Home Tour: A Ladies-Only Bungalow in Dallas

THE DOSSIER: NAME: Collins Interiors TRADE: Interior design firm. VIBE: Feminine modern sophisticate. ABODE: Four-bedroom bungalow designed by Texas architect Charles Dilbeck in University Park, Dallas.

"Our client has major style. She's just got a cool factor," says Collins Interiors' Laura Birnbaum of her Dallas client, a mother to three teenage girls. "Her art, books, and accessory collections were already top-notch, and she wasn't afraid of change." Needless to say, the design goal was to create a fresh home for the family of four, while incorporating many existing (and wonderful) furnishings.


Designed by celebrated Texas architect Charles Dilbeck (who's known for his quirky details), the 2600-square-foot, four-bedroom, three-bath University Park bungalow "has crazy small dimensions," Birnbaum says. "So it was all about filling the space to pile in loads of friends and family." Designer Cynthia Collins and Birnbaum, the firm's senior design associate, didn't rely on any small-space tricks -- just repeated drawings and sketches of the home to scale. "We were very specific with our upholsterer on size and depths of furniture." And while a lot of furniture was custom made for the client, "she also had some great vintage pieces that just needed some TLC."


As for the aesthetic and color scheme, "nothing in the rooms match; it just all works together," Birnbaum says. "We wanted it to be eclectic. It was an excuse to use playful colors for a house full of girls -- and that opportunity doesn't come along frequently." The designer chose a blue Phillip Jeffries lattice wallpaper for the dining room and a vase-print Clarence House wallpaper for the powder room. Feminine colors (such as baby blue, lavender, and white), soft textures, and geometric prints are a current throughout the home, and geometry is repeated in a statement-making steel gray chair rail that the designer had custom made.


The homeowner is a collector of many things, including shagreen decorative accessories, original artwork, photography, antique English boxes, and countless books, so a goal of the design, says Cynthia Collins, was "to display her beautiful found objects in a new way, which is really the goal of any install we do." The design team augmented the owner's collection with new art pieces by Megan Adams Brooks, Brenda Bogart, Mallory Page, Jean Jack, and Stephanie Shank, which are sold their Dallas boutique, Blue Print. An art deco burled-wood side table, a marble-top coffee table with gold pin legs, and a bubble-inspired chandelier were also new additions. When local finds wouldn't suffice, trips to England and Paris proved fruitful. Now isn't that lovely?


Vintage Burlwood Side Table Blueprint Blue Watercolor Art Mallory Page Blue Zebra Pillow Fabric Travers
Entryway Wallpaper Phillip Jeffries Den Sectional West Elm Bedding Matouk
Bedroom Drapery Fabric Schumacher Lucite Floor Lamp Blueprint Blue Ikat Bed Pillows Megan Adams


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Miramar Chair, from $1450, Serena & Lily Gold Marble Coffee Table White, $2425, Furbish Studio Halston Sofa, from $2750, Serena & Lily
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Jumbo Bubble Chandelier, $7500, Pelle Eames® Molded Plastic Eiffel Side Chair, $319, DWR Lotus Floor Lamp, $399, Y Lighting
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Jackson Sectional, from $1599, West Elm Veena Blue Lumbar, $108, Furbish Studio Tom Ford by Bridget Foley, $75, Barnes & Noble
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Caboche Ceiling Light, $1711, Y Lighting Marlowe Bedding, from $79, Matouk Robert Abbey Audrey Lily White Ceramic Buffet Lamp, $243, Lamps Plus
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Greige Greek Key Pillow, from $60, Caitlin Wilson Textiles Natural Hide Rug, from $750, Serena & Lily Sophia Flush Mount, $496, Circa Lighting
Photographs: Heather Hawkins