Traditional aesthetic a background for family heirlooms
by: John Bloodsworth
photography by: Al Rendon
Jon Hess has a proclivity for finding the perfect home, or should that be homes. Since moving to San Antonio in 1984, he has lived in 24 dwellings in Monte Vista, Olmos Park, Terrell Hills and Alamo Heights and now is comfortably settled into Lincoln Green.
“I bought this house on a lark,” says Hess, who has resided in his home for 14 years. “It had no charm, but it was a well-built house.”
He brought in interior designer Lisa Menick, who assured her client that the transformation would please his traditional and refined aesthetic. The grand entry features a sweeping staircase that properly fits the scale of the home, stately and functional. It is a repository for the first of many exemplary collections of family heirlooms and fine art that fill the home with substance and warmth.
Menick chose a neutral palette for public room walls with taupe and creams but applied a skillful hand with the painting of molding and the living room fireplace surround in a black lacquer finish. It brings a subtle gentrification to the home not found in its mid-‘80s inception.
An English burled walnut liquor cabinet in a corner of the well-appointed living room is anchored by an antique Oriental paneled screen with inlay of jade. Family porcelain and silver pieces are displayed in both the living and dining rooms.
Commanding attention on an English buffet, a massive Nymphenburg porcelain vase sets the tone in the formal dining room. Flanked by a group of matching mahogany chairs, a Hepplewhite dining table is set for entertaining with views of the Quarry Golf Course now visible through the addition of a sunroom adjacent to the dining area.
“I added the room and a pool to take advantage of the proximity to the manicured grounds of the golf course, which backs up to my property,” says Hess. “And there is a constant breeze that comes across the course that is pleasant even on the hottest days.”
A granite-clad island in the kitchen plays host to informal meals and offers work space for culinary preparations. A vintage French wrought iron pot rack brought back from a Parisian flea market excursion to Clignancourt keeps cookware orderly.
So far, Hess’s fervor for house hunting has been satiated with finding other families great places to live in 78209. As an agent with Phyllis Browning & Company, he still has a fondness for Alamo Heights cottages with curb appeal.