Contemporary strokes of color and pattern mingle with old-world touches in a Houston home.
Bright, bold pattern and old-world charm find common ground in a Houston designer’s home.
This photo: Janet crafted a showstopping moment by pairing a sleek black-and-white cabinet—which is part of her new line of custom furniture—with an antique chair animated by a contemporary hand-painted fabric. “I love art on furniture—it instantly makes a statement,” she says. The wall art is by Donald Martiny. Opposite: The living room’s expansive Charles Hollis Jones coffee table features removable nesting tables.
The pairing of an elaborately carved bergère with a fabric featuring uninhibited strokes of black streaked across a white background is a metaphor of sorts for designer Janet Gust’s decorating style.
She’s passionate about mixing old and new, and she isn’t afraid to do it in a bold way that’s at once refined and edgy.
Her affinity for shaking up the status quo is on display in her 6,000-square-foot home in Houston, which she shares with her husband, Rick Gregory, and three French bulldogs, Gabby, Polly, and Izzy. “It was a blank canvas when I walked in, all in white, just waiting for art and color,” she says. Like any great artist, Janet prepared her work surface, bringing in engineered French oak flooring in variegated hues to add dimension, depth, durability, and warmth. Then she layered on the accessories.
In the living room, she flanked an ornate 17th-century French cheminée with simply carved 12-foot-tall French doors. “I had the doors in storage with the hope that one day they would have a purpose,” she says. “They make the space.” A tête-à-tête chaise in luxe velvet hangs out in front of the fireplace with a Charles Hollis Jones coffee table. Bold strokes of color are introduced via a cream rug enlivened with intersecting navy lines. The blue repeats in accent pillows on the sofa, where a hint of chartreuse also shows up—just to keep the blue, white, and black palette on edge.
The living room’s colors continue into the kitchen, where painted canvases showcase the hues in lieu of a traditional tile backsplash. The range wall originally had upper cabinets, but Janet ripped them out to make way for a custom high-gloss hood. Its sleek black finish mimics that of an automobile’s shine, providing the focal point Janet felt the room was missing. “I believe a house should flow,” she says, “As with a good book, each room is the next chapter. This house had beautiful symmetry, but no character, so I had to inject it.”
Bold doses of black are woven throughout the interiors, in furnishings and fabrics, adding drama to the home’s white shell. “I gravitate to large prints that make bold statements,” Janet says. “I know what works together because I take the time to study what I am buying and how each purchase will relate to the other items in the room.”
The master suite relies heavily on graphic renderings of black-and-white motifs, but the mood is lightened by flashes of silver and Lucite pieces that whisper rather than shout their presence. “Great design makes you happy,” Janet says. “I have a passion and put my heart and soul in every project.”
“I know how to design a comfortable space and build a story that is not yet written.”—
DESIGNER AND HOMEOWNER JANET GUST
This photo: Boldly patterned black-andwhite draperies frame a Lucite four-poster in the master bedroom. “I love that the bedframe is subdued but still makes a statement,” Janet says. Opposite: Black tile borders the master bath’s white marble tilework, giving the space an
Art Deco vibe.
This photo: The boho design vision shared by Anthea and Anton Newbury and designer Kim Stephen for this vacation home in South Africa is manifest in the great-room, where ethnic textiles, animal print accessories, and inlaid tables come together in an exquisite expression of hippie glamour. A large-scale kaleidoscopic artwork adds an explosion of color without requiring any deviation from the home’s all-white walls. Opposite: Sculptural white wicker chairs allow the eye to travel unimpeded from the great-room out to stunning ocean views.
Designer and homeowner Janet Gust converted two 16th-century candlesticks found in France into lamps for her living room. Tall black shades give the antiques a modern crown. 76