CONTEMPORARY COMFORT

BY NANCY BALDWIN | PHOTOGRAPHY BY HOLGER OBENAUS

Crisp white and sleek, this stylish home in North Texas gleams with sophistication and glamour. The owners sought a dramatic change from the traditional décor of their previous home.

“It needed to be fresh, clean, modern, open,” says Monica Wilcox, principal designer at M. Wilcox Design.

The newly constructed 6,500-square-foot house was a clean slate. The owners had selected only wall colors and light fixtures before bringing Wilcox on board. No furnishings from their previous home were to be used.

Both busy executives, the couple gave Wilcox carte blanche to bring fashion-forward flair to their new residence. Both wanted a transitional, modern ambience.

“She told me she wanted a feel that was uncluttered, sophisticated with a little bit of glam, but not pretentious,” says Wilcox.

To define the direction and approach, Wilcox asked the owners to complete a questionnaire that outlined their décor style and family needs. She also requested that the couple submit at least five inspiration photos depicting their vision for each room.

“She sent inspirational pictures that were very glam. She wanted her new home to exude elegance but create an inviting ambience. Guests needed to be ‘wowed’ right from the front door,” Wilcox says.

Guests are greeted in the entry by bright bubble mirrors from Cyan Design. A set of three acrylic paintings from Leftbank Art leads visitors upstairs toward the game and guest rooms.

A mix of textures defines the family room. Sleek chrome accent tables by IMAX Worldwide Home divide pairs of velvet chairs. Tufted gray chairs sit across from patterned cobalt blue chairs, while a coffee table by Bernhardt Design stands sentinel in the middle. A white sofa, also from Bernhardt and covered in Kravet fabric, provides a cool point of contrast.

Custom charcoal velvet chairs surround a formal dining table of white acrylic with brush gold legs from TOV Furniture. A silk rug from Feizy, which displays a diamond pattern, is complemented by diamond mirrors above a buffet from Bassett Mirror Company.

With white, gray and silver walls, color was to be an integral part of the design. Strategically placed vibrant pops of cobalt blue and mixes of silver and gold were added.

The owners’ vision allowed Wilcox to work creatively and quickly through the design process. A design summary of all 13 rooms of the project was presented at a single meeting with the owners. They approved the entire presentation with few changes.

With the specifics ironed out, Wilcox finalized fabric, color, finish, upholstery, case goods and accessory selections. All furnishings complemented the existing wall colors and light fixtures.

“When designing, I start with custom fabrics for window coverings and upholstery. Once I see a pattern and color palette that I love, and how it all fits, then it all comes together. Then I choose the rugs and upholstery pieces. From there it was seamless to pick the case goods,” Wilcox says.

The design plan focused on an elegant yet comfortable ambience, with accents of strong color to add vitality to the home’s neutral hues. Silver and gold are layered carefully to create a contemporary atmosphere. Polished finishes and sleek, reflective objects are essential components that encourage light to play within each room.

The Taylor barstools from Safavieh line the island in the kitchen. The client selected the lights from the homebuilder’s design center.

The console table and spiral lamp from Uttermost, along with a set of floor vases from Global Views, sit beneath a custom painting from Leftbank Art.

The owners, drawn to orderly space plans, looked to Wilcox to build coordinated furnishing layouts. Wilcox saw this approach as a challenge and used design creativity to fashion harmonized furniture groupings.

“She wanted everything to be coordinated and symmetrical. She wanted the lamps, end tables and bedside tables to match. I explained that everything would be coordinated but might not match exactly; this adds interest to the spaces,” Wilcox says.

A dining table was of special concern since the homeowners entertain a lot. They wanted something durable but also different than a traditional wood table. Wilcox chose an acrylic piece for its visual interest and dramatic appeal.

The owners also sought a restrained approach to accessorizing. Décor accents were to add color and texture but not distract from the calmness of each room.

Cool hues in the kitchen nook create a calming place for family gatherings. Aqua custom chairs by Safavieh with Kravet leather sit atop a wool geometric rug from Surya. A silver étagère from Uttermost holds decorative accessories.

An 8-foot-tall, white tufted-velvet bespoke headboard is a dramatic focal point in the master bedroom. Mirrored nightstands and lamps from Uttermost are softened by a gray area rug from Surya.

“I couldn’t over layer the accessories. I knew she was more of a minimalist. She wanted everything simple and elegant,” Wilcox says.

Custom silk florals and lamps are singular statements on tabletops. Draperies are embroidered silk in large geometric patterns. Large works of abstract art bring spirited color to neutral walls.

“She was very attracted to abstract art and bold colors. They wanted them to be statement pieces, substantial, gallery- wrapped oils and acrylics,” says Wilcox.

Initial design presentation until installation was three months. Wilcox credits the owners’ clear vision and quick decisions for the fast turnaround. In addition, the owners offered Wilcox the freedom to make sight unseen design plans for several rooms and bathrooms.

Having completed another client-approved project, Wilcox is now embarking on a new, exciting venture to share her design process with others. Through the creation of innovative educational modules, aspiring or existing interior designers will have access to powerful insight, proven strategies and trade secrets to take the lead in the design industry. Design meccaedu.com is set to launch in September.

Nancy Baldwin is a Dallas-based freelance writer and editor. Contact her at baldwinwriter @gmail.com.