Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Martha Stewart Lives in a Fine Galveston Manse

Not really . . . you won't see the design maven walking these halls. Martha's not a Gulf Coast beach girl. The couple who lives here just gives a nod to Martha Stewart style, a la their own way. They bought a redo steeped in history and furnished it with some Martha pieces. And she indirectly inspired some of their clean fresh looks.  Their 19th century find was once part of an old majestic mansion located elsewhere on the island. No one knows enough to help piece together the puzzle of why it was split, moved and where the rest of the place resides. Apparently, it was common occurrence to remove the wings of larger homes and move them to serve as a single-family dwellings. As you can see, I'm hooked on Galveston Island.  My previous post showed off a wonderful and inspirational redo in the East End. This home is located in the Silk Stocking District.  If you ever get a chance to visit Galveston, you'll love the architecture.  Did you know Galveston was one of the three major ports in the mid 19th century? Many immigrants came through here.  I hope you enjoy the tour. What do you think of the rich red dining room? 

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New Life for a Galveston Island Cottage

I feel like I've been on an unscheduled hiatus from blogging. Are you still with me? I hope so, 'cause I'm back. And I bring to you one of my favorite Galveston cottages. The woman who owns this beauty -- a decorative arts professional -- exhibited unrivaled (maybe I should say remarkable) vision when she redid what was a 19th century ugly duckling a few years ago. I hope you'll be able to appreciate what she did with the only one BEFORE shot I have to post. She's been on Galveston's annual historic home tour (a spring-time must!), in Houston House & Home magazine and in Better Homes & Garden.  These shots are my scout images for the latter publication. This lady likes a project. (Actually, that's quite the understatement.) She found this little neglected cottage in the heart of the East End.  Small, dirty, infested . . . well, yuk. The Before shot shows the original front exterior, which faces north and is now where her master resides. She raised the one-level house so that the front door -- on the east side -- opens into the newly constructed lower level. As I recall, the ceilings in this new space are 9 to 10 feet tall. She installed reclaimed wood floors. The whole lower level is devoted to the living room, kitchen, utility and some storage. The master is now upstairs along with two baths and a guest room. Oh, yes, the balcony off the master overlooks a beautiful rose garden across the street. I've included more description on the images themselves.  But let me add something to the marble that now tops her kitchen counters. Expletives and graffiti marred most of the surface. She had it cleaned, sandblasted and turned over for the installation. She decorated, overall, in soft neutral shades, because she says she's "around color all day at work." I really was bowled over with her vision to take the original structure, raise it, change out the front entrance and add a lower level. Plus, it just feels good. Do you like it?

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Kitchen is The Heart of The home

I'm posting this photo, because I like it. 
As some may know -- based on notes posted previously -- I'm working on my kitchen.  It appears I'm going to milk this undertaking, sharing random photos of the space both on whim and as it evolves. 
(Is that OK?) I don't know if a photo stylist could have planned and arranged such a spontaneous and warm moment as this one -- a treasured memory spent with friends.... We'd be hung up on getting the right wine glass, over-analyzing the items in the sink, real lemons would read better than a yellow bottle of concentrate, the copper bucket atop the side cupboard might be too dark, and so on. I remember reading years ago an interview with an interior designer who said she liked to snap candid shots of her home -- in use. If it looked appealing even when messy and "un-styled," then she deemed it a successful look. (I remember my husband reinforcing that notion as well.  I prefer tidy looks but one particular holiday time, I had strewn around some wrappings and such. He asked that I not clean it up too soon; he liked it. It felt comfortable.) By the way, this is our friend Jody, who owns a seafood whole-sale company and Magnolia Bar & Grill in Houston. If you like Cajun food, visit....  He shipped up sea bass to cook for us. Yum!  We're enjoying our summer; hope you are, too!
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