River Oaks Manor stands in the old River Oaks, neighbourhood in the centre of Houston, on a one-acre estate where species native to Texas are cultivated. It is a gabled two-storey residence dating back to the beginning of the 20th century that emerges from the pine trees in the park, alongside the lawn and the swimming pool. The surrounding green space is the work of Houston-born landscape architect Johnny Steele, who has been designing the open-air spaces and gardens of the city’s most illustrious properties for almost half a century. The contemporary interior was designed by Mary Lambrakos, founder of the Lambrakos firm and a rising star in the Texan design scene.
In the River Oaks Manor project, Lambrakos chose to focus on the continuity between indoor and outdoor spaces created using Minotti furniture, which she inserted harmoniously into the surrounding landscape. Specifically, in the living room of the patio, she selected Quadrado by Marcio Kogan / studio mk27: a modular sofa with square and suspended shapes spaced out with surfaces that take up the duckboard theme, a kind of teak grille used in sailing. Discreet, sculptural and functional at the same time, Quadrado is positioned in front of the fireplace.
“Its geometric combination of positive and negative spaces, its modularity and compositional versatility fully express those qualities of flexibility and dynamism that outdoor spaces must have to be welcoming” observes the designer, who adds: “The grilled frame of the coffee tables has the ability to disperse shadow and highlight the limestone rock elements of the garden, imported from a quarry in India to honour the owner’s heritage”. “By choosing Minotti, I furnished the exterior with a timeless elegance that recalls the sensitivity of European resorts when it comes to enjoying natural spaces, a source of grace, inspiration and refinement”, Lambrakos continues.
The outdoor area also hosts the Aston “Cord” Outdoor armchairs, designed by Rodolfo Dordoni for Minotti. The weave enveloping the seat recalls the woven wicker-effect fibre of the Quadrado backrest: just one of the natural details on which the designer’s plan focuses.
In the choice of colours too, Lambrakos favours a palette as much in harmony as possible with the nature that surrounds the home. It therefore sports shades of green, alongside the greys, ivory and blues of the Minotti furniture. “The varied but discreet colours and the textured qualities of Minotti vibrate when combined, so creating an engaging atmosphere where guests can enjoy both the beauty of nature and the sophisticated style that is the hallmark of Minotti design”, concludes Lambrakos.