Katherine Wynne had never lived in a contemporary house, nor had she ever built her own home. So, when she decided to downsize from her 4,500-square-foot, 100-year-old farmhouse, she knew what to do. Katherine split the one-acre Bluffview lot she lived on in two, sold the farmhouse to her nephew, and got to work.
She looked into different architects and builders, found Tom Greico’s website, and loved the modern houses he had done. Katherine drove around Dallas, looking at his different projects, then went to an open house to meet him. She fell in love with him, she says, “and that’s when I hired him to design the house.”
Greico, who died in 2019, finished the mid-century-inspired contemporary home in 2015. The house is serene, says listing agent Tia Wynne (Tia and Katherine are cousins). “It’s very relaxing, you almost feel like you’re on a retreat somewhere.” There are lots of windows, spa-like bathrooms, and plenty of trees—the property used to be a Texas A&M pecan orchard, Katherine says.
The property was designed around the treed lot. Katherine had given Greico a long list of must-haves in the home. She asked for corner windows, which you can see in the living room, dining nook, and downstairs guest suite. “I wanted a sort of Frank Lloyd Wright-type feeling inside the house where it invites the outside in,” she says. She wanted an open concept. The living room and dining nook blend seamlessly with the kitchen, which has a sleek stainless-steel backsplash, two islands, and lots of built-ins for recipe bookshelves and spice and wine racks.
She wanted the house to showcase her vast art collection “but yet not feel like an austere gallery.” Katherine has been collecting art since she was 20. Her love had only been honed and bolstered by her mother-in-law, Nancy O’Boyle, who had been a trustee at the Dallas Museum of Art, Fort Worth’s Modern Art Museum, and the American Academy in Rome. So Greico installed museum-quality level-one drywall and lots of hanging space.
An avid reader, Katherine says she also had to plenty of space for her books. “A house, to me, is not like a hug unless it’s got a wall of books looking at me,” she says. There are two large built-in bookcases on either side of the fireplace in the living room. She also put built-in bookshelves in the upstairs primary suite. (“I wanted to be able to look at a wall of books in my bedroom, too.”)
Katherine says she and Greico became friends throughout the building process. They did disagree on some things, but “I won most of our challenges,” she jokes. For example, the self-described “tree-fanatic” refused to let Greico cut down the tree in the middle of the driveway. She loved all the trees on the lot, especially the pecans and the one peach tree in the back. That peach tree has a funny story, Katherine says. When her son was little, he wanted to plant the pit of the peach he’d just eaten. Katherine let him but thought, “no grocery store peach pit is ever gonna grow into a peach tree.” Two decades later, she can look out onto the fruiting tree from her dining room.
Of course, Greico did manage to best Katherine in some of their challenges. Katherine wanted an entryway—she never liked homes that opened directly into the living room—but she wanted a smaller space than what Greico suggested. “He won,” she says. He wanted a grand space, and it worked out wonderfully, Katherine says. Her “grand” entryway fits her grand piano as well as part of her art collection. It’s great for entertaining, she says, because she can lay out nametags on the piano and guests have a quiet space before they enter the hubbub of the party.
The final 3,372-square-foot home is an entertainer’s dream house, Tia says (Katherine once had world-renown cellist Michael Fitzpatrick give a private concert and bless the home in her living room). Plus, it’s within walking distance from restaurants on Lovers Lane and Inwood Village. It’s just minutes from Love Field. Katherine had planned to live in this house for the rest of her life, but she’s downsizing once more.
“I really thought this would be my forever house,” she says. “I didn’t realize that it was still going to be too big.”