While one side of Washington Avenue has become a hotbed for trendy restaurants, the other side has attracted some intriguing interior-design shops and showrooms. In the midst of a high-rise home renovation, I was eager to explore the area, so I tripped into three neat shops, all next to one another on Washington and open to both retail and the trade on weekdays. The first, Sugar Creek Interiors (8200 Washington Avenue, 713.212.0000), is 8,000 square feet packed with furniture, lamps, artwork and accessories from La Barge, Century Furniture, Visual Comfort, Burton James and Theodore Alexander, all arranged into inspiring vignettes. For me, what sets SCI apart is how astute-eyed owner/designer Cindy Hunter has culled together all sorts of accessories, such as hard-to-find furnishings by R&Y Augousti, vividly colored Italian glass, natural minerals and crystals, boxes, mirrors and frames. Next door, rug pro Jennie Perry, owner of Emmet Perry & Co. (8200-C Washington Avenue, 713.961.4665), is a terrific resource. She has more than 800 new rugs in stock — you can purchase yours there, or special-order in any size and scale. Her inventory includes designs by Tufenkian, Nourison, F. Schumacher, Saxony and Chilewich. This 20-year veteran of the “soft-flooring sector” has literally thousands of samples, from sisals to wools to mod patterns that had me daydreaming of ways to incorporate them into my own design. Finally, light up your home at Savannah House (8200-A Washington Avenue, 713.863.2948), designer Kathryn Edwards’ well-lit space. She’s carrying on the lighting business her in-laws inspired her to join and is now bringing on board the third generation — her own son. Like Perry, she’s an advocate of customization and can turn anything from an Imari vase to a piece of blue coral into a show-shopping lamp, sconce, hanging light or chandelier. We’re guessing she stocks around 1,000 lamp shades alone. Her craftsmen can rework an old lamp you’ve nearly given up on, create custom shades with your fabric, add new bases and repaint or glaze a piece — it you can imagine it, she’ll help you realize it. Savannah House also carries bedding by Pine Cone Hill and Pom Pom, rugs by Dash and Albert and Beatriz Ball tableware.
From left: Cindy Hunter (Sugar Creek Interiors), Jennie Perry (Emmet Perry Rugs, Kathy Edwards (Savannah House)
Savannah House lamp
Sugar Creek Interiors