PaperCity Magazine

April 2015 - Houston

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 43 of 67

APRIL | PAGE 44 | 2015 A seating area in the main living room is dominated by a late-19th-century version of Jacques-Louis David's 1800 portrait of Madame Récamier, painted by Marie Magdeleine Réal Del Sarte, acquired at the Theta Charity Antiques Show. Pair of gilt late-18th-century chairs. Antique Tibetan monk bed used as a coffee table. Biedermeier and French Empire side tables. Northern Italian gilt chair. Landscape drawing by Thomas Gainsborough, from the estate of Stanley and Mary Marcus. Cast stone urn, one of a pair, from Craftex. Wayne Smith's collection of cigarette cases and boxes. wasn't easy. It was originally designed to have a dining table, and you could walk on either side of it. It was very hard to come up with furniture that would make a comfortable conversation area." Playing off the semicircular space in the next room, Strickland focused on curved Italian furniture, such as a rounded-edge Poliform sofa, a pair of B&B Italia Husk chairs designed by Patricia Urquiola and a round Cappellini coffee table. In fact, rounded softness repeats throughout the house, with few hard-edged pieces anywhere. With so many rooms flowing seamlessly into each other, Strickland wanted to create a sense of intimacy within the open spaces. "I used cedar stool tables in each room and chose different things to create coziness, such as the color palette and alpaca-fur pillows," she says. Ample natural light, gentle hues and unstained natural oak add to the diaphanous quality. "The feeling of the house is very Zen and serene," Strickland says. "It's almost like living in a tree house, with its random windows and light coming in at different times of the day." The walls' gray paint "is very pale on the spectrum," says Strickland, who found that "even the palest colors seemed garish. It's as if the house doesn't want color." But it's people who make a space pop, not color, she notes. "One of my mentors once told me people should stand out in a room, not the furnishings." But don't be fooled: There's plenty going on beneath the subtle surface of Strickland's rooms: White nubby linen upholstery contrasts with the smooth gloss of white tables, designed to bounce sunlight. Unstained oak floors, natural-wood furniture (such as Marc Newson's Wooden chair for Cappellini in the entry) and oak cabinetry in the master bath keep things grounded. Unvarnished wood also references nature — another tenet that recurs throughout the house and includes a Cappellini oak Antler chair that Strickland wittily upholstered in curly lamb. Other flights of fancy occur in a Louis-style chair called Deshabillé — or undressed — by Italian manufacturer Baxter, which has stripped the backside to expose the bare stitches of its jute padding and knots of string. It's both an ode to ancient craftsmanship and a nod to furniture as conceptual art. In the living room, a sculpture of a sitting dog created by an English artist from repurposed rope that is amusingly realistic, and, in the entry — as if to set the tone for the rest of the house — Fornasetti's Tema e Variazoni face plates hang en masse on the wall, a chorus of irreverent expressions. Full of good art and fine contemporary furnishings, Strickland's museum-area house works beautifully on many levels. But it wasn't easy getting there. "It's very hard to do your own house, especially if you are a designer — you have so many options, and you know too much," she says. "But I'm very happy with the way it looks, the way it feels and functions." In the entry, a collection of Piero Fornasetti Tema e Variazioni plates. Cappellini chair and side table.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of PaperCity Magazine - April 2015 - Houston