Design Detour: Courtnay Tartt Elias


A tonic is said to energize — and that’s certainly the effect of Courtnay Tartt Elias’s interiors at her firm, Creative Tonic. Gravitating toward all that is colorful, Elias uses rich palettes, patterns and textures (think chinoiserie wallpaper and pom pom fringe) to create imaginative spaces centered around the art of gathering and celebration. “In Houston, anything goes, and that’s what makes this city so much fun,” the designer says. “From traditional or French country to modern and industrial, every home embraces its own sense of style, and homeowners here love to mix things up! 

Photography by Julie Soefer 


Rosie Cannonball is the best: delicious cocktails and pizza, cool interiors and a lively environment in Montrose. I’d love to have dinner there with a big group of my favorite local creative: Barbara Tartt (the grande dame of Creative Tonic) and Mark Elias (Mr. Creative Tonic), Stephanie Tsuru, Melissa Juneau, Harper Watters, Isla Reckling, Jon Green of Indigo Interiors, Lindsey Herod, Meg Lonergan, Marie Flanigan, Randy Powers, Nicole Zarr, Chandos Epley and Julie Soefer.” 


“Locally, I love to shop Found, Upper Kirby Consignment, OKA and LAM Bespoke, and for luxurious European-style bedding, Longoria Collection is my go-to. I love their signature line of linens and their accessories, books and Diptyque candles.” 

Bonnington Wall Sconce by AERINBonnington Wall Sconce by AERIN


“Art is essential to any good room design, and the kitchen is no exception! The 24" Cabinet Maker’s Picture Light by Chapman & Myers is a practical and beautiful way to highlight artwork, and it suits many different design styles.” 


"The Joseph Company makes all of my custom furniture and upholstery, and they can always be counted on to craft pieces of the highest quality. Peck & Company does custom metal work, everything from curtain rods to tables, and their powder coating expertise allows me to be bold in my color choices. And I love working with Retorra Rugs on custom commissions — everything they produce is durable, stylish and unique."


"I love Badminton by deGournay — the coppery finish balances the masculine and feminine and it feels young and fun backdrop approachable enough for a family dining house."

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"I love the Quatrefoil Floor Lamp by Suzanne Kasler so much that I actually have two in my own home! Simple lines and a quatrefoil element make this a classic that works in almost any interior." 


"When I’m looking for a showstopper, I call on the Halcyon Three Tier Chandelier by Kelly Wearstler. Traditional brass and modern quartz drops make quite a statement!" 


"Kelly Wearstler’s Linden Lamp is well on its way to becoming a classic, and for good reason. The design is strong yet whimsical and I love that its versatility means I can mix it into a broad range of interior styles."