THE ART OF THE MIX

BY NANCY BALDWIN | PHOTOGRAPHY BY HOLGER OBENAUS

Coincidences abound in designer Stacy Coulter’s life. Years before purchasing his home in North Dallas, he had considered buying a house just across the street. Established in the mid- 1900s, the neighborhood had quiet, tree-lined streets and an assortment of ranch-style homes.

Although he and partner Densil Adams ultimately chose another home, they remembered the neighborhood. Years later a serendipitous telephone call provided another coincidence.

“I was called by Susan Kasmir, the daughter of Frank Kasmir where I was employed for 19 years. Susan wanted her family home remodeled and brought back to life and not torn down. It happened to be on the same street where we looked before,” Coulter says.

Just as the search for a home had come full circle, so had Coulter’s vocation. The designer’s love of home fashion began as a child, and he readily attributes this affinity for décor to his grandmother. “She would repurpose items, and create and inspire me as a child. I would receive gifts like chinoiserie artifacts, bookends of King Tut and inspirational coloring books from the University of North Texas. She always said buy the best you can afford and you only cry once,” he says.

In the dining room, antique regency chairs surround a modern, handcarved dining table by Sho Modern. A sleek light fixture from Sonneman hangs above. “We like a dining room that’s separate from the kitchen,” Coulter says.

White oak barn doors leading from the living area to the dining room were a fortuitous purchase from the Lupe Murchison estate sale. A brass and glass coffee table contrasts with a red Asian alter, both purchased from VINYA in Dallas.

Coulter grew to love texture, pattern and color, a passion that led him to several wholesale opportunities selling top-line fabrics and offering a broad selection of décor. Not satisfied to work for others, in 2011 he founded Stacy Coulter & Associates, an independent firm representing lines to the architecture and interior design industry. Last year the company opened a showroom in the Dallas Design District. When the opportunity came to redesign his own home, inspiration again came from his grandmother. “We were raised on a rural farm and ranch in North Texas, and this definitely influenced my views on design,” he says.

Coulter put that vision to work renovating his residence. A 1958 ranch, the house had a traditional, closed floor plan with walls dividing rooms and multiple doors acting as connectors. “The rooms were all compartmentalized. It was very boxy,” Coulter says.

The partners set about removing walls and updating all the utilities. Eight-foot ceilings in the home’s center were raised to the roof, and walls dividing the formal living area and den removed. A massive, freestanding chimney of stacked stone links the two rooms. Only the original hardwood floors remain, refinished to enhance their natural beauty.

In the reading nook, grasscloth wall covering from JF Fabrics coordinates with a tufted sofa from the Charles Stewart Company. A contemporary painting is White Figs by René Alvarado.

In the media room, the television hangs above a 1950s carved media cabinet. On an adjacent wall a mirrored cabinet from Global Views houses games and accessories. Draperies of Thibaut fabric flank the window.

“We gutted it. There wasn’t a square inch that wasn’t touched,” says Coulter. “We kept the soul of the house, but we modernized it.”

To help with the project, the designer brought in architectural designer Jeff Green of PBH Construction, and Laura Fetrow, managing partner at Urban Design and Remodel. Working together they reconstructed the space, creating flow and enhancing natural light.

Modernizing and creating synergy throughout the home took a fortuitous turn through another coincidence. Through fellow designer Karen Parks, Coulter learned of the impending demolition of Lupe Murchison’s “Residence for Art” in Addison. The dramatic steel, stone and glass house, a Lake Flato design, had housed an impressive collection of art auctioned after her death. What remained were architectural elements to be offered during an estate sale.

Avid cooks, Coulter and Adams redesigned the kitchen with Miele appliances, white oak cabinets, white quartz countertops and a waterfall island.

An antique sleigh bed stands sentinel in the center of the room. Custom satin draperies hang from carbon hardware, all from JF Fabrics.

The cache included a variety of doors and cabinetry of white oak. They became signature elements of the renovated ranch. Other acquisitions included Lucite shelving, a huge steel trellis and a freestanding cast-iron bathtub encased in stainless steel.

Zealous cooks, the partners reconfigured the kitchen to encompass an adjacent breakfast area, removing a bay window and window seat. Custom cabinets of white oak were crafted to marry with the reclaimed doors and shelves from the Murchison estate.

Throughout the home are accessories that reflect both the influence of Coulter’s grandmother and the memories collected from his partner’s many travels. Accents from trips to Thailand, Myanmar, Paris and other exotic locales are highlighted in each room. Bedrooms are tucked away down a gallery hall lined with framed banners from the Ch’ing dynasty. Chinoiserie objects dot the home on shelves and tables.

“I especially love antique French pieces and chinoiserie artifacts mixed with modern objects. This allows a home to not be caught in a ‘design-ofthe- day’ look,” says Coulter.

Along with global objets d’art are contemporary canvases by international artists. Gracing the museum-finished walls are paintings from René Alvarado, Svein Koningen, Robert Deyber, Susan Eddings Perez and Mr.Zen. Coulter describes this approach to décor as the ‘art of the mix.’

Furniture, fabrics, wall coverings and case goods in the home showcase the broad variety of merchandise offered by Stacy Coulter & Associates.

“Homes should evolve as the owners evolve. I am a firm believer in buying and using what you love. This will add your own personality and perspective to your space,” Coulter says.

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