A Houston Home with Plenty of Pizzazz

Custom sofas and club chairs upholstered in white canvas simultaneously heighten the dramatic feel and introduce tactile softness to the space, while gilded art deco–style consoles from a Paris flea market lend an air of elegance. Abbott says, “To expound on my mix more, I look for the proper balance between old and new, light and dark, soft and hard.”

Photography by Michael Hunter

Designer C. Renea Abbott found the striking 1960s paintings that star as a stacked duo in the formal living room at acclaimed McClain Gallery in Houston. She also has an eye for antiques, such as the two French noblemen plaster sculptures on display in this same room. She says, “I worked as an assistant for Irvine and Fleming, a New York firm, in the late ’80s. Keith Irvine gave me a crash course in high-end antiques. They would often send me out while we were doing an installation to find a perfect piece. This has remained a part of my design sense.”

From Manhattan penthouses to Los Angeles mansions, Houston-based designer C. Renea Abbott has run the gamut of décor projects, and even after more than 25 years in the business, she still enjoys a challenge. Such was the case for this abode belonging to Jay and Allie Fields. “The homeowners are a vibrant couple, involved in many charities,” Abbott says. “They top the list of the ‘young beautiful things.’” So for their new home near a high-end shopping mecca, the designer knew the look would need to be chic, sophisticated, and utterly fabulous.

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