The space was a work in progress. “We got the bridge done—that was probably the first thing done,” Billy says. “Jerod calls it our Las Vegas. There’s no water. No dirt. We had to bring in 40 bags of dirt, maybe more.” It took about a year to complete the kids’ rooms. (Billy and Jerod have the children about 45 percent of the time.) And, of course, Billy has been busy incorporating his items into the space—many of which have proven to be as useful as they are fun. Take the suitcases. “They really are more for function. I built individual shelves for each one,” Billy says. “The challenge was finding them all in the same size. They hold shopping bags, dishcloths, pasta, and rags.” Each suitcase is adorned with a numbered metal tag, which has been carefully inventoried. Of course, this being Billy, even the tags have a story. “The tags are from a coal mine in Arkansas. There were two—one stayed on the board, one stayed with the miner,” he explains. “If there weren’t two tags on the board at the end of the day, a miner was missing.”
And then there’s the dining room table. Billy used a midcentury modern piece as the base. “It was a conference table,” he says. Then he made the wood tray on top and began collecting old letterpress blocks—lots and lots of letterpress blocks. “It took a couple of years to collect it all. It was crazy,” he says. He credits stops at B. Gover Limited, trips to Round Top, and eBay auctions for help completing his mission. When it was all put together, he added glass, and a conversation piece both practical and pretty was complete.
So how does a family of five coexist with a Santa Claus collection (out year-round, by the way) in a Deep Ellum loft? Peacefully, it turns out. The kids love their rooms. When they get restless, they play on the rooftop terrace or skateboard in the lobby. And Jerod and Billy have thrown a few more parties recently, thanks in small part to D Home. “We’ve been entertaining a lot since the photo shoot,” Billy says. In fact, the only real challenge is keeping the couple’s collection of architectural Legos out of the wrong hands. “We keep them away so the boys don’t play with them,” Billy says.