11 August 2010

The Gray Door Expands

 

 

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When Donna Temple Brown first opened The Gray Door – the name was particularly fitting.  Chosen as a play on words, the name both alerted clients of Donna’s love of painted antiques and helped clients remember its location on West Gray Boulevard.   After more than  a decade on West Gray, Donna recently moved to West Alabama, an exciting and busy shopping destination.    They say that competition brings in customers and West Alabama is teeming with both decor and antique shops, perfect for attracting more shoppers.     Now on West Alabama, the name The Gray Door connotes a shop full of mystery and riches that lay beyond the front gate.    How true it is.  

The new shop, located inside a mid century designed building, is large and filled to capacity with French, English, Swedish, Belgian and Italian antiques hand picked by Donna on trips to  Europe.   There is a large amount of the gray painted pieces, along with the beautiful fruitwood finishes associated with French antiques.   All the furniture is freshly recovered in a creamy muslin or linen – creating a sea of bright and light in the showroom.   Donna runs a welcoming business.   She is friendly and warm, and most important in this business, honest.    She and her long time business partner, Linda Gale White, have a wonderful eye for finding exactly the antique that is desired for this moment.   Now settled into West Alabama, Donna deliberated on how to make it better, if at all possible.  Fate stepped in and recently she invited two new dealers to share the space.   As usual her choices couldn’t be more right.

 

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Houstonians who visit the Round Top Antique Fair will be very familiar with the two who now share space at The Gray Door:   A. Tyner Antiques from Atlanta and Roussett Antiques and Textiles from Austin via New Orleans.   Both are antiquarians of note.   Alice Tyner who owns A. Tyner specializes in Swedish antiques and her merchandise fits in perfectly with The Gray Door.   All the painted gray and white finishes, the sexy and curvy lines of the Mora clocks, the chests, the desks, the settees of Swedish antiques visually blends with The Gray Door’s Louis XV and XVI furniture. 

Kathy Alexander who owns Roussett Antiques and Textiles closed her popular New Orleans shop after Hurricane Katrina and settled in Austin, opening up a store there on Burnet at The Courtyard Shops.    An expert on antique textiles, her antiques are mostly fine French and Italian.  Scattered throughout The Gray Door, her regal merchandise add a certain class. 

 

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With both Roussett and A.Tyner now in Houston, a trip to Round Top may no longer be needed.  I know I used to go to see the Swedish antiques that A. Tyner brought because we don’t have a dealer in Houston with such extensive Swedish inventory – until now, that is.   Donna couldn’t have made two better choices to join her on West Alabama than Roussett and A. Tyner.    If you haven’t visited  The Gray Door lately – be sure to stop by.     All three, The Gray Door, A. Tyner and Roussett are also on 1st Dibs

 

The Gray Door:    3465a W Alabama @ Marquart.  Contact @ 713-521-9085

 

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The main showroom at The Gray Door.   All the furniture is newly recovered in creamy linens and muslin – creating a soothing and cohesive atmosphere.

 

 

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The Swedish corner cabinet is one of two.   The Swedish settee is period Rococo – one of the finer pieces from A. Tyner.

 

 

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Swedish cabinet and day bed – to die for!

 

 

 

 

 image Painted Swedish chairs mix well with French antiques.   I fell in love with this vignette.  The table has a beautiful patina.

 

 

image Roussett Antiques and Textiles specializes in 16th and 17th century tapestries.   Roussett also has a fine collection of vintage Fortuny fabrics.

 

 

 

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The Italian chandelier over this pair of demi lunes is huge and gorgeous!  Perfect for a two story entry hall or large dining room.

 

 

 

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Donna says she would put this console in a kitchen.     Pictures of Donna’s own beautiful townhouse follow.

 

 

image This pair of lanterns caught my eye, as did the chairs and ottoman. 

 

 

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I love the santos mixed with the rustic garden table and dressy Swedish chairs.

 

 

 

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There are beautiful pillows made of antique fabrics from Roussett scattered about.  As always, I love using a high end table as a tea table since there are no true antique coffee tables.  

 

  

 

image Great mirror and beautiful chairs left uncovered – their insides somehow are prettier without new upholstery. 

 

 

 image A. Tyner has a huge selection Mora clocks.  If you don’t see what you want, just ask, there’s more.

 

 

 image Centuries old set of vellum books.   Whoa. 

 

 

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Old doors with beautiful hardware were made into two matching cabinets. 

 

 

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The curves of this sofa are so appealing.  If I could take just one piece home…….

 

 

image More great cabinets – these are filled with a line of new basket accessories that The Gray Door carries. 

 

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This cabinet is painted gray and is shallow – good for tight spots.   The French chairs are upholstered in old tapestry.

 

 

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Roussett has a great selection of Fortuny covered shades.    The table is one of a pair.

 

 

 

image Beautiful hardware makes this piece exquisite. 

 

 

 

image               Great breakfast table or coffee table.  The settee has wonderful lines. 

 

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One of three showrooms that make up The Gray Door. 

 

 

 

 image Another beautiful Italian chandelier.  

 

 

image This Spanish styled table is covered in fabric with large nail heads!!!   What a wonderful game table. 

 

 

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These chairs are stunning.   So is the table. 

 

 

 

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And lastly, there is a good selection of painted headboards. 

 

 

 

 

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It’s obvious from The Gray Door, that Donna Brown has impeccable taste and it is no surprise that her townhouse has been featured in several magazines and books.  Donna has filled her house with antiques from the store – I’m not sure there is even one new piece of furniture anywhere!   The house is bright and airy and although very sophisticated, it is warm and inviting.  It’s one of those houses that when you leave you wish you could bomb your own house and start over.   Trust me on that, I’ve been there.     Here, from Veranda is her front courtyard that you walk through to get to the front door.  I love how she used antique and vintage furniture outside – so much more interesting than store bought sets.  

 

 

image Walking into the front door is a staircase on the left and the living room/dining room on the right.  A large collection of Chinese export plates are displayed on the wall.  

 

 

image To screen off her staircase, Donna hung a piece a fabric that is semi transparent.  Such a great idea to copy!!!

 

 

image Her living room and dining room have traded spaces (although Donna told me she recently changed it back again!)    I love the old, rustic shutters instead of the regular built in shelves found in townhouses.    Gorgeous dining room chairs surround a skirted table.  And her chandeliers here and in the living area are drop dead gorgeous.

 

 

image Another view of the dining room – with sconces added in this picture. 

 

 

 image The dining room looking out towards the front courtyard.  She slipcovered the wood bench.   Every piece of furniture, table, lamp – is so wonderful! 

 

 imageThe living room – love, love, love!!!  I love the French tea table, the iron side table, the gorgeous tapestry, the lamps, the chandelier – I love Donna’s taste.  Period.

 

 

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Her famous kitchen.   She completely torn out the brand new kitchen that came with the townhouse.  The cabinets are stored in her garage, ready to be replaced when she sells.   This is an earlier picture – she now has a skirt attached to the console next to the stove.

 

 

donnabrownA view of the sitting room off the kitchen.   Beautiful!!!  I love the wine tasting table, the stool, the painting above the chest – everything! 

 

 

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Another updated view of her kitchen and sitting room.

 

 

 imageBeautiful sitting area in the guest room.  I love all her little iron tables throughout.  

 

 

 

imageThe master bedroom – that giant hydrangea is gorgeous.

 

 

image Swedish bookcase and French chaise and chair.

 

 

 

image The charming guest room with French headboards. 

 

 

To visit The Gray Door – 3465a W Alabama St. @ Marquart.  To call:  713-521-9085

Web sites: 

The Gray Door HERE.

Roussett Antiques and Textiles HERE.

A. Tyner Antiques HERE.

 

 

AND:  in other news:

My daughter’s recently remodeled bedroom – featured on the blog Color Outside The Lines.

 

Artie, who writes the blog Color Outside The Lines about his house and life near Niagara Falls, NY,  has written a long blog story about ME!   Artie is so sweet and talented.    Sometimes I just click onto his blog to listen to his music playing.   Please click over HERE to read the story and see pictures from my portfolio.  Thanks for everything Artie – you’re the BEST EVER!!!!!!

 

AND the new Skirted Roundtable featuring architect Bobby McAlpine is now up.  Go listen, bring your brain along with you.  You’ll need it.   HERE.

54 comments:

  1. THANK YOU for the mention, and super kind words!!! :) I'm happy to have blogged about you - so easy, as your talent is top notch! :) I'm in love with this store, and the pictures you showed Joni. There's absolutely nothing like this around here -nothing. Not even within driving distance - so I'll live vicariously (as always) through you! :)

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  2. Joni, Joni, Joni! Words fail me...

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  3. DROP DEAD GORGEOUS! The entire post is perfection. Can't wait to visit the shop. That is worth a trip in itself!
    As for your daughters bedroom, I would expect nothing less. Perfect.
    Teresa (Splendid Sass)

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  4. As always, absolute perfection. I think I will bomb my house and start over (ha).

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  5. Every time I read your blog, I want to bomb my house and start over--what a beautiful shop and home!

    Please tell me what issue of Veranda that gorgeous townhouse is in so I don't have to drag them down off my shelves! (I have every issue since 1994).

    Nancy W.

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  6. You couldn't ask for two better sources to come to Houston than Kathy Alexander and A. Tyner... both are a couple of my favorites! ~Terri

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  7. What an amazing store and home! I want to be her....:-)

    Congrats on the feature!
    Penny

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  8. Joni, I could do some damage with my credit card in that store! I saw her home in Veranda and absolutely loved it. I even tore some of the pages out for my inspiration folder.

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  9. The sideboard in the kitchen is the highlight for me! Incredible.

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  10. That kitchen is amazing. It makes me want to tear out all my cabinets, but mine are not worthy of storing in a garage for future use. The black framed botanticals in the first photo so great.
    Deborah

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  11. Oh, me, oh, my! I could do some serious financial damage to myself in this store!

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  12. That was so much gorgeousness that I need to take a breath! Donna's talent is just beyond! Her kitchen, her veranda...I could go on and on. But, then your daughter's bedroom....that is divine!

    xo Elizabeth

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  13. GREAT news about A Tyner and Kathy coming to Houston! Fantastic! :) LOVE the Gray Door, and Donna's house is fab. I love that kitchen even in the shop! Even the thrown together shop bathrooms are fab. She has great taste!

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  14. I cut out the picture of Donna's kitchen and saved it for the inspiration of my kitchen.

    I love to have a seating area in my kitchen. My friends say it's so unusual to have a small sofa in the kitchen but they all love to sit around and enjoy relaxing in comfort as I cook.

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  15. Joni, I love the new look in your daughter's room, especially the chandelier!

    Kelly@40isthenew30

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  16. Joni, I love the new look in your daughter's room, especially the chandelier!

    Kelly@40isthenew30

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  17. What a gorgeous store and a beautiful home...eye candy everywhere!
    Ness xx

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  18. Joni, another breathtaking post! Your site is better than reading any online magazine.

    Where do you store all of your images? On flash drives, you must have a million beautiful tear sheets!

    Karena
    Art by Karena

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  19. Wow! Thanks for the shopping spree around the world. I want everything.

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  20. *** I haven't been t*h*i*s "INFATUATED/IN LOVE" since I meet my Jim a gazillion years ago!!!!!!!!!!!

    Words escape me, and THAT is indeed RARE!!!

    Soooooo many thanks for finding, writing n' sharing, Joni! ~ Such SPLENDID BEAUTY!!!!!!!!!

    XO,
    Linda in AZ *
    bellesmom1234@comcast.net

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  21. Gorgeous. Everything. What are the floors in her store?

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  22. Loving this post Joni! You are simply the best of the best. I also read Artie's blog...enjoyed it. You are so deserving of all accolades!!!

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  23. Joni,
    So many ideas and beautiful things. I wish I could emply my house and start over! Also wish I could frequent these shops on West Alabama...
    Thanks for sharing this,
    Gwen

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  24. The article in Veranda Magazine credits Pam Pierce with the design of Donna Brown's house.
    Why was she not mentioned in this blog?This is the 2nd or even 3rd article I have seen Pam Pierce's named omitted from the credits of Donna Brown's house.....so much for Donna being honest.

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  25. Hi Joni,
    First of all: gotta match? Because I want to bomb my house! I've seen Donna's kitchen before in magazines and it is probably my favorite kitchen ever. I didn't realize the connection until now with the store. When I was in Houston earlier this year, I somehow missed her. Now I'm going to have to come back!
    Great article Artie wrote about you. Someday, I plan on doing a post as well. See how you inspire?
    xo Delores

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  26. PS: Are the linens on your daughter's bed from Bella Notte? I'm remodeling our pool house bedroom and am considering using their linens. We actually have an outlet here in the Bay Area!
    xo Delores

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  27. I may have to take a little trip down to Houston - WOW! Several of the pictures Donna's abode are ones that I have saved throughout the years in my design files. Fabulous!

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  28. The table and chairs are amazing!! And her showroom! Wow I wish we had stores like that here in Nashville. How lucky you are to have such a treasure...maybe I can make my way to Alabama. road trip!
    xo
    amanda

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  29. Hello Joni, this is my first comment on your blog- goodness why only now..? thank you very much for these most beautiful images. I love your blog and agree with all the Joni admirers out there...you are truly inspiring. thank you for literally opening your Armoir in Arties post.VERY beautiful, I'm heading for my armoir now...kind regards, Colette

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  30. I know Kathy Alexander’s merchandise well, fabulous pieces. Funny but I saved Kathy Brown’s house from Veranda because I loved it so much so it was great fun seeing her shop as well featured on your blog. Next time my best friend and I take a vacation together it’s going to be in Houston to shop for all the fabulous antiques, no more flying to Europe! Thank you for a wonderful post, I’m off to see Artie’s post about you.

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  31. Wow! Donna's taste is exquisite. Love her house, love her store!

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  32. Oh man!!!! Definitely on my must-stop-shop list next time I'm in Houston!

    So gorgeous!!

    Thank you!

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  33. thank you for always inspiring and thrilling us! Be still my heart...

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  34. Joni,
    This is it!!!! What a gorgeous store and what a home!!!
    I am so glad you introduced us to this store and the lady behind!! I would say that the most wonderful stores are in the US!
    And you always find them!!!
    This is another great post of you Joni! Thank you so much!
    xx
    Greet

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  35. Oh, oh , OHHHH!!!! I don't know where to begin! It is all so amazingly beautiful! Thanks so much for this marvelous eye candy, Joni! Gorgeous post!!!! XO, Pinky

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  36. What an amazing collection of inspiring spaces. I would love to visit Donna Brown's store.....but I REALLY liked your daughter's bedroom redesign. From the canopy, to the chandelier, to the colors and window treatments...very me! Thanks for sharing :)

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  37. Ahh, Joni, did that shop send you into orbit?!! I would have had a meltdown in there...So many beautiful things! Wonderful as always!

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  38. If I could actually get from Australia to buy from that shop I would! instead, I revamped dining chairs to look like those ones.

    If you're interested in how I did it, you can check them out here..

    http://doesntcosttheearth.wordpress.com/2010/08/09/recycled-dining-chairs-before-and-after/

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  39. The Gray Door is just the kind of store that makes me think I have died and gone to heaven! Really, and her house. Are you kidding? I love every detail. I have most of these pictures in my files and I am loving scouring each one of them again. I could move right in. thanks for another fabulous post!

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  40. Hi everyine, goodglad to be herei
    Web design

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  41. oh, joni--thoroughly enjoyed this. wow! amazing poste, amazing house, amazing shop. thank you. keep on keeping on, my favorite blogger.
    cammie churdar

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  42. I was in the Gray Door yesterday! My client has a window on hold. We stayed forever! Great post!
    Tina Ramer

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  43. I can't believe I even noticed the flooring at the store amongst all of the beautiful furniture, but it is lovely. Is that some kind of etching?

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  44. Oh this is truly a store to adore! I have added it to my "Must See" list. I remember this article in Veranda and just checked to see if I still had some of the torn out pages in my style file. (Yep!)

    Now I am off to go visit the delightful Artie.

    If you get a chance stop by as you will LOVE my Friday post.

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  45. Joni,
    I remember when I did a post on Donna's home in February and no matter how many times I see it, I am still inspired. Loved hearing about it through your voice since you have actually been there!!! Ahh...sigh!

    And her store???!!! So much beauty, bet it's hard to resist stopping in every week!!!

    Great to get another peek in your daughter's room too!

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  46. What a truly incredible place - you could clearly spend hours - perhaps days there. A true treasure trove!

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  47. your daughter's room is the prettiest bedroom ANYWHERE. Every detail is perfect.
    Julie in Fort Worth

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  48. OMG!! thanks for sharing such a lovely images.."drop dead" for all of them
    take care/Marie from sweden

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  49. Dear ANON - I am so sorry about not realizing that pam's name is on the credits!!! That is my fault, not Donna's. I didn't even discuss with Donna about showing pictures of her house. So don't blame her, blame me. But, I truly did NOT know about Pam's involvement. And as everyone here knows, I am certainly not one to not give credit to Pam when due. She is probably one of my top 2 or 3 designers in Houston. There are so many great ones - but Pam, Carol, Ginger, Randy, Renae, are all fabulous. I know I am leaving out someone!!! Jane. hehe. who else? Cathy! who else? No insult intended here. at all. Pam is the best ever. I'm sure Donna does credit her.

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  50. What a fabulous shop!! I will definately be visiting next time I plan a trip west! Such wonderful photographs of beautiful pieces!

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  51. Joni, on the one hand, you make me want to come shop in Houston. On the other hand, I'm almost glad I can't, because I'd be soooo tempted by all of this beauty, and I'm sure it is a little out of my budget. It is wonderful inspiration though. laurie

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  52. Best collection of furnitures under one roof! Wish I could go there but I can't. Anyway, I'll just enjoy looking at them through your blog. Nice post.

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