David Cadwallader knew from the start that he needed to edit. It was 2006, and he was looking at the construction plans for a project in Preston Hollow. He and fellow designer Ike Isenhour began simplifying. Isenhour trained as an architect, and the two frequently collaborate on architectural plans. “My job is to marry David’s interior design vision with the architect’s plans, make them meld seamlessly,” Isenhour says. They eradicated 10-piece crown moldings. They said “so long” to 16th-century Italian corner details, doors, and hardware. Architect Elby Martin was initially a little put off by the suggested changes, but in the end, he and clients Marion and Bennett Glazer were won over. The result is a home filled with open space and galleries of simple arched openings that allow views of the back deck from the front hall.
Even before drawing up the plans, the Glazers knew where they wanted to be. “We both grew up around here and have always loved Inwood Road. It’s one of the most beautiful streets to drive on in Dallas,” Marion says. “I knew I wanted to live on one of these side streets around Royal Lane. Our one-acre lot was actually the first one we saw.” Choosing where was easier than choosing how. After an exhaustive search for the right architect, Elby Martin’s large but well-proportioned designs stood out as being more layered, more authentic than others they had seen. They interviewed and liked Martin. Mission accomplished.
But choosing a designer was even harder. Marion thought it important to feel confident in the person’s knowledge. But she wanted to feel comfortable—not intimidated—around her designer. A friend mentioned that she’d just completed a project with Cadwallader and assured her that she would feel comfortable while her ideas were being addressed.
Cadwallader is generally thought of as a modernist, but he’s equally adept in more traditional settings amid ornate moldings, custom fringes, and antiques. After talking things through with Marion, the plan came together. “We responded to her desire for a blend of textures and styles that would not be defined by a label or design flavor—especially not country French. The materials, furniture, and art make it personal and modern,” he says.
Cadwallader opted to use a lot of the Glazers’ existing furniture, but he made modifications. He added fabrics and restyled some items. Special thought went into the details. Case in point: the dramatic entry walls painted by local artisan Melissa Armstrong in blocks of silver glaze. Even the bookshelves got a creative touch. “I looked everywhere for the bookbinding paper in the living room bookshelves—it used to be readily available as wallpaper from many sources. We ended up buying individual sheets from old stock at a dusty old bookbindery,” Cadwallader says. The art that hangs throughout is mostly modern, and it balances the classical lines of the furniture and antique Oriental rugs. Marion’s favorite piece of art is the large Lance Letscher in the family room. “We purchased it at Conduit Gallery. It’s actually a collage of old books—spines, covers, and word-covered pages. I see something different every time I look at it,” she says.
At the end of the 18-month process, the Glazers not only had a wonderful new house, they also forged a close friendship with Cadwallader. Through collaboration, they were able to combine their wish list with the designer’s considerable knowledge of architecture and furniture style. And now they can live happily ever after.
Flowers by Haile Wossen