Light & airy

Scorning the McMansions for a 1963 modern home: An interior designer's personal Tanglewood project

Architect Preston Bolton designed this stunning Tanglewood residence in 1963, a look that appears fresh and modern today. In the spring of this year, Kristen and Lee Nix moved in, but not before she transformed the sleek abode into a comfortable home for the couple and their 2-year-old son. 

"I knew right when I walked in what I wanted to do," Kristen said. "Grass rugs, grass cloth on the walls, not a lot of color but lots of texture."

"I felt like the house had such good bones in it . . .  it was different with its high ceilings and clean lines."

The mid-century modern structure provided an ideal palette for Kristen's interior design skills, honed at the knee of her mother, designer Sheridan Williams, and via a degree in interior design from Houston Community College.

A University of Texas graduate, Kristen found that her internship with noted decorator Randy Powers provided a bonus in her education. And her stint studying under  Kelly Hoppen in London added to her expertise.

Last spring, she launched her own interior design firm, Kristen Nix Interiors. 

The living room is a mix of old and new, Circa Lighting and Visual Comfort lamps, furnishings by Baker and the matching screens — one of her first purchases when Kristen was fresh from college and working at Neiman Marcus in Dallas.

The McKay Otto painting above the fireplace is one of her favorite recent acquisitions.

The antique table was a find in her mother's warehouse space, the diminutive black lacquer chair is a much-loved hand-me-down from Lee's family.

The antique Spanish chest is one of Kristen's favorite pieces, a find at George Cameron Nash in the Houston Decorative Center. The lamp, reminiscent of the Saladino lamp, is from Ethan Allen.

The artwork was used for the cover of an old edition of Neiman Marcus' The Book. Kristen salvaged it when she was working at Neiman's in Dallas.

She adds that she can't get enough of white orchids. Here, planted in a pot from Round Top.

The kitchen is sleek and modern, a complete redo from the original kitchen.

Kirsten says that the sectional sofa in the den was her one acquiescence to her husband's wishes. Although she isn't crazy about the look, we think it works quite well in the light-filled family room.

The gaming table/breakfast table is stationed in the far end of the family room next to the kitchen.

Decor in the master bedroom continues Kristen's plan for clean lines and an abundanc of texture in place of color.

The swimming pool was part of Preston Bolton's original design. It welcomes guests to the home as they enter through the front courtyard.