Wisteria Warehouse Sale!



Without a doubt my favorite catalogue is Wisteria. And it’s been that way for years now. What a fabulous company it is – started by the Crown Prince & Princess of Design, Shannon and Andrew Newsom - Wisteria is wildly popular with both designers and the people who want a designer look on a budget. Wisteria is always up on the latest trends, anything you are seeing in the magazines, they will have the look.


Over the years I have bought much from Wisteria and have not been disappointed – ever. The merchandise is well made, yet the prices are so reasonable it makes it hard to resist.


The people who live in the Dallas Metroplex are the lucky ones though. They live near the Wisteria Outlet store. I’ve heard many tales about the Outlet – all the incredible steals and bargains people have gotten. I’ve never been, but I’m dying to! The rumors are that the very best time to go is during the Wisteria Warehouse Sale. And, there is one this week: Thursday – Saturday! Don’t miss it is all I can say!

(Note: this merchandise shown above is from the catalogue and not the Warehouse Sale! Pictures of merchandise guaranteed to be at the Warehouse Sale are shown below.)


Here they are, waiting on line for the doors to open last year. These are the smart ones, they don’t want to miss a thing.


Rows and rows and rows of merchandise, all hugely marked down.

Wisteria sent me a few pictures of merchandise guaranteed to be at the Warehouse Sale! Enjoy:

w1875_2 This Wisteria staple – the chest and mirror - are going to be on sale at the Warehouse this week! I’ve wanted this for years!!!!

Note: only the black mirror is available - not the chest BUT all the other colors are available in the chest!!!!!!!!

w2834_V2_BrkT_ 0003

I love this table and bench – they are going to be on sale too. The table would make a great desk!

W3240 I can’t believe these are going to be at the Warehouse sale – they are new merchandise! I love these book boxes - I would buy a bunch for Christmas gifts.

w3305-large And this assortment of cute felt animals is going on sale at the Warehouse. Even more perfect for Christmas gifts!


If you live in the area – be there: The sale starts this Thursday and ends on Saturday: 11 am until 5 pm.

September 24-26, 11am-5pm
2055 Luna Road, Suite 182
Carrollton, TX 75006

For more information go to: www.wisteriaoutlet.com


Where’s Carrollton, you ask? If you live in the United States – the Wisteria Outlet is at the orange arrow in Carrollton, Texas, a suburb of Dallas.


And, again, at the orange arrow on the top left side, right off the President George Bush Turnpike which is right off the Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway. They sure like our Texas presidents in Dallas.

If you do go, let us know what bargains you got, ok?

Cote de Texas – A Magazine Writer?




We’ve talked about magazines this past year until we were blue in the face.  We’ve mourned them all:  Cottage Living, domino, Country Home, House and Garden, Western Interiors, Home Companion, Vogue Living, Blueprint, O at Home, shall I go on?  Southern Accents.  It  hurts just to type that one.   But for all those that are now gone – the ones left are mostly wonderful:  House Beautiful continues to amaze each month, it just gets better and better under Stephen Drucker’s leadership, and Elle  Decor is now the elder stateswoman – having just celebrated her 20th year in publication.   Veranda has shed its southern beat and is going national while World of Interiors is full of either fabulous quirky houses or even more fabulous castles.   And of course the British and French design magazines have always been worth their high price tag.   Rumor has it that while national magazines are dropping off like flies, the regional and local design mags are doing just fine.  But still, would you be just a little half crazy to launch a magazine in this current climate?   Just ask Dot and Dana, the dynamic mother-daughter team who are doing just that with their baby, Antiques Shops & Designers.  Published by a veteran in the business, Alexander Molinello, the fourth issue of AS&D has just reached the stands and it’s their best effort yet.   Although it’s based out of Houston, you don’t need to be a Texan to enjoy it, all you need to be is a lover of design, antiques, arts, travel, and food.    Dot and Dana, as they are affectionately called around town, have all those subjects covered, thank you very much!   AS&D is a true   family affair:   Dot Dimiero, President, and her daughter Dana Aichler, Vice President are joined in the venture by another daughter, Lori Johnston, as Executive Sales Director/Writer and her husband, Doug Johnson, Historian.     For the most part, the  writers are  local – designers, antiquarians, artisans, restaurateurs, and even a blogger!  Yes, yours truly is now on the official list of “Writers and Contributors.”  


image Dot and Dana – and don’t ask which one is the mother and which one is the daughter!   It’s hard to tell, they are both so darling!


When they aren’t busy running the magazine, Dot and Dana head Twenty Six Twenty, a charming antique store filled with European antiques and a well edited collection of objets d’art.   Besides the shop,  Dot and Dana have also been busy with  e-Antiquing.com – an online marketplace for dealers to sell their wares.  Be sure to visit it HERE.  But for right now, Dot and Dana’s main focus is the magazine. They know the local design scene well which works in their favor when choosing topics to cover:  each issue highlights just the house you want to see the inside of.    AS&D is truly a perfect reference manual – a sort of address book of the best of the best in the design business, be it art restorers or landscapers, painters or decorators.   But beyond all that – the magazine is just plain beautiful, true visual eye candy where the ads are lingered over and studied as works of art themselves.    Nowhere are advertisements any prettier than here - photographer James Farmer, himself a well known artisan, is responsible for all the mouth watering images.       As an avid fan of AS&D ---I was thrilled when Dot and Dana asked me to join them in their exciting venture and,  to date I contributed articles for the last two issues.   I’ve been on pins and needles waiting for the online version of AS&D to go live so I could share it with  you and it finally has!  What this all means is that now no matter where you live in the world, you can enjoy the magazine too.   To read the newest issue and any of the previous ones – go HERE.     Below are a few of my favorite images from the latest issue.   Enjoy!




Bill Gardner

What can you say when the ads are just as good as the articles?  AS&D is known for their beautiful ads, many of which showcase local interior designers and antique stores.    Bill Gardner, one of Houston’s top antique dealers, had his own house featured in issue #1.  Gardner is also on 1st Dibs.



Carol Glasser


OK, OK – I know I talk about Carol Glasser a lot – but do you blame me?  I mean – look at this ad!!!  Is this not the most gorgeous image?  Leave it to Carol to get every detail so perfect which is exactly why her style is sought after.  That mirror!  That wallpaper!  That console – isn’t it to die for, I could cry it is so beautiful!  The blue and white is divine – it’s the real thing, not that cheap stuff I have all over my house. Note to self:  get some REAL blue and white, will you please?  Enough of that junk you buy at Hobby Lobby – you really aren’t fooling anyone, you know? Dufus!   OK.  Back to Carol Glasser’s perfection.  Those roses, can we talk about the roses with their divine shade of cream that matches the cream in the wallpaper, only Carol would think to do that.  I would have used pink or lilac roses, but what do I know?  I buy blue and white at Hobby Lobby for God’s sakes!   And finally (I really couldn't take much more to tell you the truth) – that candlestick.  The lovely water gilded lone candlestick – not two, just one.   And notice the candle, the shade of the taper.  Glorious!    Even the name of her company is perfect:  Carol Glasser.  Interiors.   You should see her card stock.     If you can afford Glasser and you don’t hire her, you are a fool!


OK, OK - I’m not quite done yet.  I wonder if this picture was taken at Glasser’s new house?  If you have been LUCKY enough to visit it, leave me a comment and put me out of my misery.   Because I’m in misery right now.  If I could be one person other than my own dufusness, it would be Glasser.   Oh yes, of course, she is beautiful too!  Could you hate her?




Jane  Moore

Jane Moore, sweet Jane Moore – another fine interior designer from Houston with a cute as can be shop where she specializes in Swedish and French antiques with wonderful painted finishes.   I’m liking that mirror, and the console, and the sconces.   Moore’s wonderful kitchen is featured in this month’s issue – here’s a sneak peek:


image Jane Moore’s Kitchen


Jane Moore’s kitchen – yes, this is not an antique store, it’s a kitchen, is in her new house, right down the street from her office/shop.   You see, this is how the most creative of Houston’s designers live – they live out people like me’s fantasies.    If you read about someone bombing their kitchen in West University, you can assume it will be my kitchen, even though I just remodeled it.   Seeing this image of Moore’s kitchen just proves I have a lot left to learn.    I might even learn to cook if this was my kitchen!  Besides her life as an interior designer and shop owner, Moore is active in her daughter’s business, Wisteria, where she helps find and develop their fabulous merchandise.



image Twenty Six Twenty Antique Store


Dot and Dana’s own ad for their shop Twenty Six Twenty.  Dana also has a pillow business where she creates pillows out of antique textiles – to see her wares go here.




Caroline Ellsworth’s Advertisment


Caroline Ellsworth sells her antiques at Twenty Six Twenty.  I’m in love with that table!  And I’m wondering if I have a place for that armoire?   (I’m dreaming here – go with it!)



Marburger Farm Antique Show


Round Top is just around the corner and this image from Marburger Farm is making me wish Round Top was this weekend!   I spy a million things I could use in this booth!




Home Staging


I love this ad – two designers who do home staging.   This sure doesn’t look like the home staging I’ve seen on HGTV!   I don’t know who the designers are, but their work is beautiful!




The Fab Flea


Readers of Cote de Texas are familiar with The Fabulous Flea and know all about my futile attempts to take pictures inside Mary’s fab house – but Dot and Dana were more lucky than I was!   Here is just one of the pictures of Mary’s house from the new issue – the kitchen.  And of course it’s fabulous!  Notice the light fixture – I love that!   btw, The Fab Flea has a new shipment in.   To make an appointment to see it, go HERE.   



imagePat Monroe Antiques Advertisement 


Another ad that made me stop and gaze awhile is Pat Monroe’s from Austin’s Whit Hanks.   Pat has a wonderful array of antiques and I try to stop by her space each time I’m in town.




Chateau Domingue

In the new issue, there’s a large article on Ruth Gay’s Chateau Domingue which is not to be missed.   Ruth’s eye is incredible and her shop is a must see, especially if you are remodeling or building. 



Found For the Home

Found always has the best ads!   I love that framed sign – they are so hot right now!  Leave it to Aaron and Ruth to have just what everyone is looking for.    And notice the light fixture that they create – perfect to mix in with dressy antiques.




Segreto Finishes

Leslie Sinclair whose company Segreto Finishes does the best faux painting in town, is also a contributor.    You may remember that Segreto did all the painted  finishes in the famous Octagon House, HERE.




What’s this?  Story by Joni Webb?   


Yep, that’s me!   In Issue 3, I wrote two stories for Antique Shops & Designers and Dot and Dana were nice enough to have me back.  For Issue 4, I interviewed famous Houston restaurant owner Elouise Adams, aka Ouisie, to accompany the pictures of her incredible steel house. 




And I also wrote another, personal story “To Clutter or Not to Clutter” for the “back page.”   I’ve been told that may become a regular feature, believe or not!   To read the article go HERE and to read the entire magazine, go HERE.


And finally, a special thank to you Dot, Dana and Alexander for inviting me to be a part of your magazine – I am more than flattered and am sincerely very appreciative of your support!

A Brother and Sister Act




The Family Room in Lauren Ross’ Austin, Texas House 


This summer I was thrilled to show you blogger favorite Lauren Ross’ Austin house, pictured above and below.  It seems that after Country Living magazine did a photo shoot of Lauren’s slipcovered filled house – a lot of you couldn’t get enough of her style, so I was happy to oblige with even more pictures featuring Lauren’s romantic design vision.    Most exciting of all was that Lauren shared photos of her former house in Houston which showcased an earlier version of her unique aesthetic.   Although she gets inspiration from Rachel Ashwell – whose color palette ranges from whites to pinks to blues to greens – Lauren has made the style all her own:   she is a pure-white-linen kind of girl.    The only color and pattern in her house is found in pillows – everything else is a wonderful snowy white.   Judging from the comments you so kindly left – I think everyone enjoyed Lauren’s houses as much as I did!



rosspics001MA23523445-0005 Lauren Ross’  TV Room in Austin


A few weeks ago,  Lauren sent me pictures of a project her brother had just finished in Houston.   David Gunn, Lauren’s brother, is a successful home builder here who heads up his own firm, Gunn Construction and Building Co.  The pictures Lauren sent were actually a lesson in how to build a country French styled house in the middle of Texas and David seemed to get all the details absolutely correct.   Do Lauren and David share the same style?    There definitely are things about David’s French styled house that Lauren and I both love.  And while David isn’t an architect, as a builder he does choose all the finishing touches that make a house wonderful and authentic looking.     Regardless of whether David is a true Francophile or not, he certainly knows how to build a French house!


David came to building well prepared – he graduated from Texas A&M, Magna Cum Laude, (wow!) with a major in Construction Science.  He cut his teeth at Renaissance Builders, starting out as an estimator and ending up as Vice President of Operations.   Ready to strike out on his own, he founded Gunn CB in 2003 and he hasn’t slowed down since – his portfolio is full of projects – completed and ongoing.    Today on Cote de Texas, David shows us pictures of his latest house – and he provides details of all the things he added to the house to make it look like a centuries old mas that you might find on a lavender-scented plot of land in Provence.   So, if you are planning on a building your own vision of the South of France, get your pen and paper ready to jot down his tips.  




A French Styled House in Texas, built by Gunn Construction and Building Co.


David’s latest project is located in Houston’s most exclusive neighborhood – River Oaks.   He explains that while an architect drew up the plans, the owners had no interior designer or architect on hand to help with all the myriad building decisions which landed on David’s able shoulders.   The first set of decisions involved setting the stage accurately: the facade must say  Provencal France – without a doubt.   The most important aspect to get right  was the stucco.   David gave the outside walls  their aged appearance by applying a final finish coat along with a second accent color added to the mix.   The resulting color is very subtle but effective.   After much discussion – the typical stucco expansion joints on the front of the house were eliminated to again provide a more authentic, old world look.  




To further add to its authentic appearance – fully operable wood shutters were built and then painted a traditional shade of French blue.    Small iron s-hooks hold the shutters open, flush to the stucco.    Romantic scrolled iron work was used at the Juliet balcony along with full-length shutters that match those at the windows.    The traditional clay tiles used on the roof are a must to get the look right.  Even the bump-out has it own clay tiled roof.  




A close up of the French blue wood shutters.     Next to the arched entry way is an antique style French lantern.   All these elements help to make the house look truly French rather than a poor imitation of such.   




Since the garage is reached from the back of the property, this allowed for a front courtyard – where a wooden gate, that matches the shutters,  was added.  Instead of concrete, the paths were laid with crushed granite.    Obviously this picture was taken before all the landscaping was installed.  




The Main Living Area

The entry leads into the main living room – which faces the front.    Here and throughout all the downstairs rooms,  antique pine beams were used to give the house additional atmosphere.    The stone French fireplace was purchased from Margaret at M. Naeve.  An antique, it was found in pieces which then had to be put back together along with adding new stones  that were needed to fill in missing areas.   The final result makes the fireplace the show stopper of the main living area.    David took all these pictures shown today – they were both right before and right after the family had moved in.  

Other details that add to the old world feel:  the house was very simple wooden base boards.   The window sills are also wood and the sheetrock has rounded corners leading into all the windows and doors.   Notice there is no crown molding – the simpler the better.   There is a thin picture rail that runs around the perimeter of the living room several inches down from the ceiling.    Painted the same white color as the walls, this rail resembles plaster molding. 




The view of the park – there is not a street in front of this house.


What is especially nice about this particular area – all the houses face a community park, not a street.    These houses are built in a horseshoe shape around the park  (one of the earliest version of the present-day popular suburban greenbelts.)   In order to reach the individual houses – one must park at the end of the street and walk up the park until you reach your desired house.  The garages are at the back of the houses in this area of River Oaks.  




Here is the actual satellite image of the park with the houses built around the horseshoe green area.  All the houses face this park – and the only way for guests to come to your front door is to walk down the sidewalk.   On this side of the street – there are about five of these parks. 



image The Wood Floors

The wood floors in this house were cut from old oak beams – the boards were left in their natural state for their beautiful patina and texture and only a flat polyurethane was applied for protection – no stain was used at all.    Other flooring used downstairs is traditional French hexagonal Saltillo tiles with only a clear sealer  – again no stain was applied.   Upstairs in the bedrooms, there is wall to wall seagrass.




The Dining Room

The dining room again has the antique pine beams and the Saltillo tile floor with an exaggerated grout line.   As in the living room, there is no crown molding, with only a simple picture rail used in its stead.     Doesn’t this room truly look like a country house in the South of France?




The Kitchen and Sitting Area Overlooking the Courtyard

Off the living room, through the doorway is the large kitchen with an adjoining sitting area.     The kitchen is so romantic and unique with its arches and open shelving.  The island has a simple maple butcher block counter, while its cabinetry had drywall mud roughly applied to it so that it would look like old plaster – another great tip.     The lantern is a reproduction of a French street fixture.   Notice the charming tall, painted cabinet next to the refrigerator.   One the other side of the refrigerator is the pantry which is entered through an open arch.

























 The kitchen counters and backsplash are Creme de Marfil with an antique brushed finish plus an applied sealer for protection.   David had all the cabinets built on site.




The back wall in the kitchen is Austin limestone, cut thin and applied as a veneer.  An arched niche was cut out of the stone for an added charming detail.   The hood vent with its large corbels was finished with a layer of plaster to make it appear aged.    Of course there is a farm sink!





To make the kitchen appear as if it had evolved over time as an old country house would have,  a tall cabinet was built in the shape of an armoire with chicken wire added to its cutouts.  All these different surfaces - the maple, the marble, the plaster, the painted wood, the limestone - help to give the kitchen its unique appearance.    The kitchen and its sitting area to the left of the island looks out over the courtyard.   The dining room is located through the arch on the left and it also overlooks the courtyard.  The arch on the right leads to the back stairs and the garage.



The powder room has an old stone sink that was purchased at Chateau Domingue in Houston.   Hanging the sink was a major challenge for David – the 200 pound piece of stone had to be appear as if it was just floating, yet it needed to be braced for safety – especially if the owners three little ones decided to hang off the sink!



Upstairs, in the master bath, Calacutta Ora marble was used for the surrounds and countertops.   I wish I had pictures of the bedrooms, but for today, I don’t!  




Architectural Design Resources and Dal Tile provided the unique tiles in all the secondary baths. 





David reports that although there are many antique and hand selected finishes here, he was able to provide the clients with a house that stayed within a reasonable budget.   Instead of a cookie-cutter house, he gave them a truly unique place to live in Houston – not in France – although it’s really hard to tell!    By using the ideas and tips that David provides today -  it would be possible to duplicate the French feel of this house. 




David was clear in saying that Gunn Constructing and Building Co. doesn’t just build French houses – he recently completed this contemporary masterpiece and it will be on this years highly esteemed AIA Tour of Homes!   Look at that gorgeous negative edged pool!   It’s stacked stone wall is repeated inside the living area.




This staircase highlights David abilities as a first class builder – notice the slightly curving stacked stone wall, the open wood treads, and the glass railing and balcony!   Unreal!




David also builds traditional Georgian – this house was designed by famed Houston architect Leslie Davidson and was on the AIA Home Tour last year.  Amazing that two of his houses have been on the tour!



image Inside the traditional house, David built this gorgeous wood paneled library. 



image And of course David  Gunn builds large mansions on even larger lots.




The stunning kitchen inside Gunn’s large French styled mansion.   I love that stained cabinet!


If you have enjoyed David Gunn’s work – be sure to check out his portfolio here.    And, if you are planning to build a house in the greater Houston area, give David a call and let him bid on the job.    I think you can tell from these houses, he is certainly talented and capable – and  any brother of Lauren Ross’ HAS to be a great guy!    To revisit Lauren’s two houses, go here and here.