A Peek At Mark Giambrone’s Three-Story Loft

Mark Giambrone is crazy about football, but he’s also way into decorating and modern art.

FAR LEFT: Mark Giambrone in front of a mohair upholstered daybed by Holly Hunt. Solar Skin painting by Gene Davis. NEAR LEFT: A console serves as an entertainment hub and holds a Joan Mir print. In the background, Giambrone has hung a painting by Peter Zimmerman. The sofa, by Plano-based American Leather, sits atop a Tufenkian rug and pine floors.

Single White Male
Mark Giambrone is crazy about football, but he’s also way into decorating and modern art. Note to self: He comes with the three-story loft and rooftop deck.

Tufenkian rug (The first nice thing I bought, he says.) anchors the living room. Zeke coffee table by Manifesto, designed by Richard Gorman. Philippe Starck black leather Driad chairs sit in front of Davis Solar Skin. A Cassina couch from Scott + Cooner and a Holly Hunt daybed complete the conversation space.

At noon on Sunday morning, Mass lets out at Oak Lawn’s Holy Trinity Catholic Church. People make their way to their cars, spilling over from the crowded sidewalks into the street, strolling idly along, taking their time as they chat, their sleeves pushed up so they can feel the breeze on their skin.

Down the street and three stories up, Mark Giambrone and his buddies deliberate over breakfast selections from a tidy spread of overstuffed egg burritos, muffins, and fruit set up on the bar. Church bells chime in the background as they sip drinks on the rooftop deck by the custom hot tub and DCS grill. The girls chat as the guys listen to the Cowboys game on surround sound and discuss their fantasy football league. A commercial comes over the airwaves; the actor says, “A life without football is not a life I want to know,” a sentiment that seems not without fans.

Below, on street level, someone yells for Giambrone to let him in.

Come on up, he hollers back, pressing the button on his remote control door opener, a drink in the other hand. It works up to 75 feet, he says of the gadget.

Mingling with guests, Giambrone tells an anecdote about his desire to grow palm trees on his roof, which he wanted even if they had to be flown in by crane.

Friends gather around a DCS grill on Giambrone’s rooftop deck. Barstools from David Sutherland Showroom. Infinity patio furniture by Brown Jordan.

When I was a kid and my mom and I would go on vacation, she would see the first palm tree and say, Ahh. Now I know I’m on vacation. So I knew I had to have palm trees so that when my mom comes down to visit, she’ll know she’s on vacation, he says with a smile.

Giambrone, a single, 35-year-old portfolio manager from Buffalo, N.Y., has surrounded himself with things he loves, namely contemporary art and furniture. He didn’t hire a decorator to fill up his three-story loft and roof deck; for the most part, this football-loving guy designed and decorated his home himself. Okay, he did have the help of his friends, Josie Cooner, of Scott + Cooner, and architect Ron Womack, who helped him add windows and lighten things up, but besides that, it was definitely all-Giambrone, all-the-way.

Giambrone is quite driven (he even has motivational sayings and literary quotations framed around his house to spur him on). He’s on the board of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of North Texas. He loves to entertain and grill. He’s a foodie whose favorite haunts are Nick & Sam’s and Abacus. And he’s a hard worker, at the office by 7 a.m. each day. Giambrone’s passion for collecting art was sparked by his employer’s collection.

His Oak Lawn-area loft is lined with bold contemporary pieces, abstract sculptures, and impressive prints. He has works by local artists such as Shane Pennington and Christopher Martin placed around the house.

Giambrone also collects emerging international artists such as Yaacov Agam and Peter Zimmerman, and he has a wall-size piece made up of bands of bright colors by established artist Gene Davis that serves as the centerpiece for the living and dining rooms. He also loves works from post-war contemporary artists such as Sam Francis. His three Joan Mir prints hang on the high-tech room divider he commissioned to serve as the loft’s audiovisual hub.

Throughout the apartment, Giambrone used a neutral palate to pop his art collection. White walls against lightly stained oak floors keep things simple, while on the master bedroom level and the wide plank stairs, he chose a pine floor sewn with natural knots and scrapes stained in the same color as the oak. Flourishes he had built into the place include a walk-in wine storage unit with a glass door and window that greets guests as they enter, and his spiffy remote controlled blinds. Giambrone has issues with curtains.

Curtains are a girl thing, he says. I don’t get curtains. I hate them. Just like how I don’t get carpet.

FAR LEFT: Giambrone’s bathroom features works by local artists Steve Lawrence (right) and Christopher Martin (back). NEAR LEFT: Rainbow Rhythm by Israeli artist Yaacov Agam provides color behind a Noguchi side table and “New Yorker” chair from Quatrine. On the pine floor is a Bay Leaf Double Square rug by Tufenkian.

But it’s not the blinds, the wine, or the floors that leave the most memorable impression; it’s the art.

I also really like post-war international and emerging artists. I’m trying to have a focus, but I like too much to have a small focus, he says.

As far as how long he will hang his hat in this artful loft, Giambrone says it probably depends on wall space, or a lack thereof. But he says for now, for where he is in his life, the place is perfect.

The whole idea of the loft-style is that it’s a bachelor pad, that I really am only living here alone. I’m here until whenever. I hope not forever, though, because that would obviously mean I never got married, that I never had a wife and kids.

Bucking the trends set by other successful bachelors, he seems actually to be looking for those things. After many years in Chicago, he says he enjoys Dallas living because of the city’s convenience, weather, living expenses, and “something you wouldn’t expect from a childless bachelor “the good schools.

As Giambrone said to the D Home editors who’d come by to tour his loft, the person he ends up with must like his taste. The space is indicative of who he is, what he loves; whoever loves him will understand his style; he has no plans to change.

As he walks through the house, the guys yelling Nice catch! and Did you see that? to the TV screen upstairs, he comes to a two-faced mask sculpture by Mark Ferri that he finds particularly poignant.

This will sound like it’s contrived, but to me, this piece talks about how people are duplicitous. We always have our game faces on when we’re out in the world, but inside we are unsure and nervous.

Almost immediately after, he points to another sculpture he loves.

This one’s called ˜Ladder of Success, Giambrone says, pointing to the stainless-steel structure. It’s about working your way up through life. That’s what I’m doing. That’s what I’m most proud of. It motivates me.

A Brueton Pinnacle table is surrounded by Mascheroni chairs atop a Frank Lloyd Wright rug. Painting at right by Steve Lawrence; mask by Mark Ferri; painting at left by Sam Francis.

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