Designer Cynthia Collins' Picture-Perfect Home
This Park Cities house is beyond lovely.
(left) The Collins family casually dines at this vintage lacquered table while admiring a painting by Melissa Auberty. The Pagoda lantern is from Culp Associates, China Seas fabric dresses the windows, and vintage Blenko glass bottles adorn the table. (right) The master bedroom is the perfect retreat, with Matouk bedding and a custom headboard and bolster by Collins Interiors. Vintage benches are covered in Lee Jofa fabric, and the lacquered bedside table with brass inlay is custom Blue Print. The light fixture is by Visual Comfort, and the lamp is from Blue Print. photography by Aimee Herring
But don’t confuse practicality with predictability. The house teems with femininity, and wonderful—and unusual—surprises abound. Take the rabble of porcelain butterflies that she found at Scott + Cooner. Collins chose to have them installed on her kitchen stove vent hood. “The artist, Jennifer Prichard, and her husband live in Austin, but they work all over the world, installing beautiful pieces that make you smile,” she says.
(left) A Parisian enamel and brass console is complemented by a vintage sculpture and antique Tunbridge ware boxes, which Collins has collected on her many trips to England. The oil painting is by Charlotte Seifert, and the antique English dining chair is covered in purple Osborne & Little fabric. (right) The formal sitting area is filled with grand touches such as a vintage Lucite and glass coffee table with brass inlay, a Chinese export vase made into a lamp, small oils from England, a rose medallion bowl that was Collins’ grandmother’s, and her favorite original Lucite light fixture, which she found in England. photography by Aimee Herring
Art has always been important to Collins. She minored in art history at UT, and her travels for work have her constantly on the lookout for new pieces. “We like to go to Santa Fe and Scottsdale. Whenever we travel, we reach out to the local artists in that town,” Collins says. “We go to Paris and see a lot of different shows. We buy old paintings, too, and those are often the more decorative pieces.” At the moment, she is loving the work of Tom Lawson, a professor at the University of Virginia. She also collects pieces by former Cistercian priest Father Damian. “His things come up every year at auction. He did such beautiful drawings, and I’ve gotten a few of his recently that I love.” But her favorite artist is Rachel Welty, who shows in New York and Boston. “Her pieces are so fun. She takes things that you throw away, like fruit stickers and twisty ties, and she does the most creative things with them,” Collins says. “She must have OCD because of her attention to detail.”
Unfortunately, her home has only so many walls for art. That’s where Blue Print comes in. The store, which opened in 2010, is full of pieces that Collins and her team find while shopping for clients. “It gives us an avenue to present art,” Collins says. “And the store is always changing. It doesn’t get stagnant.”
The spa-like master bathroom walls are covered in grasscloth by Phillip Jeffries. The sconces are by Visual Comfort, and the glazed garden stool and Texas hide rug are from Blue Print.photography by Aimee Herring
And so, too, the neighborhood has changed. “My brother lives here now. It’s lots of fun. We’re raising our kids together,” she says. The neighbors have also become extended family. “It’s an open-door policy. We all know where everyone’s eggs are.”