19 July 2011

West University House Tour #2

 

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Remember the West University Home Tour this past spring?   I was hoping to show you all the houses on the wwatour, but unfortunately, I won’t be able to because several are up for publication.   The first house from the tour that  I showed was Heidi Dugan’s house designed by Ginger Barber HERE.  The comments about Heidi’s house were overwhelmingly positive.  Thank you all for that.  I always appreciate all the comments you leave – I know it takes extra effort and for that I am most thankful.

Today’s house from the tour is different than Heidi’s in one key way.    Heidi’s house is new, custom built for her.  Today’s house, built in 1940, is original to the neighborhood, which is unusual for West University where many houses are torn down and new, larger houses are built on the small lots.   Today’s house, is also unique because its lot size is much larger than the norm and it is located in one of the prettiest sections of West U.  Most houses on this street are original:  to tear down one of these beauties is almost a sin. 

The house’s beauty starts with its curb appeal.  It has a brick clad facade that is now entirely covered in romantic ivy.   Inside, the appeal continues.  The owner, interior designer Mary Jane Gallagher, lives here with her husband and children.  Mary Jane has a definite style and the entire house is her canvas.  She describes the décor as “casual elegance.”  The biggest surprise is found out back.  Several years ago, the Gallaghers hired noted architect Kurt Aichler who built a “casita” in the backyard.   The casita really sets the house apart – its main room is two stories tall with a balcony that overlooks the first floor.  

I am crazy about this house – I love everything here, the design, the furnishings, the accessories.   I swear, give me a suitcase and I could move in here today without taking a thing from my own house!  Enjoy!!!

 

 

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You can tell that a designer had a hand in this house before even stepping foot inside.  I love the way the black slate steps are repeated with the black painted Georgian door and the window trim.   The ivy is neatly clipped around the windows – emphasizing the red brick.  On the front porch with matching lanterns are two concrete angels and two French pots filled with box.  The landscaping is all green, rows of box extend from one end to the other.   Driving by this house, you would definitely slow down and try to look inside, it’s curb appeal is undeniable.

 

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Mary Jane’s style starts at the first room – the living room.  The floors are stained a dark brown/black.  The plaster walls are a soft white.   The décor is a study in brown and white.  There is no clutter or small accessories, instead there are several large pieces placed around the room commanding attention.   The rug, a zebra skin, is the only pattern here.  A large painting, flanked by iron sconces, rests on the floor, standing behind two antique chairs covered in white linen.    The pillows are brown velvet with antique metallic trim.   The sofa is slipped in white linen.

 

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Looking the other way at the front window, textured blinds hang behind the curtain panels.    A large dark stained table stands in the front window along with a tall pot and an even taller gilt lamp. 

 

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Closeup of the statue in front of the large painting.  The peeling paint adds to its appeal.

 

 

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On the opposite wall of the large painting and two antique chairs, a tall gilt mirror reflecting the vignette.

 

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A close up of the velvet pillows with the metallic trim.

 

 

 

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The dining room is between the kitchen and the living room, with views to the backyard and the casita.  The table is a round, gathered skirt made of linen.   The antique chairs have nail heads and are covered in green velvet. 

 

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On the dining room table sits a gilt crown holding white roses.

 

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The entire room is reflected in another oversized gilt framed mirror with views of the living room and the nearby family room.

 

 

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Large French doors open to the back yard.   Through the arches is the living room and next is the family room.

 

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In this close up of the façade, the living room is easily seen where the large pot sits in the window.   The room on the extreme left side of the house is the family room. 

 

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The family room sits next to the living room.   Furnished in similar colors and style to the living room, the decor flows from room to room.  

 

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Here, a white slipped sofa with a beautifully curved back is mixed with wicker and crystals and gilt.   The large window with the textured blinds and flowing white sheers overlooks the front yard.  A zebra rug sits on top of the seagrass.  I love the gray and white striped pillows. 

 

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I love the oversized accessories Mary Jane has placed around the house, like this sculpture that sits next to the chinoiserie lamp in the family room.

 

 

 

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A fireplace sits in between built in shelves filled with antique books, coral, glassware, and framed maps.   I love the gilt lamps.   A large Louis Philippe mirror reflects the sofa.   In front of the back windows sits an antique slipcovered settee.

 

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I love the way Mary Jane accessorized her shelves with a mix of antique books and coral.

 

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Closeup of a collection of glassware found in the shelves in the family room.

 

 

 

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Here is a glimpse of the stairs leading up to where all the bedrooms are located.  Another large gilt Louis Philippe is flanked by two antique architectural elements.

 

 

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The casita – designed by architect Kurt Aichler.  It looks like a miniature version of the “big” house – with the red brick, the black windows and doors – and large box filled pots. 

 

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I adore the awnings!!!  More box woods and lanterns.

 

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Inside the casita, the main room is set up as a dining room with a long wood table and benches, perfect for entertaining.  Upstairs is a guest room.

 

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A set of black and white photographs of busts hung close together act as one large piece of art.   Love those photos!!!!  

 

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The seagrass covered stairs with iron balcony lead to a landing which overlooks the entire room below.   I really love the French doors with panes that don’t go all the way to the floor.

 

I hope you have enjoyed the Gallaghers house as much as I did!  I am so crazy about Mary Jane’s style.  I love the way the rooms flow together aesthetically – the white walls, the dark floors, the large accessories, the white slipcovers and the dark velvet fabrics.   The only pattern found throughout is stripes – the zebra stripes and the stripes in the pillows in the different rooms, including the casita.   I don’t know this, but I would assume the Gallaghers like to entertain a lot which is why they use the casita’s main room as a dining area.  I would probably use it as a second living area – since I NEVER entertain! 

Mary Jane and I exchanged emails and I am hoping that she will allow me to show more of her design work in the near future.  I am dying to see the houses that she has designed!!!!   A huge thank you to Mary Jane for letting me show these pictures.   Thanks again Mary Jane!

To contact Mary Jane, her email address is gallagher503@sbcglobal.net

 

55 comments:

  1. I think I'm going to show my husband the first picture in hopes he'll agree we should let the ivy grow around our house (to cover unmatched brick!). Beautiful house--thanks for sharing!

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  2. The house is lovely, and her style unique. I love the 2 statues...the one of Joseph and Jesus, and the other of St. Francis of Assisi ( I believe ). Joni....your close up photos of some of the details are really professional looking. Great job!

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  3. Goodness this is a gorgeous home. It looks comfortable and elegant at the same time--just what the owner was hoping to achieve, it seems.

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  4. Ivy covered walls always make me smile.

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  5. I love getting peek into the beautiful homes that I drove by al; the time! Thank you Joanie!

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  6. Joni, Love the curb appeal of this home, all green and perfectly manicured. I think the interiors is a perfect example of wonderful restraint!! Just lovely!! Thank you for stopping by my blog the other day, It will be fun to see some of the questions that come in!!! Kathysue

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  7. I adore the ivy covered brick. There is a brick colonial in the next neighborhood over from me that does this. It is a smaller home but the effect is fantastic. I have always admired it. It is stunning on his home. I love a house where all the same colors flow from room to room. I'm wanting to repaint my living room and what is stopping me is that it means I will have to repaint every room in this house. So I am going to try to put it off awhile.

    This is a beautiful home. I am not a fan of the zebra rugs....but everything else is lovely.

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  8. Hi Joni,
    From the sneak peek you gave when you first wrote about the tour, this was the house I was dying to see more of! I am absolutely in love with all of it! ALL OF IT! Like you, all I need is a suitcase, and I'd move right in!! Thanks so much to Mary Jane for allowing you to show us, and thanks to you for putting her in the bigtime! :)

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  9. stunning... very clean and classic... not sparse..it is comfy. I agree I would use the guest house room as another living area... maybe keep my desk out there... and my wine!

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  10. Beautiful, simple and stunning!

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  11. Beautiful, but not intimidating. It's calming to see the colors and materials repeated through the rooms. That round table makes me think of "The Skirted Roundtable".

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  12. All I could think about was, "Joni must be going crazy for all those mirrors!" Hahhaha. :)
    Other commenters should know that real ivy will destroy the masonry joints on a house (very expensive fix) and there are other non-invasive vines that will do the trick depending on your location.

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  13. Uhhh, can I move in along with you? I wouldn't need to bring anything from my house either--simply beautiful.

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  14. I love went you take us inside Houston's homes. Thanks!

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  15. Mary Jane's house is absolutely lovely. She has great style and flair. But most of all, she is a great person in real life, too!

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  16. Joni,

    This home is stunning!

    I have been following your blog for a while now and I want you to know what an inspiration your blog is to me. As a stay at home mom to three young children, your blog consistently provides a breath of creativity and freshness to my day. Your writing is beautiful and I have learned so much from you. Thank you! And this week...the children are with their grandparents...and I am devouring The Skirted Roundtable Podcasts while I repaint our kitchen! Y'all are incredible! Such a treat! Thank you so much for all the time and energy you pour into your blog.

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  17. Beautiful house inside and out but I have a little suggestion. The light colored vents all over the roof that faces the street really pull the eyes up to them and detracts from the otherwise elegant look of the house. If they were painted to match the roof color they would nearly disappear leaving our eyes down at the entry.

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  18. My suitcase is packed too! What a gorgeous home, I love the use of the elegant and refined e.g. chandeliers and gilt mirrors with the rustic and natural e.g. coral and wicker...a fantastic post, thank you! Tammy

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  20. Melissa Allison-LeeJuly 20, 2011 at 7:42 AM

    Once again you have made my day and inspired me! As I have mentioned, West U was always my favorite neighborhood in my hometown, Houston. This house is so totally my style...it is just gorgeous. Thanks for sending a smile to my face on this hot, hot island morning!

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  21. Joni:

    This is one gorgeous home. Love, love the interiors as it feels comfortable and elegant all at the same time. Light and airy with a mixture of new furnishings anchored with beautiful perfectly chosen antiques. Decorator is truly talented.

    You have beautiful homes in Houston and very talented decorators. So glad I discovered your blog. Thank you for sharing your many talents.

    Janice

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  22. These homes in this neighborhood make me want to move to Texas! The dark browns in the textiles as well as the wood floors and furniture give the rooms such warmth and elegance, and the whites keep it fresh...just gorgeous!

    http://bjdhausdesign.blogspot.com/

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  23. Lovely, lovely home. Brown and white seems such a peaceful & relaxed scheme. Thank you for always sharing the most fabulous of pictures - a real labour of love on your part. Thanks for brigtening my day!

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  24. Both of my parents graduated from West Virginia University....I am so pleased to see this...and what beautiful images!....smiles

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  25. An audacious and refreshing visual style. I notice there's no coffee table in the living room, which contributes to its open feeling even with large pieces. Clever! Best wishes.

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  26. Soooo happy they did not tear this house down. Just beautiful + big pieces, YES! xxpeggybraswelldesign.

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  27. Joni
    I think this is one of the most lovely homes you have ever posted! You are such a sleuth!

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  28. Joni I am with you I could move right in and be completely at home. Stunning, yet very comfortable!

    Do come and join my giveaway of a wonderful painting by Mary Maxam!

    xoxo
    Karena

    Art by Karena

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  29. Flippin' Gorgeous!! :) No wonder that you could move right in ... and add me to that list too! :)

    Seriously -- Sticky-Good Eye Candy! :)

    Comfortable, charming and elegant! Heading out to buy lottery tickets .... LOL!

    Joni -- Of course you DO entertain your readers every single time that you post! ((Although -- if I had your pretty home -- I'd be having folks in all of the time! LOL!))


    Cheers! Jan at Rosemary Cottage

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  30. Another example of the design treasure trove in Houston.....And thanks for mentioning those homes in West U that haven't been demolished by a developer......Mary Jane has a unique styls of her own. I love the way she used the boxwood and greenery up the sides of the house.... Almost making it look Belgian.Very nice.Looking forward to seeing more. Maryanne xo

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  31. What a beautiful home. I sure hope this lady is aware that ivy destroys the mortar between bricks. Those little roots dig right into the mortar and eventually weaken and crack it causing the house to sometimes sag as the mortar cracks and sometimes falls out. Kind of like the mortar between ceramic tile that cracks and falls out as it ages. It would be a shame if that occurred to such a lovely house.

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  32. I adore brick homes and this one is no exception. The roof, window seals and colonial broken pediment architecture as well as entrance door all dressed up in black is exquisite. It certainly works well with the charcoal color in the brick. Since I am very fond of brick homes, it disturbs me greatly to see them all covered up and sealed with plants (ivy on steroids) growing all over the front of this gorgeous dwelling. Of course that is just my opinion and heaven knows everybody has one these days but just thought I would comment on it. Otherwise it is a spectacular abode.

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  33. Hi Joni,
    I thoroughly enjoyed this tour. I adore Mary Jane's style! The first photo of the home covered in ivy reminded me of my own house, which was at one time completely covered in ivy. Sometime in the 50's it was removed. Darn! Love that look, although the maintenance would be a bitch! Love how they have it all trimmed neatly around the windows. Such a gorgeous home! Thank you for the tour! ~Delores

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  34. It is a very lovely home but I find the furniture placement to be awkward and un-inviting. The living room is not at all conducive to conversation. The weird placement of the chairs, one over hanging the sofa even. If you are seated on the sofa there isnt a place to even put down a drink.
    The family room coffee table is too small and the candelabra on top of it too big for the small vintage French wicker trunk. I have one and I use it as a side table for a chair in my living room.
    I guess I am just tired of seeing homes that look more like a staged production than a living space. It is much more challenging to design a room and incorporate style along with comfort.

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  35. I love this! It proves that interest doesn't have to come from color - contrast and texture play a big part, too!

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  36. Joni, what a beautiful home! It reminds me of the your home so I can see why you love it. I especially love all the different "textures" you see throughout. Love the big pics, Joni. Your blog is way better than any magazine!

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  37. It's so nice to see an older home being lovingly restored versus being torn down. And that guest house is lovely!

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  38. I don't mean to be rude (I love your blog and all of the work you put into each post is much appreciated) but...
    almost all of the houses you post are carbon cookie-cutter copies of each other. I can't see the uniqueness, individuality or style in any of these places, just an accumulation of items checked from a list of "must haves" (though of the highest quality I guess. How are these houses anything more than show homes really?

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  39. Joni this is another awesome home, and post, from the area. Thanks for all you do in sharing these designs.

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  40. Like anonymous, above, I love your site. Here comes the but:
    This house has no owner's personality! And no color! where is Miles Redd, Jeffrey Billhuber, Kathryn Ireland et al! Where's the life! Where's the COLOR! This house is safe, safe, safe, nothing memorable; carefully staged, neutral done to death. That's my opinion. Your house is better; your house is a home! This is just a stage set.

    Suzanne on St. Simons

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  41. Joni, I love your blog but every time I visit it runs so slowwwwwwww (???)very frustrating

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  42. Dear Joni! Please throw a party and invite all of your many admirers. You are the best blogger by a country mile.

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  44. love that big beautiful blue lantern! ;)


    ashley

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  45. Oh, come on Jonie you can let just one picture shot of those homes that are going to be published slide out to us can't you? You don't have to show us the entire spread but just a peak. It might even help the publications. Besides it takes soooo long for magazines to publish things and it would appear to be a little anti climatic to have the post blog once the magazines come out with them. It kind of strikes me as a Catch 22 Position here. So the public is requesting that you slide in just ONE TEASE PICTURE. How about it Jonie?

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  46. I loved this home on the tour and your photos really capture all the detail and beauty.
    Happy Friday to you Joni!
    xo~
    T

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  47. It's wonderful, it's excellent this is a wonderful home. It looks comfortable and elegant at the same time just what the owner was hoping to achieve, it seems..
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  50. I have to disagree with you about the curb appeal. It really needs some TLC on the front of the house. First, the plumbing vents on the roof look bad and should be moved to the back of the house. The windows really bother me 1) Odd placement but, at this point I guess you can't really change that 2) divided lite windows would be more authentic 3)the windows would look better with stained wood shutters rather than white.

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  51. The home is actually beautiful, as well as the woman's type distinctive. I enjoy both the figurines...the main one regarding Frederick as well as Christ, and also the some other regarding Saint. Francis regarding Assisi ( In my opinion ). Joni....your own up close photographs regarding a few of the facts are actually professional. Congrats!

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