PaperCity Magazine

September 2018- Houston

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84 THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE WAS HOW TO CREATE A BEAUTIFUL HOME FILLED WITH PALE ANTIQUES WITH FOUR CHILDREN IN RESIDENCE. Landrum comments. They don't quite finish each other's sentences, but they do expand each other's thoughts. There's a respect for individual expertise, but they are too much on the same page for turf wars or to quibble over details. "If we're hired to do a full project together, it's a true collaboration," Hunter says, "from the ground breaking to the toothbrushes, as we like to say." Case in point: Landrum designed every room in the River Oaks house with vast windows and views to the outside, so Hunter carried the thought indoors with Venetian-plaster walls, hand-applied by Segreto artisans, in the precise earthen color as the exterior stucco. "My instructions were that one should not be able to tell the difference between outside and inside," Hunter says. Trav- ertine floors, a near-perfect blend of the wall color, create a fully enveloped environment. Because Landrum's exterior facade is devoid of ornamentation, Hunter's interiors follow suit — and even a typical staircase design would have been too much. Instead, plaster curves around travertine steps like a miniature Guggenheim, and a lighted cove overhead illuminates the sculptural space. "It becomes about shadow and light, instead of ornamentation," he adds. In the kitchen, he references Landrum's arched exterior details with a beautifully arched ventilation system, commissioned in plaster. "Rather than using a conventional surround, we chose to treat it as an extension of the ceiling detail," Hunter says. In this house, Hunter has paid homage to the masters of design who have greatly influenced his own work. Foremost among them is Jean-Michel Frank, the early-20th-century French designer known for his luxurious, minimalist interiors and furniture. Frank was working about the same time that homes in River Oaks would have been built, and homeowners of the era often made special commissions from such top designers. "He would take a material and celebrate it so that it fully enveloped the space," Hunter says. "The material itself becomes the motif." Hunter did likewise for Sculptural plaster-and-travertine staircase. Aristide Maillol bronze sculpture. Pedro Coronel stone sculpture. Julian Schnabel painting. Table by Michael Landrum and Balinskas Imports.

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