PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Houston September 2023

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Lila and the dogs," Barnhart says. A shapely leather chair and biomorphic coffee table, both from the 1970s, add to the space's comfy and low-slung appeal. In the dining room, multiple geometric poufs take the place of chairs and are a soft contrast to the marble table's hard edges. Lila and her mother worked in tandem to design many of these pieces, and Houston designer Ann Wolf helped execute the custom elements. A simple and supremely beautiful low platform bed, designed in the same walnut as the floors, floats in the center of Barnhart's bedroom. "The views out the windows are of a magnificent tree, so I designed the bedroom to function around appreciation of the tree," she says. The room's sparse furnishings include a 1970s Ligne Roset Togo chair, a sculptural paper lamp by Ingo Maurer, and a plush goatskin rug that Barnhart has taken with her wherever she's lived. The window coverings are made from fabric purchased from Rose Uniacke showroom, a favorite London haunt. "I'm very influenced by Rose Uniacke. She has a sophisticated curatorial eye," Barnhart says. She designed the austere main bathroom as a meditative retreat, with massive slabs of Aria marble. "I love monolithic block forms — there's a purity to them," she says. "I take these very long baths and go into deep meditations. It's the most important room in the house to me." With a creamy color palette and lack of superfluous decorative objects, there's nothing to distract from the peaceful vibe that runs throughout the house. Here, raw, unframed mirrors are preferred over paintings. "Art takes you into the piece, where mirrors take elements and boiled it down to its most basic, essential self — just forms and volume." A new coat of light pink on the stucco exterior was chosen to activate her softer side. "My whole life, I've been a huge tomboy," she says. "A pink house was my soul's call to bring up the feminine quotient." Inside, walls are painted Farrow & Ball James White, the perfect background hue she discovered while designing the interiors for Vibrant. "I use James White in all my houses and restaurants because it has this very floaty, ethereal quality that creates a harmonious frequency in a space," she says. And when it came to creating a design brief for the home's interiors, Barnhart consulted her daughter, as she often does. Lila's one-word response was simply "Marshmallow." In other words, she wanted the furnishings to be low, comfortable, and playful — something she could roll around on. Her mom was immediately on board. "I said, 'Perfect! Marshmallow house it will be.'" The living room's cozy On the Rocks sofa, designed by Francesco Binfaré for Edra, is modular, rambling, and deliciously squishy. "We really do roll around on it. It's like a jungle gym for me and Opposite page, from top: In the living room, Daisy sits atop an Edra sofa; coffee table is 1970s. The '90s swivel chair is by Gerard van den Berg. Wolf Kahn painting on mirror. Landon Metz diptych over fireplace. In a corner of the living room, vintage chairs from Paris and stone lamp by Rachel Shillander of LLand. Below: Kelly Barnhart and daughter Lila's pink-stucco house in River Oaks.

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