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Lakeside Light and Bright

Design Professionals Team Up to Update Woodlands Home
By Susan Fox • Photography by Miro Dvorscak

Editor’s Note: A 12,000 square-foot sprawling resort-style home located on Lake Woodlands just went on the market for $7.8 million a few weeks ago. It took an unbelievably short 10 weeks to get it ready, according to Donna Jarnigan, principal of LacyBoone Interiors and a former president of the Texas Gulf Coast Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).

She, along with D.C. Peterson — owner of Peterson Home Builders — and cohorts Donna Vining and Shundra Harris spearheaded its remodel. And 18 other ASID members not only helped transform every inch of the home but also decorated it for the holidays.

In fact, it was open for public viewing during the month of December. And that’s when, we at Houston House & Home (HH&H), saw the end results, which included a rebuilt kitchen, new roof, floating boat dock, updated baths, rejuvenated living spaces, and a gameroom and wine grotto makeover. HH&H plans to feature the more festive and decorated rooms in its 2016 holiday issue.

In the meantime, we were especially captivated by several spaces that we wanted to share with our readers before next November. 

Vining is owner of Vining Design, and Harris is principal of Shundra Harris Interiors.

The Powder Room
Under the graceful, winding staircase is a powder room that received a glamorous makeover by interior designer Crystal Reeves, owner of CLR Design Services.

“I especially love powder rooms,” she says. “I chose to do this space, because you can do anything there — you can make it serene, dramatic, fun, quirky. While it’s a small, challenging area, it’s one where you can pack in a big ‘wow’ factor.”

Reeves began her career as a display designer at Star Furniture in Austin and then worked for a firm and later in a trade-only showroom before launching her own company.

What was your design goal for this powder room? What did you do to change or update it? Why did you choose the powder room?

It was a dark dungeon - everything HAD TO GO.  I wanted something light, refreshing, and sparkly and surprising…when you walk in, you feel like you to want to stay there.

The existing vanity, plumbing, decorative light fixtures and the wood panel mirrors surrounding the vanity were all removed as well as the chair rail and mirror wall.  The two-tone faux paint in the curved wall had to go as well. I designed the new vanity and had the builder fabricate it for me. I had an artist add the silver accents.

In regard to the wall where I added niches, there was previously a slab mirror that ran all the way to the floor. A black toilet also weighed down the look. I designed the niches and added lights as well as designed the new vanity.

I selected all new finishes (two types of wallpaper, flooring, counter) and added a small pm mold under the green stripe near the crown.

Describe the style and rationale behind the selection. Tell about the materials used and the thought process for marrying this with that. Who do you envision living there?
The style is ‘resort glam,’ with soft hints of blue/green embracing white and silver accents. 
Lighting is a HUGE component of the space. There are Edison bulbs in the sconces, incandescent candelabra bulbs in the chandelier, and LED lights in the niches. The softness of the Edison and incandescent give off a relaxing vibe, and the LED gives a Tiffany’s jewelry store tone to the glass perfume bottles and Ball Jar arrangements. 

I combined more industrial sconces with the jewel drops of the chandelier and facetted perfume bottles to pull everything together. I used lighting controls by Legrand. They are wifi-compatible and can dim a variety of light types with one dimmer. Many vendors have one dimmer for incandescent and one for LED, but Legrand can do it all at a singular spot.

Materials used: calcutta marble on the counter and floor, white/silver wallpaper for the main walls, and metallic grid paper for the inside backs of the niches and undermount ribbed glass sink by Kohler.

For decor, I didn’t want it to go over the top but wanted to complement the glass/polished nickel by adding some natural elements, such as the cedar skirt on the mannequin and Ball jar arrangements, both of which I created. By adding the painted wood sticks and bird seed in the inner jar, it shows off the shape of the inner jar. I also created the frame arrangements with the idea that the client can change out the “winter” type items as the seasons change.

What's a good tip to share with readers?
To give the illusion of a larger crown, add pm molding — about 1 to 1 1/2 inches — under the existing piece and add a stripe of color.

Interior Design: Crystal Reeves, CLR Design (
Floor: Thorntree Slate & Marble (
Counter: Lackstone (
White Wall covering: Thibaut (
Silver Wall covering in back of niches: Innovations (
Ornaments inside frames: Creative Branch (
Silver Frames: Two's Company (
Mirror: Z Gallerie (


Her Office
Also located on the first floor (the house is three levels), sandwiched between the master suite and the Crystal Reeves-designed powder room off the foyer, is a home office — that interior designer Carla Aston installed for a woman like her.

“I thought it a perfect place for a designer's home office with all the cabinets and storage…. It's something we all crave in this business. I have a beautiful feminine desk in the space from Stanley furniture, sitting on top of a striking Stark antelope carpet. After all, what woman doesn't love a nice, plush animal print?”

Aston is the owner of Aston Design Studio located in The Woodlands. She says she works with a wonderful supportive staff comprised of junior designers — all of whom work together to avoid over-decorated looks. 

What was your design goal for this space? What did you do to change or update it? Why did you choose this room? Was it already an office, or did you turn it into one? Was anything changed via construction?
This room was styled as a home office previously. It has lots of built-ins and a large closet with shelving. It's the perfect location for the woman of the house to manage the household, with a view through the main front of the home and a lovely window/bench seat with a view of the front of the property, just off the master bedroom area. I loved the fact that all the woodwork was already painted a nice medium gray color, I felt I could work with that. It was already different from the rest of the house, which is always a good thing.

I did feel, however, that the existing light gray paint, paired with the gray on the cabinetry, looked drab and unappealing. It just looked tired and plain. I wanted to create a haven for the woman of the house, a luxurious retreat wrapped in rich color and layered with quality fabrics.

Personally, I'm not much of a girly-girl type person, so I wanted a strong-feminine vibe, hence the indigo/navy walls. (I had one man walk in when it was open to the public and say he didn't feel it was feminine at all, that he felt totally comfortable that made me happy.) The dark Cole and Son wallpaper with the subtle bird pattern is dramatic and eye-catching. The birds are sort of glinting at you with soft iridescence, becoming more noticeable once you come into the space.

We added brackets and paneled the area above the counter at the built-in for a more quality look -- and to keep from having to run the wallpaper on the wall back there. I didn't want to divide that cabinetry, I preferred to have it read as one tall unit. That adds to the real asset of this room, the ceiling height and the verticality of this space. It's always a good idea to let the architecture of a space guide your design decisions.

We also added a faux-wood finish on the countertop, previously just painted gray like the cabinets, to add richness and quality. My faux finisher, Phyllis Palmer of Transformations, did a lovely job there and on the ceiling, creating a gray, pearlized finish that helps to showcase the room in it's rich color scheme.

Describe the style and rationale behind the selection. Tell about the materials used and the thought process for marrying this with that.
I borrowed a comfy chair from the Duralee showroom; it was covered in a Highland Court navy velvet that went perfectly with my wallpaper. I then used that velvet to cover the window seat and to pipe the silver silk pillows I had made to sit atop that gorgeous cushion.

I love the Currey and Co. alabaster lamp on the desk with the gilded shade. It’s such a nice, rich contrast to the dark room, and the Circa brass floor lamp in the corner worked beautifully to provide some soft reading light in the corner. I love the modern edge that lamp and the little brass and marble drink table brought to this more traditional space.

What's a good tip to share with readers?
Read your room. Read the architecture and let the room tell you what it wants you to celebrate. When you work to accent the attributes of a space rather than pushing it to go somewhere it's never going to go, a design is truly more successful.


Interior Design: Carla Aston (

Cole & Son, “Tropical Birds”
Color: Midnight,
Kravet Fabrics (

Wallcovering Installation:
Jeff Laws Wallcovering

Faux Finishing on Countertop:
Transformations by Phyllis

Specialty Electrical Switches/Outlet Covers & LED Under-Cabinet Lighting:

Architectural & Design:
Legrand, North America

Area Rug: “Antilocarpa,” Color: Blue, 12x12,
Stark Carpet (

Desk: Russell Writing Desk, Gray Linen,
Stanley Furniture

Lounge Chair: “Eastside” Low Back Salon Chair,
Duralee Fabrics Ltd.

Drink Table: Beck Stone Side Table,
Antique Brass, Interlude Home


Table Lamp: Currey & Company “Longcroft” Table Lamp,
Ferguson Enterprises, Inc.

Fabric on Window Seat Cushion: Highland Court,
190212H-54, Duralee Fabrics Ltd.
26202 Oak Ridge Dr Ste A-101, The Woodlands,

Workroom to Recover Seat Cushion:
Creative Style Furniture, Inc. 1291 N. Post Oak Rd., Ste. 11

Fabric for Pillows: Kravet, 33562-11 and 32119-1,
Kravet Fabrics, Inc.

Workroom for Pillows: Embellishments by Angela

Artwork: Stacy Hosrich Abstract Art & Associates
Framing by Framecrafters, Inc.


The Reading Room
This reading room/guest room leads to the outdoor loggia and was created by interior designer Veronica Solomon, owner of Casa Vilora. She began her company in 2008, with a clear mission “to bring luxurious but livable interiors to clients — all within an affordable budget.
“My design goal for the space was to create a fun, almost whimsical retreat that was grounded with classic elements. I wanted the space to have a dual function as a sleeping area as well as a lounging area. I imagine the kids of the home spending time in this room, reading and letting their imaginations take flight,” she says, about the space she chose at the ASID show house.

What was your inspiration?
The stylized “cirrus clouds” wallpaper by Celerie Kemble was the perfect complement to the beautiful cove ceiling and served as the main inspiration for the room. I was also inspired by the views of the infinity pool and lake just outside the door. I wanted to enhance the view but still create some interest inside the room, and I did that with color palette of indigo, Kelly green, raspberry (fuchsia) and white accented with warm brass.
I kept the main furnishings and background in white to open up the small room and create an almost ethereal feel. I also wanted the color in the art and pillows to really take center stage against a white background

What did you wish to accomplish, and what is the style depicted here?
Imagination, wonder and fantasy are the feelings that I wanted this room to nurture. I was seeking to create a wonderland where the tiny occupants of this home could escape to and curl up with a great book and read and imagine wonderful adventures.
I wanted to combine an eclectic mix of design styles from traditional to mid-century modern -- to give the room a more authentic and “collected” quality.
The inspiration for the room was the very stylized “cloud” sisal wallpaper. I chose to use it in the cove ceiling to depict a cloudy sky, to help bring a more cozy feel to the room, and to set the tone for a fantastical adventure. I sought to include some classical elements as well, to keep the room from being overly whimsical and cartoon-like, so I added picture frame moldings to the main wall, and kept a background of creamy whites to complement the existing dark wood floor. 
The color palette of mostly whites, which is on all the walls and larger furniture pieces, is accented by Kelly green, indigo, and fuchsia --all of which are used in small doses for pillows and accessories. Warm gold finishes also adds to a timeless yet trendy element, and effortlessly mixes with brushed nickel finishes.
I chose a daybed to give the room a dual function as a sitting room, as well as a bedroom. The daybed is custom made, and also adds a classical feel with the nail- head detailing in the Greek key pattern. The campaign dressers also give a nod to the past with the well-appointed brass hardware.
No wonderland is complete without such fun elements as the acrylic egg chair with the warm lamb’s wool seat, the lamb’s wool bench, and the whimsical feather chandelier. These pieces add the youthful quality that I felt was necessary in this room.
The artwork was carefully chosen to help bring about some calm to the fun and whimsical color palette and daring mix of patterns.
My hope is that this room will be a fun get-away that inspires grand dreams, wild imaginations and fun adventures.

What did the room look like before?
The room was plain Jane — with a baby blue textured cove ceiling. It was very important to me to make the cove ceiling a big feature to enhance its beautiful cove ceiling.

What is a good tip to offer readers?
To successfully mix patterns in a room, make sure they have the same color scheme in common and make sure that the patterns are of different sizes and scales.
When working with a room full of white, be sure to bring in lots of texture to add interest. It is OK to layer the white (various shades) but avoid using cool and warm whites together.


Interior Design: Veronica Solomon, Casa Vilora, (

Custom daybed: Designed by Veronica Solomon and built by Parsons Chairs (

Ceiling Wallpaper: Sisal by Celerie Kemble for F. Schumacher (713-877-8195)

Fabrics: F.Schumacher (713-877-8195), Robert Allen (713-439-0200), Kast Fabrics (, Duralee Fabrics (832-675-0300)

Custom Pillows and window treatments: Drapery Etc (832-276-8980)

Dressers: Pottery Barn Kids (

Rug: Surya (

Lambs’ wool bench: Moss Studios (

Bubble chair and flower table: Exclusive Mod (

Floral arrangements: S Home Décor (713-787-9086)