PaperCity Magazine

November 2014 - Dallas

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NOVEMBER | PAGE 43 | 2014 JOSHUA RICE, JOSHUA RICE DESIGN M aybe we should not covet thy neighbor's house, but somehow the grass is always greener there. In Joshua Rice's case, it was 8,000 square feet of grass and wooded terrain surrounding a mid-century house down the street that turned his head. "I drove by it all the time," he says of the 1,500-square-foot modern in White Rock Lake that he and wife Riley Rice, a realtor with David Griffin & Co., purchased 10 years ago. "It had this monolithic brick wall surrounding it that I really liked. One day, I saw this 80-year- old woman in the yard raking leaves and gave her my card. I told her if she ever wanted to sell it, to give me a call." She called the next week, and the Rices bought the house three months later. Like many dwellings of the era, mahogany paneling and exposed brick gave it a dark feel. Rice replaced the paneling with sheetrock but left the brick. "We kept warm and inviting materials but painted walls white," he says. "It's a pretty good balance of warmth and brightness now." The main living and dining areas, which had been broken up by walls and doors, were restructured into one open space. "The renovation was an exercise in how to respect a mid-century house without dating it," he says. "It's really more about serving the house than a reflection of my personal style. If I wanted it to reflect that, it'd be a lot more minimal — but with a wife and kids (their two daughters are preschool age), that's not really a good option." As with all his projects, his own home's interiors are "more curated than designed," he explains. "I spend so much obsessive time getting every piece just right — gotta find this chair or that table … Everything is very considered, and there's a reason for everything." Much of what he collects is obscure, avant- garde or rare. "The house is full of things I have hunted down patiently over the years," he says. "I have VVD lounge chairs by Vincent Duysen and several pieces from the Artona series [late 1970s], including the chairs by Tobia Scarpa for Maxalto. Probably one of my favorite things is a solid-marble vintage Biagio lamp by Scarpa, which resides in the master bedroom." The furnishings are noteworthy, yes, but who wants to live in a museum? Rice tries to create rooms that are "effortlessly luxurious — refined and important, but not precious, like you're not supposed to be in that room or sit in that chair," he says. "Everything has a tactile quality that begs to be touched." The most used room in his house has one of his most collectible pieces in it: a vintage glass dining table designed by the late Italian architect Carlo Scarpa (Tobia's father), which gets constant use. "It's where the girls do their homework and art projects. They can do anything to it, spill paint all over it, and it won't hurt it. It's where I work on most of my projects, too." "IT'S REALLY MORE ABOUT SERVING THE HOUSE THAN A REFLECTION OF MY PERSONAL STYLE." - JOSHUA RICE Vintage pottery by ceramicist Richard Lincoln. Large art- work by Andrea Rosenberg, from Barry Whistler Gallery. Small work in white frame by Polly Lanning Sparrow, also from Barry Whistler Gallery. Black-framed painting on right by Johan Van Mullem, from HUS Gallery. The walnut and white Corian sideboard is custom built. Joshua Rice in his dining room. Vintage Scarpa dining table and Kentucky dining chairs by Carlo Scarpa; the latter were designed for Bernini. Lantern light-fixture set by Mathias Hahn for Ligne Roset. Artwork behind plants by Lorraine Tady, from Barry Whistler Gallery. The vintage VVD Series chair by Vincent Van Duysen for B&B Italia is Rice's favorite design. Vintage L-shaped cabinets from the Artona series, designed by Tobia and Afra Scarpa for Maxalto. Turned solid-wood side table by Chris Lehrecke. Tab lamp by Barber and Osgerby for Flos.

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