In the heart of Houston, Texas, Marie Flanigan Interiors, an internationally acclaimed design firm, has been skillfully crafting some of the nation’s most elegant interiors. Complemented by a team of talented design professionals, principle Marie Flanigan draws from her architectural background to create inspiring environments. Uncompromising craftsmanship, quality, and taste are present in each thoughtful selection – from the handpainted wallpaper to the perfectly plush cushions. In Marie’s words, “The beauty of a truly great interior is found in the details of each object.”
Behind the Design with Marie Flanigan
Like the interiors she designs, Marie Flanigan is a picture of effortless elegance and southern charm. We asked Marie to take us “behind the design” of one recent residential project, a dazzling historic home filled with Gabby furniture and lighting,
Awash in natural light, the remarkable Houston home balances historic preservation with progressive style. The first-time homeowners, accustomed to apartment living, turned to Marie Flanigan Interiors for a timeless design that could seamlessly adapt to family life. MFI unveiled a home filled with heirloom-quality furnishings, sophisticated simplicity, and enveloping warmth.
How did you balance preservation with progress inside this historical property?
Our clients enjoyed high-rise apartment living before moving into this home where they decided it was time to put down roots in preparation for their future family. This was their first shared home and they wanted to make it their own while also maintaining the charming, more traditional elements of the house that first drew them in. We left the home’s footprint primarily intact making significant cosmetic changes that would subtly modernize the home. As with many older homes, the rooms are segmented, each fulfilling a unique role. Where many clients are tempted to tear down walls to further connect the spaces, this family opted to conserve each room’s individual purpose, uniting them through a cohesive use of color and texture.
You were tasked with blending French Traditional and tailored, masculine style. How did you achieve this modern mix?
One word – juxtaposition! Contrast proved to be a very powerful tool, especially when selecting upholstery fabrics and finishes for the accent pieces. Rich leather club chairs are positioned next to soft linen sofas, and sleek metal side tables sit atop plush, richly-textured rugs. By marrying complementary textures and materials, we were able to achieve a balance that doesn’t lean too intensely masculine or feminine.
How did you use interior design to complement the original architecture of the home?
Interiors and architecture are deeply intertwined and our goal is to enhance the dialogue between the two. Subtle choices like placing a mirror opposite a window to reflect and optimize natural light may seem small but they produce a powerful and lasting impact. We also hung drapery as high and wide as possible to maximize the flow of sunlight throughout the day. In the dining room, we chose a custom, hand-painted wallcovering from Gracie Studio with a garden pattern that was expertly applied around the surrounding architectural elements. I love how each flower appears to grow lovingly within the windows and door.
Did you face any unique design challenges? Remember that beautiful little powder bath?
It definitely gave us a run for our money! The mirror broke several times as holes were being drilled for the sconces and plumbing fixtures, resulting in the need to have the piece rebuilt (third time was the charm!) Prior to that, we had to invent a creative solution to properly support the weight of the heavy marble sink without compromising the mirror. Each phase of constructing that space had to be completed in a tightly ordered sequence, so every setback ended up having a ripple effect. Needless to say, it was a hefty lesson in project management. The end result appears deceptively simple, because the process that went into achieving that look was anything but!
Why did you select Gabby products for this project?
Gabby offers a stylish mix that perfectly met our clients’ tastes – think a slightly European bent with a tailored, modern edge. They were drawn to the antiqued appearance of the finishes and how the application of slight distressing would be adept at concealing daily wear and tear. Gabby lighting and furnishings are both elegant and approachable for a young couple creating their sophisticated dream home.
Connect with Marie Flanigan Interiors online at www.marieflanigan.com and on Instagram @marieflaniganinteriors.