eNewsletter 211: A Most Fashionable Address
Pilegge Residence by Gena Sylvester
“The person that greets you at the entrance of a Cantoni store is not a salesperson. We are designers, capable of transforming the picture in your mind’s eye into a reality.” Gena Sylvester, Cantoni Houston
It’s no surprise that Houstonian Allessandria Pilegge has a keen eye for extraordinary design. For years she worked as a model, gracing the pages of fashion magazines as well as strutting down runways around the world. These days, the mother of three is content spending time with her family and enjoying their newly decorated home in Piney Point Village.
The Pilegge’s first came to Cantoni in the spring of 2011—originally to meet Robi Malerba during a personal appearance. (The Malerba’s conceive and craft a number of our most luxurious furniture lines.) That’s when Gena met the couple, too. “The day I greeted Tony and Allessandria at the door, we just seemed to click,” she recalls. “They had recently moved into their custom home, and were looking to add to the furniture they’d already purchased. I really got to know their taste during our initial conversations.”
Several weeks later, Gena toured the Pilegge residence, took measurements and sat down with Allessandria to discuss her wish list. In summation of her overall vision, Allessandria says, “My dream was always to create a sophisticated yet relaxed family environment, with classic modern furnishings and lively contemporary art. I am a modernist who despises clutter, and believe that function should define form.”
Gena pulled fabrics based on Allessandria’s priorities (dining room, living room and master bedroom), fantasies (she wanted the bedroom to feel like a luxurious “cocoon”) and love of color (purple and orange, please). Gena then created a PowerPoint presentation. “I assembled a portfolio of potential products and emailed it to her so she and Tony could take a look and make the final decisions together.” Utilizing the capabilities of our full-service, in-house design studio, Gena was able to allow her clients visualize (and price) the specific finished looks, thus taking all guesswork out of the equation.
The project evolved over the course of a year, as Allessandria was still busy modeling when it began, and then learned she was pregnant with her first child. “Three months into the design process, I found out I was pregnant,” she explains. “I was already busy with work and my stepchildren, and then had to cope with the challenge of morning sickness and fatigue.”
Based on the look of this beautiful home and family, the juggling, patience and perseverance was well worth the effort. Baby Milana is adored (it’s rumored she already has a plush playhouse out back), the upstairs is devoted to all three of the couple’s children, and though the main furnishings are in place, Allessandria says she enjoys collecting the art and accessories that mesh with her ever-evolving style.
“Working with Gena was a wonderful experience. She did not treat me like just another client. Gena treated me like a friend. I loved the fact that she offered her honest opinion and did not push anything on me. I knew what I wanted, and Gena helped me realize my vision.” Allessandria Pilegge
“My clients speak every dialect— from Texas twang to Hindi— but the common thread is their trust in me. I think they can sense that I truly take their needs to heart.” Gena, on Gena.
Gena Sylvester freely admits that her passion for home design is an obsession—or rather an illness from which she has no wish to recover.
Whether assisting builders with floorplans, advising homeowners on products, or consulting retailers on inventory selections at market, Gena has spent most of her life as a hands-on student of the furnishings trade. She continues to hone her craft by following trends and researching new technologies so the lessons learned can help her create “luscious, functional spaces.”
You may have seen Gena on a segment of Great Day Houston on KHOU. She makes regular appearances as a spokesperson for Cantoni, and as one of the city’s most notable professionals, offers trend-setting advice on interior design.
Gena acknowledges the options available to consumers today can be overwhelming and confusing, yet believes the dilemma offers the best argument for enlisting the help of a designer. “I can sift through the endless data and propose a plan based on my customer’s taste, timeline, use of space, and budget—in very short order—while building trust and hopefully a longstanding friendship.”
American Leather — Comfort Sleeper Sale Now in Progress!
Getting a restful night’s sleep on a sofa sounds like an oxymoron. That is, unless the bed in question is the new Comfort Sleeper™ Sofa by American Leather. No bars or springs or sagging, just a full-length expanse of high-density foam atop a platform that’s designed to encourage plenty of zzzz’s and sweet dreams.
Not only is the Comfort Sleeper an eye-catching piece of sophisticated seating, it features a patented mechanism to make opening and closing almost effortless.
If this sounds like a match made in heaven, for your spare room or living area, now is the time to buy. Receive factory authorized savings through May 5th on the incomparable Comfort Sleeper. Since Cantoni can have it in your home in time for summer guests (in approximately 30 days), you can officially rest easy.