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Designer Todd Romano’s San Antonio Home

by habituallychic

05 . 03 . 21

Interior designer Todd Alexander Romano has always been a favorite of mine. I posted his New York apartment early on when I started blogging and his beautiful room for the 2012 Kips Bay Decorator Show House and followed his subsequent apartment moves. Now Todd is splitting his time between a historic 18th-century house in Newport, Rhode Island and a house in his hometown of San Antonio, Texas. The latter was just featured in Veranda magazine and it lives up to Todd’s reputation for mixing bold color with traditional antiques and modern art. I feel like it’s exactly what we need this spring so I’ve combined the photos by Douglas Friedman for Veranda with photos from Todd’s Instagram and a few of the real estate photos for a full look at this chic house.

The house, a modest two-story Georgian Revival structure on a low rise set back from the street, was designed in 1936 by Atlee B. and Robert M. Ayres, a father-and-son architecture firm best known for their municipal structures throughout South-Central Texas and for the Spanish Revival behemoths they designed for the San Antonio elite. The two also produced plans for more modest Georgian Revival structures to house the local professional class. Romano’s is one. Let him explain: “The house was built for a doctor and his wife, people from an old Texas family, and, at 3,100 square feet, it’s probably the smallest house they ever did.” 

Via Veranda

“Look, the last thing I’d ever want is for any place of mine to feel stuffy,” he adds. “There are some nice things here, yes, and I do get a kick out of having these painted wood Louis XV side chairs from Jackie Onassis’s apartment. But at the end of the day, it’s all just a frame for your life. I honestly get as much excitement out of a plastic snake that I bought for five bucks.”

Todd Romano in the entry with English Lab, George.

I’m not going to post all the before photos from the real estate listing because most of them are just beige rooms but there are a few that show a great transformation like the stairway and entry hall.

George on the stairs.

Usually stairs are leeft undecorated but I love this mix and antique paintings and objects.

Unfortunately, the pink color of the walls was not credited.

“I very much wanted a place that would make my pictures and objects pop. I freely admit that the colors are kind of insane, but it’s meant to be provocative and non-serious and fun.”

“A virtuoso’s guide to owning the color wheel: Taxicab yellow, pure red, and cobalt are a mighty foundation for soft pastels and nuanced naturals. A pair of Chinese baluster vases fitted as lamps bookends a custom button-tufted sofa. Central artwork, C-Ring 1 by Todd & Fitch.”

A curvy cane-backed Louis XVI fauteuil with an 18th-century ormolu bureau plat sit on the other side of the living room. The silk taffeta drapery fabric is from Clarence House

“Anybody who knows me would recognize right away that I decorated with things from my other houses: my Warhol silk-screen print of Liz Taylor; my dining room chairs from Sutton Place; a reupholstered sectional sofa from the Los Angeles apartment; doodads from my various shops. The house became a kind of Todd magnet, attracting this big mix-up from all over the country and the world.”

– Todd Romano

Todd plays up contrasting materials in the library with glazed lacquer walls, ultrasuede seating, and fur and sisal rugs. A 1930s cast-iron star lantern hangs over a French bronze-and-eglomise glass coffee table. Sconces are from Hinson with shades from Illumé NYC

The library before photo shows that the bookshelves received a minor update and a window that looked out to the sunroom was removed to make more wall space in each room.

I love that Todd has monogrammed candles and matches. You can order monogramed matches from For Your Party.

Photographer Douglas Friedman posted this image from the library on Instagram and it mixes everything I love in one photo.

A close up of the console table from Todd’s Instagram.

On exhibit in the dining room: Roy Lichtenstein, George N. Morris, Josef Albers, and Robert Goodnough.

A look at a beautiful set table for a dinner party from Todd’s Instagram with china from Stair Galleries.

The vintage silver-leaf paper is by Gracie almost looks like antiques mirror and must look beautiful during a candle lit dinner. A Chinese Chippendale-style mirror from KRB and a Louis XVI mahogany-and-marble commode in the dining room. 

Custom Talavera tiles are arranged in a graphic chevron pattern with glossy ebony cabinetry in Black, Fine Paints of Europe.

I had to show some before photos of the charming vintage kitchen. I think it’s kind of amusing that all the beige rooms in the house became colorful and the colorful kitchen became black and white.

Another before look of the kitchen with a look at the butler’s pantry.

Another before look of the kitchen with a view into the breakfast room.

A collection of Portuguese and Italian cabbageware on display in the breakfast room. I am happy to see that he kept the charming built-in china cabinet in the breakfast room.

A before look at the breakfast room.

A look at Todd’s pieces from @dporthaultparis monogramed by @nantucket_monogram.

Layered atop a mélange of printed percale bed linens from D. Porthault is a 19th-century floral Texas quilt. Peruvian and Spanish Colonial mirrors shimmer atop red wool felt walls from Claremont. A Louis XV–style step stool in gauffrage velvet from Lee Jofa serves as decadent doggie steps. 

In this before photo, you can see that two windows were removed to create a wall for the bed.

“Is this what “A Sunday kind of Love” looks like or what?! Happy Father’s Day to lucky me! I’m grateful as heck to my pal @libbycameronllc for the greatest gift ever!!”

“I’ve been thinking recently about all I have to be thankful for in my life and one big gift from my Mom (& Dad too) is my great love of flowers and gardening, it’s as much a part of my being as decorating is.” 

In the bath, a rose-festooned wallpaper from de Gournay is trimmed in purple grosgrain ribbon from Samuel & Sons.

A look at the before photo of the bathroom.

George posing in the bathroom.

Graphic pomegranate-print fabric fromBob Collins & Sons graces Napoleon III lounge chairs and a chaise-style sofa. The Chinese red drinks table is from Romano’s own furniture line.

“This is a favorite pair of Napoleon III slipcovered chairs where I like to perch on Sundays and read the stacks of papers, magazines, etc that taunt and reproach me all week long.”

“A new painting found @objetsplus.danielbarney adds a bang of colour above the card table in my sunroom.” 

“My passion for topiaries goes back to my youth and at the height of the English Country House epoch. With varying degrees of success, I’ve been growing (or trying to grow!) them for a pretty long time now. My collection continues to develop as I’ve got them everywhere and at both houses. I’ve found recently that I really like them best stacked up on these old fashioned Victorian Wire plant stands. It keeps them consolidated and bit easier to water. “

George waiting for someone to throw the ball.

“The light was so soft and pretty this morning. I just found a wonderful set of 1920s willow/wicker furniture and I’m slowly having it restored and painted all by hand.”

Definitely need a pool in Texas.

Photos by Douglas Friedman for Veranda, @toddaromano, and real estate listing.