LESSONS IN CHARM

BY JESSICA ELLIOTT | PHOTOGRAPHY BY HOLGER OBENAUS

In the living room Wilcox had builder Ashton Woods line the 22-foot fireplace in marble. The seating area is composed of custom-made sofas from JC’s Upholstery and chairs by Classic Home.

“I was born in LA—give me Hollywood,” Monica Wilcox says, and laughs. It’s a statement that encapsulates both the interior designer’s instantly endearing personality and her no-holds-barred style. “I love things that are a little extravagant, not gaudy, but glam. I want my clients to feel as though they are walking into a presidential suite—chic, classy and confident.”

It’s an apt description for Wilcox’s own home, which she shares with husband Kenyaco and two of her four children, ages 6 and 2. Never one to shy away from crystals, velvet, mink, tufting, pillows and custom drapery, she has a penchant for mixing elegant textures with striking colors and clean lines. “I think my approach to design appears confident, because it is bold,” she says.

A nearly 20-year interior design vet, Wilcox moved from San Diego to Dallas in 2009, alongside her husband who had a job transfer. When a new, master-planned community was formed in 2015, they jumped at the chance to build a home. “We picked the area for the peace and quiet,” she says. “We love the serene drive. We feel like we’re busy all day and then we escape to the country, to a place with waterfalls, a lake and beautiful amenities.”

Wilcox lined the wall in the formal dining room with gray stone tiles to add interest. The table was imported from Mexico from a local artisan. The art was commissioned from local artist Kimberly Wohleb. The rug is from Surya.

Though she admits it was a challenge for her stucco-loving heart to transition to Texas’ neutral stone exteriors, they happened upon blueprints for a two-story designed by homebuilder Ashton Woods. It boasted a largely open floor plan with a 22-foot-high fireplace and a massive nine-foot-long, sevenfoot- wide curved kitchen island. Not to mention, the builder offered a design center where Wilcox could easily mix and match while balancing her own projects for clients. They were sold.

From the outset of the building process, Wilcox’s husband had only one stipulation: that blue would be the primary accent color. It happens to be one of Wilcox’s least favorite shades, but she couldn’t argue—she would be getting free rein otherwise. “He’s a big supporter of what I do,” Wilcox says, and adds with a laugh, “He’s my Tommy Mottola to Mariah Carey—he’s my agent.” (He joined Wilcox full time at her Carrollton design studio in 2016 as her business manager.) “I’m a gypsy and he’s that stable force, logical and observant,” she says.

True to her interior designer nature, and the couple’s dual wish for the home to feel as much of a retreat as the surrounding neighborhood, Wilcox wanted several personal touches added indoors—and neither was an easy feat. The first: to cover the towering fireplace in marble. “The builder was scared to hang such heavy marble that high up—they thought the drywall would crumble to the ground,” she says. “But they made it happen.”

The only request from Wilcox’s husband was to include pops of blue. One area she accommodated him was on the stairwell wall. The console table is from Bernhardt and the white flowers are from Global Views.

In the kitchen/dining area a chandelier from Kichler hangs above a VIG table with chairs. The starburst mirror was sourced from Global Views.

She also mapped out lighting installation and later had an entire wall lined with gray stone in the dining room. “I wanted my style to be a little urban, and when I first did it I kind of had a panic attack,” she says. “I sat on the stairs for two hours staring at it. But once I balanced it with art, I knew it would work.”

That was the only hiccup. From there, Wilcox outfitted her home with childproof, comfortable and transitional pieces that are also pretty and lively. She applied a “color blocking” technique to each space, with largely neutral pieces punched up with patterns, pops of orange for added happiness and those requested blues.

The kitchen’s massive island was one of the reasons Wilcox and her husband chose the home. She opted for dark alder cabinetry, matte-finish hardwood floors and a travertine backsplash in a herringbone pattern. Wilcox also selected the granite and incorporated a 60-inch Sub-Zero refrigerator. The twin chandeliers are from Cyan Design.

An interior design vet of nearly 20 years, Wilcox (pictured) says, “I think my approach to design appears confident, because it is bold.”

Custom drapes by Addisonbased JC’s Upholstery hang from nearly every window. Accessories were sourced from Global Views, and she favored Feizy and Surya rugs. Wilcox found many of her furnishings at Gorrod Gallery in the World Trade Center, and she commissioned art from Dallas-based artist Kimberly Wohleb and purchased pieces from Leftbank Art in California.

Wilcox also incorporated blue in the master bedroom, at her husband’s request, with a plush, custom-made tufted bed. The side chairs provide a nice color contrast and were also custom made. Her penchant for glamour is evidenced by mirrored bedside tables.

In the master bath Wilcox added a decorative light above the bath from Quorum International.

Other special touches came by way of an iron front door engraved with the couple’s initials from Dallas-based company Love That Door and a brushed-nickel chandelier in the entry from Meletio Lighting.

“It’s exactly the retreat we wanted,” Wilcox says. “It’s a beautiful place. But more than that, it’s happy and energetic, a place with good energy where we are free to laugh—I love to laugh—and a place that is my style, where we can be ourselves.”