City Living in This Glamorous High Rise Condo

A handsome and moody master bedroom with upholstered bed frame and watercolor walls

Change is one of life’s guarantees. And change can be a wonderful thing! From the adventure of raising a family to the joy of a new travel adventure, we were made to adapt.

One of the great joys about being a designer is that we see the changes our clients go through as we work together. We have been there as clients get engaged (while not there for the proposal!), and we’ve changed plans from mancaves to playrooms. Whether they’re constructing a new home, designing a nursery or doing renovations, there is something magical about being a small part of their journey.

Today I’m thrilled to be giving you a look inside a glamorous high rise condo we recently completed for one of our favorite clients. This is the fifth home we’ve helped them with (we just completed their sixth!). It’s been exciting to walk with them through different parts of their lives and travels. We loved working with them to design this glamorous high rise condo in Houston.

Creating a Home Away from Home

We’ve worked with this client for many years and understand their aesthetic. In fact, this was one of Laura’s first clients when she opened her shop, the Laura U Collection, on Westheimer over a decade ago. We know what functionality they desire in their home. They have three beautiful girls, so livable luxury that’s both family-friendly and heirloom-quality is paramount.

An inspiration board for Laura U
An excerpt from design presentation 1.
Concept board for a kids room at 18 Astoria.
A concept board for one of the bedrooms at 18 Astoria.

Glamorous Condo Design Inspiration

This glamorous high rise was used as a primary residence, while our client was Houston on business. If you are unfamiliar with the oil and gas industry, it is a major player in Houston’s economy and requires many professionals to travel all over the world. To make our client feel at home, we elevated the bachelor pad vibe to a space where family was also welcomed. There’s a distinct masculine feel in every room. But we also incorporated a few feminine touches like curved consoles, soft textures, and delicate details (like dot-patterned walls) into the design. That way, when the whole family is in town, this contemporary pied-a-terre feels like a space that reflects everyone’s personal tastes.

High Rise Interior Design: Meeting the Architectural Challenges

Because of the curvature of the building, finding furniture that felt right in the space was a big challenge. That’s why many of the grounding case goods are custom-made. The floor-to-ceiling curved windows were also a design challenge. We wanted to highlight the gorgeous skyline view and optimize TV viewing without sacrificing any of the natural light. Our final solution took advantage of both and the homeowners felt right at home in their new space!

Installing furniture of any kind in a high rise is challenging. You have to navigate the tight corners and know the limitations of the elevators. You have to deal with the valet and other residents constantly trying to get into the building. Luckily, we work with a professional team of movers that are excellent at navigating difficult spaces.

A Blank Slate

Our client’s glamorous high rise condo was previously the model unit for the building. It provided the perfect blank slate for their design. (It’s an interior designer’s dream to have a clean slate to work with!) The architectural finishes specified by the developer were beautiful, so we didn’t need to update those. We added custom mill work in a few areas and renovated the powder room to customize the space to meet our client’s needs.

Custom furniture takes advantage of 18 Astoria
Curved pieces take advantage of the living room’s architectural design.
Unique motifs and curved pieces unite in this sophisticated bedroom.
A gentle art piece unites with unique motifs and curved pieces in this sophisticated bedroom.
Black and white wallpaper pairs perfectly with gray furniture and bold touches.
A black and white wall covering serves as the backdrop for this chic girl’s room.

Inspired by Art

Our client’s amazing art collection was the focal point of our design. The interior color palette incorporated cozy, moody colors to make this space truly feel like home. Each room has its own personality and showcases our client’s art pieces. Throughout the condo, we paired their existing art with lots of wallpaper to bring in warm tones and textures. The combination of bold colors and unique wall coverings played up the sophisticated, chic feel and transformed the space!

Living Room

This totem art piece by Karen Hawkins we found at Laura Rathe seemed to be made for the living room wall. It fit perfectly in the corner by the custom built-in console and hutch designed by the Laura U designers. After creating architectural drawings of the piece, they worked with Richard at El Dorado Woodworks (a true artisan!) to fabricate the piece. The result is stunning and even better than we imagined!

Dining Room

I love bold artwork and this piece is a showstopper. The geometric Pierre Frey fabric on the custom dining chairs complements the lines of the painting without competing for attention. Bright gold metallic table legs and studded Samuel & Sons trim on the chairs add visual texture. It’s an edgy, modern, playful dining room that’s sure to spark conversation.

A totem art piece by Karen Hawkins creates a statement in 18 Astoria.
A totem art piece makes a unique statement in the corner of this high-rise living room.
A Karen Hawkins art piece from Laura Rathe hangs in 18 Astoria
A distanced view of the Karen Hawkins piece.
The dining room of 18 Astoria completed with a bold painting and custom furniture.
Soft curves in the dining room add a touch of femininity to this handsome pied-a-terre.
18 Astoria
Gold accents offset the dominance of black cabinetry.


Classic black and white with a touch of gold is one combination I’ll never get enough of. The gold pendant lights from Dimond Home brighten up the space and add a warm contrast to the cool stainless steel appliances. And the curved back and delicate dotted fabric on the Vanguard Furniture stools soften the crisp lines. This glamorous high rise kitchen is beautiful and functional!


Hallways connect one space to another. The hallway in this glamorous high rise is anything but simple! A cobalt Arte wall covering layered with gray lacquered dots adds visual texture and provides a beautiful backdrop for this bar cart from 1stdibs. The bar cart gives our clients plenty of room to keep their bar ware within reach to make their guests the perfect cocktail. Crystal pieces elevate the bar cart and add touch of vintage glam. It’s a space Don Draper would love!

Master Bedroom

Master bedrooms that blend masculine and feminine styles are my favorite. In this glamorous high rise master bedroom, we paired deep, rich colors with organic shapes and textures. The gentle curve of the aubergine desk and custom headboard soften the masculine color palette. A contemporary light fixture from Yliving moves your eye down the wall and complements the sleek, modern lines of the design. The result is a sophisticated, perfectly balanced bedroom.

A wood bar cart from 1stdibs constrasts against a cobalt blue Arte wall covering.
A bar cart adds both character and functionality to the hallway.
The masterbedroom of 18 Astoria completed with organic shapes and bold colors.
Organic shapes and bold colors balance this master suite.
An aubergine desk in the mastersuite of 18 Astoria.
This aubergine desk rests near the window and embraces natural light instead of a desk lamp.
Ann Sacks tile and a Phillip Jeffries wallcovering merge in this powder bathroom.
Embracing a noir motif, we selected Ann Sacks tile to transform this powder bath into a piece of art.

Powder Bathroom

The powder bathroom in this glamorous high rise is stunning. It quickly became one of our favorite rooms! The Phillip Jeffries wallpaper picks up the neutral tones in the black and white Kelly Wearstler for Ann Sacks tile. It softens the dramatic contrast without taking attention away from the tile pattern. The fresh yellow blooms liven up the bathroom and add a delicate, feminine touch.

Glamorous High Rise

This glamorous high rise effortlessly blends luxury with functionality. A neutral color palette with natural textures throughout the condo provide the perfect backdrop for their art collection. Bright pops of color show off their personality and transform this high rise into an sophisticated, timeless space. It’s the perfect sanctuary for our clients on their extended stays in Houston.

Follow along on Instagram for a behind the scenes look at what the team’s working on now. Or check out our design portfolio to browse some of our other projects.

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