15 October 2009

Katie Stassi Does it Again

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When Ronda Carman from All The Best Blog ran a bedroom contest, I knew immediately who one of my favorite was – I mean, just look at this tiny corner of the submitted bedroom.  You know the rest of the room is going to be as beautiful as this little corner is.   The petite blue painted desk with a gorgeous chair next to it – the set of prints in lovely gilded frames with even lovelier gilded filets.    But – the focal point for me, the thing I couldn’t move my gaze from was the lone sconce.   Oh my.  Is it the prettiest sconce ever?    Certainly it’s in the running.  The delicate arms, with hanging tassels and just a hint of crystals, the patina of green paint, its crown with three curled wires mimicking the arms – are there two of these sconces?  Is it one of a pair?    Probably.  

 

The bedroom belongs to Katie Scassi, I suppose.  I know she designed it - so I’m assuming it’s hers.  Maybe it’s a client’s.  It really doesn’t matter whom the bedroom belongs to – it’s Katie’s vision that is the important point.   Katie’s star has very quickly risen above the crop of young interior designers in Houston and now New Orleans where she currently lives.   The late domino magazine recognized her as one of their Top Ten Designers, 2008.   She’s been featured several times in different publications and the design blogosphere went absolutely wild over her published Houston house - splashing its pictures everywhere it seemed.    And then there was the beautiful spread in Houston’s Paper City showing a house in River Oaks she had done for a friend, on a budget, though it doesn’t seem that way at all - given Katie’s stylish  and perfect touch.   Stassi likes to mix fine antiques, and I do mean fine, with contemporary pieces.   She’s not a collector, bloated down by possessions and things.   She lets her pieces stand alone and quietly shine.   Her interiors are light and airy, painted in mostly cool palettes of blues or lilacs or aquas mixed with a white or ivory background.   There always seems to be a touch of whimsy about, just to keep it all from being too serious.

 

 

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Blooming branches set off an antique painted mirror – Stassi Style.

 

Most impressive about Katie Stassi is that she is much more than just a designer, she is a very deeply spiritual person who credits God for her talents.    Her life centers around her profound belief in the bible and its scriptures.    It must be very special working with her – knowing she is so grounded, centered, and thoughtful, with a heart that is definitely in the right place.    Good things are coming to her and she is most deserving.   

While pictures of Stassi’s past work are well known to blog readers, only Houstonians got to see her newest project featured in last month’s Paper City.    The house is so beautiful, so well done, I just couldn’t let it pass without showing you what we in Houston have been agog over.  When the issue came out – everyone it seemed was talking about it:  “Have you seen the new Paper City?” – I was asked over and over and over again.  Yes, I had.   It had been a long while since a Houston publication had featured such a pretty house – and pretty it is, no other word seems more fitting.    You see, houses this beautiful don’t come around a lot.   You look at magazine after magazine and flip them in the garbage thinking – next!   Not so with this Stassi house.  The pictures made you linger over them, examine the details, and then return to look yet again.  Almost as interesting as the interiors was the story behind the house – a truly one of kind interior design story that left readers wondering about it all.    

My only regret is that I don’t have the PDFs to show you pristine photographs – I have only barely acceptable scanned images.   Though they have promised one for months, Paper City still has no real web site, which is almost unheard of for a media entity in this day and age.   But miracles do happen!  Maybe by next year. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Original story in Paper City by Laurann Claridge.  Photographs for Paper City by Jack Thompson.

Interview HERE with Katie Stassi from All The Best Blog, by Ronda Carman.

 

image In the entry hall, a French iron table and an 18th century Italian chandelier sets the scene for what is about to unfold.  Walking through the threshold – you know this house is going to special.

 

It started with a large, just built house bought by a newly single woman for her and her four daughters.   Months were spent working with an interior designer furnishing it, mostly in earth tones with `lots of checks, toiles, and trims.  The night before the big installation (the time when most designers lie awake with a pit of nervousness in their stomachs) the owner and designer unbelievably parted ways.   A friend gave the frantic homeowner Katie Stassi’s name who helpfully showed up for the installation and placed the new furniture around the house – as best as she could figure out where it all belonged.   A few short weeks later the still frazzled homeowner asked Stassi what she thought about the interior design – she asked of Stassi - what would have done with the house?   “Not this” was the answer heard round Houston.   The details of the Paper City story had tongues wagging, and gossip was flying, but no one can say Stassi wasn’t right.   For the next two years, the homeowner and Stassi completely redecorated the house, erasing all the design elements the former interior designer had put in.    Antique fireplaces went in, all new light fixtures were installed,  floors and window treatments were changed, and the walls were repainted a soft white – in short, everything was lightened, brightened, and turned into the beautiful house the two envisioned.   Stassi finished it all with the furniture and accessories she found in the finest shops in both New Orleans and Houston, the names of which are familiar to those who love French and Swedish antiques.   Stassi went on a search for the prettiest and found it.   Trips to Round Top added the homey touches.   To decorate such a beautiful house, filled with even more beautiful antiques –  takes someone with a fabulous eye, able to acquire so much, so quickly – and still get it so right.   Stassi, with her easy access to both Houston and New Orleans, was probably the only one who could.

 

 image From Stassi’s web site, the staircase shares space with a feminine French barometer and gray painted antiques.

 

 

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The view from the entry, through the living room out towards the garden.  The three arched doors are framed by luscious,  silk curtains – a trademark of Stassi’s.    The French settee with its curving arms becomes the focal point. 

 

 

 

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Another view of the living room – with its antique mantel from Chateau Domingue, has matching consoles and mirrors on each side.   Here you can see the settee with its soft blue fabric.   A gorgeous jardiniere with a marble top makes a perfect side table.

 

 

 

image  Next to the fireplace, a mirror with antique candlesticks, putti, and tulips.   Just beautiful!

 

 

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This closeup, from Stassi’s web site, shows the settee’s painted and carved frame. 

 

 

image The dining room features a large wood table with a set of cane back, painted chairs.   More silk curtains soften the room.

 

 

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A close up of the painted trumeau and console, accessorized with candlesticks and a statue of Mother Teresa. 

 

 

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From Stassi’s web site another view of the dining room showing an angel painting in the trumeau’s reflection.  

 

 

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The kitchen cabinets were painted a light blue/gray.  

 

 

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A collection of apothecary jars is found in the kitchen.

 

 

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In the family room/breakfast room, painted 19th century Italian chairs surround an Empire table.  A large Italian chandelier fits the space perfectly.   A French biot stands next to the stone fireplace mantel.  A pair of slipcovered chairs are in front of the bay window.

 

 

 

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The soft blues show up again in the master bedroom.  A beautiful cream and blue rug blends with all the light colors – the curtains are again the full silk beauties found throughout the house.  And, the French mantle from Chateau Domingue becomes the focal point.

 

 image  Another view of the master bedroom, taken off Stassi’s web site shows the room bathed in a different light.  So beautiful!  

 

 

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One of the daughter’s bedroom is furnished with French antiques – I adore the bed and pink bench!

 

 

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And finally, this bedroom, has an antique pediment acting as a canopy.  I love the diminutive desk and blue painted mirror – so feminine and graceful, just like the entire house!   What a wonderful job, Katie!  It’s pretty beyond words!

Below is more from Stassi’s portfolio:

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Paper City featured this house in River Oaks which Katie designed for a friend.  The floors were bleached with the walls painted to match – lightening it all up - and turning an old house into something young and fresh.  The beautiful lilac curtains were purchased from West Elm, then lined by Stassi’s workroom – transforming them into custom wonders.   Painted French chairs were treated to more lilac shaded fabric.  The gueridon table acts as a tea table here, grounding a rug that was a splurge.   Just delightful!!

 

 

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The beautiful Katie Stassi poses in the same living room.

 

 

image What started it all – Stassi’s former Houston house – here two gilt French chairs in front of the windows.  I love how she styles her rooms with flowering branches – so pretty!

 

 

image Another view of her all white living room.  The contemporary console and art work perfectly mix with all the gilded antiques.

 

 

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And in a corner of her living room, a Lucite table shares the space with a gorgeous daybed and a whimsical statue.

 

 

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I love everything here – the color of the curtains, the table, the beautiful mirror, the antique sconces – I think this is  just perfect.

 

 

 image  Even her breakfast room was special with its painted blue French trumeau mixed with a banquette, black and white touches, and a bird!

 

 

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But the picture heard round the blogosphere was without a doubt her Hollywood Regency styled backyard cabana.   Everyone loved this!

 

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this collection of interiors by Katie Stassi.  I know I can’t wait to see what is up next from her and hopefully Ronda will be publishing pictures of the rest of that beautiful bedroom!