With compromise comes beauty. As proof, just look at the modern masterpiece in Preston Hollow conceived by architects Paul Field and Braxton Werner of Dallas’ Wernerfield. When a young married couple with distinctly different design tastes wanted a home that combined their modern and traditional sensibilities, the architecture team dreamed up a cozy curbside stunner that shows how magnificent meeting in the middle can be.
The project started as a typical remodel of a 1960s Texas ranchburger-style home. Was the home too close to the street? Yes. Did it take the best advantage of the property’s sparkling pond? No way.
Wernerfield’s solution was to start from scratch. Down came the ranch home, with the exception of the main fireplace, and in its place rose an ode to modern design that’s slick, but not intimidating, current, but not cliché. The remnant of the old house became the fireplace seen at the front entry court.
“It became clear that a ground-up situated on a different part of the one-acre lot would be a better solution,” Field says. “This allowed us to push the home farther away from the street and locate it in a part of the property that would have better views of the pond.”
When it came to converging the couple’s two aesthetics, the architects knew that the home’s exterior would be their first major hurdle. At a glance, the home is a modernist’s daydream. Clean lines coupled with large windows and white stucco lend themselves to the husband’s taste. However, when those elements are balanced with reclaimed wood siding (sans any glossy treatment) and stacked-stone walls from Granbury, Texas, the result is the architectural equivalent of jumping the broom.
“Corten steel and drystacked stone were materials that also helped to bridge the gap between the couple’s design tastes,” Field says. “The stone and rusted steel had the rustic appeal that the wife liked and allowed the house to be modern without feeling too cold to her.”
Next on the couple’s mustlist was something every Preston Hollow homeowner wants, but few have: privacy. Wernerfield opted for a C-shaped floor plan as a solution. While large, airy windows dominate the portion of the house facing the master-planned courtyard, the home’s street-facing facets are obscured by cleverly placed stonewalls and low-lying windows.
“The idea was to bring in natural light and instill a sense a play without allowing direct views to the drive,” Field says.
The home acts as a frame for the contemporary courtyard designed by landscape architect David Rolston. Layered and lush, the courtyard features a small pool that blends seamlessly with the property’s pond. Certain vantage points could trick you into thinking this is lakefront property.
“The key is to approach every project on a holistic level and work with other designers that share a similar conceptual approach,” Field says. “If you have the architecture, interiors and landscape all working together, then you have the opportunity to create something very special.”
Leading the charge for the home’s interior was Dallas designer Joshua Rice. When working with the couple to strike the same balance between modern and traditional design, Rice was given a certain chandelier as inspiration. The piece, which features a formal light fixture encased in clouded polyester, was a microcosm that morphed into a motif for the home’s interior direction.
“I didn’t want to fall into the trap of trying to make the home too stringent,” Rice says. “The house was already warm. The wood floors had a lot more figuring and knotting than a typical modern house has, so I tried to build off that balance.”
Rice sourced high and low for the home’s furnishings. Ultramodern side tables flank vintage Italian couches, while abstract art is utilized to obscure televisions. Each piece culminates to deliver an interior that feels carefully curated, but never cold.
Like any solid marriage, Wernerfield’s work on the Preston Hollow property succeeds thanks to ample give-and-take. When each modern feature is met with its traditional adversary, harmony flourishes. It’s all enough to make you say, “I do.”
Chase Wade is a Texas-based freelance writer. Drop him a note at chasewadewrites.com.