PaperCity Magazine

September 2015 - Dallas

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SEPTEMBER | PAGE 55 | 2015 box renovation had an upside: The formerly closed-in kitchen and dining room were opened up and stepped down into a newly built, glassed-in porch. Narrow with low ceilings and a steep descent, the porch's awkwardness was balanced by the glorious views it presented of the vast backyard, which slopes down into a creek. The setting, plus the house's close proximity to Knox-Henderson's bustling stores and restaurants, had the homeowners hooked. "We heard the house was coming on the market, and we had always wanted to live on this street," says the wife, who grew up nearby in a John Astin Perkins-designed house on Armstrong Avenue but also spent many years living and working in New York City and London, where street life is prominent. Her husband, a local entrepreneur and New Orleans native, was also accustomed to walking everywhere and had lived in the neighborhood previously. "We missed the urban vibe of big cities, and the house's location provides for a place to walk to dinner, or to coffee or to the store. That's unique in Dallas. Not a day goes by that we don't walk somewhere in the evening," she says. T he couple lived in the house for a number of years, still undecided whether this would be a house for the long term. When they were expecting their first child about 10 years ago and wanted to decorate the nursery, good friends recommended Garzotto. "It began with consulting on colors, then grew from there," he says. Then a fire broke out in the dryer four years ago, sending damaging smoke throughout the house. The couple was faced with the decision to either completely renovate or demolish and start over. "Several people advised us to tear the house down," the wife says. "But after living in it, we had developed a deep response to the old bones and the old soul. We also wanted to preserve the integrity of the neighborhood. While others were telling us to tear it down, Paul told us, 'It's a deeply domestic house,' and we are deeply domestic people. That struck a chord." They opted to renovate, and Garzotto began tackling challenges that included merging the couple's disparate styles — her taste is traditional, while his is modern. By then, the couple had had two young children, with a third on the way, and Garzotto was also tasked with turning the family house into an elegant residence appropriate for entertaining large groups of people. "[The husband] is very New Orleans, so there is always a party over there with lots of food, drinks and fun," he says. The biggest challenge, however, was how to blend the original old architecture and interiors with the newer, more contemporary additions. "It took a bit of tugging to make it work," says Garzotto, who enlisted help from a fleet of top- flight local artisans and talent, including Brent Hull of Hull Historical in Fort Worth, a national authority on historic design who restored and supplemented the original wood details. Architect J. Mark Barry of Barry Bull Ballas Design and Christy Blumenfeld of Blume Architecture redesigned the glassed-in porch area, raised the ceilings and helped convert it into a family room ample enough to host large groups of friends on game night. Barry also designed a master suite upstairs with a magnificent balcony view of the back gardens and added a stylish glassed-in study off the first floor library for the husband. With so much focus now on the back exterior, landscape architect Mary Ellen Cowan of Mesa Design Group made the most of the rolling, verdant topography by relocating the An informal dining area is separated from the family room by a 10-foot buffet that belonged to the husband's parents in New Orleans. Tables Warren Platner for Knoll. Kartell kid-proof chairs. In the family room, Paul Garzotto designed the 10-foot custom sofa, which is upholstered in the same Holly Hunt indoor/outdoor velvet that covers the walls of the dining room. Sofa and tufted ottoman by Caperton Collection, through Culp Associates. The chairs are inherited pieces from both sides of the family and were re-covered by Marroquin Custom Upholstery in fabrics by Manuel Canovas and Colefax & Fowler. Damien Hirst painting.

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