McAlpine/Ferrier Renovation in Houston

98 comments

 

The popular blog, La Dolce Vita, Here, recently showed a beautiful house for sale in Houston’s posh River Oaks neighborhood.  The house had been put up for sale after a total renovation by the fabulous Bobby McAlpine of the McAlpine Tankersley architectural firm from Birmingham.  Susan Ferrier from the same firm did the interiors.   

 

When I first saw the house on La Dolce Vita – it looked eerily familiar and I knew I had seen it before, but where?  A quick look into the archives of HAR produced the original house when it was for sale before – and then I remembered.   I had admired the house when it was for sale at that time and I showed it to Ben saying – what a great house to restore!   To me a total renovation looked impossible – but seeing the house in the talented hands of Bobby McAlpine and Susan Ferrier – it seems all so obvious what should be done and how.  

 

 So – enjoy seeing how this important Houston house – built and designed in 1938 by the renowned architect Charles Oliver – was totally renovated!

 

image

 

Here is the house as it appeared when it was for sale.  The house is only two bedrooms which may be a factor on why it is for sale so quickly again.  It has 2,700 sq. ft. and a garage apartment with a study downstairs that does give some bedroom flexibility.    It is an original River Oaks house, built by the River Oaks Corporation.

 

In 1997, the house was for sale for $375,000.  In 2010, it was priced at around $975,000 after several reductions.  Today the asking price is $1,950,000 – but the renovations are extensive, as you will see.

 

As you can see – the charm is immediately evident – but so are the issues.  The red brick is attractive, but it really clashes with the hot pink azaleas.  Why plant that color?   White would have been better if you had to have them – but they add nothing.  Neither does the red trim.  

 

 

image

 

 And wow – here is the façade all redone by Bobby McAlpine.  Amazing what a can of white paint can do because that is basically the biggest change to the house.  They did take out the azaleas which adds to the curb appeal along with the addition of the stone sidewalk, which is another great idea – and a low cost option that could be easily copied.   Of course McAlpine added a new lantern and a few new windows – I would be shocked if he or Susan hadn’t – but basically not much changed here.  This should give those who own houses with bad brick colors the confidence to repaint them.  The transformation is absolutely amazing.  And finally – no flower beds- just vines.  How English looking – and how refreshing. 

 

 

image

 

The front courtyard- there is a low stone retaining wall which is a hidden surprise and I love it!  Brick patio.

 

 

 

 

image

 

And here is the new courtyard – with white stone and black French doors that replaced the windows.  The French doors create the indoor/outdoor feel inside.  I love the white stone, but I would have opted for the much lower costing gravel courtyard myself.  The sun wouldn’t bounce off the gravel as much as the white stone – which I think might be blinding at noon.  The stone is pretty and easy to clean.  Still, I can’t help but think gravel would have looked better.  OK. I’m criticizing Bobby McAlpine?  I don’t believe it!!!!  And, ok, while I’m criticizing – would the stone wall have been better kept as it was?  Or is McAlpine right – all white everywhere?

 

Ready to go inside?

 

 

image

 

And – the focal point- the staircase inside the turret.  The floor is tile and the walls are stucco.   The arch at the upper right looks out towards the hall behind the entry. 

 

 

 

image

 

And today!  WOW.   How fabulous does this look????    I love it!  The iron stair rail remains with just the post removed.  The tiles were replaced with the stone and wood treads.  The doors have been painted black.   The entry was just cleaned up and streamlined and it is a huge improvement.  Love.

 

 

 

image

 

Off the entry is the large, high ceilinged living room with a fabulous wood ceiling and beams.  Notice the fireplace and sconces and notice the charming windows on each side of the fireplace.  It’s a great looking room even before. 

 

 

 

image

 

And another view – looking toward the side view.  An arch on the left leads into the study.

 

 

image

 

AND – here is the new living room!!   The changes are mostly cosmetic – painting the ceiling and beams creamy white, which I love.  Segreto Finishes did the stucco walls – which always adds so much to a room.    The mantel is gone which I think is a shame, but I don’t miss the overbearing sconces.   The décor is very contemporary – but very youthful.  I love the ceiling fixture and think its perfect for the space and style.  The dramatic curtains screen the side of the house with the too close fence and they stretch the window, adding a soft texture at the same time.  I love the new colors on the ceiling and think it’s the absolute correct choice for the room.  I must say – I really like the wood antique chest.  I think every and any room looks good with at least one antique piece.   I would love to see this photographed professionally. 

 

 

image

 

Behind the living room and along the side fence is the study. 

 

 

 

image

 

The study today – bookshelves were added along the back wall and the walls and ceiling were giving a darker metallic gold color.

 

 

 

 

image

 

Off the hall that leads to the back portion of the house - you can see into the living room on the left.  Next to the arched shelves – notice the higher arch which is open to the entry hall.   To the right is the original dining room.  In the renovation – this area becomes the kitchen.  Where the windows are – these become French doors that overlook the front courtyard.  The windows on the right become smaller ones which overlook the side yard and fence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

image 

 

And how it looks today.    The arches and shelves are cleaned up in the renovation.  Besides the new stucco texture, a wall of wood shiplap boards was added for even more texture.   

 

 

 

 

image

 

Looking from the living room towards the dining room and the kitchen in the back.  Today – the kitchen is where the dining room was and the dining room is where the kitchen was.

 

 

image

 

And the dining room.   After this room became the kitchen, the wall on the right was broken through to become the butler’s pantry, shown further along.  

 

 

 

image

 

And the kitchen today!  So beautiful.  A contemporary, clean lined spaced filled with white marble and stainless appliances and cabinetry.  The new French doors replaced windows that now overlook the front courtyard – making the courtyard an extra room.  The three new windows overlook the side yard.  The back wall is marble – just gorgeous!!!!!  So luxe!!!  I love the symmetry of the refrigerator and freezer being separated and framing the cooktop.  The cabinetry doors are also stainless.  Veddy nice!!

 

 

image

 

And looking towards the front courtyard.  It seems that two ranges and two stove tops mimic a large professional range- great idea!!!   The kitchen is fabulous – I love it.  McAlpine and Ferrier are known for wonderful kitchen designs – and this doesn’t disappoint. 

 

 

image 

 

In the space where the kitchen and family room once were – a large butler’s pantry was carved out of the remaining space.  Again, beautiful marble countertops and backsplash and open shelves.  What a luxury of a space.

 

 

 

image

 

And at the end of the hall – on the left is the former kitchen and on the right is the family room.  Both rooms overlook the back yard and garage.  Today – this is now the dining room and butler’s pantry.

 

 

image

 

The original kitchen which was renovated at some point in time – half of this space is now the butler’s pantry.

 

 

image

 

The family room – with a nice fireplace.  It’s interesting how the front of the house is so charming architecturally with the gorgeous living room and entry hall in the turret, yet the back part is rather plain as if the architect ran out of ideas. 

 

 

 

image

 

And today – overlooking the backyard – is the dining room.  The fireplace has a new stone mantel, along with the shiplap wall for added texture.  Beams were also added to create some needed architectural interest.  Susan Ferrier designed a great banquette along the back wall – but the star here is the FABULOUS marble topped Saarinen table.  LOVE!!  These tables are available in different sizes from Design Within Reach HERE.   I grew up with this table (sans marble top) and tulip chairs and this is the one piece of iconic midcentury designs that I covet.  Well, not the only one – there are wonderful chairs and chaises that I love too, but this table just kills me.   For those on a tight budget – consider this copy from IKEA to get the look.

 

DOCKSTA Table IKEA A round table with soft edges gives a relaxed impression in a room.

 

 

On a budget, you can get the look for just $199 from IKEA.  I would pair this large wicker chairs.   The Design Within Reach marble topped version is so expensive – starting at $5k and going up to $13,000!!!   But – it’s worth every penny.

 

 

 

image

 

Back to the dining room – by adding a love seat and chair by the fire place, the room becomes a sort of family area and not just a dining room.  By adding the beams, new black windows and the wall to wall stone mantel – these elements add to the once architecturally plain room.   What I do wonder is why the dining room wasn’t put where the study is – to create a connection to the front part of the house?   Laughing while writing this, imagining Bobby hearing my suggestions while rolling his eyes. 

 

 

 

 

image

 

Upstairs, the master bedroom – has interesting ceiling lines that follow the roof.  This room overlooks the back yard.

 

 

 

image

 

Both the bathrooms and kitchen had obviously been updated at some point  - but in this renovation, they were taken down to the studs.

 

 

 

 

image

 

The master bedroom today.  The windows were changed and made bigger.  Susan Ferrier would have a fit if she saw this photograph – how it wasn’t staged.  The pillows weren’t even put on the bed.   And it’s a shame the photograph was taken at this angle because you can’t see the focal points – the headboard or the hanging lamps - which both look very interesting.  It looks like there is a shelf over the bed with two framed prints.  Wish we could see it!

 

 

 

image 

The master bathroom has the same cabinetry and marble as the kitchen and butler’s pantry – which I love – it creates a wonderful design continuity throughout the house.  Beautiful sconces and tub.  

 

 

 

image 

And the second bedroom, before.  

 

 

 

image

 

Today, the bedroom is a nursery.  Love the light fixture.  I’m sure the family is probably moving because they have outgrown the two bedrooms.  This is a singles house or an empty nester, unless there is an older child that could stay in the garage apartment.  Two bedrooms today are just so limiting.  I’m surprised with the square footage that another bedroom couldn’t be added on somewhere upstairs?   The two story living room really limits the number of upstairs bedrooms.   This room looks large, 16x13 – could it have been divided into two?

 

 

 

image

 

The second bathroom with the gorgeous marble bath and a charming new window.  Love the hardware that is found throughout the house – and all the sconces Susan chose.

 

 

 

 image

The back yard before.  Here you can see what was once the open kitchen on the right and the family room on the left.  The master bedroom and bath are seen above.  Today – this back area is the dining room on the left and the butler’s pantry on the right.   And you can see the garage apartment here, also.

 

 

 

 

image

Basically the same view- with the renovations and the new stone walkway.    The new windows and doors make such a difference, as does the white paint. 

 

 

 

image

 

The backyard is just waiting for a swimming pool!    This is something that a couple with a baby wouldn’t want, but for an empty nester – it would be perfect. 

 

 

 

 

 

image

 

The house is sale pending now – not surprising at all.  To have the combination of an original River Oaks Corporation house – updated for today by the master – Bobby McAlpine and Susan Ferrier – is a rarity in Houston.

 

 

 

 

image

 

And I hope  you found it interesting to see what changes McAlpine made and what he chose to keep.  Like the entry, which he basically left alone except for finishes……

 

 

 

 

image

…as opposed to the bathrooms and kitchen which were totally gutted and renovated – which was the right move.   What McAlpine and Ferrier did was take an older, dated home and turn it into a more contemporary house perfect for a young family.  What do you think?

 

Did you ever read Bobby McAlpine’s book?  This was one design book I READ cover to cover.  To order click on the image below:

 

 

 

AND – and new book by McAlpine and Ferrier – coming out in April!  Can’t wait.  Pre-order below:

 

 

 

 

 

Finally – did you ever listen to Bobby McAlpine when he visited the Skirted Roundtable?  We kidded that he was the first guest to drop the f-bomb (more than once) but he was also one of our more intelligent visitors.   I remember the three of us being just stunned.  He was fascinating and we hung on for dear life, clearly out of our league.   And nice?  And funny?   One of my favorite guests, ever.

 

Listen HERE.

In Memoriam

59 comments

 

I know everyone is busy with Christmas and family, but this slipped by me somehow and I just couldn’t not pay a proper respect to Mr. Charles Faudree.  The famed interior designer from Tulsa, Oklahoma passed away from a long bout with cancer this past November 28.  He was just 75 years old.  

 

image

Charles Faudree – always dapper, and always surrounded by his Cavalier, King Charles Spaniels

 

The former mayor of Tulsa, Kathy Taylor – also a client -  said of Faudree, his eyes were full of deep kindness and he always had a smile on his face.   "When you were with Charles, you always thought you were the only person in his life at that moment," Taylor said, "he would put himself and his incredible talent aside and really focused on making you feel like a great friend and a great person."

Charles Faudree started out teaching art and selling furniture in Dallas, Texas.  His career in interior design came about when he designed his sister Francie’s house in Tulsa – he was 38 years old at the time.  For many – it was his long relationship with Traditional Home magazine that brought him national acclaim.

Faudree was known for this Country French aesthetic.  Over the years he stayed true to his love of French antiques, furniture, and accessories.   His designs were layered, the more the better, and featured the finest of Provencal.  

 

image

He wrote six books – his first “Charles Faudree’s Country French Signature,” is now in its 9th printing and has sold over 60,000 copies.  Amazing.  All of his books are filled with houses he has designed through the years and his own numerous homes.   When he sprang on the scene, Faudree’s look was pure Country French – with blue, red, and yellow fabrics in toiles and checks.

In the 2000s – Faudree started adding Swedish pieces to his French – and his designs took on a much a lighter look than his previous aesthetic.   This shift showed that Faudree changed with the times and made his look relevant to younger clients.

Faudree was a known philanthropist.  Just this past March, he was the guest of honor at Tulsa CARES’ 15th annual Red Ribbon Gala, of which he was a founding member.   He was also known for his love of Cavaliers, King Charles Spaniels.   His dogs graced  many of his book covers.

His survivors included his partner, Bill Carpenter, and his sister, Francie Faudree Gillman.

 

image

This house by Charles Faudree was his own and it was the one that Traditional Homes featured which made him a national star.  The living room was double sized with a table in the middle and two matching fireplaces on each side.  Notice the beautiful French chests flanking the archway.  Faudree filled his houses with these types of Provencal antiques.  I was obsessed with this house and thought the floor plan was fabulous.  I studied every corner and every accessory.  He became my favorite designer overnight.   

Faudree moved shortly after this house was published.  I remember thinking – why?  It was such a perfect house!  Little did I know that he moved all the time – and indeed  he lived in countless houses during his lifetime!   Some furniture went with him from house to house, while others he left behind. 

 

 

image

One side of his living room with the beautiful French mantel.

 

 

image

The dining room was actually on a back hall alcove.  A French sofa was used instead of chairs on one side.  Above is a tole chandelier.

 

 

 

image

Faudree was known for his kitchens – which he often wallpapered and dressed up with accessories as he would any other room.

 

 

image

He loved symmetry and blue and white plates.  Here – his collection of blue and white porcelains hang surrounded by an antique French barometer.

 

 

image

Checks were a favorite – in red and white and blue and white.  He used the same fabrics over and over again, Pierre Frey and Bennison were favorites. 

 

 

image

Faudree at his best – blue and white checks with this favorite fabric Petit Parc by Pierre Frey in blue.

 

 

image

This house designed by Faudree was another double living room with fireplaces on each end.  Here the dining room table was on one side while the living area was on the other.   Louis XV and XVI styled chairs were used with Provencal tables and upholstered sofas.  Stripes and checks were used, along with muted floral patterned fabrics.

 

image

Another view of the same house. 

 

image

The family room in the same house – next to the kitchen. 

 

image

The bedroom features a four poster bed in Chelsea Edition fabrics.  Beautiful fireplace and desk with clock.  Notice how all the rooms blend together in one cohesive design.

 

 

 

image

Another view of the same bedroom.

*

 

 

image

A fancy French bathroom for the more casual bedroom seen above.   The bathroom is dressier than the bedroom!  This  house was shown in a large spread in Veranda.

 

 

image 

I love this house that Faudree designed in the Caribbean which was also featured in Veranda.  He used a large Suzani fabric and bold stripes, which was a departure for Faudree.  He loved to use sample sized chairs in his rooms – like this charming one in a blue and white ikat.

 

 

image

A view of the other side of the living room with more blue and white fabrics and black hardwood floors.

 

 

image

The dining room is a stunning collection of shells and antique books – with gleaming black hardwoods and mirrored chests.

 

 

 

image

The bedroom featured reproduction antiques.  At Faudree’s shop in Tulsa, he sold beautiful chair frames which would be either stained or painted and then upholstered.   I used to drool over pictures of his chair frames and dream about clients who would let me purchase them!

 

 

image

This living room made the cover of one of his books.  It signaled a shift in his aesthetic at the time  - white walls?   And it showcased new fabrics that quickly became favorites such as the damask and the cut velvet pillow fabric.

 

 

image

These two chairs are made from frames sold in Faudree’s shop.  Love these!

 

 

image

A French bedroom – done by the best.

 

 

image

This was a bedroom Faudree did for a young couple in Houston!  He used a favorite toile stripe on the walls.

 

 

image

And he filled the bedroom with painted antiques.

 

 

image

And more painted chests and tufted chairs.

 

 

image

This was another house Faudree lived in for a while.   It featured a beautiful French mantel and tall bergeres in a taupe damask.  These two chairs showed up in house after house.  Faudree also used this chair a lot for clients.

 

 

image

Looking at the side of the same living room, here is a painted chest and the surprise of a glass coffee table!

 

 

 

image

And a view towards the dining room.  Another surprise – upholstered slipper chairs.  Faudree loved antique French barometers and used them to anchor wall displays.

 

 

 

image

The same dining room with printed fabric curtains.  Love the tole clock.

 

 

  image

In this entrée in a Faudree house – an enfilade is the focal point.  This painted piece was owned by Faudree and then he sold it to a client who later sold it back to Faudree. 

 

 

image

This Faudree house is another favorite.  His sister Francie bought him the sample sized chair in front of the painted coffee table – which is from Faudree’s furniture line.  Notice the tole clock from the previous dining room.  These sconces moved from house to house with Faudree.  The fabric seen throughout this room is Florentine Damask by Beaumont and Fletcher.

 

 

image 

The two chairs flanking the fireplace were used in the previous living room.   Faudree said this drapery treatment was one of his favorite.

 

image 

In yet another Faudree house, this living room featured the wing chairs in Petit Parc and a large check in blue and white.  These sconces were seen in house after house.   Faudree loved tole chandeliers and used them in many projects.

 

 

image

In another room of Faudree’s – here is yet another tole chandelier.   As in the picture above – he liked to use gate leg tables in front of sofas.

 

 

image

One of the Faudree’s last residences- featured a French day bed that sat in front of the fireplace.

 

 

image

The familiar sconces appear here as do the familiar bergeres in the damask.  A stunning collection of tortoise shell boxes sit atop the tea table.

 

image

The view in the opposite direction.  This house shows a mature Faudree with a more eclectic approach to design. 

 

image

Close up of the antique mirror and painted chest. 

 

 

 

image

Besides his many houses, Faudree had numerous vacation homes he all named The Roost.  There were many Roosts – not just one.  After many years in Oklahoma, he finally ended up with a Roost in the Cashiers.   Here, a published Roost – in bleached woods and blue and white checks and Petit Parc fabric on the walls.  The portrait over the fireplace moved from house to house.

 

 

image

In the past decade, Faudree had begun to add Swedish influences into his designs.   This Roost was a favorite of mine!  Love it!

 

 

image

His favorite Petite Parc print on two wing chairs.

 

 

image

Here he added a French day bed in ticking.

 

 

image

I loved this version of the Roost – with the huge tapestry and blue and white checks mixed with white painted furniture.

 

 

image

Another Roost with the same antique coffee table and the French sofa and chairs from Faudree’s line.  The portrait of the girl hangs to the left of the sofa.

 

image

Close of the painted chest and the small portrait which Faudree said he loved.

 

image

And another Roost dining room – with toile curtains and a painted enfilade.

 

 

image

This Swedish secretary was used in several Roost houses. 

 

 

image

And here it is again used in a different Roost – a study in symmetry.

 

 

 

image

This Roost bedroom was a study in black and white.  These two chairs are from his furniture line.

 

 

image

Another Roost bedroom with his collection of dog prints.

 

image

And on the other side of the bedroom with another beautiful oil.

 

image

A laundry room was taken out to make a small bedroom.  Faudree said he didn’t know how to do the laundry – so why would he need a laundry room?  Love the needlepoint pillow announcing The Roost!

 

 

image

I love Faudree’s vignettes – the chests and chairs in the corners with mirrors and lamps and tablescapes.

 

image

Here he used a French baker’s table for a makeshift bar.

 

image

A painted chest, a mirror and plates – Faudree could do this arrangement blindfolded.

 

image

He always seemed to find the perfect painted piece, the perfect mirror and the perfect accessory.

 

 

 

image

Faudree was known for his bathrooms and closets.  Always, symmetry prevails.  I love that huge perfume bottle!

 

image 

Another bathroom – showcases his love of Napoleon, toile and painted Provencal furniture. 

 

image

A newer version of his powder room – with a contemporary wallpaper and painted console.

 

 image

Have an extra antique barometer?  Hang it over the toilet!  Faudree would and did!

 

 

image

Charles Faudree with his beloved Cavalier, King Charles Spaniel.   I will miss this man. 

Read a previous written story about Faudree HERE.

 

Here are links to Faudree’s six books, on Amazon.  To order, just double  click on the picture.