A Transitional Houston Home with Timeless Interiors

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Transitional White Casual Dining Area with Colorful Oil Painting

A Noir wood table from In-Detail is surrounded by antique French chairs upholstered with fabrics from Duralee in the casual dining area. The traditional-style chandelier is from Circa Lighting; the colorful abstract oil on canvas is by artist Charles Schorre.

Transitional White Casual Dining Area with Colorful Oil Painting

A Noir wood table from In-Detail is surrounded by antique French chairs upholstered with fabrics from Duralee in the casual dining area. The traditional-style chandelier is from Circa Lighting; the colorful abstract oil on canvas is by artist Charles Schorre.

Transitional Neutral Exterior with Natural Stone Facade

Natural stone is displayed on the façade of a residence in Houston’s West University neighborhood. Designer Ashley Goforth blended traditional and contemporary styles for the interiors of the house, which was originally conceived by Rice Residential Design and built by Classic American Homes.

Transitional White Living Room with Canvas Bird Painting

An oil on canvas by Hunt Slonem gives the living room a lyrical quality. In interior designer Ashley Goforth’s opinion, the artwork that hangs on the walls is a crucial component of a house’s overall presentation.

Transitional White Entry with Grandfather Clock

In the entry, Goforth placed a grandfather clock—a wedding gift from the wife’s parents—an antique French cane chair upholstered with Kravet fabric and a pair of landscape paintings from Meredith Long & Company. A zebra-print stair runner from Stark strikes a contemporary note. Artwork by Nicola Parente from Gremillion & Co. Fine Art hangs on the staircase landing.

Transitional White Family Room with Nickel-Plated Ottoman

The family room features a custom nickel-plated ottoman covered with Highland Court blue mohair from Duralee. Goforth-designed sofa and chairs upholstered with white outdoor fabric from Sunbrella join white linen drapery fabric from Noveltex in Los Angeles with custom fretwork to add a fresh feel to the space. The wool rug is from Creative Flooring Resources.

Transitional White Kitchen with Bistro-Style Stools

In the kitchen, bistro-style stools from Serena & Lily pull up to a marble-topped island purchased from Shenoy Stone, which is lit by porcelain Jonathan Adler pendants. Coffee-colored white-oak plank flooring installed by Campbell Floors offsets bright white cabinetry and tile from Daltile set in a chevon pattern for the stove’s backsplash.

Transitional Neutral Dining Room with Antique French Chandelier

The dining room showcases a custom table with a brass-dipped base and Goforth-designed chairs covered with cream-colored leather and leopard-print linen-velvet; both fabrics are by Old World Weavers from Stark. The 19th-century French chandelier is from Janet Wiebe; a Gary Komarin piece from Gremillion & Co. Fine Art hangs in the butler’s pantry beyond.

Transitional White Kitchen Detail with Bird-Print Shade

A marble backsplash and countertops lend elegance to the light-filled kitchen, while traditional-style white cabinetry wearing knobs and pulls from Restoration Hardware maintains a sense of airiness in the space. The window shade textile by Galbraith & Paul for Perennials was purchased through David Sutherland.

Transitional Neutral Bedroom with Botanical-Design Wall

Goforth designed a velvet-upholstered bed for the master bedroom and dressed it with crisp white linens featuring geometric embroidery. A wall painted with a botanical design by Segreto Finishes gives the room an artful aspect.

Transitional Neutral Bedroom Detail with Curved Nightstand

A three-drawer curved nightstand boasting delicate gold knobs is from Longoria Collection and provides the master bedroom with a note of femininity and glamour. The white-glass Mottega table lamp is by Arteriors; a wool carpet from Creative Flooring Resources runs underfoot.

Transitional White Bathroom with Gold Side Table

Gold accents—including a round side table from Z Gallerie and a starburst sculpture from Village Antiques—and a vintage chandelier from Memorial Antiques & Interiors add sophistication to the master bathroom, where the floor and a portion of a wall are covered with marble from Shenoy Stomne. The tub and its fixtures are from Morrison Supply Company.

If ever there were interiors that look like the well-loved fashion designs of Tory Burch—functional pieces that balance contemporary style and nostalgia for the past—they’re the ones designer Ashley Goforth imagined for a young family in the West University neighborhood of Houston. Beyond the house’s transitional-style architecture are charismatic rooms filled with geometric pattern, pops of brilliant color, sumptuous texture and whimsical form. There’s also no shortage of metallic accents, which, like the way Burch’s iconic gold medallion punctuates her signature ballet flats, give the spaces just the right amount of glamour. “My client wanted something stylish and classic,” Goforth says of the wife, who appreciates the fashion designer’s feminine yet edgy style. “So I mixed rich fabrics and accessories with contemporary art and a few antiques to give the spaces depth and personality.”

Goforth’s clients—a husband who works in finance and a wife who is a stay-at-home mom to three children—needed more living space but didn’t want to leave their beloved neighborhood. “West University is very child-friendly,” says the wife. “It has great parks and a well-respected public school district. Our last house here was our very first house, but we outgrew it with the addition of our youngest child, who’s now 5 years old.” So when the couple saw a sizable home under construction and for sale in the neighborhood, they jumped on it.

Once they had officially purchased the in-progress residence—conceived by residential designer Todd Rice of Rice Residential Design and constructed by builder Charles Kuck of Classic American Homes—the wife hired consultant Jennifer Frasier of Scott Frasier Homes to help her select the right interior finishes. “She encouraged me to do a palette that would be timeless,” says the wife. In the kitchen, Frasier used Carrara marble tile laid in a chevron pattern behind the stove and oversize subway tiles for the rest of the backsplash. There is also Carrara marble on the floors and a wall that acts as a backdrop for the freestanding tub in the master bathroom. Throughout the rest of the house, a medium coffee-colored stain enriches the traditional white-oak plank flooring.

Once the architecture was complete and the finishes were in place, the couple commissioned Goforth to expertly dress the interiors. She too had timelessness in mind. “I always want to do something that’s still going to look good in 20 years,” says the designer, who balanced classic elements with contemporary touches. “It’s traditional but a little edgy.” For the casual dining area, Goforth painted fanciful French antique chairs a bright white and applied a coat of lacquer, and she changed the seat cushion fabric from a floral print to a stripe. The designer then chose a zebra-patterned wool staircase runner for the entry, where she placed a French antique grandfather clock that was a wedding gift from the wife’s parents. She also hung a large antique gold mirror and applied a grass cloth woven with metallic strands to the walls of the powder room. “It gives the space personality and a sort of wrapped quality,” she says.

In the family room, Goforth outfitted the space with a custom ottoman that features a nickel-plated base and is covered with deep blue tufted mohair. An early-1900s painted French console sits across from the crisp white upholstery of the sofa and draperies edged with blue fretwork. For the dining room, the designer chose a massive round custom table with a brass-dipped base and surrounded it with chairs covered in leopard-print linen-velvet and cream-colored leather. “Here, the chandelier is a French antique,” Goforth notes. “It’s an aged piece that bestows history and weight to the space.”

However glamorous the interiors are, they’re also entirely practical. “My clients’ children range in age from 5 to 11,” Goforth says. “So I used fabrics that are durable and easily cleaned. I specialize in that since I have young children myself.” Therefore, the reupholstered chairs in the casual dining area are covered in striped vinyl, and the sofa and chair upholstery in the family room is made of a Sunbrella outdoor fabric. “The mohair on the ottoman is also treated,” says the wife. “You can spill and wipe it right off; it’s indestructible.”

In Goforth’s opinion, the artwork that hangs on the walls is a crucial component of a house’s overall presentation. “Houston has a great art scene with respected museums,” she says. “Art really gives an interior individuality.” Therefore, an oil on canvas by Hunt Slonem gives the living room a lyrical quality, while a textured abstract painting by Sandi Seltzer Bryant grounds the dining room. A more personal artwork by Charles Schorre—another gift from the wife’s parents—draws attention in the casual dining area. “It was theirs, and I’d always loved it,” says the wife. “Schorre had Parkinson’s disease, and the piece is a bold expression of life. It’s a reminder to relish my own life as well as the blessing of our health.”

Integral to the design was keeping a sense of balance: a quality that resulted in a lively mix of beautiful spaces. “These rooms are versatile and dynamic,” Goforth says. And her client couldn’t agree more. “This house is comfortable, yet there are pieces that have stories and there are pieces that are elegant,” the wife says. “It truly turned into what I wanted—feminine and classical, but with an edge. Ashley brings all of that to a home very easily.”

—Laura Mauk

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