Westside’s empty nests give their 1960’s home a stylish update

In the 24 years that Jenni and Paul Bredthauer spent in their wilchester at home, they’ve hosted dozens of soccer reel sessions for their three sons, entertained friends at their couples’ supper club, and hosted many holiday dinners and parties.

As a young married couple, the Bredthauers bought this two-story home on the west side of town in part because Jenni grew up there and she thought it would be the perfect place for her kids — Ben, now 31, Max, 28, and Will, 26 — to be. Paul grew up in Memorial, so he was all about it when it came to that part of town.

The home was built in 1967 and still looked pretty much the same as the day its first owner walked in. But by the late 1990s, low ceilings, poor lighting, and small spaces weren’t what worked anymore.

The Bredthauers raised the ceilings as much as possible, added overhead lights, and opened up the kitchen by removing a wall separating it from the breakfast area. That did a lot to improve the flow of the house, and for a while it was enough.

About a decade ago, the Bredthauers added some space in the back, created a laundry room and mudroom off the kitchen/breakfast area, and stripped the garage down to the studs to reinforce it and its foundation to create a space with a full could add bath about it. This addition brought the home to just over 4,000 square feet.

Spaces above the garage are popular for guest suites, home offices, teen hangouts, or in this case, parent hangouts.

A few years ago, the couple decided to give their home a refresh, brightening things up and adding more color. They did it in phases because they wanted to live there while the renovations were going on and recently ended up with a family room/den.

Interior designer Genna Weidner von Weidner Hasou & Co., a design firm and homewares boutique on Memorial Drive, has been working with the Bredthauers for more than two decades, so when Jenni called and asked for a big refresher, she understood.

“Everyone has wanted this subtle grey, monochromatic tone-on-tone look for years. Now I feel like everyone enjoyed this phase and got through it,” Weidner said of the Bredthauer home, which had a lot of white furniture. “Why not go for color and bring in green from outside and bring in the sky blue that we enjoy on sunny days?”

Weidner still likes to mix light neutrals with colors to create contrast and make no room feel too heavy. And she notes that the colors popular today aren’t the jewel tones of 20 or 25 years ago—they’re brighter and fresher.

“One thing that’s so fun to work with these two is their energy. We’ve been in this relationship for so long that you can trust my eye,” Weidner said. “If I try to take them in a different direction, they’re willing to try.”

The Bredthauers went lighter in the kitchen, with Calacatta marble counters, white cabinets, and brass hardware and lighting. A pretty blue and white printed window curtain adds a bit of color and they used the same fabric for curtains in the nearby breakfast room.

A nearby pantry has been reinvented with a popular purpose: as a wine cabinet and bar. They went with peacock blue paint and dark wallpaper, and now it contains a tall wine fridge. The content is still a work in progress, but Paul is happy with his new direction.

They spend a lot of time in the family room, sharing morning coffee before hitting the gym and working – Paul, 57, is an executive vice president at McGriffand Jenni, 57, is an accountant for the Spring Branch Memorial Sports Association. In the evening they often return to this place for a glass of wine.

Another favorite spot is the suite above the garage where they watch TV or stream movies and other shows.

Her formal living room, adjacent to the family room at the front of the house, is a vibrant mix of antiques and more modern touches.

Paul’s mother was a real antique collector, buying things for her own home and often buying things that she thought would fit perfectly into the homes of her children or other family members.

That’s no problem for Jenni, who has always loved antiques and frequents the Back Row Home, a shop that her sister Kelly O’Donnell co-owns.

This room features an antique black lacquered Chinoiserie armoire. Behind its ornate doors is a series of doors and compartments that could make it a cabinet of curiosities. Weidner collected blue and white Chinese porcelain vases and ginger jars of various shapes and sizes and paired them with coral, shells, and other finds.

To make it feel a little more contemporary, they added sconces and stools on each side. Acrylic rods hold bright blue curtains and brass lamps on metal and marble end tables.

Jenni has always done her work from home, and a small office that was Paul’s man cave years ago was given a feminine touch with a new coat of paint, with the crown moldings painted a deep turquoise. Antique chairs have new upholstery in a green and blue print and frames painted the same deep turquoise as the moldings. An antique desk adds even more character to a room full of personality.

The dining room is also a mix of styles, a fresh look with blue and white wallpaper and white curtains mixed with an antique table and chairs. Pops of color include soft yellows and oranges in the contemporary art that Jenni and Paul have been adding to their home recently.

They also replaced the hardwood floors that were in the home, opting for a few other options in certain spots: reclaimed Chicago brick in the kitchen/breakfast area and mud room, and marble tile in a geometric pattern in the foyer and guest bathroom.

The tile is a prime example of the wide range of tiles on the market, patterns that look great and don’t always cost a fortune.

They started with a tile that was chosen for the foyer and powder bath but it was really expensive. Then they found another one they loved just as much, but at a better price. It is white, light and dark taupe marble set in a geometric pattern that is simply gorgeous and perfectly complements an antique hallway table and gilded mirror at the back of the foyer.

And while the powder bath may be small, it’s mighty in style. The back wall is covered in antique mirrors and the marble counter is set on a brass frame with exposed brass piping and a brass faucet.

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