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:


  1. I love the last look. It is so much more welcoming. A settee is not a comfortable, welcoming piece of furniture , just lovely to look at. My second choice is the first look with the 4 chairs. They look ready for a great conversation. I love the wall art in every phase. :)

  2. I have to agree that I like the first version with the four chairs and that gorgeous screen! But what a nice review of the many looks of a talented designer.

  3. I love the first version too! I would never tire of that room and it is so easy on the eyes. I would add some of the beautiful blue and white pieces that you have featured in your inspiration pictures since I think they really compliment a room. Sally is an incredible designer and Joni is also so talented. Love them both!

  4. I absolutely LOVED the first few looks and of course the last one. The ones in between were a little too modern for my taste. Can't wait to see what you come up with :o)

  5. do you know the wall color she used in her room? thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures.

  6. They ALL look very beautiful for an interior magazine .
    But none of these rooms look very personal . How can they if you change this much ?
    Is there never a single object you want to keep and really cherish ?
    It is like fashion , couture says , for everybody . Personal style says , for me alone !

  7. But where does one and one's guests sit, curl up, get cozy to talk long into the night, drink wine, read or nap? I always look at a room and gage how comfortable it would be to do all of that. Is there a place for everyone to set a drink? Is there a place or two with good reading light? Is the seating grouped so four people would be sitting close enough together that a conversation would feel intimate? The settee doesn't invite sitting, let alone staying a while. Neither does a chair without arms. So visuals aside, my favorite would be the use of the four white comfy chairs grouped together though it appears only one has a low table next to it for setting something on. (The coffee table appears too far away to do that comfortably.)

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  9. Love that Sally always includes a touch of whimsy in each space however I personally must be stuck in a time warp as the majority of my favourite images are those which date back to 2008 ... ☺. That said; not being a decorating diva I only know what appeals to 'me' so therefore, to each their own. -Brenda-

  10. Although this place is probably not cheap, but they are centrally located, have fabulous staff and delicious food, and most importantly, the best views of the city. I would definitely recommend these venues in Los Angeles for any kind of fancy event – all my friends talked about throwing parties here only.

  11. Specially these sofa looks excellent . Like these .