A Modern Preston Hollow Home with Minimalist Interiors


Modern White Hallway with Floor-to-Ceiling Windows

Illuminated by clerestory windows, the hallway creates a transparent passage through the house with afromosia floors from Hardwood Floors Unlimited that are protected from the sometimes-harsh daylight by motorized Lutron Sivoia shades from Inphase Audio in Dallas.

Modern White Bathroom with Afromosia Cabinetry

TKO Associates in Dallas outfitted the bathroom with an MTI tub, Vola faucets and leather-wrapped hardware from Turnstyle Designs. Mirrors from Fashion Glass & Mirror sparkle above afromosia cabinetry and countertops from the Holland Marble Company.

Modern White Bedroom with Oversized Art

A Rex Ray painting hangs above Morrison’s custom headboard— crafted in afromosia by All-Woods Custom Cabinets— which has plenty of hidden compartments for storage and audiovisual controls. The large ottoman from Kisabeth, purchased through Dallas’ Urban Concepts, functions as a work of art in its own right.

Modern White Entry with Zinc Doors

Weathered zinc front doors fabricated by the Robert Wohlfeld Company open up to reveal expansive waxed-concrete floors from the Tolman Floor Company and a cantilevered steel staircase with wood risers and railings by CT&S.

Modern White Kitchen with Afromosia Cabinetry

Afromosia wood cabinetry is paired with Pierre Brun marble countertops from the Holland Marble Company in Carrollton for a sleek and contemporary main kitchen. Appliances from Sub-Zero and Miele and Poltronia Frau barstools complete the look.

Modern White Front Elevation with Custom Metalwork

The landscaping—a collaboration between the team at Morrison Seifert Murphy and Boyd Heiderich Bargas— was kept clean and unassuming to allow Morrison’s unique design, CT & S’ inspiring metalwork and Hild’s expert execution to remain at the forefront.

Modern White Dining Area with Freestanding Wall

In the dining room, Casamilano chairs purchased at Scott + Cooner in Dallas pull up to an impressive statement-making table from New York’s Hudson Furniture. The kitchen lies behind the freestanding art wall, which separates the working aspects of the main living area from its entertaining function.

Modern White Great Room with Hidden Bar

The sliding panel doors, designed by architect Lionel Morrison and crafted by home builder Steven Hild, hide the bar from view when not in use, allowing the focus to remain on the indoor-outdoor connection of the space. Minimalist furniture, like the David Sutherland sofa, custom coffee table from PKI in Dallas and side tables from Chista, keep with the low-key theme.

Modern White Exterior with Infinity Pool

The unusual curved design of the elegant glass, limestone, stucco and steel house was inspired by a 100-year-old Oak Tree growing in the middle of its 2-acre lot in Dallas' Preston Hollow neighborhood.

The unusual curved design of the elegant glass, limestone, stucco and steel house was inspired by a 100-year-old Oak Tree growing in the middle of its 2-acre lot in Dallas’ Preston Hollow neighborhood. “A tree like this is an asset you very seldom find, and, if you do, typically it would not be in a good place to design a house around,” says architect Lionel Morrison, FAIA, of Morrison Seifert Murphy in Dallas.

Morrison initially presented the homeowners—who have two small children—with a traditional linear house plan, along with a more artistic, curved version. Both plans incorporated the tree, but the couple enthusiastically embraced the more unconventional one and happily gave Morrison the complete design freedom he needed to execute it.

An arborist was enlisted even before construction began to monitor the health of the tree every step of the way. “I had some sleepless nights because the house is designed around the tree, and what would happen if it died?” Morrison laughs. Construction has since finished, and the oak continues to thrive. Morrison’s team used computer modeling to position the house precisely, not only for the sake of the tree, but to ensure that every room would receive maximum natural light.

Computers also assisted in the design of the home’s steel skeleton, which acts as a sunshade as well as a decorative element. For Morrison, the carte blanche commission allowed him to hone architectural ideas he’d been developing for years. “It was about refinement rather than experimentation,” he says.

Constructing a large-scale curved house presented big challenges for builder Steven Hild, of Dallas-based Steven Hild Custom Builder. “The walls and windows all align on a hub-and-spoke system, which is difficult to carry out. I’ve never done a curved house on that scale before,” says Hild. “One of the most unique features is the curved wood floor upstairs—the first floor is concrete. Every board had to be bent, and every room literally had a different radius.” Hild knew what he was getting into, however. He’s worked with Morrison for more than 15 years, and this was their 10th house together. “Projects with Lionel are always challenging, but that’s why I like working with him.”

Special effort was made to ensure that the house was sustainable, green and technologically advanced. Cooled and heated by a super-efficient geothermal system, the materials in the home are both environmentally conscious and local, like concrete, steel and Texas limestone. In lieu of teak, doors and cabinets are made of renewable afromosia wood. And a sophisticated Lutron system controls the security features, shades, pool, lighting and thermostats, all remotely accessed from the home- owners’ cell phones.

The interiors are minimalist to the max. The design team at Morrison Seifert Murphy “treated the interiors almost as landscaping,” says Morrison, who notes that “it’s not the easiest task to place furniture in a curving space.” Comprising sculptural pieces from Scott + Cooner and David Sutherland, along with custom furnishings, the interiors play a supporting role to the architecture’s star billing. One of the surprises about the nature of Morrison’s curved design is how intimate each room feels in such a vast overall space. And there’s a delightful bonus, he says: “Every window in the house naturally focuses back on to the big tree.”