Saturday, November 26, 2011
One Couple Saves a Galveston Island
19th Century Landmark
After Hurricane Ike Drowned the Downstairs Spaces in
7-feet of Salt Water
Living on an island isn't for the faint of heart. Sometimes hurricanes vent unrelentingly. Thankfully, there are people like Frances and Harry who respect things old. That love trumps the fury of an occasional storm. When they returned to the island after a short hiatus, in search of a second home, this building "called" to the antique dealers. They saw its potential.
This cheery green and yellow building didn't look like this when Harry
and Frances first saw it. The couple renovated it, rented out the two shop
spaces -- the ones that flooded -- on the ground floor. They live in the larger
of two lofts upstairs. They look out the front windows on the second floor
above onto an area called The Strand.
Harry and Frances are experienced renovators. But even still, they found their work cut out for them when they bought this building. For the complete story on what they did and what tips they share with other project renovators, go here.
In determining how they wanted to live in the loft, the couple decided to carve out an entry room, as seen below in two different views. The deep lively red combined with the old brick creates a warm welcome.
Harry and Frances are confident decorators. They know what they love -- and like to live with their favorite finds and collections -- all assembled over the years. They also like color, as you will see. They applied variations to a color palette of primary colors. Here as you walk in and through the kitchen, it feels traditional. Just when you think you know what to expect, they surprise you with clean modern designs in the kitchen and bath. All so livable.
The couple worked with their daughter to establish distinctive living and work spaces in this large loft space. Frances had purchased an old store counter that she figured would be a perfect kitchen island. It also dictated the blue color in the kitchen.
They chose to construct a couple of furniture-style built-ins in the kitchen that provide extra storage and prep space.
Here is a close up look of the contemporary backsplash -- a combination of shapes with rock insets -- they chose for the kitchen (sorry, they don't remember the name of the selection):
They equipped the area with a BlueStar range -- the commercial-residential model. Check it out: Those ranges come in 190 different colors! As you can see, they went with a stainless steel look.
The living room. On the back brick wall, which they had to re-mortar entirely, hangs an antique flag that was a gift from another dealer and friend. The ship is a replica of the Britannic -- sister to the Titantic -- they found somewhere in the Northeast. Frances remembers holding it upright in the long car-ride home. Old WWI bond posters also hang on the expansive brick wall in various spots.
Their daughter found several stained glass panels and then stored then for a future project. When she saw the windows here, she presented her find to her parents. Serendipitously, they fit!
A guest room, cleanly appointed, mimics the cheery yellow color found on the exterior of the building.
The master bath steers away from a typically traditional look. The homeowners selected a small glass tile that makes a strong design impact since it goes from ceiling to floor.
For more information about restoring Galveston's famous history and architectural sites, visit the Galveston Historical Foundation.