The latest issue of Antique Shops & Designers is now online – and, as always, it’s an assortment of beautiful photographs, interesting stories and even prettier advertisements.
But, there is one really outstanding feature this issue – a fabulous house. The country house, located in the bucolic Texas Hill Country – is simply called The Barn. Now, to be sure, this isn’t a barn like any I have ever seen! Really, it’s a country retreat designed by famed architect Kurt Aichler for the Publisher and President of the magazine – Alexander Molinello and Dot Dimiero, respectively.
Longtime readers of Cote de Texas are well aware of my admiration for Kurt Aichler’s talents. I’ve featured his houses here many times and this house or barn might be an all time favorite. Let’s take a look at his latest, as seen in the pages of Antique Shops & Designers.
Photography: Jack Thompson
The Barn – located in the rolling hills of Texas, a short drive from Houston – has an industrial vibe with its metal roof and siding. Large antiques soften the look: a French fountain, oversized pots, and a tall, antique double door.
On the other side of the front doors is the large living area – with its 24’ ceiling. Large art work by the owners mixes with antiques. White slipcovered furniture is accented by Fortuny pillows. At the left is a tall and wide French cabinet. Dot Dimiero and her daughter and interior design business partner, Dana Aichler, decorated the barn together.
The other side of the room. When you enter the room – you face a wall of steel windows that overlook the countryside. Notice the tiny square windows that are above the windows. The roof is pitched – notice that it is open above the wall. The focal point here is the oversized French crown that hangs above the long table where assorted pairs of chairs sit around it. The floors – easy to clean concrete – perfect for the dusty countryside.
Close up of the crown and table. Wow. What a great idea!!
Here contemporary touches mix with antiques. Love the tapestry that inspired the pale pillow fabrics.
The owners love to paint – and here, the studio is set up for creating new works Notice the two long antique tables that hold all necessary tools of the trade.
The kitchen!!!!! omg! I just love this – the large island with open shelving. OK – this is a weekend house so there’s no need for lots of plates. The shelves are styled for the layout and who cares? It’s gorgeous. Over the range, is a simple hood instead of an overblown one. It is all really simple but elegant. White marble everywhere – again, simple but elegant. And those framed herbs!!!! They are extra large to reach up high to the tall ceilings. The lamp – a rustic antique vessel with the contemporary shade. I just LOVE this.
A close up of the styling.
And then, there’s the master bedroom. You enter the door – and ahead is a huge framed mirror resting on the floor, fooling the eye into believing there’s a hall leading to another room. At the right is a long antique Swedish settee in stripes, piled high with antique tapestry remnants. I love the club chair – tufted! Notice the charming curved arms.
Across from the bed is a chaise longue – also tufted.
And the master bed with a vintage shutter headboard. Great idea – !!! Dot and Dana have such a beautiful and distinct aesthetic – they always have. I love the lamps and the art work, and the elegant styling of a vase with creamy roses. A touch of color? A lilac velvet on the bench.
And the bathroom with a fabulous double sink and two wall faucets.
I love this house, or barn, as they call it. To me – it’s like an art gallery that has been turned into a country house where the owners paint and read and just enjoy the pastoral views outside their large windows.
Be sure to get the latest issues of Antique Shops & Designers – there are so many great stories this time out, as usual! To read it online, go HERE.
To contact the architect of this house Kurt Aichler, go HERE.
To contact Dot Dimiero and Dana Aichler for design work, see below:
And as an extra bonus today, this past winter Luxe Magazine had a cover feature on another Kurt Aichler house, this one located in Houston. The owners lived in a house which they outgrew. Rather than move out of their neighborhood which they loved, they torn down their 1950s ranchburger and hired Aichler to design their dream house. Interior designer and Maison Maison shop owner Suzanne Duin created the interiors.
The house was designed around a backyard courtyard with all rooms overlooking this space. Inside and out the walls are white plaster lending a Moroccan vibe to the project. Duin added Moroccan style light fixtures and the dining room ceiling was designed after one she had seen on a recent trip to that country. The color palette was determined by one of the first items bought for the house – a chandelier in blue, gold and red tones.
The house has wonderful architectural features – groined ceilings, arches, grand hallways, beautiful metal windows and doors – and throughout, soothing views to the courtyard and swimming pool.
Photography by Fran Brennan:
Rough limestone floors, white walls, arches and high ceilings give the main hall way a decidedly Moroccan feel.
A close up shows the door with cream porteries.
Opening to the courtyard, this hall has a Moroccan light fixture and groined ceiling. A gilt angel and roses sit atop an antique chest.
The rug in the living room is from Matt Camron Rugs and Tapestries. Duin designed the chandelier – it was made by Peck & Company. Pierced screens give the bar more Moroccan vibes. I love the textile over the sofa – and the patterned fabric for curtains that provide privacy for the windows that face the front yard. Both warm up the room and make it cozy and inviting.
Behind the living room is the bar with the Duin designed custom tufted settee and pierced shutters. Continuing the Moroccan vibe – the sconces.
Close up of the curtains and suzani.
Facing the other direction – behind the sofa is the dining room and kitchen. Pillows are made from vintage Fortuny. On this side of the room, the curtains were left off the French doors that open to the courtyard.
Close up of the side that overlooks the courtyard. Beautiful artwork of the owners is found throughout the house.
The dining room in the blues and reds – the color scheme that flows throughout the house. A large wood island sits between the dining room and the range.
Close up of the kitchen with its red bar stools.
The formal dining room. Suzanne designed the ceiling using a Moroccan design she had seen there. I love how Aichler added the small round windows over the French doors.
More Moroccan inspired design with pierced screen in the window and the Eastern style chair.
The master bedroom – with the headboard that Suzanne designed. I love it!
The master bathroom – the tub sits in front of the shower with its own window. I love how Duin put the painting over the glass.
The focal point of the house is the courtyard – which all rooms overlook. Above is a balcony with porteries. Under the balcony is a fireplace and dining area. So beautiful!
The fireplace and dining area under the balcony.
The beautiful balcony. This is my favorite “room.” I would live out here!!! Such a great space.
The owners spent two and half years, with Kurt Aichler and Suzanne Duin, planning, designing and building their dream house – which they call their forever house! It was totally custom, designed for them in every aspect – and I’m sure Suzanne and Kurt are as proud of it as the owners are.
Suzanne Duin won the ASID Design Award for Outdoor Living Space for the courtyard. Congratulations!
To contact Suzanne Duin – her information is below. Also, be sure to visit her shop Maison Maison at the same address for fabulous French antiques. Not from Houston? Visit her web site where many of her antiques are available online HERE.