SOUTHERN COMFORT

BY JESSICA ELLIOTT | PHOTOGRAPHY BY HOLGER OBENAUS

In the living room a soft, neutral gray sectional was custom made by Avanti Fine Furnishings, with custom pillows made from Duralee Fabrics. JC’s Upholstery created the linen cocktail ottoman that sits beneath an orb chandelier from Cyan Design, which was selected to add a more rustic, contemporary look.

A simple seating area in the entryway is accented with brushed silver frames, featuring historic buildings, and a black distressed table with circle base all from Uttermost. A handwoven rug from Surya guides guests into the space.

Homeowners Danyelle and Brian Sanders and their daughter.

Designer Monica Wilcox.

When Danyelle and Brian Sanders set foot in their pristine 4,200-square-foot, five-bedroom home in Mansfield, Texas, for the first time post-closing, every vase, towel, candlestick and mirror was already in place—and they had never seen a single piece.

Their vision—rustic country with a glam spin—had been intricately executed by Dallas interior designer Monica Wilcox. It was just as the Sanders wanted— a turnkey design complete with furnishings, art, lighting, accessories, and even necessities. A new home they could easily move into along with their one-year-old daughter.

“Moving is stressful, and we didn’t want to be going to furniture stores every weekend and dealing with the back and forth,” Danyelle Sanders says. They also wanted to convert the interiors of the house, built by John Houston Custom Homes, into a modern farmhouse. “We have land and love the country chic look,” she says.

Enter Wilcox. Chic, glam and polished are Wilcox buzzwords (she relishes the chance to integrate crystals and metals). She also has a reputation for “taking traditional styles and adding modern touches to make it more transitional,” she says. “That is exactly what I wanted to create for the Danyelle and Brian—a home that felt younger, fresher and not overly country.”

“The clients wanted a seating area/guest bedroom, which is why we chose to do a daybedtrundle. It has beautiful nailhead trim, and the bottom pulls out and holds another twin size bed,” says Wilcox. The daybed is from Homelegance, with custom-made pillows from JC’s Upholstery.

Working with the couple— and on a tight deadline of just five weeks—she mapped out a unified scheme, from a luxurious master bedroom to the expansive kitchen. Right from the start, the couple meshed with Wilcox’s upbeat personality and honest approach. “I love that she’s blunt,” Sanders says. “I’m a straight to the point person. If I don’t like something, I will tell you. She’s also just as boisterous, and we clicked in that sense.”

Case in point: Sanders favors monochromatic colors and knew she wanted a palette of beige, cream, black and white. (She had also selected a light gray for most of the room’s walls.) Wilcox convinced her to add subtle splashes of teal, aqua and cobalt blue to keep it cheery and child-friendly.

A large, rustic wooden console from Uttermost provides plenty of display space for family pictures and an antiqued mirror, also from Uttermost. “The family wanted a dramatic mirror in the entry to really open up the space,” Wilcox says.

The resulting cream, blue and gray color scheme begins in the entry with a Surya rug, a beautiful wood console, and a massive, six-foot mirror from Uttermost. Wilcox also devised a personalized black-and-white photo collage wall. “You instantly feel that it’s a welcoming home for their family,” Wilcox says.

The longtime designer mirrored the entry’s hues in the adjoining living area. She custom designed the tufted ottoman, which was upholstered by JC’s Upholstery, and sourced the custom sofa from Avanti Fine Furniture. She brought in pillows in bright blue hues, a soft Surya rug and wood accessories to add warmth. “The vibe feels soothing and comfortable, and unpretentious,” Wilcox says.

The kitchen and eating nook were livened with industrial fixtures from Moe’s Home and velvety barstools from Safavieh. But the real showstopper in the home is the master bedroom. Wilcox is known for lavish retreats, and this space is no exception. A custom headboard and drapery by JC’s Upholstery are paired with a glittering chandelier from Possini Euro Design and mirrored nightstands from Coast to Coast Accents. “It’s champagne, gray and crystals,” Wilcox says. “It’s very striking, all monochromatic, glam—almost borderline girly.”

Barstools from Safavieh were selected for durability. The client wanted cool industrial lighting in the kitchen, so Wilcox selected these fixtures from Moe’s Home.

For the master bedroom, a monochromatic, soft, spa-like ambience was requested. The custom bed was made by JC’s Upholstery. Mirrored end tables are from Coast to Coast Accents. Tufted cream linen sitting chairs from Homelegance face the master bed. Metallic lamps on both nightstands and a distressed accent bench with cream linen fabric are from Uttermost.

It was perfect. In fact, the couple didn’t have a single edit to Wilcox’s work—save for spray-painting a gold chandelier silver after install (a crew member managed to apply the paint while it dangled 20 feet from the ground). Just one change, despite seeing all the details—from cabinet hardware to laundry room drying rack— after Wilcox’s two-day install. “It was amazing,” Danyelle Sanders says. “We walked in and the entire house was already done.”

It not only offered the warmth, polish and completion the couple envisioned, it is a Southern respite. “It feels peaceful and tranquil,” Wilcox says. “It’s not over-the-top glam, but it’s comfortable and relaxed.”

Jessica Elliott is a Dallas-based freelance writer and can be reached at jessicalaneelliott@ gmail.com.