A Houston Home with Plenty of Pizzazz

Abbott combined pieces from the couple’s collections with found treasures, many from her store, Shabby Slips. which she co-founded with her mother, Barbara Carlton. For more than a decade, the shop specialized in custom slipcovers, and as the shop’s popularity grew, so did its offerings. It now includes exquisite antiques, furnishings, and other design elements that Abbott often uses in her projects. “I like to mix soft, contemporary upholstery with antique chests, consoles, and side chairs,” she says. “Not too traditional or modern, but transitional.”

Crystal lamps from Abbott’s shop, Shabby Slips, introduce sparkle to the master bedroom. An off-white leather bench from Oly acts as a modern moment amid classic décor elements. The large French gilded mirror from Watkins Culver hanging above the bed was almost a perfect fit—a foot had to be cut off to get the height right. Abbott says, “It was a big undertaking, but it was worth it.”

Abbott used those mix-and-matching skills to shape high-impact looks for the Fieldses. For the formal living room, she presented two paintings from the ’60s by Al Held, and the couple emphatically approved. In fact, they acquired a third painting—this one by Charles Christopher Hill— to complement the pair. Together the designer and clients found ways to incorporate Allie’s keen fashion sense into fabric choices and even gave subtle nods toward Jay’s work in the steel industry via fittings and finishes. The collaboration continued, and they added French sculptures, silk draperies, and other au courant accessories. The finished look is bold as well as beautiful, and the Fieldses now have a place to truly call their own.

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