Helen Thompson
Helen Thompson
In PrintIn StyleIn BooksIn MediaIn the KnowIn House


In 2009 Dallas designer Ashley Avrea Cathey teamed with another Dallas interior designer, Mary Beth Wagner, to form their own firm AvreaWagner. The pair’s work is a lusciously sporty vision of tailored style. Recently Cathey was able to unbutton that traditional look in her just-completed family home.

Read more about this project in the Summer 2018 issue of  INTERIORS TEXAS.

An enormous entry hall slices through the house front to back; the master bedroom and study are to the right of the hall; to the left are the family room and kitchen. Cathey didn’t want a dining room or a living room—her house is a lesson in refreshed ideas about functionality.

Instead, Cathey opted for a huge foyer which Avrea fills with tables when she and her husband have parties. French doors open onto the patio in back where guests also end up.

There is a family room, though, which opens directly onto the kitchen.

Lavender silk grass cloth wallpaper is the backdrop for an ochre Pierre Frey velvet-covered sofa. Two Jindrich Halabala chairs are upholstered in plaid, a zippy dynamic that contrasts with the formal antique Chinese chests flanking the sofa. A tiger-striped velvet ottoman adds more pattern in this colorful dynamic.

The kitchen gives a first impression that it’s mostly neutral shades, but closer examination reveals the opposite: Deep plum-colored veins course through the Brecia Viola marble island countertop. Cathey upholstered the chairs in a randomly wild animal print.

The powder room is papered in camo print in shades of blue.

Upstairs is the exclusive domain of the couple’s four children.

Another child’s bedroom.

In the master bedroom an outsize purple paisley covers the walls, a bold graphic background against the subtle plaid of the sofa—both are overseen by the black Julian Chichester pendant that resembles a cluster of six study lamps. The riot of color was inspired by the deep pinks of the Porthault linens on the bed.

The two-story slurried brick Italianate residence designed by Dallas architect Jerry Coleman is a dream of symmetry.



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