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Color, lighting, art and elegance emerge in this Dallas dwelling



Chihuly art glass flanks an antiqued filigree mirror above the living room fireplace, bringing the towering wall to human scale.


A powder room off of the billiards room features a counter imprinted with a turquoise-and-ombré effect photograph by Richard Bettinger. The white carved wood cabinet below appears to float, giving this small space an airy and organic feel. A multimedia collage by Texas artist Brad Ellis pops from a silver textured wall covering.

Color and elegance mingle throughout this two-story, traditional Preston Hollow home where art delivers aquas, auburns, ambers and other stunning hues in sumptuous surroundings. Here, Dallas interior designer Mary Anne Smiley leaves her trademark: color.

“One of the things I’m known for is using color. Clients who come to me like color,” Smiley says.

She points to a collection of Chihuly art glass that frames an antiqued filigree mirror above the living room fireplace. The 24-by-28-inch Macchias in spotted tangerine, pink, yellow, red, green and turquoise serve double duty. Positioned smartly on custom acrylic brackets that vanish visually, the pieces create a colorful focal point. They also bring a sense of scale to the small room with towering walls.

“Using these very large pieces diminished the size of the wall and brought this small sitting area more into proportion,” Smiley says.

A gray-green fireplace surround embellished with a 22-karat gold relief design creates a transition between the living room and nearby powder room where an antique chest displays the same treatment. The chic vanity with an onyx sink and gold-and-crystal quartz faucet takes center stage in this striking space.

“It’s a pretty stunning little powder room,” Smiley says. She describes the special details that embody the space. Marble, onyx and 24-karat gold gilded glass tiles that were cut on-site create an intricate floor mosaic. Crystal beads embellish a gilded damask Maya Romanoff wall covering with a wispy design. These touches, Smiley says, present a feast for the eyes.

“A powder room is the one place where my clients’ guests will be alone with time to look at the details. I want to give them something interesting to look at,” she says.


An antique bronze screen from New York City finds new life in Dallas as a 22-karat gold-plated dining room table inlaid with glass panels. The table, which features acrylic legs and a gold Greek key design on its zebrawood apron, was custom-built by eight different craftsmen.


A Richard Bettinger photograph printed on a stainless steel counter in the billiards room pops from a base paneled with textured gold resin by Utahbased 3form. This paneling repeats on the backsplash.

In the kitchen, slivers of rock crystal float in a resin counter set atop gold lamé fabric. Cabinets finished in subtle metallic silver auto body paint incorporate wire mesh screened door panels and give the room a contemporary flair. A polished stainless steel stairwell just off the kitchen creates continuity with its screened sidewalls. Hand-hewn satin nickel rosettes mounted with quartz crystal centers pepper this sleek staircase.

Behind the scenes of the home’s oft-simplistic features are layers of complexity in materials, design and creativity, Smiley explains. The billiards bar, for example, was lowered to open up space to the adjoining billiards room. “It leaves a streamlined, elegant look,” she says.

The billiards counter bursts with a rainbow of colors courtesy of a Richard Bettinger photograph printed on the stainless steel counter. These splashes of color reflect those found in the Western art displayed in the adjacent billiards room. “If I use an accessory, it’s going to be art,” says Smiley, who incorporates plenty of wall art, sculptures and contemporary art glass into her designs.

A level 5, museum-quality finish applied on the walls in the billiards room and throughout the house provides a texturefree backdrop for art, which is displayed without distraction from shadows and flaws.


Rock crystal floats in resin set atop gold lamé fabric in this custom kitchen counter by Luminexa.


Top: In the butler’s pantry, a counter by Luminexa features gold rock crystals set in resin. An antiqued mirrored backsplash sparkles above custom cabinetry finished in soft metallic silver auto body paint; Bottom: Smiley created a custom fountain using a purchased sculpture as the centerpiece surrounded by Janus et Cie patio furniture.

“The walls give off a soft, subtle look that is so elegant,” says Smiley, who selected Sherwin Williams paint in the color “Rice Grain,” mixed with silver and soft dove gray, to create a pearllike finish on the billiards room walls.

Silver continues in the master bedroom with furnishings painted in the same soft metallic auto body paint used on the kitchen cabinets. Triple rows of recessed chrome hand-embedded with Swarovski crystals accent the room’s bedside chests, headboard and footboard. Trimmed in tufted tangerine leather, the headboard delivers a dash of brightness in this elegant retreat.

A triple-ring chrome-andcrystal chandelier crowns the master bedroom and adjoining sitting room. A custom-built European figured maple and acrylic cabinet provides visual interest to both rooms with its display of the homeowner’s Judith Leiber handbag collection. Beside the cabinet, Smiley delivers a pinch of eye candy with a hand-carved and gilded coffee table redesigned as a buttontufted, pink leather-topped bench. On the opposite side of the sitting room, an acrylic-base chair with a bright pink leather cushion acts as a contemporary counterpoint to its companion antique Louis XV-style writing desk.


Silver, gray and white stripes adorn a cowhide area rug in the master bedroom’s sitting area. Here, two side-by-side matte gold lamé window seats trimmed with metallic gold leather cording create a clean, curved line. Curved acrylic seat backs attached behind the settee’s corners prop up clusters of colorful pillows.


The master bedroom shimmers with Swarovski crystals hand-set in chrome inserts that create a triple-row trim accent on the metallic silver bedroom ensemble. The bedside chests and tangerine tufted-leather headboard were designed by Smiley and custom built for her clients. Mineral base lamps on the bedside chests created by Empressive Geo Designs.


A seascape design graces the shower in the master bath. A recessed cubby trimmed in stainless steel blends seamlessly into the design.

Steps away, in the master bath, a 22-karat gold glass tile floor band creates unity in a room chock full of nooks and crannies. “It gives an organized and elegant feel to the space,” Smiley says.

A wall-hung, antique-mirrored vanity positioned 8 inches from the baseboard lends an air of lightness to the room. A stainless steel tub contoured specifically for the homeowner rests on an 8-inch-high acrylic platform that glows with LED lighting.

Throughout this showpiece home, such artful combinations of lighting, color, elegance and neutrality create visual interest and elements of surprise.

These themes continue outside in the cabana where natural light casts a spotlight on lime green seating, playful wall art and a cabinet counter shimmering with flecks of recycled colored glass set in concrete.

“It’s fun, colorful and appropriate for the outdoors,” Smiley says. “It looks like confetti.”

Denise Henry is a freelance writer based in Ohio. Contact her at

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