By Meda Kessler
Photos by Brian McWeeney
An ’80s home gets a makeover that mixes in the right amount of color with a neutral palette.
It was a bucolic duck-filled pond that attracted Renee and Kevin Taylor to the Woodland Hills neighborhood in Colleyville.
The couple had been living in Irving when they found an ’80s-era home with a cozy patio and spacious backyard — perfect for their young son, Grayson, and Baby, a spunky miniature dachshund. The views beyond the fence line included the nearby pond and surrounding walking path. “We both wanted more of a contemporary style and saw the potential in this house,” says Renee. That meant picturing what the interior could be, looking past the earthy porcelain tile, dull brown paint color and wall-to-wall carpeting. The pluses were the abundance of windows and, of course, the location.
While they were in agreement about much of the remodel, Renee and Kevin each had a major project at the top of their wish lists. “Kevin wanted a wine room, and I wanted an all-white master bath,” says Renee.
Both made the cut, but on entering the home, it’s the colorful yet serene living room that first catches the eye. Dark wood replaced the old porcelain tile on the floor, and a large graphic print area rug in tones of orange and red warms up the space and adds bold color accents. The vibrant tones are picked up in the artwork. A low-slung contemporary sectional upholstered in a gray menswear fabric anchors the space.
Another focal point is the modern floor-to-ceiling fireplace, devoid of a mantel or any other adornment. While it looks like scored plaster from a distance, it’s actually made up of large squares of the same porcelain tile used in the master bath. A gunmetal-gray granite is used for the simple hearth and to line the firebox, which is filled with glass rocks that sparkle when lit.
The media room/den is cozy and warm; it sees a lot of family action thanks to the comfortable sofa, put-your-feet-up coffee table and a pair of swivel chairs. As in the living room, sunny colors of yellow and orange punch up the sofa’s gray fabric upholstery. Another large area rug features a gray and cream geometric pattern.
Dividing the den from the living room is a dramatically lit wine closet with a tall sliding-glass door. Spacious enough to hold 900 bottles, the room replaced a large wet bar that also opened up to the exterior via a window. During the remodel, the couple included a time capsule detailing the home’s history inside the newly framed wall.
Adjacent to the kitchen, the den also features a partial wall between it and a cozy breakfast room. “It’s nice to have a little separation between the rooms, and we wanted to keep some of the original design of the home,” says Renee. The wall’s brickwork features recessed mortar, which adds depth and texture, plus there’s a three-sided fireplace.
A formal dining room also sits off the kitchen. The update included new paint, wood floors and contemporary lighting. Renee and Kevin went to local artist Trish Biddle’s Westlake studio to pick out the quartet of canvases. As with the living room and den, bold colors mix with neutrals via the rug and bench cushion.
The master bedroom, originally featuring vivid green porcelain tile, is now a retreat done up in soothing tones of cream with blue accents. It’s spacious enough for a seating area featuring the artwork of Southlake’s Deanna Kienast, a favorite of the homeowners. This serene feeling continues into the master bath, which is almost all white, with black soapstone counters on the floating double vanity. The oversize floor tiles, the same ones used on the living room fireplace, keep the look clean, as does the glass-walled walk-in shower. The freestanding tub is tucked into one corner that looks out into a compact L-shaped courtyard planted with Japanese maples. It brings the outdoors in while keeping ablutions private. The sliding doors conceal the couple’s shared walk-in closet.
While Renee’s love of neutrals is evident throughout the home, she doesn’t shy away from truly bold colors, as evidenced in the thoughtfully chosen accessories and especially in her home office. There, a large abstract work by Kienast sets the scene, with additional key players such as a high-back tufted chair and a graphic rug in black and white.
“Deanna’s work is really special and inspired us to be bolder with color,” says Renee. Mission accomplished.