Babs Rodriguez 2017-12-04 04:57:09
INTERIORS nesting places, living spaces A Warm Bed The clean lines and decidedly neutral palette favored by interior designer Ginger Curtis are warmed by layers of texture and a studied use of bright whites. Too, the owner of Urbanology understands the interplay of natural light and the design elements of a room. There’s a sort of dance in her designs that says, “Hold me close.” And what could be more cozy than a hug? See more of her work beginning on Page 64. His & Hers A couple collaborate on a soaring California-style contemporary that’s just right for them. The corner lot, edged in oaks and backed up to a steep hillside, was what first attracted Gordon and MB Howard to the spot that now embraces their stunning white brick, contemporary home. The tucked-away location on a cul de sac is close to all Fort Worth’s Westside has to offer, not to mention a golf course. Because the couple’s goal was to build a forever home filled with broad glass expanses and sunlight enough to keep them from missing the winter headquarters in California they were poised to sell, the lot’s wide-open primary sightline had them smitten from the beginning. But while the home they envisioned would be plugged snugly into the hillside, they would not be limited to views to the east. The residence, designed for them by architect Scott Watson and built by Clover III Construction, is faced on three sides by tall windows and glass doors — the greatest number, the Durango Doors representative told them at the time, ever installed in one home. Yes, the eastern edge of the property is dominated by a sun-drenched terrace that dictated the orientation of the home, but there is a sweet spot in the open living/ dining area where one might enjoy a 180-degree sweep of views to the outside with just a turn of the head. And yet, behind all that glass and within the airy sun-washed spaces beneath soaring cathedral ceilings, the home feels intensely private. The sense is of a sanctuary of sorts, a perfect fit for the couple, who agreed it was time to stop seasonal migrations and settle into a single nest. The pair love both California and Colorado. They share happy memories of hiking Pikes Peak and recall the appeal of dappled light on forest floors, as well as deep blue skies above mountains and over oceans on other journeys. But MB has a son in Fort Worth, and after moving here in the ’80s — she grew up in Brenham — she has always kept a small home in Cowtown while wintering on the West Coast. After she met and married Gordon 25 years ago in Palm Springs, where they had homes on the same golf course, they began summering in Colorado and wintering in California but returning to Texas between times spent elsewhere. About four years ago they began look for property on which to build a Fort Worth home to replace their California Mediterranean-style dwelling. That house had been comfortable, but they wanted to make a different statement for their fresh start. The clean lines of contemporary architectural styles appealed to both of them. After looking at the lot, which was already under contract, they quickly struck a deal with the would-be buyer over the phone. The lot was theirs. Soon after, Gordon and MB sat down with Tyler Bobbitt of Clover III Construction; architect Watson, a partner at Flynn + Watson; and designer/stylist Tina McMackin to discuss what they were looking for. Gordon found Watson’s portfolio stunning. Gordon had foreseen that the siting of the house they envisioned would require a serious skill set for both builder and architect. “We had to position the house just so in order to have room for the terrace and still have room for living,” he says. The couple both felt that McMackin’s design vision was of the moment but also compatible with their own tastes and desires. “I knew I wanted a lot of light,” MB says. It was important to her and to Gordon that the house draw the natural world in and that as many natural materials as possible be used in the furnishings. Working with McMackin on the interiors, MB emphasized her love of blue and her wish to incorporate into the design some artwork that had been hanging in the California house. While much of the furniture and decor was sourced for the 5,000-square-foot house, a combination of new and old was always part of the plan. A his-and-her desk that has belonged to the couple for years was a must for the office they share, as was a painting of one of MB’s champion show dogs from years before, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel. A Botero reproduction in the dining room had also hung in California. The exterior brick of the home is painted Valspar Brilliant White, a striking contrast to the black slate roof. Inside, soft blues flow subtly through the public rooms, but the particular shades of the background neutrals were equally important to MB. “We tested many shades of off-whites for the interior walls,” she says with a laugh. Construction began in spring of 2014, and the Howards moved in the following summer. It felt like home immediately. Many of the furnishings are artisanal, which MB finds very pleasing. “I like things that look and feel handcrafted or have a history,” she says. The objects that meet the bill range from a rustic Asian harrow that hangs above the dining room fireplace to a collection of classic blue-and-white ginger jars on display in built-in living room bookcases. Many furnishings, including a large round breakfast room table from Fort Worth home furnishings store Domain XCIV, show the maker’s hand in hammered metals or carved wood. But MB’s favorite piece? A massive wood burl coffee table that sits in front of the living room side of the two-sided fireplace. “It took four guys to brings that in and position it,” she says. The modern fireplace is central to the east-west sightline that bisects the open dining/living room. From that small seating area doors to the terrace are steps away to the east. To the other side, there’s a view through the kitchen and into the breakfast area, where glass doors open to a patio on the home’s west side. A painting that speaks to both Howards hangs above the gas fireplace, which is filled with faux driftwood. The large representation of a leafy path through the woods reminds the couple of a shared moment of pride: the day they climbed Pikes Peak and the moments before they emerged above the tree line — all by themselves. “It wasn’t really too smart,” Gordon says, “but we did it.” They share satisfaction, too, in this home they have created to hold art, memories and a shared point of view about seeing life as an adventure. “It’s an eclectic style,” MB says. Gordon concurs, saying, “There are furnishings from all over. But it’s who we are, and it’s what we like.” THE DETAILS Architect Scott Watson, Flynn + Watson, 3537 W. 7th St., Suite 5, Fort Worth, 817-882-8882, fwarchitects.com Builder Tyler and Hunter Bobbitt, Clover III Construction, 5136 W. Vickery Blvd., Fort Worth, 817-675-4851 or 817-995-2590, cloveriii.com Designer Tina McMackin, Arrange Stage With Style, 432-528-5664, stagewithstyle.com Floors Bransom Floor Service, 917 Woodward St., Fort Worth, 817-334-0321, bransomfloorservice.com Painting Justin Smith, Pinnacle Painting Co., 4455 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth, 214-621-1749, pinnaclepaintingco.com Windows and doors Durango Doors, 4015 W. Vickery Blvd., (Mon.-Fri., appointments preferred; Sat., by appointment only), 817-732-8181, durangodoors.com
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