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The Goode Life
By Holly Crawford | Photo: by Peter Molick | April 13, 2017
Contemporary meets comfort in the home of Houston’s ever-evolving vintage furniture queen.
Between the clean lines of the contemporary Highland Village home Lynn Goode shares with her husband, Harrison Williams, there is warmth and whimsy, comfort and color. There is heart and soul too, palpable throughout the 4,400-square-foot space thanks to a thoughtfully edited tapestry of cool personal pieces representing the many splendors of Goode’s life and diversified CV.
For the former gallerist, whose eponymous vintage furniture store in Upper Kirby is filled with midcentury-modern finds by the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright, Adrian Pearsall and George Nakashima, her design formula was simple: “Start with art and work everything else around it.” Her colorful collection includes many mediums—sculpture, vintage Italian pottery, photography, paintings—and artists. John Wesley, James Surls, Terrell James, Rachel Hecker, Amy Blakemore, Rupert Dees, Stephen Greene, Mark Flood, The Art Guys and Donald Judd dot the warm gray and white walls and sleek surfaces, from foyer to upstairs landing. Even the kitchen is home to a John Waters piece.
After living several years in the vast landscape that is Marfa, where she opened the beloved Marfa Book Company in 1999, Goode had the desire to feel more “contained” when she returned to her native Houston. “There were no real cozy areas in Marfa,” she says of living on 2,000 acres. “My focus changed to surroundings and home… not the two-dimensional.” That’s when she stumbled upon her four-bedroom abode, during its construction—just in time to select some of the fixtures. Once she moved in, Goode knew she would juxtapose shades of black and white. She adds, “I [also] always like to have stone and glass.” The “interplay of texture and fabric” is essential, as is the maxim the late interior designer Marlys Tokerud taught her: “Buy good pieces and re-cover them over and over.”
Goode purchased the house in 2008, and within six months, she was accepted into a clinical social work master’s program at Smith College. She shuttled back and forth from Northampton, Mass., for three summers, so any thoughts of interior design were moved to a back burner. “There was so much coming and going,” she says, “I didn’t really settle in until after graduation from the program [in 2010].”
When she finally started to personalize her space, mixing and matching the “sentimental and new,” she simultaneously put her degree to work with organizations like Bo’s Place and the Veterans Administration Center, and later, her own therapy practice. It wasn’t until marrying Williams in 2011, however, that she started making her house more of a home. Goode says they are homebodies who love to curl up in the media room and watch their favorite shows, like The Americans and This Is Us, from the comfort of a Harvey Probber sofa beneath artwork by John Wesley. Her favorite refuge is their salon-style master bedroom. “I love our really tall midcentury drapes, and [the] sheepskins on the floor,” she says. The library—where ceramics by Ruth Duckworth, a painting by Tierney Malone and a swivel chair covered in Donghia mohair by Milo Baughman reside—comes in a close second. “We’re bibliophiles—we read a couple of books a week… I am such a nerd,” she says with a laugh. “I have always devoured art and design books because to me, that is heaven.”
It’s no surprise that what began as Goode’s hobby of collecting and selling vintage furniture in a pop-up shop setting became the next evolution in her singular career. After creating her own “comforting, safe place” with Williams, she left her therapy practice to help people in a different way—with Lynn Goode Vintage. The gallerylike storefront, which ships pieces across the globe, has become Houston’s best seller on 1stdibs. “I love helping people create their own sanctuary,” she says. For that reason, Goode exercises generous restraint: “There’s great stuff I want to take home and don’t,” she says. “I’ve sold pieces out of my house, but I’ll never sell the Raymond Loewy or the vintage Hans Wegner!”
FREDERICKS & FREISER
John Wesley painting in media room
Floor lamps in media room
David Aylsworth painting in dining room
Fabric on chairs in dining room, fabric on pillows in living room
Aaron Parazette painting on staircase
Throw on ottomans in living room
RALPH LAUREN HOME
Magenta velvet fabric on ottomans in living room
Rackstraw Downes painting in dining room