Bright and Bold in Studio G Style

Delightful Pops of Color

Nickole Kerner Bobley

Aug 27, 2018

We wanted an infusion of nature inside the home so we decided upon a spring color palette.

Since 1999, Tammie Gandarillas and Monica Handfelt have run Studio G, a full-service interior design firm in The Woodlands. 

They were delighted to receive a call from Sue and Haynes Smith, with news of their purchasing a stunning Mary Ross custom home in East Shore in The Woodlands – and they wanted Studio G to design it. For their retirement, the Smiths had picked this home over many others due to its proximity to the myriad amenities found in walking distance to Town Center and Hughes Landing. They told Tammie and Monica they wanted to move away from their current home’s Tuscan and Hill Country gold and brown earthtones – and to lighten up and go contemporary.

“I want people to walk into our new home and either love or hate it. But I don’t want them to be indifferent,” said Haynes, a retired energy sector executive. 

They wanted to honor The Garden District roots of this home. Luckily, the one previous owner kindly left behind a neutral color scheme in mint condition. 

“It all started with the fushia colored Perry Chairs from Ambella,” says Monica. “We wanted an infusion of nature inside the home so we decided upon a spring color palette—the pink like the color of an azalea flower. And we mixed in some greens like with the emerald chair cushions and chartreuse sofa pillows.” 

Sue loved how Tammie and Monica incorporated their sentimental 2013 Venetian island Murano glass bowl on the “Jet Sideboard” by Bernhardt in the entry way as well as “Como Stroll” – a painting by Nick Paciorek, bought in Breckenridge, Colorado as a gift for Haynes for his birthday that hangs in the dining room.  

For statement pieces, Studio G peppered in two “Marilyn Acrylic” chairs from Global Views which added a touch of modern whimsy. 

“They are like little Elizabethian thrones!” says Sue. “They invite immediate conversation which is what we wanted from the look of our new home.”

The formal living room was given a silk grey wallpaper to provide a hint of shimmer and add a textural quality. For the rugs, they chose things that were light in color and would be neutral since they were going to add pops of color with chairs and pillows. All downstairs draperies are in “Stipple” from Stout and feature the Greek key trim pieces. A commissioned painting by local artist Sally Bowers beautifully ties the room’s color scheme together.  

In the dining room, Tammie and Monica used Ambella’s “Pickup Sticks” base, but had a custom top made for it by Aurora with Grand Stone. 

In the kitchen, new alabaster resin fixtures from Robert Abbey were installed to keep the space feeling open and airy, but still “dressed up.” 

“It’s important to us we have an aethestic that has relevant classic styles mixed with some current trends, but which can still carry into the future—so we look for a design that represents past, present and future,” says Tammie. “That is always our goal.” 

Studio G timed it just right and installed the furniture and art during a week their clients were on vacation. The Smiths returned to have their new home revealed to them in true showbiz style: they turned the key, opened the door and were amazed at what they saw—their brand new bright and bold contemporary designed home!

To celebrate, the Smiths kicked off entertaining in their new, fabulous abode with a fun pre-concert dinner party catered from Escalante’s in Hughes Landing. Then, with their family and friends in tow, they walked alongside The Woodlands Waterway to reach The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilon for a concert under a star-filled sky. 

Cheers to retired living in East Shore’s Garden District in elegant Studio G style!