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Thank you Lifestyles & Home for the Cover!!

Posted by The Design Firm

Feb 16, 2017

We couldn't be more excited about making the cover for not one, but 3 of LifeStyles & Homes Houston Magazines. What an honor it is to be featured by one of our all time favorite publications! Read the full article "Magnificent Seven" written by the extremely talented Cheryl Alexander below. Large Family’s Eclectic Style Defines Luxury Home For several years, Mark and Melissa Flores lived in what might be considered a traditional “cookie cutter” suburban family home. Their values and life were structured around what was best for their growing family because, when a couple has five young children, most of the time, sophistication and personal style must give way to function. Although their former home was large, it wasn’t nearly the dream home that the couple envisioned their family sharing. “The colors were dark,” said Melissa, “because of our children. And the furniture, though great for raising kids, was rather nondescript and boring.” When the kids began to get older and more responsible, the couple decided it was time to realize the vision of a home that not only they could enjoy and be proud of, but that would accommodate teenage kids who enjoy lots of activities and have lots of friends. They wanted Spanish-Mediterranean style architecture, and they wanted to stay in their neighborhood so the kids could remain in the same schools. Additionally, they wanted a larger lot on the golf course with room for an outdoor kitchen, loggia and pool, and enough interior space for the kids and their friends to be able to have fun at home, while respecting their parents’ privacy. To accomplish this, the couple hired luxury home builders Toll Brothers and the trusted team of designers at The Design Firm. “We loved working with our team,” said Melissa. “I made sure everyone knew from the start that my primary goal was to keep my husband stress-free. They went above and beyond to make sure that we accomplished that goal.” The couple also enjoyed working with Kara Weullner and Caroline Stanley– a mother – daughter interior design duo from The Design Firm. “Not only were they in sync with us and the different personalities involved, they also we’re in sync with each other,” said Melissa, “which made working together lots of fun and cohesive, as they understand the dynamic of family very well.” Combining the couple’s design preferences and evolved style was also a priority. They loved the idea of a white, stucco exterior and had already decided on Spanish-Mediterranean, but they also wanted to incorporate rustic Texas Hill Country influences with some contemporary elements. And they also wanted to retain a few favorite heirloom furnishings. Like the home’s exterior, much of the common area furnishings are Spanish-inspired. Large, scrolled and rustic with rich wood textures, vibrant leathers, hand-carved detailing, and forged iron hardware, these pieces stand out. Intricate wrought-iron chandeliers and large wooden Spanish-revival floor candelabras lend authenticity to the lighting selections. Religious art and statues of saints further accentuate the design. In keeping with the Old World Med­i­terranean theme, the interior walls are plaster, faux finished with exposed brick accents in the kitchen. The great room features a soaring ceiling, huge picture windows and dark stained beams that match the home’s wood floors. Texas Hill Country charm is evident in the limestone walls that accent the foyer beneath the double-sided stairwell and beyond into the great room, where the floor-to-ceiling fireplace is the room’s centerpiece. Cowhide barstools in the kitchen, a cowhide pouf in the living room and a couple of mounted deer heads point to the rustic theme and the family’s love of the outdoors. The home’s color palette was inspired by a set of Dia de los Muertes dolls, a favorite gift that Mark’s mom gave the family, and a big, colorful Mexican planter in the loggia. Throughout the home’s common areas, pops of red and turquoise are found in the accessories and contemporary abstract art. In every room and even outdoors, succulents fill driftwood plant­ers, providing an organic feel. Moving from the common areas into the private spaces allows the personalities of the home’s seven inhabitants to take shape. Each of the bedrooms reflects the person who lives there. In the master suite, beauty, luxury and serenity are the obvious elements. Soft, creamy textures are offset by gilded gold furniture and accents. The master bath is ample in size, with spaces for both Mark and Melissa, and punctuated by a beautiful chandelier. The kids’ rooms are each reflective of their stages in life. Here, they are able to be self-expressive and decorate in ways that make them happy. For example, the oldest daughter, a pageant queen, expressed herself with lots of glitz and glamour, both in her furniture and accessories. Another daughter decorated with a vibrant and sporty tangerine. Conversely, the only son’s room is all boy. Hunting memorabilia, sports and outdoors are the theme. Along with their own spaces, the kids spend most of their time with their friends in the game room and media room wing of the home. In the game room, kid- friendly furniture, eye-catching art, signed jerseys and game balls, a pool table and lots of other games provide allure. Wood paneled walls are outfitted with two big screen televisions, so nobody misses a game. In the media room, oversized recliners, a stocked fridge and snack pantry are always at the ready when anyone wants to settle in for a movie marathon. The walls here are fabric-covered for prime sound and detailed with Western art and leather trim punctuated with nailheads, keeping the room in theme with the rest of the home. The outdoor space is just as distinctive and impressive. A massive wooden block dining table sits within the outdoor kitchen. In the entertainment area, oversized outdoor furniture in front of a big screen TV begs for lounging. As accents, driftwood adorns each tabletop and colorful Mexican planters define the edges of the space. Each vessel overflows with succulents in every shade of green. The turquoise pool beckons nearby, and beyond, the golf course provides the perfect backdrop, no matter the season. The entire family loves their new home. It is spacious and comfortable; with 7,400 square feet and filled with plush, oversized furniture, seven people can spread out with room to spare. It’s colorful and eclectic; though there is not one particular style throughout the home, the blend is cohesive and expressive of the home’s inhabitants. It’s family friendly; the parents and kids have defined spaces and the common areas bring everyone together in the best way imaginable. It’s magnificent! Text by Cheryl Alexander | Photos by Eric Wuellner, The Design Firm | Architecture/Construction by Toll Brothers | Landscape design by Jim L. Hall, First Class Landscapes | Interiors by Kara Wuellner and Caroline Wuellner, The Design Firm | Finishes by Faux Factory

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