WHEN Jill Brown started designing her household dwelling in Bellville, simply outdoors Houston, the housewares supplier’s imaginative and prescient was formed extra by the standard vernacular structure of her native Ohio than the ritzy limestone ranches of her adopted Texas. “The thought was to construct a basic American farmhouse,” Ms. Brown defined.
She and her architect and collaborator, the late Reagan Miller, drew largely on vintage supplies, an strategy that lends the brand new construct a convincingly storied air. However in Ms. Brown’s palms conventional by no means interprets to staid. “Don’t get me fallacious, I really like a white farmhouse,” she mentioned with amusing. “However I really like colour extra.”
The house’s wealthy inside palette consists of coral reds, inky blues, ocher yellows and natural greens—colours that nod to early American design whereas concurrently studying as daring and present. Different conventional components, just like the plain wrought-iron curtain rods in the main bedroom and Shaker-style joinery within the kitchen, subtly carry a “fashionable primitive” aesthetic—which Ms. Brown traces to her mom’s ardour for American crafts—all through the home. “That model is very easy to make look recent” she mentioned. “I believe one of the best items are those that make it onerous to inform whether or not they have been made in 1810 or yesterday.”
Peacock blue and mustard yellow within the galley kitchen evoke each Colonial Williamsburg and artwork of the Dutch masters. However in daring mixture, they’re adventurous and up to date. As to the dramatic Shaker-style cabinetry, necessity was the mom of monumentality. “I’ve means an excessive amount of tableware, so I wanted tons of storage—that’s why the cupboards go to the ceiling,” defined Ms. Brown. Fashionable fixtures illuminate the workspace, however on the far finish of the room, a beloved baroque Flemish chandelier crowns a eating nook. “Some folks don’t like them as a result of they assume they’re old style, however I believe they’re past tendencies.”
Ms. Brown calls this distinctive pair of sunshine fixtures in an space of the sitting room—a conventional Delft desk lamp bought throughout her years overseas in Belgium and a up to date mosaic flooring lamp assembled from damaged movement blue dishware and mirrors—a “hilarious” play on scale. “I really like how they relate, and the combo of intellectual and low,” she mentioned. She places that dynamic to work once more with the oversize Artwork Deco-era alphabet chart (one among many Ms. Brown collected from outdated European schoolhouses) on the wall. “On one hand you could have these glossy traces within the lettering, and on the opposite you may see the stays of the unique pencil marks from the schoolroom,” she mentioned. “It creates this glorious distinction of glamour and utility.”
Barefoot within the Park
Whereas the solid-green painted flooring in the main bedroom appear avant-garde, their inspiration couldn’t be extra conventional: the ground of the doorway corridor to Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s neoclassical masterpiece. “Greens are fairly straightforward to stay with as a result of there are such a lot of in nature,” mentioned Ms. Brown. “And it was a strategy to deliver the outside in, nearly such as you have been strolling on grass.” A mixture of her mom’s vintage textiles and cushions adorn the mattress. Above, the window trim is completed in jadeite turquoise, and the ceiling is painted a pale shade of celadon meant to appear like a mirrored image of the lacquered flooring beneath. “Although they give the impression of being completely different,” Ms. Brown mentioned, “there’s a relationship that builds between all of the completely different planes of colour and tones.”
A crate of vintage encaustic tiles Ms. Brown salvaged from a circa-1860 dwelling in Belgium impressed the grasp rest room’s heat, sensual palette of brick crimson and toasty wheat. Additionally they add a jolt of grandeur to the room’s in any other case understated furnishings and fittings. “My default setting is at all times easy,“ mentioned Ms. Brown. “The tiles are ornate of their sample, however there’s additionally one thing plain about that type of repetition.” Subsequent to the marble-topped self-importance and swish chair, straight, up to date edges body an expressionist nude, one among many within the room. “None of them are valuable, however I really like the colours, and so they give me a lot pleasure.”
In the lounge, canny modifications to a voluptuous Victorian camelback couch mood its baroque high quality. Ms. Brown eliminated a little bit of carved trim from the highest and constructed up the ft to create a sleeker, increased perch. “I appreciated the problem of determining find out how to take one thing so conventional and modernize it,” she mentioned. Beneath the world rug, a cultured concrete flooring provides edginess, and inserting the cast-iron fixtures overhead in an sudden geometric grid updates the 19th-century lights, that are sourced from Ms. Brown’s store, Brown Home & Wares, opening in Houston in September.