PaperCity Magazine

March 2015 - Houston

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BY REBECCA SHERMAN. ART DIRECTION MICHELLE AVIÑA. PHOTOGRAPHY CASEY DUNN & SHAYNA FONTANA. INTERIOR DESIGN DENNIS LYONS INTERIORS. ARCHITECTURE JOEL BRAND, BRAND + ALLEN. LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE RANDY FAJKUS, FAJKUS-SWALLEN. W hen Wayne Smith and Denny Lyons bought their mid-century modern home in Tanglewood in 2008, they decided to make a clean break from their antiques. The architecturally significant house — designed in 1966 by Joel Brand, a protégé of noted architect Preston Bolton, who built a home for himself across the street — was said to be one of the first modern townhouses built in Houston, with an outdoor space off every room. The enclave of modern residences attracted celebrity owners over the years, including Gene Tierney and George and Barbara Bush. "It was the first mid-century house we ever had," says Smith, owner of Wayne Smith Jewels. The couple put their period French, Italian, Spanish and English furniture into storage and began buying contemporary and mid- century pieces. "That lasted about a year," says Smith, with a chuckle. "We were going to try to adapt to what we thought the house should be, but there were so many things we already had that we loved. We'd go into the storage and see something, and think, 'We'd really like to be living with that,' so we'd bring it home." Their 5,000-square-foot two-level home quickly filled with the cherished collections, art and furnishings they'd gathered as a couple for 20 years. "We finally had to admit we were not mid-century modern dwellers," says Smith. Fortuitously, the house's clean lines proved to be a sublime backdrop for their mix of periods and styles. Lyons, an interior designer, "is very good at adapting and melding the period antiques with the modern architecture," says Smith. "I do think it would be difficult to make sense of it all in a traditional setting. It needs a clean-lined blank canvas." Architecturally, the house was in perfect condition. Aside from updating the exterior landscaping and patios, and painting rooms, "it's still in its original state," says Lyons. The previous owners had laid beautiful Italian floor tiles throughout, and a monumental limestone fireplace surround — original to the '60s era house — is still intact. "The bones were here, and they're just wonderful bones. The proportions of every room are ideal," Lyons says. When it came to what colors to paint the walls, the In the dining room, David Hicks-inspired Osborne & Little wallpaper contrasts with a gilt Italian Regency mirror, antique Baccarat chandelier and collection of French Empire candelabra (reflected in mirror) and candlesticks from the Paris flea. The custom table, designed by Lyons, holds a painting by Austin artist Ray Donley, acquired at Laura Rathe Fine Art; silver sommelier wine cups, collected from across the globe. GREAT ilt GAINSBOROUGH BONES A PEDIGREED MODERNIST MID-CENTURY HOUSE IN TANGLEWOOD SURPRISES WITH A MANTLE OF EUROPEAN ANTIQUES, MING VASES AND CIGARETTE CASES.

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