Tucked away in Dallas's Lake Highlands neighborhood, a rundown but historic home was waiting patiently for someone to bring it back to life. With solid bones, an open layout, and an abundance of natural light, the potential for greatness was clear. Thankfully, Tiffany Taylor of Scout Design Studio found the key and unlocked its potential. "The house had me at hello," she told MyDomaine.
When it comes to detail, Taylor's attention didn't slip for a second. Despite many challenges during the home's extensive renovation, the end result is flawless. From the kitchen to the bedroom, each space has been carefully curated with Taylor's finely tuned eye, leaving no glam stone unturned.
Taylor lived by the words of former Vogue editor Diana Vreeland during the design process: "Never fear being vulgar, just boring," and we're so glad she did. "My style is unorthodox and uncomplicated," she said. "I don't play by the rules, and I embrace my passion for offbeat beauty. I'm not a loyalist to any one style; I buy what I love and make it all work together." Ahead Taylor shares her style notes and stories behind her decorating technique, color scheme, and greatest challenge.
No home renovation is complete without a few setbacks along the way. But for Taylor, the challenges began before the first wall was even torn down. "The house was never on the market," she said. "A friend alerted me to a possible sale, and I knocked on the door. The family was managing a complicated estate, so the transaction took longer than we would have liked. After we closed, finding time for the remodel was a challenge. My husband, Erick, is an architect, so he worked closely with our contractor while I focused on the finishing details."
Before she set about purchasing furniture to decorate the space, Taylor worked with a few of her existing pieces first. Her comprehensive artwork collection can be seen throughout the entire home. "I've been collecting and making art for most of my adult life," she said. "The taxidermy elk in the living room was a weekend project before my job became my creative outlet. I repurposed a poster of Andrew Wyeth's 'Christina's World' in a thrift-store frame before I could afford original artwork, and it still hangs over a console near the entryway. The headboard in a guest room is a vintage Shyrdak I bought years ago during a trip to Asia."
When it comes to color, there was no hesitation. "I prefer neutral walls and trim (Sherwin Williams Shoji White, to be exact) as a backdrop to intriguing art and furnishings," she said. "I like to accent with colorful textiles like the vibrant Persian rug and Turkish pillows in our dining room. I love the steel-gray velvet on the Scout Design Studio Seymour chairs in my living room. They are a nice hue against the otherwise neutral space. The soft blue on the barstools compliments the marble countertops in my kitchen."
While this home certainly has a glam, contemporary vibe, Taylor doesn't limit herself when it comes to style. "I'm not a loyalist to any one style," she said. "I buy what I love and make it all work together." And you can see that in every room of the house. Vintage textiles and story-rich objects live alongside mixed metals and contemporary art. "It's all about the combination of materials and finding that cohesive sweet spot that blends them together," she continues. "Our house is constantly evolving as we travel and collect pieces along the way."
While she isn't usually one to play favorites, when quizzed, Taylor treasures the vintage ice cream sign on the back porch (it came out of an old soda fountain in West Texas) and the incredible hand chairs in the living room picked up by a friend in Denver. But the list could go on. "I've been scouting with my family since I was a kid," she notes. "I could navigate fine antique stores and sprawling flea markets before I could read."
The house wasn't the only part of the property that needed an overhaul. According to Taylor, the backyard was no small feat either. "The previous owner was a train collector who built elaborate structures for his hobby," she remarked. "A rusty steel bridge spanned across the pool, and a dilapidated plaster mountain jutted out of the deep end. A neglected train depot on the deck took days to deconstruct."
This story was originally published on August 22, 2016.