelylisting.com - I have nothing to do with the site, but it is HILARIOUS actual real estate listing photos that are truly unbelieveable in how bad they are! Good for a laugh.
    Also - LOVED, LOVED, LOVED your What's In Store post of July 20 - keep more like it coming! Love your blog.
    Dekawatson

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  9. Sometimes I look at the Real Estate listings just to see how terrible everyone's house is decorated. Even the most expensive homes around here are gaudy and stuck in another decade! It looks like everyone buys their stuff at the local furniture store, Walmart, and Big Lots!
    That home you featured is beautiful! Nothing around here could even come close to looking like that!!

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  10. I'm ga-ga for grey ... also I'll be posing two projects that you will love ... I skirted my buffet with a charcoal man's suiting fabric...left the salvaged edges exposed at the seams....oh my ... stumbled o nto something so cute!!!!

    maybe I'll email you the pictures


    hugs to you dear design girl ...my inspiration!!!

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  11. * Dearest Joni~ "JUST ONE QUESTION", if I may...

    How can something SOOO beautifully CALMING n' SERENE leave me soooooo BREATHLESS?

    Hugs,
    Linda in AZ *

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  12. * Dearest Joni~ "JUST ONE QUESTION", if I may...

    How can something SOOO beautifully CALMING n' SERENE leave me soooooo BREATHLESS?

    Hugs,
    Linda in AZ *

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  13. that is a beautiful house for sure! I mean this in the best way possible -but hte front of the house looks like a more stylish & beautiful version of the house on that 80s movie beatlejuice..or maybe the adams family! (with the entrance tower and all). Funny huh? I just had to say that! It's a beautiful house!

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  14. Joni, I love this house! My husband are in the market for a new house, but not in Houston and certainly not in this price range, though I have been thinking about going with a pale, French gray theme and slipcovers similar to these shown in our next home. These pictures are a real inspiration to me. Thank you so much for sharing! I'll also be contacting Watkins Culver about the beautiful lamp shades. Cece C.

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  15. I did a Seagrass OD on this one. I'm surprised they didn't try it on the putting green. It's all pretty but the staging sucked the life out of it.

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  16. Joni, I love it! It's so tasteful and restful. I'm ready to move right in provided I win the Lottery and Mr. Magpie says I can have yet another house to love! ;-)

    It's strange because in some shots, the upstairs looks to have grey walls and in others, kind of cream. Either way, I loved it. I'm particularly in love with their DR chairs and the LR.

    I had to laugh, though. Did you see what was in the bedroom??? I was so caught up in the wonderful burlaps and linens and sisals and painted furniture throughout that I missed it the first go-round. But there is a ceiling fan! LOL! I'm laughing because I don't like them either, but we do have them becase we need them. And it really does move the air here in Florida. But I know of your love for them after the post of Mr. Slipper Socks Man's and his love affair with fans. ;-)

    Thanks for sharing. This is NEAT!

    XO,

    Sheila :-)

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  17. I echo Susan's question re the seagrass instead of carpet. How does it wear/clean and do you put a pad under it just like carpet?

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  18. Joni,
    Love "LISS" it can also stand for Living In Slips and Seagrass. And sounds like Bliss...
    "LISS is Bliss" (you can go ahead and use that lol).
    Love this home, thanks for your wonderful tours.
    Tara

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  19. Gorgeous home inside and out. Tons of eye candy and inspiration. Love it. Hugs, Marty

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  20. What a beautiful home. Thanks for the tour!!!

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  21. I think I would rather have wood floors throughout the house with seagrass area rugs where wanted/needed.

    About the ceiling fans--some people do love them especially in hot Texas. We are going to put one in the master bedroom of our farmhouse next summer. Sometimes utility has to trump looks!

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  22. Hi Joni,
    Thanks for sharing this story with us. There's a real estate guide that comes out once a week here and I often scan it to look at how other people furnish their homes. A pet hate is wallpaper furniture, hugs all four walls of a room, YUCK...this house is beautiful inside and out and is hard to believe that it is 15 years old. My favourite thing in the house is the sideboard in the kitchen area, just beautiful...things like the sideboard are getting harder to find here. Also loved the kitchen stools. Thought the designer of the LR and DR was either Ginger Barber or Carol Glasser. Have you found out where Ginger has gone? Have been a fan since I saw her home in "Country Home" magazine. Can't wait until tomorrow to see Laurens home in Austin.

    Take Care.

    Love Janine
    XXOO
    Tasmania, Australia

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  23. Gorgeous home, I love the soothing palette could see warming it up a bit. Art, Art Art! I did laugh when I saw the ceiling fan! Joni , we just talked about this!

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  24. You do manage to bring us absolutely beautiful interiors! This is another highlight and it is just to-die-for...
    I loved Lauren's home also. I still have the April 07 Country Living that her Austin home was in..guess I knew then it was a keeper. Funny how some things just echo in your heart and mind. Can't wait until the next post!!

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  25. Okay, I really want to know the paint colors of Houston. So pretty!

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  26. Thanks for sharing - this home is gorgeous! I agree, I am always disappointed at the lack of style even in so many of the multi-million dollar homes!

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  27. Joni, You're spoiling us. I didn't think you could top your Top Ten Designers series. Then you started your own top ten inspirations and gave us the most beautiful linens and slipcovers ever. And now more gorgeous houses. Such a treat. Thanks!

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  28. Yep...THAT many people live without style.. I am an agent and boy or boy...it is amazing when I show homes what I see...Last week, I was in a few homes that I desparately wanted to write down the blog sites of some of you fabulous design bloggers/celebs!! and tell them to log on and get to work!! Now, this house today is fabulous!!! I love when I get listings like this one! I am sure it will sell fast! :)

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  29. I go weak in the knees for barley twist....anywhere, everywhere, so needless to say I found the kitchen stools a nice touch.
    Bonnie-claire

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  30. Truly lovely home. I seriously need to do a drive-bye. I am a huge fan of the West University homes. We just don't have that kind of architecture out here in ole' Katy. Thanks for sharing this gorgeous home.

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  31. Hi Joni
    You have the most beautiful houses in Houston. I love the putting green and the espaliered wall. the kitchen is vaguely reimiscent of Somethings Gotta Give.

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  32. Ditto Susan and nnewblogger on care and wear of seagrass carpet or rugs. I love the look and want it so bad but have put off getting it. Joni you have dogs, How does it hold up with dirty little feet and the oils from their bodies?
    On the home for sale, Love it,, West U has always been one of my favorite areas of Houston as far as the architecture and landscape. Thanks for adding some of the interiors that I can't see with my drive-bys.

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  33. Wonderful home! I love the calm palette.

    Becky Brocato
    Watercolorist (and fellow Houstonian)

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  34. Susan, I agree about the wood floors with rugs but carpet is less expensive than wood floors (not to mention adding the rugs) and if sea grass is less expensive than carpet, well, sometimes there is a budget that has to be considered. Also, I have wood floors and dogs and not such a great combination when one goes CHARGING at the front door. And refinishing is a pain and not inexpensive either. So, if I can have good lucks and not spend mega bucks, I'm all for it!

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  35. Truly a lovely home -
    I have my own Home Accents and Design shop now in Florida but was a REALTOR for years. I was always amazed to find poor decor on the inside of homes that were gorgeous on the outside. So yes, that's why this blogging is so great - to see such a mix of quality design. I can't seem to find the time to update my blog but hope to make it interesting someday! Will be away for a while but will try to catch up later in the summer.....

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  36. Thank you for sharing another beautiful Houston home. Love the bamboo shades, the high hung drapery panels and the paint colors especially. Agree with Angela above - would love to know the paint colors - if they are available outside of Houston and not specifically designer custom colors.

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  37. joni, yes, that many people live without style. and from what i've seen from my house hunting days 2 years ago, without vacuum cleaners and dusters. i was appalled at some houses we walked into.

    this house is gorgeous. has all my needs...ok, wants. from the gorgeous white kitchen to the putting green where both hubby and i can practice. and, looks like from the ad, there's a large bonus room upstairs where i could set up shop. perfect!

    i'm off to buy a lottery ticket! pam

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  38. I can't wait to see Lauren's new house (tomorrow)....hurry up cause I'm leaving for the beach in the afternoon and I just gotta see it before I go!

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  39. Yes of course, I will move in!....
    I like the bones & decor design of this one. It's so funny, last night I was thumbing through my binders of ripped & torn pages when I cam across an article that I have clung to for years. As I read, it became clear it was a Ginger Barber home. Until blogging, my infinate wisdom (pleezzee) was ignorant bliss! Anyway, I did a post on the home, checked your archives and saw some of the same furnishings in a newer home. Wow sometimes you don'y know that snake until it almost bites you!
    Leslie

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  40. Joni, as I looked through these lovely photos, I could't help feeling a sense of emptiness. Do you think it was staged?
    -- Jennifer Sergent/ Washington Spaces Magazine

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  41. lovely, lovely, lovely. Thanks for posting! I've often wondered the same thing about our Atlanta listings (and where Desire to Inspire finds hers). Even some of the Sotheby's listings- great bones, terrible design. I was clicking through one and thought- now this, this I love. It was Phoebe Howard's apartment. :-)

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  42. Love the entry and the kitchen is great. Wonder where the desk is from I love it.

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  43. Beautiful home... I especially like the family room.
    Re your 1st paragraph question about whether so many people live without style... yes, they do. My husband has been a real estate appraiser here in So Cal for 15+ yrs. Has appraised everything from almost-falling-down shacks to $2mil monster mcmansions. Two or three times a year he will show me photos of impressive decor. More often than not, a beautiful exterior will still yield the same disappointing, boring interiors house after house. It's just not that important to most people that their home has style... function usually takes precedence and that's why I see so many gigantic tv's and oversized ugly sofas and dark stain-absorbing carpeting in my appraiser's pics. It boggles me too how many people don't take care of what is probably the biggest financial investment they'll ever make. Don't get me started on that...!

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  44. I totally understand that wood floors are more expensive than either carpet or sea grass. This makes me wonder if this house did a quick redo with seagrass to save money. They are very very attractive floors with the seagrass---but how practical?

    Wood floors take a commitment to quality and permanence. We installed wood floors in the upstairs (downstairs already had them) in the last 18 months. I love them. I convinced my husband that if we recarpeted we would have to do it again when we sell (about 7 years from now). We don't have a dog now (sigh) and think they are a sturdy investment.

    All that being said, I love the decor of this house Joni. Several has said it is too stage---would like to hear more discussion on that. I understand not showing lots of personal things in these sorts of photos. Are some of you implying that the house is impersonal beyond that?

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  45. Hi Joni-

    Your well-balanced post was particularly interesting--and this is a handsome, desirable house.

    I'm especially impressed with the low-key neutral background created by the designer. It's not too pushed, not trying for a cliche 'look'.

    In the images you show, the house is not over-styled or over-staged. That's appealing, as well. Fortunate, indeed, is the person who acquires this house. When they arrive with their books, armfuls of fresh flowers, and paper bags of organic fruit and vegetables, wine, and other pantry delights--and some nice fresh white cotton sheets--they will be happy, indeed. www.thestylesaloniste.com

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  46. What beautiful pictures, it is always fun getting to see a nicely decorated house on the market...love the living room and the wall color in the office. Thanks!

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  47. Exceptional home!


    Paint colors PLEASE (thank you) and also.....out of 'Northern Curiosity', do homes like this one in the South have basements? (Please educate me.)

    -Brenda-

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  48. Can't believe I said good "lucks" instead of "looks"...anyway... Sue, I'm going to give some thought to biting the bullet and replacing all carpet with hardwood especially as the choice for the next several years is awful carpet or new carpet that might not look good when we want to sell.

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  49. First off, the exterior is to die for, so it was off to a good start! While I think the golf green is a little "cheesy" who am I to complain, I don't even have a back yard!?! Now, the interior is divine. I usually prefer more saturated color, however, I must say this was perfection. I was ready to move in today!

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  50. I like the front two rooms the best (although the kitchen is nice and streamlined). Love the idea of a skirted piano bench - I will remember that trick - and a floor lamp instead of a sidetable.

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  51. really gorgeous... loving Ginger Barber's rooms... the grays are so perfect!!! xoxo

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  52. oh wow - i LOVED this home. so many fabulous details - all the ones you pointed out!! the skirting on that buffet table, the seagrass floors, but those double grey doors had me at hello. and a putting green!! in west u!! almost enough to make me wish i were still in houston! ;)

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  53. Joni, your post grabbed me from the very first photo... I loved the grass...perfect grass...no brown spots! From there it kept getting better and better. Thanks so much for posting so many photos.

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  54. We're with ya, Joni. We too, wonder... "How DO people LIVE??"

    Great house... didn't even realize it was a shelf at first!

    Karla & Karrie

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  55. Refined and saftly toned, I loved this tour. Thank you!

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  56. Hi Joni,

    I am typically a lurker here, but I loved the formal living in this house. Any thoughts on what the wall color might be? I have such a hard time picking neutrals that are not too grey or too yellow....

    Thanks,
    Amy

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  57. Lovely!!!
    I've been quietly considering painting our front and back doors in our house that warm charcoal grey... and after seeing it here on their front door, it really gives me a push to do it!

    But you're right - there are really too many people out there who live in plain or boring or no-style houses!! And they're okay with it! Talk about driving me nuts! Even though my house isn't perfect now, at least I have a plan in my head! And you can kind of see it in my decor! ;-)

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  58. Ironically you know have me addicted to the Houston web site too. I noticed the mother daughter homes were still on the market. I definitely prefer the older homes to the new builds.

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  59. Great post! My vote is for LISS. I can see the book title - How to Get the LISS Look by Joni Webb.

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  60. The wall color is
    Martin Senour - Linen Weave

    for those who wanted to know!!!

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  61. The house is wonderful, I have been addicted to seagrass for a long time. Making lots of lampshades from it.

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  62. Beautiful Home! Does anyone know the color of the exterior stucco?

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  63. Can you tell me where the kitchen barstools came from? Are they antiques? I am searching for just that thing and having a difficult time finding it. They are just beautiful!

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