Montebello Collected High-Rise Reveal

Interior Design, Uncategorized

Today, I’m excited to re-visit this Indo-Asian-inspired high rise we designed for a wonderful couple in Houston. This collected interior was featured in Rue Magazine last year and is still one of our favorites! Our client is a fascinating, well-traveled professional with impeccable style.  She works overseas and splits her time between Paris and Houston, giving her many opportunities to grow her art collection. She speaks multiple languages, has red hair like me, and her Spanish-Indian ancestry inspired the home’s earthy color palette. All in all, she’s just the kind of person you would imagine calling this Houston high rise home.
The condo was beautifully renovated 10 years ago. The revision resulted in lots of character-building details, but our client and her husband needed a little more. As collectors and art aficionados, they hoped for a home where their collections took center stage. Our goal was to make the most of the condo’s size, while also allowing the art to breathe. We chose a color mix of warm Sienna, terracotta, and cream. Rust and warm whites create a serene contrast that falls into the background. The art easily consumes the eye.



This Uptown high rise in Houston is one of the city’s most sought-after buildings. It was a pleasure to design there! But a challenge too because of the space constraints.

When you have an art collection, it’s important to create visual space. There’s a reason why art galleries have white walls – to fall silently in the background, allowing the art to speak on its own.

So when tasked with the living room, we knew we wanted to create the feeling of openness without the overcrowding. A gallery wall of paintings didn’t seem fitting. White or cream wouldn’t work either. The design team settled on a custom, hand-made silk wallcovering from Fromental. And it’s stunning! It’s the perfect piece for creating a statement wall.
The collected interior of Montebello in Houston
Another view of the sitting area at the Montebello, designed by Laura U
An expanded view of Montebello's main living area, designed by Laura U

However, when it arrived, it was improperly sized! Since it’s a custom piece shipped from London, there was an additional six weeks of added install time to get it where we needed it to be. (We actually had a square foot of blank wall for a while.) But the wait was ultimately worth it! The wallcovering adds visual texture and movement, while allowing the eye to wander undeterred. This covering reminds me of distant mountains, the mist floating idly by. Very evocative of the landscapes our clients have seen during their travels.The converted den was designed to serve as a study and a guest bedroom. They even included a gorgeous, hidden sleeper sofa for guests. The living space serves as a dining area and a living room for the couple. We added a mid-century console to give our clients space to display their favorite vintage tea set and pottery. Mid-century looks continue to be trendy. I think a lot of this is due to their clean lines. They work really well to balance out loud colors or intricate patterns.
The master closet at Montebello, expanded by Laura U
The dining room at Montebello with marble table and leather chairs, designed by Laura U
Open shelving and worldly accessories in the kitchen at Montebello
The master bedroom at Montebello, designed by Laura U
A worldly living area with Fromental wall coverings and marble inlay cocktail table
One interesting thing about the condo is that it didn’t have a closet big enough for both our clients to use. Again, that space challenge! But the condo did have a little sitting room floating in the middle of the home. So we decided to turn the sitting room into a closet big enough for both of them. We created a custom closet with built-ins to give them lots of storage space. And sliding doors help close off the multiple access points. Now they finally have a closet they can both use!
This newly renovated collected high-rise condo is perfect for our clients. The collected style blends mid-century furnishings and antiques with our client’s favorite collections. I loved seeing their reaction at the final reveal! Your home should be filled with the items you love. It sounds so simple and cliche, but what defines home more than your “happy place”? The team couldn’t have been happier when we heard our clients say they were “over the top happy and satisfied” with their new home. 
For more on this project, visit our design portfolio.