Memorial 4,800-square-foot home is a little French, a little Italian and all classic after makeover

Kennith Bogan

Early in their 29-calendar year marriage, Althea and Henry Lee traveled to Europe and soaked in the class of French layout and the sleekness of Italian model.

Henry’s a radiologist but has a background in and like of artwork heritage, so he was as engaged as Althea was when it arrived time to begin renovating — in phases — the 4,800-square-foot dwelling they purchased in Memorial. 

They termed on inside designer Julie Dodson of Dodson Interiors, who experienced assisted them when they designed a different home in Memorial a little bit earlier for the Lees and their youngsters, Natalie, now 22 and a current University of Texas graduate, Nathan, a scholar at Trinity Classical College and their angel daughter, Nicole, who died 12 yrs in the past from brain cancer when she was just 7.

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Following Nicole’s demise, Althea focused her time to volunteer operate, and she’s now the director of the Houston chapter of The Heal Begins Now, a non-financial gain that raises money for hospitals that do exploration in pediatric brain cancer. The Houston chapter has lifted $500,000 in 5 a long time. 

Equally Henry and Althea are very first-era People. Althea’s mother and father ended up born in Hong Kong and arrived to the U.S. as higher education college students. Just a thirty day period just before she was born, they moved to Houston, exactly where her dad worked in the strength industry. Althea often operates in business acting — you may possibly have found her in a Methodist Healthcare facility industrial, portraying a mom seeking online care.

Henry’s spouse and children moved from Taiwan to the U.S., settling in Chicago. His father was a nuclear engineer and Henry is the 1st medical professional in the family members, even though his siblings all work in drugs, too. (His twin brother is a instructing pharmacist, another brother is a medical doctor and his sister is an optometrist.)

Their goal was to make their  property a cozy, tasteful residence that could deal with a family members with young children as properly as their Siberian husky, Suki, a stray they observed wandering all over a church they utilised to attend. 

“I love that Julie isn’t completely classic or fashionable. She makes use of a good combine of pieces so it doesn’t feel stale. It is a wonderful equilibrium of the two exciting and whimsical,” Althea said.

Early on, they gutted the kitchen area and made use of space from the back of the property to build a kennel location for Suki and a new powder rest room with black and white Schumacher’s Chenonceau wallpaper and black marble flooring tile. 

They reconfigured the kitchen area to be more practical and to eradicate the odd, pie-shaped island that experienced a stove in the middle of it. Althea did not like the placement of the sink or the refrigerator, either, and she felt like she experienced very minimal operate house for preparing spouse and children foods. The new design, which expanded the space by six ft, included 20 linear feet of work location.

Obtaining a terrific kitchen area was significant to the Lees, as Althea cooks a whole lot and the place is the hub of the home. She likes to function from listed here when her son is executing homework 

White marble changed mottled brown-black granite counters and quite a few of their upper cabinets now have glass-front doors to exhibit rather white dishes. The wooden beams on the coffered ceiling have been painted the very same shade of pale gray as the cupboards.

The showstopper in the place, however, is the antique backsplash tile that Dodson identified at Chateau Domingue, a Houston business that specializes in architectural antiques and salvaged antique European setting up products, much of which dates back hundreds of years. These kitchen area tiles, in a gray-cream palette with a chic circle-square pattern was when applied as ground tile in a residence in a French village sometime in the mid to late 19th century, according to Ruth Homosexual, who owns Chateau Domingue.

The close by breakfast space contains a table and chairs from their prior residence, but they opted to reupholster the chairs, with pretty blue and white material for the back and vinylized white fabric for the seats so they can stand up to spills.

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“I like standard and I love transitional fashion — and I really like placing that puzzle with each other, getting the correct items and mixing factors you wouldn’t assume would work with each other,” Dodson said.

A blue linen wall remedy gives the dining room a dramatic new search as Dodson used yards of material to upholster walls — equivalent to wallpaper but with a whole new glance and experience. That fabric was made use of once more in the family space in draperies hung together big home windows.

The eating chairs got a new treatment method listed here, far too, with Galbraith & Paul fabric with circles in subdued blues and grays and white vinyl for the seats. A lot more Galbraith & Paul fabric arrives into participate in in draperies in its fragile Sumi pattern, birds, tree branches and paper lanterns in a a blue-grey colorway.

And an antique mirror they discovered for their prior property worked perfectly here, too.

“We have been equipped to repurpose a whole lot from their earlier residence, it was a matter of reupholstering and introducing new issues and changing some items,” Dodson stated. “Some people buy issues and stress about whether or not they can use it once again if they transfer. When you purchase classic, very good good quality items, you can normally repurpose them as very long as the scale isn’t wholly distinctive.”

The family home obtained a makeover, also, bringing in a sectional sofa with a rounded chaise on one conclude to swap white slipcover sofas they gave to their daughter and introducing a swivel chair in a stripe-y print plus an antique design and style chair that was recovered in an ikat print pattern.  For entertaining, they included a pair of Produced Merchandise stools surrounded by floor-size fringe. They may well feel like a trendy piece elsewhere, but they’re going to be endlessly popular in Texas.

“Fringe ottomans, they are so sassy,” Althea exclaimed. “It feels like a gown you want to start off shaking. It feels like superior trend with people in there.”

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