Nicole and Wade Cooper attended elementary school together in Garland, and they’ve been sweethearts most of their lives. In 2000, they married. Where Wade is gregarious and outgoing, Nicole is serious and reserved. He is in the wine business; she is a mortgage banker. Though somewhat opposite in nature, they complete each other in a very Jerry Maguire kind of way. They wanted a home that would suit their very specific needs, and in 2006, they found it: A lovely, 3,000-square-foot Tudor that sits on a Highland Park block that, so far, has remained free of new McMansions.
When it came to hiring a designer, they wanted to be sure they chose the right person for the job. Together, they met with six local candidates. Nicole knew what she wanted. As reserved as she is, she absolutely loves color. She also wanted to work with someone who would allow her to be a part of the process. And she needed a designer who possessed a talent for integrating old and new pieces. After some back and forth, a frontrunner emerged. “Eric Prokesh has an appreciation for antiques, and he’s able to mix them in with a modern flair,” Nicole says.
“Nicole loves orange, purple, and pink with warm and cool tones mixed together.”
But before nabbing the job, Eric had to pass a test. “The upstairs sunroom was the audition room,” he says. “We concentrated on this small room to see if our tastes would jibe. It is also Wade’s favorite spot in the house. It’s flooded with light and has a beach-like feel.” Wade had but one request: He wanted a super-comfy chair where he could sit back, relax, and enjoy Wine Spectator with a glass of vino.
“Nicole loves orange, purple, and pink with warm and cool tones mixed together.”Eric Prokesh
Eric aced the test, and from there, the Coopers tasked him with the remainder of the house. They chose to work from room to room, with the entry being the next place of focus. “We picked every thread in the rug to go with the Lee Jofa fabric on the chairs,” Eric says. “I remember being with Nicole at Stark to go over colors.” The vibrant colors of the rug enhance the warm tones of a French Empire center table. Eric selected the muted blue-gray cabinet from Mecox because it complements the wall covering.
In the dining room, Eric designed a dining table to allow as much seating as possible in the square dining room. The Coopers entertain a lot for business, so they needed a warm and comfortable space for guests to enjoy. Eric accessorized with antiques.
“Eric has the gift of choosing the perfect color.”
“Nicole is drawn to the clean lines and minimal decoration of the Biedermeier style,” Eric says. “We found a perfect armoire from Ceylon et Cie and a buffet from John Gregory.” And because of Nicole’s love of color, he incorporated vibrant silk drapery in hot pink and orange, added a pink rug, and painted the walls in a cool turquoise.
“Eric has the gift of choosing the perfect color.”Nicole Cooper
In the living room, Eric designed the LXVI provincial-style sofas and the acrylic coffee table to fit the space. “I got the immense satisfaction of designing perfect pieces in each room,” he says. “I find that Dallas has some of the most outstanding craftsmen one can find anywhere. Martin Sabella fabricated the fireplace surround, and he is excellent.” An extra burst of color comes from the stained-glass windows, which are original to the house.
The design for the master bedroom began with a pale wash of turquoise wallpaper. From there, Eric added the stainless-steel, four-poster bed; the acrylic night stands; and a metallic rug from Calypso. After Nicole purchased a wooden, French-style chest from a catalogue, she realized it didn’t really fit in with the dreamy colors of the bedroom. So Eric came to the rescue, stripping the hardware and rococo details and having them gilded in silver leaf. He had the drawers painted the exact color of the walls and painted the legs and frame in black lacquer.
Driving by the traditional exterior of the home, no one would ever know the exuberance of color that is abundant inside. But what could be a confusing assortment is far from it. The colors of each room flow together effortlessly, even as each room has its own distinctive look. “Nicole loves orange, purple, and pink with warm and cool tones mixed together,” Eric says. “Wade just wants her to be happy, but he has also started getting into it.”
Nicole credits her designer with helping get every hue just right. “Eric has the gift of choosing the perfect color,” she says.
In This Post
Eric ProkeshInterior DesignerDallas
1604 Elizabeth Blvd.
John Gregory StudioShop: Furniture and AccessoriesDesign District
1201 Slocum St.
Mecox D BestShop: Furniture and AccessoriesKnox
4532 Cole Ave.
Ceylon et CieShop: Furniture and AccessoriesDesign District
1319 Dragon St.
John Robert Clark AntiquesShop: Home and Garden, Gifts, Furniture and AccessoriesDesign District
1316 Slocum Street
David SutherlandShop: Trade-Only ShowroomsDesign District
340 Dallas Design Center
The Rug CompanyShop: Furniture and AccessoriesDesign District
1626 Hi Line Dr.
Kristy Stubbs GalleryAttraction: GalleriesUptown
2606 Fairmount St.
Neiman MarcusShop: Accessories, Kids, Mens, Shoes, Womens, Bath and Beauty, Furniture and AccessoriesPlano
2201 Dallas Pkwy.
James McInroeShop: Furniture and AccessoriesDesign District
1500 Dragon St.