There’s no denying that finding a home with good bones makes designing a space easy and fun. But what would you do if you could build your own dream home? That’s exactly what one young family set out to do with the help of Marie Flanigan, Principal Designer at Marie Flanigan Interiors. The result is this stunning home, located in Braeswood Place in Houston, Texas, filled with thoughtful details and neutral—but not boring—decor. It took 1.5 years to complete, from start to finish, so you know it’s good! We spoke with Marie to learn her inspiration for each room’s architectural and design-focused details (including a totally cute playroom!).
Design by: Marie Flanigan, Principal Designer at Marie Flanigan Interiors
Building by: Brickmoon Design
Photography by: Julie Soefer Photography
How did this project come about?
Our clients were building a new home and desired something traditional but with a fun, contemporary twist. They saw our work in a local publication and fell in love with our timeless, layered aesthetic and the rest is history!
What did the owners of the home express they wanted to see with the build and design of their new home?
This young family of four wanted an inviting home that boasted a modern vibe, while also offering a dose of warmth where they would feel comfortable really “living.” They requested durable, family-friendly materials and fun pops of color that would complement an otherwise neutral, texture-rich palette, all within a space that evoked a luxurious sense of minimalism.
What is your personal favorite piece in the home?
I’m personally in love with the dining room console table. We custom-designed that piece and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head since! From the textured finish to the lucite legs, it boasts such an exquisite balance between elements that are considered raw and those that are more refined.
Did you build first, then design? Or did you decide on more of the furnishings right from the start?
We were involved from the ground up, which is my favorite way to work. I assisted with the interior architectural detailing and interior and exterior finishes, as well as with the space-planning and furniture procurement. Our furniture design was completed roughly six months prior to the end of construction, so we were able to install the day the contractor finished, which is always a remarkable feat!
I know it was a long project, do you have a favorite memory of this design process?
Because we were involved at the onset of this project, there are so many lovely memories, but one of my favorites has to be designing the cement fireplace wall in the home’s living space. We spent hours selecting the perfect, streamlined fireplace and determining the wall’s exact proportions so that we could ensure its asymmetrical style felt natural and appealing.
The steel shelves are also amazing. What inspired that design?
That wall was so much fun to design! We were looking for some sort of architectural element that would make a strong statement while effectively tying together the home’s minimalist design. This cement wall manages to feel industrial without feeling cold, and its asymmetrical design offers the surrounding living space a distinguishing point of interest.
What was the biggest challenge(s) you ran into with this project?
The floating staircase with a seamless iron railing presented the most significant design challenge and we worked through numerous renditions before getting it just right!
I’m in love with the kitchen. How did you decide on that design and style of cabinet?
I love the kitchen too! Similar to the rest of the home, our desire was to maintain a simple color palette while turning up the texture. We opted for cabinets that feature a mix of wood and back-painted glass and then used black granite for the counters, backsplash, and hood, creating a seamless space that serves as the sleek, streamlined heart within this sophisticated home.
How would you describe the aesthetic of the home?
The home is warm and textural with a timeless blend of contemporary, traditional, and industrial elements.
How did you decide on the overall color palette?
We pulled inspiration from nature, using a variety of saturated earth tones while keeping the surrounding elements neutral. We want the home’s bold display of texture and vibrant art and accessories to tell the grandest story.
Any important design elements you think I missed?
The reproduction Serge Mouille sconces in the master bedroom are extraordinary! They are so inherently simple and function-focused that they can, at times, be overlooked, but they have this sculptural quality that is incredibly alluring.
The master bedroom—and the whole house, really—feels so serene. How did you go about accomplishing that?
Our goal for the master suite was for our clients to feel as though they’ve just stepped into a spa. I am continually inspired by Axel Vervoordt’s work, and that inspiration led to my minimalist approach in this space; I focused on a clean, restrained color palette accented by bold pops of color and texture.
An interesting element worth noting is that we redesigned the bathroom to have double facing vanities which took some serious engineering, but it’s incredibly unique and our clients love how it turned out!
I love how the playroom is still contemporary, but there’s a bit more color, and the wallpaper! What did you have in mind when designing that particular space?
We wanted to create a space that paid respect to the rest of the home while serving as the fun-filled, vibrant escape that every family dreams of! The room’s focal point is a playful, vintage-inspired mural and we had a blast pulling colors for the rest of the room straight from that palette.
There seems to be so many special details and uniquely designed items located throughout the home. The coffee table, shiny surface of the metallic vanity in one of the bathrooms, the hanging mirror in the master bath, the credenza in the dining room (just to name a few!). Where do you begin looking when you’re tasked with sourcing an entire home?
The beauty of a design lives in the details and, from structure to decor, we strive to master those elements. When sourcing furniture for a home, I don’t limit myself to a handful of vendors; I definitely have my favorites but our team is continually on the hunt for companies that can deliver fresh concepts anchored by quality craftsmanship. In the end, if we can’t find what we’re looking for in a showroom, we create it on our own and have it custom-built to our desired specifications. We work with some truly remarkable artisans on a daily basis and we love knowing that our collaboration has the power to bring distinctive design to life.