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A Perfect Fit – A family finds a new home in this Southern Traditional charmer

Streamlined elegance defines the living room with timeless pieces in soft colors and neutrals offering plush comfort. Painting by Santa Fe artist Dominique Boisjoli. Sofa by Century Furniture. The chaise was custom-made by Burke’s Upholstery, as were the chairs to the left.

Sometimes things are just meant to be. Jennifer Malone and husband Bob had casually discussed moving. “Just a thought… for a bigger yard mainly,” says Jennifer, who was happy in the home they had recently remodeled for their family of four. Nevertheless, they had started looking around a bit.

Enter Jennifer’s sister, realtor Cindy Zarco. “She had just seen a property,” recalls Jennifer. “ She said I had to see this house. It had been remodeled in my taste and had a larger, unbelievable lot.”

So she and her sister went to see it. Even curbside, there was an instant allure. The dwelling had a Southern traditional charm reminiscent of a home Jennifer and Bob used to own. The lush landscaping, huge front porch and spacious lot were, indeed, a draw. But then she stepped inside and the wow factor struck.

“I fell in love!” says the homeowner, with a laugh. “She brought me in through the back door and first off I see this huge laundry room. Then I see this kitchen and I said ‘Oh my gosh, I have to have this house!’ I didn’t even have to see the upstairs to know I had to have this house.”

Today, the Malones are happy in their new centrally located home in The Woodlands that incorporates all the features they wanted, including a one-acre cul-de-sac lot with pool — the perfect outdoor play space for their son, RJ, 11, daughter Libby, 8, and their friends. Entertaining these days takes on a whole new dimension with this outdoors connection.

“Bob fell in love with the lot,” she says of the parcel that includes, among other things, a putting green.

For the most part, the house needed little work, just a few cosmetic changes to make the home their own. They reconfigured the kitchen pantry, put a coffee bar in the master bathroom suite, a refrigerator in a dry bar off the kitchen and remodeled Jennifer’s closet. (Pablo Rios Construction.) A large entertainment cabinet in the gameroom was updated, as were the upstairs bathrooms. Overall, the home had the same streamlined, timeless, crisp look to it that fits Jennifer and Bob’s design bent. The house is all about comfort, light and views.

And with Jennifer’s knack for design, it’s all about casual elegance and a balance between old and new. She has always been drawn to interior design, due to her mom and aunt. “They weren’t professionals in it, but they loved it and I remember growing up with things always changing at my house. My mom was always doing things to make our home feel special. I’m sure that’s where I got it from.”

Bob, too, grew up with an appreciation for design. The result is a harmonious home that draws from their backgrounds, mixing antiques with new, appreciated contemporary elements — a harmonious home.

“I like mixing things,” says Jennifer who had many pieces reupholstered (Burke’s Upholstery) to fit the aesthetic of their new home. She was happy with the original owners’ choices of light fixtures, but moved some of them to different rooms and added others. “They had great taste. Even some of the wallpaper is what I would have chosen.”

The homeowners love waking up to the views from nearly every room in the house. Indeed, upon entering the home, a visitor’s eyes are drawn to large windows in the formal living room that show off the lush backyard with pool.

In this living room, a retro-styled cabinet faced in mother-of–pearl disks mixes with an elegant sofa from Century and a custom upholstered chaise in white. A white leather ottoman, also custom-made, is another fun feature here. Poh Crider made all the draperies in the home, including the elegant ceiling-to-floor creations in this room.

The dining room to the right of the foyer is stunning with graphic print wallpaper that acts as vibrant backdrop for artwork by Santa Fe artist Dominique Boisjoli. Jennifer found the perfect contemporary chandelier to mimic the wallpaper print. A 1920s French Art Deco buffet adds interest here, housing some of Bob’s Steuben and Tiffany art glass collection. A flame mahogany antique table is paired with chairs, seated in white leather.

A formal library opposite from the dining room houses shelves of interesting mementos collected over the years, as well as an antique English Georgian chest of drawers from the late 1700s and a Comitti of London clock that Bob gave Jennifer for their third wedding anniversary.

Bob has his own study too, cleverly tucked away in the back of the house across from the large laundry room. But of most interest in the back of this dwelling is an expansive kitchen that had already been remodeled to Jennifer’s taste by the previous homeowners. “I couldn’t believe it,” she says. “It’s so much like the kitchen I remodeled in our other house. I mean, this is exactly what I would have done.”

A subway tile backsplash, surfaces in black granite (the island) and marble and crisp white cabinets give this space a clean, timeless appearance. Glass cabinets seem custom made for a collection of silver from Bob’s mother. Green apples artfully placed in a large clear-glass Ralph Lauren bowl on the center island add the perfect spot of color.

The kitchen and den are, indeed, family central in this house with a breakfast area to one side of the large family room adding visual interest with a farmhouse table surrounded by antique chairs and a cleverly designed banquette. A nearby cupboard was custom-made in England by Carl Moore Antiques. “It has made all the moves. It was made for a house of ours in Sugar Land,” explains Jennifer.

To the opposite end of the downstairs is an updated powder bath just before entrance to the master bedroom suite. This room is enchanting with a sitting area with two bonnet chairs. But the Maitland-Smith bed is the real stunner in this space.

This room’s casual elegance carries over into the master bathroom that underwent some minor cosmetic changes, including a beautiful blue paint that contrasts nicely with white cabinets and marble countertops. Her master closet was also reconfigured with special features for purses and shoes. “I love my closet!” Jennifer says.

The upstairs is equally elegant with a large gameroom with pool table and an updated entertainment center that is a draw for son RJ and his friends. His room painted in an iridescent pewter color has walls of built-ins to hold his many interesting collections. Daughter Libby’s room is all things girl with fabric flowers on the ceiling and a colorful gypsy chandelier from High Fashion Home hovering overhead.

This house doesn’t lack for space. An expansive built-out area over the garage is a favorite play space for Libby. An entire wall is made up of shelves and desks for crafting.

“This house is plenty big for us and we make use of all of it,” says Jennifer who is grateful that her sister had that discerning eye. “She knows my taste and knew I’d love this place. And we do — we love it here!”

Text by Cathy Gordon    |    Pictures by Bookwalter Photography

A half-moon credenza by Hancock & Moore is a standout piece in the front foyer. The light fixture is from Carol’s Lighting

Jennifer found the perfect light fixture (Carol’s Lighting) to complement the wallpaper in the dining room. A 1920s French Art Deco buffet adds elegance to this space, as does the flame mahogany table flanked by chairs, seated in white leather. Rug by Robert’s Carpets. Painting by Santa Fe artist Dominique Boisjoli. Draperies in this space and throughout the house are by Poh Crider.

A Comitti of London clock anchors the wall of shelves in the formal library.

Breakfast is delightful at this farmhouse table, flanked by antique chairs and a custom-made banquette. (Burke’s Upholstery)

A light and bright kitchen reigns with marble and black granite surfaces and crisp white cabinets.

A colorful gypsy chandelier blends nicely in Libby’s room.

Son RJ’s gumball machine and a vibrant painting add touches of color in the gameroom.

Soft colors dominate the den with large windows allowing full vistas of the beautiful one-acre property with pool, firepit, outdoor kitchen and other amenities

A bold, graphic blue and gray rug lays foundation for the pool table in the upstairs gameroom. A bright orange-feathered Juju African headdress on the wall adds an element of fun.

A bed from Maitland-Smith anchors the space in this master bedroom suite.

Two bonnet chairs add whimsy in the sitting area of the master bedroom.

The master bathroom is a serene scene in Sherwin-Williams Tahitian Sky paint and marble countertops.

The freestanding bathtub is almost sculptural in beauty in the master bathroom.

Large asymmetrical stepping-stones lead to a striking pool on this acre lot.


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