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Traditional with a Twist in Houston

Gem-like ruby reds, amethyst purples, and emerald greens dazzle in this classic-meets-modern Houston home

Written by Sally Finder Weepie
  • Nathan Schroder

    Fate, it seems, had Katie Scott’s style—and that of her home—written in the stars. “I’m a true Gemini. I’m split right down the middle,” Katie says with a laugh. “I love French antiques, and at the same time I’m the total modern queen.”

    Twin affinities, however, pose no problem for this double-threat designer, who creates both jewelry and interiors. She successfully merged her two aesthetic sides in the Houston home she shares with husband Stanton and their four kids.

    Traditional architecture characterizes the Houston home’s exterior. 

    Photography: Nathan Schroder   
    Produced by Tori Mellott

    Interior designer: Katie Scott, Katie Scott Design, 5773 Woodway Drive, Suite 270, Houston, TX 77057; 713/973-7384,  

  • Nathan Schroder

    Alluring Entry

    “The house had a lot of traditional French influence, with all this beautiful, detailed millwork,” Katie says. “I embraced that, and then went bold and modern with furnishings. I like to mix old and new. The tension creates excitement.”

    Katie’s unique fusion isn’t shy about introducing itself. “The outside of the house is so traditional,” she says. “But when you open the door, you see this clean, modern acrylic console and a contemporary painting that draws you in like a maze. It dives deep. It sparks curiosity. I like to get people wondering, What else is inside this house? ”

    An antique bust juxtaposed against a modern work by Austin artist Sarah C. Ferguson. 

    Console table (“Stealth Console Table”); vase (“Limited Edition Acrylic Vortex Vase”): Alexandra Von Furstenberg,
    Art behind console (by Sarah Ferguson): Dimmitt Contemporary Art,
    Candle (“Rose Poivrée”): Cire Trudon,
    Bust (antique): Bremmerman Designs,
    Area rug (“Vintage Over-Dye”/Deep Purple): Madison Lily Rugs,

  • Nathan Schroder

    Traditional Meets Contemporary

    Stepping into the living room, the answer is evident. The home’s ornate original millwork and a jaw-dropping trumeau above the fireplace—all coated in white—are juxtaposed against what Katie calls her “shocker” furniture, a clean-lined sofa covered in purple velvet and two modern chairs upholstered in fiery red. An antique bench and French side chairs are classic in form but dressed for today in kid-proof black faux leather and bold citron fabric. 

    Commode against wall (Louis Philippe); mirror above commode (18th-century Italian): Tara Shaw,
    Buffet lamps (“Hargett Buffet Lamp” #SP3011, by J. Randall Powers for Visual Comfort): Circa Lighting,
    Black and white art by commode: by Matt Shlian,
    Chairs flanking commode; bench: antique.
    Bench fabric (“Love,” in color 003): Dedar,
    Area rug (“Umbra,” by Paul Smith): The Rug Company,
    Red chairs (“Sophia Chairs”): by Kate Scott Design,
    Fabric (“Carlton” #2697-12, by Sahco): Donghia,
    Acrylic side table: Bremmerman Designs,
    Coffee table: owner’s collection.
    Sofa (“Nola”): Katie Scott Design,
    Sofa fabric (“Glenville”/Violet #F1872/23, by Designers Guild): Osborne & Little,

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    Pop of Purple

    “It looks beautiful, but it’s user-friendly—this is our family hangout,” Katie says. “There’s no yellow tape saying ‘Do not enter.’ If a room is untouchable, what’s the point?”

    Sleek furniture pieces by homeowner and designer Katie Scott are covered in eye-popping color.

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    Sitting Area

    Chairs from B&B Italia bask in the light of a bay window. 

    Pair of black chairs (“Lazy ‘05,” by Patricia Urquiola); table between chairs (“Frank Side Table,” by Antonio Citterio): B&B Italia,
    Floor lamp (“Studio Adjustable Floor Lamp” #91025 AN): Circa Lighting,

  • Nathan Schroder


    French antiques, including this graceful settee and striking crucifix, are an important part of Katie’s aesthetic. They also speak to the soulful side of this New Orleans native. “I’m hugely into meditation and prayer,” she says. “I’m grounded in peace.” 

    Settee (French antique): Thompson + Hanson,
    Settee fabric (“Tiber”/Noir #F1736/14, by Designers Guild): Osborne & Little,
    Table (“Saarinen Side Table” #2264): Design Within Reach,
    Crucifix: Kay O’Toole Antiques and Eccentricities, 713/523-1921.

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    The pebbled patio—a relaxing spot for Katie and Stanton—is outfitted with a table and chairs from JANUS et Cie. 

    Dining table (“Barcelona Dining Table”); dining chairs (“Laszlo Lounge Chairs”): Janus et Cie,

  • Nathan Schroder

    Dining Area 

    Open to the living room, the dining area serves up a casual vibe with slipcovered dining chairs, a vivacious purple rug, and a cheeky montage by photographer Heidi Lender. The photos, from the series “She Can Leap Tall Buildings,” play to Katie’s personality and goals. “I want to be that woman who can do it all—be the world traveler, the sexy wife, the yogi, the DIY genius who can fix her own kitchen faucet,” she says. “I also just love how fun it is. I want my kids to appreciate a sense of humor.”

    A Philippe Starck dining table and a spider sconce from France & Son infuse the dining room with modern character that’s all the more striking when set against classic millwork. 

    Wall light (“Three Arm Spider Sconce” #MSC-SP3): France & Son,
    Area rug (“Overleaf,” by Marni): The Rug Company,
    Dining table (“Top Top Table,” by Philippe Starck): Hive,
    Dining chairs (“Peplo,” by Antonio Citterio); chair fabric (“Epiro” #2046153): B&B Italia,
    Photographs (She Can Leap Tall Buildings, by Heidi Lender): Guthrie Contemporary Gallery,  

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    Petite Bar

    Folding doors partition off the clever bar area.

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    Sunny Space

    Kid-friendly accoutrements continue in the kitchen, where casual seats—white metal stools plumped with cheery yellow cushions—perch alongside the kitchen island. Limestone-tile floors lend an earthiness to the unfussy space.

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    Cheerful Kitchen

    White lacquered cabinets capped in Carrara marble mesh with a white subway-tile backsplash to create a clean, bright atmosphere. Here and throughout the house, fresh flowers and greenery brim with life. “I love to bring the outdoors in,” Katie says. “I’m drawn to nature and to light. It feeds me energy.” 

    An Oushak rug and yellow cushions work with fresh flowers and plants to bring a hint of Katie’s color crushes to the streamlined kitchen. 

    Area rug (Oushak): Carol Piper Rugs,
    Bar stools (Knoll Bertoia Barstools” #207782): Design Within Reach,
    Bowl by range holding fruit (“Joker,” by Nicole Aebischer): B&B Italia,
    Coffee maker: Nespresso,
    Flamingo: owner’s collection. 

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    Homeowner Katie Scott designed the custom sofa in her kids' playroom. A colorful rug from The Rug Company adds a kaleidoscopic pattern underfoot.

    Sofa (custom): katie Scott Design,
    Sofa fabric (“Adamo & Eva”/Opera): Dedar,
    Area rug (“Zap,” by Fiona Curran): The Rug Company,
    Table in front of sofa (“Martini Side Table”); floor lamp (product line varies): West Elm,
    Drapery (“Cabana Stripes”/Black and White): The Curtain Exchange,
    Chair-and-ottoman (product line varies): Ikea,
    Pillow on chair (“Westwood,” by Vivienne Westwood); pillow on sofa (“Mouth,” by Vivienne Westwood): The Rug Company,
    Art to left of doorway (by Gary John): Bruce Lurie Gallery, 310/876-1780. 

  • Nathan Schroder

    Master Bedroom 

    Similarly, expanses of light, bright white—combined with selective splashes of sophisticated black on the lacquered canopy bed and modern art—form a clean canvas, the perfect envelope for the master bedroom.

    Then Katie’s bold side roars back. At the foot of the bed, a fearless red sofa matches the intensity of an emerald green rug featuring a Diane von Furstenberg climbing-leopard design. “It’s seductive,” Katie says. “It feels like the leopard is exploring. And that’s where I am in my life. I used to be this all-white-interiors person. But as I’ve grown and evolved, I’ve come to love rich color. I’ve become adventurous.”

    Swaths of black and white from the canopy bed, table lamp, and Cecil Touchon art temper the heady jewel tones of the rug and upholstered pieces. Mirrored and crystal pieces add a touch of glamour.

    Area rug (“Climbing Leopard,” by Diane von Fursenberg); pillow on sofa (“Hummingbird Cushion,” by Alexander McQueen): The Rug Company,
    Coffee table: vintage.
    Acrylic box on coffee table (“AVF Acrylic Limited Edition Ascher Box”): Alexandra von Furstenberg,
    Candle: Cire Trudon,
    Flowers: David Brown Flowers,
    Gilded chair (Gilded Italian Antique Chair): Nate Berkus Interiors,
    Sofa (by Crashpad): ABC Carpet & Home,
    Art (by Cecil Touchon): Laura Rathe Fine Art, Through Dimmitt Contemporary Art,
    Canopy bed (discontinued): Williams-Sonoma Home,
    Bed linens: Pratesi,
    Red hide accent pillow: Kyle Bunting,

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    Master Bath

    Colorful art by Nicola Rix and a gilded antique Italian chair pop like jewels against the white setting of the master bath. 

    Gilded chair (antique Italian): Nate Berkus Interiors,
    Art (by Nicola Rix): Dimmitt Contemporary Art,

  • Nathan Schroder

    Kids’ Room

    The adventurous spirit marches on in the room shared by Katie and Stanton’s youngest kids, Stella and Shepherd. Bunk beds piled with fun graphic pillows snuggle up to a tiger rug, while stuffed ape mascot “Mr. Fuzzy” swings from the ceiling. A citron stool acts like a ray of sunshine. And a wall light spells out the Scott family mantra: dream. “I tell my kids to dream big,” Katie says. “Be bold. Don’t decide against doing something or trying something because you’re afraid you might fail. That’s the best advice I’ve ever heard: It’s OK to fail.”

    A “Wiggle” side chair by Frank Gehry suits the playful mood of Shepherd and Stella’s room. 

    Area rug (“Tiger,” by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby); pillow on top bunk (“Zig Zag Cushion,” by Paul Smith): The Rug Company,
    Lips pillow: Oeuf,
    Chair (“Wiggle Chair,” designed by Frank Gehry): Hive,
    Cube table (“Hex Ottoman”/Thurmond Citron”): Blu Dot,
    Bedding and black mask pillowcase (“Quirky Cats,” by Beau Loves): Minou Kids,
    Swinging ape (“Fuzzy”): Blue Leaf Houston,

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    Daughter's Room

    Daughter Susan, 16, can always keep an eye on her dream, thanks to a Christmas gift of artwork from Mom and Dad. It’s a small part of this chic teen haven, where hits of green and yellow on pillows, in the large artwork over the bed, and on the scalloped-edge linens put pop in a calm sea of white. The little painting commissioned from artist Ken Tate hangs over a sleek sofa, keeping Susan’s hero, Ellen Pompeo—Dr. Meredith Grey on Grey’s Anatomy—always in sight. “Susan loves it,” Katie says. “She calls it her motivation for medical school.” 

    Bed linens: Leontine Linens,
    Art behind bed (Eva, by Gavin Rain): Laura Rathe Fine Art, Through Dimmitt Contemporary Art,
    Desk (product line varies): West Elm,
    Chair (“Louis Ghost”/Glossy White, by Philippe Starck): Kartell,
    Sofa (“Dr. Pitt Sectional” in White Canvas): Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams,
    Skull pillow (“Skull Sapphire”): Kyle Bunting,
    Art behind sofa (Ellen Pompeo art, by Ken Tate): Dimmitt Contemporary Art,

  • Nathan Schroder

    Daughter's Bedroom

    A Neo-Pointillist-style painting by Gavin Rain tops the bed in Susan’s bedroom. The sweet Leontine Linens bedding offers a wisp of sunny yellow, while a skull pillow is all about modern attitude.

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    Katie and husband Stanton like to unwind on the patio with kids Susan, 16; Sophia, 13; Stella, 5; and Shepherd, 4.

    Hammock (“Headdemock”): Fatboy USA,
    Dining table (“Barcelona Dining Table”/White); dining chairs (“Laszlo Lounge Chair”/White): Janus et Cie,

  • Werner Segarra