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All in the Family

Julie Dodson creates an easy, breezy, beautiful abode for a Houston-area couple and their gang of frequent guests. 

The mirror above the living room fireplace is also from Round Top. The room’s French doors open onto a 63-foot lanai.

“We’ve moved a lot,” Tricia Pezzia says. “We were always just searching, I guess, for that magical house.” For their latest relocation, Tricia and her physician husband, Willy, landed in the small town of Fulshear, just west of Katy, in an idyllic, lake-strewn subdivision called Cross Creek Ranch. The couple, who have been married 25 years and lived in the Houston area for more than 40, worked with custom home builder Kickerillo Companies to construct their current house, which sits on a lot the Pezzias chose for its prime lakefront views. “We were the first ones in here. We got the pick of all the lots,” says Tricia, who personally designed the floor plan of the house to accommodate frequent visits from her large extended family, which includes five kids, 10 grandkids and her parents.

“The intention of the floor plan was to have humongous rooms,” Tricia says. “It’s only a three-bedroom house, but it’s over 5,000 square feet. The rooms are humongous because we get together once a month and celebrate the birthdays of that month—there’s always something with such a big family,” she continues. The home’s sprawling kitchen-dining-living room combo sets the scene for the monthly get-togethers, which include four generations and children ranging from 3 months to 13 years. “Our goal was to limit the walls,” Tricia says of the home’s design, “so that we could spread out in every direction when we need to.”

To decorate the lively living quarters, the Pezzias called in Houston-based interior designer Julie Dodson of Dodson Interiors. Tricia became enamored with Dodson’s work after seeing a bedroom she designed for one of Baylor College of Medicine’s Pink Ribbon House projects, a philanthropic enterprise dedicated to raising funds for breast cancer research. “That room was very peaceful, very soothing, maybe a little bit more on the feminine side,” says Dodson. “And Tricia fell in love with it.”

In addition to helping select finishes such as flooring, tile, paint and countertops, Dodson helped choose the furnishings throughout the house. The Pezzias didn’t bring any furniture from their previous homes (their five adult offspring were happy to take those items off their hands), so Dodson started from scratch in her mission to create a comfortable and relaxing home reminiscent of the room that originally drew homeowner to designer.

Custom chairs, an antique settee and an accent table by Bliss Studio create a cheerful sitting area in the master bedroom. 

“We wanted something fun and breezy and soft,” says Dodson, who opted for engineered oak floors and a seagrass rug in the living room, as well as ivory-colored custom seating upholstered in pretty yet practical indoor-outdoor fabric. “I normally do indoor-outdoor on all my furniture,” she says, “especially when it’s lighter furniture, just because it wears better.”

To source the one-of-a-kind accent pieces found throughout the home, including upholstered settees in the entry and master bedroom, and mirrors in the living room and powder room, Tricia and Dodson ventured to Round Top for the town’s semiannual antiques fair, an experience that has become a bit of a tradition for Tricia. “I had never been to Round Top before and now I go twice a year, whether I need anything or not,” the homeowner says, laughing. “Julie got me started on it. That’s been dangerous.”

So, with Tricia’s Round Top treasures in place, Dodson’s interior design finely tuned and a floor plan ideal for the family’s frequent gatherings, have the Pezzias finally found their magical house? “I think we did—through a lot of trial and error,” Tricia says with a laugh. “It’s going to take a lot for us to be able to give this up because this is perfect.”