Name: Des Ellis
Location: Houston, Texas
Size: 1,440 square feet
Years lived in: 1.5 years, rented and owned
Some people have an effortless style, amazing taste and the gift of knowing how to put all the pieces of their life together perfectly. Des is one of those people. She's the buyer and general manager at Manready Mercantile, a "one-stop shop" that sells American-made goods for the home and closet. It's a dream job for someone like Des, who has an eye for hidden treasures. She's talented, stylish and down to earth, all qualities reflected in her impressive urban homestead near downtown Houston, Texas.
Most of her home is furnished with found and repurposed items, making each corner special and interesting to look at. As we walked around her home, I was captivated by the stories that each piece had. But it's not just the things inside the home that are compelling, it's the history, too: The house itself has stood for 126 years.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Found objects, old things, rich textures, cheap indulgences.
Inspiration: Growing up with my mom and her best friend (my other mom) thrifting everything we had.
Favorite Element: The enormity of the ceilings when one first enters the breezeway.
Biggest Challenge: Dusting.
What Friends Say: "This somehow feels like the same house you used to live in."
Biggest Embarrassment: Not completing the paint job on my bedroom ceiling.
Proudest DIY: Removing and installing my chandeliers every time I move….or staining all the floors in my home during the dead of summer...or ripping out all of the drywall in the home to find shiplap walls and beadboard ceilings.
Biggest Indulgence: Lighting—I love lamps and chandeliers.
Best Advice: If you can't make it yourself, you can find it second hand.
Dream Sources: Rose Bowl Flea, Peter Nappi, Antiques Warehouse in Galveston, TX
Explore this style:
PAINT & COLORS
Sherwin Williams — Snowbound
Green Paint — Original from 1890
Deer Mounts — Goodwill
Mirrors - Various Thrift Stores
Crystal Door Knob Coat Wall — Sourced from Montrose tear down houses which I was given access to pre demo courtesy of Tricon Homes
Chandelier — Sourced from my previous home which was torn down
Plant Kingdom — Curated by myself and Hannah Anderson
Gold Velvet Jacquard Couch — Thrift Store in San Marcos, TX which I recovered the seats in a vintage embroidered blanket courtesy of an abandoned home
Green Velvet Chair — Value Village
Rocking Chair — Family Hand Me Down
Wood Rolling Coffee Table — Family Hand Me Down
Antique Bookshelf — Family Hand Me Down
Wooden Ladder — Garage Sale
Record Cabinet — Built Myself
Chandelier — Antique Store in Brazoria, TX
Chandelier Lamps — Thrift Store in Austin, TX
Black Unicorn — Birthday Present Built By My Best Friend
1890's Piano — Craigslist
Velvet + Cast Iron Piano Stool — Manready Mercantile
Dining Table — Saved From the Trash
Dining Table Benches — Made from Found Scrap Wood
Small 1890's Red Velvet Seat — Found in Yard Behind Abandoned Home
Green Antique Fainting Couch — Inherited by Best Friend and Gifted to Me
Vintage Native American Silk Pillow — Goodwill Outlet
Chandelier — Family Hand Me Down
Wall Art — Thrift Store Finds + Gifts Curated by Hannah Anderson
Mid Century Bar Cart — Antique Store in Nashville, TN
Farm Sink — Removed from Montrose Tear Down House
Oak Butcher Block Counters — Lumber Liquidators
Plant Tables — Made from Found Scrap Wood and Window Pane
Appliances — Sears Outlet
Vintage 48 Star American Flag — Goodwill
Antique Hutch — Inherited by Best Friend and Gifted to Me
Vintage Wood Chest — Salvation Army
Chandelier — Trash Can of Abandoned Home