We are so grateful to have been featured on the Style cover of the Chronicle! We love the Chronicle and are very proud to be apart of such a prestigious publication. Read the article below now, and look for the print version hitting shelves on Sunday, December 22!
A contemporary home should always feel cool, but never cold. So when a Houston couple, both of whom work in the oil and gas industry, moved into a light-filled, three-story house, they were determined to make it feel warm and comfortable – chic, but not too sleek.
“That’s something definitely my wife didn’t want, too stark and too modern, all wood and no texture,” said the husband, who declined to be named in this story.
The pair returned to Houston in 2005, and, in 2011, moved into their current 4,000-square-foot space in Montrose. After years of living and working abroad, they found the walkable feel of the neighborhood was a natural fit.
“We’ve lived inside the Loop before, and we love the convenience as much as we love the location,” he said. “When we lived overseas, we could walk to different restaurants and shops and to the grocery store. Now, living by Westheimer, we can go to all the great restaurants and entertainment and shopping, and we can walk to Whole Foods. Things are so close by and convenient, and we’re both five minutes from work.”
After looking at a handful of contemporary structures in Montrose, they were drawn to the open floor plan and the four separate patios in the three-bedroom house.
“We’d been (living in the home) for six or nine months, and we had repainted, but we didn’t have the proper furnishings and didn’t like the look we had. We wanted to change it up completely so that our things would match the house with a cleaner design that would flow.”
To create a space that matched both their eclectic style and their open concept living area, the couple turned to of . On the second floor, where the kitchen, dining room and living room coexist in a single space, that meant mixing bold patterns, adding pops of vibrant color and even a hint of chinoiserie for an unexpected look that flows and adds interest.
An Asian-inspired floral fabric on the back of the bar chairs complements the vibrant orange lacquer on two round-back dining chairs and is repeated in the oversize throw pillows on the sectional. The luxe Eastern elements are juxtaposed against some clean-lined midcentury modern pieces, including a bent wood wall clock inspired by a design; a brass Jonathan Adler Sputnik chandelier over the dining table; a low-slung pair of chairs covered in cowhide; and a three-armed floor lamp designed by Serge Mouille in 1952.
The couple’s existing sectional was re-upholstered in a chic but sturdy black fabric which, like the cowhide, was chosen for its toughness, since the couple have cats and don’t believe in de-clawing – or in torn furniture. Natural fiber and thick pile rugs add an element of softness, while a custom butcher block dining table and a dramatic teak root coffee table mix in a sleek yet rustic warmth.
It’s the teak root table, a staple among Umansky’s designs, that the husband says is his favorite piece in the house.
“I love it because it probably weighs 300 pounds,” he said with a laugh. “I can put my feet on it, stand on it, anything, and it won’t move. That’s what’s great about it, unless you actually do need to move it.”
In the airy office, a clean palette of black and white and furnishings with geometric lines creates a more focused, thoughtful space. A Suzanne Kasler for Hickory chair with a back pattern straight out of the Alhambra goes perfectly with a white lacquer Z-line desk that takes inspiration from Gabriella Crespi’s famed brass version from the 1970s.
Upstairs the master bedroom’s subtle references to retro glamour continue, with a color palette of mustard yellow and turquoise and an eye-catching custom headboard in Missoni-style chevron stripes.
“It’s coherent,” said the husband. “It flows well, it fits the house well and it’s comfortable.”