13 July 2011

Does Your City Have Its Own Style?

 

 

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I was looking through a specialty magazine and came upon this house on Nantucket Island.  Gee, I thought.  This reminds me of Houston for some reason.     I’m looking at this picture and feeling at home.  Why???   Look….they even have the same child’s sized wicker chair that I have and bought here in Houston at The Gray Door.   Hmmm.   That’s odd.    All the tiny English bamboo tables, just right for drinks – that’s something we use in Houston.   The big clay pot candle.   The ironstone and French confit pot.  The dhurri, the slipcovers.   The Bennison fabrics.   

 

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Is that Rogers and Goffigon fabric (a Houston favorite) on those beautiful French chairs?   Can’t tell but it looks like it to me.   And, yes, seagrass makes an appearance.  And the wood Italian light fixtures that everyone in Houston seems to have these days. This room reminds me of Houston. 

 

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I found this picture on the designer’s web site – it shows the room next to the dining room.  It explains the décor theme, these fabrics, a solid and a stripe, are the same colors as the dining room chairs – it all blends together.   Easy, summery wicker furniture makes sense here in a beach house.  An iron side and large shell mirror finish the room.   I wish this picture was better quality.   But the magazine didn’t include this area of the room.

 

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Loving this house more and more.   The wicker, the fabulous blue and white striped dhurri, the Les Indiennes style fabric.   The telescope looks antique – and is so Nantucket.   It gets me thinking….does a city have a “look?”   I know Houston does, and I think Nantucket does too.  L.A. does – and Southern California in general has a certain style.  NY has the sophisticated contemporary look.   Does your own city have a design style that you would recognize?

 

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I found this picture on the designer’s web site – it really shows you how cute the room actually is with a large bakers rack and comfy sofa, chest, and two chairs and ottomans.  The magazine picture only shows a small vignette.

 

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If you haven’t guessed who the designer is,  the lamp gives it away.   This designer always uses wonderful lamps like this.  I wish we could see more of the bed.  Loving the Chelsea Editions side chest, the zinc topped desk,  and the blue, denim like dhurri rug.

 

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A closer look at the lamp, the desk,  and night stand.  The designer uses muted fabrics – nothing jarring, nothing harsh.  Everything has integrity with this designer.

 

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Come on.  This bedroom has to give it away.  The antique trunk – the second one seen in this house, the seagrass, the cushy plush, downy bed are all trademarks of the famous, very, very talented Houston designer.

 

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The kitchen is simple, yet functional with its white subway tile backsplash.  Is that granite?   The island is so big – I’ll bet it’s never clear!!

 

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More wicker dressed up with wonderful English style fabrics – the mirror!!!   The mirror!!!  That must tell you something!

 

 

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A closer look at the soft muted linen fabrics.

 

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What a view.  This definitely isn't Houston!!!

 

 

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The antique French zinc window – on Houstonian Heidi Dugan’s porch.  Remember her beautiful house?  The House with Two Courtyards, by Ginger Barber HERE.   Yes, Ginger Barber designed the Nantucket house for a family from Houston.    

 

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Ginger’s own beach spot was shown in a magazine some years ago.   She took a rather simple builders grade house and made it her own style with seagrass rugs, wood floors and slipcovered furniture.   As usual, she used linens and soft, muted linen prints on pillows. 

 

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The kitchen is where she really changed it all up.  She put in a pine pantry door, took off cabinet doors and used a fabulous antique table as a center island.  Ginger is partial to pine wood and light colored wood stains.   She showed in this kitchen how with just a few tweaks, you can turn a builders kitchen into something more your own style.

 

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Her dining room is a casual mix of wood antique furniture.  Love the teaching chart of the cow!

 

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I love the guest room with more wicker, pine, and a comfy day bed. 

 

So Ginger designed a house in Nantucket for a family from Houston.  By using a designer from their hometown, they brought a touch of it to their faraway second house.   I’m sure that makes them feel more at home in Nantucket – rather than going all out Nantucket style.

 

What Is Nantucket Style??

 

Everyone knows what Nantucket style is from the outside.  All the houses have naturally aged, gray shingles which gives the island charm and gives it a design continuity.

 

This house is how I imagined the upscale houses are:  American antiques and American symbols such as stars and stripes. 

 

The living room is rather staid – rather boring.  It looks like a hotel lobby to me.  Yet, this is one of the more expensive houses for sale on the island.  Give me striped dhurris and slipcovers and distressed furniture any day of the week over this look.

 

This second house is rather beautiful.

 

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I think the interiors are gorgeous with white walls, black accents and creamy colored curtains.   It’s dressy for a beach house, yet it looks  like a beach house on Nantucket.  The dark campaign style chest – that’s something that Houstonians wouldn’t have – it’s very New Englandish. 

 

 

 

 

Hmmm…a little too styled for my taste. 

 

Aren’t the lines beautiful?   And looking at the dining room from this angle, it’s less cold looking with the large black dresser.

 

 

I love the kitchen with its great lighting fixtures, the mix of white marble and the cream tile, and I love the banquette used at the kitchen table. 

 

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Beautiful hardwood floors and the paneling throughout the house is so pretty. 

 

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The guest room is nice and modern with a mix of classic elements.  Very beautiful house – I wish I knew who the designer is.   Does this mean Nantucket to you?

 

 

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This house really struck me as typical Nantucket style.  This house is in town. 

 

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It has the lush secret gardens that come with the town houses.

 

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Wow.  Take me back Mario.   This is how I always imagine those town houses in Nantucket look like.   Very English with a mix of fine American antiques.

 

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The owners spent a fortune on this décor.  But – in what year?   I am dying to know who designed this!  And what year it was designed??

 

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Toile dining room.

 

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The family room looks more typical American antiques style.  

 

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A larger view of the family room.   I’ll bet that in its day, this was one of the prettiest houses on the island.  I’m just sitting here thinking, if I owned all this beautiful upholstered furniture – how would I update this house for the new century?  All in white slips?  Leave the curtains?  Leave the chintz?   Nah, it all has to go to the upholsterer!  ASAP.   It’s like a time capsule, isn’t it? 

 

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The master bedroom – more chintz, more needlepoint.

 

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A guest bed.  I do love the monogrammed bed covers.   I had one just like that, in blue trim, 20 years ago. 

 

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So charming, so Nantucket, but so in need of updating.

 

Houston Style:

 

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Thinking about it – what is Houston style?  It extends first to the landscape – lots of boxwoods, confit pots, antique outdoor furniture – less sets of wicker or iron pool furniture.  The space might often be quite small – as lot sizes shrink and new houses get bigger.

 

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Even in the most exclusive of houses, you will probably find textured blinds and seagrass rugs. 

 

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You might see antique oushak rugs, Bennison fabrics, antique putti, and candlesticks from cathedrals – always, either new or antique.

 

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In the more exclusive homes, you will find antique sofas and tables – younger families might have the same look, but by using reproductions. 

 

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White, always white, gilt mirrors, chandeliers, and silk curtains.  The room doesn’t have be large to get the look.

 

 

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Dining rooms have wood tables – old or new, trumeaus, one of a kind chandeliers, altar candlesticks.  Gorgeous – by Ginger Barber.

 

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In Houston, you still see skirted tables in dining room especially.   If they can’t afford a huge tapestry, you will see masses of tapestry pillows instead.

 

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Master bedrooms have seagrass and simple bedding.   There are usually upholstered headboards.  In many Houston houses, a sunburst mirror is above the bed – new or old. 

 

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Some Houstonians layer oushaks over seagrass in bedrooms and living rooms. 

 

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Bedrooms often have beautiful window treatments, with either fabric or textured shades layered under the panels. 

 

How do you define your city’s style?   Is you décor typical of where you live, or do you decorate as if you live in L.A. or Atlanta instead of Minneapolis?

To contact Ginger Barber, see her web site HERE.

 

 

68 comments:

  1. Hi Joni,

    The second house you featured that you wondered who the designer was....Well it was featured in Canadian House and Home's July 2011 issue. The home is in Nantucket and was designed by Matthew Sapera and Darren Sukonick of Toronto's Matthew Supera Fine Homes.

    All the best,
    Karla

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  2. Hi Joni! Oh, another lovely post! I have to admit, there is something about those froo froo chintzy rooms that just makes my heart smile! :)
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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  3. PS In case you want to check out some more photos from that project {I think its stunning!} here is the link:

    http://www.matthewsapera.com/projects/nantucket_1

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  4. Interesting post Joni, it made me think also of the different ways to decorate in a much smaller country like Italy, you can see definetely a different style from Milan, more contemporary and sleek, to Rome more elaborate and colorful, to Venice, looking more into the past and with a paler palette. The lifestyle of a city, the light, the colors and forms of the architecture usually are also a starting point for interiors. All this said of course as a very basic generalization.

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  5. Joni: This is a really difficult but GREAT question. There are mavericks who create style, such as the Ginger Barbers and others, in Houston, and everyone loves their work, and becomes a disciple. But...then as people start to replicate the "formula", it becomes watered down. And then, some new "Maverick" (Maybe Ginger breaking her own code!) thinks outside the box, and off they go! They push the boundaries, and create new looks, and all of sudden, we like something different and fresh, and the cycle begins again! Just like Kate Middleton wearing sheer hose, and all of a sudden, the experts say, they are back, and women will be wearing them again. Who would have thought! (My wife says, "Nooooo!") Style, even a city's style, is set by the "Mavericks". They think differently than the rest of the crowd!

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  6. I'm always inspired by the photos you post ~ I'm even inspired by the outdated home! (I'm afraid I'm outdated myself). Beautiful photos and such interesting comparisons. laurie

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  7. Such a great post AND oh so true! We Houstonians definitely have a look. I was laughing after reading the commentary under your Houston pictures because I have so many of the design elements you listed in my house! I also laughed when you mentioned the "dark campaign style chest". I thought to myself...that would look great in white lacquer...another look in Houston homes I have seen lately. Love your posts, Joni!

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  8. That one house with the dramatic black and white is so unbelievable! We would gladly move in right away!! Thanks for the inspiration.
    xo E + J
    P.S. Check out our summer party post just in time for summer entertaining.
    http://www.eddieross.com/

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  9. Joni, excellent thoughts and images of Houston and Nantucket style.

    Interesting that here in Kansas City, many think of traditional, antiques, hardwood aged oak flooring, etc.

    You would be amazed though at how many very sleek, sophisticated contemporary homes are here.

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

    Do come and enter my new Giveaway, a painting!

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  10. So many beautiful rooms, it is hard to say which one I love the most. I will say I agree about the time capsuel late 80s!! Whew, glad those days are gone!! Kathysue

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  11. Fabulous post. I always know without a doubt when it's a Southern California home. I'm almost never wrong. It's like recognizing your own kin.

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  12. Interesting, thought-provoking post!

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  13. Even though I spend most of my year in southern France I consider my 'city' to be London. London most definitely has it's own style and one that I have come to love. It is a blend of the cosy English country style with a contemporary edge. Interiors are rich and layered which provides the visual aesthetic when so much of the year is spent indoors. When I think of London decor I immediately focus in on jewel colours, velvets....lots of textures...I think of comfort...there is nothing more comfortable than an English interior...Great post Joni and yes...I agree that cities have their own individual style....xv

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  14. Oh the charm and character of Nantucket...one of my favorite places. Adore the home of the Houston couple, and love that it has so many elements of Houston, but with a definite Nantucket flair. Give me an aged gray shingled house on the beach and I'm in heaven!!

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  15. The outdated home on Nantucket immediately spoke to me as "St. Louis style." I have seen many houses over the years that look like that and I was at the open house of a large, meticulously-maintained home for sale not long ago and it had many of the same elements. And no one there seemed to think it was dated at all. It exemplified the kind of traditional look upper crust St. Louisans strive for. Of course, I've seen more modern design in town, too, but that seems more of an anomaly.

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  16. oh girl! once again a post chock full of eye candy. I got about 4 or 5 pics in and I was like "that looks like Ginger Barbers work" I love Nantucket -we Honeymooned there and it will always hold a special place in my heart.

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  17. Hi Joni - LOVE your post - about the outdated chintz Nantucket house. She was featured in a magazine article that I actually kept for years and finally discarded a couple of years ago. I believe it was from 1998 or 1999. She remodeled her summer home for her 50th birthday and did it herself in a year?!! Her girlfriends from high school got together and met there for their reunion. I remember she had a yellow sweater on in the picture with blonde hair...sorry I don't remember the magazine...I always admired all of her Staffordshire and cranberry glass - there were different pictures in the magazine article. I used to get Colonial Homes years ago - always loved furniture (in my early 40's).

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  18. I'm loving the second house in Nantucket. I live in Dallas, and we definitely lend ourselves to a Houston style of design, but I'm noticing a lot of midcentury modern popping up in all the design shops, which I am loving right now!

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  19. I live in Sydney and the style here is "no individuality under any circumstances, stick to blond wood floorboards, white walls and neutral decor, be as anonymous as possible and do not show any personality whatsoever in your decor." So boring. There are some older terrace houses which depart from this and can be showstoppers but there is nothing like the specific Houston style which is so recognisable at a glance, even to me.

    Long live Houston.

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  20. LOVE the Nantucket home!
    I live in Pennsylvania & have always loved Ginger Barber's homes. I have copied some of the elements of the Houston "style" that I love.... the seagrass rugs, white walls, white slipcovers, etc. I have people comment on how beautiful the look is in my home. Probably because it's not a "typical" northeastern style.

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  21. So much charm in so many houses here. I just really couldn't live in the "outdated" house. That one hurt my eyes!

    My city is by the sea and we have many little villages here. Everything is very simple, very cottage-y. And I love it! :-)

    I hope you're having a great day, sweetie.

    xo

    Luciane at HomeBunch.com

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  22. So much charm in so many houses here. I just really couldn't live in the "outdated" house. That one hurt my eyes!

    My city is by the sea and we have many little villages here. Everything is very simple, very cottage-y. And I love it! :-)

    I hope you're having a great day, sweetie.

    xo

    Luciane at HomeBunch.com

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  23. I live in Boulder, CO and sadly, there really isn't any style here. After growing up in NY, going to college in New England introduced me to a weathered, well worn aesthetic that has stayed with me, 40 years later. On to Dallas after graduation and I was amused by the pervasive pressure for everyone to follow the latest trends. I preferred the antique stores west of the city, toward Fort Worth. So much to pick from and quite inexpensive. Next, I moved to San Francisco and a lot was happening there with design and ideas. Very eclectic with such expression of personal taste. As I try to express my style now, it's a composite of all that I've seen over the years. I'm starting to renovate a humble 60s ranch. I want it to look as well cared for as the bungalows of Highland Park in Dallas, with marble and painted molding of a New York City apartment, dark wood floors and simple antiques of New England and occasional flashes of contemporary as seen in San Francisco or London. OK, that's easy!

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  24. The trompe-l'oeil on the building across the street from the town house is a dead giveaway for the nineties! Shocking how much pattern we required back then.
    Love the first house with the dhurries, seagrass and slipcovers. I wonder how this look will last with a husband who loves to eat in his chair and a dachshund who occasionally has an accident. Is seagrass hard to clean? Would a pair of leather wing chairs work well slipcovered to lighten them up? Would the slips slip around?
    Going from suburban Atlanta to Coastal Georgia is a challenge. Thanks for another great post, Joni.

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  25. Great thought provoking post. Here in LA there is definitely a style but also a great deal of individuality. I enjoy visiting different homes that look similar on the outside but so different on the inside.

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  26. I also live in Northeast PA and have adopted the "Houston" look as well! Or maybe I should call it the "Cote de Texas" look as you have been such a huge influence on my taste, Joni!

    PA style where I live can run the gauntlet from historically represented decors to Main Line millions meant to impress.

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  27. I live in Phoenix and everything here is Tuscan, Tuscan, and more Tuscan. You would think in a city where the outside is so tan and brown people would want color inside their homes. I'm so very tired of brown, tan, beige, and black.

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  28. As a designer I have always told people when they ask how should I design my, cottage, guestroom or whatever without the help of a designer, to just use white with a accent color.
    I guess when I see so much all white being done by a designer, I have to ask, where is the design?
    Where is the interest?

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  29. I have to say that I much prefer Houston style over Nantucket when looking through these homes.
    Yes, my town has a style. But it's certainly not anything that I would want in my house! Can you say recliner and golden oak cabinets? Eww. The "show houses" that I've seen have been very dark and heavy. Maybe I just haven't visited the right ones!

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  30. Ha~ I guessed it after the second bedroom pic. I adore Ginger's work and what fun to see her own vacation home. I'm dying to see her new digs here in Houston, have you spotted any images yet?
    xo~
    T

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  31. STUNNING post! I live in Bend Oregon ... central part of our State .. high desert, Cascade Mountains, juniper, sagebrush, definitely with a style all its own!

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  32. Great post! My mom and I notice a huge difference in styles between Kansas City and Dallas when we browse real estate listings. Dallas style is a lot like Houston. We love the cool blues and whites. Kansas City style seems to incorporate warmer colors like than I see in Dallas. I think a lot of people are inspired by the gorgeous falls here in KC whereas Dallas has the most beautiful springs. Also, I think the cold winters in KC and hot summers in Dallas influence some of the textures and colors. I'm totally generalizing but it's something I've often wondered about. I love all of these images, especially the blue and white rooms!

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  33. I agree once you live in an area you start to understand why homes are decorated a certain way. The weather has such a huge influence on setting the tone. I live in an area the people will copy what they see in magazines and it just doesn't fit. We have such cold grey winters light tiled floors and grey walls really don't lift your spirits. Where the very warm tones would be too much for southern climates. It's just like clothes what works on a petite woman doesn't work on a larger woman. Both can look great but you have to keep in mind what's best and not force something because this is the in thing. Oh well my 2 cents.

    Kathy

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  34. I LOL'd when I saw that dated house...eeew!!!

    I also cracked up at the assessment of St. Louis style, since I'm from there originally.

    I'm a CA transplant (LA and SF), currently living in the Phoenix suburbs. I do my own thing, and my style is very eclectic: give me clean lines, punches of color, various textures, french antiques, industrial elements, with ethnic handicrafts collected from my travels.

    People here seem to think that they have to do Southwest. They also seem to be stuck on Tuscan. You'll also see some (cheesily done) French Country. There are some pockets of folks who do modern, French, and global design, but they are few and far between it seems. So, I offer the following petition for my current city:

    *puts hands together in prayer position and bows head*

    "Lord, please deliver Phoenix from the abundance of Southwest, Tuscan, and other unimaginative design that pervades this neck of the woods!!! Please grant an awareness of trends, and a spirit of individual style to all who reside here: interior design-wise and fashion-wise. Amen."

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  35. Could the retro Nantucket home be the work of designer Janet Lohman?

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  36. We are excited to be included in HGTV's Freebie Friday giveaway tomorrow. We are giving away a cool Asian lacquer coffee or low side table in one of 5 color options, so come on by for a chance to win!! Its worth upwards of $500.00 so its our biggest yet. Give us a shout out, and I'm sending you an E-mail.
    Good Luck!
    Liz

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  37. Good design knows no city or town...I am a designer who lives in Atlanta and Lafayette, LA...sure, the architecture of the two houses might be different (& indicative of the location) but the design style of the interiors is not different---there might be accessories or small items that are specific to a region or the town house might be more formal than the country house but I assure you Mario Buatta, Jeffrey Bilhuber, Richard Keith Langham, or any other excellent designer for that matter, do not change their overall design aesthetic and style based on location. Designs done specifically because of location become thematic, cliche, and boring.

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  38. In the dark and rainy NW, people compensate with color, often with painful mistakes like melon and apple green which just doesn't work with diffuse light. Seattle has come into its own in the last decade, but people here, by and large, do not think of investing in period antiques, hiring a designer or even consulting a color board. Most people would rather be hiking or biking or kayaking than worrying over paint samples. The few star designers of the NW have to have clients in other regions. Northwesterners are just simply too cheap and can't be bothered.

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  39. DC has a very strict design style (not always fortunate!)- so funny that houston would match the others so far away!

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  40. Y'all probably know the Virginia horse country look. That's where I live but often people have the "furniture store" look too. You know, when they buy sets of something-yuk!
    Most of my house is hunt country style with the exeception of my casual family room.

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  41. Great post Joni. Thanks to you, I can recognize Houston style a mile away and also happen to LOVE it. I would fit right in there, no problem, but would need to hire you to sort out my house and get more Houston stuff. Seagrass rugs don't seem to work as well as wool in places like here where it is cold 7 months of the year.

    Calgary style is what I would call "Young Macho Men with Money and No Taste". Houses are huge, contemporary, full of heavy wood and heavy masculine furniture and look like everything came from the same store. I recently went on a home and garden store and several of the houses fit this description. Very little personal taste, almost no antiques. Lots of hot tubs and bronze statues of cattle (remember Calgary is Texas north, an oil town with more money than taste). The place that was the nicest was an old mansion full of traditional stuff and "real" clutter (but nice clutter - walls of collected landscapes, good beautiful furniture loved and bought over time). Here the decor scene bores me, which is why I cannot bring myself to give up engineering and get into it. I do not see myself here at all. Lucky you in Houston...! David wants us to move there (he loved it) but I cannot stand the heat! Your posts make me want to though....

    xo Terri

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  42. I live in a Texas town that prides itself on being weird. Well, many of the interiors, exteriors and landscapes are weird, too.

    I am sure there are folks here that feel like me, but they are darned hard to find.

    The antiques and home furnishing shopping is pretty dismal. And the crazy thing is that back in the day there were some great antique shops here.

    Give me Houston or Dallas style any day!

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  43. The rooms you posted are nice and have a certain charm, however I think we have all seen this style for many years. Classic design, while always in style, can be developed with a more current and creative theme than these rooms display. Why do those rooms look familiar? Because so many of us have used the same fabrics, furniture and objects over the years in all areas of the country, not just Houston or the East coast. They still work, but can use an occasional twist to freshen and stimulate the mind. Not seeing that concept in these predictable rooms, and surprised that you are.

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  44. There's a lot of history and unique attributes to the decor here in Phoenix.

    There are styles specific to the low desert that set it apart from the high desert (like Santa Fe) like the botanical life and architecture. You know Arizona is the only state where you'll find the iconic saguaro cactus? Also, as Santa Fe has been continuously inhabited for a very long time; Phoenix is built upon the ruins of an extinct civilization (hence its name) and really started growing in the mid-twentieth century (like Palm Springs). So we have a very split personality; the old, rustic, and tribal; and Mid-Century Modern. Also, like Texas, there's the cowboy culture--antlers and animal skins have ALWAYS been in style here! Saltillo tile is another classic, however in or out it is elsewhere.

    Have you seen Ralph Lauren's spring campaign? Of course you have (there's an ad in the front of Elle Decor's April issue, among others)! THAT is Phoenician (or Arizona low desert) perfection--all the disparate personalities living together in harmony. Lots of light in arched windows and passageways, Pima and Papago baskets, big clay vessels, antique Navajo and natural fiber rugs, potted olive trees and agaves, rustic wood and all kinds of skins, and plenty of glamour coming from both modern (bright white walls and sunshine!) and old Spanish (arches, gilt) influences.

    Whoa! Sorry, Joni, you had to ask!

    -Jennie

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  45. Joni --
    What a provocative post! Of course, I must point out that Atlanta has a very strong design perspective. As a city, Atlantans are very house proud, and they use a lot of "stuff". Many of the things are from Mama and are beautiful. I love being part of the design trade here and I love my adopted city.
    Linda @ A Toile Tale

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  46. sorry i have to disagree with you but the time capsules in my humble opinion were pretty classic and more timeless than beige and "distressed". i'm afraid in about two or three years there will be garage sales across texas selling gunny sack pillows and zinc top tables for nothing. houses decorated in that way don't even look lived in. long live iris apfel and her fabulous philosophy and taste! thanks for letting me rant. love your blog, joni! cammie churdar

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  47. I love the Matthew Sapera house. The only issue I have with it is that it lacks personal character. The rooms need layers: books, flowers, treasures, boots by the door etc. Then it would be perfection.

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  48. Joni,
    Amazed that you could pick out all of Ginger Barber's signature styling! I do agree with this post - I can look at images in a magazine pinpoint a Nantucket home in a second! Alot has to do with the decor, but what usually clinches it for me is looking at the landscape outside of the windows of the home that is featured (in a magazine). But I know Nantucket's landscape well, so it's easy for me. I think Nantucket style is distinctive - the architecture (as you pointed out, the weathered cedar shingles and white trim) is strictly enforced by Nantucket's Historic District Commission (HDC) to preserve the integrity of Nantucket's historic character. In addition, any new construction has to be reviewed by the HDC to adhere within their guidelines. A reason why Nantucket architecture is distinctive and similar at the same time. I think because of nature's elements (the heavy winds, the constant salt water, the moisture) the building materials are of the highest quality to withstand Nantucket's environment. Things like mahogany decks, ship lap, tongue and groove ceilings, lots of wainscoting, porches and exceptional woodworking and high quality craftsmanship throughout the interiors. As far as interiors go, I've seen Nantucket start to become more transitional, more modern, few very contemporary - but even so, STILL lots and lots of blue and white!

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  49. Hi Joni, Great Post.

    Just a few observations. If some of the photos from Nantucket that you featured are from Real Estate listings, the homes are beautifully "staged" for resale. They should be void of any real personality while highlighting the homes overall bones.

    The "Mario Buatta" looking home that is decorated within an inch of it's life is from Traditional Home magazine, circa 1998.

    I respectfully disagree with the representation of the "Houston look". I collect design magazines from all over the country and the homes represented reflect timeless, good design that can be found in any part of the country. However, I find it interesting that as a native Texan, I can spot a California designed and decorated home in a New York second!

    Lastly, I am horrified by some comments that suggest geography and climate should dictate the decoration of your home! Please just shoot me now!!! A person's home should reflect the passions of the individuals who live there. It should reflect their travels and memories and individual taste! People! Let us be inspired by others but please decorate to reflect YOUR OWN LIFE!

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  50. SO MANY COMMENTS!!! Fantastic pictures of these interiors have inspired me to take light and neutral colours and ass a few bright splashes of colour to a room Im designing, using mydeco's 3D room planner thanks for this!

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  51. Sadly our city is lacking style of any kind. Even the best homes have little. Your post made me think... is there anyone in this place with style and I thought of two women, one from TEXAS with her sisal rugs and slipcovers when no one else around here had even seen them. The other was also a transplant from Nashville... her home was full of eye candy. Both women inspired me long before blogs came around. Do I decorate like my town? Hardly ! I don't know anyone in any town that decorates like me.. so you tell me Joni, what is my style? I would love to know. Thanks for another great post.

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  52. Great post Joni! I love love the chintzy time capsule. In fact, I stole a copy of those rooms for my inspiration folder...thank you. I also agree with the comments made by Jefferey McCullough & KMC.

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  53. I soooo enjoyed this post!! Especially the first home! I love New England and the way they decorate their homes!! Have a wonderful weekend!

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  54. I'm with Architect Design... And I have to admit I'm often jealous of a lot of what I see in other cities... LA or Houston or evn Birmingham

    A lot of the natural textures are "new" here and it's often quite the job to convince people to use them whereas it's standard in other cities

    xoxo,
    lauren

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  55. Really interesting. I think the style here in Southern California (Newport Beach) is a great mix of beach, industrial, mid-century modern (especially Palm Springs) and contemporary. Seeing your photos made me realize that I personally gravitate towards light colors and fewer patterns...calming--probably due to the fact we have too many freeways here! Thanks, Joni.

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  56. Joni, great post, I really enjoyed it. While I strongly prefer the Houston look and love your explanations of it, it is very different than the Austin look where I live.

    Austin seems to be stuck on the Texas Tuscan style, which I'm so weary of. In the Parade of Homes every year, for over 12 years now, every home is heavy stone, inside and out, lots of gold and brown, and dark wood. Every single one looks the same! I much prefer the whites, slipcovers, wicker, and antiques.

    For the commenter that was upset that geography would "dictate" design; I feel she missed the point. I think when it is hot outside, one tends to desire cooler colors inside to visually cool off. It isn't that it is dictated as much as it is a natural preference.

    And when something becomes popular, you see it often enough that you begin to appreciate it (well, not everything. I still can't do mid-century modern). So others begin to mimic the styles they've seen in neighbors, etc. For example, I really don't like grey. But it is so trendy right now that every store carries it, every magazine features it, and every blogger talks about it. While I haven't bought anything gray, I see it and now I don't hate it, in fact, some of it is beautiful. Just not for me.

    A long comment - sorry - but I really like this post. And the poor reader from Boulder, CO - she's right, I lived there before and there is NO style in Denver/Boulder area. You have to be in the resort towns, and everything has a ski lodge look.
    Thanks for posting!

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  57. Great post, Joni! I love the "Houston ala Cote de Texas" look.....Here in a New York City suburb, my house looks more like that older nantucket house- very Mario Buatta, Silk curtains, formal french and english furniture, etc. Next house will be total Houston look: cool blues and greys, white slips, sisal, trumeau mirrors...LOVE IT ALL!!!!!
    -linda,ny

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  58. There are some beautiful old Victorian houses in my city (Victoria, BC), along with dozens of apartment buildings that were constructed between 1950 and 1980. The apartment buildings are featureless, beige and incredibly ugly.

    Most of the new construction is "West Coast Modern", a mish-mash of whatever is trendy, plus a huge stone fireplace. Woods with a reddish tinge and paint colours like olive and gold are very popular.

    I read (and am influenced by) all the decorating magazines). My decorating style is nothing like what is currently popular here. I love painted French furniture, seashells, coral, antlers, minerals, rusted urns, stacks of books and Cy Twombly paintings. My colour preferences tend toward greyish blues and greens, pale terracotta and the softest blush pink. I'll never fit in here!

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  60. I think it's interesting how cities develop a style -- and I agree that many do. We were recently considering a move to the East Coast and I can tell you that New Jersey and Connecticut both have very distinct styles!

    I was so drawn to your blog because what you describe as "Houston style" looks very much like the "Santa Barbara style" or "Napa Valley style" I've always loved.

    I think sometimes climate drives desi, for example -- and other times the availability of regional materials or furnishings creates trends. I also think that popular designers, especially those whose work is published in magazines, strongly influence regional styles.

    I think Houston owes you a huge debt of gratitude. Until I found your blog I had no idea that Houston had so much design talent!

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  61. Found this on Yahoo and I’m happy I did. Interesting blog post. check out http://www.strategiccapital.com for some information on Structured Settlement Payments.

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  62. Stunning interior! Loved the colors, the furniture and the upholstery! Lovely post, check out also 3D Rendering

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  63. Found this on Yahoo and I’m happy I did. Interesting blog post. check out http://www.strategiccapital.com for some information on Structured Settlement Payments.

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  64. Hi Joni!
    Oh gosh Lexington, Kentucky is.... Old gentrified brick & ivy with generations still gathering for sunday night dinner.
    New builder, cookie cutter, open plan with the standard formal khaki or cranberry front living and dining that no one ever goes in.
    My Personal favorite... white clapboard homesteads, three story with wraparound porches, multiple chimneys, old stone walls and lot's of acres....for horses of course.
    Now if I could just have Joni Webb or Ginger Barber take care of the inside!
    Thank you Joni for a beautiful post.
    Hope you're having a good summer.
    Xoxo Lisa

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  65. As a landscape designer in central Ohio, there is a general look for landscapes with the traditional shrubs and perennials that all garden centers sell. However since folks from all over the country end up in Ohio, we get a blend of landscape styles; east and west coast, southern and European. That is the great part of the landscape, you can design it make it feel like almost anywhere in the world.

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  66. beautiful! I have had an image in my head for a long time of my dream home, and I was surprised to see that that translated to Nantucket style since I wasn't even familiar with it (not knowingly anyway??)
    I wouldn't say our city has a certain style, but our region - the Pacific NW- definitely does. I can spot a NW home on HGTV or a magazine instantly. You will almost never find a home up here painted in the trendy gray tones (interior) too much of that going on outside during most of the year. Lots of plants like rhododendrons, maples, and firs are common outside. Very comfy and cozy with natural elements indcluded in the decor. Great post!!

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  67. NYC definitely has it's own style.

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  68. I really liked all of these interiors.

    Nantucket makes my heart smile! Unfortunately, my exteriors are a spanish type adaptation. They build very few eastern seaboard style homes in the tracts of southern California. boo-boo, it would be so pretty instead of mediterranean ad naseum!

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