Lars Bolander’s Latest




The handsome Swedish interior designer and antiquarian Lars Bolander recently released Scandinavian Design, a beautiful reference book on northern European design – from antique times to modern. 



image Bolander’s book, Scandinavian Design, is available at Amazon, HERE.





Like many, my first exposure to Bolander’s style was this cover story in Southern Accents.  The house featured gorgeous voluminous silk taffeta curtains which still, to this day, serve as a personal inspiration.  



The Southern Accents cover story house:  the entry had champagne colored silk curtains. 





The large living room, appropriately filled with enough furniture to make it cozy and inviting.





The dining room – so lovely, light, and sophisticated. 




To Die For:   the dining room featured this gorgeous Venetian mirror and painted French chest with light blue silk taffeta curtains.





A hallway with the beautiful peach taffeta curtains and a glimpse into the bedroom.


 image The master bedroom’s four poster bed is placed in front of a half-canopy. 



image The loggia featured large Belgian styled slipcovered sofas and armchairs. 





image Besides having clients’ houses published, Bolander’s numerous private residences were often seen in magazines, giving the public a view into the world of Lars and his wife Nadine.   This house, located in southern Florida, is no longer owned by the Bolanders, but it remains a favorite of mine.   Filled with antiques and eye catching art work, it is as inspirational today as it was when  first seen. 


 image The opposite view of the living area. 


 image Leading outside from the living room. 




A view from the Bolanders’ study into the bedroom – Swedish and French antiques mix easily.   It’s so interesting how the chairs serve as art here. 




This vignette in Bolander’s house was photographed two different times – which do you prefer?  This …..




or this?   I love these French sconces so much!  This is my favorite vignette.


Two years ago, I wrote an extensive blog story on Lars Bolander, detailing his life in design.   To read that story, please go HERE.   As a long devotee of Bolander, I was recently thrilled to read about his newly published book.  To be sure,  Scandinavian Design doesn’t disappoint.   It is a wonderful compilation of everything Scandinavian, both antique and modern, and will remain a useful reference book long into the future.   Each aspect of design is given its own section – each room, each element – and Bolander carefully and succinctly explains  its  history from then to now.    Nothing has been missed:   there are separate sections on the famous Swedish wood stoves and the Mora clocks.   There are sections on beds, lighting, chairs, and textiles, to name a few more.  And each room, such as the entry, the bedroom, the kitchen, is given its own chapter.  



This antique blue Mora is featured in the clock section.




image      Most sections are filled with pictorial examples such as this.  Whoa!  What eye candy!



image In the chapter on kitchens, special attention is shown to the plate rack.



image More examples of Scandinavian plate racks through the decades.


If you are fan of Swedish design or Lars Bolander, I think you will truly enjoy this book,  I know I did.    To order a copy, go HERE.

And, be sure to visit Bolander’s extensive web site HERE.    To read the Cote de Texas blog story on Bolander, please go HERE.

Waiting For The Most Fabulous House on HAR!!


A little birdie told me about a house going up for sale in Houston.  Not just ANY house, but a fabulous house completely redone and decorated by one of my favorite interior designers.   Should I give you her initials?   Nah, that is too easy - it would give it away immediately!   Anyway, the house is owned by the father of one of my favorite antique dealers – so I expect it will be filled with gorgeous antiques from France and Belgium.  AND, it sits on one of the prettiest, shadiest streets in Houston (care to guess which street that is?)  (I feel like Hedda Hopper here – whoever THAT is!)   

And so, here I sit, while I wait and wait and wait until the listing shows up on HAR.   It’s driving me crazy.  I find myself in my car or at Starbucks clicking onto my I-Phone or my I-Pad (which if you haven’t gotten one yet- GET ONE!  They are unreal!) every hour or so just waiting for this listing to show up.   So far, nothing’s happening.  NADA.  But, have no fear,  when this fabulous house actually does go up for sale, I’ll be showing it here, for sure, no matter how many other Houston bloggers show it too.   Anyway, so while I’m stalking HAR just waiting for this most fabulous listing to appear, I found a trio of houses that you might like to see in the meantime.    This time, I have tried to source items from the houses for you to see that you can get the look yourself.   Two of the houses are very reasonably priced, while one is slighter higher in price. 

AND SHOCK!!!!  HAR has updated their web site with new picture sizes.  For the newest listings, the pictures are huge! WOW!!!!  FINALLY!!!!!  Thank you HAR!!


HOUSE #1hr2586418-18

The first house, located in West University, has 4 bedrooms and 3.5 baths PLUS quarters with a bath above the detached garage.   It was built in 1992 and has been remodeled and professionally decorated.   At  4,088 sq. ft., it is for sale for $1,399,000 and is the most expensive of the three houses shown today.  The listing is HERE.





The entry has a cute table with sconces and a mirror.    The stairs have a seagrass runner.


 Aidan Gray has a very similar table HERE.    Order Aidan Gray products from Olivine HERE.




For much less, Ballard Designs has a similar console with a heart shaped motif HERE. 



image The living room is pretty in blues with creamy curtains and bamboo shades.   Of course I love the sofa – it’s just like mine!!!  I also love the framed sea fans.  I am really liking blue walls lately.  Hmmm.   Makes me want to paint my bedroom blue again!  Here is a very similar sofa:



image The “Mutton Bone Country Sofa” from Hien Lam Upholsters in Houston HERE.   I have sold this sofa a few times – it is so great – it’s deep and tall yet it doesn’t take up extra room. 



image The family room has a slipcovered brown velvet sofa with three armchairs.   The coffee table ottoman is so wonderful. 



Aidan Gray makes a very similar table.  To order furniture from Aidan Gray, contact Olivine HERE.





The dining room has a beautiful light fixture and a great French buffet with an antique Louis Philippe mirror above it.  The walls are wallpapered in a textured grasscloth and the drapes are a cute plaid.   The chairs look like they are antique leather.   I love this room!!! 



imageFor $975, Wisteria has a similar looking buffet HERE.


Ballard Designs has a similar look for $1,199.00 HERE.





The kitchen has been updated with stainless appliances, granite and a new backsplash. 




 I love the table in the breakfast room!  Wonderful shades and light fixture. 





image The powder room has been updated with another cute Italian light fixture, a new cabinet, and wallpaper.   All three elements in this small space flow with the rest of the downstairs decor.   Aidan Gray’s Italian wood chandeliers  like this come in sizes small to large.  





The master bedroom is great.   The headboard most likely came from Indulge in Houston (see below) and is a real show stopper, as is the carpet – Antelope!  Love it!!!!  Call Carol Piper Rugs in Houston HERE for carpet like this.  Love the sconces instead of lamps and the skirted tables instead of nightstands.  Love everything there including, of course, the chandelier and the sofa in front of the window.  




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The headboard is the famous “Isaac” from Indulge in Houston HERE.  Cynthia, the owner, designed the headboard and named it after her husband.  It’s very popular in Houston as you can see why – it’s sooooo fabulous!!!   





Shades of Light has a similar looking fixture for $1550 HERE. 



image Restoration Hardware has a similar large lighting fixture for  $1999. HERE.




image Cute little girl’s room with a pink bedspread.




And equally cute little boys room with darling bedding. 




The back yard looks big for West University – and includes an outdoor kitchen and tree house.   This house really shows how if  you upgrade your light fixtures and your window treatments, it will go so far in making your house look fresh and more up to date.    I would love to know who decorated this house – they did a great job!!





This house is located in Avalon, right next to River Oaks.  Built in 1955, it’s 2,248 sq. ft. with 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms.  It’s on the small side, but it is located in a great neighborhood.   The attraction to me is the way it is decorated.  The owner is obviously young and is a great fan of design, plus she loves to shop, as you will see!   Looking at all the things she has bought – they are pieces that I would have personally bought too – which makes me smile.  Kindred spirits!!   It says this house has been featured in design magazines – so I would love to know who the interior decorator was or perhaps the owner did the designing.  Anyone know?     Asking price for this house is only $825,000 – a steal for  a young family to get into this neighborhood!!!    To see the listing for this house, go HERE.



The front door opens up into a wonderful entry hall with black and white floors.  I’m not sure if these are marble, tile, or wood painted floors, but either way, they are so effective here.    I love the glimpse into the guest room.    The dining room is to the right of the powder room and the kitchen is to the left.    The house has a nice, open flow to it.    The black and white wallpaper is fabulous as is the iron banister and the seagrass covering the entry and stairs.   Notice the old fashioned door bell on the front door. 


 image View towards the living room on the left.   I think I might have run the wallpaper up the stairs, but perhaps the owner thought it was too busy?   Maybe.   Not sure what the light fixture is because the flash distorts it.  The staircase is so beautiful – such a nice change from wood banisters.   





The living room is filled with everything I love – slipcovered sofas and cowhide rugs, pairs of lamps, transferware, ironstone, and a wonderful starburst mirror.  





Ikea has cowhide rugs for $199 – which is a great price!   HERE.




Suzanne Kasler’s new line at Ballard Designs features an assortment of sunburst mirrors starting at $79. HERE.



image Looking the other way towards the family room and back yard.  I’m guessing the homeowner likes to visit the Round Top Antique Fair – all the ironstone and baskets and demijohns remind me of Round Top.    



image The dining room has a skirted table with monogrammed slipped chairs and a really cute light fixture.   The floor is painted and there is a mock fireplace in here.   



image The kitchen has been completely redone – that marble slab is to die for!   Really cute – love the counter stools. 



Copies of Tabouret bar stools from HERE!!! 



image The breakfast room leads from the living room and kitchen.  The windows in this house are great – it’s so bright. 




image The family room leads off the living room and overlooks the back yard. 



image The powder room – notice the hanging basket filled with extra toilet paper – what a cute idea!   I’ve actually used this wallpaper before,  in red,  for a client (HI LINDA!)    And, love, love, love the skirted sink.   You could skirt a water heater and I would probably love that too!!




image   Nice, shady back yard.   This is a great house for the price and location.  I’m shocked it hasn’t sold yet.   




House #3 is located in West University – it’s an original, dating from 1940.  Listing for $785,000, it has 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths and is 2,64 sq. ft.  The garage is for one car only.   The listing is HERE.   While the front is nice, the back facade is a huge surprise:





Wow.   This is unexpected – but so great!   The porches and landscaping add so much value to this house.





The azaleas are Houston’s most popular flowering bush.   Each spring, there is an Azalea Festival where people in River Oaks and Tanglewood open their houses and gardens for touring.    While the house itself is pretty enough, the interiors are even prettier:



image The front door opens to the staircase, with the mushroom colored living room on the right.   This is so serene.  The tables are contemporary while the mirror and lamps are antique looking.   Lamps similar to those flanking the sofa are available through Aidan Gray.  The Louis Philippe mirror is most likely an antique.   I love the tufted chairs – a nice change from slipcovered.    The interiors are so pretty – I wonder, again, who the decorator was.  I have a suspicion, but does anyone know for sure?



image You know I’m going to like the dining room with its skirted table and Louis XVI style chairs.   Great light fixture too.




Shades of Light has a similar looking fixture HERE.



image The family room has fabric shades and a light marble fireplace surround.   It’s hard to get a real feel for this room from this picture because of the angle, but it appears long and narrow.


image Through the family room is the breakfast room and the kitchen.  Nice stainless appliances and granite topped island.  



  image Beautiful table, probably antique or old.   Here you can see the fabric shades close up – I really like them, linen-y and scrunch-y!!   Cute high chair too.  So much better than all those fancy plastic and foam contraptions that everyone uses today.   Why???


                        image Beautiful bedroom, comfortable and soothing – just what a bedroom should be!  I love the window treatments – of course in a bedroom you want black out – so how to handle the triangle shaped area?    The designer made a good choice with the shutters.   The curtains soften the entire room.  Love the seagrass carpet (of course)  and I really love the sofa instead of a bench at the foot of the bed.    I can only imagine how wonderful the view is off the balcony.  I would love that in my own bedroom – a balcony.    I assume this room and the connecting bathroom are new additions. 


Hien Lam makes a similar sofa HERE.    But they will copy anything with a picture.



image Totally updated master bathroom with marble counters and floor.



Little Girl’s Room:  sooo sweet!  I love the twin beds and the fabric shades.   These beds were probably once stained dark.    Don’t be afraid to repaint dark wood furniture light.   You can always redo it, though you will lose the patina.   But, if you don’t like the dark wood – and its’ not a period antique, seriously consider painting it.    These headboards would not be nearly as cute if they were still a dark wood stain.  And another point – antique or vintage headboards sometimes require custom mattresses.  Again, don’t let this scare you!  Google a mattress maker in your area and get a quote.  You will be shocked at how reasonable a custom sized mattress is!   I had to get one made for my guest room and it was cheaper than if I had gone to Mattress Warehouse. 


I hope you’ve gotten some ideas from the sources listed on how to get a certain design look while not spending a fortune doing it.     In the meantime, I’m still waiting for that fabulous listing to show up.   Waiting and waiting.  I’ve already checked HAR three times today!!   I hope this isn’t some rumor that will never come true.  I am DYING to see the inside of this house – the owner’s daughters has the best antique store in Houston and the decorator is a favorite with Cote de Texas readers!!!  

I am going to be picking a winner Saturday night  in Cotton Eye Joe giveaway.   You still have a few hours to enter if you haven’t already!!!!