At an end-of-life birthday party for a dear friend, Christina Garcia Lysaught — the founder and principal designer behind Dallas-based Layered Dimensions Interior Design — started chatting with a young couple who turned out to be in the early stages of building a house in Southlake. Lysaught made such an impression that by the end of that dinner, the couple asked her to step in and help with the interior design of their dream home. “We just gained each other’s trust knowing that we had this really amazing, mutual friend,” she says.
Lysaught came on board right at the floor plan stage, and the homeowners shared their hopes for their new place. “They wanted something updated, modern, but still something they could see themselves living in for the next 20 years,” Lysaught explains. “They are not people to change things. They said, ‘We don’t want to remodel; our style isn’t going to change.’”
Lysaught took that direction to heart, along with the family’s request for a more masculine-leaning space with a few feminine touches. “Everything we did needed to be somewhat classic and neutral,” she says.
Not only did the color palette have to stand the test of time, so did the materials and furnishings. The family has small children, so Lysaught opted for performance fabrics whenever possible to ensure her selections would hold up. “This was a home that was very much geared toward family,” Lysaught says. “That was their most important factor, above everything.” Plus, the family loves to entertain, so she wanted to ensure the design would allow guests to easily circulate throughout the space.
For the entryway, the homeowners had seen a photo of a table they absolutely loved — but the space was so large that Lysaught couldn’t find anything in the right scale.
“We had that table custom made out of reclaimed wood, so that was very specific for their home,” she says. “They could style it accordingly for everyday use or different holidays. That was something that was special for them.”
But there’s another eye-catching feature as you pass through the front door. “The wine wall is the very first thing you see when you walk in,” Lysaught says, noting that this almost sculptural element acts as a separation of space between the foyer and living room. “The homeowner really wanted something that was a display feature, something that would still allow the light to flow through. It’s unique and functional.”
Lysaught designed a display case of sorts, with a wood base, dramatic lighting, clear glass sides and doors. Glasshouse Glass & Mirror as well as a specialty wine rack company, Vineyard Wine Cellars, were both brought in to bring her ideas to life. Sliding glass doors in the back of room allow light to freely flow through the display and throughout the space.
The natural stone fireplace is another one of Lysaught’s sophisticated creations. The linear striations in the starburst design mimic the patterning in the wood on the vent hood in the kitchen. “I like to create things that are seen in multiple forms throughout the house to create consistency,” she says, mentioning the fireplace and vent hood sit directly across from each other.
Lysaught played with the kitchen floor plan to add a second island. That waterfall island features seating on both sides and can accommodate a casual meal with a view of the TV.
“It’s the same countertop,” Lysaught shares, “and like another eat-in table that also functions very well as a prep space. It creates a larger working kitchen.”
Keeping in mind the family’s request for a masculine-leaning home, Lysaught used Benjamin Moore’s Midnight Blue paint throughout, including in the kitchen.
“That was our primary color. They wanted something that looked almost black but wasn’t as dark, so we landed on this really dark blue,” she says. “I love how we incorporated the stained wood with the paint [in the kitchen]; that added a lot of detail to the space. Creating almost furniture elements within the cabinetry added interest to that space, including the butlery area.” Even the vent hood was modeled after furniture – a Kelly Wearstler desk.
The dining room sits just left of the kitchen in a large open-concept area. Being family-oriented, the homeowner opted for a custom tufted bench in lieu of traditional seating for the table from Vanguard. “She wanted something the kids could just climb up on,” Lysaught recalls of the function, before turning to the room’s form. “The artwork is just a very dynamic piece that was the focal point of that whole space, something that tied in a lot of the colors from the overall home.” A natural wood ceiling adds warmth and makes the room feel a bit more intimate for a family meal or a dinner party.
For a different style of entertaining, a game room houses a pool table, a bar and an area perfect for watching sports.
“They wanted this to be a place that men would feel comfortable,” Lysaught says, before sharing the creative inspiration for her fabric selections. “On a day-to-day basis, the man of the house is more athletic, but when he dresses up, he likes to wear a nice suit. He always dresses very, very nicely. And so I took a hint from his clothing. He wears pinstripe suits, some plaids and incorporates leather, so I tried to utilize his fashion [style] in the space.”
For the dark and moody media room, the homeowners wanted a big sofa where parents and kids alike could all plop down to cuddle up and watch a movie.
“We did an L-shaped sofa that had a huge ottoman that could tuck up and create this big bed-slash-sofa sectional. Behind that is a table and chairs that’s a little bit higher than the sectional, so they can see over the sectional while having a snack or eating back there. I call it the Studio Movie Grill,” Lysaught says with a smile.
Wooden panels act as a modern version of room columns, serving as a mount for the light fixtures and echoing some of the design features from the first floor.
The family moved into the house just as the wife launched a client-facing business. “She wanted a space that was all hers, and she really wanted to incorporate pink, so we had to figure out a way to do that where it looked elevated and not little girly,” Lysaught says of creating the feminine vibe.
Kravet Couture drapery and a Bernhardt velvety kidney-shaped sofa in just the right shade of pink fit the bill. The Vanguard desk’s acrylic legs let light travel through the room. “It almost appears to be floating,” Lysaught says.
Cabinetry provided shelving and much-needed storage space for client files, and pretty glass doors added privacy while maintaining clear views of the goings-on of a busy household. A Matteo Lighting Oni pearl-bracelet-like light fixture is suspended above it all.
During the construction and design process, the homeowners’ daughter was just a toddler, so creating a timeless space where she could grow up into her teens and early 20s was a bit of a challenge.
“We wanted it be young and feminine, but not too cutesy,” Lysaught says, so she creatively incorporated pink tile, floral mosaics in the floor tile, and other beautiful “girly features” including those spectacular Kate Spade sconces.
Renderings of a largely black marble bath concerned that homeowners, who were worried it might get too dark. Lysaught explained that the light tile would be a heavy contrast against the sleek black marble.
“It worked and they loved it,” she says of the balance.
While Mom had a home office to run her business, she wanted a separate staging area for parent duties. Lysaught designed the laundry room to do double duty.
There’s a wrapping paper drawer as well as school supply storage and a desk. “While laundry’s going, she’s able to be proactive in that space,” Lysaught says.
Every aspect of the design was a collaboration that fully fits the residents’ needs. Shares Lysaught, “The homeowners took a lot of pride in every single step along the way, and I think it shows with the finished product.”
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