A seemingly endless number of cozy window seats beckon for someone to curl up with a book. Three reclaimed-brick porches promise respite, with places to settle into a rocker and sip a cold mint julep. In fact, at every turn, the 4,777-square-foot house exudes Southern hospitality
The Southern Living Showcase Home in Bellaire – the first in the Houston area – is a model for architecture and craftsmanship as well as a source for décor ideas. The latest in the lifestyle magazine’s construction and renovation program, it will be open for tours Saturdays-Sundays through May 20.
The two-story house was designed by JKM Designs and constructed by Stone Acorn Builders; the firms incorporated reclaimed materials and green elements throughout. The décor is by Edwina Vidosh of Edwina Alexis Interiors. While the home doesn’t yet have owners, Vidosh – a seventh-generation Texan – is so taken with the project, she used family heirlooms to add life to the space. Her grandmother’s hand-painted Limoges porcelain dishes and her great-grandmother’s chairs help complete the dining room, for example.
“I’m excited about the home, because it’s very Southern and comfortable with little pops of color and whimsy,” Vidosh said, pointing to the lemon-yellow, reproduction vintage enamel Viking range and hood with matching microwave oven in the sprawling gourmet kitchen.
In addition to color, the yellow appliances bring contemporary flair to the room, offsetting traditional gray-and-white Carrera marble. A white Shaw’s Original apron-front farmhouse sink is offset by honed, black granite countertops. The oval penny tile back splash also contrasts the sunny stove.
Walnut floors run throughout the four-bedroom, four-and-a-half bathroom house, including the study and library. Each room also features built-in shelving.
The study’s pièce de résistance is a sleek, grand cherry desk with alligator accents in front and on the drawers. The designer’s inspiration for this room was to imagine the father of the house as a well-traveled, saxophone-playing, hippie-turned-lawyer. A comically oversize metal saxophone on the wall is in homage to the character.
Upstairs, bedrooms flank each side of the wide hallway. The girls’ bedroom is an explosion of color, with Lily Pulitzer textiles. The mint green walls are complemented by a sky-blue ceiling (a technique employed in various rooms). The room is furnished with reproduction antique iron beds and authentic antique minichairs. The boy’s room features a wooden, geometric pattern willow bed and lacquered wood elk head, as well as a metal campaign desk.
The Southern theme for the guest room is monograms, a motif that is repeated in linens and other accouterments. The Hermès-inspired master bedroom features painted French furniture, mixed with a simple, contemporary wood bed frame.
“All of the bedding is Hermès, playing off of horses and the South and that old plantation feel,” Vidosh said.
The master bathroom is dazzling. Spacious and bright, it has a double-head shower and a deep pedestal-style soaking tub. Large, hexagonal tile and gray painted cabinets add vintage flair while feeling contemporary. The dressing room includes a marble-top island and built-ins on every wall.
Not to be missed is the outdoor kitchen on the back porch, the circular courtyard with walking paths and the raised vegetable beds tucked behind the garage.
Inspiration abounds outside and inside the house, which is rich with color, texture and architectural elements, such as the wainscoted walls and triple crown moulding.
“When a home is layered with detail and interest,” Vidosh said, “it makes it feel more charming.”