When a couple relocated to Dallas, they found a spacious house in the tree-lined University Park community—and quickly snapped it up. They appreciated its traditional details and big yard, which had room for a pool; however, the home’s dated feel and heavy décor weren’t quite their taste. Having lived in the South, the couple, who have two adult daughters, were familiar with more formal, draped interiors, but this time they wanted to switch things up. “We envisioned a home that was light and airy with happy colors and plenty of room to ramble,” says the wife. Adds the husband: “We didn’t want ultra-formal rooms but comfortable areas that were bright and easy to live in.” To achieve these goals, the couple turned to designer Tiffany Mckinzie. “We hit it off immediately,” says Mckinzie of the wife. “She brought a few design books to our first meeting, so I was able to quickly ascertain her style, which is a mirror image to her personality: bright and bubbly. She wanted to incorporate color without overpowering the spaces.”
To begin, the couple chose a neutral background palette of white and gray, yet to satisfy the wife’s craving for color, Mckinzie added dashes of various hues throughout. The dining room’s custom head chairs wrapped in a vibrant fuchsia textile embody this notion, as does a custom banquette in the breakfast nook featuring a plum indoor-outdoor fabric. In turn, the family room includes a large ottoman swathed in a teal micro-velvet, while a dark fuchsia carpet from Feizy Rugs lays the groundwork for a bold setting in the den. “The wife didn’t want the house to be too serious; she wanted spaces to be a little unexpected and was fearless with color,” says Mckinzie, who oversaw the renovation aspects of this project, including repainting the interior, gutting a portion of the kitchen, replacing decorative fixtures throughout and updating the master bathroom, among other endeavors.
The couple was especially eager to revamp the kitchen, which originally had no eating area. “We love sitting around the kitchen table and didn’t want to use the dining room all the time,” says the husband. “So we had a table made and a banquette built in. it’s now the focal point in the space.” Mckinzie also brought in new appliances and gave a glass cabinet a citrusy orange interior for a pop of color. “Orange is such a strong hue, so I was mindful to not incorporate too much of it,” Mckinzie says. This design element also sets the tone for the family room—a space adjacent to the kitchen—which features orange accents mixed with other secondary colors. “We didn’t want every room to feature the same tones but instead for there to be a flow throughout the home,” Mckinize says. “I created visual breaks from the pops of color by having some rooms feature softer palettes, such as the living room, which includes lilac and white. It has only a small dose of additional color: the artwork above the fireplace.”
Mckinzie then had several upholstered furnishings custom-made, such as the master bedroom’s bed and tête-à-tête in the den. Next, she sprinkled in vintage finds such as a 1970s brass-and-glass bar cart in the dining room. “I love incorporating vintage pieces into my designs,” Mckinzie says. “Elements from bygone eras offer a different flavor and make for wonderful conversation pieces.” Furthermore, a 1950s chippendale-style Asian cabinet sits perfectly poised in the family room. “We lacquered the piece a bright orange, and it’s within eyeshot of the front door. So you walk in and see this vibrant cabinet,” Mckinzie says.
To incorporate pattern into the spaces, Mckinzie and the wife wallpapered several rooms. “The warmth of a textured wallpaper or an amazing grass cloth adds so much depth and personality to a room that paint just isn’t capable of doing,” Mckinzie says. Pattern was also added in the form of fabrics—some by Effe Collection, founded by Alice Franklin, who traveled the world taking photographs before founding her textile company. “Her patterns are brilliant and different,” says Mckinzie. “Everything comes from her love of photography and what she finds to be beautiful in nature.” Throughout the project, the couple worked with New York-based art adviser Laura Solomon, of Laura Solomon Fine Art, to find new pieces and place them throughout the home.
They especially enjoy discovering up-and-coming contemporary artists. “I love how art can transform the mood of a room with texture and color,” says the wife. “The pieces provide energy, light and playfulness.” Mckinzie brought in a few pieces, as well, such as two original works by Naomi Ernest in the living room and another by Ernest in the master bedroom.
Throughout the process, the wife honored principles of Feng Shui, an ancient Chinese practice used to create balance in a home. “It was about designing rooms that evoked harmony and calmness,” Mckinzie says. As the wife considers their home’s new vibe, she says, “Feng Shui has been a great guiding force. Now, the home has such good energy and flow.”