21 May 2009

Chateau Domingue

 

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Imagine you are going home after a quick bike ride to gather some fresh flowers – you stop to open the gates to the drive.  The gates aren’t just any ordinary gates though,  instead they came from someplace across the Atlantic – brought here just for you and your house.   Holding up the gates are posts made of gorgeous, ancient limestone, again not from this country – but from somewhere far way.  To light your way – you have placed antique lanterns – from France – on the gateposts.    Why would you use new lanterns when these work perfectly fine?   And adding just that little extra touch – two urns filled with stone, better than greenery that needs watering.    You pause to admire the view.   Coming home is a visual treat that fools your eye into thinking that you aren’t really where you are – instead you’ve been whisked to a olive grove in Provence, your summer house, perhaps.

 

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You push your bike inside the gates, the tires crunching against the gravel, but you don’t notice this – instead your ears are tickled by the sound of rushing water coming from the limestone fountain.   You stop and sit down and cool your hands in the bowl. 

 

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A Grecian boy catches your gaze, his head heavy with his filled bowl.  How many years has he carried it, you wonder.  

 

 

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There are sounds of laughter coming from the back – your children are splashing and frolicking about.    You tell them to come in and get ready for dinner.

 

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You turn, it’s time to go inside.  The scent of evergreens is heady in the air.  The lanterns are on now – it’s going to be dark soon.  You go through the portal – again – and think of all who once walked under this arch.  Were they as happy as you?   Were they as content?

 

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You walk inside, thankful for the cool stones against your feet.  It’s quiet  – the children are  now down the hall, their gleeful noise muffled by the heavy wood door. 

 

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You stop in the kitchen to fix the arrangement of flowers you’ve picked.   The pale, faded yellow of the bowls is the perfect foil for the lilac and green hues.  

 

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As you climb the stone steps to your bedroom, you stop and light the votives, getting ready for the night.

 

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You walk into your sitting room to gather your thoughts and sink down into the soft downy linen.   It’s peaceful in here – the thick stone walls and floor hold any outside noise at bay.  You dress for the night in the hush. 

 

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Before the evening meal, you all gather here and have wine and talk about the day – the things you saw, the thoughts you had.  You will both linger in here, longer than planned, enjoying your time together.

 

 

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The children all gather, perched on the stool, tummies hungry from swimming – you can’t put the meal off any longer.

 

 

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You quickly put dinner together, a simple meal of salad and cheese and bread.   You bring more wine for the two of you, and water for the children.

 

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The children gather the dishes, a simple collection of white ironstone, for the evening meal. 

 

 

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Everyone gathers in the dining room – in front of the stone fireplace.   You clear the pots off the table and wonder if it has cooled down enough to light a fire.

 

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You assemble all the chairs around – enough for everyone to sit together.   You ask about the fire – yes, light it, they say.

 

 

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And so you do.  And then you light another one too, in the drawing room – ever so slightly different from each other.   You bring the flowers to brighten the room.

 

 

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The children sit around and regale you with tales of their day.  And you smile.  You feel blessed

 

All images are from Chateau Domingue’s beautiful new web site, launched just this week.  Located in Houston, Chateau Dominque specializes in reclaimed building materials imported from France and other parts of Europe. 

 

Chateau Domingue was founded in 2002 by Ruth Gay, a beautiful, chic woman – whose slight appearance belies the strength of character and stamina it takes to successfully operate a business such as this.   The product is stone and wood, huge fireplaces and ancient doorways, floors, walls, fountains, and gates – Gay scouts out the back roads of Europe several times each year to find the unique and beautiful materials for her shop.   She started out in a large warehouse, hidden from the street.  Today, her space is over 15,000 sq. feet – not counting the outside grounds, filled with her treasures.  Besides the antique floors – stone, tile, marble, and wood – today Chateau Domingue carries a specially created line of aged materials which are virtually impossible to distinguish from the original.   Though the shop is located in Houston, Chateau Domingue has a national reputation – frequently shipping their products cross country.   The pictures shown here are just a small showing from the web site – which explain in detail all the products available.  The photographers responsible for the images are Kennon Evett, Tria Giovan, John Hall and Terry Vine.  And the interior designers whose work is shown are Eleanor Cummings, Shelley Melody and Pam Pierce.    

 

Below are more images from the Chateau Domingue  web site – enjoy!

 

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Chateau Domingue specializes in reclaimed building materials such as these stones used for the walls and flooring.   Besides original materials, Chateau Domingue produces their own line of aged products such as stone and wood for floors.

 

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An example of Chateau Domingue’s reclaimed terra cotta flooring.   The lantern is one of the antique lighting fixtures in the inventory.

 

 

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Limestone walls and limestone floors – what could be more beautiful?

 

 

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This is an example of Chateau Domingue’s ancient oak wood floor.  There is also ancient pine flooring available.  Some of the collection dates back to the 17th century!    Additionally, there is a line of aged French oak wood flooring in different stains and widths.

 

 

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They carry a wonderful collection of 19th century encaustic tile from Europe – once all the rage and today experiencing a revival.

 

 

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More aged tiles available in wonderful neutral colors. 

 

 

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And of course, antique white marble floor tiles are available.

 

 

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Here is an antique fountain found on the grounds of a Houston house.   The beauty of the reclaimed materials  ies in the simplicity of lines, the muted colors,  the imperfections that come with age and use.

 

 

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An outdoor staircase made of two different products – large stone treads and smaller stones.  Stunning.

 

 

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An example showing a variety of Chateau Domingue product used to produce a beautiful and unique kitchen. 

 

 

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A powder room using reclaimed tile, ancient stone for the walls and sink, antique doors and hardware – together it seems hard to believe this is a newer house in Houston, rather than a maison in Provence.

 

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A stone sink is the focal point of another powder room using Chateau Domingue materials.

 

 

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Another example of an antique stone vessel repurposed as a sink.   On the left is an antique door – an item carried at Chateau Domingue.

 

 

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A set of beautiful antique painted doors with aged hardware.   Besides building materials, Chateau Domingue carries a variety of hand-picked furniture, lighting, shutters, windows, gates, columns, and smalls.

 

 

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Items for the garden are plentiful.

 

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A pot sits atop a stone ledge – all materials from Chateau Domingue.

 

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An absolutely gorgeous antique lantern – shown against a stone ceiling with aged doors inset into the stone walls.   Beautiful!!!!!

 

 

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And, another example of antique lighting that Chateau Domingue carries.

 

 

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This much sought out type of large glass apothecary jar is especially hard to find. 

 

 

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A Houston house built with reclaimed items from Chateau  Domingue – the windows, shutters, stone walls, and floors.

 

 

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For more information on products shown here today, please visit Chateau Domingue’s recently launched web site here.  And to see beautiful images from their former web site, please see a very early Cote de Texas article here.  Revisit “The Provence House,” with many of its building materials sourced from Chateau Domingue here.

65 comments:

  1. So glad you are posting again. Pod casts are fun but the visuals are really key. I love the juxtaposition of the rough hewn walls and so one with the formality os some of the pieces. It kept me guessing.

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  2. I think I should be living in Houston Joni - it looks better than the real thing! xv

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  3. Those pictures are like a dream... so beautiful...

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  4. I love these images. I left a set of rustic french doors in a house I sold and I could kick my b-for doing it-so unappreciated. I would love to incorporate something into some of my projects. Thanks for sharing. G.

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  5. Well, yet another reason to go to Houston! I would love to see this and other houses in person where these materials have been used. A house like this would be wonderful in the Smoky Mountains! Thanks, Joni for the fantasy.

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  6. Joni,
    This post is absolutely wonderful,
    you are truly a writer and a communicater that loves design.
    Thank You for Sharing,
    Tina

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  7. Simply gorgeous! Effortless beauty, gracefully aged and yet forever young!
    I love it!

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  8. Ahhhh. Such beauty and history and simplicity...I want to stay in your story!!

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  9. Joni, you should have told me you were going to write a post about my everyday life! Tee hee hee

    These pictures are oh so yummy!!! Thanks for introducing us to Chateau Domingue....I'm off to check out their website!
    Hugs my friend!

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  10. Joni!

    Oh, this is such an amazing post filled with such incredible things! I love everything, literally EVERYTHING in this post! What a great business!

    I'm heading over there in a few just to see what other treasures await. Thank you SO much for this heads up. You always find the neatest things to share...

    XO,

    Sheila :-)

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  11. The dining chairs are ravishing; ditto the assortment of encaustic tiles. I wish I could shop there right now, but will have to admire it virtually!

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  12. Joni - I love your stories! Maybe you should do one every other week and start a Feature Fiction of the month! I'd subscribe.

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  13. * ...the B*E*S*T, dear Joni, from start to finish, writing n' pics~~~ ABSOLUTELY, BREATHTAKINGLY MAGNIFICENT!!! I AM IN LOVE and in AWE!!!

    So T*H*I*S is what heaven is like? "Take me, take me, PLEEEEASE"!!!

    Hugs,
    Linda in AZ *

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  14. P.S. ***** T*H*A*N*K Y*O*U!!!*****

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  15. I can't tell you many times I have salivated over the images in magazines of items from Chateau Domingue. I wish I lived remotely close to Houston so I could check it out in person. Gorgeous!

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  16. Breathtaking! I love The Skirted Roundtable as well, but always look forward to the pictures!

    Thank you,
    Nancy

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  17. Thank you for taking me on that tour. It was delightful. And magical!!

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  18. Thank you for taking me into my fantasy. I felt as if I were living that reverie. I will save this post so that I can go back any time I want a little inspiration.

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  19. I've been intrigued by all the colorful interiors lately as summer approaches, but this post reminds me why I love neutrals so much!

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  20. I've been intrigued by all the colorful interiors lately as summer approaches, but this post reminds me why I love neutrals so much!

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  21. ...and then you wake up into reality and realize that it is your turn to do the mountain of dirty dishes and the toilet is overflowing...again!


    snicker snicker....

    I LOVED that post!

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  22. Wow - this might be one of my favorite posts of yours in the past year. I was truly transported to another place! Beautiful, beautiful images, and Chateau Domingue looks like another amazing Houston store.

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  23. A perfect invitation .. .
    and I agree with Vicki -
    it does look better than the
    Real Thing! (and she would know) -

    JJjj

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  24. I'm in love and so want to live there. I just want a gate to open with gas lanterns flanking each side. One can dream...

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  25. Honestly, Joni... this is one of your best posts ever! I adore the way you set the scene with the family. Brilliant!!!

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  26. Good heavens to Murgatroyd! Just one room in this house exudes more character than nearly the whole of every modern house!

    Thank you for the tour. It was dreamy, just like you envisioned!

    Susan

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  27. So Romantic. What a lovely post that inspires all that home should be. Filled with Family, friends, food, warmth and comforts.. Beautiful images

    Thanks Joni.

    Vitania

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  28. I don't think I will ever recover from seeing that front gate. It is absolutely fab! My poor husband - who is responsible for building two gates at our home this summer - will never be able to satisfy me with the run-of-the-mill now. he he

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  29. Bu wait - I dropped a box of rice on the kitchen floor. And now I am on my knees with a pair of tweezers picking up each piece from between the pebbles. I tell the children to forget about the ironstone and bring me a martini....

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  30. this is SICK Gorgeous !
    i am dreaming of all these muted colors and textures.

    what a dreamy place.

    xx

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  31. This post brought me back in time and it was like living in Europe again. Gorgeous timeless images and a well narrated story.

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  32. Lovely profile of this shop, Joni. Once you've used antique wood and tile, there really isn't anything else quite the same! Beautiful!

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  33. Joni,
    You show me over and over again WHY I NEED to go to Houston to visit YOU and all the gorgeous stores...
    WOWOWOWOWOWOW!
    Blessings...
    xo

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  34. Wow!! This is absolutely stunning! Ax

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  35. One of your best posts! This is true eye candy at its' best!

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  36. What a romantic post, Joni. I live not far from the house you posted with the lanterns out front and I often stalk it drive-by style when desperately trying to get my son down for a nap. Thanks for bringing it all to life.

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  37. Ok, Joni, this is my new dream house!
    How am I supposed to give up designing a new house when you keep tempting me with these gorgeous images?
    The attention to detail is amazing: the stone sinks,
    the antique doors, the old oak floors, the stone!
    OMG, the kitchen!!!
    Steve has got to see this!

    xo
    Brooke

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  38. Ahhhhh! Beautiful! Forget perusing your blog with a cup of tea.... I think a glass of wine is more appropriate!

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  39. Oh why can't I be there right now? It's just to heavenly!

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  40. All I have to say is....YOU HAD ME AT THE GATES!! I was in love when I saw the first photo!

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  41. Joni, What an absolutely beautiful post. I want to live in these rooms, and listen to you tell a wonderful story to go along with the photos. What a peaceful escape from my hot Friday afternoon.... post 15 teen agers (oops, no they are all turning 20 years old now) all over the backyard until the wee hours of the morning! Thanks.

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  42. I guess that is what I get for muti-tasking...lol I swear I did not hear that at all...I am going to have to listen to it again.lol Thanks

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  43. Karen at Junking in Georgia 2009May 22, 2009 at 8:48 PM

    Good Lord, I want it all and I want it now... this is a wonderful post... one of your best.. and you've had some great ones...thank you

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  44. French perfection... the neutral palette is uber-delicious! I could live there and I am an ultra modern minimalist! Super post!

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  45. Wow! I love everything about Chateau Domingue. Thanks for the tour and the story, I felt like I was walking through the gate. The soft neutral colors reminds me of why my favorite magazine is House Beautiful. So peaceful and serene

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  46. Beautiful images! Everything is just amazing and that kitchen floor really intriqued me. Deborah

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  47. How nice to have this gem so close to you Joni. Striking...

    especially those urns at the front door with lavender...doesn't get better than that. A wiff of Cote de Texas at the front door...lovely.

    Take care,
    Michelle

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  48. ...and thanks for the time you put into these posts; they really are beautiful ;)

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  49. Another reason to come and visit you in Houston!
    I want to do my patios like that kitchen floor!
    xo xo

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  50. These are just beautiful - I love your posts! Wonderful.

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  51. OOOOH FAB place!!! I stole the bike and went for a ride!
    Bon week-end!
    Fifi

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  52. Wonderful writing...great post...amazing place!

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  53. OMG i didn't think that was possible here in the States -I am awestruck! Beautiful!
    PS I love Ed's comments!!

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  54. Completely blown away...again...That kitchen is devine, my favorite part!

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  55. I have had a really busy week, so am late getting here, but I am so glad I did finally read your last two posts, both of which are wonderful! I loved the way you made me feel like I lived in this beautiful environment in this post. You did such a wonderful job of making me visualize ME living HERE in this incredible space. I also loved going to see the gorgeous antiques in your next post. Both posts made me feel that I had left American soil! I had a wonderful little trip. Thanks Joni. laurie

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  56. Wow! Such old world beauty in Houston! Who woulda thought? I am definitely going to have to stop by and take a look at your treasures! Thanks for sharing these pictures. They are so inspiring, I can't stop looking.

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  57. Thank you for sharing with this Treasure...I just thanked you on my last post about it!

    Have a nice weekend

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  58. I love the home with the two lanterns on either side of the front door. Do you have a picture of the entire front of this home? I would love to see it!!!

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  59. Domdinnholly@hotmail.comMarch 1, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    I'm currently building a house in manhattan beach California with their reclaimed material which includes a wine cellar with 21 archways all built from the old French limestone. The results are spectacular!

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  60. Tolle Bilder, hier fühle ich mich gleich heimisch... sind diese Immobilien zu verkaufen ?

    Beste Grüße aus

    Germany / Berlin
    Boris Wienke
    www.3v-immobilien.de

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