OUT OF THE DARKNESS

by ANGELA CARAWAY-CARLTON / photography by HOLGER OBENAUS

With its soft Tuscan-style architecture, a dreamy outdoor area is made for alfresco dining with a 96-inch solid stone table, along with plenty of room to lounge on a soft-white sofa and swivel chairs from the Century Outdoor Collection.

WHEN A MOTHER AND DAUGHTER WANDERED into the Turtle Creek showroom of J. Douglas Design last April after lunching next door, they instantly hit it off with the owner, Douglas Bradford. The family, empty nesters who recently moved to Dallas to be near their only daughter, had purchased a 6,000-square-foot home in Preston Hollow with soft Tuscan-style architecture. While they considered it to be their forever home, they were eager to transform the dark, traditional house with its heavy wood cabinetry into a white and light, contemporary showstopper. After several meetings with Bradford—long known for his soft contemporary, glam design style—they decided that he would be a perfect fit for the interior design aspects of their restoration journey.

“They had come from so much color in their previous home and now desired an off-white, neutral palette with minimal pieces,” says Douglas Bradford, owner and principal of J. Douglas Design, a furniture showroom and interior design center that’s been in business for 31 years. “With all my clients, the houses are theirs. They make the decisions; I’m just there to guide them.”

In the home’s entryway, a Saint Germain console from Century Furniture impresses with its graphite-looking form and a fissured opening, revealing an aged-bronze finish that resembles delicate gold leaves.

Bradford and the family soon developed a rhythm, and he began decking out the home from top to bottom in a monochromatic scheme. “It got to a point that when we pulled out a fabric for a certain room, we would have this group, ‘Ahhhhh.’ We didn’t have to say words anymore,” he says.

The interior designer prides himself on a highly curated selection of furniture, accessories and artwork that clientele won’t find in other high-end showrooms. “Something we hear a lot is, ‘You’ve cherry-picked the best of the best.’ I think that’s what makes us so unique,” says Bradford. “If I find a piece that I love, I’ll buy it, even if it sits in the store for a while. Our showroom is like a jewelry store for your home.”

The formal living room features a wool and silk rug from Feizy. The art above the fireplace is by local Dallas artist Toni Martin. It was one of the first pieces of art the client bought for the home, and the room was designed around it. The chairs and sofa are by Taylor King. The coffee table is black etched glass by John-Richard.

A deep niche connects the formal dining room with the family room.

A Marge Carson console is paired with a John-Richard mirror, which reflects the dramatic s taircase in the entry.

Showcasing the Unique

Bradford’s love for unique pieces is immediately showcased in the home’s entryway, where an incredible Saint Germain console from Century Furniture impresses with its graphite-looking form and a fissured opening, revealing an aged-bronze finish that resembles delicate gold leaves. “I didn’t think the homeowner would like it, but it’s now her favorite piece in the entire house,” says Bradford of the console that’s crowned with a custom arrangement of calla lilies and white orchids by LDF Silk in Dallas.

Offices are often an afterthought when remodeling, but the home’s main hallway offers a direct view of the study and therefore dictated a dramatic, statement-worthy design for all to see. “It all needed to flow together,” says Bradford, who kept everything dark with deep gray walls and bold furniture. Eyes are immediately drawn to a black and chrome chandelier, a black lizard cocktail ottoman from Century Furniture and a charcoal chenille sectional.

The master bedroom is fitted with a Marge Carson bed, nightstands from Century Furniture that hold solid alabaster globe lamps by John-Richard, and a one-of-a-kind rug from Feizy. Bradford also constructed an elegant sitting area for the couple, with chairs and an ottoman from Hancock & Moore.

The centerpiece of the dining room is a custom Marge Carson dining table with a 96-inch round glass top, bordered by Taylor King chairs. A custom light by Allegri Crystal, appropriately called the Glacier chandelier, punctuates the room.

Bradford kept the study dark with deep gray walls and bold furniture. Eyes
are immediately drawn to a black and chrome chandelier, a black lizard cocktail ott13oman fr0 om Century Furniture and a charc oal chenille sectional.

More showstopping pieces are displayed in the dining room, which
was reimagined from its former dark state. The centerpiece is a custom Marge Carson dining table with a 96-inch round glass top, bordered by Taylor King chairs swathed in taupe and cream silk. Finding a chandelier that would adequately punctuate the expansive table proved to be difficult, so Bradford settled on a custom light by Allegri Crystal. Appropriately called the Glacier chandelier, the eye-catching polished chrome fixture features crystal shards that resemble an icy landscape. “When the light hits the crystals, it’s magnificent,” gushes Bradford. Another focal point is a Theodore Alexander credenza embossed in a faux shagreen leather with delicate ivory fins; lighted frosted glass urns from Global Views top the credenza and offer an other-worldly glow.

Conversation Creators

Bradford’s favorite room in the sprawling home is the lavish family room that simultaneously evokes luxury and comfort. “It’s the client’s favorite, too,” he reveals. “She says that it’s the one room that when anyone enters it, they just let out a sigh.”

While the home has a separate media room opulently fitted with trimwork in a soft metallic color and Hancock & Moore chairs enveloped in a beautiful platinum-colored leather for an effortless flow, the family room is where everyone gathers to chat and watch TV. With that in mind, Bradford focused on creating plenty of seating with two Marge Carson sofas—in a simple off-white fabric and accent pillows—two buttery leather recliners from Hancock & Moore and two plush swivel chairs. “We sort of created a circle of conversation,” he says. “There’s really no bad seat in the room, and everyone can see the TV when football is on.”

Another conversation piece for Bradford is the powder bath, where he chose to star artwork by Mary Hong, who works with acrylics and broken glass, for a 3-D feel. The walls are draped in a Thybony wall covering, featuring a cream background with gold metallic flecks, and touched with wall sconces from Visual Comfort Lighting. The vanity is a lighted piece of alabaster.

Master of All

The couple can relish in a good night’s sleep in their master bedroom, which is fitted with a Marge Carson bed and nightstands from Century Furniture, each holding solid alabaster globe lamps by John-Richard. Bradford also constructed an elegant sitting area for the couple, with chairs and an ottoman from Hancock & Moore. To take the attention away from a large TV, the designer chose a pretty cabinet from Marge Carson that resembles blocks and features simple bronze handles. Bradford finished the room with a taupe-on-taupe rug, a one-of-a-kind from Feizy in Dallas.

Outdoor Oasis

With so much time spent outdoors, a black-and-white outdoor oasis was created in a covered area off the family room and kitchen. The family can share a meal around a solid stone dining table—another 96-inch creation of two tables bunched together—gather on the soft-white sofa and swivel chairs from the Century Outdoor Collection, or kick back on chaise lounges surrounding the swimming pool.

The finishing touches were put on the home this past April, and after a yearlong renovation, the couple is finally transitioning into their new life as empty nesters in Dallas. “I feel proud of the job. It turned out beautiful,” says Bradford. “I miss seeing the client; it was such a fun project for everyone.”

Angela Caraway-Carlton is a Miami-based freelance writer, travel and lifestyle expert, and television producer. Her works have appeared in Indulge Magazine, Time Out, Elysian, Aventura, South Florida Luxury Guide and Modern Luxury Weddings South Florida & the Caribbean. Caraway-Carlton has covered lifestyle trends in South Florida and beyond for more than a decade.