I always try to make the most of every trip I take - visiting local museums, gardens and interesting shops that inform and inspire me.
While visiting Houston, Texas for the Big Game last weekend, I stopped in at Chateau Domingue, one of the country’s premier importers of European furnishings, reclaimed architectural pieces, and monumental antiques. Founded in 2002 by Ruth Gay, Chateau Domingue specializes in French, Italian and Belgium designs from the 15th through the 19th centuries. The expansive 15-thousand square foot showroom is filled with a striking selection of elegant, time-worn doors and windows with centuries-old stone flooring, fireplace mantels, lighting fixtures, marble urns and so much more - all inspired by Ruth’s longtime passion for architecture and design, and her many travels throughout Europe.
Over the years, Ruth has expanded her business to include Atelier Domingue Architectural Metalcrafts, which fabricates custom steel windows and doors, and Domingue Architectural Finishes which provides beautiful plaster surfaces, and lime wash and mineral paint finishes - all made from natural elements. Here are some photos I took while touring Ruth's facility - enjoy.
Here I am with the proprietor of Chateau Domingue, Ruth Gay. We’re standing in front of the shop’s giant reclaimed entrance gates. http://www.chateaudomingue.com
The Chateau Domingue street sign marks the expansive stone yard that houses all of its reclaimed building materials.
Ruth gave me a tour of the showrooms inside. This is a Renaissance Cheminée from a Chateau in Orthez, a commune in the southwestern region of France, circa 1500. It is flanked by two 18th century walnut doors. An 18th century Italian canape sits behind an 18th century stone table from a property in the Umbrian Region of Italy.
The large antique iron table is from the courtyard veranda of a Maison Particulaire in Aix-en-Provence, France. Behind the table is a 16th century painted panel originally in a “Salone delle Feste” from a Palazzo in Mantona, Italy. It is flanked by a pair of 19th century wall lanterns.
Here is a set of six 19th century chairs surrounding an antique French trestle table. The lot of 17th century Bars de Montpellier was reclaimed from a manoir outside of Saint-Jean-de-Bueges. Quarried from France’s Montpellier region, this stone is one of the most refined of antique limestones, and its grey-taupe tones are highly desirable.
In the back of this display is a triptych by artists, Eddy Dankers and Julie Claes. It is flanked by 18th century Biot Jars over an Enfilade de Patisserie. A 19th century Tole Lantern hangs above the walnut Renaissance table.
Here, an antique paper mache cow’s head from the French Alps hangs on a lime washed wall. The table is an antique Italian garden piece with a set of four antique iron chairs and a Spanish wooden bench, circa 1800 – all on a beautiful 18th century oak floor.
This is a kitchen vignette with 18th century French oak flooring, “bugets” limestone, antique Jarre d’Anduze, and a late 17th century console table used as an island. The antique Italian garden table, and four antique iron chairs complete the display.
This is a wall of reclaimed limestone “bugets” behind an 18th century cheminee from a grand property in Montmiry-le-Chateau, a Commune in the Franche-Comte Region of France. The large ceramic sculptor’s table is from Regio Emilia, Italy, circa 1900, and the set of four lights are antique French street lanterns.
In this room, a charming bespoke petite limestone table, and three pairs of 18th century Communication doors from a Maison de Maitre in Uzes, France. The wall is covered with creamy antique limestone “bugets”.
Here is a shelf filled with antique balustrades, candlesticks, stone elements, and other unique items electrified for use as lamps.
And a wall of antique French and Italian sconces.
Here is a display of Chateau Domingue’s pocket-friendly, curated “Bastide Collection” line of newly-quarried, aged stone in marble, Belgian Blue, and selections of European limestone – the colors range from light and creamy to various shades of gray.
These are reclaimed stones from Europe.
And a rare lot of reclaimed French limestone with dark patina.
This is marble flooring from Chateau Domingue’s “Bastide Collection”.
These are Maison Domingue bespoke wooden doors. The four pictured styles are custom manufactured, and made from reclaimed French oak and pine – so beautiful.
Here is Ruth with Shawnna Fatjo, team member of Domingue Architectural Finishes. They’re standing on reclaimed Italian cathedral stone, and in front of a bespoke, newly-quarried Belgian blue stone table. Behind them is a giant 19th century copper lantern from Macon, France and a pair of 18th century doors.
This is the Domingue Architectural Finishes office, showcasing its namesake materials on the walls in a textured, time-worn finish of plaster and lime wash.
This is a window unit from the Atelier Domingue line of low-profile, European steel windows and doors.
Here is a fountain made with reclaimed elements and a pair of 19th century Panier de Fruits.
I noticed these right away – antique faux bois garden pieces, along with various terracotta fragments and pedestals.
Here are more reclaimed stone elements, including stone baskets, iron urns, and decorative lintels and corbels.
These are reclaimed European stone pieces, including an interesting and unusual set of garden urns.
I saw several antique marble vessels.
And antique European troughs, basins, columns, and stone remnants.
This is a 19th century marble sink from a villa outside Arezzo, Italy.
This is an 18th century marble Evier from an elegant “Bourgeoise” country house in the “Montaigne Noire” of the Pyrenees.
Look at these 17th to 19th century limestone sinks – so pretty.
Here I am with Ruth’s son, Paul Gay. Paul is an integral Chateau Domingue and Domingue Architectural Finishes team member, well-versed in everything from design to paint and plaster installation.
This is Chateau Domingue’s finishing shop.
Among its many pieces, the shop carries antique doors, shutters, and lanterns.
These are plaster boards and reclaimed wooden doors and tables.
And a collection of antique gates, balcony railings, windows, and fragments.
Here is one of many rows of reclaimed European fireplace mantels from the 16th to 19th centuries.
Back at my farm, I received a collection of Domingue Architectural Finishes samples for an upcoming project. What have been some of your favorite home design undertakings? Share them with me in the comments section below.