PaperCity Magazine

May 2013 - Houston

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of the couple's personalities. "He loves the mountains and to hunt. She has this breezy Southern California girl in her," Dodson says. "They vacation on the West Coast every summer, and I wanted the house to have that feel, rustic yet sophisticated. But casual — they're just happy people." Dodson was going for a touch of the Hollywood Regency style. The symmetries and formal elements she used do speak to the grandeur of the house, but her design lacks the mannered — not to say compulsive — over-the-top quality of that aesthetic. And if it's not exactly minimalist, what she has done with the house is certainly understated. The interior is like a taut white canvas splashed here and there with luxurious golds and daubed with woodsy browns — and flaunting, every once in a while and just where you wouldn't expect it, a surrealist doodle. Such as the tromp l'oeil tented ceiling in the pool bathroom, about which Dodson says, "The ceiling got lost when it was the same color as the wall. I wanted to add the feel of an old French circus tent, loose and draped." Or the damask pattern stenciled onto the loft stairway in one of the children's bedrooms. "I don't know where this stuff comes from, out of my brain," she says, perhaps dissembling. Let's just call it originality. Another of her unconventional moves was the extensive use of indoor-outdoor fabric on upholstered pieces, Link Outdoor's Twill acrylic in sugar white. "They have three girls. They entertain a lot. And it's very durable," she says. The homeowners also happen to be serious wine collectors. So, can people spill red wine all over the furniture and live to tell the tale? "Yeah, I actually did that," Dodson says. "It wiped right off." It would take a number of fingers and toes to count the chandeliers in this house — and also to detail their various periods and styles. "Lighting was huge," Dodson says. "We probably went a little overboard as far as budget is concerned. But it makes such a statement, it's like the jewelry on a house. The lighting can make a room really special." Of her clients, Dodson says, "They really trusted me, even when I doubted myself. That's a designer's biggest fault sometimes. Every now and then, you get this moment of insecurity in making a decision. But they had 100 percent confidence. And even when they didn't, they'd say, 'Okay, let's just do it.'" And we suspect they have no regrets. TOP: The master bedroom curtains are of a Zimmer Rhode silk called Colibri. Custom embroidery on the valance was done by Villa Savoia. The Art Deco bronze figure was purchased at Swenson Gallery in Laguna Beach. The painted abstract panel faces its other half; they began life together as a freestanding screen at John Saladino's New York showroom, purchased on impulse and without a plan for its use. LEFT: The quirky stool with sheep's legs and a sheepskin cushion, was found in the field at Round Top. The homeowners call it their "little Fraggle Rock." Chandelier from Area. MAY | PAGE 39 | 2013

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