PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Dallas July_August 2021

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Bentley Tibbs The architect's 1940s bungalow near White Rock Lake artist Méret Oppenheim. He eats, works, and contemplates at a 350-year-old French farm table in the dining room, seated in a chair by an icon of mid-20th-century design, Eero Saarinen. He collects muscular, early Georgian silver flatware from England and earthy McCartys Pottery made from clay from the Mississippi River. And it's all set against a backdrop of dusky blues and greens. "Good architecture benefits from decoration," he says. "An empty building needs to sing, and the way people live is the beauty of the space." Tibbs' house has its own kind of beauty for living. In 2016 — a year before his 50th birthday — he rid himself of his TV and canceled his home internet service. "It wasn't a moral decision," he says. "TV and internet are distractions. Without them, I do more important things." He's taken up rowing on the lake, and he reads more books. He also has more time to tend his large rose garden, a hobby picked up as a 9-year-old after his boxing coach — of all people — gave him some rose bushes and taught him how to cultivate them. He spends a lot of time in the kitchen, cooking dishes his Louisiana-born mother taught him, such as crawfish étouffée and lobster chowder. The house is often silent, except for a 1780s grandfather clock that ticks and chimes on the hour. "As deliberate as I've made this place to be a quiet escape, it's also a wonderful place to entertain people and hear stories," says Tibbs, who regularly hosts dinner parties at the house and invites neighbors over for drinks. "Spaces need to be quiet — they shouldn't scream for attention — and they need to be strong. But they also need people to complete them."

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