PaperCity Magazine

June 2017 - Dallas

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up some walls, and instead of a formal dining room, it now opens to the kitchen," Hoak says. "We're pretty casual." A previous owner had laid beautiful French limestone floors downstairs, and when Hoak and Perkins removed the carpeting upstairs, the original hardwoods were revealed, with gorgeous old patina intact. Don't let the formality of the house's French manorial-style facade fool you. Inside, it's all about living comfortably with their dogs and cherished furniture and objects collected over the years, much of it from buying trips for the store. Says Hoak of their global treasures: "It's an odd mix, but we love it. As I'm looking around the room, there's a French dining table, an antique Chinese vase, an English Knole-style leather sofa, a stone bowl from India, an old Korean side table, a Lucite table from near Miami, and, of course, our Chris Spitzmiller lamps." Mecox is known for promoting the works of local artists in every city, and this is something that comes from the heart. Case in point: Perkins befriended under-the-radar Houston artist Dorothy Hood back in the late '70s and purchased a number of her works. "She never got her due until recently, but Fred loved her work," Hoak says. "Now she's considered the preeminent Texas painter." Perkins and Hoak have several of her paintings in the main house and cottage. A Terry Elkins boat painting, which hangs over the brick mantel in the cottage, is a Hamptons-based artist they've been promoting for years by selling his works in their stores in the Hamptons and in Los Angeles. "We love helping artists," Hoak says. P art of the fun of peeling back the layers in their house is that you never know when another intriguing story will emerge. Hoak, who describes himself as a "book-aphile," explains how their book collection includes 2,000 tomes inherited from a 1920s house they purchased in 1995 in Water Mill, a hamlet of Southampton. The house had belonged to pianists and performers Robert Fizdale and Arthur Gold, fixtures in New York's artistic community, who were friends with literary and cultural figures such as Truman Capote, George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, and Jackson Pollock. Their estate had no heirs, so the contents were sold for charity — but no one wanted the books, a varied collection that included titles on dance, art, design, and cooking. "So many of the authors were friends of theirs," says Hoak. "I opened up one book, and it was signed by Jerome Robbins. What they had was so personal to that way of life and the way they lived." Hoak discovered other books inscribed by luminaries in their respective fields, such as textile designer Jack Lenor Larsen, who retired to the Hamptons to garden; painter and poet Robert Dash; legendary abstract expressionist Willem de Kooning; and screenwriter and influential dance critic Edwin Denby, whose 16-page typed letter to Fitzdale and Gold was tucked inside a manila envelope in the back of a book. For Hoak, the books represent a lost bohemia, a generation now obscured by the East End's gentrification and celebrity. "When I got to the Hamptons, many people from that creative burst were still there, but it started to change even as I was there," he says. Vestiges of In the cottage dining nook, paintings by Palm Beach artist Michelle Feder. Chinese vase from Mecox. Mac Hoak and Fred Perkins, with Sam and Ally.

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