PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Fort Worth March 2021

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87 BY REBECCA SHERMAN. PHOTOGRAPHY MANNY RODRIGUEZ. ARCHITECTURE AND CONSTRUCTION V FINE HOMES. INTERIOR DESIGN TRISH SHEATS, V INTERIORS. ROB AND LIZZIE SELL'S BEAUTIFULLY CRAFTED FAMILY HOME IN FORT WORTH PAYS HOMAGE TO GREAT TEXAS ARCHITECT JOHN STAUB, WITH A NOD TO LONG ISLAND'S MAGNIFICENT WOOD-SHINGLED ESTATES. A CLASSIC EXAMPLE T his broad, shingled house with its white-columned front porch might have been built 80 or 90 years ago, around the same time as many of the other houses in Fort Worth's leafy Crestwood neighborhood. Shaded by the tangled branches of old post oaks, the stately house draws attention: People driving by slow down to snap a quick photo, and pedestrians along Trinity Trail stop to admire it. Visitors might ask about the era in which it was built, or how extensive the remodel was. "When people find out it's new, they're amazed because it looks like it's been here a while," says Rob Sell, who built the house with wife, Lizzie Sell, in 2018. "We built it the way it would have been done 100 years ago, so it has the soul of an old house. But the paint and finishes and bigger windows make it feel new. It's a great combination." Sell, who is president and co- founder of V Fine Homes, often draws on the past as inspiration for the houses he builds, many of them in Fort Worth's oldest and most prominent neighborhoods. For their own family home, they borrowed ideas from the shingled houses they love so much on Long Island, where they were married. "I've wanted to build a shingled house, and there are a number of them in Fort Worth, but I've not been able to talk a client into doing it yet. We were really keen to do a shingle style house of our own," he says. The couple was living in a 1940s brick cottage — too tiny for their burgeoning family — when the opportunity arose to buy the house across the street, on a bigger lot. "I shook hands with the owner to buy it on the day our third child was born," Sell remembers. They demolished the nondescript ranch-style house that was on it — "the kind you don't feel guilty about tearing down," he says, "and by the time we finished designing the house, we also had a set of twins." Crestwood reminds them of the neighborhood where they grew up in Amarillo, an unexpected oasis on the dusty high plains of West Texas, with brick streets lined with old elms and In the butler's pantry, custom cabinetry by V Fine Homes is hand-brushed in Farrow & Ball paint. Classic Brass in New York handmade all the hardware for the house. The 1940s dining-room table and chairs belonged to Lizzie Sell's grandmother. Visual Comfort chandelier.

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