PaperCity Magazine

April 2015 - Houston

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APRIL | PAGE 43 | 2015 much like a coffee can sliced in half. The architectural element provided the unusual interior spaces Strickland wanted. But first, a few changes were needed to make it more personal, including adding a missing entry vestibule. "I like an entry so that when guests walk in, they can take a pause, then continue to the rest of the house," she says. To carry out the renovations, she enlisted the help of the original architects, working directly with Ernesto Maldonado and contractor Gary Inman. "It was important to keep the integrity of the house," she says. "They had spent months and months designing it the first time and knew it better than anybody." In addition to expanding the master bedroom and bath upstairs and a downstairs powder room, Strickland converted a bar area at the bottom of the "nautilus" created by the staircase, into a small but spectacular dining room. "It's the most beautiful space in the house, with all the light coming in," she says. The former dining room then became a living room. "For me, interior design begins with the architecture and the feeling the space creates. From there, the space is brought to life with the furnishings and artwork it inspires — the things that bring soul to a home." But, making existing furnishings fit a new house, especially one with unconventional spaces, can be tricky. Luckily, Strickland was able to start from scratch. "When we closed on my house in Santa Barbara, they called and said the buyers also wanted to purchase all of the furniture," she says. The dining area, with its half-circle shape, presented one of the biggest design challenges. A round table would be expected, and a rectangular or square would be too stiff. She chose B&B Italia's Seven dining table for its soft triangular shape. "It's perfect for that area," she says. Foscarini's Twiggy ceramic pendant arches over the center of the table from a tiny patch of ceiling to the side — a graceful solution to an almost impossible overhead lighting situation. Moving the dining room into the nautilus area opened up a large space for the living room. Selecting the right pieces for it was a matter of reimagining how the room would be used. "You have to think, 'Hmm, this was actually designed to be a dining room, and to make it a living room, you have different traffic patterns,'" she says. "So, positioning the furniture

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