PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Houston September 2020

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The cozy atmosphere of the drawing room, which was stripped of the original heavy window treatments, revolves around a lush raspberry velvet sofa designed by Alvise, two sets of antique French fauteuil chairs, and a modern Maison Jansen coffee table. An adorable stool in peacock-blue velvet, which Alvise managed to find at Target, shows that style doesn't necessarily go by price tag. One of my favorite rooms in the house may just be the most glamorous guest loo ever. Silver and mirrored cabinets from the 1930s, along with original hand-painted walls depicting an oneiric landscape, create a fantastic portal into an old Hollywood movie set. African and Asian antiques add to the wunderkammer effect, leading to a glamorous dining room — the set of effortless elegant dinners on many evenings, where Alvise might serve a delicious pasta paired with rare wines from Geoffroy's personal cellars. Here, at the large oval table, surrounded by a collection of 18th-century white- and-blue Chinese export plates, the couple entertains the many new friends they quickly made in Dallas, as well as visiting guests. The expansive garden and swimming- pool area was redesigned according to Alvise's obsession with symmetry and divided to create two main areas. One is more formal and European, with antique garden furnishings sourced from Pittet Architecturals in Dallas; the other was designed as the children's play area. Around the pool, two rows of newly planted live oak trees create a classical perspective. Geoffroy and Alvise have hosted a number of private concerts in the gardens benefitting the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, among other al fresco affairs. A cozy tented pool house opens towards the pool, a quiet and relaxing lounging refuge with striped wall coverings by Iksel from Schumacher, Fortuny lamps, and a collection of brass Middle Eastern plates, alluding to an exotic Mediterranean spot. The simpler children's area has an elaborate chicken coop framed by holly bushes — which, to be frank, was the one addition that puzzled me, having grown up myself in the Italian countryside — this chicken coop is more Versailles than farmhouse! The main reconfiguration of the house created a large family kitchen open to the garden on the back of the property. Rearing 4-year-old twin boys and finding balance between elegance and practicality is Alvise's In a guest room is an early-19th-century lit bateau from France.

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