The Old Reds of West University

THE OLD REDS OF WEST UNIVERSITY A little seagrass, a few new slipcovers, a plate on the wall — Joni Webb brings a house on Albans Rd. up to date: The dining room was formerly painted a deep red – typical of most West U homes decorated in the 90s. We repainted the upper half a deeper aqua found in the family room, leaving the wainscot painted white. The owner waited to use her table, chairs and buffet – which were a dated dark reddish brown stained wood. We had these pieces painted a distressed gray to be more in keeping with the lighter wall color.” [Cote de Texas]

16 Comment

  • And in 10 years she will come back and say “The dining room was formerly painted a deeper aqua – typical of most West U homes decorated in the twenty-teens.” I really don’t like trends. They’re good for designers, but not for the homeowner.

  • When does a “dated dark reddish brown stained wood” dining set become a “vintage dining set”….something about the ‘eye of the beholder’?

    I don’t like trends either.

  • *Gag* that living room looks like something you’d see in a 40 year old condo on S. Padre

  • So what would you consider a classic wall paint color and furniture style that will withstand the test of twenty years? This should prove to be interesting…………

  • Antique furniture or faithful reproductions are timeless. Good quality never goes out of style. Time-honored interior design techniques that are attentive to proportion, scale, light, color, and texture will also transcend fads. Unfortunately, most of the nouveau riche residents of West U aren’t sophisticated enough to recognize good quality design. They either latch on to trends, hoping to impress others by having the latest thing, or they fill their homes with cheap oil paintings and badly-proportioned reproductions of antique American furniture.

  • Yawn. The riskiest design element taken in this entire interior seems to be the subway tile in the kitchen. I recognize colors and styles come and go, but all I think when I see this is 1980s beach house. It would’ve been nice to see a pop of color (aside from the chocolate brown wall – how unoriginal) somewhere in that living space.

  • JT: There are thousands of shades of white and tan that stand the test of time. It might sound boring to some, but at least it’s not going out of style, and at least you won’t pay thousands of dollars each decade to redo it. You can decorate with classic furniture and good art and rugs that will last decades. You can make little changes to update the look every few years. But if you have the money to hire a designer and buy the trends, go for it.

  • I keep trying to like her style because I think she’s a very sweet blogger–enthusiastic and funny. But she just puts too many sets of things in that re-do. Two lamps, two candlesticks in the dining room. Two ball thingies, two vases, two matching lamps, two topiaries, two pillows in the family room, two white plates in the den. . . eesh.

    And I just don’t get seagrass floor covering. I like to sit on the floor, and seagrass is itchy and prickly and not comfortable at all. And dust gets down in it that the vacuum can’t reach. I witnessed the aftermath when someone pulled out seagrass. It was disgusting underneath.

    But, again, I like the blogger. She’s fun. Her design is just not my taste.

  • I also like the blogger and do read her site regularly – but I wish she would funk it up a little. Her decorating is very pleasant and inoffensive, but good design should also take risks and not follow such a strict formula.

    Regarding the dining room, red doesn’t have to scream 90’s – just about any color can be timeless. It’s all about the execution – decorating with what YOU (and not your West U neighbors) love and not trying to be so matchy matchy with everything.

  • I happen to like the decor, and love the blogger!

    However, I agree that the gray painted wood will be just as dated in 20 years as the cherry finish could ever be. It’s planned obsolescence, just like in Detroit. That’s what keeps us all buying jeans and throw pillows every few years.

  • Seagrass? That’s what I had in my first apartment 1973.

  • Okay folks, “classic furniture, good art, antique furniture and faithful reproductions”
    doesn’t answer the question. How do you know that Sally jane Smith doesn’t consider her Americana motif with lacey dolls, ducks and dusty blues and mauves classic?

    Exactly what is classic? High Victorian? Louis XV French? Jens Rissom Scandanavian?
    American 18th century? All of the above can look just as dated.

    So they paint the walls blue? So they paint them red? Color trends usually stay for 10 years. Why would anyone want to have the same decor for thirty plus years? Just like life, furnishings evolve and fortunately styles do as well. Considering that some on this board think Mid Century is the be all end all, at the time, it was considered quite trendy.

    Carol, I have to ask? Have you changed your hairstyle or your fashion style since you came of age? I hope so cuz otherwise it gets pretty ho hum.

  • JT – in my opinion, if Sally loves ducks and doilies and that reflects HER style, then I’d say that’s great. It’s when people decorate to follow a trend that makes it look dated. Realistically, I think most people’s taste will run somewhat eclectic – either because most people don’t have one-dimensional taste or because they oftentimes include items that have meaning to them (i.e. you might love mid century modern, but you also love that funky old vase your grandmother left you). That combination makes it look more dynamic – and ultimately less dated – than just decorating with one trend.

    What bothers me about a lot of decorators is that the same stuff appears over and over and over again – which implies to me that the furniture/colors/patters/etc aren’t in the house because people actually LOVE them but because the decorator thinks it looks good – and then it reflects the taste of the decorator, not the client. That ALWAYS look dated – even when it’s “of the moment.”

  • well this is refreshing. on my blog i got over 200 fawning compliments about this house. here – zilch, zero. everyone hates its. glad the owners aren’t reading this!
    yes, my decorating here is pretty formula = it’s not rocket science. but when you have a small budget, you can’t buy antiques and make it unique. plus, i’d venture to guess i am lot older than all of you – i just don’t do adventurous decorating anymore. enjoyed the comments immensely.

  • one more thing – design styles last 10 years – then it all looks dated. every decade is easily identified. most people who decorate their house change it up after 10 to 15 years. styles do change. there’s no doubt in my mind that this will look dated in 10 years – anything would. unless you use only period french antiques, your decor is going to date. just the accessories alone. in 10 years, your pottery barn things are going to be so out of style. it all changes.

  • Joni,

    You only have to read this blog to know that some of these folks haven’t got a clue.
    Stained Mahogany Sheraton/Shield Back furniture was a “design trend” in the 1930s and 40s. The house you did looks fresh and it was a nice twist to see Grandma’s dining set with a new application