Landscape designer Cedar Baldridge is anything but traditional. Raised in Mexico, she grew up around cacti and cowboys and lots of color. So when she purchased a traditional Federalist-style home in Houston, she knew she had some work to do.
With the help of Dillon Kyle Architects, she knocked down walls in her living room, kitchen, and laundry to create an airy, bright feel — and that was before the paintbrush even hit the walls. Now that her colorful casita is slathered in turquoise, with splashes of canary yellow and hot pink, Baldridge can kick back and be herself.
Having grown up in on a ranch south of the border, Baldridge, who owns Baldridge Landscape, loves bright Mexican blues and shades of turquoise. As a landscape architect, she also travels and studies historical sites, such as Mount Vernon and Monticello, where vibrant color abounds. “Back in the day, they would use bright colors because it was so dark,” Baldridge says. “The candlelight reflects beautifully.”
All her passions came together when she purchased a 1940s brick Federal-style home, which has historical-inspired lines and small rooms. Having worked closely with Dillon Kyle Architects on other residential projects, she hired Kyle to help her open up some of her home’s small rooms and connect the kitchen and living room to the backyard and her signature landscaping.
Inside, the interiors come alive with shots of color and collected decor. Baldridge found a caribou mount at the Round Top Antiques Fair. She chose a turquoise backdrop for it all, infusing energy into the home while remaining a historically appropriate color choice.
The same peacock blue frames the entry walls into the white kitchen, where a blue sky ceiling is graced by a turquoise Schonbek chandelier. The living space opens up to an outdoor terrace for dining alfresco.
Now that the living areas sport French doors extending to the backyard — where dog Violet has the run of the place — the brilliant greenery makes its own color statement, working seamlessly with the other bright shades Baldridge weaved into the palette.
Bright pink makes an accent color throughout the home, adding heat to the cool blues, from patterned pillows to an African feather juju hat hung above the white sofa.
The dining room acts as a respite from all the color. Light gray walls are graced with old paintings, while a vintage dining table and chairs get a shot of romance from a 1920s Moroccan fixture. Chandeliers and pendants feature prominently in Baldridge’s home, since she doesn’t care for overhead can lighting. “Nobody ever looks good in that — ever,” she says.
The main spa-like bathroom features a color-changing tub and graphic, global, encaustic cement tiles made in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, with more hints of blue for a strong color thread throughout the home.
When Baldridge is not sitting around her colorful, historically inspired abode, which her friends have dubbed “Monte Vernon,” she’s outside, either landscaping, traveling or kicking back in her backyard oasis.