Benji Homsey loves the discombobulation—and the excitation.
The house he shares with his wife, Wren, may look like a gently updated Colonial on the outside—and it is, all stately and symmetrical, its brick painted white and its windows and doors black—but inside is another matter. Push open its front door and—wham—massive drips of metallic gold ooze down a dark living room wall. A pair of leather sling chairs, canted way back, beckons to those looking to lounge. The eye skips across sensuous curves galore, from the round edges of a shimmering stainless steel console to a languid woman in a Helmut Newton photograph, also reclined in a chair, her silky camisole slipped off one shoulder.
What would the neighbors think?
This provocative interior was no accident. Neither was the choice of the renovation and design team: Corbin See and Ross See, scions of Sees Design, founded by their father, Carson, in the 1970s in Oklahoma City. Ross holds the fort back home; Corbin now operates the Dallas branch. (Corbin and his wife, Sara, moved here in 2016 after Sara landed a new job as design director of Perennials, the influential Dallas-based maker of luxurious indoor and outdoor fabrics.) Born and raised in Oklahoma City, Benji has a history with the Sees. The senior one decorated his teenage bedroom and two houses for his parents, as well as houses for other relatives. Benji is now the president of brand and development for Z Resorts, which operates the high-design Hotel ZaZa in Dallas and Houston. Wren manages high-end house-flipping, including designing the interior finishes. Clearly, the Homseys know what they like—they even created a Pinterest board for direction. “We just followed along,” says Corbin, “and interpreted.” For the See brothers, the most fun part was that the Homseys “were willing to go moodier and darker than most people.”
The Sees took the 1920s house and its 1960s addition on what Corbin calls a “full-on, take-it-down-to-the studs” adventure. Spaces were blended, contemporary luxuries were added—like a den, guest bath, and laundry room, all upstairs—and some of the functions of the original rooms were flip-flopped. “What had been the kitchen and dining room,” Benji Homsey says, for example, “is now the living room.” With a floor plan perfected for guests and entertaining, a Homsey specialty, Corbin set out to mix brand-new finds with beloved pieces from the previous house, which the Sees also worked on. (“We’ve been collecting together a long time,” Corbin says.) Favorite furnishings—a B&B Italia sofa, a pair of Marcel Wanders pendant lights—and the couple’s edgy paintings and photographs came to life amid new white-oak herringbone floors. Tactile new acquisitions included white leather Mario Bellini chairs around a spectacular glass-and-steel Brueton dining table; an angular console and circular mirror wrapped in shagreen; and that drippy, trippy wall in the living room, in fact a wall covering by Calico Wallpaper, its dark wash printed atop sheets of gleaming gold leaf. The whole house exudes a sexy, sumptuous vibe, despite that prim-and-proper exterior. Playing to type can be awfully boring, and Corbin See knows it. Says his thrilled friend and client, Benji: “It’s unexpected to walk into such a classically designed house that then knocks you out with drama.”