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LIVED-IN and Luxurious


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Family-friendly home allows both comfort and well-appointed finishes
Achieving the right balance in home design when accommodating active adults and even more active kids is not an easy task. What helps is having a clear vision, the luxury of time to plan what the family’s wants and needs are, and the right team to execute the design both on time and on budget. Happily, this family’s plan met all this criteria and the result is a unique, spacious abode that is as luxurious as it is easy to live in.

The husband and wife both grew up in Houston, but went to different schools. They met post-college when they were back in Houston as young professionals. They knew all of the same people, just not each other. When they finally did meet, their relationship blossomed, and after dating for a couple of years, they decided to marry and immediately started their family.

A unique element is that this family’s previous home (before the one featured here) was the house where the husband actually grew up. “We loved the home, of course, for sentimental reasons,” he shared, “but also it worked for us. My family home offered a great place for raising our family; we knew the neighbors, the neighborhood, the schools.” So they did some renovating to put their own stamp on the construction and stayed there until recently when they built their new house.

“When we eventually realized that with three children (now in fifth, seventh and 10th grades), we really needed more space, we also faced an extremely difficult decision: to move or not to move,” the wife disclosed. “We considered every other option — adding on; demolishing and rebuilding, etc.” The couple carefully debated their options before concluding that what made the best sense was moving somewhere new. “For our vision for our family, we just could not make it work on that piece of real estate.”

Both parents in this family of five work equally hard at maintaining a lifestyle that works for them as a couple and for their children, whose needs constantly change. Obviously having room to move around in the house and in the neighborhood was important. Said the stay-at-home mom, “Having enough space in a home that works well for a group of busy teens and pre-teens is what was really primary in preparing for this move.”

The first step was to find a piece of real estate that did work. The couple consulted friends, brothers Nick and Mike Bregenzer of Corbel Custom Homes. The team at Corbel truly excels at securing hard-to-find lots in highly sought-after neighborhoods for customers who know where they want to live. Nick said, “They came to us initially to assist in finding a lot. They wanted a certain size, in a certain area, zoned to certain schools which would retain its value. To say they were fortunate to find something so specific in their neighborhood of choice is an understatement.” The homeowners agreed, “We were lucky in every aspect. None of our kids even had to change schools.”

What else did their new construction require? Well, they wanted the kitchen and living space central and open, yet with defined spaces and with a view to outside areas. The couple was delighted with the work of Todd Rice, the architect, who listened carefully to their ideas and put them together in a way that met their list of “must-haves.” Mom explained, “When I am in the kitchen, I can monitor the kids doing homework in the keeping room; I can see the kids playing ball in the driveway; or I can see them in the backyard in the pool.” From kitchen central, Mom can easily conduct the symphony which is family life.

They also wanted all the bedrooms upstairs, so when they retire for the night, they kind of “shut-off” the downstairs. Again Mom elaborated, “I love that as a family we are all upstairs at night. All our private spaces are upstairs, plus it allows for more space to function downstairs.”

Nick Bregenzer agreed, “This home is extremely functional; there is no wasted space. Even in the yard, every space is intelligently utilized.” The husband continued, “It turned out this way because we really took our time. When we got to a place where we could do what we wanted to, everything was calculated and thoughtful. All the conditions were just right.”

When it came time for interior design, friends referred the couple to Chandos Dodson Epley. They knew immediately that she was a match for their vision. Epley said, “Because a home is central to a family with children, my goal was to design a home that was not only elegant but that met the demands of this active family.” She created a space where youthfulness combines with adult taste. Rooms are not overwhelmed with toys, but instead with an enviable balance that offers calm to an always-on-the-run family.

It’s a happy home that reflects the owners’ love of travel, French furnishings and unique found objects. The interior envelops refined elements mixed with the family’s sentimental pictures and mementos, and then adds curated fixtures and hardware that become jewelry on the cabinets and in the baths. Rooms are calm and inviting, perfect for either noisy gatherings or quiet times. The neutral colors along with the combination of masculine and feminine elements communicate that everyone’s tastes were considered.

Walking through the rooms, one can’t help but admire the exquisite details, purposefully crafted and considered in each element. “Each member of our team had a hand in every detail of our new home from cabinet design, tile selection, hardware, lighting, furnishings and art,” the owners said.

As you enter the home through the pair of custom iron doors, your attention is instantly grabbed by a beautiful Swedish chest of drawers and French Louis Phillipe mirror in the formal entry. Abstract collective art hangs above an antique Swedish bench — a real statement piece with its incredibly detailed carving — and a nice juxtaposition of old with new, which is a theme that carries throughout the house. A pair of large iron lanterns emits a soft, airy atmosphere.

Also in the entry, the antique oak wood flooring of the stairs, the deep patina of the wine table and the studded detail on ottomans feel old and new simultaneously. Fresh orchids in a vintage zinc container, along with the set of framed antique intaglios are perfect accessories to set the stage in this sophisticated home.

The homeowners’ gray lacquered study is filled with family photos and antique artifacts. The custom bookshelves and a set of French campaign maps that line the walls are lit by bronze picture lights. Placed on an Oushak rug, a grand French antique desk is paired with a burlap upholstered armchair allowing for comfort, function, and personality. This room embraces the mixture of old and new, past and present.

The dining room’s energy comes from pops of color. Upholstered in a turquoise velvet, the Louis XVI dining chairs are elegantly arranged with host chairs in Fortuny’s Delfino aqua and silvery fabric. The heavy braided jute rug along with the antique trumeau mirror and 19th century Italian chandelier contribute to the softness of the room.

The family room’s French influence is seen in the antique fireplace, Louis style French armoire, and the silver Italian candlestick lamps. The subtle mix of lush velvets, embroidery, and linens along with antiqued wood floors provides the room with diversity of materials and textures to keep the room neutral, yet exciting. The linen furniture throughout the downstairs common areas suggests durability and comfort — must-haves when there are kids around. The subtle contemporary landscape painting lends a serenity that is a perfect fit for this informal space.

The kitchen in this home is a very special place. It is where the family not only gathers for meals but sits to do homework and catch up on daily activities. The soft gray cabinets and hand painted tile blend seamlessly with the honed calacatta marble countertop and polished nickel plumbing fixtures. The aesthetic of this room is pure traditional French but with a youthful essence. The island was designed to give the feel of an old patisserie table and its beauty is accentuated with bronze lanterns and wicker counter stools.

The bar, too, is unique. The husband explained, “Rather than have the bar be a part of — or open to — the den or living area (like in most homes), we wanted it a separate, but adjacent space to the kitchen.” His wife continued, “So the guys can hang in the bar, while the ladies are in the nook or kitchen area.” But all the guests can easily interact.

“We believe that each member of our team took pleasure in being involved in every step of the building process for this home. We met weekly with our designer, our architect and our builder, so that every detail of our home was executed with quality and precision,” shared the homeowners. “There was complete trust and understanding each step of the way, which is invaluable in this process.”

The result is an amazing family home that is elegant and inviting to everyone. Nestled in its lush and wooded neighborhood, this new construction home exudes lived-in luxury and a sense of past, along with permanence and place.

TOP IMAGE:  An antique fireplace from Chateau Domingue serves as the focal point in the family room, along with a Louis style French armoire from Made in France. The custom skirted console table is from the Joseph Company and the silver leaf Italian candlestick lamps are from Kay O’Toole. Contemporary landscape painting, by Kevin Gallentine, is from Laura Rathe Art Gallery; fabrics from Clarence House, Rogers & Goffigon, and Pollack.

Text by Cheryl Alexander
Photography by Miro Dvorscak, DM Photography
Interiors by Chandos Dodson Epley, ASID, Chandos Interiors
Construction by Nick and Mike Bregenzer, Corbel Custom Homes
Architecture by Todd Rice, Rice Residential Design
Annie, the family dog, rests comfortably on a fine Swedish bench from Joyce Horn Antiques. The 19th century Swedish chest is from Kay O’Toole and topped off majestically with a Louis Phillippe silver leaf mirror. Italian fragment lamp from Kay O’Toole; abstract painting from Vieux Interiors and custom bronze lantern from Brown Lighting.

Annie, the family dog, rests comfortably on a fine Swedish bench from Joyce Horn Antiques. The 19th century Swedish chest is from Kay O’Toole and topped off majestically with a Louis Phillippe silver leaf mirror. Italian fragment lamp from Kay O’Toole; abstract painting from Vieux Interiors and custom bronze lantern from Brown Lighting.

The French country transitional style architecture of this home is accentuated by Chateau Domingue lanterns and iron doors by Durango Door.

The French country transitional style architecture of this home is accentuated by Chateau Domingue lanterns and iron doors by Durango Door.

The glamorous powder bath features Manila Hemp wall covering by Phillip Jeffries, a Spanish-inspired custom vanity with antique font by Chateau Domingue and a Venetian mirror from uptown New Orleans. Elizabeth sconces from Circa Lighting.

The glamorous powder bath features Manila Hemp wall covering by Phillip Jeffries, a Spanish-inspired custom vanity with antique font by Chateau Domingue and a Venetian mirror from uptown New Orleans. Elizabeth sconces from Circa Lighting.

Perfectly situated at the bottom of the stairs is a French wine tasting table from Joyce Horn Antiques. The zinc cache pot is from Made in France and the framed intaglios, from The Grey Door, finish the setting beautifully. The custom handrail is a design by Chandos Interiors.

Work is easy in this study lacquered in Sherwin Williams, Dovetail Gray. Framed French campaign maps from The Grey Door. Oushak rug by Matt Cameron Rugs; walnut writing table from Skelton St. John; a pair of mid century Murano lamps from Watkins Culver and fabrics by Osborne and Little and Castel underscore the aesthetic.

Perfectly situated at the bottom of the stairs is a French wine tasting table from Joyce Horn Antiques. The zinc cache pot is from Made in France and the framed intaglios, from The Grey Door, finish the setting beautifully. The custom handrail is a design by Chandos Interiors.

Perfectly situated at the bottom of the stairs is a French wine tasting table from Joyce Horn Antiques. The zinc cache pot is from Made in France and the framed intaglios, from The Grey Door, finish the setting beautifully. The custom handrail is a design by Chandos Interiors.

Large custom trestle table and 19th century French giltwood mirror are from Joyce Horn Antiques. The Louis XVI style chairs are by Vieux Interiors and are custom upholstered with Fortuny Delfino Aqua and Silver fabric by The Joseph Co. The Louis Phillippe buffet, circa 1865, is from Carl Moore; Hargett lamps are by Randy Powers from Circa Lighting; 19th century Italian chandelier from W. Gardner Antiques.

Large custom trestle table and 19th century French giltwood mirror are from Joyce Horn Antiques. The Louis XVI style chairs are by Vieux Interiors and are custom upholstered with Fortuny Delfino Aqua and Silver fabric by The Joseph Co. The Louis Phillippe buffet, circa 1865, is from Carl Moore; Hargett lamps are by Randy Powers from Circa Lighting; 19th century Italian chandelier from W. Gardner Antiques.

Kitchen Central is the hub of this busy household where a custom island with calacatta marble top and walnut base and wicker counter stools from Janus et Cie allow for gatherings. A unique custom metal hood designed by Chandos Interiors, fabricated by Lonestar Hoods, and bold backsplash tile by ADR Plumbing add a striking artistic dimension to the space. Other features include fixtures and hardware from Fixtures & Fittings and custom bronze lanterns from Brown Lighting.

Kitchen Central is the hub of this busy household where a custom island with calacatta marble top and walnut base and wicker counter stools from Janus et Cie allow for gatherings. A unique custom metal hood designed by Chandos Interiors, fabricated by Lonestar Hoods, and bold backsplash tile by ADR Plumbing add a striking artistic dimension to the space. Other features include fixtures and hardware from Fixtures & Fittings and custom bronze lanterns from Brown Lighting.

The upstairs family gathering room is outfitted with a custom made sectional and a custom two-tier ottoman by The Joseph Company, along with Brunschwig & Fils Le Zebra linen print throw pillows for added comfort. The standing lamp is from Liz Spradling Antiques and the rustic console made of reclaimed wood is from Kirby & Company.

The upstairs family gathering room is outfitted with a custom made sectional and a custom two-tier ottoman by The Joseph Company, along with Brunschwig & Fils Le Zebra linen print throw pillows for added comfort. The standing lamp is from Liz Spradling Antiques and the rustic console made of reclaimed wood is from Kirby & Company.

In the keeping room, a plush custom sofa by The Joseph Company is a favorite place for the kids to watch tv and do homework. Club chairs and draperies in Arabel fabric; Rhonda Wood Bead Chandelier and game cube cocktail tables from Mecox, Stark Pacific Weave wallpaper in taupe from Mecox and wood and iron coffee table from Watkins Culver.

In the keeping room, a plush custom sofa by The Joseph Company is a favorite place for the kids to watch tv and do homework. Club chairs and draperies in Arabel fabric; Rhonda Wood Bead Chandelier and game cube cocktail tables from Mecox, Stark Pacific Weave wallpaper in taupe from Mecox and wood and iron coffee table from Watkins Culver.

This master bedroom whispers luxury and relaxation. Custom headboard is upholstered in Great Plains Marble Estate linen and the custom bedside tables are by The Joseph Company. Linen throw pillows with lavender applique from Vieux Interiors and matching lavender silk throw blanket from Plush Home add warmth and texture. Bolster pillows are done in Fortuny fabric; table lamps from Carl Moore Antiques; and Leiden Chandelier from David Iatesta.

This master bedroom whispers luxury and relaxation. Custom headboard is upholstered in Great Plains Marble Estate linen and the custom bedside tables are by The Joseph Company. Linen throw pillows with lavender applique from Vieux Interiors and matching lavender silk throw blanket from Plush Home add warmth and texture. Bolster pillows are done in Fortuny fabric; table lamps from Carl Moore Antiques; and Leiden Chandelier from David Iatesta.

In keeping with the luxury and serenity of the master bedroom, the master bath floors are calacatta marble and the walls are painted in Creamy, by Sherwin Williams. The Paris Flea Market Chandelier and Verona mirrored sconces are by Circa Lighting. Mirrors are custom designed by Chandos Interiors and fabricated by Peck & Co.; faucets and cabinet hardware from Fixtures & Fittings; and lavender print linen fabric by Weitzner Limited.

In keeping with the luxury and serenity of the master bedroom, the master bath floors are calacatta marble and the walls are painted in Creamy, by Sherwin Williams. The Paris Flea Market Chandelier and Verona mirrored sconces are by Circa Lighting. Mirrors are custom designed by Chandos Interiors and fabricated by Peck & Co.; faucets and cabinet hardware from Fixtures & Fittings; and lavender print linen fabric by Weitzner Limited.

Outdoor living is easy in this refined loggia. A bleached wood coffee table with iron base from Area is designed to weather beautifully as is the custom mantle by Chandos Interiors fabricated by Custom Floors. Antique mirror from Joyce Horn Antiques; chairs from Restoration Hardware.

Outdoor living is easy in this refined loggia. A bleached wood coffee table with iron base from Area is designed to weather beautifully as is the custom mantle by Chandos Interiors fabricated by Custom Floors. Antique mirror from Joyce Horn Antiques; chairs from Restoration Hardware.

A turquoise pool is the gemstone of this backyard retreat. Limestone tile makes a smooth surface for the loggia and pool deck.

A turquoise pool is the gemstone of this backyard retreat. Limestone tile makes a smooth surface for the loggia and pool deck.

LIVED-IN and Luxurious


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