PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Houston March 2021

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In the family room, the ceiling and walls are covered with Nobilis faux bois wallpaper from Culp Associates. Brunschwig & Fils fabric on chairs. Hoof bench, 1930s. Billy Baldwin table. Brunschwig & Fils sofa upholstered in Carleton V fabric. Vintage dhurrie rug. Painting found in Atlanta. His recommendation was Curtis & Windham Architects, a firm with an impressive legacy of renovating historic houses, along with building classical homes from the ground up. Powers set up a meeting at the house and was immediately smitten with his new clients, then in their late 20s. "The house is very traditional, but the couple is so youthful and playful," he says. "They wanted to keep it classical, but with an edge and a little funkiness." With high- pressure jobs and an intense travel schedule, the couple was happy to give their new team creative freedom. "They turned over the whole project to us and told us just to go for it," Powers says. Architect Bill Curtis led the way, removing several bad additions built years after the house was completed in the 1940s. The interiors were gutted, rooms and windows opened up, and kitchen and bathrooms updated. New white oak floors were laid, and new period-appropriate molding was added. All of the brass hardware — including door hinges, knobs, and cabinet fittings and screens — were made by the century-old Frank Allart company in Birmingham, England. "It became a house that people need for contemporary living, but we tried to do it artfully and subtly," Curtis says. "Most people wouldn't be able to tell that a lot of it isn't original." The renovation and interiors took more than two years to complete — ample time to have fun with the furnishings and art, says Powers, who was assisted by his partner in the design firm, Christopher Alexander. The clients love color and weren't afraid to take risks with the interiors. "Every time we had an idea and ran it past them, they were, like, 'Love it, love it!' The wife even made up a word for when she really loved something, like the enormous sofa with the fringe. She'd exclaim, 'Well, that's just fabûche!" That living-room sofa, custom-made by Rose Tarlow Melrose House, is covered in brown and white linen in a Schumacher over-scale damask print, with a skirt of six-inch fringe. Most of the furnishings were custom- made or selected specifically for the interiors. "It's a bespoke house," Powers says. An artisan was brought in to paint and stencil many of the floors, including the one in the foyer, which is done in a bold Goyard- inspired geometric pattern. An optic tumbling-block pattern in the kitchen and breakfast room is reminiscent of European tile floors, and a zesty zigzag border in the dining room is made from inlaid faux ivory. Powers had a blast with color and patterns, such as glossing the dining-room doors in 72

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