PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Houston April 2023

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to know how it's made. The craftsmanship it takes to do that has to be there. You can't cheat." Livable, Open, and Light Fast forward a couple of decades, and the house has a new owner: a California transplant and former proprietor of a Napa winery. After seeing a project by Dallas interior designer Chad Dorsey, who has a satellite office in L.A., she rang him up and asked him to drop by. "The minute I walked onto the property, it was like, 'Wow!'" remembers Dorsey, who is also a trained architect. "It was this amazing architectural house — I couldn't help but be inspired." The client wanted to freshen the interiors, which were furnished mostly with antiques, and she had already made a start with modern furniture such as a Mies van der Rohe daybed and Barcelona chairs. "The architecture was so amazing that you could honestly do anything to the interior and it would look great," Dorsey says. "But we focused on making it livable and open and light, because with all the beams and limestone it can get heavy quickly." Plaster walls were given a warm, bright coat of Vanilla Milkshake by Benjamin Moore, a beautiful contrast to the dark timber beams and ebonized wood floors. With ceilings that soar as high as 14 feet and light streaming from clerestory windows above, the 10,000-square-foot house feels naturally spacious. The biggest challenge was how to place furniture in such big rooms so that people feel comfortable. "We came up with a furniture plan, then strategically pulled in new items and objects that would enhance what she already had," Dorsey says. "Some of the Spanish Colonial hacienda in San Antonio designed by O'Neil Ford in 1967. For the Highland Park house, Dallas builder Cy Barcus Sr. brought masons from Mexico to recreate iconic architectural details used by Ford, including the loggia's traditional boveda vaulted ceiling — a low brickwork arch that is remarkably self-supporting once the final brick is laid. Bovedas, also known as Catalan vaults, are used throughout Mexico and Mediterranean regions, particularly Catalonia. Barcus also enlisted specialty artisans to create many of the unusual details in the house, including a local artist who hand- poured and cast inch-thick glass for the living room's high clerestory windows. Set behind a low stone wall and tall hedges, the house unfolds discretely from the street via leafy courtyards, gravel pathways, and stone arches. The exterior's rare golden-tinged Old Yeller limestone was mined from a ranch near San Antonio and is no longer available. Timber beams supporting the living room's dramatic vaulted ceiling were reclaimed from old Pennsylvania barns. "The essence of a great house is in the ceilings," Stocker says. "The trouble with the modern world is everything is fake — a beautiful arch actually holds something up, and you need The loggia was inspired by the Marshall Steves hacienda in San Antonio, designed by architect O'Neil Ford in 1967. The exterior is made from rare Old Yeller limestone, while the columns are carved from Lueders limestone. Courtyards like this one are common features of Spanish Colonial Revival houses.

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