PaperCity Magazine

July/August 2019- Dallas

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Page 63 of 83

88 at designing beautifully proportioned rooms. He wasn't a trained architect, but as Minton points out: "All good decorators have a sense of architecture, and so did Jean-Michel Frank. He didn't just pick out fabrics." Channeling Frank, Duesing created intimately scaled, formal rooms for the Lafield house that flow effortlessly into a central great room, with views to the beautifully landscaped garden and pool. The homeowners love the outdoors — they recently spent a month sailing on their yacht in the Atlantic Ocean off the Bahamas — and Jack is an avid fisherman. From inception to move-in, the house took four years to build, and during that time the homeowners and their team met for three or four hours almost every week, often outside by the pool. "The Lafields had a lot of trust in all of us, and cultivated that relationship," Duesing says. "I'm a firm believer that if you have a good project, it's because you have good clients." D uesing designed the Lafield house with a traditional slate roof and a clean-lined exterior clad in cut Lueders limestone and stucco. The interior architecture includes wall panels in exotic shagreen, leather, and cerused oak. "These luxurious materials are tried and true," Duesing says. "They are traditional, but they are also a Jean-Michel Frank element. He treated architecture the same way he treated furniture, using many of the same materials. If you look at this house, it's just an overblown piece of furniture. If you can design a chair, you can design a house. It's all about proportion and materials." To echo the exterior, cut-limestone floors were used throughout much of the house. Minton used contrasting patterns of polished and honed cut- limestone to create subtle transitions from one space to the next, such as the dining-room floor's radiating circles. Walls and ceilings in every room are immaculately crafted of thick, polished plaster by artisan Casey Cheatham of Interior Plaster Design. The great room's barrel- vaulted plaster ceiling is not only classically beautiful, but, because it floats, it allows for indirect LEDs and hides air-conditioning vents. The dining room's plaster ceiling has an elegant, draped effect that softens the room's hard materials. Philip Nimmo-designed table and Natasha Baradaran-designed stools, from Jean de Merry. Venini chandelier, circa 1950. The bar's custom-designed door is paneled in shagreen and retracts into a climate-controlled area in the ceiling. (continued on page 65)

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