PaperCity Magazine

January 2019- Dallas

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43 S ome couples golf together, others play tennis. For this Dallas CEO and his wife, bonding comes in the form of putting down roots — however temporary — and feathering a beautiful nest. "Our hobby is doing houses," the wife says. "We move a lot, and we've had as many houses as years we've been married." The husband's job has relocated the traveling duo to London, Egypt, New York, Seattle, and a few cities in between. Together, they have restored old houses, redecorated modern spaces, and shared a glamorous leased apartment in Manhattan, decorated by Miles Redd. Their styles are disparate: She prefers layered and transitional; he goes for clean and contemporary. Their mutual love of travel helps tie everything together. "If you buy things you love and know what you like, you are going to be able to figure out how to make it all work," she says. He is originally from Dallas. She is from Houston. Five years ago, they moved to Dallas and, in 2016, bought a 1920s Mediter- ranean in Highland Park. After spending a year renovating, they enlisted the help of interior designer Jan Showers, whose work the wife had long admired. Then, midway through the decorating process, the husband suggested they step back and reassess. "He said, 'This is a family house, but we are empty nesters,'" the wife recalls. "We had bought a house for our previous stage of life — and he was right." The couple's two married sons already had homes of their own, and the 6,000-square-foot house felt too big. They mentioned their dilemma to a real estate agent, who hit a home run with the first house he showed them. The contemporary Bluffview home was built in 2014 by ar- chitect Svend Fruit of Bodron + Fruit, and is almost hidden from the street, surrounded by trees and lush, park-like landscaping. Floor-to-ceiling windows in every room allow for stunning views. "It's a serene respite in the middle of the city," the wife says. "We fell in love with it." At 3,000 square feet, the house was half the size of their previous one, with combined kitchen, dining, and living areas. Still, as much as they loved it, the couple couldn't envision making the smaller space work. They looked at other possibilities, and eventually the Bluffview house went off the market. Nine months later, their agent called: "The house is on the market again," he said. "Are you sure you don't want it?" By then, they had had a change of heart. "We're definitely interested now!" she told him. D ownsizing turned out to be the right move. "The thing we were most concerned about has become one of our favorite things about the house," the wife says. The combined living, dining, and kitchen spaces were beautifully conceived by Bodron + Fruit in teak, walnut, and marble, and allow for tremendous flexibility. "In other houses, we only used the formal dining room when guests came over, and there were other rooms we never used," the wife says. "Here, we have a table large enough for a dinner party, but my husband and I can also sit there and still be in the main space as our granddaughter plays. We use every bit of this house." With careful editing, all of the couple's favorite furniture and art fit perfectly. "Our kids now have fully furnished residences," the wife says laughing. "We gave away a lot, but some things were absolutes — we were not moving without them. Jan was fantastic in knowing how to incorporate them." "My client has a sophisticated eye." Showers says. "The key was finding a balance between what she already had and new pieces." Showers designed the Italian-style dining table specifically for the new space, and chose golden colors and comfortable furnishings to make the combined living and dining areas inviting. "The house is already contemporary and sleek, and they wanted it a little warmer," says Showers, who set the tone with an amber-hued Murano glass chandelier and accessories in the dining room. In the living area, artist Celia Rogge's large Golden Glow photograph plays off a pair of vintage 1960s Italian armchairs, reupholstered in yellow-gold velvet. Throughout the house, furnishings in warm materials such as brass, bronze, and wood juxtapose with sleek glass, mirror, and chrome. Showers is known for creating glamorous and sophisticated interiors with fine Italian and French mid-century furnishings, and this house is no exception. In the entry, a French 1940s cabinet with carved Matisse designs was discovered in Paris, along with a 1950s bronze coffee table by Maison Jansen, now in the living area. Vintage Murano glass lamps, some with original bases, illuminate every room. A nickel-and-Lucite bar cart, from the Jan Showers Collection, displays beautiful bottles and decanters in the dining area. And, a recent excursion to Paris produced a number of rare finds, including a pair of French 1940s etched-bronze tables. The Bluffview home is almost hidden from the street in a park-like setting. (continued)

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