Two from Texas

Interior designers from Houston have gotten quite the national press this year. House Beautiful had a cover story of Carol Glasser's design of my friend's Swedish home in River Oaks. Elle Decor did a cover of another Houston designer, Randy Powers. Veranda this month featured Houstonian Renea Abbott's work on its cover. But none of these veteran designers had quite as much press as Joe Shaffer. Joe's client, an owner of a real estate company, has two homes - both of which he designed, and both of which were featured this year. The Houston home is shown in Veranda and the country home is in Elle Decor. It's fascinating to look at how one woman, one designer, and two homes are either alike or different. The Houston home is a vision in soft celadon. The color weaves its way throughout the home tying the upstairs with the downstairs. The Houston home features predominantly French antiques juxtaposed with contemporary art work. The country home outside of Fredricksburg is also filled with French antiques, but some are of the more provincial kind. Again, there is a continuity of color, but this time it's creamy and gray tones. Both homes feature patternless, neutral fabrics and both homes share an air of sophisticated intelligence. Which home would you prefer to own, given the choice?

A tablescape sets the mood of the city house, contemporary art work mixes with sophisticated antiques.

One end of the living room with a French antique sofa, French chairs, a whimsical collection of antique suitcases, and an antique carpet.

A larger view of the living room showing antique Fortuny draperies, antique barometer, and important contemporary art.

The dining room takes on a relaxed atmosphere with a short, flirty skirt over a curvy iron table. I adore this room.

The sitting area of the master bedroom. Note the striped blue and white dhurri and blue and white garden seat set underneath the tea table. I love the symmetry of the mirrors and lamps on the commode between the two windows framed further out by the striped pillows.

The other side of the bedroom showing the gorgeous bed.

Country Home:

Texas limestone house with original tin roof set in the Hill Country. This type of architecture was popular with the German settlers who populated this part of Texas. The Hill Country is Texas' Provence.

Limestone walls in the kitchen, chandelier dresses up the rustic antiques.

Pale neutrals set a quiet tone in the living area. These antiques would work in the city house too. The lack of drapes in the country home gives a sparser look as compared to the cosier Houston home.

Another view of the living room. Striped pillows are the only patterned fabric. Linen fabric dresses down the French settee.

Another living area matches the mood of the other room. Love the architectural piece over the door.

French provincial commode with gold mirror. The owner had been accumulating antiques she bought in France for years in anticipation of owning a country home.

Crystal sconces are an unexpected touch in this rustic bathroom.

Gorgeous, curvy iron bed in guest room.

Louis XVI adds elegance to the attic styled bedroom. The owner, a single woman, hired a local landscape architect to help with the project. Apparently, he now lives in the house with her - according to Star, I mean Elle Decor magazine.

As for me, I'm unable to choose which house I prefer - I like them both too much!

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