When Charlton Holmes makes the 180-mile drive from his primary home in Shreveport, Louisiana, to his getaway condo in Dallas, he does it in a CLS63 Mercedes, touted for its powerful engine and great performance. The strength-meets-comfort concept that the owner of Holmes European Motors likes in his vehicles pretty much matched what he asked designer Abbe Fenimore to provide in his Texas residence. “He wanted it to feel like a masculine boutique hotel and was very specific about having details in the space reflect his love of luxury cars,” says Fenimore, noting the custom double baseball topstitch on the leather sectional in the living room that replicates the seats of a high-end sports car. “He appreciates both the fine detail and the quality of the leather, which keeps its structure.”
According to the homeowner, he settled on a unit at The Ritz-Carlton because of the quality and location, but the existing space was too formal for his taste. “When I entertain, I prefer everything to be open from the moment you walk in the door, but the original floor plan didn’t work that way,” says Holmes, who turned to builder Austin Arnold to reconfigure the existing layout to make better use of the square footage. “I started by straightening out the narrow entry, which veered to the right so it opened into the kitchen and main living area,” says Arnold. The builder also responded to the owner’s request to carve out a small study. “By borrowing space from a long, narrow half bath and a very large walk-in closet in the master bedroom, I was able to create the extra room,” he says.
Meanwhile Fenimore worked in concert with Arnold to refinish the oak floors with a lighter stain, reface the kitchen cabinets, and upgrade the Sheetrock fireplace with a quartzite surround backed by a linear stone-and-glass tile wall; the same materials are used on the kitchen countertops and backsplash. “Because everything is so close together, I was cautious about getting elements to relate to each other,” says Fenimore. “I selected a stone-and-glass mix so the wall wouldn’t get too shiny, and to introduce pattern and texture.”
The textures keep flowing in the living and dining rooms, where the walls are covered with vinyl, the Eames chairs are topped with Bordeaux-colored mohair, and a custom black walnut slab dining table rests on curved stainless-steel legs. “The stainless-steel element keeps it from going too rustic,” says Fenimore. The designer used the same black walnut for the headboard in the master bedroom, where the massive wood statement is backed by a striped cowhide wall. “The cowhide turns the headboard into a sculptural art piece, and it’s also a perfect complement to the suede walls and drapes,” she says.
According to the designer, the homeowner decided early to go bold with accents and commissioned pieces from artists that highlight his favorite color—red. For her part, Fenimore used the vibrant hue with a measured hand, peppering the space with crimson leather cubes in the entry, deep burgundy throw pillows in the living room and master bedroom, and an eye-catching lacquered vanity in the guest room. “Getting the right red was a challenge,” Fenimore says. “It’s a very emotional color, so you have to go easy. In the guest room there’s just a hint, but it makes a statement.”
The strong hue also melds perfectly with the warm woods, soft leathers and unusual details such as the dining room fixtures that are fashioned from recycled bicycle parts, all selected to create the atmosphere the homeowner desired. “He likes texture, durability and luxury,” says Fenimore. “And by customizing so many pieces, I was able to provide them all.”