A Traditional Houston Home with Rustic, Earth Tone Finishes


Traditional Home Courtyard and Pool

In the spirit of homes designed by architect A. Hays Town, who often reused materials, old brick was added to the existing structure and painted white to suit the homeowners’ taste. The bench at pool level is vintage Brown Jordan. Plantings by McDugald-Steele include a bed of roses by the stair and the fig vine climbing a pavilion.

Traditional Spacious Southern Home

Inspired by their Louisiana heritage, a family redesigns a Houston home to reflect their traditional yet streamlined aesthetic.

Traditional Home Grand Entry

Architect Dillon Kyle used steel-framed glass doors from Hope’s Windows to welcome guests into the home’s soaring entry. The flooring, Pennsylvania green flagstone with a natural cleft finish, adds texture to the space, as does the ceiling detail. The antique chandelier, circa 1900, is from Skelton - St. John.

Traditional Cream Family Room with Teal French Shutters

The family room features a rustic fireplace made of antique cedar bayou brick. Directly above is a set of French shutters with their original teal paint, discovered at W. Gardner, which conceal a television. Sofas from George Cameron Nash, the custom chair by Neal & Company and an antique rug from Matt Camron pull the area together.

Traditional Elegant Sitting Room

In the living room, interior designer Sandra Lucas created an elegant conversation area with 19th-century Italian canapés from Area upholstered in Holly Hunt Great Plains fabric. Above the mantel, purchased at Chateau Domingue, a painting by Clay Wagstaff pays homage to a cottonwood seen from the terrace.

Traditional Open Kitchen

As the heart of the home, the kitchen opens to the breakfast area and family room. Custom cabinetry by JP Inside Trim & Cabinets balances the granite countertops from Walker Zanger. Barstools by The Wicker Works, purchased at Culp Associates, provide seating, while lanterns with custom chains, refurbished by Peck & Company, hang from rough-hewn beams.

Traditional Entry Hall Detail

The homeowners were enchanted with a Florence hotel’s millwork, which danced up onto the ceiling.

Traditional Entry Hall

That millwork inspired the entry hall’s ceiling—and its gray hue—which was designed by Kyle. Walnut flooring from Schenck & Company runs underfoot.

Traditional Elegant Dining Room

The focal point in the dining room is a commissioned Robert Rector painting purchased at Gremillion & Co. Fine Art. The existing walnut reproduction French table is paired with chairs reupholstered in Clarence House linen-velvet. A 19th-century Empire chandelier is from Tara Shaw.

Traditional Louisiana Master Bedroom

Antique beams accent the vaulted ceiling in the master bedroom. The existing hand-carved four-poster bed resides with a custom bench fully upholstered in Carleton V fabric. Table lamps, purchased at Boxwood Interiors, were made from antique iron fragments and rest upon French walnut tables.

Traditional Master Bedroom Window Seat

An upholstered built-in window seat with nailhead details, by Neal & Company, provides the perfect getaway for the couple’s Havanese, Lola, in the master bedroom. Pierre Frey fabric wraps the entire resting stop. Draperies were fabricated by the Lucas/Eilers Design Associates workroom, and wall-mounted sconces from Aidan Gray impart soft illumination.

Just as they put the finishing touches on their dream home in Louisiana, a vibrant couple with three daughters found themselves moving to Houston because of a job transfer. After settling into their new city for a decade, a home in the Tanglewood community caught their eye. Perched atop a large sloping lot, it looked out onto breathtaking views of the Houston Country Club golf course. Although the house itself was nice, its Georgian-style architecture and embellishments weren’t to the couple’s taste. “The older I get, the more minimal I get,” says the wife. But they loved the site enough to buy the house and redesign it. “The couple wanted the home to reflect their Louisiana heritage, and also their love of beautiful things,” says interior designer Sandra Lucas. “They love to entertain and wanted to enjoy the home with their family.”

Architect Dillon Kyle drew up plans that would transform the house, inside and out. “The plans really altered everything from the exterior wall material and roofing to the location of the staircase, all interior rooms and garage,” says Kyle. Adds home builder Jed Goodall, “We ended up tearing down the whole second floor and keeping part of the first intact.” Catering to the owners’ appreciation of such architects as A. Hays Town and Al Jones, who mix clean lines and repurposed materials, the new design was kept traditional yet simplified, and includes rustic elements such as antique beams. The new layout offers a better flow for entertaining, with the kitchen now open to a family room. Every bedroom got a bathroom, and Kyle created a large study with a seating area. “In our previous home, we tended to congregate in the study,” says the husband. “I would be in there working at night, and everybody else would come in.”

When designing the interiors, Lucas chose a subtle palette and relatively simple lines. “The color scheme helps bring the outdoors in, and the simplicity of the design was done with the purpose of not competing with the views,” she explains. With the revised floor plan, those vistas are now maximized; in the original home, visitors entering the front door would be looking down a hallway. “The couple wanted to see through to the scenery, so someone would be drawn through the house,” Kyle says. “Therefore, the entry access was moved from the front of the house to the side.”

Upon arriving via the new side entry foyer, visitors now turn to the left and are presented with stunning panoramas of the golf course and rolling topography through large back windows. “There aren’t many views like this in the Houston area,” says landscape architect Kevin Steed, whose team, including Rick Dunn, installed evergreen plants as a privacy screen between the pool and the golf course beyond. “If you’re sitting around the pool sunbathing or enjoying family, you don’t want to feel like you’re in a fishbowl,” he explains. Steed also incorporated some of the homeowners’ favorite plants into the design, including camellias, gingers, redbuds and crape myrtles.

Lucas and the woman of the house furnished the interiors with a mix of family antiques and new furniture pieces that were reupholstered and restyled to work in the new home alongside a selection of modern art. She commissioned several one-of-a-kind pieces that give the home a unique vibe. “The coffee table in the family room was made by local artisan James Dawson, and it has a wonderful hand-hewed wooden top that gives a lot of warmth,” Lucas says. For the dining room, the designer, along with the owners, commissioned a wall-size piece of art by Robert Rector, who happens to live near Baton Rouge.

The home, which incorporates just enough Louisiana flavor to give the couple a sense of their shared heritage, has become a popular gathering place for the whole family. “Our children are now grown, but we come back together for family meals,” says the wife. “It’s a warm, comfortable home. There aren’t rooms that are off-limits or that you can’t touch. We live in it, and we live all over it.”

—Kimberly Olson