The home serves as an informal gallery for Heather Essian’s artwork. The painting in a formal frame is propped atop a family heirloom chest, a juxtaposition that speaks to her love of surprising contrasts. H By Babs Rodriguez Photos by Ralph Lauer eather Essian is a patient woman. Deliberative in all she does, she is slowly decorating the 1905 Queen Anne she shares with her husband, pastor Jim Essian, and three daughters under the age of 7. She’s allowing the house, in Fort Worth’s Fairmount neighborhood, to tell her its stories as she focuses her vision for the family’s home. A portrait photographer who took up abstract painting when her second daughter was born, Heather views her creativity as a gift yet embraces it cautiously, wanting to employ it in service to others, too. She sees creating a welcoming space as a way to open When the Essians first saw the home’s interior, it still needed everything. But Heather envisioned the parlor as a little jewel box. “My right brain saw the parlor’s pocket door, and I fell in love.” The street-facing window was rebuilt to replace an entry door from the house’s conversion into apartments. Sherwin-Williams Caviar black walls provide an inky backdrop for a midcentury gold velvet couch, sisal and cowhide floor coverings, a pair of retro-style saucer chairs and Heather’s artwork.