Modern Merger

Décor - - Contents - Writer April Hard­wick pho­tog­ra­pher Julie Soe­fer pro­ducer Donna Tal­ley

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.”—


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

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