Step inside a traditional home in Dallas that celebrates color, a love of antiques and a zest for life.
For 25 years, one of the leaders in Texas’s Civic and Philanthropic Circles lived in a striking, antiques-filled contemporary that she shared with her husband in a secluded area of Dallas. Now widowed, the petite and vivacious octogenarian decided it was high time to build the house she had always wanted. She was ready to be closer to the heart of town and to design a home in a distinctly different style. Above: A reflective wall accentuates the ornate shape of an Italian Rocco mirror. Custom Banquette in
Fortuny fabric. Silver John Hutton chairs, Sutherland. Antique Italian chairs
in Clarence House and Brunschwig & Fils fabrics.
With characteristic panache, she embraced this new stage of life and, with the help of a close friend, Dallas decorator Beverly Field, said good-bye to contemporary and flipped back the pages of architectural history to the mid-18th century. The neoclassical limestone pavilions of France, with their clean, restrained symmetry, provided the perfect inspiration. Above: Italian 19th-c. mirrors, Carlos de la Puente Antiques. Antique Chinese porcelain, Ceylon et Cie.
The gracious proportions would ideally suit the owner’s plans to make this home a center of activity and entertaining. A celebrated hostess, she needed generous, lively spaces to welcome family and friends. Above: Giorgetti sofa, Scott & Cooner. Antique Chinese coffee table, Nick Brock Antiques. Verner Panton chair, Vitra. Art, Robert Zakanitch. Antique Persian rug, Abrash Decorative Rug Gallery.
Los Angeles architect Richardson Robertson III, known for his classical style, was chosen to design the home and grounds. Above: A collection of 18th-c. plates creates a whimsical tableau. Antique English chairs in Clarence House fabric. George III mirror. English 18th-c. buffet. Antique chandelier. Ceramic birds, Yang's Double Happiness.
Intuitively, he understood that although his client wanted a traditional design, this house needed to reflect her spirit and, in his words, “be very with it and of-the-moment.” The first plan he unfurled hit the mark: a stunning cut-limestone design that created soaring, light-filled rooms. It was the perfect canvas for Field to then unleash her signature high style. Above: Vivid lacquer paint in a custom mix sets off an eclectic display of books and antique porcelain. Custom sofa and slipper chairs in Clarence House fabrics. Custom armchair and ottoman in Pierre Frey fabric with Houlès fringe. Antique Oushak rug, Matt Camron Rugs & Tapestries.
“I approach every room as a painting and balance it with color,” Field explains. “I wanted to create a magic kingdom for my client, something elegant and glamorous without being pompous. Living in Europe for many years trained my eye in a way the classroom never could. I collected fabulous antique pieces for her and paired them with something unexpected, a dash of something new. It makes it all so much more interesting and personal.” The luminous entrance hall features marble floors and a glossy, arched ceiling. Antique Venetian mirrors, glass obelisks, and Swedish chairs shimmer in the light-drenched space. For the living room, Field created six different seating areas, for small groups to large, to give intimacy to the large space. A quartet of 18th-century Marie Antoinette chairs hold court under a bold contemporary painting by Robert Zakanitch. An antique Venetian mirror hangs above a corner banquette near a fuchsia cone-shape chair by Verner Panton. The result is highly sophisticated eclecticism. Above: 17th-c. Italian prints.
“Beverly is a genius with color,” the homeowner declares. Case in point: Field lacquered the red library in what she describes as “the perfect blend of pomegranate and tomato that flatters everyone,” adding, “When you look great in a room, you feel great. It’s like the perfect shade of lipstick that you use forever.” The master bedroom, meanwhile, enveloped in blue floral De Gournay wallpaper and soft green carpeting, is the owner’s favorite place to retreat. Above: A guest room's array of patterns is unified by a cohesive palette. Bedcovering and wallpaper, Pierre Frey. Antique bench in Scalamandré velvet. Antique French armchair in Clarence House fabric. Lamps, Robert Kime. Carpet, Stark. Art (left), Jim Dine.
The house has operated at full tilt, with a steady stream of parties and events, since move-in day two years ago. “I adore living here,” she says. “It is so light and cheerful and soothing. This home absolutely meets, and exceeds, my dreams.” Plus, it provides the ideal setting for her to share her infectious joy for life. Above: A garden motif enlivens the master bedroom. Headboard and bedcoverings in Fortuny fabric. Chair and ottoman in Scalamandré fabric and Clarence House fringe. Mirrors in alcove and bench in Colefax and Fowler fabric, East & Orient Company. Wallpaper, De Gournay. Carpet, Stark.
Pleached live oaks line the driveway. Door, Farrow & Ball semigloss in Parma Gray.
Written by Nancy Perot. Interior design by Beverly Field. Architecture by Richardson Robertson III. Project managed by Brad Kelly. Produced by Carolyn Englefield.