Monday, May 16, 2016

Once Upon a Time with Sally Wheat

My friend Joni, over at Cote de Texas wrote several blog stories about a house she loved in her Houston neighborhood, owned by Sally Wheat. Over the course of 2-3 years, she showed transitions in Sally's home as she moved from look to look. Each look was gorgeous, unique, and showcased the variety of ways one room could be decorated, sometimes by changing as little as the art.

I've always been a fan of Joni's work, and after being introduced to Sally via Joni, I became a huge fan of Sally's, too! The formal living room of her home, in particular, has always provided a wealth of inspiration. And as I move around the apartment, now sort of empty with things selling off piece by piece, I remember a version of Sally's living room I liked the most, and I think I might end up using it as a MAJOR inspiration room as I shift decorations here.

I thought, like with my post on Windsor Smith, to do a look back at Sally's transformations, in the best order I could muster. Special thanks to Joni Webb for supplying these original images on her beautiful blog.

In 2008, Joni posted these pictures of Sally's living room on her blog, after first meeting Sally and touring her Houston, Texas home:

It's not a large room, and has a peculiar layout with windows on two of the four walls, and a large opening to the center hall. A few months after this picture was taken, the seagrass that was on order arrived and went down:
In August of 2009, Joni went back to Sally's home and the living room had made a stunning change. This version is the one that inspired me then, and continues to inspire me now.

In fact, this is how the room looked when it was featured in Houston House & Home magazine:
Later, in 2012, Joni went back to Sally's house. This time she had really switched things up! The whole house had a different feel, and there were even a few photos that Sally had taken prior to Joni getting there of the progress in the d├ęcor that she had made up to that point:

A better view of the French settee, upholstered in hemp. Here you start to see the shift that Sally makes, mixing modern and antiques.
And then the furniture made a big shift! The settee left, as did the chairs. The tables, art, and even the cowhide changed. Wish I lived in Houston and could have purchased that settee from Sally. It's exactly what I'm looking for ... but I digress. Let us move on and see more awesomeness.

This was the version that was published when Sally was featured in a different magazine, Modern Luxury Interiors - Texas.
This youthful and playful moment then changed again, Sally changes things around more than I do!

After this time, Sally built a beautiful website for her interior design firm, and began uploading beautiful photography of her home and the homes she was decorating, with much of the photography by Houston photographer, Laurie Perez. The room changed a bit, with new chairs and matching side tables flanking the sofa:
Just 10 weeks ago, Sally was selling the Mongolian fur stools on her instagram account. Seems like there might be yet another change in the midst! While I love Sally's work - and invite you to check out all of her house and the rooms that she has created in other Houston area homes, my favorite living room look of Sally's was definitely the version featured in Houston House & Home. That settee was lovely - and while I'm ever inspired by her, I wish I could pick up that room, and plop it down inside of my apartment, right now. How about you? Which of these looks is your favorite?
To see more of Sally's House you can read Joni's original posts here:

Friday, May 13, 2016

Before and After: Windsor Smith

Who didn't see this room by Windsor Smith blasted on the cover of magazines, the halls of pinterest, and just about every interior design blog known to man?

Her beautiful living room, painted pink, and filled with beautifully custom upholstered furniture with the most amazing frames. The room was delightful, with it's pretty pink walls and exuberant, colorful upholstery. But as with most interior designers, the bug for change sets in and begins to eat away. Before we get into where she went, and how I think she got there, let's take a look at this rooms many "Pink" phases.

The room is actually considered the dining room in her home, though she had never used it as a dining room until the house was double booked for separate magazines. Publication is the greatest compliment that an interior designer can receive. It's also how major players like Windsor Smith get the next whale of a client to spend fortunes in their own homes. So smart Windsor, who had been asked by Western Interiors Magazine for a feature while simultaneously promising her entire house feature to House Beautiful (which ended up the cover) styled the room (and painted it pink) to create a dining room story. This one in fact:

The magazine feature. The best way to compare this room and it's many incarnations is the view point of that gorgeous window:

Ah, yes! Here we go. Quite different from the House Beautiful cover feature that soon followed it:

The room itself had many different versions, as Windsor added art and accessories she found, and furniture was moved from place to place.
Now however, the pink is gone, as is the vibrant hues in the upholstery and pillows. Windsor tucked it all away in favor of this:

You can see that a few things have stayed: the chest and mirror, and a few pieces of the more muted art. But the furniture has taken a departure, and though it's the same in this photo, the chandelier changes.
Some not so often seen style shots of the new living room include the bar, and a settee:

It's not the first time we've seen Windsor use these pieces though, which maybe was her impetus for making a change. Let's take one more look at the new space:

And now this one from the Greystone Bedroom Windsor did in 2008 ...

Sofa looks a little familiar, doesn't it? The bed from that room was the bed from Windsor's own master bedroom.
And those chairs came from Veranda's Brentwood Showhouse, thereafter purchased by Gwyneth Paltrow, called House of Windsor:

They were a part of this beautiful space:
But it's not the only room of the house that experienced a change. In fact, what has undergone more change than the pink room is the formal living room that precedes it. What's really interesting is seeing the transition of the whole house - the space as a whole and how it all plays together:
Does that mirror in the living room look familiar? Windsor used it over the fireplace in the family room of the concept house. Here you can sort of tell how the house is planned, and where the location of the pink room once was. Right off of Windsor's beautiful gray and white marble tiled foyer, is a formal sunken living room with book cases, seen to the left of this instagram photo. And simply because it's lovely - here's the foyer:

And once more, the view into the living room:

This room is so different moment to moment, that I have no real idea what it looks like in the present. But it's been quite fun rewinding through its many looks. Here's the best I could do with chronological order:
From the House Beautiful shoot in 2009, showcasing her fabric "Riad" from Kravet:
A big change, featured in Veranda January 2012, you can see from the picture below that the walls in the once pink room have been changed:
The mirror reflecting the entry door seems to be a staple, even if the mirror changes. The architecture of the room never changes. But the furniture play is quite fun. Here, in the beginning, the sofa from the pink room sits facing the room's fireplace.
And looking in from the entry way, two slipcovered chairs (which make an appearance over and over again) with two zebra hid covered ottomans sit in front of the built in bookcases.
And then today:



Which was your favorite?

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Ever Inspired ...

I am constantly inspired by rooms. Sometimes they're clean, fresh, and filled with white slipcovers and Chinoiserie pottery - you know, the look that I currently have. And other times they are dark and moody, or exuberantly colorful and filled with play and fantasy.

Over the last 2-years, I've curated a look that I really did enjoy. It was such a departure from the look I had when living at the former CDLV, and I don't regret for a minute decorating this way. I proved to myself, and anyone else watching, that I was capable of pulling together rooms that had absolutely no architectural interest, with the absence of color and pattern. It's not as easy as it seems. Still, that challenge was met, and now, it's time for a new challenge. A new look.

At first, I was thinking switching up chairs would be enough. Now I want something completely different. Naturally, I don't ever make anything easy for myself. So, I'm liquidating all of my worldly assets. Sort of. And I'm inspired by these spaces and others like them for the "new" look.

Design by Sig Bergamin

Design by Richard Shapiro

Design by Carolina Irving

Design by Michael S. Smith

Design by Sheila Bridges
Honestly, who knows what will happen from here. But I can guarantee, that the next version of the apartment will have more color and layers than ever before, and I hope that you will like them as much as I'm sure I will. This part is the fun part, as they say! Check back tomorrow - I'm in the middle of tracking a room redo by a design favorite, Windsor Smith. It'll be interesting to see what you think of the changes!