An Elegant Ranch Home Serves as a Family Retreat on the Range
By Sandra Cook • Photography by Miro Dvorscak
Houstonians relish their world-class culture, dynamic business environment and social scene within the big city, but, being Texans, wide-open spaces beckon. It may start with weekend jaunts to the Hill Country, but for some, a home in the country provides the ultimate escape.
With 25 years’ experience, Houston designer Januari Works, RID, ASID, has worked with a broad spectrum of clients on projects large and small and has recently completed design projects for country homes for several clients. For one of those homes, set on a secluded property on rolling terrain about an hour northwest of Houston, Works was referred through a previous client and builder Carl Cunningham, with whom she has collaborated on multiple custom homes.
“The client had toured a previous project with the builder and eventually signed on with the builder and my company, Design Works as well,” says Works. “The builder and I worked out the look of the trusses, the stonework and the transitions from space to space and just how to trim it out and keep the integrity of the home’s design.”
Works was charged with creating the interior design and finishing touches for a ranch house to be used as a getaway for a large family, including three generations, each with their own ideas and opinions.
A FAMILY THAT COOKS
While the family wanted the feel of a typical one-story ranch house, they sought degrees of separation that would allow privacy when the whole family stayed in the home, yet craved a central, communal hub for shared memories as a family. That central hub is, of course, a large kitchen/living/dining area that spans 60 feet across and features vaulted ceilings that reach more than 18 feet high. Off the back this central area, a well-equipped outdoor kitchen allows for all of the various cooks to each have their own cooking spaces.
Arriving at a somewhat formal ranch aesthetic, the color palate throughout the home is comprised of soft neutrals and especially soft earth tones, such as sage green and natural woods. In the kitchen, a special glazing on the cabinets and a custom copper vent hood add visual warmth to the space. “The result is a good blend for city folks who also enjoy being out in the country,” says Works.
Lighting was carefully considered and offers a variety of settings, including various levels of task lighting and special settings for day and evening to deliver decorative accents and create ambiance as desired. Wrought iron and glass chandeliers yield an elegant glow with Western flair.
Craftsman Dale Dickenson of Burton used trees that were removed from the property during construction to shape exotic accent pieces, such as the mantle and door headers. Works designed custom leather sofas for comfy seating near the fireplace, and a pair of French chairs with ottomans provide pretty spots to stretch out.
A PLACE TO WIND DOWN
According to Works, the grandfather had a very specific vision for his wine cellar, which was essentially a man cave that celebrates his love of wine. A staircase leads down to the underground cellar, which features walls in thin-cut brick from The Detering Company, which are also used in a herringbone pattern on the floor. Works tapped Wharton, Texas-based glass artist Ellen Abbot to create the custom grapevine etching on the glass door. Works made use of two small slabs of distinctive Breccia Vendome granite to top the token counter surfaces in the wine cellar.
The wood-paneled ceiling showcases the use of knotty alderwood. The cabinetry and millwork contractors collaborated to deliver the specialized shelving and wood trim throughout the wine cellar. “They all did a great job and were super to work with in achieving the final effect,” says Works.
A FAMILY AFFAIR
With three married couples and two sets of young children, Works was tasked to design three different bedroom suites for grown-ups, plus quarters for kiddos.
“They were very democratic and everyone got to vote on the choices, so decisions didn’t happen quickly,” explains Works. “There were a lot of opinions, and in the end, beauty prevailed, and that’s the whole point.”
The result is an elegant, yet comfy ranch house for the whole family to enjoy.
Januari Works, RID, ASID
BATHTUB IN MASTER BATH
AND INTERIOR BRICK
The Detering Company
6800 Helmers St.
CARPENTER FOR TRIM
Millwood Cabinets LLC
1200 1st Monday Lane
WINE CELLAR DOOR
Custom Etched Glass
CUSTOM WOODWORKING FOR MANTEL
Olympus Marble Inc.
2141 Bingle Road
4211 Richmond Ave.
Lonestar Range Hood Co.
1226 Jackson Blvd.
D&D Drapery Co.
5000 San Jacinto St.
Samuel & Sons (trim)