It’s Complicated in Traditional Home


It's Complicated

Nancy Meyers new movie “It’s Complicated” stars Meryl Streep, Steve Martin, and Alec Baldwin


I almost had a heart attack late last night,  racing like madwoman to buy the December issue of Traditional Home magazine.  A reader had emailed me, casually asking if I knew that Nancy Meyer’s latest movie, due to arrive in theatres this Christmas Eve, was featured in the magazine? 

“No, I didn’t know.  Are you sure – have you seen it?”   Oh yes, the reader informed me, she had not only seen it, but the issue had been out for a week already.   That was news to me since I subscribe to Traditional Home – where is my copy??!!?     At the store, I had to pay more for this one issue than a two year subscription, but who cares?  There was no way I was going to wait patiently for my own magazine to arrive - I wanted to see those pictures NOW!

In case you are new to Cote de Texas,  I am slightly obsessed with Nancy Meyers, the film writer/director behind  classics such as Something’s Gotta Give, The Holiday, The Parent Trap, and Father of the Bride to name a few.   Meyers is something of a design aficionado and in her last two movies, Something’s Gotta Give and The Holiday,  the movies houses were almost more of  the star of the show than the actors.   The promise of a new Nancy Meyers movie has kept design lovers anxiously waiting with this question:  will her new movie’s house be as great as the one  in Something’s Gotta Give?  That one – the beach house in the Hamptons -  started a national trend of white kitchens with subway tile backsplashes, black countertops, and dark wood floors.   The Something’s Gotta Give house is probably the most favorite movie house ever – overtaking Tara for the top spot.  




Something’s Gotta Give’s famous living room with it’s slipcovered furniture, blue and white striped dhurri, Mora clock, white walls, dark hardwoods and Hamptons style architecture is probably the most loved movie house of all time.  Despite the movie now being over six years old, magazines still feature houses that are designed in what they describe as a “Something’s Gotta Give” style.




The dining room – with the linen floral slipcovered chairs, sisal rug, and white ironstone filled shelves was a particularly attractive room.



something1 A rarely seen shot of the famous SGG kitchen.  The countertops were not really slate, but were just painted wood – in this picture you can see evidence of that movie trick for the first time. 




The new movie from Nancy Meyers:  It’s Complicated – stars Meryl Streep,  Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin.   For Meyers fans - the most important credit is the pairing of Production Designer Jon Hutman with Set Decorator Beth Rubino.  This is their first movie together since Something’s Gotta Give.  Rubino was absent during the The Holiday shoot. 


 image The movie is a love triangle between the stars, but this scene seems oddly familiar!




The famous bedroom scene from Something’s Gotta Give with Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson.   Director Nancy Meyers is shown working her magic.   



The star of It’s Complicated:  a 1920’s Mediterreanean house in Santa Barbara that Meryl Streep remodels with the help of her architect turned lover Steve Martin. 


 image It’s Complicated – the main living room

Film writer Nancy Meyers says that since so much of the movie is filmed inside the house, she wanted Streep to look good in it.  Thus, the interiors were done in creams with punches of orange – to play up Streep’s peaches and cream complexion.  Meyers was heavily influenced by the trendy Belgian style and that was the starting point for the interiors.  Certainly, the oversized, comfortable slipcovered furniture shown in the living room above reflects the Belgian look, as does the large x-motif coffee table with its slate top.   I love the pillows on the sofa, but the blue ones don’t do much for me, I’m afraid.  The rug looks interesting – a textured style with a stripe running through it.  I love the window seat and the steel windows and I particularly like the furniture arrangement with the four chairs – two pairs, two odd ones, circling the coffee table. 


image In this picture of the living room, taken from the movie’s trailer – you can see the large slipcovered sofa with the assortment of orange pillows – solid and patterned.   Behind the sofa just out view is a bleached wood console with lamps – further reflecting the Belgian vibe.  This scene is when Streep announces to her shocked friends that she is having an affair!


image And across from the sofa is this large limed wood French armoire.  In this scene Streep wears an outfit done in browns and oranges that perfectly coordinates with the interiors.  The colors of the walls and pillows look much more muted in the trailer than in the Traditional Home pictures.



image Here you can see thst behind the sofa is a long, Belgian styled console table topped with two lamps.



image Off the entry hall is another bleached wood console – surrounded by white plates hanging on the wall.   Those lanterns look like the ones from Vintage Vagabond.  In this scene  - who knows what is going on????





The kitchen and dining room.


This kitchen plays an important role in the movie as it is remodeled by Streep and her architect.  I love the island – it looks like it is made of a vintage steel piece with a thick slab of Carrara marble on top of it.   There is a double range to the right of the sink, and to the left are exposed shelves.  Underneath, is a linen skirt instead of cabinet doors.  I love the zinc pendant lights and the large dining room table.  The dining room is separated from the kitchen by a thick arched wall – and the flooring is different in both rooms.  Again, these rooms are bathed in creamy tones with orange accents.  It all looks so charming and authentic – no word yet if the house was constructed for the movie – or if the interiors were built on a sound stage.  All those details will probably come out after the movie.     This picture comes from Traditional Home’s December issue. 




image Meryl Streep’s Bedroom.


The bedroom is a cozy and warm space – filled with an assortment of antique furniture from different styles.  An English chest is paired with a French Louis Philippe gilt mirror, while a large wood desk serves as a night stand.  The headboard is upholstered and the bed is made up with khaki and white linens and an orange shawl is used as a coverlet.  At the end of the bed is an antique bench.   Linen curtains are hung along with textured blinds.   One of the movies funniest scenes takes place in this bedroom.  




The Master Bathroom.


The bathroom also looks charming with its cast iron tub and limestone floors mixed with the house’s original steel windows.  It appears that a Ghost chair is holding an assortment of towels.  The shower curtain seems to made out of the same linen as the bedroom curtains.   This is a publicity still issued by the studio.   



In this scene –  there is a party, maybe to celebrate the remodeling.  Inside the building, it looks like it was once a garage that has been turned into a family room – with  high ceilings and rafters.   This scene looks so funny in the trailer.   I can’t WAIT to see the movie, it looks so good, plus I want to check out all the interiors up close.  But, I have to say – judging from what I have seen so far, the Something’s Gotta Give house’s crown appears to be safe – it looks like it will remain the favorite movie house of all time.


To read how to get the Something’s Gotta Give look for your own home – what design elements of that house are important to incorporate if you want the same look – go HERE.   To read all about the house in It’s Complicated – pick up the December issue of Traditional Home.

Tablescape Thursday: A Brush With Gloss




Awhile ago, I told you about  a photoshoot I had done with our local paper, The Houston Chronicle.   While the photoshoot was a personal disaster (a very, very sick dog, candle wax drippings all over my silk tablecloth, etc. etc.) – the end results of all the hard work of the photographer and the reporter turned out very nicely, I think. 

Once a month the Chronicle produces a glossy magazine, called Gloss – of course - which concentrates on Houston design, style, fashion, and society.   Their writer had emailed me wondering what one special or sentimental  item did I use over and over again while entertaining.   After laughing hysterically at my being asked about entertaining  – I told the reporter I’d get right back to her with an answer.  Nothing like stalling for time!   The only favorite entertaining  item I could come up with  was my antique silver dome.  The reporter liked that idea and asked for a photograph of it.  Once approved – a date was set and she and the photographer came out to my house to take pictures of this oh-so-special (not!) dome.   I don’t even know what the domes are officially called -  but I’m sure the Victorians had some fancy name for them.    The reporter asked me about their history, but even the antique dealer I contacted drew a blank.   All I know is that I love the way they look.  I own two now – both are large, with finely etched designs – but their main duty is just to gleam on my dining room table, dinner guests or not.  



The two silver domes as they usually are – one stays on the table, while the other rests on the breakfront.  (open window wide to see the full picture.)


Looking at this picture of my dining room as it is today – it’s almost embarrassing how quickly things change around here.     At the photoshoot just a few weeks ago, the shelves were filled with blue and white transferware, but now my new collection of creamware has really changed the room’s appearance.  And this Friday, there will be more changes when those humongous iron sconces go bye-bye.  Thank God!  Those sconces were a mistake from day one.   They are pretty, to be sure, but they totally overpower my small dining room.    They were originally painted black when, in a moment of impaired judgment,  I bought them.  But that first night after being hung, while my stomach was in knots from knowing how wrong I had been in choosing them, I hastily painted the black sconces cream in a desperate attempt to make their size less noticeable.    I can’t wait for their replacements:   dainty gilt sconces, with three arms delicately scrolled.   Anyone want to buy a pair of cream painted sconces???




In truth, it really doesn’t matter that my dining room looks so different today than it did at the Gloss photoshoot because, despite having taken dozens of pictures of the carefully set table, the magazine ended up showing only one tight, closeup shot of the silver dome – similar to this picture above (although Gloss’ photograph is much more professional looking, of course!)     Also in the article, there is a small picture of me, looking a little like a deer caught in the headlights which is exactly how I felt while they were taking the pictures.    In the magazine, I share my “entertaining secret weapon” story with two other much better known designers in town – the talented Andrea Garrity and Cathy Chapman, whom I have long admired.    I truly feel so honored to be in such great company!




The table set for an imaginary dinner party – ready and waiting for the photographer to arrive.


Although I thoroughly enjoyed decorating my table for my pretend dinner party, after it was all over,  I really wished I had spent more time on it and given it more creative thought.  For the tablescape,  I just used what I had and didn’t buy anything special except for the flowers, a few white pumpkins and the green apples.    Where is Eddie Ross when you really need him???? 




Though the Gloss story was due to come out in the November issue – I didn’t want to set a traditional Thanksgiving table – with faux turkeys and pilgrims in reds and oranges.   Instead I used fall themed pumpkins, but in white to blend with my dining room better.   And I added  the bright green apples for the bright pops of color.




When setting the table, I first put down the large napkins to act as a sort of placemat.  When I have a rare, real dinner party, I always top the table with a white linen cloth over a plastic lined one to protect the silk skirt from spills.   For flowers, I typically use pink roses because I think that color goes good with my china.   The mercury glass vases came from Target, on sale, I think I paid $9 for each!  I used two different sets of candlesticks and staggered them – one set is mercury glass, the other is a pair of antique gilded wood altar sticks and I added votives for extra soft light.    Looking at this picture now,  I probably should not have used the mercury glass candlesticks – they hide the painted antique ones that I think are prettier.   Oh well, live and learn.  





For the dishes I used my wedding china that all the women in my family also have:  my mother, my sister, my two aunts and myself all have identical dishes – Haddon Hall by Minton.  This way, if any of us ever gave a dinner party for a huge crowd, we would have a matching set!  I think that is great idea, but the truth is that I just really loved this pattern when I was choosing my china and I still do.   There is a fine celadon colored rim that encircles the pink and yellow flowered dishes, a small detail that I think is so delicate and pretty.   The bubble glasses are copies of the famous Tiffany ones and I added the green wine glasses that I had bought at Pottery Barn years and years ago. 





The dining room window faces east, but since this is such a small town lot – the house next door is just a mere 10 ft away – that once it hits noon, this space quickly gets very dark.  You can see here how dim it looks since this was late in the afternoon.    No wonder why I keep my chandelier and sconces lit all day!   But, I do think that dim dining rooms are more romantic and atmospheric, so the low light has never really bothered me. 





And here is the actual magazine story!   I love the way the photograph of the table came out.   I wonder how they chose this particular shot – they took so many different ones from all different angles.   Being a part of my town’s newspaper was such a special thrill – something that would never have happened it not for the blog and you, the reader.  As always, thank you so much for all your support of Cote de Texas these past few years.  I don’t say that enough – but I feel it every single day!    I wish I could thank you each individually, and though I try to answer the comments, I fall short as the blog takes up more and more time.  But please understand that all your kind words, your affection and your loyalty mean more to me than you will ever know.


 Gloss is online digitally if you want to read it,  go HERE.





I am linking this to Between Naps on the Porch’s Thursday Tablescapes HERE.  Be sure to visit and see all the other tablescapes that are featured today!!!   

Thank God for Margaret Russell and Elle Decor!




No that beautiful, sexy woman isn’t Miss America – she’s Margaret Russell, the brains and creative force behind Elle Decor Magazine.   Margaret came to The Skirted Roundtable this week to talk with Linda, Megan, and me about magazines and blogging and her new wonderful book Style and Substance, a compilation of the best of Elle Decor from its heralded 20 year history.  

When it was announced today that Metropolitan Home was closing shop, yet another magazine failure in a long line, everyone said - “Thank God for Elle Decor.”  Thank God indeed, but really Thank God for Margaret Russell.  I wonder if there would  still be an Elle Decor if it wasn’t for her keen intellect and steady leadership as Editor-in-Chief.    It’s no coincidence that Elle Decor is the leading design magazine.   If only Margaret had been Editor-in-Chief at Cottage Living, House and Garden, Country Home, Western Interiors, Home, Vogue Living, and on and on – under Russell’s guidance they might still be publishing today. 



Russell’s newest book – it is quite beautiful and wonderfully edited.  Available at Amazon HERE.


If you have the new book Style and Substance – get it out before you listen to the podcast.  Margaret picked her three favorite rooms from the book and we discuss them in depth.   It’s a great interview, if I might say so myself!    Russell is strong, vibrant, sharp, and witty – so any interview of hers is great.    To listen, go HERE.

In other news today, Thank God for Elle Decor!  The December issue is now out with a spread by Miles Redd (who is always fabulous), another by Philip Gorrivan, and then there’s my favorite story – Miss Charlotte Moss’ new Aspen House.  We all remember the book The Winter House – the story of her house in Aspen which was sold soon after the book came out.   Now, after a few years of waiting, we finally have the first glimpse of her new Colorado vacation house.  Worth the price of the issue for sure.



The Winter House by Charlotte Moss (doesn’t she have the MOST beautiful name?) available at Amazon HERE.




OK, OK – here’s a sneak peak at Charlotte’s new Aspen house from the December issue of Elle Decor.  To Die For.   Lushly photographed by her favorite, Pieter Estersohn, of course and written by the best in the business, Mitchell Owens (who has his own new book out HERE.)



image Mitchell Owens, resident scholar on everything design, shares credits with Derry Moore – one of the most talented photographers in the business.   My book is coming tomorrow and I can’t WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!


Lots of reading, lots of thanking God for Margaret Russell, lots of praying that Elle Decor and House Beautiful and Stephen Drucker are safe from the magazine zombies who keep killing off the best of best while leaving the worst design magazines standing – like, well, I won’t name it, but you can only guess who I mean!!

To listen to Margaret Russell on  The Skirted Roundtable, go HERE!  It’s a good one, I promise you!!!

Southern Accents Last Hoorah



One of Southern Accents most popular features was their annual Showhouse:  each year, a large impressive house would be built and then lavishly furnished by a top interior designer who had  been chosen by the magazine’s editorial staff.  Once the showhouse was complete, it would be photographed and splashed across the pages Southern Accents.   It was always a spectacular story – never a disappointment - with picture after picture of each room, including the laundry and the closets.  Nothing was too insignificant to document.   Some of the showhouses became classics – could anyone ever forget the Dallas beauty designed by Cathy Kincaid in 2003?



image The Southern Accents Dallas Showhouse – 2003. 




SA0309132d_1_x The Dallas Showhouse Dining Room by Cathy Kincaid.


Kincaid did a masterful job with the Dallas Showhouse – over 12,000 sq. ft., she decorated every nook and cranny with an attention to detail that was mind boggling.   One room was prettier than the next - filled with antiques and furniture from the finest showrooms around.    The pictures from that showhouse still show up on design blogs and some rooms, like the dining room above, have become classics.  I was fascinated with this particular showhouse and loved  how  Kincaid decorated it.   The style was a mixture of English and French design  and  I obsessively studied  all the pictures, committing them to memory.    The Dallas Showhouse remains one of my favorite Southern Accents  stories. 



SA0309136b_1_x The Master Bedroom in Cathy Kincaid’s Southern Accents Dallas Showhouse.   Is there a prettier bedroom around?  Not many – that’s for sure.   Was it too long after this that Anthropologie came out with their own version of this iron canopy bed?  Below are two more pictures from the Master Bedroom Suite.  






Two club chairs sit before a beautiful  French stone mantel.




Kinkaid draped the iron canopy bed in Chelsea Editions fabrics – embroidered and checked.  At this time, Chelsea Editions was still relatively unknown in the United States.  An antique barometer rests above the bed.  



 The family room in the Dallas Showhouse was an eclectic blend of the modern and the antique.   The rug hanging on the wall became the focal point – it’s hard to imagine the room without that one piece.   Doesn’t this interior remind you of Suzanne Kasler’s own family room pictured below?




image Suzanne Kasler’s former family room – this room has always reminded me of Cathy Kincaid’s.  Both interiors certainly make a positive statement for hanging a rug or tapestry to create a beautiful focal point.   Fabulous!




And speaking of Suzanne Kasler – the showhouse she decorated for Southern Accents in 2004, Watersound, was another huge hit for the magazine.   Located in the Florida panhandle where the sand looks like snow, Watersound made an overnight  star out of Atlanta designer Kasler.  

Photographs by Tria Giovan





The cover of the Watersound issue was wonderful – it featured a blue slipcovered chair which inspired people everywhere.   I even copied it  for a client myself!   The abstract painting is beautiful and it helped make this cover a best seller.     


 6a00e554d7b8278833011572108ec3970b In fact the slipcovered chair was such a success, Kasler gave it a name - “The Nanette” and reproduced it for her new furniture line with Hickory Chair HERE.  

Photograph courtesy of Velvet and Linen HERE.



image The backdrop for the Watersound Showhouse was Kasler’s signature white walls, but the bright blues became the color everyone remembered.    Here, a console table stands in the entry hall.




image Kasler ingeniously turned the entry hall into a dining room. Instead of chairs on one side, she used a bamboo styled bench with a bright turquoise fabric. 




SA0407076k_1_x But, it was Kasler’s kitchen with its blue tiled backsplash that became the most loved room in Watersound.   Has anyone forgotten this wonderful white marble kitchen, with its famous backsplash?   Twin, back to back sinks in the island doubled the hardware, or jewelry, in the kitchen while the omission of overhead cabinets allowed the installation of large divided light windows that let the light stream in.  



So many showhouses – so many beautiful rooms – so many ideas to incorporate into our own houses.   Designers after designers were called on to create these masterpieces for the magazine.   Even the great Dan Carithers contributed:  a few years ago he designed the Regents Park Showhouse.   Mary Evelyn McKee headed up the Birmingham Showhouse in 2004, while Barry Dixon was in charge of the 2007 Homestead Preserve Showhouse in the Virginian countryside.    Last year, Barbara Howard designed the colorful  Reynolds Plantation Showhouse in Greensboro Georgia.    Each showhouse was totally different than the others before – they became a vision of the designer’s true style for there were no clients guiding the project.    This year, Texan Joseph Minton was honored with the task of designing the 2009 Riverhills Showhouse in Ft. Worth – the town he was born in, which made him an especially sentimental choice.    In fact, Minton’s roots in Ft. Worth (Dallas’ twin city) go back several generations to his great great grandfather who owned the first telephone in “Cowtown.”   His phone number?   #1!  




imageThe always debonair Joseph Minton captured in his Ft. Worth garden by Pieter Estersohn.


Joseph Minton is a true southern gentleman – mannered and charming, a true design legend in Texas.   Friends with the great Billy Baldwin, Minton considered him his mentor.    Though he came late to interior design, beginning adulthood as a city attorney for Ft. Worth, he quickly made up for lost time.   A long partnership with David Corley made the name Minton/Corley famous in Texas and throughout the United States.  Named to Architectural Digest’s Top 100 and Town & Country’s Top 55 Interior Designers lists, Minton has been at it now for over four decades.   The Press Section on his web site is immense – filled with publications dating back to the early 70s.    He is still active in his interior design business and he heads up the Minton/Corley Collection of fine reproductions.  He also owns an antique store in Dallas.    Being named to head up the showhouse was undoubtedly  to be the crowning feather in a long, varied, and highly respected career.    Minton has had a solid association with Southern Accents, dating back to 1978 when he was first featured in their pages.   He has since been in the magazine a total of eight times.    Perhaps the best feature with which to judge Minton’s talents is in the March 2005 issue when his own Georgian styled house was photographed.   I remember it well:





The entry house to Minton’s recently renovated house:  he based the staircase’s design on one he had seen in Sir John Soane’s Museum in England.    The porcelains on the marble topped console are divine!




His luscious living room – filled with antique furniture and fine accessories.  Cluttered in the best sense of the word, it is a true English styled country house – deep in the heart of Texas!  At the windows, a wonderful Lee Jofa Tree of Life fabric hangs.   The two bookshelves were originally windows which Minton remade into shell topped niches -  adding the wonderful Georgian detailing that transformed his once plain Colonial into a house one might discover along a back country road in England.





His study – antique chairs, books, linens, and dogs.  What a perfect combination!



Minton’s excitement at being named designer of the Riverhills Showroom didn’t last long.  After a year of planning and preparation, house was completed –  yet empty - waiting to accept the roomfuls of borrowed furniture from all of the toniest showrooms in Dallas.  The bad news came from Editor-in-Chief Karen Carroll who informed Minton that Southern Accents was shutting down – immediately - a decision the parent  company Time Inc. had just announced.   The long promised pictorial spread in the magazine was not going to happen.   Minton was slightly horrified.  Months and months of hard work suddenly appeared to go up in smoke.    Now that there was to be no large magazine story – would all the showrooms still want to be involved in the project?   For even though the magazine was no more – the showhouse would still be open for touring.   Would Minton be able to convince the showrooms to still furnish the massive house though there would no longer be any of the promised advertising in Southern Accents to go along with it?  



   image  The home of Joseph Minton Antiques, located in Dallas, Texas.


Minton reportedly said that at the time that Southern Accents shut down, all the fresh flowers had been ordered and were arriving, the draperies were being hung, and the furniture was due to be installed  – all for free in exchange for the promised and highly valued 12 page layout in the November issue of Southern Accents.  Except now, there wasn’t going to be a November issue.   The only silver lining was that Southern Accents’ website would remain active and the showhouse photographs would be posted online.  Small potatoes indeed for what was once to be a huge publicity boast for the entire team.




Joseph Minton Antiques:  how beautiful this is!


In the end, no one pulled out of the showhouse and disaster was averted.    Riverhills – fully furnished - opened to rave reviews for Joseph Minton’s design.   The house was indeed photographed in all its glory – and one can only imagine how much fun that must have been for Minton.  The photographer?   His own daughter, Emily Minton Redfield,  highly respected in her field.   The online promise was indeed kept – there is picture after picture and story after story about Riverhills on the web site.    Today, the showhouse is still open to tour, and it will remain so until December 6th.   But, for all the fans of Southern Accents, it’s a bittersweet end of an era.  The passing of the magazine is still a fresh wound.   November’s magazines came and went without a Southern Accents for the first time in many, many years.  It wasn’t easy.   This is one magazine that will surely be missed.   The Riverhills coverage on the web site is of course an online version of what the November issue would have been.  In short, Riverhills is the last hooray for a magazine many of us grew up with, and waited patiently for each month.




The 2009 Southern Accents Riverhills Showhouse. 


Based on the limestone cottages that dot the landscape of the Cotswold Hills in England, the house was designed to look like it had been added to over time.    The living room, with its 1 1/2 story ceiling, became the original “central cottage” in the fictionalized account of the house’s ancient history.    In the fairy tale, wings were “added on” to the left and right side of this central cottage.   Lending authenticity, English half round copper gutters were used along with a Vermont slate roof.     

The architect is Larry Boerder of Larry E. Boerder Architects and Trey Laird and Kevin McGinnis of Period Homes, Inc. were the builders. 



image In the architect’s charming original drawing, you can plainly see the living room with its three dormer windows located in the original “central cottage”  situated right in the middle of the large house.   The two wings were designed to appear as if they were  added on at a later date.





Where the central cottage and the two wings meet, a front courtyard was created by adding a stone fence and this charming arched gate.







The entry hall was painted in a neutral ivory – so that all the rooms leading off from it would flow without clashing.  Minton purposefully chose a warm palette of reds, golds and greens for the large house in order to keep it cozy and welcoming.





image From the front entrance hall – three arches lead into the “central cottage” or the living room.   A cozy mix of English and French antiques, along exotic accessories, gives the room a rich, layered, lived-in look – similar to what one would find in an English country home.   The curtains are made out of a Lee Jofa Tree of Life patterned fabric.   Custom made fringe was added to the hem to lengthen the panels. 







The dining room is the one room where Minton likes to be dramatic, since one doesn’t spend a lot of time there.  He chose a rather exotic DeGournay hand painted wallcovering.  Since the room is square, Minton used a round table with chairs that are covered in striped silk slips – to make the room seem less dressy.  




In the library, Minton covered the ceiling in red raffia by Jane Shelton, who also provided all the fabrics in the room.  Minton likes to use small prints instead of putting large swaths of plain fabrics on furniture.  The drapery valances were taken up to the roofline to extend the appearance of height of the room. 





In the kitchen off the “central cottage” Minton mixed new with old – the barstools are contemporary while the light fixture is a copy of an antique.  The counters are a honed black granite that mimic slate.




This is one of my favorite rooms in the house.   The breakfast or keeping room is furnished in one fabric by Vervain.   A mixture of chairs keep the setting interesting looking.  I love the way Minton does his curtains – full, not skimpy, hung high instead of too low, and with panels between the individual windows – perfection!




The front stair hall was constructed using Tudor period techniques such as the hammer-beam trusses.   The Gothic period was the inspiration for the baluster.   The walls are covered in a hand painted burlap by Arena  Design, Houstonian Rusty Arena’s company. 




image Along with a conservatory on the back side, there is also an open air loggia – furnished with pieces from the Ellouise Abbott Showrooms.   Portieres close off the loggia during rainy and cold nights. 





The bedroom was given a 30’s glamour vibe with help from the Allen Knight showroom who provided the bed and fabrics.  A Jansen chest acts as a nightstand.   Notice again the beautiful window treatments designed by Minton.    So lush and full!  





The master bath is all white marble.   The floor by Ann Saks was laid on a diagonal with a border.  Minton cleverly designed mirrors to look like windows on each side of the bathtub in order to increase the light in the room. 





The guest room is furnished with Porthault fabrics and sheets and the zebra pattern was lightly stenciled onto the walls.   The matching mirrors come from the Minton/Corley Collection through the Ellouise Abbott Showrooms.   This is another favorite room of mine!!





image The zebra design theme continues into the guest bath.  I love the way the subway  tiles were used on the side of the tub.   The casement windows are so pretty too. 





The boy’s bedroom was covered in fabric from Thibaut.   The iron campaign style beds set the exotic mood here.   Actually, this is another favorite room of mine!!!





The girl’s room was furnished in an exuberant fabric by Isaac Mizrahi for S. Harris.   The Patterson Flynn and Martin carpet is very unusual with a brick pattern cut into the pile.  The antique Victorian screen is so romantic.  I know one teenaged girl who would love this room!!


image Minton created this window seat inspired by a picture he took in Tuscany many years ago.  How cute this is for a teenager??!




image The back facade – showing the center cottage with the loggia.  The conservatory, then the master bedroom are on the right side of the loggia, while the breakfast room/kitchen is to the left of it.   The dining room looks out on the front yard to the right of the central cottage, while the library also looks to the front, on the left side of the entry.    A downloadable PDF file of the Riverhills floor plan is available from the architect for $25.00  HERE.

The Riverhills Showhouse is currently for sale.  To see the brochure go HERE.   There is a WONDERFUL video of the house – you can really see it – how it all flows together and how the rooms connect to one another.  Somehow – the house actually looks even prettier in the video than in the pictures – so I highly recommend you take the video tour!!!!!

Be sure to visit the Southern Accents web site HERE.  There are nine videos narrated by Joe Minton of all the main rooms.  Plus there are many, many more pictures of the showhouse on the web site.   It’s so sad to know this is the last Southern Accents Showhouse ever -  at least it was a great one to go out on.  Thanks for all the wonderful memories!!!  




The Riverhills Showhouse will remain open until December 6th.  Details below:

 Visit the Riverhills Showhouse
Fort Worth, Texas
Open for Tours Sept. 24 through Dec. 6

11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday–Saturday,
1 to 5 p.m. Sunday
(Closed Monday – Wednesday)

Admission: $15; free for children under 18.
Tickets available at the door.
A portion of the proceeds will benefit Trinity Habitat for Humanity.