COTE DE TEXAS: St Valentine’s Day And Other Sweet Things!!!

St Valentine’s Day And Other Sweet Things!!!


It’s that time for all things red and pink, roses and kisses, chocolates and puppies.

I found the most perfect Valentine’s gift for Cote de Texas readers.  Consider it a treat for the eyes and the heart, a gift to welcome in 2021.

This house is for sale and is listed on HAR where I first saw it.  It seemed vaguely familiar, but why?  And then it hit me – it is one of the houses featured in Leslie Sinclair’s latest book Segreto Impressions.

Of course! 

There MIGHT be a few beautiful houses in Houston that haven’t been touched by Segreto Finishes, but none that I can currently think of!

And so, without further adieu:

Happy Valentine’s Day and Enjoy!!!!

It all started with a typical ranch house in a wonderful, wooded area in Houston.   A few generations ago,   I grew up in a house just like this, in a nearby neighborhood.  We had those exact corner windows, I’m positive it was the same builder.

But that was 1954 and this is today!!

When I saw this house on HAR my jaw dropped.  It was so sweet…so lovely…so perfect!

It’s all about the love for French antiques and how to show them best today with just a hint to the modern, to the year 2021.

It’s such a HUGE treat to see French antiques used in such an  all encompassing way, with just love and passion.

Is it a designer who built this home?  An antique dealer?  A bit of both?

Believe me…this was created by someone who truly understands French antiques and how to live with them today.

Let me pull myself down from the clouds.

   The exterior lined with French styled boxwoods.  Notice the second story, middle section with the two oval windows flanking the center window.  Inside, the ceiling is two stories and reaches up to the third floor story window.  Double height room on the second level?  Sparsely furnished, it would make a perfect room to mediate or write in…hmm.


Interior Design by MoL Design HERE.

Renouveau Antiques HERE.

Architect Charles Ligon Architects HERE

Kristal Custom Homes HERE


A glimpse of the backyard with its large porch extended from one side to the next.  Off the master bedroom, on the far left, is its own sitting area, perfect for morning coffee. 

And a view of the sitting area off the master bedroom.  Modern chairs mix with French style wicker furniture. 

Want to see more of the backyard?????

OK, OK.   I am just teasing you! 

But first..let’s discuss lessons that can be learned from this house, lessons that you won’t learn while obtaining a degree in interior design.

If you have a question of your own you want to discuss, leave it in the comment section!

1.  How do you decorate for the 2020s when you are obsessed with French antiques?  This house will answer that question.

2.  How do you make a house look modern, yet look like somewhere Marie Antoinette would be happy to live in?  Think dressy living rooms and mid century modern sitting rooms.

3.  How do you bring color into a house using antiques?  Think colorful velvets.

  4.  How do mix modern art and antiques?  Don’t ask me!!!   This house uses antique murals and mirrors instead of modern art.   Except in mid century rooms such as the second floor sitting room.

And here, the foyer opens to a grand, two story space with a contemporary railing and centuries old stone floors.   To the right is the first glimpse at the French decor.

How do I love thee…let me count the ways:

Notice the beautiful traditional herringbone floors from Rennes, France BUT in the bleached color of today.  The Swedish antique settee is upholstered in a bright turquoise that pops the room, giving it a youthful vibe.   And in the same way, the ebony piano acts as an accent.  The coffee table gives just a hint of modern design.

I love the gilt accents and soft colors in the art work above the settee.

But most of all I’m loving the comeback of the ballgown curtains.  Can you imagine stiff, pleated curtains here instead of these so silky visions?

Tightly pleated curtains have their place – in masculine settings, in modern designs and in room with few antiques, if any. 

These curtains are perfect.

Here’s the view from the living room to the dining room with a surprise visitor in the corner!!   

Another view of the entry with the stone pavers.  Bringing the modern white into the room, bright white with oversized pops of green from nature.

And thank the lord!!!  There isn’t a runner!!  There’s no trendy modern Stark runner.  Instead there is just the gorgeous expanse of stone risers – and gorgeous it is.  It is imported French limestone.

One more visit to the living room or the drawing room or Salon…I can’t let it go. 

It reminds me of something, someone…but what, who?

And then it comes to me!  Yes!!!!

Veranda 1999

The Veranda cover story of 1999 designed by Babs Watkins.  It was her tour de force.   A gorgeous original River Oaks home that she had decorated with antiques which she used in a way that none really had before her.  Was it really twenty years ago?

And there it is.  The velvet used in a totally new way.  The antique settee instead of a sofa.  It’s interesting how Swedish completely exploded in the south, right after this. 

I wonder if this homeowner was inspired by Babs Watkins?

You couldn’t have chosen a better muse than the late Babs Watkins.

Do you see the connection? 

In Instagram, I found a close up of the Swedish settee and chairs.

Wait.  Is that a cat in the window?  lol.  Or what???

And this closeup of the beautiful floral designs see throughout.

Floral  @karlalazofloraldesign

Gorgeous silk curtains in a peachy skin tone.  Beautiful. 

More Swedish.

Here, there is the Swedish dining table mixed with Italian chinoiserie chairs (I an assuming they are Italian!)  

It’s amazing to think how quickly Swedish antiques laid claim in the south.  Did anyone have Swedish antiques before 1995 ?

The foyer leads to the back of the house with the family room and casual dining area.  In the center is a round table under a crystal chandelier and the most incredible beams!!!

To the right is the family room:


The family room repeats the bright pops of velvet color. A modern coffee table and contemporary sofa mix with the French antique chair and ottoman.   The cabinet doors that flank the fireplace are also antique.

A close up of the French mantel.  So simple – but isn’t what is so simple is so hard to recreate?  I will assume this is antique, it must be.  Just look at the very top – that kind of imperfection would only come from age, to fake it would look, well, so fake.   It is the beauty of the imperfect lines in the blocks that tells us the mantel is antique. 

And the real estate brochure does confirm  it is 18th century French from a chateau in Provence.

And looking past the family room, the foyer leads to the eating area and beyond…the kitchen.  Can you see the next pop of color? On the French chairs.


The velvet on the chairs brightens the entire back area.  It’s a bold choice, but the chartreuse is so perfect!  I love it!!

And looking back towards the family room with the antique clock on the left.

The kitchen with a stone hood and open shelves.  The bar stools have yet another pop of colorful velvet.   These beautiful lanterns are 19th century from Barcelona. 

The countertops are all matte Segreto Stone.

The other side of the kitchen.

AND – can you guess how old this mantel is?  16th century!!  Incredible.  Sourced from a Provence manse.  

Notice the old oil painting.  I LOVE that!!!!

And to the back is a small sitting room.

Aren’t the beams gorgeous?  They add so much texture to what could have been a too modern atmosphere.  It reminds me of the renovated houses in Belgium where the architectural elements are antique, yet the house looks modern – a perfect blend.

And, notice the antique putti above the door opening to the back sitting room.

This sitting room overlooks the backyard, pool and outdoor kitchen.  Filled with French furniture, the simple seagrass insures the dressy furniture remains more accessible.   And yet another modern coffee table is matched with antique French furniture.


 How is this for a Valentines gift?  The bar.  Attached to the opening is this beautifully scalloped, painted piece of wood.  The colors are soft and soothing – greens, pinks and gilt.  It’s 18th century, of course, from Venice, of course.

Honestly, when have you ever seen something like this inside a modern house masquerading as a renovated Belgian manse?  It is just so charming, feminine and so beautiful.

On Leslie’s Segreto blog, I found this much better view of the bar “doors.”    All the stone countertops are Segreto Stone, as seen here and in the kitchen.

The powder room marries a 16th century console with a Segreto Stone sink atop it. 


On the ground floor, the master bedroom has more beautiful reclaimed wood beams.  They are truly incredible in this vaulted room. 

Color pops:  Persimmon velvet on the settees.

That chandelier!!!!

These 18th century doors lead into the master bath, which is such a lovely space with its arched ceiling.

A better view of the barreled ceiling.  Tiny Tulip table adds just that hint of the modern which is found throughout.

I know I haven’t mentioned the chandeliers, but seriously, they are just the prettiest seen.  Like this one!

The view into the bedroom.

AND, here is that second story room with a ceiling that reaches to the third.   Exactly as I thought, what a wonderful place to read, mediate, or write.

That bed!!!!!  And with the modern side table.

Twin beds made into one. 

A sitting room upstairs honors mid century design which fits so perfectly in this home.  I wonder if the new owner will use all mid century?   I, for one, would miss the gorgeous French antiques, no?

One more time – I hope you enjoyed this Valentine’s Day gift!!!  It truly represents everything that Cote de Texas loves:  antiques, French & Swedish, and femininity.

There are more photos on the HAR web site that show guest baths and bedrooms and more back yard photos. HERE

I don’t have the details about Round Top opening this spring, so be sure to check the dates, etc.   And be sure to visit the Renouveau instagram HERE for any questions about their antiques which are shown at Round Top.

To read more about this beautiful house, click on the image of this book to order Leslie Sinclair’s latest “Segreto Impressions.”


  1. Thank you Joni! That was a lovely treat.

  2. Leslie and team are so great! Is this house merely staged? Wouldn't it be fantastic to see how Tara Shaw, Renea Abbot, or Pamela Pierce would decorate this house? Babs...she was always so kind and generous to me.

  3. Somehow I could not edit my comment above...just to clarify...when I said merely...I had no intention of diminishing the beauty...I just wondered if this was a home owners personal curation or consigned from an amazing antique house/warehouse?

  4. This is Ashley Radack's home. She is the owner of Renouveau Antiques. I believe Leslie Sinclair has blogged about this home.

  5. Joni, your work is so much fun, and i appreciate your listing of products as well. You have the best taste and eye for style, whether high or low prices. Thank you!

  6. OMG, a delicious read, worth going over at least a few times again. As all your stories do, Joni. There is so much to love here the least of which is just the bones of the house. Then there's the furnishings.

    Frankly, the listing price is a deal of the century and someone is going to get very lucky only if they had enough appreciation for what they would be getting.

    1. I agree. For a little less you get bubkes. This house is filled with every amenity. It will sell quickly.

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  9. Fun tagging along with you Joni..........again.

    Too many decades seeing derivative work, and it's an insult to the word 'derivative'.

    Here, DERIVATIVE takes flight into delight and owns it. With ease.

    Landscaping too. As simply derivative as the interior, in joy.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

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  12. What a gift ! Thank you and Happy Valentines Day to you❤️

  13. The Round Top dates are March 18-April 3.

  14. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this home..and I love the Swedish Mora clock as well. Thanks for all of your detailed descriptions of why the home is so beautiful and so Swedish and French, beautifully combined.

  15. It seems a bit cold but Texas has better weather than up north! I feel the stove vent is overpowering. Lovely combo of French and Swedish however.

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  22. The home has a stunning street presence. I particularly love the simplicity of the landscaping. I think the interior is somewhat cold given all of the hard surfaces. The one striking thing; however is the gracious staircase. Often a builder or architect will not sacrifice space to build a wide and graciously descending stairway as the one in this home. That element adds immense grace and value to this home. I hope some day you will be able to write a piece on what the next owner does with the home.

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