Lone Star Antiques

Milieu magazine illustrates the beautiful outcome of fusing new design with beautiful antiques in the elegant homes featured in each issue.

Milieu is my favorite magazine since its 2013 debut. Pamela Pierce, the talented Houston designer, is its founder and editor.  Although the magazine features homes from around the world, Texas designers are commonly included showing off superb Lone Star style. The Texas influence is surely why I love this magazine so much. Pierce’s unique élan is responsible for the beautifully designed magazine showcasing stylish homes that creatively combine antiques with contemporary art and furnishings.  A talented local team supports Pierce. Her daughter, Dallas-based Shannon Bowers, is the Style Director. Mary Jane Ryburn, formerly of Veranda magazine under Lisa Newsome, is a contributing editor. I have long been a fan of Mary Jane. Her beautiful house has been featured in numerous publications including the cover story of the first Milieu and has been the backdrop for many Wisteria catalogue shoots.  One of Mary Jane’s trademarks is styling using vintage textiles from her extensive collection.

The cover of the most recent Milieu was like a glimpse into my personal decorating dreams. One does not typically see Mexican pieces on the cover of a national magazine. I could not wait to learn more about the location of these treasures. They were to be found in the home of Bill Gardner, a Houston antiques dealer. His ads have graced the pages of numerous magazines, but I have never known anything about him nor visited his shop, W. Gardner, Ltd. Had I known of his passion for all things Mexican, I surely would have paid him a visit. Next trip to Houston, I won’t miss him.


The striking cover of the winter issue of Milieu magazine. (Photo: Miguel Flores-Vianna)


Home of Bill Gardner. (Photo: Miguel Flores-Vianna)

The chair in the photo above stood out because of the upholstery choice. The 1920’s iron and wood chair was designed by an Italian, but interestingly one who was living in Mexico City. Although I LOVE Fortuny and think it is the most beautiful fabric, never would I have thought of using this large curvy pattern on this masculine straight-lined chair.  The green which fades to lighter, almost yellow, green picks up perfectly the colors seen in the collection of the pottery and the lampshade. Rarely do I use brush fringe, but here I think it’s the perfect choice.


Mexican pottery, made between 1910-1950, originated from Oaxaca, Puebla, and Mexico City. (Photo: Miguel Flores-Vianna)

An entire house showcasing numerous collections would be too much for me, but I love how Gardner massed his considerable Mexican pottery collection in the kitchen. The top shelf features mostly vessels shaped like poultry. The backsplash, featuring plates and platters of all sizes and colors, is a wonderful juxtaposition against the simple black countertops and short splash. The red-orange shelf draws your eye up as well as offering repetition of a color that features throughout the house.


The striking & surprising entry to Bill Gardner’s Houston home. (Photo: Miguel Flores-Vianna)

Gardner’s house, but primarily this photo, reinforces my love for antiques. They are unique and can look modern when displayed with the skill of an expert. The concrete floor and lack of moldings on the walls create a contemporary medium for the antiques. The pairing of the iron standard and klismos chair looks fresh although they are ornate and aged. The small retablo hung by an apple green ribbon introduces a smaller scale and a touch of personality. The red-orange staircase adds a jolt of contemporary color to this scene. Another brilliant idea.

For more photos and information about this house pick up a copy of the Winter Milieu issue. Please subscribe to this magazine if you find features that you like so it doesn’t disappear as did some of the other greats.

Casa V can revive your house using beautiful antiques to add freshness and style.