Distinctive Design Mixes Modern With Traditional

The owners of this Woodlands, TX suburban residence didn’t always feel like they lived in their dream home. In fact, a couple of years ago they actually put it on the market, hoping to find someone else who would call it home. But after a prolonged period of unsuccessfully trying to find the right buyer, the couple decided to gut and completely renovate the two-story home and make it perfect for themselves.

They reached out to Matt and Jenny Sneller of Sneller Custom Homes & Remodeling in Houston to transform each room. Cindy Aplanalp, Allied ASID, By Design Interiors, also in Houston, served as the designer/decorator, selecting finishes and setting the design tone for each space.


Seeking distinction

Making every room unique was a priority. “In the suburbs here you can go into a lot of custom homes, and they all look the same,” notes Jenny Sneller. “But this couple wanted unique features, elements you wouldn’t normally see in a suburban home.”

In the kitchen, one distinctive touch is the granite sink, which is cut from the same slab of Fusion granite as the countertops. “The homeowner fell in love with it,” says Aplanalp. “It’s something they will love forever.”

Because the piece is so expressive, the rest of the kitchen needed to be toned down a bit, “be a little more simple,” she continues.

As such, for the backsplash, the designer chose dark stainless tiles that reflect light, especially those that have light shining down on them from the undercabinet lighting. “The metallic tiles provide a contemporary contrast against the more traditional cabinetry,” says Aplanalp. “This contrast is a common theme throughout the home, where there’s an eclectic mix of modern and traditional forms.”

The cabinetry is job-built to the clients’ specifications with many specialized features, including a mixer drawer that lifts the stand mixer to counter height. “This couple is in their 60s, so they thought about features such as this,” says Sneller.

Distinctive corbels add interest to the curved island – which features a raised countertop – while Zin limestone tiles with heavy brushed and slightly rounded edges grace the floor.

“We enhanced the curve of the island and made it a little larger,” says Sneller, noting that its basic shape was retained. “The homeowners liked their island,” adds Aplanalp. “It wasn’t broken, so we didn’t need to fix it.”


Favorite spaces

Like the kitchen, every bathroom – seven in total – is designed with unique features to set them apart from one another. In particular, each vanity was built differently. For example, one powder room is painted entirely purple – trim, walls, door and vanity. The metallic backsplash tiles from the kitchen are repeated in this space and run in an atypical vertical pattern behind the sink and vanity. A second powder bath features a floor-to-ceiling mirror that reflects a wall-mount faucet and golden bronze vessel sink that sits atop a granite pedestal.

For the master bath, several elements set it apart, including the cabinetry, mosaic tile accents and clawfoot tub.

“This is my favorite room in the entire house,” says Aplanalp. “It took my breath away when I first walked in after it was finished. It’s soothing, practical and luxurious.”

The job-built cabinetry features a dark gray finish and black pinstripe detail to pull in the dark Saturnia granite countertops and the D'Vontz Shanxi black granite vessel sinks. “A lot of details, including hidden electric outlets and personal features that are unique to the client, are built into the cabinets,” notes Aplanalp.

A main goal with the remodel was to rearrange the space so the couple could have a large, walk-in shower, which was accomplished by removing a freestanding tub and linen closet.

The Sunrise Specialty Tubs black clawfoot tub is accented with chrome feet and polished chrome floor-mount faucet, which complements the Brizo lavatory faucets.

Another of Aplanalp’s favorite rooms is the guest bath, which features soothing earth-tone colors. “I like its simplicity,” she says.

The tile on the floor and shower is the same limestone that is used in the kitchen. “We made the most of it, keeping the color palette simple as well,” she says.

“It was fun to be able to do very different bathrooms,” she continues. “The homeowners have a lot of loves that are expressed in each bath. This bath is very different from the others, yet there is continuity.”

“What makes the entire home so outstanding is that you walk from one room to the next and get an entirely uniquely beautiful design,” adds Sneller. “Each room is a visual feast, and although they are all so different, they all contain similar modern/traditional elements that go well together as a whole.”