Designer Tracy Hardenburg’s pulse quickened the first time she pulled up to this midcentury modern-style Dallas residence. “I walked in and thought, ‘Wow, this place is baseline beautiful,’” she remembers. “And I immediately visualized doing so many exciting things.” Luckily for her, the homeowner—an attorney with two grown children—found her enthusiasm contagious. “Rather than wanting to incorporate her own style, she said, ‘Let’s do what you want to do,’” he recalls. And so, with a shared passion for the architecture and its big windows, high ceilings and spacious feel, the duo set out to create a casual yet elegant environment reflecting the client’s more playful side.
True to form, the owner was all in when Hardenburg suggested suspending hanging hoop chairs from the 30-foot-living room ceiling as part of the seating arrangement. And on the practical side, he easily acquiesced when she proposed expanding the initial plans for a kitchen and main bathroom redo to encompass three more bathrooms and two guest rooms. However, the designer’s vision for a moody, dark cooking space with black cabinets and a bronze tile backsplash was a tougher sell. “I said to him, ‘You have 11-foot ceilings and lots of natural light—we can do this,’ ” she explains, and it was a leap of faith the homeowner is glad he took. “Now it’s one of my favorite spaces,” he notes, crediting builder Blake Evenson, working with project manager Charlie Williamson, for flawlessly executing many of the kitchen’s details.
Back in the living room, where the hanging chairs checked the fun box, a gently curving velvet sofa introduced a refined touch to the voluminous space enhanced by views of the surrounding landscape brought to life by Verdant Grounds. A fan of natural elements, Hardenburg also brought in sculpted cane-and-walnut chairs. “I love rough materials but beautiful shapes,” says the designer, who completed the room with an organic limestone-and-wood coffee table. That same strategy served Hardenburg well in the more formal of the two dining spaces, where a David Yarrow photograph spans one wall and a glass-and-metal John Pomp chandelier floats above a table with a gray stone top and a steel base. About the latter, the designer says, “It’s a cold element but striking, and I softened it with the chairs and a walnut console with navy blue leather on the doors.”
Just two steps up from the formal dining room, upholstered seating and a wooden table speak to the more relaxed nature of the breakfast area. Here, a central compartment cutting through the center of the table multitasks as a place for centerpiece plants or cold drinks, with a series of wood pedestals aiding in serving snacks. Such choices exemplify the designer’s quest for the unusual and her stated desire that everything from the art to the furnishings be cool and unique. “I never want someone to walk into a home I’ve worked on and think, ‘Tracy did that,’ ” she says.
Despite the midcentury modern-style backdrop, Hardenburg’s furniture selections reflect this desire to create one-of-a-kind spaces rather than simply match the architecture. Regarding a pair of upholstered chairs in the great room, the designer explains, “I didn’t place them there because they are midcentury in style—I liked that they swiveled and had pretty wooden bases.” The addition of both a coffee table with an open square design and a textured area rug defined by primitive shapes further punctuates her ability to bring uniqueness to an interior. “I have no formula,” she notes. “My goal as a designer is simply for nobody else to have the same thing.”
In no space is that objective more apparent than the main bathroom, where a painting by Dallas artist David Bates proved the impetus for decidedly masculine dark green walls. “I thought that with a man as my client, I had a shot at using that color,” says Hardenburg, who accommodated the homeowner further by replacing a bathtub with a floating leather banquette where he can take off his shoes or watch television. She also ringed a section of the room with walnut vanities capped with white marble while topping off everything with a dazzling dark green-and-white marble floor. “I don’t normally do a lot of pattern but the marble is stunning and I still look at that space and gasp,” Hardenburg adds. “Like the rest of the house, this room has everything—color, elegance and it’s fun.