Josy Cooner Collins’ Elegant, Art-Filled Home

As the co-owner of the Scott + Cooner showroom, Josy Cooner Collins wanted a house that
could showcase her art collection, sleek furniture, and cool design sense. Her five kids were more interested in finding room for kickball tournaments. The family met all those needs and then some in East Dallas.

Josy Cooner Collins is elegant. The kind of elegant that makes you rethink your carefully chosen outfit. Never mind her cheekbones—the kind people pay money for—in her (tiny) white clam diggers, a blue blazer, festive (and expensive) shoes, and a string of pearls, she’s casually fabulous. This is no surprise to anyone who has visited Scott + Cooner (which she co-owns with Lloyd Scott), a showroom that specializes in furniture and fixtures that can best be described as livable art. To anyone who has trouble remembering to brush her hair on a daily basis, the fact that Josy and her husband Marty Collins have five children and she even has on matching clothes—let alone in-fashion ones—is a wonder.

  
(left) Though the Collinses prefer to entertain casually, they have a fantastic formal dining room, complete with a dining table made of 35,000-year-old wood, which she naturally purchased at Scott + Cooner. (center) A Fritz Hansen chaise in the den is the perfect place to catch one’s breath after a particularly heated ping-pong match. (right) The Collins clan relaxes in an outdoor living area—one of the many amenities that they added to the backyard. The bench is an Indonesian daybed, and the solid stone coffee table takes “four men and a lot of sweat to move,” Josy Cooner Collins says.

 

Two of the Collins kids head to the outdoor basketball court.

But don’t confuse Josy’s elegance with any sort of coolness—she’s the warmest of hostesses. Her door is not only open to a host of friends anytime, everyone’s kids are welcome, too. So she and her husband were determined to find a space that could house an art collection, a kickball tournament, two dogs, kids, and anyone else who might wander in off the street. “We needed a family home,” Josy says. “Our lives are all about family and friends. At any given time, we have 10 people in the house. One friend leads to two and so on.”


In 2002, the family bought a 1930s-era home in Forest Hills and began extensive renovations. “Only the foundation and the beams were left,” she says. “We didn’t want to completely demolish it. You see these gigantic homes going up and they completely change the identity of the neighborhood. We wanted to rebuild in the same Texas style, and that’s a lot harder to do.”
With the help of architect Nick Glazbrook, the rehab took a year and included adding big-ticket items such as a new guest suite and outdoor living area. Naturally, the lighting fixtures and most of the furniture came from Scott + Cooner, but for additional design help Josy turned to Gonzalo Bueno and Mauricio Lobeira. In addition to helping with fabrics, furniture layout, and finish options, they advised her on matters such as redoing the fireplace in stone, opening up doorways, keeping the Israel blue stone, and adding a bronze front door. “They made the most difference in the house,” Josy enthuses.

In the living room, a Cassina “Miss” couch and Fritz Hansen chair provide the perfect perches for admiring several pieces from the Collinses’ art collection, including an African bed (used as a coffee table), a Japanese textile, and a slit gong from the Pacific.

Despite being a busy working mother, Josy Cooner Collins cooks five nights a week. The addition of the 2-foot-wide space that looks into the living room makes it her favorite spot in the house. The ovangkol kitchen cabinets are by Varenna.

In Josy’s new kitchen, Bueno and Lobeira proposed adding a window to the living room, which she loves. “I love to cook. I cook probably five days a week,” she says. “We have people over all the time.” And despite a gorgeous dining room with a wall made entirely of stone and a table that seats 12, they prefer to keep gatherings casual. “We like to eat family style—never formal.” And instead of everyone congregating in the kitchen (as with most parties), guests can relax in the living room and still visit with the chef. “It’s my favorite spot in the house,” Josy says. “I can see both rooms. It’s very social.”


 

 

 

 

The master bedroom features a coverlet from Central Asia and a batik textile from Bali on a floating textile frame.

The Collinses’ passion for art is evident in every room. Josy began collecting when she was 22, and she was drawn to tribal, primitive, and modern art from the very beginning. “I’m fascinated with ancient culture,” she says. “And my husband has the same aesthetic. We collect together.” Though fine art is not exactly known for being kid friendly, Josy says that her kids are pretty careful.

 

“They’ve learned to live around it,” she explains. “But we don’t let them throw balls in the house.”


The family loves their Forest Hills neighborhood. “It’s a very eclectic neighborhood. There are surgeons, photographers, musicians, and artists,” Josy says. “It’s East Dallas.” One neighbor is particularly special: Josy’s mother lives down the street. She comes over daily to visit with the children, and mother and daughter enjoy making dinner together.

 

 
(left) The Collinses’ daughter’s Kenneth Cobonpue bed made of woven rope doubles as a trampoline. (right) The guest bathroom was designed by Gonzalo Bueno and Mauricio Lobeira and features plumbing and hardware from TKO Associates and a light fixture from Scott + Cooner.

The outdoors provide even more opportunity for socializing. The kids can and do play outside. “We have a huge front yard, and the lake is across the street.” As it tuns out, the front yard is perfect for the kickball tournaments mentioned earlier. But the backyard is where all the action is. It’s nothing short of a kid’s (and, okay, an adult’s, too) paradise. Between the basketball court, swimming pool, cabana area, ping-pong table, and grilling area, there’s very little reason to venture inside. “Our house is a vacation.” Josy says simply. “We really want there to be a lot to do. We want people to come over.” She pauses for a moment and says, “We really like to entertain.” 

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