Before & After: A Modern Transformation by Cantoni Houston Designer George Saba

“We were so lucky that George came to introduce himself. When I explained our plan to remodel, he offered so many great ideas and suggestions…he understood the design and look we were trying to achieve.” -Marisela Sandrea, Cantoni Houston Client.

You would never guess that the interiors of this modern, eclectic home belonging to Marisela Sandrea and her family of three were once sad, dark, and outdated. It was only until making the bold decision to completely remodel the traditional home’s interior, that the Sandrea’s home looks as it does today.

When Marisela and her husband moved to Houston, they never expected how challenging it would be to find the right contemporary home for their family. After spending a year searching high and low, they discovered a single-family, albeit traditional home, in one of Houston’s most sought after neighborhoods of Memorial Village. Although Marisela and her husband did not love the traditional style of the home, they did love the location and saw great potential.

While Marisela, a Geophysicist from Venezuela, and her family were in the process of better acquainting themselves with their new neighborhood, they came across Cantoni Houston. Upon entering, Marisela was greeted by designer, George Saba with whom she and her husband instantly connected. Marisela adds, “We were so lucky that George came to introduce himself. When I explained our plan to remodel, he offered so many great ideas and suggestions…he understood the design and look we were trying to achieve.”

After Family RoomOver the next year, Marisela and George worked closely together to transform the traditional home’s dark interiors into a multifunctional open space featuring a transitional look and eclectic flair. The remodeling process first began by drastically changing the home’s original floor plan. Some of the most notable changes included knocking down the main kitchen wall, installing brand new soft pastel, large-scale porcelain tiles and replacing the living room’s windows with a state of the art retractable aluminum framed wall with doors. What were once small, dimly lit and disjointed rooms is now one large open space allowing for natural light. To capture that open space, George helped Marisela and her husband create a cohesive design plan. The trio selected a neutral color scheme that was fresh, while the décor added pops of color to liven the space. George explains, “The design goal for this home was to create a soft contemporary look that combined Marisela and her husband’s pre-existing cultural accent pieces with transitional and contemporary furnishings from Cantoni. In addition to the furnishings, Marisela decided to revamp the home’s kitchen with brand new Italian cabinetry and appliances.”

Sandrea kitchenSandrea Tv Room







The first room they focused on was the entertainment room, which features a custom wood and white lacquer built-in wall unit from Pianca that perfectly frames the TV as well as beautifully showcases Marisela and her husband’s collection of treasures and art. Each room, including the formal dining room, living room, and breakfast room are outfitted with our luxurious Italian furnishings from Gamma and Cattelan.

DSC_0915Although Marisela leaned more towards a minimalistic style, her husband preferred the warmer tones that were present in his Dutch heritage. The two decided to compromise in the kitchen and chose a white lacquer and natural oak combination for the cabinetry with a soft, yet contemporary granite countertop. George adds, “The light, natural oak and granite not only bring just the right amount of warmth to the minimalistic feel of the crisp white lacquer cabinets, but the color combination also blends perfectly with the rest of the home’s interiors.”

“This was the hardest home I have ever been involved in designing,” explains Marisela. “George really helped us find a balance though and gave us so many helpful suggestions and ideas to further guide our decisions during the remodeling process. I was so grateful that he was able to bring certain things to my attention that I would have never thought about, like which water filters to get and what the best appliances for my kitchen were. Choosing the induction cooktop for my kitchen was the best decision of my life!”

According to George, this particular design project was somewhat unusual for him. George explains, “Marisela was unlike any client I have worked with. I have to give her a great deal of credit. I was very impressed with her skills and particularly her ability to create concept renderings, which I really only made a few changes to. I was grateful that she wanted to be involved in the design process because it really gave me a better idea of the look she and her husband wanted. It was such a pleasure working with clients as talented and artistically inclined as Marisela and her husband and I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to help their family create a beautiful, livable space within their budget and inspired by their lifestyle.”

Tell us what you think of the Sandrea home’s modern transformation in the comments below! AND click here to take a look at all of George Saba’s design projects!

Shop the Look!