COTE DE TEXAS: A Great Veranda

A Great Veranda


Have you seen the new issue of Veranda?  It’s a really good issue.  I love Veranda.  It’s one of the few magazines left that I look forward to.  Add to that short list Elle Decor, Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, Milieu, Antique Shops & Designers – and just a few more.  Slim pickings are left these days.  So I love when I see the new Veranda in the mail box.

The first great house this month is one I’ve written about before:  owned by the Havens, the Houston couple who own the beautiful California spa Cal-a-Vie.  Years ago, they lived in New Orleans and that house was featured in a story about their then designer Gerrie Bremermann HERE.  Later, the couple moved to Houston and Kara Childress designed that house, which landed in the pages of Architectural Digest. 


The Havens house in Houston, as seen in Architectural Digest.

But, it is their private house on the grounds that I wrote about HERE, which is featured in this month’s Veranda.


The Havens built the house near the spa’s property to give their guests privacy from their three children.  The new house was featured in C Magazine in 2012 and it showed their love of French design and antiques.  Today, the spa has an antique shop on the property and online where they sell what the Havens buy in Europe. HERE. 


I was so excited when C Magazine showed their house and I’m thrilled now that it is in Veranda so I can see what they’ve changed, if anything.  This vignette above is from C Magazine.  Interiors by Laurie Steichen.


Veranda:  And the same view from Veranda but with better styling.   My favorite part of looking at the same house in two different magazines is comparing the styling.  See how much better these tall plants look now than before – where only ONE plant is in the pots.  Why?!?!!     Seriously, how gorgeous is this console?  This is really one beautiful house.


C Magazine:   showed this fabulous library with the faux painted boiserie.  The TV is hiding behind the portrait.  Those chairs!!!


And now in Veranda – the library which shows the enfilade through the house.


BEFORE:  C  Magazine.   The living room in C Magazine with the fabulous Regency doors that lead to nowhere.  OK,  I didn’t really care for that garland styling on the mantel.  Notice the coffee table – LOVE!


Veranda – they now have two new chairs with matching fabric, which the room actually needed.  The ceiling is beautiful – with two matching chandeliers, before you didn’t realize there were two.   The twin doors open to the terrace.  This photo is really much better here in Veranda – you can see the beautiful room more completely. 


Veranda:  The breakfast room with beautiful French doors.  The oversized mirror is the focal point.


Before:  In C Magazine – the dining room.   I have to say, this was my least favorite view of C Magazine’s styling.


Today – from Veranda.  The dining room looks completely different, without the tablecloth and with new antique chairs.  These chairs make a huge difference, as does the styling.  And C Magazine usually has impeccable styling, but for some reason Veranda just wins in this showdown between the two dining room photos.  The small lamps are now gone from the buffet.   This photograph is gorgeous!!!!!


BEFORE:  C Magazine.  The loggia photograph is a toss up – I like how C Magazine pulled back and showed the doors and the entire length of the loggia, which the public areas in the house overlook.


Veranda – well, I like the styling with all the hydrangeas and you can see the detailing better, but you do miss the doors and the mass of the room.  At least you can see the statue here!!!


Before:  The master bedroom photo in C Magazine was a small,  throwaway photo.


But in Veranda, it was full page – there were only a few styling changes, the linens and pillows. The Veranda photograph wins again.  Here we see much more of this incredible room.  But I have to say the chandelier in C Magazine is the winner – it looks more stunning there.    Read more of the C Magazine article HERE.


The next house I love in Veranda is Kathryn Ireland’s new house.

A few months I wrote about Kathryn Ireland moving from her house in Santa Monica where she had raised her three sons.  The move was done on a whim and she had to quickly find a smaller house to move into.   She bought this contemporary new house – in Venice – and redid it in her fabulous, personal vision.  The surprise though was she wasn’t there long at all.  Writing about her new house, I discovered she had already sold it!!   To read my story go HERE.


Kathryn Ireland’s new house where she moved after selling her long lived in family home.  This new house though was just a quick pit stop.  It was put up for sale and sold quicker than I could even write the story.   Still, I was excited to see what Veranda did with the photoshoot. 


When I wrote the story, I was lucky to find the real estate photographs of the sale – and they were actually quite beautiful.  There were so many of them too, you really got to see what Kathryn’s new house looked like. 


Real Estate Photos:  They showed a new look for Kathryn – a more sophisticated home just for her, very well designed, in light and dark shades of blue.  


Veranda:  And here was how Veranda photographed her new living room.    This room is quite pretty – the Veranda photo shows just a few different pillows, but other wise it looked like her real estate photos.  Wait – there’s a new sofa here!  OK.  Like this new sofa much better, it’s less contemporary than the one in the real estate photos.  Actually I think that sofa in the real estate photos was just brought in for the photos.


Real Estate Photos:   the kitchen is open to the living and dining rooms.


Veranda shows this nice view of the kitchen.  No real changes at all.


Real Estate photos:   The dining room is shown with the terrace doors open,  which gives it a great inside-outside vibe.


Veranda:  The dining room table is set so pretty – but the photo is rather dull especially compared to the real estate ones, which is such a shock because it’s a real estate photo!  But the color is much better in Veranda – they took the brassy orange out of the chairs.  It’s really interesting to see how much the magazines actually change from reality.

Some magazines don’t do that.  I know that Better Homes & Gardens doesn’t photoshop their houses.  I wanted them to give my floors a new stain to cover up the worn out spaces in my kitchen, but they don’t do that. Each editor must have their own set of rules about photoshopping.


From another photoshoot  -  this was my favorite image of the new house.  Love it!!!


In Veranda.  It looks the same but the area rug is different here – such a great room!  LOVE!!!  I love the bed and her headboard, the sofa, the chairs, the curtains – all Kathryn’s fabrics and designs.


Real Estate Photos:  Kathryn’s backyard is really pretty and the real estate company took a lot of photos here, at night and during the day.


Rea Estate Photos:  Here is another view of the back of the house.  The wicker lights are a great idea to use in your own back yard. 


Veranda:  They showed this one small photo of the back yard, in blue linens which look good with the living room.

In fact, blue is the theme of this month’s Veranda.  The color runs through almost every story.

But, honestly, there wasn’t much to the Veranda photoshoot of Kathryn’s new house.  It’s a short story.  If you want to see a lot more photos of the house, read my story HERE.

Kathryn has already bought yet another house – she purchased actor Tobey Maguire’s compound of three houses, back in Santa Monica:


Kathryn’s new house, seen above,  had been completely updated before she bought it.  I can’t wait to see what Kathryn does with this house!!


The ceilings were raised to double height.  It’s hard to figure out what is what! 


 The master bedroom has this wood ceiling.  This house really does NOT look like Kathryn!  I’m curious about what she will do with it.


I wonder if she is going to turn this building on her compound into a haven for her three sons?


 It just seems like a lot of space for a single woman.   This would be wonderful for three young men to have football watching parties.


 There’s even a gym in one of the three buildings. This studio is quite large at 1200 sq. ft.  I do wonder if maybe she is going to combine her office space here?   This building would be perfect for her fabric dying operation.  Hmmm.


The next interesting story this month is the cover story.


The front cover should have been enough of a clue – but in all honesty, even I didn’t fall for it!!!  I thought – oh look, a John Saladino sofa on the cover! Nice!!   But then, it came to me.   Yes.  Of course.  It’s Saladino’s new house!


When John Saladino sold his Villa de Limma a few years ago, it wasn’t really known where he went.  Did he go back to New York or stay in California? Finally, I did find where he had moved to – besides maintaining a pied a terre in NYC, he downsized to a smaller house in Montecito – although at over 3000 sq. ft, it isn’t exactly small.


Still it was fascinating to see his new house in Montecito and what he had done with all the fabulous furnishings and antiques that he had filled the Villa with.



And while the new house is not very old, nor does it have the gorgeous gardens that the Villa has – it is contemporary and most interesting is this:  the  house was featured in Veranda before – although the writer didn’t mention that in the story.  Maybe they didn’t know??

I wrote about this house featured before in Veranda HERE.    Built in 1969, the house is modern, with two bedrooms and a guest wing.  Before Saladino moved in, another designer called it home.  Interior Design Hall of Fame Member Bruce Gregga and his partner, antique shop owner William Laman, sold the house to Saladino and while they lived there – it was photographed for a few magazines, both C Home AND Veranda. 

Today, we can compare how Veranda photographed the same exact house twice for Bruce Gregga AND, a few years later, for John Saladino.


Veranda:   From the magazine, this is a photo of Mr. Saladino, posed here, in the entry court, with the antique pieces he added to the house.


Real Estate:  From the real estate photos – the same view without Saladino hovering over the stone pedestal. 



BEFORE:   In the Gregga’s Veranda shoot, they photographed the marble floored entry hall – styled with a lot of chairs and objects.


BEFORE:   Later for C Home, the Gregga entry was edited down and looked much prettier – and more contemporary.


TODAY:   For Saladino’s Veranda shoot, the entry was photographed at a different angle – with an arched ceiling and a fabulous wall treatment – an OMBRE paper by Zuber!  Love that!  Do you see the barely visible ombre color at the base?    This vignette is fabulously Saladino – ages old Han Dynasty vase turned into a lamp, 18th century table, 19th century stools.  Just perfect!!!   BUT, BUT, but….he kept the rather non descript light fixture from Gregga.  When someone leaves behind a chandelier….it wasn’t much to begin with.  This was a surprise from someone who is so particular over every detail.


BEFORE:   Here is the living room when Bruce Gregga lived here photographed for Veranda.  Much of the upgrades to the house were done by Bruce Gregga and his partner.  They laid down the wood herringbone floor here and put marble in the gallery.  They added these two oval windows in the living room and pared down the fancy mantel.  In the end, they provided a neutral blank space that was perfect for Saladino to add all his treasures to.


BEFORE:   From the Gregga Veranda shoot.  I can see why Saladino wanted to move here.  If you HAVE to move away from the Villa, this is a nice place to downsize to.


BEFORE:   For the C Home photoshoot, Gregga added a patterned rug and different pillows.  Those crystal andirons are beyond fabulous!!!!  Have to say this is beautiful, very pretty!


Today:  Saladino’s Veranda.  And here is living room as furnished by Saladino and photographed for Veranda.  He used much of the furniture from his last living room at the Villa, along with the screen that used to be in his master bedroom.  The rugs are gorgeous!!!! 


Veranda:  Against the back wall is another vignette.  The Robert Courtright art work was once in the Villa’s loggia between the bedrooms and the living room. 



Veranda:  And the cover view of the living room, looking over the gardens with the urn that Saladino placed as a focal point.  Just beautiful!!!!


Besides the Veranda and C Home articles – I had found Real Estate photographs of where Saladino had put his home up for sale and then obviously, took it off the market.  But…those photos live on forever on the internet.   And so, here is how the living room looks with all his finery from the Villa in the real estate photos.   A new Saladino settee is in the bay window.    There are not many changes in the styling from Veranda to the Real Estate photo – except for a new small rug and the table in front of the window.    The antique corbel between the oval windows is also missing here. 

Notice this one factor though.  In Veranda – the 11’ walls aren’t quite as obvious.  The ceilings look taller.  It isn’t until you see the real estate photo that you notice that the ceiling isn’t quite as high as the Veranda photos imply!!


 Here, in the early 1970s, is Saladino’s country house.  Notice the two screens at the back of the room.  Those are in the living room today.  AND the fabulous rug?  Yes!  One and the same.


And against the side wall in the same room, over the mantel is the Courtright painting.  This has really traveled all over the country from house to house to house!


BEFORE:  There was no Veranda photo of the Gregga dining room, but here in their real estate photo, so you can see it as it was.  Notice the floor is planks, not herringbone like the living room.


TODAY:   The Saladino Veranda dining room shows the beautiful silk curtains, the skirted table that has traveled from past houses, and the gorgeous light fixture.  But – you can’t really the ceiling – which is fabulous.


Real Estate:   This dining room photo looks better.  Here you can see the new focal point Saladino installed outside, along with the painted ceiling and the chandelier.  Perfection!


A close up of the painted ceiling which Saladino installed and the chandelier – which is just gorgeous.  Not sure why Veranda chose the angle they did – with the open shelves?????



BEFORE:    Veranda photographed the dining terrace off the dining room for the Gregga photoshoot.


Today:   And here Veranda shot the same exact spot, again.  AND LOOK!!!  The Greggas left their outdoor furniture too!!!  That was nice.   Saladino added the antique mantel to create a focal point from inside the dining room.  Pretty hydrangea colored styling. 


BEFORE:  From C Magazine.  The library – by Bruce Gregga. 



Veranda:   Saladino used the furniture from the media room at the Villa.  It was all rust and burgundy toned.  He added a new contemporary light fixture.  But otherwise, left it all as is.


Real Estate photo:  This actually looks as good as the Veranda photo.  Looks like Veranda took out one of the chairs for more interest. 


BEFORE:  For the master bedroom, Veranda took this boring picture of the Gregga interiors. Billy Baldwin bookcases.


BEFORE:   From the Real Estate photos, Bruce Gregga’s bedroom.  Much prettier here than as seen in the Veranda.  The bedroom overlooks the swimming pool and back yard.  


REAL ESTATE:   Saladino turned the master bedroom into an office.  He added a day bed, along with the desk and sofa.    I love the way this looks.


Veranda:   They only showed two vignettes from the office – one of the daybed for some odd reason? 


Veranda:  And they chose to highlight the gorgeous desk.  I love this console used as a desk.  The silk curtains at the doorway.  The gray art work has been packed and hung from house to house to house.   Before, it was over the mantel in the Villa.  But look below.   This was a very, very early apartment Saladino and his wife lived in: 


1969.   This amazing photograph of an early Saladino apartment shows the gray/white painting that is still with him today.  But, I’m wondering – where is the Cy Twombly?   I love that painting – it was in the Villa but it doesn’t look like it is in the new house.  Maybe it was sent back to NYC.


VERANDA:   And in another vignette photo, Veranda chose this vignette off the gallery.   This bookshelf was in the media room in the Villa, one of two. 


Here is the same chest – as it was in the Villa.  So gorgeous – it takes your breath away, doesn’t it?  Look at those feet.  Saladino’s habit of having textiles and layering art work or mirrors on top – with flowers.  Just beautiful.   I miss the Villa!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Real Estate:  This is the bedroom Saladino uses instead of the office.  The Empire bed was in his Villa bedroom.


BEFORE:   The real estate photos from Bruce Gregga’s time.  Isn’t this a pretty real estate photo???   Beautiful blue and whites.  Is that a person in the breakfast room window???!!?


VERANDA:   And Veranda chose to show the kitchen, with all the white plates.  Makes me what to buy all new white plates!!    The round window was probably installed by Bruce Gregga just like the living room windows were.



BEFORE:  Vernada showed this photo of the pool for Bruce Gregga’s photoshoot.  Not sure why they put a huge ball in the pool!


VERANDA:  And today – John Saladino added the portico – and extended it over the pool.  He also added large silver agave plants in the beds along with other white flowering plants for shots of contrast to the all green beds of before.  Saladino removed all the pointed bushes.   You either like this or not – I happen to love the addition of the silver and white plants. 

To see even more photos of the house, before and after – go HERE.


And so – in this month’s Veranda, we got to see the updates to John Saladino’s house, the update to Cal-a-Vie house, and Kathryn Ireland’s new house.  BUT there were two other stories in the new Veranda that were totally new! 

This story about Suzanne Tucker’s summer house in Montecito is wonderful!!!   I loved this story.  The small house is all in blue and white and it’s too cute!  This was my favorite story this month!!


And there is this story about Hutton Wilkinson and his wife Ruth’s 100 acre country estate, in Malibu!!

So, if you haven’t read those two stories, it’s worth getting the new Veranda!   Especially Suzanne’s house!!  Loved it.




Have you checked out this great sale?  HERE!


  1. Every time I read one of your posts I learned something. This time it's photography, thanks to the way you show rooms styled differently; even more interesting are the different angles used to shoot the photos for different publications.
    There also are many little details that wouldn't be hard to adopt. Wheels of my mind in high gear....
    Of course, I like the first home best. I cracked up at the way you say they made a separate home to shield the guests from their kids and not vice versa!

  2. It seems that those of us in Europe get to see posts first :-)

    I had a few thoughts to add regarding your observations of the difference in the Veranda and Realtor photos. I'm an amateur photographer but did notice that many of the differences were the result of the Realtor using a poor flash and strangely wide angle lens in most of their photos. Perhaps they used an iPhone? In any case, the orangey color in the wood and oversaturated colors and the blue tinge in the kitchen were the result of the photographer not properly balancing the photos for color or contrast. The Veranda photos seemed to be more properly balanced to reflect the natural light with the contrast in the shadows reduced to give it a more etherial look. Also, photo processing for publication uses a broader range of color gradation (such as in TIFF files) and this is closer to what we see with the human eye. Wood tones would be richer and walls would appear to have depth rather than the flat appearance of processing using jpegs. When I digitallyprocess photos of family and friends I always start with a Raw file and then use TIFF for better color, shadows, and skintones when I process them.

    Thanks for another great post full of wonderfully curated inspiration.

  3. Just woke up to this post and loved it! I,too, thoroughly enjoyed this issue if Versnda and put it in a basket to keep for years to come. When I first saw the Saladino story, I immediately thought of your preivios posts and relished seeing the latest. This post made it all the more interesting. And, the Suzanne Tucker story was my favorite! Thank you for yet another great post and for another opportunity to relive this issue with all the gorgeous California homes.

  4. Thank you for another interesting post. Why do people use faux painted boiserie! It just looks so phony and spoils the room. I love boiserie and genuine old boiserie is beautiful - but the fake stuff or fake painted stuff! Crass. Kathryn Ireland's homes are refreshing - they are what they are. They're not pretending to be something else. Will be very interested to see what she does with her new house.
    Saladino's revamped pool looks as though the pool tiles may have been changed as the water is a much softer blue-green rather than the technicolour clichéd Californian blue. It looks so much better and prettier - but could it just be a camera filter that has changed the colour or a trick of the light? Like you I prefer his new version of the garden there. Best wishes, Pamela

  5. Kathy Ireland's homes are my favorite. I LOVE when you post pictures of her homes. Can't wait to see what she does. Thank you for opportunity to see these beautiful homes.

  6. Agreed, Joni, this was one of the most beautiful Veranda's in a while. Loved each and every featured home...and the antiques!! As an antique dealer, I'm always thrilled to see homes that have that gorgeous mix of antiques and contemporary.

  7. Oh Joni! Brilliant again! For some reason(my computer)? I couldn't see all the pictures! I waited for them to load. I wonder!
    I love how John's house looks; and I loved it before with Bruce and William!
    I love how John brings his very favorite things......from his whole life! That is my favorite!

    I adore the whole thing; the magazine just keeps getting better!


    ps the "person in the window" is one of Bruce's statues outside!

  8. Slim pickins as far as design magazines is true. The two I did subscribe to -- House Beautiful and Milieu -- I am not renewing. Perhaps when a style gets popular, designers follow it partly because it's safe and will make money. I would like to see something more cutting edge, more innovative. Fixer Upper is even beginning to be a yawn. Same ol same ol. Play it safe. It sells. They even have a chalk paint out. There must be more people out there looking for something different. I keep waiting.

  9. Yes. These magazines came today. Traditional gave me a headache. Nothing worthwhile I could see! AD I have not read yet.....I have high hopes!

    Veranda is the BES!! I loved every article......and I adored Hutton and Ruth's ranch! I have spent many a happy hour there! It is named after one of their very first dogs I met....maybe the first! Argyle....the best dog. And Ruth knows how to train beautifully.
    Hutton and Ruth's philosophy of houses is perfection!

    Your house should meet your needs.....and be a reflection of you......and how you want to live!

    Brooke and Steve say and live the same thing!!

    I really do not like trends and flipping and that whole philosophy of change for change's sake.
    I love seeing John Saladino's treasures in his houses for 50 years. That is meaningful. That is me.

  10. Hi again! Suzanne Tucker's article was my favorite too! that Montecito cottage is is she! what a terrific job she did on the San Francisco Antiques Show! YOWZERS!!!
    SHE IS GREAT! And what a lovely house she has is so relaxed and so Montecito. Lovely.
    We are on the same page, Joni!!! I love all your research.....I swear......tuition. You are a wonderful educator!!

  11. Loved the post. Can anyone answer a question for me? I've noticed Saladino's "textiles hung by strings" in a number of his designs. I thought it was a unique and interesting way to hang an antique piece. Now I see in the dining photo above that he's done the same thing with curtains -- purely for decorative reasons, not because they were too short for the new house. Cute, although probably slightly impractical for the extra time required to perfectly space out the rings every time one opens the curtains. Does anyone know whether this is Saladino's original idea or is this style seen in Italy or elsewhere? I'm not talking about a typical string or ring tie, but rather the way Saladino's curtain panel hangs so much lower than the rod. How difficult would it be to copy this? How wide should the strings be, and how far apart spaced? Does the string loop line up with itself when sewn to the panel (like a regular string tie), or is Saladino's string slightly staggered (front of loop sewn a point A and back of loop sewn at point B, which is an inch or two away from point A). I ask this question because the string in some of Saladino's panels seem to make an X form rather than lining up with itself. What about the fabric panel? Should this be lined/interlined to add some weight? Thanks for your thoughts/advice.

  12. Interesting to see even designers will purchase furniture from the sellers! ha I just sold my apartment and sold it completely furnished (down to lamps) with a few small exceptions. it's just so much easier and then you get the benefit of starting over again which is always fun (plus we already had our furnished house so it was a good thing really). Just a really beautiful special house. I always think Saladino is better at gardens than houses (obviously a genius at both).

  13. So basically you are just critiquing the photographers? Perhaps your skills are wasted on the blog, Joni. You should be a magazine editor. Or a photographer. But as a blog post this is not your best. (Sorry).

    1. In regards to Anonymous critique of this post suggesting the blogger is critiquing the photographers -- Sorry, I couldn't help -- We look at things with different eyes for we are in many ways unique. I find her comments quite charming. Sometimes they focus on the furniture, sometimes on the decor in general, other times she points out details and even photo angles as if she were almost free associating. I never know what she is going to write and I love surprises. Specially interesting ones. Letty

    2. I find J's comments very educational with respect to decorating, the real estate business and life in general. I so look forward to your posts. Had you not taken the trouble to compare the photos side by side, I wouldn't have noticed the change in color (Photoshop) of the dining room chairs in the Kathy Ireland house. And all three photos of the "new" Saladino dining room look totally different.... J, your going to the effort of comparisons makes me a more educated reader of the magazine profiles. It makes you realize that your house isn't perfect, and by gum, theirs isn't either! By the way, if you look at the photo of Saladino's "new" bedroom in the real estate photo (which he uses instead of the office), you can what looks like a framed photo of one of his previous gorgeous rooms ....likely from an earlier house or project. Even he misses those rooms.... what a Master. Thank you, J ,for showing us all these comparisons. I was trained in academic research and I for one appreciate your research skills when you go long and deep on these stories. Each is fabulous monograph. Bravo!

    3. Yours is such an educated, and sophisticated comment. Bravo. You are so right about the colors....and the photography.. And you are also right about John Saladino's house and his philosophy. He does indeed miss those rooms.......and he keeps his treasures with him throughout his life. He is a valued friend of mine....and you are right, he is a Master. Research is what Joni is so gifted at....and I believe it comes to her naturally! We are all gifted with her great to hear it from a "trained researcher"!! Thank you for saying so beautifully what all of her admirers think!!

  14. Kathy Ireland's homes are beautiful! Her work on the homes is so amazing - love it when you feature her. Looking forward to what she works on next! Thanks for sharing.

  15. I started following your blog after reading the wonderful piece on how the White House decor changed under various Presidents. My husband served as an assistant to one of the past Presidents and when he first walked me through the White House I felt it was not as grand as I expected. Of course, I realized the historical importance of the house in the very next second. I loved all your comments on the White House ever changing decor. I find them, including the comments in this current entry, very educative and heuristic. Well done! I look forward to perusing your archive whenever time allows.

  16. I'm in the process of redoing my entire downstairs and incorporating lots of blue. So fun to see this post and to get a couple of ideas!

  17. Thanks for another great post full of wonderfully curated inspiration. I like to full of infografy new design furniture information.

    1. Oh go away with your lame ad with horrible grammar. Pox!!!