PaperCity Magazine

January 2020- Houston

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57 T his elegant 1946 Colonial Revival house sits on a spacious lot just blocks from River Oaks Country Club. Given the home's age, "most would have torn it down and built a really large house on the property," says interior designer Randy Powers, who worked on the project with senior designer Christopher Alexander. The clients, a couple in their mid-40s with two children, chose instead to preserve it. "They really loved the house and went in with a vision. It needed remodeling to make it appropriate for their lifestyle and bring it up to date. But they're not typical of their age — they like a more formal house. They are very traditional in their tastes." The wife is from the South, and the husband, a Houston native working in the energy business, spent much of his life on the East Coast and has deep family roots in both places. Living in parts of the country where old homes are commonplace and cherished, they developed a passion for buildings with history and timeworn patina. "I've always lived in an old house, including New York City apartments — all old, old, old, and fabulous," she says. "Really, it's the soul of the older homes that can't be replaced with new." The family's stately white-columned Colonial is attributed to the work of builder C.C. Rouse, who, along with architect John Staub, helped turn River Oaks into a fashionable enclave during the '20s, '30s, and '40s. Rouse was noted for devising grand spec houses for newly rich oilmen and their families, with floor plans designed so that a hundred people could gather and circulate with ease, and with kitchens large enough to accommodate the preparation of major social events. AMERICAN DREAM BY REBECCA SHERMAN. PHOTOGRAPHY PÄR BENGTSSON. ART DIRECTION MICHELLE AVIÑA. INTERIOR DESIGN J. RANDALL POWERS AND CHRISTOPHER ALEXANDER. J. RANDALL POWERS DESIGNS A CLASSIC RIVER OAKS COLONIAL WITH TRADITIONAL EAST COAST RESTRAINT AND A MODERN VIBE. E arlier in his career, Powers focused on contemporary interiors with mostly neutral palettes. That changed in 2006 after he tackled a project for clients who wanted a lot of color and an English- American look. "I went in with both feet forward. I had a blast with it," he told Elle Decor in 2016, for a story about a Houston residence brimming with color and classic furnishings. Powers has embraced the aesthetic ever since, refining it to reflect his company's style. "At our offices, we always feel like our taste is very American," he says. "America is about different In the living room, an Indian dhurrie from Carol Piper Rugs. Chair upholstered in Schumacher fabric. Silk taffeta drapery fabric is also Schumacher. Louis XVI fireplace mantel from France. Brass coffee table designed by J. Randall Powers. English 18th-century mirror. Pair of Maison Baguès sconces. Ceiling Is papered in chocolate-brown silk.

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