Buying a home at auction can seem like a win until you actually move in. At least that was the case for her family of six, who found themselves in a dark, outdated, ornate Mediterranean-style mansion in Dallas. It took him two years to make the call that this place was not suitable for their busy social life. They asked Dunbar Road Design to transform their home into a “happy, bright, comfortable and timeless” home in just six months. “I literally couldn’t sleep,” recalls lead designer Carla Font, as the deadline for her family to return from a long trip abroad was fast approaching.
As she and her team began implementing plans to give the space a major refresh, “we wanted it to feel like we were walking into heaven,” she says. First, she made sure every room contained at least a sky blue or light green color, “hiding the shadows of all the gorgeous foliage outside.” As innovative as the color choices that inspired the garden were, the furniture was also important in coordinating the space for the family around the clock. While the overall layout remained the same, most rooms required a complete overhaul to optimize flow and usability. “This is a party house and a family home, so we used high-quality, performance fabrics for everything,” Font says. Now, just like in heaven, everything is forgiven. “It can come out at any time, whether it’s a child with dirty shoes or someone spilling wine on them,” she points out. And newcomers are welcomed with open arms. This home has different areas for gathering, each with a different focus.
Elegant touches are found throughout, from the many vintage Murano glass chandeliers to the Fromental chinoiserie wallpaper in the dining room, which features a more modern burlwood dining table. Other areas have a more relaxed feel, including a corner where you can play mahjong, a breakfast table for drinking your morning coffee, and a newly added sunroom inspired by the couple’s travels abroad. The large family room features two seating areas with back-to-back fringe trim sofas and a custom Parisian-meets-art-deco high-top bar designed for jet-setting homeowners. It is designed for people. In less than six months, the house went from not being a good fit to no place like it. “Now, when my family comes home from a trip, I love walking through the front door,” Font says.
Two adjacent seating areas ensure everyone has space during social gatherings. sofa: Custom fabric cut velvet. Chair: Osborne & Little Custom fabric. Lug: the client’s own.
At the back of the living room is a second seating area, perfect for cocktail hour. Chair: Custom, quadrille fabric. Ottoman Empire: Custom made of Stroheim velvet. Bar stool: ModShop, made of Kravet faux leather.
For a homeowner who loves the color blue, Fonts designed the kitchen around a “substantial” island with an eat-at bar perfect for a family of six. tile: Douglas Watson Studio.
Near the formal dining room, Font designed a corner with a cabinet for tableware. paint: Can be customized to match tile or existing countertops. pendant: Colleen & Company.
A breakfast table is perfectly positioned outside the kitchen and pantry, next to the fireplace. chandelier: visual comfort & company table: the client’s own. Chair: Pare check. runner: Stark.
Chinoiserie of flowers and birds wallpaper by Fromental sets the palette. table: custom. Chair: custom, schumacher fabric (back) and metaphor velvet (inside the backrest and seat). curtain: Custom, by Kravet silk. chandelier: Vintage.
With four young children at home, the parents needed a relaxing, spa-like getaway. wallpaper: Philip Jeffries. Lug: Stark. bed: pindler custom velvet. Nightstand: scout design studio.
A previously unused coffee bar leading to the owner’s suite has been transformed into a pretty pink sitting area. The blue wallpaper is complemented by Samuel & Sons Salmon Tape. Banquet: Custom fabric cut velvet and Samuel & Sons trim. wallpaper: Mural source.
The hallway connecting the children’s rooms has become a workspace. Chair: Customer’s own, Schumacher fabric. wallpaper: Peter Fasano. lamp: To the other side of the world. paint: Sweet Brute, Benjamin Moore.
Inspired by North African motifs, these floor tiles add a peaceful atmosphere to your new sunroom. tile: Bedrosian tiles and stones. wallpaper: David Sutherland. Chair: casablanca upholstery fabric. sofa: Serena & Lily, Peter Fasano fabric. Banquet: Custom fabric cut fabric.
The homeowner wanted a place where he could play mahjong with his friends. table and Chair: Vintage. Roman shades: custom, schumacher fabric.
Take a closer look at the house
Styled by Melanie McKinley.
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