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.