PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Houston December 2021

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57 Opposite page: In the dining room, the table and chairs are from BDDW in NYC. Apparatus chandelier and vases from M. Naeve. Carol Piper rug. The Italian antique chest belonged to Gabriella's family. Paintings by Dutch artist Karel Appel. Above right: The powder bathroom's mirror is 1950s Italian. Sink by Gunnells Concrete with Phylrich brass hardware. Right: Interior designer Brandon Fontenot and Paolo Cammarano, general contractor on the project. large Persian rug, which Gabriella already owned, might not be the style Fontenot would have initially been drawn to, but used here among the couple's favorite furnishings and atop the similarly colored Saltillo tile floor, he can't imagine anything more perfect. A t casa Felius, less is always more, even in the kitchen. That doesn't mean there's not a lot going on — as in Italy, home life often revolves around cooking and eating good food. Gabriella regularly prepares lasagna or a casual Dutch meat dish called saté. "Whenever we've been there, Gabriella is always cooking or baking something, and it's the space in the house she uses the most," Cammarano says. "She wanted to keep the same feel of the kitchen, just updated." To brighten the area, Fontenot painted a brick wall white and had the wood floors re-stained. Cammarano built more cabinets for storage, and they brought in new appliances and fixtures — including a muscular, un-lacquered brass faucet that steals the show — along with white marble countertops and backsplash. The result is an understated kitchen honed like a fine machine. "It's streamlined and so organized," Gabriella says. "Drawers and cabinets open and close perfectly, and I can find everything I need. It makes cooking much more pleasant." In the breakfast nook, Fontenot replaced the glass top for the existing Warren Platner table with a custom white oak top, which he left unfinished and unsealed so that it's made more beautiful by use. After about six months — maybe longer, if Gabriella is willing — he plans to seal in whatever patina has emerged, to preserve its worn look. Charming steel and molded-wood kitchen chairs are from the 1960s and came out of a school in the Netherlands. Fontenot brought in other pieces from the Netherlands for the house, including a rustic bench for the main bedroom. He and Gabriella are still searching for the right lamp from Italy to replace one made from an antique Asian pot that's on a table next to the sectional in the living room, and once that's done, maybe the house will be finished — but don't count on it. "After 10 years, you have to start replacing things like the sofa," Gabriella says. "And, it's an old house. There are always improvements we can make."

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