House Beautiful - March 2010
Or, should I say, House-ton Beautiful - March 2010!
I couldn't wait to pick up the March issue of House Beautiful at the grocery store this weekend because I had been waiting for months to see this photo spread of the home of one of my favorite customers. Not only does the home owner shop at my store but also the trifecta team of decorators - Babs, Julie (Babs' daughter,) and Eleanor, a completely unprecedented collaboration.
Now, I don't know how to say this in an un-bragadocious sorta way - In my humble opinion, Houston has the most incredible antique shops and the most talented decorators anywhere (sorry, L.A., N.Y. Atlanta & Dallas - I call it like it is.) And, what is really charming about Houston is that most of the antique shop owners are friends and travel to Europe together, share containers, and always have a table by the front door splattered with business cards from lots of other antique stores in the area (and perhaps, a bottle of Chateauneuf Du Pape tucked away to share later, wink.)
And, the decorators are even a tad more incestuous (meant only in the best-of-all possible-ways.) These 'gals' (and a few gentlemen) are a fun lot. Lots of them are best friends who do not view 'work' as a competition but are completely at ease asking each other for tips, suggestions, and 'Does anyone have a really good stucco guy?'
I can make these general comments and compliments because over the years I have had the great pleasure to share lots of conversations and laughs with all of them. At a glance (eagle eye - Cynthia,) I could tell most everything I loved in these pictures came from either Watkins Culver Design or Chateau Domingue. Clue - the telltale 'Blue.' Or, is it 'Blue-Gray,' or 'Gray-Blue'?
Having said that - with H.B. magazine in hand, I headed straight over to Watkins Culver Design and told Kim (with the fab accessories)and Nelta (last name Culver) my great idea to feature the pages of the magazine, credit some of my favorite pieces to the store from which they were purchased, and then show some 'like' pieces that you could buy yourself today to achieve the same great affect in your own home, tomorrow.
"Wonderful," exclaimed Kim and Nelta. "How can we help?"
After an hour or so, I was off to Chateau Domingue for more blogging reconnaissance and Tom-foolery.
"Well, you know me - I love blue. I buy everything I see that is blue," declared Ruth Gay - the charming proprietor of Chateau Domingue.
All pretty razzle-dazzle if you ask me and just the kinda thing an O.K. blogger with a really fab assistant (M.H.) could do before the next series of mags hit the stands.
And, just to let you know how much of the 'Great Stuff' both of these shops have - there were a few pieces in the magazine layout that when I went to ask each 'respective store' 'whose-was-what' both shops laughingly winced before confessing, "I don't remember because we had one just like that . . . Did you ask them?" (the other respective store)
House Beautiful Magazine - Article title - 'Blue as a Titan'
Interviewer Douglas Brenner points out, "You look at the living room and think 'blue,' but then you look closer and say, 'Wait a minute . . . just where is the color?'
Magazine Devotees Challenge - let's have a closer look (with our 'where's-Waldo-eyes) for all things blue in the basically 'neutral' home.
Louis XV carved-walnut Front Doors from Chateau Domingue and gorgeous 18th-century Venetian Processional Lantern from Watkins Culver.
Blue Accents - Doors, Lantern, & painted Cupboard
French Doors with Glass through out - Watkins Culver. As is, painted Italian Iron Chandelier, a pair of Iron Arras Planters, and the fabulous blue painted 18th-century Gustavian Cupboard
Blue Accents - Flowers, Glass Boxes, & painted Cupboard
Swedish Dining Chairs from Sharon Skelton
Blue Accents - magnificent Glass Centerpiece and Wooden Candle Holders
Wonderful detail shot of blue 18th-century Swedish Corner Cabinet - Chateau Domingue. Note charme B.Viz pillows from Watkins Culver.
Blue Accents - painted Cupboard & tiny Pillow
Kitchens have now become everyone's favorite room in the house - especially the decorators. The reclaimed Wood Cabinets, Belgian Blue Limestone Countertops, and 19th-century concrete tile Backsplash - all from Chateau Domingue.
Personally, I love this kitchen and would be perfectly happy to live in this room (like I'm sure all mothers feel like they do.)
I think that a fireplace makes a room - as does this charme 18th-century Fireplace from Chateau Domingue.
Blue Accents - Library painted gray-blue and several B.Viz pillows casually scattered throughout seating area.
I love the idea of different seating (eating) areas - a beautiful Belgian Blue Limestone Pedestal Table in the family room - courtesy of Chateau Domingue.
Blue Accents - Mirror over fireplace and again, more beautiful pillows.
Gorgeous Powder Bath - 18th-century Basin from Chateau Domingue.
Blue Accent - Painted Door
*Insider Decorator Tip: First you find the sink, then you design the rest of your powder bath.
Painted Doors (Chateau Domingue, of course) lead into the bedroom.
Blue Accents - Mirror over Canape and Bedroom Doors
Both stores think the painted Italian Ceiling Panel probably came from their respective store - Hell, I wish that I could claim it, too!
Blue Accent - Ceiling Panel
*Insider Decorator Tip - Bed Linens by Sferra available at Indulge, wink.
Love the antique 18th-century Oak Beams - you to can claim 'reclaimed' beams from Chateau Domingue.
Of course the chair is nice, but what I really love is the 'W' pillow from B.Viz, - Watkins Culver.
Blue Accent - Tiny Pillow
So, there you have it . . .a very beautiful home, years in the making, three decorators. So, are you short on time, your decorator is in Aspen, you're a bit of a do-it-yourself-er, or your husband just told you he's decided to have his landmark birthday at the house.
No worries, just read on . . .
I went to Watkins Culver and Chateau Domingue and snapped a few pictures of some very lovely items that you could go out and buy today to get your very own - House Beautiful 'Blue as a Titan' look in your own home for delivery tomorrow. (When I put it that way - sounds as easy as Gallery Furniture, tee hee.)
A Trip for the 'Great Stuff' as Seen at Watkins Culver and Chateau Domingue.
In the market for a Blue Painted Cabinet?
Somebody has to buy this Blue Painted Chest, please!
This classic Gray/Blue Buffet has a Belgian Blue colored top, a new classic color combo. (Now that I know about Belgian Blue Limestone, ha ha laugh at myself. I guess that I was a little late on that trend.)
Two very beautiful Trumeau Mirrors - one very neutral, the other fresh on our minds - Blue.
Love both pairs of sconces. (They have a chandelier that would look really pretty with the sconces on the right.)
Next Stop - Chateau Domingue for More of the 'Great Stuff.'
Let's start with a Cabinet . . . or three.
Everything about this cabinet is perfect in regards to color (blue, of course) and proportion
Sky's the limit in regards to these two Blue-Gray Cabinets, literally - they are both very tall.
Look how beautifully the same but different shades of blue go together - a set of doors, paneling, and a cabinet.
I apologize that my pictures are so askew because I really love these paintings (of the Cardinal and his, ahem . . . lady friend, niece?) I also love the way they are framed - love the blue (sounds like an old Houston Oilers football cheer - love 'ya blue.)
The 'Blue Wall' of Fireplaces
Rumor has it that Oprah's decorator bought several fireplaces for the Montecito Chalet from Chateau Domingue - but please don't ask, Ruth is much to discreet for such nonsense.
Whoever buys the fireplace should plan on getting the mirror too!
Belgian Blue Limestone Table
In Conclusion . . .
Just remember Ladies, you can still have your very 'neutral' home even with one 'Blue Piece' - a mirror, a cabinet, a chest, a buffet, a magnificent vase, or even just a simple arrangement of seasonal hydrangeas. I can understand that maybe you're not up to splurging on a great pair of distressed Blue Doors or Belgian Blue Limestone Flooring just yet (without 'said' decorator's approval), but you could at least try one of Becky's delicious Blue velvet pillows for starters and email her/him (decorator) photos of all your other Fearless-Blue-Fantasies!
And just to let you know that I drink from the Fearless-Blue-Fantasies Blogging Kool-Aid, I have a Blue Trumeau Mirror in my entrance room, a Blue Cabinet (bar) in my dining room, and a slightly Blue Distressed Cabinet in my bedroom. So, you're probably thinking - 'Wow, really . . . She does? I thought her house was so neutral.'