The designer was asked to renovate her childhood home in Houston.

Katie Davis responded quickly when a client asked her to renovate a ranch-style 1950s Houston home. Davis recognized the layout of the house and its location in Houston’s Memorial district as the family described it.

Davis’ childhood house was the result of destiny. This house has shaped my life. When I was in the sixth grade, my parents hired a designer to renovate the house. I witnessed this process. She says, “I credit my mother for introducing to me a world that I didn’t even know existed.” For the clients, she transformed the dining room into a music-themed space, made their sunroom better suited for entertaining, and updated several other areas. Her immediate familiarity with the house made the process so special. “I had an overwhelming feeling of comfort when I walked in the door,” says she. Even though the furniture wasn’t mine and the layout had been altered, at its heart, the home has unique spaces that feel interesting and unique. What a wonderful moment of complete reversal!

Davis shared the details of designing the home she once shared with her parents and brother. Here are her six best pieces of advice, whether it’s creating versatile spaces for a family of five today or finding ways to pay a unique homage to the original designs:

Paint colors can be inspired by wallpaper.

The wallpaper leaves were used to pull the green color from the cabinetry (Benjamin Moore Saybrook Sage). Ballard Designs’ rectangular mirrors with ruffled edges add to the whimsical appeal.

Create an “outdoor” living room.

The sunroom, with its natural backdrop and plenty of seating options, is ideal for gatherings. The sectional sofa and Palecek chairs give the room a cozy feel. Davis describes the room as “a special place” and recalls that it was her favorite playroom as a kid.

Tone-on-tone is an excellent technique.

Monochromatic rooms don’t need to be boring. The entry nook, originally a cedar wardrobe before Davis’s parents reconfigured it, is characterized by a mix of Schumacher fabrics for the custom couch and walls. This keeps the space looking fresh and inviting. Paule Marrot created the butterfly print.

Feature art you love.

Davis: “The only thing that matters is whether or not it makes you feel happy.” The clients selected a photograph of tumbleweeds by Dallas artist Allison V. Smith for the music room that had previously been her family’s dining room. Davis remembers, “This room was very special. We spent so many holidays there with our family and friends.”

Renew classic colors

Davis incorporated classic blue elements as a tribute to her childhood home, featuring bright blue tiles, paint colors, and patterned fabrics. Davis chose versatile and modern pieces that could also grow with the house. Davis chose a floral fabric bench and a blue headboard that reminded her of “a cute cottage.” The court also serves as storage for Barbies and dolls.

Play with patterns

Davis wanted the boys’ room to feel youthful yet masculine and mature. She says, “I love the stripes wallpaper.” It adds interest to a simple room. She then layered patterned throw pillows on top of the antique artwork and hung them above the beds.

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