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Colorful Colonial with Transitional Style

Fabulous finishes and colorful fabrics put a fun twist on a traditional Dallas home while staying in step with its Colonial roots.

Written by Ann Wilson
  • Brian McWeeney

    As decorating tastes change and homeowner needs evolve, a home with solid architectural bones can make transitions easy. Such was the case for this distinctively detailed Dallas abode, a 1980s center-hall Colonial that served its original owners well for 20-plus years before subsequent remodeling and redecorating projects by two additional sets of homeowners and one designer seamlessly expanded the home’s square footage.

    Designer Marci Barnes had the foyer’s wood floor painted with airfield-runway paints for an ultradurable, high-sheen finish. Paint-on-Plexiglas artwork by Katherine Houston provides a striking juxtaposition to an Art Deco console.

    Photography: Brian McWeeney 
    Produced by Donna Talley

    Interior designer: Marci Barnes, M. Barnes & Co., 1501 Dragon St., #106, Dallas, TX 75207; 214/742-4490;
    Builder: Dan McKeithan, Provenance Builders, 6115 Owens St., Suite 223, Dallas, TX 75235; 214/418-0602;

  • Brian McWeeney

    Entry Console

    Designer Marci Barnes helped new buyers in 2009 extend the home’s kitchen, add a sunroom, enlarge the upper-level master suite, and open up the main level’s footprint. She put a modern spin on formal millwork with a high-gloss finish and incorporated noteworthy components, including a graphic foyer floor pattern, lustrous auto-paint-covered powder room walls, and an undulating glass-tile kitchen backsplash.

    Vintage gilt lamps bring a touch of glamour to a console with an Art Deco bent. The paint-on-Plexiglas artwork by Katherine Houston ‘is the wow factor,” says Barnes. “It brings in bold purples and blues; its abstract design complements the floor’s structured geometric patterns.” 

  • Brian McWeeney

    Blue Backsplash

    These significant updates and the home’s open layout captivated the current owners, who moved from New York City with their year-old twin daughters. Impressed by what came before, the couple called on Barnes to help them furnish the 8,000-square-foot house. “They saw the home, and it was an instant match,” Barnes says. “She loves tradition, and he likes modern, so the home’s Colonial architecture and the openness fit both their needs. There are touches of traditional, but there’s nothing stuffy.”

    Barnes carefully planned the placement of windows and upper cabinets in the remodeled kitchen to allow enough wall surface for a dramatic tile backsplash. “We could have installed typical white subway tile, but it wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun,” she says. “The tile is glass, but it’s not crisp and clear, so it manages to feel both historic and new at the same time.” 

  • Brian McWeeney

    Kitchen Cabinets

    A built-in hutch showcases large serving pieces and colorful glassware.

  • Brian McWeeney

    Kitchen Dining

    Ebony-stained oak floors provide a timeless anchor for the kitchen’s white cabinets, calacatta marble counters, and upbeat blue tiles and stools. The glass pendant fixtures shine a glamorous light—an unexpected element in a hardworking space. 

    Slipcovered chairs provide seating in the casual kitchen dining area.

  • Brian McWeeney

    Formal Dining Room

    The home’s existing tile, wall, and floor treatments, along with the couple’s yin-and-yang era preferences, steered the palette and furniture choices. “The eggplant-color entry floor pattern and blue kitchen tiles set our color story,” Barnes says, “while the shapes inspired us to play with geometry. We took simple shapes and materials and created patterns throughout that have a modern yet timeless feel.”

    Metal details, airy fabrics, a crystal-draped chandelier, and glossy-white woodwork cause the dining room to shimmer and glimmer day and night. 

  • Brian McWeeney

    Glamorous Space

    The dining room exemplifies Barnes’ approach. She lined the walls with a wallpaper featuring a traditional branch motif contemporized with metallic ink, and she kept formal draperies sleek by opting for cream fabric simply edged with aubergine trim. Antique French chairs sport a modern white lacquer finish that shimmers when illuminated by a lavish crystal chandelier. “The dining room is striking,” Barnes says. “Combined with the foyer floor, the space makes everyone who comes in curious. You want to know what else is going on in this house!”

    A mahogany dining table custom-built by craftsman Keith Fritz boasts a hand-planed surface that exudes a rustic sophistication.  “You can’t get more traditional than those French chairs, but the white lacquer finish and the purple velvet give them a modern twist,” say Barnes. The rug was a great find: it has a traditional pattern rendered in muted shades of the home’s gold, purple, and blue scheme.

  • Brian McWeeney

    Gorgeous Sideboard

    Gold metal details add distinction to the custom sideboard; simple white plaster sconces quietly advance off the silver-embellished wallpaper; and a dual-framed gilt mirror boasting vine-and-branch patterns echoes the wallpaper’s natural motifs. 

  • Brian McWeeney

    Delicate Details

    The custom-built mahogany dining table by craftsman Keith Fritz boasts a hand-planed surface that lends a sense of age--a rustic counterpoint to the dining room’s flashier finishes.

  • Brian McWeeney

    Family Room

    Far-from-ordinary combinations of blues and purples—along with ever-present gilded touches—converge in the family room, where golden étagères flank the fireplace, graphic eggplant-and-denim-blue draperies frame French doors, and a camel-color rolled-arm sofa is energized with boldly patterned accent pillows. This unusual mix of high-fashion elements, contemporary accents, and contrasting colors runs throughout to create a one-of-a-kind home. “This house is all about comfortable, livable glamour,” Barnes says.

    Since sightlines are open between the entry and the family room, Barnes dressed the family room windows in an eye-catching patterned fabric in keeping with the foyer floor’s dramatic pattern. The fabric inspired the dynamic medley of patterns and colors showcased on pillows, a velvet chaise, a plush area rug, and a striped ottoman. Dimensional tile-work above a traditional mantel is another geometric element that introduces a progressive profile.

  • Brian McWeeney

    Nice in Navy

    Lustrous navy walls and ceiling and white striped marble tiles laid in a chevron pattern bring panache to the powder room. “The tile is a super classic material, but when used in this manner it reads very modern,” says Barnes. The walls spotlight crystal-draped sconces and a custom-built vanity with the look of an antique French chest. 

  • Brian McWeeney

    Master Bedroom

    Touchable textiles provide whispery interest in the master bedroom. A lush geometric area rug anchors a velvet-upholstered bedstead buoyed by white linens, magenta accents, and prettily patterned pillows. 

  • Brian McWeeney

    Chaise Lounging

    Grass-cloth covers the walls of the master bedroom seating area, which is furnished with a television, fireplace, and a cushy chaise. The swirly-patterned drapery fabric inspired the bedroom’s gray-and-white scheme. 

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    Colorful Closet

    “The idea was to make it feel fun, a bit like a store,” Barnes says of the wife’s closet and dressing room. A painted navy panel on the ceiling provides a geometric shape that spotlights glitzy chandeliers dressed in silver drum shades, which boost the closet’s bling factor. 

  • Brian McWeeney

    Master Bathroom

    White onyx tiles and a white onyx countertop cued the use of amber tones in the adjacent tub room. The streamlined mirrored doors opening to the wife’s closet amplify light and style. 

  • Brian McWeeney

    Soaking Space

    Crema marfil marble floor tiles accented with inset white onyx tiles, a capiz shell chandelier, and grass-cloth walls contribute elegant substance and geometric shapes, which keep interest high in the bathing alcove. 

  • Julie Soefer