PaperCity Magazine

November 2014 - Dallas

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NOVEMBER | PAGE 44 | 2014 T he world can be divided into two kinds of people: those who love high-rise living and those who don't. "That's the thing," says Rob Dailey. "I never in a million years thought I'd live in a high-rise." But last January, after selling his house on Travis Street and living temporarily in a cramped mid-century while he searched for a new home, "this place in the W Residences popped up as I was looking online," he recalls. "I walked in and thought, 'This is it.'" Located on the 22nd floor and designed by architect Lionel Morrison, it had all of the things he wanted: tall ceilings and windows, powder and laundry rooms, a big bath with a separate shower, roomy closet and gas cooking. It also had plenty of other things he didn't know he wanted, such as a large 35-by- 10-foot terrace with a killer view of downtown Dallas and a profusion of amenities, including room service from the hotel and 24-hour concierge. "I call the W 'assisted living'," he jokes. "They do everything. I travel a lot [he just finished a house in Napa for Howard and Cindy Rachofsky and is currently working on projects in Philadelphia and Turks and Caicos], so if I get home from the airport at 11 at night, I can order room service. How great is that?" His light bulbs get changed regularly, and just talking about it elicits a joyful "Oh my, I just love this place!" Once a week, a standing order of flowers is efficiently whisked to his unit. "If I'd known back then what I know now," he says, "I would have been here long ago." With limestone floors and white walls throughout the 1,100-square-foot space, "it's perfect for my crazy, eclectic group of furniture," he says. A furniture designer himself, Dailey created many of the pieces in his apartment, including a table he uses as a floating island in the kitchen, made from one continuous piece of steel (the underside is lacquered coral orange). It triples as a work surface for cooking, a dining table for dinner parties and a bar when people gather for cocktails. He also designed the Lucite coffee table and armless mohair sofa in the living room. A pair of petite antique French armchairs upholstered in synthetic fur with nailheads were done "rough around the edges, with Roberto Cavalli in mind," he says. Dailey's artwork is equally diverse. Last month, after attending a friend's birthday party in Oaxaca, he brought back a tarantula sculpture, made out of an X-ray and suspended inside a Lucite box by Oaxaca artist/tattooist ROB DAILEY, ROBERT WILLIAM DAILEY DESIGN AND DECORATION Dr. Lakra. "Lakra means pest," Dailey says of the artist whose real name is Jeronimo Lopez Ramirez. The tarantula sits next to three painted panels of what Dailey dubs his "naughty nuns," signed by an unknown artist named Pucci. From the 1950s (and part of a larger group), the panels depict nuns giggling in various situations — tittering while a Catholic cardinal swings a black cat around or chuckling as one of their fellow nuns plays puppeteer to a dancing sailor attached to strings. Also on the wall are six whimsical panels by New York artist Deborah Grant, which he purchased from Talley Dunn. He also owns a Chuck Close print. "I just like things that mean something to me," he says. "I'm not a collector with any particular agenda. I'm not an art snob. I like things that start a conversation or make you think." People always like to know how a designer approaches his own home. For Dailey, it's pretty much the same as any other space he works on. "The environment tells you what it needs," he says. So, what is his 22nd-floor home saying? "This space is all about light and communicating the outdoor space," he says. "I have the whole city outside my window. I don't have window coverings; I just let the light in. It's mostly about enjoying the changing light of the day — in the mornings, watching the sun as it rises; by evening, the glow of the sunset as it reflects off the buildings; and at night, the city lights. This place has many moods, because so do I." Rob Dailey lounges on a 19th-century settee covered in vintage linen, with a FriendDoll from Ely Sellers. Side chair, one of a pair that he found and had stripped and covered in blonde teddy-bear fur. Books include Lucha Loco by Malcolm Venville and The Secret Lives of Men and Women compiled by Frank Warren. African wooden vessel with succulents top a steel column Dailey commissioned from David Alkire. Douglas Little amethyst-slice side table with bronze legs. The Lucite coffee table is Dailey's own design. Dailey found the tray in Saudi Arabia; it now holds a collection of betel-nut containers, an 18th- century Chinese wine cup and an Egyptian scarab. A painting by Erik Thor Sandberg, Ferment, 2010, acquired at TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art. Vase suspended in acrylic was a gift from Jonathan Adler.

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