“This project was all about leveling up,” says designer Morgan Farrow of the second residence she’s completed for this young Dallas family. “Their former house was fairly modern, and they wanted this one to make a real statement.” After her clients purchased the abode—originally designed by builder Christopher Cole in collaboration with his lead designer, Nancy Moderi, and residential designer Jason Kongabel of Mohment—Farrow came onboard to flesh out the interiors with Cole and his project manager, Gustavo Estrada.
For the designer, finding the sweet spot between elevated and family-friendly was key. “It’s a modern Texas version of a Santa Barbara residence,” continues Farrow, noting the family spends summers in the sunny seaside locale. “It has clean lines, a neutral palette and that California spirit that draws you outside.” With the couple expecting another baby as work began, she adds, “we needed to create conducive spaces for children without losing the sexy energy that matched the architecture.” Chimes the husband: “It was important to balance comfort during the day with a moody, glam feel in the evening after the kids go to bed.”
With that in mind, Farrow conjured an alluring attitude throughout the interiors that’s evident immediately upon arrival. Stepping through the front door, visitors encounter a massive entry space evoking a private art gallery. A grand piano sits to one side, and an oversize art book stand to the other. On the wall hangs neon artwork reading, “Just kiss me, we can talk later.” Overhead, a glittering chandelier draws the eye farther upward to a Hunt Slonem bunny painting along the stairs. “The whole area has a very ‘glammy’ look, but it also feels light and gracious,” the designer explains.
That vibe extends beyond the entry into a formal living room Farrow transformed into a luxurious study for the husband. “It’s tailored and refined—a great place to read or listen to podcasts,” he notes. Essentially a dark lounge attached to the husband’s office, “it’s like a jewel box but masculine,” Farrow describes. At the same time, its richly hued, sophisticated design helps balance the drama of the dining room on the opposite side of the front door. “We needed to make it feel more intimate, so we clad the dining walls in a metallic grass cloth and found a plaster-looking paper to line the ceiling coffers,” recalls Farrow. What really makes the room sparkle, however, are the artworks on display. Gracing one wall is a Tyler Shields photograph, Glitter Mouth, which Farrow describes as “sexy but elegant.” On another wall, above two brass consoles flanking the fireplace, hang prints from Andy Warhol’s “Cowboys and Indians” series, which the husband sourced.
Linking the dining room to the kitchen are a pantry with an old-school cocktail bar feel and a wine room, both of which underscore this home’s ability to host a party. But, according to the designer, the real “heartbeat” of the interiors is the main living area. Located just beyond the kitchen, the space perfectly illustrates Farrow’s aplomb in blending glamorous touches with family-friendly living. “The room is long, so we created both ‘formal’ and ‘flop’ zones,” she explains. “The big U-shaped sofa is the place everyone wants to be—just grab a kid and cozy up!” Punctuating the walls, black-and-white photographs by David Yarrow also “add a Ralph Lauren chicness to the room,” she notes.
The interiors take a more serene turn in the primary bedroom, where the clients requested “soft tones and a Monet-like palette,” says the husband. With that directive, however, Farrow still ensured plenty of visual interest. She designed a paneled bed wall inset with plaster-like wallpaper inspired by the dining room’s coffered ceiling, which “adds dimension and gives the room some architecture,” she explains. Meanwhile, yet another Slonem painting, this one depicting a peacock, serves as a playful nod to the wife’s nickname for her design-loving spouse. “It was wonderful seeing all the textiles and wallpapers come together,” the husband muses, “but I had the most fun curating the art.” The collaboration was equally satisfying for the couple’s interior designer. “Exploring what ‘elevated’ means for these owners was a fun process,” Farrow says of the California dreamers. “You can create a well-appointed home that still functions for a family.”