Helen Thompson
Helen Thompson
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MAKING AN ENTRANCE

Dallas-based architect Bentley Tibbs and interior designer Alice Cottrell have worked with Carrie and Ryan Robinson on other projects, and they have developed an intuitive appreciation of the way the close-knit family lives. A long history, good vibes, and creative freedom resulted in Tibbs’ design of a two-story, limestone-steel-and-glass house that is a virtuosic exploration of all that is possible when every detail is considered intelligently, if not ardently.

The entry is an extravaganza, cantilevered over a pool and set at a 10-degree angle to the living room, which it also juts into—a magnificent piece of sculpture that all visitors must pass through. Photo by Charles Davis Smith

The Robinsons entertain frequently and their dramatic bar is handily located next to the entry. Photo by Charles Davis Smith

Bridging the two sides of the H-shaped house, the living room is the heart of the residence: “It’s the only room I think of as public space,” says Tibbs.

“This house is very dramatic,” Cottrell says, “and my furniture is quiet.” The designer kept the floor plan simple, a counterintuitive move based on principles she put in practice in the 20 years she worked in hotel design.

Cottrell created two sitting areas in the living room, the spaces divided by a long three-tiered metal console. At one end two 10-foot-long sofas–Cottrell’s signature—face each other; the designer specified that the sofa arms should be extra-wide so that guests can sit on them at parties.

At the other end of the room, four lounge chairs with leather upholstery circle a coffee table. The wine racks in the bar’s wine room are from the original wine storage at the Dallas hotel Joule.

The kitchen ceiling is painted a glossy black, a move that caught Carrie off-guard. “I thought the ceiling would feel like it was coming down on our heads,” she says. Instead, its gorgeous patina seems endless, a moody backdrop for the gleaming bronze stove hood.

Floor tile was hand-picked and arranged by architect Tibbs in a herringbone pattern that merged with the wood.

Cottrell loves big sofas, and specified a version of a big sofa in the kitchen’s dining area where a 14-foot banquette unites food prep and family areas.

The walnut wall in the family room is the same material used in the kitchen cabinets nearby. Two Fulton pendants light up the metallic upholstery of the 14-foot banquette.

Designer Alice Cottrell made sure the master bedroom was all about comfort, selecting tiny reading lights to place just over the upholstered headboard. The vintage night stand is walnut, a nod to the wood that appears elsewhere in the house and that is often associated with mid-century furniture.

Slabs of silver-veined Travertine line floors and walls in the spa-like master bath.

There are only three bedrooms, but a guest house is in back, in addition to two patios and a pool. Landscaping by Hocker Design Group.

Photo by Charles Davis Smith

LANDSCAPING BY HOCKER DESIGN GROUP

PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHARLES DAVIS SMITH and STEPHEN KARLISCH

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