Don’t let the chicness of this warm, contemporary Houston home fool you. “My clients have young kids, so while they love high style, everything is livable, cleanable, and wipe-off-able,” interior designer Marie Flanigan says. She gave the couple the elegant contemporary style they love but, by emphasizing a mix of textures, ensured it would be alluring and warm.
Flanigan, who has an architectural background, joined the project at the beginning and worked with the family and the architect, giving input on how the interior spaces would flow and helping with some of the architectural details. The exterior of the home has limestone and black steel accents, which she incorporated into the interior palette.
In the family's main gathering space, she made sure there were comfy seats for the family and a few guests by including four upholstered chairs and a sofa in the seating arrangement. Adding a barrel chair with a steel structure and a woven chair mixes things up with interesting textures and lends a less formal feeling. The neutral-colored palette also includes wood, linen, leather, and velvet.
Rugs were a key component in softening and warming up rooms in this home. A soft silk and wool rug with a high-low pile grounds the room with a luxe tone-on-tone pattern. All of the fabrics on the seating are stain-resistant.
The living room is large, and Flanigan matched its scale by using large pieces like coffee table and ceiling light and creating a large surround for the fireplace. (She applied a concrete finish to the entire wall.) The ceiling light, barrel chair, and coffee table also pick up on the black steel architectural accents around the house.
The designer was able to use her clients’ existing dining table and Parsons chairs, but she gave the chairs a new look with waxed linen slipcovers. The rug is composed of strips of hide. It adds lots of pattern, movement and texture to the dining room, infusing it with sophisticated Texas style.
A wood sideboard appears to float atop lucite legs. “You look at this wall from the entry, so the art provides a graphic pop,” Flanigan says. The black frames play off the black steel windows.
By keeping the slipcovers and window treatments simple, the room feels elegant but not uncomfortably formal. The glass Sputnik chandelier adds a playful touch.
“The kitchen is the center of the home, is an important family gathering space and can be viewed from the living room,” Flanigan says. There’s plenty of room to cook, hang out at the counter, eat together (in the breakfast nook to the left) and do homework (at a desk area). There’s also a large walk-in pantry where Flanigan set up the small appliances and a coffee station, which keeps the counters clean and clear — a less “kitchen-y” view from the living room.
While function was the most important aspect of the room, style was important too since the kitchen is visible from the living room. Making sure the first floor flowed from one space to the next was an important part of the layout and design choices. “I wanted to create a graphic pop and play with asymmetry in here,” Flanigan says. She also played with color blocking, using a sophisticated palette of white lacquer cabinets, rift-cut oak cabinets and an Absolute Black granite vent hood, backsplash and countertop.
The custom breakfast room table has an iron base that again plays off those black steel architectural elements; the top is marble. Classic Eames chairs bring in a more casual midcentury modern element.
Tucked across from the breakfast room is the cheerful playroom, decorated in yummy greens and with a spectacular botanical mural wallcovering. A soft rug, cushy sofa, bench seat, and knitted pouf add plenty of soft places for reading, lounging, and playing. “That stuffed animal is actually big enough for me to sit on!” Flanigan says.
Because the room can be closed off from the rest of the house, it’s a place where the kids can get messy, watch videos with the sound up and keep their things spread out. When it’s time to put the toys and games away, there’s plenty of storage beneath the bench and in the cabinets.
In the master bedroom, low, horizontal planes and simple minimalist bedding create a warm and modern look. Painted nightstands and the Mary H. Case painting over the bed inject the warmth, while classic midcentury modern sconces throw in two wonky lines to contrast with all of the straight ones.
Flanigan anchored the bed area with another lovely rug. This one has a high-low pile and a laser-cut tone-on-tone pattern. A steel and hide bench brings in more texture.