PaperCity Magazine

February 2018- Houston

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Page 50 of 83

49 Opposite page: In the living room, French 19th-century Breche d'Alep marble fireplace from Joseph Minton Antiques, Dallas. Marilyn Minter photograph. Antique French bronze doré fireplace tools from Lewis & Maese Auction Co. Above: On mantel, antique marble-and-bronze candlesticks from Paris. W hen you're up in the air, you have a different perspective on the world," says Greg Fourticq, who downsized from a 6,500-square-foot, Frank Welch-designed house to The Huntingdon high-rise nearby. "You can take chances with design that you never would otherwise, and really make a sexy and dramatic space." Fourticq travels constantly with his family's private-equity business, so the convenience of high-rise living was enticing. A former retail executive with Donna Karan and Calvin Klein in New York City, he had amassed a stellar collection of art and furnishings — much of it large-scale. "I gravitate towards big things, and it's not something I think about until I have to move," he says. The apartment's low ceilings and many small rooms were a tight squeeze, so he brought in Dennis Brackeen of Dennis Brackeen Design Studio to open it up. "It was a major redo," says Brackeen, who tore down walls and unified spaces for a spacious, lofty feel. Brackeen's go-to solution for making walls appear to recede is to envelope them in dark colors. He wallpapered the entry in ruched black Élitis paper from France and swathed the hallway in matte black paint, Inkwell from Fine Paints of Europe, a brand he sells through his store, Moxie. All the painting in the house was carried out by artisans from 3 Angels Painting. The library walls and custom cabinetry were lacquered in Hollandlac high gloss Chocolate Bar, also by Fine Paints of Europe. "I'm known as a picky decorator," Brackeen says. "So it was a big project. It took about six layers of lacquer and sanding in between before the color was just right." And with ebony wood floors throughout, the apartment opens up. Fourticq hadn't lived in a high-rise since his years in New York, and this was a chance to push the limits. "I wanted to get outside my comfort zone," he says. "I would have never considered striped walls without Dennis." The living room's broad gold-and-cream stripes were painstakingly hand-painted and lend a vibrant, unexpected air. "Greg has a lot of fabulous antiques mixed with new, and we needed that one thing to rev it up even more," Brackeen says. Fourticq, who usually prefers neutrals and earth tones, surprised his decorator by requesting a pink bedroom. "I love pink for a guy's room," Brackeen says. He wrapped the room in a whispery pink Phillip Jeffries wallpaper and grounded it with a charcoal trim around the ceiling and floorboards. Slabs of gray marble and cabinetry painted Chelsea Grey from Fine Paints of Europe, trim out the master bath and dressing room. "It's masculine and clean — very Pierre Cardin," he says. In the kitchen, cabinets are painted Opium Red from Fine Paints of Europe, and the walls are papered in a faux-leather texture from Schumacher. The ceiling's tortoise Schumacher paper was inspired by Fourticq's collection of tortoiseshells. Given the large scale of his client's art and furniture, Brackeen meticulously planned where each would go. One of Fourticq's favorites pieces is a massive 1960s Japanese screen that has traveled everywhere he's lived. The screen, an inlaid mother- of-pearl table, carved jade elephant stool, and zebra-hide rug are the first things you see when you step inside; they set an exotic tone for the rest of the apartment. Much of what he owns was acquired while traveling the world during his time with Donna Karan, including an ancient Chinese scholar figure, bought in Paris with Karan years ago. "It's all over the board," he says of the mix, which includes George Smith mohair chairs, a Mies van der Rohe daybed and stools, and an old Persian rug. He's a minimalist at heart, but he does have well- considered collections, such as a large selection of Wedgwood basalt from the late 1800s to the 1930s, and a veritable zoo of Nymphenburg unglazed white porcelain animals. His vintage taxidermy collection includes water buffalo and bison. "If it's got hooves or heads, I'm fascinated by it," Fourticq says. He has hundreds of volumes on art, architecture, and photography, which Brackeen corralled in the library's custom bookshelves. The dramatic black-painted hallway acts as a gallery for large figural black-and-white photographs by Herb Ritts, Karl Lagerfeld, and Doug and Mike Starn. In the living room, a Marilyn Minter photograph hangs over a rare 19th-century Breche d'Alep marble fireplace, discovered at Joseph Minton Antiques. "I was going for a handsome, smart, and masculine mood," Brackeen says, "but the apartment also has a strategic whimsy," such as little taxidermy birds tucked among the books in the library and a wire bird by Fort Worth artist Helen Altman, perched high on the striped wall in the living room. Fourticq had always been charmed by the parakeet handles on the brass Birds basin set by P.E. Guerin; the powder bath was the perfect chance to use them. IN GREG FOURTICQ'S RIVER OAKS HIGH-RISE, DESIGNER DENNIS BRACKEEN GAMBLES ON THE SPECTACULAR WITH GOLD-SLASHED WALLS, TOBACCO AND INK-HUED LACQUER, AND A KITCHEN WITH LEATHER-TEXTURED WALLS AND TORTOISE PAPERED CEILING. HE WINS. (continued on page 52)

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