Just because a family home is relaxed and comfortable doesn’t mean it can’t be chic and stylish. This Texas family wanted to make sure their new home had a fresh and eclectic feel and represented their personalities, showcased their art collection and functioned for the fuss-free way they like to live. When the design team at Laura U saw their art collection, they knew crisp, gallery-white walls were the way to go, while the furnishings and accessories would drench the home in dynamic color. The homeowners are Rice University alums, and their favorite color is blue, no matter the shade. “Red made the perfect pop of color in the sea of deep blues and crisp white. It’s all-American!” says designer Laura Umansky, adding that the home is “casual, comfortable and a place for family.” They’ve dubbed the style “Southern Americana.”
Houzz at a Glance
Who lives here: A young family with 2 boys and 2 dogs
Size: 7,500 square feet (697 square meters); 5 bedrooms, 5½ baths
Hand-painted encaustic tiles in shades of blue make a strong impression as soon as one enters the foyer. An Alhambra-esque opening is an eclectic pass-through to the bar in the dining room. This is Southern hospitality we’re talking about, after all.
The furniture and accessories are a mix of old and new. “The clients loved their existing table and chairs, so we upped the ante with this custom light fixture,” Umansky says. “We liked its unexpected presence and industrial vibe.”
The accessories help create cohesion between the modern, retro and traditional pieces. Because the clients love to read, shelves made their way into almost every room. In the dining room tomes were traded for colorful glassware, vases and artwork, with lots of white space keeping a balanced look.
The architecture is Spanish colonial, as seen in some of the details, like the ceiling beams. They add a warmth that works well with pops of bright color. “The clients’ favorite color is blue, in any and all shades, so we made sure to incorporate this color in every room,” Umansky says. In this bright living room, a deep blue rug with a Greek key border grounds the space; the blue, white and fiery orange-red are a fresh take on the all-American color palette.
The sofa’s strong base got the design brew going. “The client fell in love with the oak base with the natural finish — it’s such a statement piece,” Umansky says. From there the Laura U team — led by Umansky and senior designer Letecia Ellis — selected pieces that complemented the sofa’s strong lines without competing with it. Wood in varying species and finishes, along with metals, adds to the textural mix.
More Houzz Tour: Eclectic Down-Home Style in Texas
Houzz Tour: Eclectic Down-Home Style in Texas