13 August 2009

Small Stylish Houses, Part II

A reader sent me a link to a house that I missed on my last post - Small Stylish Houses.   Well, the house is not exactly small, but it is stylish.   And it’s not a Mac Mansion – that’s even more important.  This house is located way outside the loop in an area where ranch burgers are being redone by young couples with small children.  Again, the basic premise is this:   it doesn’t take a lot of money to have a stylish house – with the advent of price friendly stores like Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel  you can get basic, good looking upholstery and add your own touches like art work and accessories.   If you can’t afford art work – buy a set of white dishes from Ikea and hang them on the wall around a mirror – a wonderful trick that I recently used on a job.   Two blogs Copy Cat Chic here  and Nick Olsen here both celebrate chic cheap and where to find it.   And I do mean chic.    Today, I will show you a few more houses – much smaller and less expensive than the usual dream worthy ones, but to me – these are just as dream worthy – because they are attainable for almost everyone.   And at the very end is a special surprise from another  reader.   Here we go:

 

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House #1:   A reader alerted me to this house:  Built in 1965 at 2400 sq. ft. – the house is sale pending for $499,000.  As always, curb appeal brings in the customers.  Is it any wonder that this house is sale pending, while dozens of similar ones are still on the market?

 

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The entry hall – gives the second clue – someone with style lives here.   A simple console – not an expensive piece at all, yet it looks fabulous here with a French ottoman under it.   I love the dark wall color which pops against the wainscot; the front door is pretty too. 

 

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Not my favorite room in the house – but it COULD be – with a rug and slips on the chairs this room would be smashing!   I love the chandelier.   OK, I know I sound like a broken record, but I just think with dining room chairs like this – they look so much more youthful with pleated skirts on them.  Obviously this owner disagrees with me.   I like how she used the space – this is actually the living room.  It’s the typical Houston ranch burger, living room, then a smaller dining room.  Today – young couples are mixing the two rooms around – putting the dining room in the living room and turning the former dining room into a study.    BTW – someone asked me if we have basements in Houston.   NO!!!!  We are close to sea level, no basements in Houston at all except in a few turn of the century houses and even those aren’t your typical northern basements. 

 

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The family room – aha!  Here is where the ottoman in the entry hall came from.  Very nice, very quiet, very chic and very doable.  Ballard Designs sells chairs just like these.  Classic French bergeres make any room look wonderful.   While the seagrass isn’t custom cut, it is big enough to still make a statement.   The bar area opens up the kitchen.  At one time there were probably overhead cabinets where the pendant lights are – but those have been removed.     All in all – very, very pretty!

 

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And looking the other way.  Nice TV treatment – hanging over a pretty painted console.   Just lovely!

 

 

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Most of the houses in this neighborhood have updated kitchens.  The owner probably removed cabinets over the bar to open up the area to the breakfast room.   Stainless appliances add a lot as does the updated granite and backsplash.  The cabinets are probably original.   What more could anyone really want or need?

 

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The cabinets over this area looking into the living room that were probably removed too.  I’ve been in this floor plan a million times – and that is how it always is.  I like the cabinets removed – it opens up the area. 

 

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Charming!  The breakfast room has a built in banquette with lots of cozy pillows.  Love the shades, the hanging shelf and the chest.   

 

 

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The master bedroom is a departure in a light blue – very serene and very soothing.  

 

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Updated bathroom with  shower and marble.  The owners probably added that center cabinet which is nice touch.  

 

 

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Cute stripes in the daughter’s room.

 

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And the son’s room.   If something looks good – why not repeat it?  

 

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The backyard.   You can see how small the house really is from this picture – the half story has two bedrooms, the master is on the first floor.   This area is called West Memorial and is heavily wooded which adds to its appeal.  But at $499,000 asking price – which I’m sure they are negotiating down somewhat – it’s a lot of house for the money. 

 

 

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House #2:    This area is called Briargrove and it is much closer to town than the above house, but still outside the inner loop.  Hugely popular with young families just starting out, the small ranch is typical for the neighborhood.    Many of these smaller houses are being torn down  and replaced with, you got it – Mac Mansions!  UGGGGGH.    Charming curb appeal. 

 

 

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Built in 1960, at 3100 sq. ft, this sold last year in the $600,000s – more expensive but only because Briargrove is such a hot, sought out location near the Galleria.   The houses are exactly the same (if not smaller) as the first house in West Memorial – but because of the location they go for 100,000 to 200,000 more!  The living room is actually being used as the living room for a change!   Very tailored and pretty.  Thisssss coffee table and varieties of it are very popular in Houston – made so by Renea Abbott and Randy Powers, two very influential designers who each have their own version of  it.   I like the height of this one. 

 

 

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Grass cloth wallpaper and slipped monogrammed chairs are paired with a farm table.  

 

 

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Here it is – a typical Briargrove angled fireplace, though this was has been updated and refaced in travertine.  I am not a fan of angled furniture, but these fireplaces are hard to work with.  Myself, I would have ignored it.  This house was definitely either owned by an interior designer or one was hired.   Beautiful custom sofas with nail heads and velvet pillows.  Custom cut seagrass paired with a layered rug.  The walls are fauxed here and in the living room.    Similar tailored sofas like this could be bought at Mitchell Gold, Crate and Barrel or Lee Industries.  

 

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Typical Briargrove houses are often added on to at the back, like this.  I would suspect a previous owner used this area as a dining room.  Velvet antique armchairs and oriental console.   While this furniture is definitely upscale, copies of this chair can be found for much less than antiques.    The seagrass is custom cut – remember:  it is cheaper to cover up hardwoods with seagrass than restain them which may be advisable if you don’t plan on staying in a home longer than five years.   This couple probably knew this was just a starter home.   What a nice starter house, huh?!!!

 

 

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Updated kitchen, but not updated recently.  The black appliances say to me this was last updated in the 90s.  

 

 

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I love these chairs – I am so in love with nail heads these days!!!  But wouldn’t the cabinets look better if there was chicken wire instead of wood – or if you could see inside them?  

 

 

 

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In Briargrove houses, the master bed usually can only go in front of the window – this owner handled it nicely – framing the bed with the curtains and the shutters then become the headboard.  Very pretty.  I love that dust ruffle!

 

 

 

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The sitting room was probably another bedroom with the wall removed between them. 

 

 

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Well, I’ve never seen custom cut seagrass in a bathroom before!  Hmm.   It’s pretty, but not sure how practical.

 

 

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The daughter’s room is too adorable – I love the bedding and the canopies.  

 

 

 

 

 

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House #3:    This house is also in Briargrove.  It’s actually new construction – replacing a small ranch.  In this neighborhood, usually the houses built actually look like the former one – they are 1 1/2 stories.   This house is the most expensive and the largest one shown today, but it doesn’t fit in the usual multi million dollar fantasy category, so I am including it here because I’ve always liked the decor. 

 

 

 

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An idea at any price range – wallpaper!  How pretty this foyer is with this paper in it.   Lighted sconces can be had at any price and I think that they add so much romance and style to a house, I always encourage clients to use them.  

 

 

 

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The dining room is so pretty – but why?  The curtains!!!!   Silk can be found at any price these days – I’ve seen it for less than $20 at Glicks and High Fashion in Houston.   The rug is gorgeous, but a much cheaper seagrass would be just as pretty, IMHO!   I love this room – I know it’s higher end, but I do think it’s attainable and worth copying.  After all – this is a copy of a much more expensive room itself.  Remember this:

 

 

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A house designed by New Orleans great – Gerrie Bremermann.  I would bet my last dollar that this dining room inspired the Briargrove house shown above.   Don’t you agree?   And what a fabulous version too.  This just shows that you can get a similar high dollar look for less.   If you like this room, study this and the Briargrove room and see how you can recreate it on a tighter budget.  The biggest obstacle would be the painted chairs – but surely there are cheaper copies out there. 

 

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Simple and tailored slipped chairs at $149 might be good to replace the expensive antique painted chairs.  Here.

 

 

 

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On these chairs from Wisteria on sale for $322. might be just the ones to use!  Here.

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The family room has darling top tied curtains and pretty French chairs.  Again – Ballard Designs has a similar one at a good price.

 

 

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Pretty island – very pretty house.

 

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I love the bedroom.  Would this be hard to replicate on a budget?   The headboard is upholstered and could easily be copied.  The bench also could be sourced for a lot less.  What is so pretty in here is the mixture of the browns and the blues.   I love the armchairs (Lee Industries, Crate and Barrel) and the fabric on it.  Notice the ceiling is painted blue.  Very pretty.

 

 

 

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 Great dust ruffle – notice the blue tape on the hem, little details that add luxe.  The ceiling and bookshelves are also painted the soft blue.  Very very pretty!  I really wish I could see where this couple lives now and what their house looks like – the owner obviously has great style and taste!!!

 

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Could we duplicate the major elements this bedroom?    Here for $649 at Wisteria is a nice chair with wood legs and casters.

 

or:

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$715 at Ballard Designs

 

 

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$475 ottoman at Ballard Designs.

 

or:

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Wisteria:  coffee table ottoman - $494.  Beautiful piece of furniture.  Fabulous price.

 

 

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Headboard, king sized Ballard Designs $515

or

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$647 at Ballard Designs in chocolate velvet.

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$249 at PB in king size, what a steal!  Slipcovered.  Urban Outfitters have velvet tufted headboards for extra cheap prices too. 

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For the end of the bed:  $249 at Ballards.    I do think you could recreate the bedroom on a budget – as long as the colors were right.  The important parts to get right are the  headboard and the chair fabric!  

 

 

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Again, the wallpaper makes the room.  But the owner went a step further and made shades and the shower curtain out of matching fabric.  When looking for wallpaper – check the back of the book to see if they have matching fabric.  It adds such a nice finishing touch.  Love the antique bench too!

 

 

 

 

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Great study – this is the same carpet that Sally Wheat used in her house.   Love the curtains.   Really nice space for the man of the house.

 

 

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Back patio – pretty and low key.

 

 

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House #4:  Built in 1956 with 32oo sq. ft. (though the garage was made into a playroom) this house is technically not in Briargrove or Tanglewood, but in Del Monte.  This is still for sale in the low $700,000s.  Again, the location accounts for the extra $200,000 tacked onto the price compared to the first home IMHO.    I’ve had my eye on this for a long time but never could fit it into a story – until today.   I’m surprised this hasn’t sold before now, but it was recently reduced, so good luck to the owners.  I’m thinking the owner is an interior designer.  They are a young couple with young children.  I’m anxious to know where they are moving to!    As usual, curb appeal sets the stage.   Just charming.

 

 

 

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The front door looks the same as the one in the first house.  I love these long wooden benches we’ve seen today.   Here, the walls look like they are a creamy white.  I’m sure it’s a Martin Senour paint though.  This house has the Houston Designer Look – and Martin Senour is the paint they all use.  Myself, I use Pratt and Lambert. 

 

 

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I don’t know why - but I love this room.   I wonder why?   ha!     First there is a simple, but beautifully made sofa.  This is custom – not Pottery Barn folks.  I can tell just by the way the skirt casually drapes the floor – just beautiful.   And it’s not slipcovered – it’s a waterfall skirt – made to look like a slip, but it’s not – you can tell by the gathered arms.   Beautiful ticking fabric – looks like it might be Rogers and Goffigon.  The chair and ottoman might be slipped – they probably are.  Simple chest with blue and white porcelains and a French chair.  The blinds are not Target – they are the real deal, tortoise bamboo blinds.  Beautiful custom cut seagrass and a wonderful muted screen.  The person who lives here likes quality.  And she is waiting for it.  She is not going to junk up her house with just anything.  If she can’t afford it now, she will wait for it.   This is Carol Glasser style decorating.   I’m jealous of a person like this because I always want it all NOW and I don’t like to wait, so I junk up my house with things I can afford instead of saving for what I really want.   Lesson to be learned here.   I realize you are probably looking at this and think I am crazy – but I understand this.  To me – this is beautiful, quiet, first class, casual and youthful Houston decorating at its’ best.  And trust me – in a few years this room will be full of stuff.    She’s just waiting.  

 

 

 

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Well, you know I love this too – a skirted table made out of what looks like Bennison roses in blue.  I love the way the skirt is sewn – just like Pam Pierce would do it.  And the chairs are beautiful – Os de Mouton.   I love the silver candelabras on pedestals.  Where’s the mirror?   It’s coming, trust me.   She just hasn’t found the perfect one yet or is waiting until the nest egg gets a little bigger.  Same with the chandelier. 

 

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And look what I have found – reproduction Os de Mouton chairs for just $395.  WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Here.   Don’t say I’m not nice to you!

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The charming eat-in kitchen with a loooooooong table that doubles as an island.  All the upper cabinets were removed to make room for a glorious window that is the focal point of the room.   Wonderful.  I love all the botanicals and ironstone.  Through the door you can see what was once the garage and is now a huge playroom for the kids.

 

 

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Instead of upper cabinets – two antique doors were added to create pantries.   Wonderful idea!  

 

 

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Another view.   You can see the other screen door pantry on the left. 

 

 

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I die!  The rug!!!!!!!  OMG – I love this rug.   OK – here she is filling in until she can really furnish the family room.  But I love the Pottery Barn sofa.   It looks great with the rug and the coffee table.  In the future two club chairs are probably coming in and curtains with tortoise blinds.   She has a great foundation to work with.    I wish I could see what her new house is going to look like.   I love her style.

 

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The powder room – notice the cute hanging light fixture in the mirror.   Quiet, simple, very nice.

 

 

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The master bedroom, all white bedding and again no headboard – no one uses headboards anymore!   The custom cut seagrass is perfection.  I love how it just hugs the wall.  Beautiful curtains.   And I like the dark furniture.    I would have painted this room very dark gray/brown, but that’s just me.  

 

 

 

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OK – how cute is this??  Lavender.  And did you even notice it’s a wicker daybed, probably from PB?   I love this more than I can say!  And notice the cute slipcovered chair in lavender.  The bolsters are divine.  And finally there is a darling little chandy for the little princess!

 

 

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If I lived here, I would make this my master bedroom and turn one of the bedrooms into a playroom.   You could add on a bathroom and closet.  That’s what I would do – it’s too nice of  space to waste on a playroom!!!!!

 

 

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The back yard is so big.  You can see the playroom right there with all the windows  - and you can see to the left where you could add on a bathroom to make it a master suite.  That’s what I do would if I owned this.    Lesson to take from this house:  if you can, if you have the willpower – wait, wait wait to get what you really want instead of wasting money on inferior quality just because that’s all you can afford now.  I need to write this lesson down and repeat it every morning when I wake up:   “Wait, wait, wait for that Bennison.  Wait for those ‘real’ tortoise shades.  Wait, wait, wait.”   I think Mr. Slipper Socks Man will like my new attitude, if it lasts.

 

 

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House #5:  This house is in Briargrove – built in 1957, 3200 sq. ft. – this is currently for sale about the same as the above house.   The yard is much smaller but the neighborhood is considered just a bit more prestigious.  

 

 

 

 

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Small living room with an even smaller dining room that is now an office.  I like the gray paint and the zebra and the armoire.   Something about white slipcovered furniture just attracts me like a moth to the proverbial flame.  I need to get over this!!!!!

 

 

 

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Aw, there it is – the corner brick fireplace.   Half the houses or more in Briargrove have this distinctive feature.     I like how they handled the fireplace – ignored it!  It’s so hard to decorate around.   The only other solution would be to flank chairs – which would be nice in the winter.  The area behind the sofa was all added on which is typical of these small houses.

 

 

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The two chairs just walked across the room!  I love that Buffet a deux and notice the child sized chair under the coffee table.  I like to use chairs like that in living rooms.    I think I would have added curtains to this space to soften up the hard edges.  As it is now, it’s hard to distinguish the outside porch from the living area, don’t you think?

 

 

 

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Totally new kitchen –  pretty. 

 

 

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Love this table and chairs and the chandelier – love that!  Again – the French Os de Mouton chair which really is so beautiful. 

 

 

 

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Love this – I adore the headboard which is really a huge antique trumeau.  This is a great idea to duplicate with a large oversized mirror – it doesn’t have to be antique.  I also like the side chests and the dust ruffle which matches the curtains.    

 

 

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I am a sucker for toile.  I know, I know!   Get over that too!!!  But I can’t.  I love this wallpaper. 

 

 

And finally, the last house today.   I received a sweet email from a reader – Jenny Hayden.  Jenny, like me is from Houston but, poor thing, she and her husband moved to Ft. Worth.   I know, I know, Ft.  Worth is a great town, but Houston is better!!!!!   ha ha!!!   Jenny writes that she is a young married woman with a 2 year old very active little boy.  She really enjoyed the Small Stylish House post and could totally relate to it.  She lives in a small house – much smaller than those shown today.   I won’t even tell you what they paid for it – you’d be green with envy, that’s all I’ll say.   Jenny has been busy decorating for the past few years and wanted to show me her house – she thought I would like it.   I think you’ll understand why!!!

 

 

 

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Jenny’s charming cottage in Ft. Worth.  Isn’t this adorable?  I love the chairs and look at her mail box below:

 

 

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What a  cute idea!  A basket for the mail.    Originally Jenny only sent me two pictures of her house and I asked her to take a few more.  She didn’t have time to style anything and she was quick to tell me her better things are in her storage shed until her son gets a little older – right now he is a tornado on two legs.  

 

 

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Isn’t this wonderful???????    The sofa came from PB and the chairs were inherited.  The shades are from PB too.   I love the dark hardwoods and the color on the walls – it really makes all the white pop.  And the plates are great!    It looks like they are white antique ironstone – which is really affordable at flea markets and antique malls.   I love her console table and the large mirror paired with it.   And facing the sofa – you can barely see it  - is the mirrored dresser from Z Gallerie.  What a charming room.  Jenny told me she is dying to get custom cut seagrass but she needs to first convince her husband.   Actually this looks nice as it is, IMHO.   I think this truly illustrates – it doesn’t take  a lot of money to decorate with style.  This is magazine worthy – I could see this room pictured in Country Living or Romantic Homes. 

 

 

 

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You can see the TV and the dresser in this picture.    Here is the Z Gallerie one:

 

 

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Everything is on sale -  at least 20% off  - now at Z Gallerie.   So if you like this, now is your chance here.

 

 

 

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Jenny got so flustered about being in the blog, that she didn’t concentrate on her pictures, hence the cut off chandelier.  We forgive you this time Jenny!!!!  But it does look cute with rattan shades.    The monogrammed slips on the  chairs with the cute pine table look great and I love the creamy plaque on the wall.

 

 

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Granite and stainless – amazing!!  I wish I could tell you how much this house cost!!!!  You’d be stunned this quality came with the price tag.  And this is a really nice neighborhood too. 

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Rustic antique piece in the entry paired with a  pretty mirror and an Aidan Gray lamp – I know because I have that exact lamp myself!!!

 

 

 

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Nice, nice, nice – beautiful!!!!   White shades, one mirrored chest and one skirted table – no headboard either!   And beautiful Aidan Gray lamps.   The mirror is the perfect size – just perfect!  You’ve done a great job Jenny – you should be very proud!!!!

 

 

 

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Picket fence, too cute.  A little patio area off the kitchen. 

 

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Jenny said when they moved here, she wanted to get rid of the shed immediately.  But it’s air conditioned and has electricity and is now a little hideout!   All I can see are the possibilities.  I would knock out the front wall and put in a large double French door and make it look this:

 

 

 

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Isn’t this adorable?  

 

 

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Or this – too cute!

 

 

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Or Jenny can turn it into a office – there are so many possibilities – I wish I had room in my backyard for a garden shed.    Thank you so much Jenny for sending in pictures of your house – it is too adorable and you did a great job on it!   If anyone else out there has turned a bungalow into a chic place – send in your pictures and let us all enjoy your hard work.  

 

Next – I did some virtual shopping, looking for bargains with a great look.  Here is what I came up with today.

 

Chic Finds On the Cheap:

 

 

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I almost flipped at these prices – $ 799 for a chair and an ottoman!  It’s painted black – but for those prices, you could just paint it white.  What a deal!!!    here.

 

 

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At $159 – a pair of these would be great as nightstands or to flank a window in a living room.  Here.

 

 

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A marble top!  I would remove the bottom glass shelf.  But wouldn’t this be great in an entry hall?   All different sizes under $249!!! here.

 

 

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At $ 749 – this would be wonderful in a living room, bedroom or foyer.  I love the lines, here.

 

 

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If $749 is too high, how about $399?  Here.

 

 

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A real suzani ottoman, $279!!!  Here.

 

 

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OK – this is on sale for $12.98!!!!!!!!!!  These would be great tables at the side of club chairs – I’d use two in a room.  Unreal price – can it be correct?  Here.

 

 

 

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It’s a dining table with a leaf, but I would use it as a desk too!   The price?  $249.   Let me know what it is wrong with it??????  It is just too cheap.   Here.

 

 

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If you can’t afford zebra or are against them on principle, get a graphic black and white look with this rug from West Elm:  $200 - $600.  Ikea has a great wool rug similar to this for even less.  Visual Vamp bought one herself.    Here.

 

 

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Cute outdoor lantern – I would bring it inside and use it in a family room, hallway or I would put a pair in a bathroom.  Love this!  Here.  $79.

 

 

Wisteria is without a doubt my favorite catalogue.  The Newsoms have great taste and they get extra help with their designs from mother Jane Moore, one of the better interior designers in Houston!     Almost everything I like is now on sale at Wisteria – hurry.   

 

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Beautiful sconces from Wisteria – these look like antiques, but are just $119.  Here.

 

 

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The best looking lantern for the price I’ve seen – and look how big it is  - just $249!!!!  Here.

 

 

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On sale for $1614 now – unreal price.   In the stores you would pay double or triple for this style.    Here. 

 

 

 

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This is on sale now too for $1118.   In the stores – you couldn’t find something this inexpensive with such a great look.  Here.

 

 

 

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I love this for a coffee table – two together would be adorable.  On sale for $419 here.

 

 

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Perfect Gustavian chair with checked fabric – just $187 – I know I keep saying it, but this is a steal!!!!!!  Here.

 

 

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A tall lamp at  $229, much cheaper than the similar Aidan Gray ones.   For the table and there is a floor model below.  Here.

 

 

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I would flank a sofa with these two floor lamps.  And I love that green chest, it’s on sale too. 

 

 

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And finally, loyal reader Linda, Belle’s Mom, sent me this from Wisteria – a true replica of the French ladder from their main library.  I’ve lusted over the original for years but couldn’t afford one – this is a great copy!  Just $124 here.

I hope you’ve gotten plenty of ideas today for ways to create a stylish home on a budget.  These items from Wisteria and other catalogues show us all that there is plenty of merchandise available to get a look without spending a small fortune.   Unless of course you want to follow me on my new adventure:  Wait, wait, wait -  for the real deal!   Don’t buy junk just to fill in when you can’t afford what you really wantSave up for quality.    Somehow, I don’t think this is going to last very long.  It’s just not my nature to wait.   I have a secret:  I really don’t care about having the finest – I just like the “look” and the cheaper the better for me!!!!  Quantity over quality seems to be my motto.   Ssssshhhhhhhh!!!!!

86 comments:

  1. These pictures give me an adrenaline RUSH. I'm still recovering!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Joni, This is another fabulous post! Thank you. Thank you.

    Your comments are so helpful and the houses you show are going to inspire so many of us.

    I want to make one cautionary comment. I live in Dallas and have made 3 or 4 trips out to the Wisteria Outlet. The outlet often includes items (furniture and accessories)from the current catalog. Everything is stylish and even unusual. It photographs beautifully. Unfortunately, some of it is not very high quality--which becomes evident when you see it in person. The friend who goes out to the outlet with me agrees. I think their things would work fine as a stop gap measure--but most of their pieces are not forever pieces. In fact, when you see them in person, some of the prices seem quite high.

    I hope you don't think I'm too negative. I'm not trying to be--but I don't want people to think that they are buying high quality pieces. I've bought some things there myself. But many of them I would not have.

    Keep going with these affordable houses with good design. I think you are really on to something. I enjoyed the recent Round Table discussion also.

    Susan Daniel, Dallas

    ReplyDelete
  3. I live in Grapevine (close to Dallas) and I've been to the Wisteria Outlet as well and LOVE IT. It's like anything when you are shopping for furniture; you have to look closely at each piece and evaluate where it's going to be plsvrf and how often it's going to be used. If it's an entry piece and is really "for show" then that's great. If it's a bedroom piece and you will be opening and shutting drawers frequently, etc. then it's not such a good idea. I've found some incredible finds at the outlet store and their painted pieces inspire me. Here's the address to the outlet store - 2055 Luna Road, Suite 182 | Carrollton, TX 75006 | (972) 919-3622.

    Happy Shopping to all!
    DecRenew.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. So much here to enjoy, love looking at other homes...Love House #1. The paint color choices were terrific. Love the lavander girls room too, so serene. And love, love that little shed!

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  5. Oh my gosh Joni, thank you so much for spotlighting these homes. They are gorgeous and so REAL. I live in a very small house, much smaller than these even, so it's nice to see how others decorate small spaces. Thanks for proving that small can be great.

    Janet

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  6. Really loved these small, stylish house posts, Joni. So much inspiration here! My mind is boggled, yet again, at how much you manage to fit into every post. As a blogger, I know how long it takes to find-save-organize-and-upload photos, so I truly appreciate all of the time and effort you put into these.

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  7. Ruth Staalsen put it well---I agree with what she said about the Wisteria pieces. I think it is a wonderful company--but you get what you pay for--and sometimes pay too much for.

    As an explanation--I'm sort of like the young homeowener Joni profiled. I think carefully (most of the time) about things I bring into my home. I try to buy forever things--and I'm willing to wait.

    I have bought some fun accessories at the Wisteria Outlest---wire baskets and votive holders and I've had my eye on some of their lamps for guest bedrooms.

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  8. You've done it again Joni. This post was fantastic! Keep showing us how real people live. It's so inspirational. My small coastal town doesn't even have MacMansions! I am really loving these homes because they are doable. Thanks!

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  9. Oh, and I guess my real point is that it is difficult to evaluate a piece of furniture from just a catalog photo. I get the Wisteria catalog and savor it. Seeing the pieces in person is sometimes an eye opener.

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  10. Joni
    I hope you know how much we all appreciate how much time and effort you put into your posts! I spend more time reading your blog than I do reading the several design magazines that I get. I usually just browse the magazines for photos, but I read every word of the blog. And of course, love the pictures too!
    Thanks!

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  11. Joni, I love houses 1, 3, and 4! This is such a great round up. At first, I thought the first house was in Briargrove because the layout is identical to a tutoring client's house. Thanks for another great post!

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  12. Great Post! There is just something so inspiring about REAL people in REAL homes. I love the great ones too but it gets depressing sometimes (especially when your obsessed with design and beautiful homes). It is so much fun to peak inside those homes and see some real life ideas! Thanks a million.
    Bethany

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  13. Just a note: I realize these are not "small" houses - I did note that these are larger than the last post - but these are still quite smaller than the usual big houses I show (which I am getting ready to show another one soon!)

    so - while my own home is just under 3,000 sq ft - I realize that is huge to some people and quite small to others. Like my mom says - there will always be someone richer than you and someone poorer. Whatever THAT means!!!!!

    Joni

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  14. ditto what Beth said. I keep coming back and looking at these GREAT pic`s. you have given me hope, maybe I can have a beautiful room on a budget. your the best.

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  15. *Some of my thoughts while reading today's INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS, ENLIGHTENING & FUN blog, if I may:

    ..."Joni suuuure puts ALOT of time into these uber charming, wonderful a*n*d informative blogs for us~~ we need to make sure we THANK HER~ and MORE OFTEN!"...

    ..."I'm always surprized ("shock n' awe!") at how much one gets for their money 'where Joni lives'"! Such unbelievably great prices for thoroughly super & gracious homes! (I truly WOULD love to live in Houston~ and I ADOOORE all your greeeeen grass there!!!"...

    ..."Wish I'd have known anywhere NEAR what these 'younger' gals TODAY know, when I was THEIR age! Their design skills are outrageously good, & I wish I could watch them develop their tastes even more as the years go by. Such TALENT! Such keen senses of style!"...

    ..."It took me until just recently to FINALLY realize the benefits of 'waiting' for the 'right' piece~ the one that SPEAKS to me & gently says "Linnnnda, take me hommmme". We are donating soo much to charities NOW, because I just COULDN'T wait FOR 'the RIGHT pieces' (which I'm NOW starting to FIND!), & our storage garages are overflowing w/ proof of my temporary purchases... 'Lesson learned!'"...

    ..."Since my recent, NEWFOUND ability to "WAIT" (no, I'm not on drugs or anything!), my sweetest has graciously granted me the JOYS of totally redoing our "newer" bedroom. VERY SOON, HOPEFULLY within 10 more days, the lovely-but-not-"us" travertine FP wall in our bedroom will be gone, & will be totally redone in natural, Yavapai Ledge Stone, w/ a custom, hand-distressed mesquite mantel, hardwood floors, new drapes, rug/s, paint (1st color choice doesn't "work"), etc. I'm STILL in flux re bed n' such. The new chairs arrive tomorrow tho, along w/ a terrific, "SO US" table for between them, too!". Now THIS is FUN!!!...and worth WAITING FOR to do it "the right way"!...

    At the risk of sounding "strange", I've gotta say "I just LOVE ya, Joni!"~~~Coming here is ALWAYS a SHEER, UBER DELIGHT that I anxiously await & have even LEARNED to be patient & WAIT til I have the appropriate amount of TIME to read & totally absorb EVERYTHIING you show & write!!!

    (I apologize for this semi-book, but maybe you'll feel a LITTLE better knowing I went back thru & edited A BUNCH MORE!)...

    You are SO GENEROUS w/ us all, & I thank you, Joni! (AND, for the honor of being mentioned at the end of your blog!!! What an incredibly delightful surprize~ Shall I charge for autographs?)~

    Big smiles, grins, hugs and THANKS,
    Linda *

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  16. Beautiful homes again, Joni. Lots of takeaway ideas. I especially like the master with the creamy crown moulding and blue ceiling... great colors in that room. And I think I'm with you on using that big playroom as the master bedroom and sending the kids somewhere else! They won't appreciate that view ;) !!

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  17. I am getting tired of sounding like a broken record but this is a fabulous post and once again you have done a wonderful job pointing out things I would have never noticed. You girls in Texas sure do know how to decorate. xoxo, NB

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  18. Joni,

    I am crazy in love with your Stylish Small House posts and encouraging everyone that it doesn't take a millionare's budget to have a home that exudes style. This is so much more me than the McMansions, although I enjoy those too. These posts are much closer to home. Like you, I have had a constant obsession with white slipcovered furniture for some time, even though I am still in the market for purchasing it, and going back and forth trying to decide between Lee Industries, Quatrine and a local custom shop. And I adore Jenny's home here in my area. So sweet and perfect!

    As always, your posts are part education, part inspiration and always entertaining!

    ~ Victoria

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  19. Something about house #4 speaks to me. I love the idea of someone who is waiting for quality - who knows what she wants, but won't settle until the right thing comes along. I try to do that...although sometimes I just get tired of waiting and get a decent substitute. Sometimes I will find exactly the right thing, but think about it for too long, and it will sell (usually antiques).

    Great post! You are a floor plan expert. Now, can you look at the floor plan I sent to you????? Please? ;)

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  20. Joni....please STOP posting these gorgeous pictures!!!! It makes me want to throw out everything I have and start over....not gonna happen in this lifetime. Seriously, I can always count on you to find and post the most gorgeous inspirational homes and the ones you've featured on your small stylish posts are the best I've ever seen. I keep going back reading and re-reading them. In fact, I've saved many of the photos in my favorites file.

    Keep up the good work and if you ever find yourself in Alabam-y, give me (and Rhoda) a call.

    Hugs!
    Judy

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  21. I'm enjoying these two "Small Stylish Houses" posts and hope this becomes a regular feature on your blog! Deborah

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  22. i'm loving these posts on small space style. i love the coziness of a smaller house

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  23. I just came across your blog recently and thoroughly enjoy it! As a native Houstonian (Hedwig Village) transplanted to Austin, I really love seeing all these houses and knowing where they are.

    Plus, I LOVE the style and elegance of your posts and the fact that you offer bargain-hunting ideas is just the icing.

    Thanks!

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  24. Once again, WOW! You are just amazing and all I can say it THANK YOU!!!! Such envy, I do feel.

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  25. Wow, Joni, love these small "real" house posts...Thank you!!!

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  26. Hi! This is "alert reader"! I understand Jenny being flustered, I was so excited to see the house that I sent you on today's blog. I gleefully called my sister, a fellow cotedetexas enthusiast, right away!

    I applaud you for taking the time to highlight old non McMansions. I

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  27. Beautiful Joni, just beautiful. I'm in absolute love with the axis hide carpeting ... it's everywhere in staircase runners, this is the first time I've seen it in full on room carpeting and I will say this: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, Santa! :) Thanks for your super kind compliments on the remodel of the "model" ... I enjoyed it - though shopping for the perfect accessories, furniture and bedding for a 700 sq. ft. apartment on $3,000 ... impossible. Well, not entirely, but you know what I mean! :)

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  28. Love, love, love this series! Another inexpensive style element to copy from House #4 is in the kitchen. Butcher block countertops (from IKEA, even) are dirt cheap and SOOO much nicer than laminate while you're saving for your honed marble. Also, I love her placement of the counter depth fridge so that it looks almost built-in.

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  29. Nancy - I swear I never noticed that about the refrig. you are SO right!! I did the same thing myself and it IS a great trick.

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  30. This has to be one of my favorite posts of yours - real houses for real people (well, real people with more reasonable salaries anyway). I love to see what they did with these "old gals" (I should be careful at THIS "old gal" was also "built" in 1957). There are so many teardowns - friends of ours bought a new house in Bunker Hill next door to another new house - both houses were originally a single lot with a sprawling ranch - I do wonder what it had looked like. My friend's husband jokes that he had to buy two houses - the one that was torn down and the one that was built on the site.

    The room with wallpaper/fabrics in the same pattern is something you see a LOT in the UK. It's a cozy look with interest in texture. Love that look.

    Thanks again - very fun post to dig my teeth into.

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  31. Joni, Thanks for another inspiring post. The curb appeal on house #1 is dream house worthy,love house #4's kitchen and Jenny's house is so cute.

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  32. Hi Joni, love how you showcased all the unsaid heroes (along with the good and that which could be better-- love your honesty!). i received the lovliest compliment from one of your local readers! they said my dining room reminded them of the smaller, chic houses you were featuring today! imagine that?! your flawless taste must really be having an impact on my choices! thanks for all the glory you bring to our design sense. xo

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  33. Here you go again! I've loved these posts on these houses. I stand amazed at the detail you include with every picture. Love it!!
    marcie

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  34. Really enjoyed this series. Bravo Joni!

    Dee

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  35. Thanks for posting the houses and giving us all your thoughts on the design behind them. So much great information. Love it!

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  36. Ehh. It was an ok post.I guess.







    Geez Louise!THAT was fun...I am loving your "regular" house stalking. LOVING it! More...more.

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  37. Well what can I say! I am very refreshed seeing these homes which are just as beautiful, comfortable and attractive as some of the most expensive homes. Further to this, out of all the houses I have ever owned, it was the smallest one (and it was really very tiny) that I loved the most ...it doesn't take that much space to house the soul!

    kind regards
    Becca Madden

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  38. So many beautiful homes---how does one choose?!? I think the facade of the very first home might just be my favorite. Although the toile bathroom further down gives it a run for its money. I'm overwhelmed in the best of ways. Fantastic post!!!
    XX Kate "the NEO-trad"

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  39. I thank you so much for your thoughtful and prolific blogging. Your sharing is adding beauty & grace to Earth in a real and substantive way. To quote Carlos Santana upon receiving his fifth Grammy of the night several years ago, "God Bless you & your family."

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  40. Ok, I've been reading your blog for awhile now after my sister got me addicted (I think you've been e-mailing her and helping her with decor advice..which is really quite nice considering how busy you must be!). I'm from Houston, but living in Austria now with my husband (and not working because I don't know German yet) so these blogs are SO nice to read...especially yours. I love being able to peek inside people's homes. After recently starting a blog myself, I can appreciate how much time you put into this. So, thank you...for making my days full! :)

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  41. I love this post Joni...and I'm with you on the cheap chic thing...but like you, love a quality piece mixed in.

    Only in Texas would these homes be called "small" lol.

    Thanks for all your notes, I hear your accent now when I read your blog- charming:)

    Best,
    Michelle

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  42. Dear Joni,

    So, so kind of you to share your expertise. All those houses you like probably got their ideas from you! Hope you are having a great day.

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  43. JONI!! I have read this post 3 times...already today... and its not even noon! WOW! ... just WOW... and thank
    you from all of us!!

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  44. Jomi- This post is as fantastic as all your other post. I love the first home and I amost died when I saw the stripe rug. The City Escapes Series is on today, stop by when you can.

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  45. amazing post!!!! I need to write "wait, wait, wait" on post-its and stick them all over my house.

    come see the great lantern I found last week for my dining room! I'm SO EXCITED about it!

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  46. Great post, ALMOST makes me want to go out shopping for a new house!
    Janell

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  47. I completely agree with Julia (HoH)! I love these posts too. The last one was actually what inspired me to do some real estate stalking to find some descent Scandinavian interiors! I'm a big fan of your blog! :D

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  48. Joni,
    The biggest reason why that dining room desperately needs skirts on the chairs is because entire matched sets like that look so boring without more fabric on the chairs!! You definitely called it!

    It's so sad what one can buy for $500,000 there compared to what you would get here (a crappy townhouse). That is how expensive Vancouver is!!

    I love the curb appeal of that first house, so beautiful!!

    Great post Joni!
    Maria

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  49. Wonderful! Wonderful! Wonderful post! Thanks for the inspirations!

    I'd love to see you post about upcoming trends! What the next best thing on the horizon? For example, stainless steel appliance have been "hot" for several years-- starting out as available to only the affluent, but now are affordable for most budgets -- that usually means a trend is on its way "out." Are people going to start making fun of my slipcovers and chocolate colored walls soon?

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  50. All the homes are so fantastic, but I think house #4 stole my heart, what with that fantastic eat-in kitchen!

    I too, struggle with the "wait for great" thing...Instant gratification, that's me! These homes give me hope, though, that waiting is soooo worth it!

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  51. well, this might be one of my favorite posts you've done. Living in 1800 sq feet has definitely turned me on to budget decorating. I'm never too shy to dumpster dive either.

    your links are invaluable. Great job my friend!

    xox
    M

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  52. Love it, love it!!!!
    Thank you for your wonderful insight and fantastic design ideas:)

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  53. Love it, Joni! We have 2300 sq. ft. and these posts have been just wonderful :) Thanks!!!

    And JENNY! Girl you've done an amazing job with your home! You've really created a great look, and your house definitely fits into Joni's Small & Stylish camp. Well Done!

    XO,
    Jacci

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  54. Joni I really enjoy this series on small houses can you keep this a recurring theme say once a month? This is very inspiring wish you could do this in Dallas we'll be heading back and would love to get a small house for me and hubby empty nesters

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  55. Another great post..I really have enjoyed these homes! Love all of the inspiration also..I'm trying to put our place together now so it really helps:0) I have a dining table similar to the $249.oo one for free a couple years ago! Someone was giving it away on their curb- it was an ugly yellow pine color and we refinished it in a dark walnut finish. We got it about 2 weeks before Christmas so I always say that it was my Christmas gift from God! (we were in desperate need of a dining table at that time) Thanks for another great post!

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  56. I really love this post and I totally agree n the McMansions.

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  57. Loved this post. I'm a big small house and garden shed fan, and like shopping for bargains as much as the next gal. (My clients like when I find them buys, too!)

    Thanks for another great posting!

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  58. Oh you know i am all over this (you know my orignal BHG article was called "chic on a shoestring!");; love it..good job Joni..so proud of you for going to the cheap side for us young moms that adore your blog...

    BUT..i am not sure about this no headboard thing?? i am trying to get that but just not sure;;;

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  59. The best post to date and that's quite an accomplishment. Love your choices, love your comments, love the tips, the links, the whole shebang. I'm so glad you're in Houston.

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  60. * Joni~ A quickie note for you... My 2 thick, delicious chairs, & table to go in between them (for MBR), were (fiiinally) delivered today~~~~ I AM soooo GLAD I LIVED thru the 8 week WAIT to get them made! Yippee ~ this "LEARNING/PRACTICING PATIENCE" thing is SOOO "paying off"!!! I am a HAPPY CAMPER TODAY!!! Happy smiles!!!
    ***Love, Linda ***

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  61. Joni, could you tell me Jenny's paint color? I would so appreciate it.

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  62. I've really enjoyed your small(ish) house posts. It's refreshing to see great design on a realistic scale. Thanks.

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  63. WOW! are all homes in houston this beautiful? our real estate in columbia, sc (even charleston) doesn't compare!!! i love your style though, so i'm partial :)

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  64. WOW! The pictures were all SO amazing!!! I loved them all...

    If you get a chance, stop by my Blog for a visit and say hi! I just put up a new post today.
    Have a great weekend,
    Aimee

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  65. House #1 is my favorite and unfortunately if it was in Vancouver it would sell for more than three times over! Crazy market! What a dream...It is beautiful from the outside down to the smallest details inside.
    Great post Joni!

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  66. Super informative post! But I'm a little worried: as an antiques/decorative arts dealer, there is no way in the world that I can compete with Wisteria et al price point. At the same time, I know that what I offer has more depth--but these pieces offer amazing beauty and value.

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  67. Great post. The only comment I would make though is about Wisteria whose website i used a lot for the lowest budget rooms in my design projects......until..... I found my products such as jose Esteves Brocante chandelier entirely made of antique silverware on Wisteria Website for a fraction of the cost! of course made most probably in China and certainly not with real silverware. Can't they get creative themselves or is it us small designers and manufacturers that have to front the cost of new and creative ideas. the other day i received the new restoration Hardware catalog and yet again our lights and tables are in there. The New York Times once had a cover story as to where Pottery barn, Crate and Barrel get their inspirations....guess where?...at our New york Interieurs showroom . I do not call it flattery anymore....

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  68. Love your blog! As the owner of one of those old inner loop bungalows, I've especially enjoyed your posts on small stylish houses. Your blog is such an inspiration for me in creating my own "small stylish" home. Love my small old home with all of its charm, character and yes, quirks!
    Love your advice and philosophy of decorating. I totally agree that a fabulous home is attainable even if you don't have an unlimited budget!!
    Thanks for sharing your passion.

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  69. carolineinbethesdaAugust 15, 2009 at 8:39 AM

    I'm from Washington DC and look at a lot of real estate listings, and for the most part, people here have very little taste or imagination. I am always impressed with the style y'all have in Houston!

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  70. Another great one! I ADORE the first house. I also really appreciate seeing how these homes managed to do different paint colors in some rooms- I've been second guessing my different paint colors!

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  71. Another great one! I ADORE the first house. I also really appreciate seeing how these homes managed to do different paint colors in some rooms- I've been second guessing my different paint colors!

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  72. Lovely post, Joni! It's nice to know there are at least a few other people out there besides you who have good taste!

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  73. This was a wonderful post! These girls are emulating the best, not going for the "model home" look and filling their homes with junk!
    Some have spent more money than others yet they all have the LOOK going on. You can get this look from resale stores, antique malls, and estate sales if you have the time and are patient enough. The key is waiting for the right pieces. It sure is easy to say "wait", but now I need to have a garage sale and get rid of my junk!

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  74. A delightful plethora of expert advice! Please share a little secret with your readers - Houston does have quite a few homes with basements! Those of us who have them (our homes were built in the 20's and 30's)have turned them into: wine cellars,mechanical rooms (alarm systems,camera monitering,furnaces,hot water heaters),"safe rooms",etc. The Staub home you featured in a post (Mother/daughter homes for sale)has a basement which extends the full length and width of the house! The basements are serviced by either a sump pump and/or special drainage in case of flooding. Our homes were built with pier/beam construction (a must for a basement)which allows the home to shift (like a ship on the ocean)in the gumbo soil Houston is known for. No cracked foundations! No cracked plaster walls!

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  75. Mary (the antiques/decorative interiors shop owner)--Don't worry. You are not competing with Wisteria. They make stylish copies--but that is what they are. There are plenty of people who will want the real thing.

    I don't think there is a thing in the world wrong with copies---but they will not stand up for years and years of use. They are perfect for the woman/man who wants to change her look every few years and get all new things.

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  76. I love it when you are my personal shopper. Thank you for showing us the vignettes and then where to buy!

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  77. Joni..loving the small house series!!! Okay..dumb question.. ( I am from Ohio..so bear with).. How do you clean and maintain seagrass?? I am so in love with the look now! want to put a seagrass rug in my entry way or maybe my laundry room ..

    On to the houses... really..Why are people doing away with headboards.. ??? .. House #3 speaks to me out of this series.. LOVE the master bedroom.. printed the pic as I am looking for a way to configure my (new) furniture ( WHEN ) i purchase it!!! House #4 LOVE the kitchen and the idea of that wonderful long table..I can picture all my neices and nephews there in the summer shucking corn, playing games with Grandpa.. ... Love it!

    Thanks again!! soon.. I will update my posts..have been SWAMPED at work.. REAL ESTATE IS PICKING UP FOLKS!!!!!

    Great weekend to everyone! :)

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  78. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  79. Thank you so much for these series of posts. As a newlywed, it is so inspiring to see these homes. I've been forcing myself to go slow and try to buy quality pieces and these posts reforce to me that I should take my time and buy things that are quality (well, I should say quality for me, because they will still be relatively inexpensive in the design world), and get a plan for the whole house so it looks cohesive. But I won't have to go broke doing it. Thank you again. I can only imagine how much time these posts take for you to put together.

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  80. Joni- What a great post. As always truly inspiring. It is great to be reminded that sometimes waiting is the best option! Lord knows it is hard, hard, hard to do. But the results are worth it.

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  81. Joni, I have tried to look at this post several times, but I never had the time to wait for all of the pictures to load. I finally decided I was going to look at this post if I had to stay up all night. Wonderful post! Of course, even after the pictures loaded, I was here FOREVER, clicking "here" and "here" and.... What fabulous finds you showed us in addition to photos of some fabulous rooms! I pride myself on finding something that I think looks similar to high end, but costs much less. I just can't stand to think of paying a large sum for something when I think I can get a similar look for less, so this post was perfection in my opinion. Occasionally, I can fool myself into thinking I have succeeded in pulling off the look. I can't live with all of the empty spaces while I wait to afford one expensive piece. I LOVED this post so much. I feel like I had the advice of a great designer, without paying her, and she also saved me money by showing me lower cost alternatives. What a bargain (and I am, after all, a bargain hunter)! I wish you would do one of these posts on a regular basis. It's wonderful to have a fabulous designer find me some lower cost alternatives! Thank you Joni. (sorry I wrote you a book) laurie

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  82. I believe I just hung on your every word...

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  83. Joni, I absolutely adore this post! I miss those Houston houses. And I am so loving the garden shed office. So cute :-)

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  84. Arghhhh, the agony! I absolutely LOVED the round silver table for $12.98. It would have looked so nice in my guest bedroom. I scoured the website to no avail and then trotted down to Pier 1 and the manager said "Uh, I don't recognize this table at ALL." Dying. Of course I am a day late and a dollar short.
    I feel like I will never finish this room. Working on the mantra of "wait for it." So hard! Still searching for white linen curtains. Given that Arizona is SO hot they MUST be lined or will rot in a season.
    But on a happy note I am gushing over the new seagrass rug I recently purchased. :)

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  85. I love all of the beautiful pictures of your home! Your decorating style is so delightful!

    Angelo H

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  86. Luxurious beds,comfortable sofas, stylish black ebony chairs have
    made the surrounding paradise like...Brown TV Bed

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