Helen Thompson
Helen Thompson
In PrintIn StyleIn BooksIn MediaIn the KnowIn House


Houston, Texas, designer Hallie Henley Sims faced something of an emergency when she and her husband sold their house and had to move out in two weeks. Fortunately they were moving to a more-spacious four-bedroom house in the same leafy neighborhood. And thank goodness the 3,600-square-foot house wasn’t in need of a lot of structural work—just a cosmetic overhaul to bring the circa-2000 house up to Sims’ quirky-but-traditional signature look.

A natural fiber rug tops a zebra-stripe printed cowhide rug in the living room. Furnishings include a gray velvet tuxedo-style sofa, curved-back chairs with a black-and-white Brunschwig and Fils print, an acrylic coffee table topped with a bold floral print, and two stools in front of the fireplace. Sims fell in love with the Bob Collins & Sons “Bamboo Floral” wallpaper; its soft palette of blue-greens, coral, and yellow sets the tone for the entire house.

Vintage Bob Collins & Sons wallpaper in the entry matches Benjamin Moore’s Palladian Blue which Sims uses to add contrast, such as on this wall in the vestibule.

The settee in the vestibule belonged to Sims’s grandmother and still has its original upholstery. A vintage mirror, floor lamps, and drinks table accompany artwork by Kaycee Hughes.

Just off the dining room, Farrow & Ball’s Hague Blue appears in the bar which was given a high-gloss finish to keep things from feeling too formulaic.

The couple’s vintage-style dining table is surrounded by a mix of chairs; blue upholstered chairs on each end are joined by four cane-back chairs painted white with seats upholstered in a blue floral pattern. Along the back wall are a buffet and two extra chairs, both upholstered in yellow.

To create a continuous sense of flow from the family room, Sims painted the kitchen’s lower cabinetry and island in the same Farrow & Ball Hague Blue she used in the dining room. The pendants are by Aerin for Visual Comfort, and the bar stools belonged to Sims’s husband’s grandmother.

The family room emphasizes stylish comfort with a custom sectional upholstered in Perennials outdoor velvet and Highland House swivel chairs covered in a Cowtan & Tout chintz.

On the room’s back wall, Sims mounted panels of wallpaper—floral scenes digitally printed on grasscloth paper—in bamboo frames. A table with a collection of blue-and-white Asian ginger jars is in between the panels.

Sims converted a small office off the kitchen into her daughters’ playroom. Vintage chairs with seats upholstered in Quadrille fabric and a table from Ikea play off millwork painted in Benjamin Moore’s Glass Slipper.

Palmetto inspired wallpaper enlivens the bathroom.

Simes wanted the master bedroom to feel calming, serene, and feminine. The custom headboard coordinates with the designer’s grandmother’s Marbro Brothers lamps and benches refinished and upholstered in a Bermingham & Co. silk ikat. The bed is flanked by antique French folding screens.

A desk from Anthropologie anchors a vanity area in the master bedroom and is paired with a vintage chair, antique lamp, and Murano glass accessories.



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