When my clients walked me through their new home in Highland Park, Texas I instantly loved its open gallery-like feel. They had just returned from living in Europe and wanted their new Dallas home to be chic yet easy for entertaining.
Before beginning the interior design process, my first step was to understand their personal aesthetics and practical lifestyle requirements using SBL’s Client Questionnaire. With this in-depth analysis in hand, my design direction was clear. I had 3 main objectives for this Highland Park modern home :
Warming up a white box interior
I admired the modern, airy feeling of the house. But, the client’s love of whimsical art, animal motifs, and frequent entertaining lead me to carefully revise aspects to inject their personality. It needed warmth and visual interest.
Creating a wow Wet Bar
For example, this corner wet bar seemed like an afterthought. It was hidden behind a wall to the side of the center hallway. With a client trained as a Mixologist, this would be a missed opportunity. We needed a “wow” wet bar.
This reimagined space became the hub of this Highland Park home. By removing the left wall, it became highly visible from the adjacent Media room and Kitchen. It was important that it look equally inviting day or night, so we carefully blended fun and sophistication. The walnut wood flat panel cabinets cleanly conceal an ice maker and a wine fringe. Classic white Statuary marble countertops compliment other 20th Century modern designs throughout the home.
The highlight of this small entertaining space is the lighting. We designed and fabricated custom stainless steel and smoky glass shelves with contrast polished brass shelf brackets. The shelves have LED dimmable lights at the interior illuminating the shelves. When lit, the sexy glow of the light softly reflected on the metallic wallcovering. This Phillip Jeffries foil paper wraps from the bar into the adjacent Media Room. The whimsical brass string lights dangle from the ceiling adding another unique lighting element.
Making the Living Room inviting
Similarly, The living room was very cool and sterile before we started. It needed texture and warmth. We carefully added brass and emerald tones, and interesting textures in the furnishings to make the space inviting.
There is a cool gray through line amongst the finishes, millwork, & terrazzo, but I complimented it with warm gray and pops of muted blue, green and brass to enrich the light, modern scheme. The mix of materials – like the ochre goatskin coffee table, solid marble side table, and the strie silk mohair on the wing chair – were intentionally chosen. The addition of tall wool sateen draperies add elegant drama to the house and affirms the inviting palette.
We were able to design an elegant, pale palette in the Living Room with the help of performance fabrics. Because this room would be used once a week for entertaining guests, we paid special attention to the durability of materials. The sofa is a sturdy coach cloth fabric, the curved modern sofa is upholstered in a shimmery woven synthetic outdoor fabric and all the surfaces for drinks are brass, glass or treated with bar top lacquer.
A collection of curious furnishings
The Entry upon first reflection
With terrazzo floors and clean-lined modern walls, this Entry felt like an museum gallery upon first view. Because the clients are art lovers, I decided to design this room with a similar exhibition space restraint. My intent was to have each furnishing piece be sculptural in form to compliment the works on the walls.
The client owned a large William Steiger painting and it found its spot immediately opposite the front door. With a nod to museum gallery benches, we added a modern tufted seat in rich plum silk mohair. Fornasetti malachite wallpaper frames David Cole’s “Trophy Wife” Sculpture on the side wall. The blown glass vase atop the Cheese Stone pedestal commands the opposite corner. It’s the perfect spot for seasonal flowers. My favorite statement piece is the large brass & neon initial “K” that illuminates the back corner.
Adding interesting pieces in the Living Room
This home has an open interior plan and you flow into the Living room from the Entry. I wanted this modern Living Room to be eclectic, with each furniture piece having a strong presence. For example, the silhouette of the coffee table is distinctive in antique brass with a golden goatskin parchment top. Because I love fun lighting, I chose a powerful snakeskin wrapped standing lamp and ombre gray concrete table lamp for the space.
A pair of sculptural Barcelona chairs sit in front of tall sliding doors that connect the Living Room to a large patio. The chairs look great from the patio angle and provide an inviting view to the seating area and the Client’s whimsical deer on wheels artwork the we found together in Aspen.
The Dining Room’s crisp shapes
The Dining Room is another space where we added fun elements. It’s in the center of the home, therefore it has an important visual connection to all rooms. We carefully mixed Danish modern and custom streamline furniture pieces to accent the Client’s artwork. Similar to the Entry, the contrast of the furniture silhouettes against the white walls and terrazzo floor was intentional to set them off as sculptural pieces.
Adding sophisticated color
I’m not a fan of a lot of saturated, pure color in interiors. If you read my blog post My All-time Favorite Paint Colors, you know I prefer muted, complex hues. In this project the client loved Peacock blue, deep green and jewel tones in addition to gray. It was a challenge to carefully infuse these colors into the design while keeping the overall visual flow and refined design. Careful restraint was key.
Client’s favorite jewel tones in the Dining Room
Neutral terrazzo and warm gray draperies carry through into the modern Dining Room. I added a variety of deep and textured gray fabrics to this space and anchored it with a bold watercolor-like wool area rug in shades of amethyst and blue tones. The rug is the color statement in this room. This color tone ties to other jewel tone accents in adjacent rooms, like the Entry’s plum mohair bench.
Popping a neutral Kitchen with fun furnishings
In the Kitchen area we created a fun breakfast spot. We added the same Fornasetti malachite foiled wallpaper on the walls in order to make the space warmer and layered. It also balances the other foiled wallpapered walls in the Wet bar and Entry area creating a nice continuity of design.
Within this cool gray and white Poggenpohl Kitchen, we added an unexpected pop of color in the furnishings. We pulled the peacock blue color from the Joseph Albers prints hung above the window. Perennial’s high performance velvet in peacock blue was the perfect rich fabric for the modern dome chairs. The rose gold pendant was another pop because it contrasts the grays of the kitchen cabinets and walls. The addition of the chocolate brown cowhide added warmth to the cool Terrazzo floor.
If you liked reading this interior design solutions post for this modern Highland Park home, you will enjoy a completely different look with our Provence project Design Solutions: Le Mas des Poiriers Kitchen.