This summer I did a story about a house in Houston designed by Kara Childress. It is one of the most luxe houses here – owned by a family of philanthropists. I loved the story because the couple also live in Southern California on the grounds of the beautiful Provencal styled spa Cal-A-Vie. Both their houses are gorgeous, both are very different. Kara designed the Houston house and it was also featured in Architectural Digest.
Through the years I’ve shown pictures of Kara Chlidress’ designs – most of the photographs have come from that fabulous design book – Segreto:
Leslie Sinclair’s book Segreto features several of Kara Childress’ projects.
I recently was surfing Houston interior designers – and saw that Kara Childress Inc, Interior Design now has a gorgeous web site that I had never seen before. Wow. It’s a stunner. I love Kara’s work. She’s been designing for a long while now and I love how her look has evolved over the years. Yes, she can design a house like the luxe French one shown above – but she can also design rooms that everyone can relate too. I love how she mixes antiques and new items together and I love that she has a symmetrical eye. Her rooms are so balanced and pleasing and soothing.
So – enjoy these photographs from her web site:
In the earlier story on the French house – the images from Architectural Digest are so different than those on Kara’s web site. Here, is the AD shot of the living room.
And here is the same room from Kara’s web site – you can see here a much bigger view. I didn’t realize there was a table in the middle of the room. And now you can see there are different sconces on the different consoles. I love the matching chandeliers. And I love – that even though this room is so dressy - the sofas and chairs look comfortable and very welcoming.
I love the cupid on the side table in this close up shot.
And in this close up – you can see the pretty chairs pulled up to the center table that divides the large room in two.
The original Architectural Digest photograph of the dining room.
Here we can now see the entire dining room – from the new, wonderful Architectural Digest web site. Love this room – I love the symmetry and the back trumeaus. Love the chandelier and the skirted table, which is a huge surprise. Again, in such a dressy room – Kara’s use of the skirted table takes it down a notch – making the room accessible, warm and welcoming, all hallmarks of great design.
But, from Kara’s web site, with a different photographer, the colors are much softer and prettier:
Notice the difference in this photograph from Kara’s web site and the Architectural Digest picture.
I love how the candles were used in this photoshoot – even though the house is filled with priceless antiques, Kara used candles – something anyone can replicate in their own dining room.
This family room was a surprise that was first shown on Kara’s web site – love it – love the colors – soft ivory, cream and aqua blue.
Here’s a close up of the vignette by the fireplace. Love the pair of chairs and the fabric and the mirror and the chandeliers. Love this room!!
From Architectural Digest – the beautiful music room.
Again, on Kara’s web site – the music room is so much softer, and prettier in my opinion. The walls are soft blue, the sofas are blush.
A close up shows pink Fortuny pillows on the very lightest of blush sofas. I love these photos and could stare at them forever – they are HUGE. You feel like you are in the room and can see every delicious detail, like the marble pedestal in the corner.
You can see many more photographs of this wonderful house on Kara’s web site.
In another house – Kara used warm colors and an antique settee in front of a wall of windows. A leather covered day bed divides the room.
And on the other side of the room – notice the coffee table, an antique gilt wood capital! We’ve seen the one that Ginger Barber used and the copies from Restoration Hardware – but this antique one is beyond fabulous. And I love how she styled the table with the santos and antique books. I really, really am dying to use a capital as a table!!!
In another house, Segreto painted these beautiful cabinets. This is one of my all time favorite kitchens. I love the antique terra cotta floor and I love the island. Against the backsplash are tiles from Chateau Domingue. It’s just a beautiful kitchen.
In this close up – you can see the checked fabric in the cabinet doors on the right and the pretty arched sink alcove. Again, symmetry makes this a peaceful looking space.
In the same house, Kara used dual light fixtures, mirrors and consoles. And – she used antique armoire doors against the back wall.
In another house, this is one of my favorite living rooms of Kara’s. I think it’s because I love the window treatments. In order to hide the “dead space” – I usually use textured blinds, but instead, Kara used these soft, scalloped valances and they are so romantic looking! Now I am anxious to do this too! At first glance, it looks like there are two matching sofas, but they are totally different. And Segreto did the walls and ceiling – you can see how wonderful the treatment looks.
And in this closeup – you can see the antique mirror and sconces Kara used, along with a collection of yellow ware from France. Simple, but chic.
In another house, I love this dining room – the light blue velvet chairs are so pretty, and I really like how the blue plays off the two paintings that flank the windows.
In another house – in this family room – notice how she handled the flatscreen. It hides behind a tapestry. Ingenious!
And a close up of the tapestry! Great idea!
Kara’s powder rooms are really beautiful – this one, with the blue and white sink – styled with blue and white porcelains and a great linen skirt is a favorite of mine.
How about this one – with a faux bois console. Look at the faux limb legs. This is a first for me – and what a great idea!
In this powder bath she designed it with antique doors and old hardware and old tiles on a slab with a vessel sink. Kara used an old lantern to style it. I don’t know this – but I am guessing the tiles and lantern came from Chateau Domingue. If not, they sell these same tiles.
And finally, this powder room is so pretty. A huge slab holds another slab with a fountain turned into a sink. And I love the common lantern next to it. Kara used simple sconces – keeping a heavy hand away. Great decisions. Love this.
I think this is such a pretty vignette – and again, great styling. I am so in love with these giant antique apothecary jars. So pretty against the rough wood trumeau.
And here, another vignette I really love. The mix of the antique concrete table with the screen and French chairs with blue velvet. Love it all.
One of my favorite Kara Childress design projects was for her parents when they downsized after retirement. Segreto did the wall treatment and Leslie told the story of the renovation HERE. It’s a great one – with wonderful ideas of how to update a condo and make it special. Kara put down wood floors and used slipcovers mixed with French chairs and linens. She also used a capital (another one!) for the coffee table. Love it. I also love the large station clock and the herbiers in the entry hall. Also, in the mirror, you can see the antique door from
Chateau Dominque which was installed to add interest to the master bedroom. What a cute idea!
In the master bedroom – she replaced a clunky closet door with a graceful and romantic linen drape. And, by adding a chandelier, it adds so much atmosphere. I just love this apartment and all the great ideas Kara had. Read the entire store HERE.
To visit Kara Childress Inc. Interior Design’s web site – go HERE.
AND, finally to order Leslie Sinclair’s design book SEGRETO, where many of Kara Childress’ projects are shown, go HERE.
Chateau Domingue HERE.
Posted by Joni Webb