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Remarkable Renovation in Hunter’s Creek


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A Village villa gets a facelift
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ince 1998, these homeowners have moved from Houston to Canada, then back to Houston. They make their living in the oil and gas industry and though frequent moves are sometimes a fact of life, it’s not always easy to find and make a home.

Prior to their stint in Calgary, Alberta, the couple lived in West U in a 4,000-square-foot home on a 5,000-square-foot lot. Though they liked the neighborhood and its conveniences, they were dissatisfied with the lack of outdoor space and they felt pushed right up next to their neighbors.

When the husband’s job dictated the move to Canada, his wife lamented, “We had three days to find a home, which we did, because we didn’t want to have to move twice — once into temporary housing; then again into our permanent space.” Though rushed and pressured, they did find a suitable Alberta abode, which they made more comfortable with a little renovation.

Ironically, history has a way of repeating itself. The couple — now a family of three — were transferred back to Houston. “Again, we had basically one weekend to pin down a place to live unless we wanted to first experience temporary housing,” they disclosed, “but this time we had some new criteria.” Their non-negotiables were a big lot, new-ish house, great schools and proximity to the husband’s work. They found what they were looking for in Memorial’s Hunter’s Creek Village, and they’ve made this 8,000-square-foot house a home for themselves since 2005.

Recently, however, they began to feel like they wanted a change of scenery, a new place to live. The wife shared, “When we bought this home, initially we only changed the color palette. Plus, it was a spec home, so when the previous owner bought the home, they came in at the last minute to make their selections, which truthfully were not our taste at all.” So the couple began thinking that they might want to buy a lot and build something from scratch. The wife added, “But then we considered that our son, now a teenager, will be gone soon, so building something new to accommodate him didn’t make a lot of sense. We finally realized, we really love our house, we love our street; let’s just stay here.”

So again, they decided to renovate the home to make it more reflective of their own tastes and lifestyle. Their first step was to choose their architect. “We knew we wanted to hire Kevin Dahlstrand because we had seen his work, so we hired him right away,” they said. The architect referred the couple to three builders; they interviewed all three and decided on David Stone. Dahlstrand also referred them to Linda Eyles for interior design.

“We knew we wanted to work with a designer because in our previous renovation, where we didn’t work with a professional, the design experience was rather unpleasant,” the wife admitted. “I knew Linda was the designer I wanted as soon as I looked at her website, where I saw that she was able to execute a variety of styles, rather than just one signature style. I felt certain that our house would be our style and our home rather than a reflection of her taste and style; that she would lead the process using our ideas.”

Linda Eyles added, “The clients were wonderful to work with and had some great ideas. They just needed someone to help focus them. They have great taste and want to live with things they love, but what makes them such good clients is that they are open-minded and willing to try different things. They really embraced the process.”

Knowledge of the process, it turns out, was one of the main strengths the interior designer brought to the table. The couple’s confidence in Linda was bolstered when they learned she had just come out of the renovation of her own home. “One thing we incorporated into our renovation based on Linda’s fresh experience with her own was the importance of weekly meetings with our team,” they said. The owners were intent on adhering to their timeline, as they opted to move themselves, their son and their pets into an apartment while their downstairs was being gutted and then reconstructed. “Because we had signed contracts and had to give notice, we knew we had to be back in the house on target, which is why our weekly team meetings were so important.”

As for the details of the makeover, the homeowners are moving in phases. They began by using the already existing neutral walls and a painting (acquired on a trip to Seattle) that hangs over the fireplace as their inspiration for color. The wife explains, “Now the colors in that painting show up all over our home, really tying the spaces together.” They also re-did floors — refinishing wood in some areas, switching from travertine to marble in others — and changed out fabrics on some chairs, a couch and accessories.

Renovation commenced with two areas which they felt were really dated — the kitchen and the master bath. Both of these areas were gutted. The designer explained, “The house was already great, but the breakfast area is a part of the family room, so the homeowners wanted to open the kitchen up to that space to make it bright, interactive, welcoming. They desired a warm palette for the kitchen but were really attracted to all these white and black stones. We found a spectacular white marble with a large deep rich rust-colored vein running through it, and it was love at first sight. Then a black granite countertop on the island was the perfect match.” The unmatched rugs on either side of the island and a mixture of metal finishes — brass, antique nickel, and zinc all in one space — makes it look like a collection and removes the “just-renovated” feel.

For the living spaces, the homeowners decided to use the same idea — mixing a lot of different elements — which again increases the interest factor. They only used things they were really passionate about and it truly reflects their personal taste. Eyles adds, “We worked hard at making things practical for the men of the house (flop on the sofa and put your feet up), but also wanted to make it beautiful for the woman of the house, too. She is an avid reader, so and we added a velvet chair and ottoman to a bright corner of the family room for her to relax and enjoy a book.”

The wife discloses, “The master bathroom was a good space — nice size with plenty of windows — but it wasn’t special at all, rather simple and stock. I really wanted a space I could love, something feminine and elegant, with a freestanding tub.”  The designer elaborated, “We found this beautiful marble called Siberian Sunset and used that and Calacatta Luna marble for the countertops, shower and floors. It is an unusual mix that reminds you of a beautiful European hotel bathroom. We highlighted the arch over the vanities with a sparkling, iridescent glass tile. And over the tub is an amazing chandelier, with each one of the many, many drops installed by hand.”

The team is still working on the facelift for the formal living room and library, which are located on either side of the entry. “In the library,” they explain, “we are going to lacquer the now stained paneled walls with color, adding a real WOW! factor to the home’s entry. The effect will be a more contemporary space, even though the furniture will remain the same. In the dining room, we are getting rid of some of the furniture, replacing some and re-upholstering some.”

When asked to advise others who may be considering a renovation, the homeowners offered these tips:

1. Be ready to practice patience.
2. Expect things to go wrong, and when they do, remember everything can be fixed — it’s never that big of a deal.
3. Find people you can work with, considering personalities as well as price.

TOP IMAGE CAPTION: The velvet sofa in the family room offers a spot to put your feet up. Beautifully arched windows provide warm light, while custom beams above and an Antique Turkish Sultanabad rug below round out the room’s elegant details.
Restoration Hardware Track-Arm Slipcovered Sofa, in Vintage Velvet, color: Mocha; custom-made pillows for sofa:
Schumacher Khotan Weave, color: Sable; McGuire Balboa Chairs as accent chairs, seats upholstered in Duralee Chattri, color: Bark; Circa Lighting Orbe Lamp and Deauville Lamps as accent lighting; Reupholstered existing swivel chair in Kravet Trianon Velvet Check, color: Mineral; Reupholstered existing ottoman in Kast Bonanza Ultrasuede, color: Camel.

text by CHERYL ALEXANDER
pictures by JACK THOMPSON
construction by DAVID STONE, TEXAS FINE HOME BUILDERS
design by LINDA EYLES, LINDA EYLES DESIGN, INC. architecture by KEVIN DAHLSTRAND, MILLER DAHLSTRAND DEJEAN

This fireplace nook right next to bright windows provides the perfect spot to sit and read. Alfonso Marina Coimbra II Chair & Ottoman, upholstered in Dorian Bahr Yorkshire Velvet, color: Cypress.

This fireplace nook right next to bright windows provides the perfect spot to sit and read. Alfonso Marina Coimbra II Chair & Ottoman, upholstered in Dorian Bahr Yorkshire Velvet, color: Cypress.

The entry features a Modern History three-drawer walnut commode under custom acrylic shelves holding the family’s Foo Dog collection.

The entry features a Modern History three-drawer walnut commode under custom acrylic shelves holding the family’s Foo Dog collection.

For the breakfast area the couple opted to keep their existing bench and dining table, but added two each Tara Shaw Louis XIV Side Chairs and two each Lee Industries Side Chairs. The art over the fireplace is a memento from a trip the family took to Seattle, and served as inspiration for the color palette of their renovation. Custom-made Seagrass Rug

For the breakfast area the couple opted to keep their existing bench and dining table, but added two each Tara Shaw Louis XIV Side Chairs and two each Lee Industries Side Chairs. The art over the fireplace is a memento from a trip the family took to Seattle, and served as inspiration for the color palette of their renovation. Custom-made Seagrass Rug

Making drinks is easy in this bar. Backsplash tile by Daltile, Panaro Blend Marble Mosaic. WZ Antolini Sequoia Brown Marble slab, leather finish

Making drinks is easy in this bar. Backsplash tile by Daltile, Panaro Blend Marble Mosaic. WZ Antolini Sequoia Brown Marble slab, leather finish

Spectacular white marble countertops (Paonazzo, Walker Zanger) along with stark white cabinetry (Benjamin Moore, Snow White) provides a perfect contrast to the black granite (Titanium) on the island. A shot of color (Benjamin Moore, Jack Pine) on the island, the range hood (custom designed by Linda Eyles and fabricated by Lone Star Hood Company), Circa Lighting Goodman Hanging Lamps over island and a rich wood floor make this kitchen a real stand out. McGuire Thomas Pheasant Laced Back Counter Stools, seats upholstered in GH Leather ‘Monet’, color: Mink.

Spectacular white marble countertops (Paonazzo, Walker Zanger) along with stark white cabinetry (Benjamin Moore, Snow White) provides a perfect contrast to the black granite (Titanium) on the island. A shot of color (Benjamin Moore, Jack Pine) on the island, the range hood (custom designed by Linda Eyles and fabricated by Lone Star Hood Company), Circa Lighting Goodman Hanging Lamps over island and a rich wood floor make this kitchen a real stand out. McGuire Thomas Pheasant Laced Back Counter Stools, seats upholstered in GH Leather ‘Monet’, color: Mink.

Marble floors and countertops, glass tile insets, a custom window and a dainty chair make this vanity all about the lady of the house.  |A fully renovated master bath made this space the glamorous retreat the homeowners desired. Ochre Light Drizzle Chandelier Rectangular, Polished Nickel; Countertops: existing Siberian Sunset marble; Floors: WZ Calacatta Luna marble with WZ Siberian Sunset marble inset pattern

Marble floors and countertops, glass tile insets, a custom window and a dainty chair make this vanity all about the lady of the house. |A fully renovated master bath made this space the glamorous retreat the homeowners desired. Ochre Light Drizzle Chandelier Rectangular, Polished Nickel; Countertops: existing Siberian Sunset marble; Floors: WZ Calacatta Luna marble with WZ Siberian Sunset marble inset pattern

Shower: WZ Calacatta Luna marble tiles with WZ Siberian Sunset marble border, inset is WZ Vintage Oyster Lustre 1”X1” glass tiles; Victoria & Albert Toulouse Bateau-style Freestanding Tub; Rubinet Hexis Series Floor-mount Tub Filler, all plumbing from Fixtures & Fittings.

Shower: WZ Calacatta Luna marble tiles with WZ Siberian Sunset marble border, inset is WZ Vintage Oyster Lustre 1”X1” glass tiles; Victoria & Albert Toulouse Bateau-style Freestanding Tub; Rubinet Hexis Series Floor-mount Tub Filler, all plumbing from Fixtures & Fittings.

A master bedroom which is equal parts luxury and comfort includes fabulous fabrics, luxurious linens and elegant furnishings. S & L Designs Cambria Bed King-size, finish, Waxed Black; Reupholstered existing lounge chairs in Kravet Barbara Barry Faded Memory, color: Jadestone; Pearson Ottoman upholstered in GH Leather “England”, color: Cobblestone; Tritter Feefer Natalie Writing Desk, finish: Monte Carlo; Bliss Studio Belgrano Chair, seat upholstered Cowtan & Tout Manuel Canovas Granite; Bliss Studio Lisieux Lamp on desk; Peacock Alley Montauk bedding on bed; Custom Bed hanging; Made Goods Lexi Nightstands with Bone insets; Custom-made Draperies from Noveltex Kerman Linen; Hickory Chair Marler Apartment Sofa upholstered in JF Fabrics Posh Velvet, color: Mineral.

A master bedroom which is equal parts luxury and comfort includes fabulous fabrics, luxurious linens and elegant furnishings. S & L Designs Cambria Bed King-size, finish, Waxed Black; Reupholstered existing lounge chairs in Kravet Barbara Barry Faded Memory, color: Jadestone; Pearson Ottoman upholstered in GH Leather “England”, color: Cobblestone; Tritter Feefer Natalie Writing Desk, finish: Monte Carlo; Bliss Studio Belgrano Chair, seat upholstered Cowtan & Tout Manuel Canovas Granite; Bliss Studio Lisieux Lamp on desk; Peacock Alley Montauk bedding on bed; Custom Bed hanging; Made Goods Lexi Nightstands with Bone insets; Custom-made Draperies from Noveltex Kerman Linen; Hickory Chair Marler Apartment Sofa upholstered in JF Fabrics Posh Velvet, color: Mineral.


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