Helen Thompson
Helen Thompson
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FROM THE ARCHIVES: NATURE LOVER

Now in the middle of Dallas, this verdant acre near Forest Lane and Hillcrest Road, was away from it all in 1958 when the late architect O’Neil Ford designed a low-slung brown brick and glass house near a creek. The house was redone by Dallas interior designer Alice Cottrell for a couple and their two children and four dogs. It was already blessed with ten-foot-tall grey slatted wood ceilings and terrazzo floors, and designer Cottrell continued the restrained palette so as not to detract from the subtle architecture and the stunning views. The couple’s impressive collection of modern art makes the boldest statements; otherwise, Cottrell relies on her considerable gift for inconspicuously luxe texture, atmospheric colors, a nervy selection of iconic mid-century furniture, and her own custom pieces.

Let’s imagine it’s winter, right now. Sit by the fire in B&B Italia club chairs, lit by a Holly Hunt floor lamp. Cottrell designed the sofa, built by Kisabeth Furniture; pillows are custom in David Hicks fabric from Lee Jofa. The cocktail table is a hunk from a massive teak tree.

Another view of the living room.

Much of the entertainment in the dining room involves looking out the window. The B&B Italia chairs are covered in faux red fox from Dorian Bahr. Ottomans, at left, were designed by Alice Cottrell, built and upholstered in faux grizzly-bear fur from Bergamo Fabrics, through I.D. Collection at Kisabeth Furniture. Hanging above, a work by Berlin artist Cornelia Schleime. The window sheers are from Jack Lenor Larsen. The console, far right, is from Napa Home & Garden; on top, a fossilized crab, now made into a lamp, by Jim Penix of Mineral Hunters in Dallas. Hanging above, a work by German artist Peter Schunter.

Off the kitchen, a den-like space that is the link between the original 1958 house and a 1961 addition by Ford protégé, the late Scott Lyons. In the den, a custom sofa by Alice Cottrell, in Rodolph plush, through Culp Associates. The rabbit-fur Smiley Cushion is from Calypso St. Barth; the rabbit-fur throw is by Adrienne Landau, through the David Sutherland Showroom. The ottoman is Minotti, in Edelman leather. Overhead, the light fixture is by David Weeks Studio, through Ralph Pucci. The carpet by Missoni Home.

The banquette in the kitchen is upholstered in cork fabric by Kravet. The restaurant table is “Knobhill,” from West Coast Industries. Above the banquette, two mixed-media works by Argentine artist Pancho Luna, through Craighead-Green Gallery.

Velvety textures are designer Alice Cottrell‘s signature. In the master bedroom, the headboard is custom through Alice Cottrell, in faux white fur by Kravet; at the foot of the bed, a faux red-fox throw is by Adrienne Landau, through the David Sutherland Showroom. Faux cashmere curtains are by Robert Allen. Under foot, an Edward Fields carpet from the homeowners’ previous residence was re-cut for this house. The vintage Koch + Lowy reading lamp is from Vinya Design & Consign.

Cottrell painted the house’s original cabinetry and selected woven vinyl sisal for the floor, by Bolon of Sweden, from Interior Resources in Dallas. Cole & Son’s Automania wallpaper; on the ceiling, silvery Mylar wallpaper by Wolf Gordon. The sconces are converted from Flos’ Lampadina table lamps.

California artist Harry Siter’s gun-toting cat, Mother Nature, is made of bronze, aluminum, and redwood.

The rear of the O’Neil Ford house, looking toward the living-room wing. Scott Lyons’ 1961 expansion is at far right. The original grounds were designed by husband-wife team Arthur and Marie Berger, who landscaped the DeGolyer Gardens in 1940, now part of the Dallas Arboretum, and have been carefully maintained by the homeowners.

Photography by Stephen Karlisch.

Flowers by Jack Collins for Grange Hall.

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