Victorian Remodel * Small Town Texas

It’s been such an honor and thrill to work on the restoration on this home below that I just had to share this project. Built in 1910 the home graces the main street of a nearby Texas town. In the past 105  years, my clients are just the third homeowners of this beauty!


I’ve worked with the young couple before and when Vanessa texted me that she and husband Mike had purchased an old home in her hometown of Sealy I was excited to say the last.  I know the O’Donnells don’t do a project halfway and that this would be a fun journey!  Vanessa is from the town and has long had her eye on this house.  She says the previous owners were so gracious and excited about passing the torch to the young couple and had them over for dinner and a Christmas party!  I love these kind of house stories!

Notice how the early photo shows a windmill in the background and the street is today lined with much larger trees and a different landscape.  Photos like this are such a treasure for homeowners.  Below is the home before remodel started earlier this year.


I will be honest, when I saw the photo of the entry from previous homeowners, I thought “why are they planning so much work to the house.”

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This looks lovely right and it is..and this vista has stayed the same minus wall color.

But Mike and Vanessa wanted to do the behind the scenes restoration correctly and they new from inspections that much of the wiring and plumbing and rotting wood needed to be addressed before they could move in and eventually start adding to their family.  So they bit the bullet and with a local contractor decided to go to the studs and deal with all of those lighting and plumbing issues and a massive BEE ISSUE….thousands of bees in the walls had to be removed! Apparently this a major ordeal.  Who could blame the bees, I wouldn’t want to give up living in this great old home either! So new roof, new windows, a large percentage of wood replaced, new electrical and plumbing but much charm maintained like the porch and curves and steps and of course the floors inside. The house has been blue for many years but is now white after much discussion between the couple and I..we may do a blue door as a homage to the past color.


{And now nearing completion, slated for January 2016!}

Despite all of the updates little of the actual footprint of the house was changed, except the kitchen! Vanessa and Mike own Ooh La La Dessert Boutiques in Houston so the kitchen is a big priority for their family.  The kitchen will have a Le Cornue range and the once tiny kitchen had to be opened up into dining room to accomadate their ideas for an island and plenty of workspace and new gas range!  They maintained the integrity of the front (not huge) rooms, opening one wall up just a bit. This is a sneak peek of our plan for the kitchen. Classic white cabinets and wood floors, subway tile and marble are so fitting for this time period and the bakery lights are so Vanessa, as are the touches of lucite and french cooking nods. The Rifle wallpaper will be in the powder room off of the kitchen in the laundry! I think its a perfect mix of traditional but young too!


The truth is old houses aren’t for everyone, they are an investment and can be stressful to maintain, they have quirks like crazy stairs and small closets and little walls and doors that need to be creatively moved or accept but for those who love the charm, it is definitely worthwhile!


We are looking for a more age appropriate front door like the inspiration below to replace the 1970s one there currently.  Though who doesn’t love a screened door!?


So there you go…the journey of an old house back to its glory to protect and shelter yet another family.  It’s amazing to think how these homes survive hurricanes and wars and droves of honey bees but they do and I am so honored to be a part of this one!  Thank you Mike and Vanessa for asking me along this fun ride!


[Left to right, the home down to its studs, upper middle shows the master bath which faces the front of the house, the cute couple themselves, then Vanessa and I at the recent opening of True Blue Home and finally, the day of the major honey bee removal!]

True Blue’s Grand Opening Day

Well it finally arrived and y’all it was special day…after months of talking and planning with the owners, Cindy & Brian Taylor, and sketching (or having this amazing woman do the sketching), sourcing, researching, planning, planning, sometimes crying…being excited..being scared, praying, working and working…it all finally came together because so many worked so hard.  The Taylor’s amazing friends and family and some of my friends and of course precious Nana and my kids…all pulled together and Sunday we opened our doors!  And the community has been so warm and excited for us…thank you readers and clients that drove from afar and friends and family for cheering us all on!

True Blue Home is open!


Door photo by Becki Griffin, our logo is my Meg Sutton of Belle & Union.  We LOVED working with the beautiful, smart and SO talented Meg, truly!


We are so blessed to have several amazing photographer friends….Natalie Lange is one of them and she came by Saturday and took this below…we weren’t even finished styling and I am amazing at what she captured..thank you Natalie!


   We have lots of linen slipcovers and of course mucho blue and white!

TBHburleigh wall


The old brick walls of this historic building are such a beautiful backdrop for any product featured! A dream to decorate around! So glad Becki got this close up shot of the walls!

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One the other walls we did shilap and I love how it turned out!

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Our Visual Comfort sconce wall shows all of the different finishes (or the most popular) offered by Visual Comfort and all of our ceiling lights are also from VC, they have THE BEST hand rubbed brass finish as many of you know!



Photo By Becki Griffin of Curious Details both above and below…We had such a good turnout on Sunday afternoon..thank you everyone for coming out to help us celebrate!



 Lily Taylor below checking out customers, cutest shopgirl west of the Mississippi! And also a close up of our “mission statement” and me with my girl Melisse  (who is at the Red Barn this week as usual) who came out to support!


Also taken by Becki below, that is Brian, the other half of “Brian and Cindy” with his hand in the air pointing to the cypress doors..he is our expert on the cypress cornices and doors! Oh and notice those chalkboards..they have our mission statement and fun facts about the building..Cindy’s friend did them herself… I am so loving how they turned out! And the brass Eugene pendants..yum!


This is a sample of the cypress cornices we “import” from Louisiana, the Taylors’ home state!

   TBHbrickwallNLL TBHlamps

And of course we had monogram cookies y’all!


This is Cindy Taylor and I pictured below…no we aren’t related but people always ask if we are sisters and it always makes my day! We are kindred spirits in many ways both in our taste and in our priorities in life and vision for this store..pretty exciting!


In addition to furniture and pillows and Visual Comfort lighting we have paper, lots of paper and ribbon and prints as well..I love our mix!

 TBHpaper wall

And dishes, British pottery from Burleigh and Emma Bridgewater! Cindy and I are both anglophiles for sure! We will have jewelry designs by My London Flat including these made with antique shoe buckles and horse bridle rosettes!



So there you go a peek at our new store…we will be showing more on our new website soon. And we will be open 10-5 tomorrow through Saturday!!! Come see us 5080 Main Street in Chappell Hill, Texas, right of Hwy 290 between Houston and Austin near Brenham!


And thank you again Natalie and Becki for the generous photos..what a blessing!

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