A Renovated Houston Home Acquires English Accents


traditional outdoor pool exterior sitting...

On the grounds of a Houston home, architect Virginia Kelsey relocated the swimming pool-- installed by Water Line Designs--and added a pair of 19th-century French dog statues, purchased at Chateau Domingue. Nearby, Janus et Cie Deauville lounge chairs surround a table with a cast-stone top and an antique base from W. Gardner, Ltd. Grabill Windows & Doors in Almont, Michigan, supplied the windows.

traditional exterior pond

Felipe Segovia Construction reworked the existing stone on the exterior, while David Alvarez Sheet Metal installed the reclaimed Ludowici roof tile from The Roof Tile & Slate Company; Insight Structures, Inc. handled the home's structural engineering. New stone coping by QTS updates the pond, as do the plantings supplied by Pond Pros of Houston. McDugald-Steele oversaw the landscape design. Exterior lighting is by Stirling Electric.

traditional neutral great room brown...

Kelsey designed the great room's ceiling, which was installed by Vasquez Woodmasters. Forming a seating area, wood-frame chairs in Schumacher fabric and a taboret from Joyce Horn Antiques in Scalamandre Tigre velvet surround a coffee table from Found. New Vision Furniture Upholstery used burlap linen to cover the skirted benches that sit beneath a chandelier from W. Gardner, Ltd. The 18th-century fireplace mantel is from Chateau Domingue, and the home's plasterwork is by Esmeralda Painting Inc.

traditional entry large trunk gold...

Near a door leading from the front porch to the morning room, a large trunk from MAI and a smaller one from Back Row Home join a painting from Susan Horne Antiques and a barometer found at The Original Round Top Antiques Fair. The door is from MRJ Wood Products; wood flooring throughout is from Custom Floors Unlimited.

traditional living room antique rug...

An antique Persian rug from Carol Piper Rugs grounds the morning room, where a sofa wears Cowtan & Tout fabric from Culp Associates, a tufted ottoman dons Colefax and Fowler fabric and Kravet trim, and lounge chairs are covered in a Classic Cloth check from George Cameron Nash. The custom-printed linen drapery material is by Arena Design.

traditional neutral kitchen gold accents

Hayes Carpentry fabricated the cabinetry on the kitchen island, which houses a Waterworks faucet, while Vasquez Woodmasters made the perimeter cabinetry; hardware includes Frank Allart pulls from Fixtures & Fittings and van Cronenburg knobs. James Dawson Design created the hood above the La Cornue stove, which is backed by aged white marble installed by QTS. The barstools are from Design Workshop in Warsaw, North Carolina, and the iron console is from Mecox.

traditional neutral bedroom

Neal & Company upholstered the guest bedroom’s custom studded bed using Classic Cloth fabric from George Cameron Nash. The bedding is Legacy Home, the alabaster nightstand lamp is Visual Comfort & Co., and the Egyptian kilim rug is from Carol Piper Rugs. Horton Draperies of Texas created the Colefax & Fowler fabric draperies.

traditional mirror and sink in...

A painted Swedish console with a marble top--fitted with a hammered-polished silver Jandelle sink and a THG Paris faucet from Fixtures & Fittings--makes an elegant statement in the guest bathroom. French wall sconces from Joyce Horn Antiques frame a Louis Phillipe mirror. The reclaimed flooring is from Chateau Domingue.

traditional bathroom white freestanding tub...

An 18th-century mantel from Chateau Domingue highlights the master bathroom, where Kelsey designed curved cabinetry. The tub, the Barber Wilsons & Co. Ltd. fixtures and The Sterlingham Co. Ltd. towel warmer are from Elegant Additions. The chair from Joyce Horn Antiques touts Matka raw silk on the frame and Le Gracieux fabric from David Sutherland on the cushion. The draperies are Cowtan & Tout; the Persian Tabriz rug is from Carol Piper Rugs.

traditional front porch outdoor sitting...

The front porch is a welcome respite thanks to a vintage Adirondack sleeping swing from Vincent Mulford Antiques in Hudson, New York, topped with a tufted mattress in Weitzner outdoor linen from Pollack. Behind the swing, Peck & Company added custom brackets to the French antique lanterns, which were purchased from Watkins Culver. The French garden chairs upholstered in Perennials fabric are from M Naeve.

What would Edwin Lutyens do?” is a question architect Virginia Kelsey, joined by interior designer Cathy Chapman, raised more than once during the renovation of a Houston house.

Invoking the spirit of the esteemed 20th-century British architect and her personal hero, Kelsey transformed a stone structure built in the 1990s into a meticulously crafted home worthy of the English countryside.

According to Kelsey, Lutyens was known for both his attention to materials and a willingness to mix design genres. Following his lead, she introduced a fireplace mantel from a French monastery in the great room and continued the oh la la with a carved antique fireplace surround and floors from a French chateau in the master bath.

The historic nods continue throughout the home with refined coffered ceilings in the great room and a rustic, vaulted ceiling in the morning room. The staircase features a balustrade intended to mimic Lutyens’ stair design at Great Dixter, the family home of British gardener Christopher Lloyd.

“There was talk about a metal staircase, but I felt the staircase had to balance out the heaviness of the rest of the house,” says Kelsey, who assembled a full-scale paper mock-up to make her point. “It’s what Lutyens would have done.”

To play up the architectural details, Chapman incorporated furnishings and antiques with global style, such as a set of carved Swedish chairs for the breakfast nook and 19th-century octagonal French mirrors for the hallways.

Today, the estate is not only reminiscent of an English country manor; it boasts a layout suitable to their clients’ modern lives.