Monday, January 30, 2023 Jan 30, 2023
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Design Difference

Idea House illustrates ideal living.

A new “family” has moved into 1400 Turtle Creek, thanks to the pioneers at the Dallas Design District and their partnerships with Joseph Ruggiero and design resources. The Idea House is a 4,000-square-foot space converted into a fantasy home that displays the latest trends and conveniences in home furnishings and design. The project’s goal is to showcase top-quality products and demonstrate the advantages of using a professional designer.

Idea House is the brainchild of designer/producer Joseph Ruggiero, whose Idea Houses in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle have generated national attention. His -accolades include being former editor-in-chief and pub-lishing director of Home Magazine, executive producer, design director and host of two home enhancement shows for HG-TV, design correspondent to “Good Morning America” and chief design consultant of “This Old House.” Ruggiero has the expertise and experience required for this project. He is also savvy enough to realize that in cities where residents have an increasing amount of disposable income, there is an expanding market for design experts. Ruggiero has made it feasible to pick and choose from among the best of the Dallas Design District and local design resources.

Sponsors involved with the Idea House hope to illuminate the possibilities of designing living spaces with the aid of a professional. In regard to individual home projects, the designer s job is to listen to client preferences, to guide the client past passe trends to find just the right choices for his or her home, and to make sure the headaches involved in creating the right look and feel don’t get passed along to the client. Subjects such as lighting, texture, flow and spacing can make the difference between a room looking thrown together and a room that is picture perfect. A designer can create this type of difference.

Don Peterson of Peterson Designs, Inc. has been in charge of the construction of the Idea House. Even with 16 years of architectural experience, Don was still challenged to convert an empty exhibit and storage space into a luxury single family residence. All of Ruggicro’s Idea Houses are inhabited by a hypothetical family-thus the birth of Michael, Caroline, and daughter Skylar. Creating this mock family allowed the builder and designer to personalize the space by evaluating the look and lifestyle of this “family.” For example, family members’ media-focused jobs influenced the arrangement of high-tech equipment in the house. Michael owns an advertising agency, Caroline is an artist and art collector, and Skylar is in public relations. Michael, Caroline and Skylar use their home as an escape from daily stress. Like many families in the area, cooking and socializing also play important roles in their lives and are emphasized in Idea House. The result of such careful planning is a functional space that creates a sense of visiting a real home rather than a showroom. Peterson used the latest technology and planning to meet these requirements, going from blueprints to “house” in 10 weeks.

The first design space encountered is the TERRACE. The flooring is an arrangement of autumn-hued squares made of slate provided, like the rest of the natural stone elements of the house, by a partnership between Dallas-based companies IMC, Incorporated and Krug Granite & Marble. It plays off the terra-cotta color of the textured walls, blending the Old World character with a vivacious Southwestern spirit. Tall, iron, grid-like sculptures tease the eye upward, throwing attention toward the leaded glass windows nesded between them. Lounge chairs and table from the Teak Collection go beyond patio furniture to greet onlookers with the style and resilience that customers expect from David Sutherland Incorporated.

Delicate accent pieces include wall sconces covered in a Pueblo finish and a hand-finished blown glass candleholder imported from France by French Homestead, the Design District’s newest tenant, specializing in importing and distributing French merchandise. With French doors calling from the back and deep mahogany doors beckoning at the front, its difficult to decide which way to enter.

Moving from “outside” through the ENTRY, it is immediately noticeable that it has been designed not only to greet visitors, but also to function as an area for light conversation while entertaining. The most interesting conversation piece is the table and arrangement along the wall. The stony presence of the console, eclectic rusted wheels and rich guilded mirror atop produce an almost Gothic presence. The main lighting control system throughout the Idea House is by Lutton Homeworks. This amenity, available in the Dallas Design District at Paul Labute Incorporated, enables residents to design lighting scenes for each room, turn off all the lights in the house with one switch and create a path of light to lead them back inside the house.

In the LIVING ROOM, the designer and builder used columns provided by Wilson Plywood & Door instead of walls to divide the room into two fluid parts. Sea shell colors and distressed wood make this room feel like a walk on the beach. Large windows encased by golden-kissed Scalamandre silk taffeta drapes designed by Dallas-based Seams Incredible line the main wall and, when open, provide the room with an enchanting natural light. A scalloped round table by Boyd Levinson is surrounded by chairs and upholstered benches to comprise one side of the room. The other side is an interesting arrangement of creamy oversized chairs and tawny sofas from McGannon & Associates. Area rugs provide protection for the beautiful hardwood floors beneath them. All the wood laminate flooring in the house is the handiwork of Wilsonart International. Rosa Laguna Italian marble in red tones with gray and white accents surrounds the fireplace and ties together the color palette. There is no one focal point of the room; instead, everything works together to create an environment of unity.

The state-of-the-art audio-visual home theater system by Sony caters to the most discerning taste. A fully retractable screen, video projector mounted on a motorized lift, and one-touch remote allows the family to play satellite broadcasts, Laser Discs, VHS tapes and compact discs with ease. It is also compatible with the new high-definition television standard that will appear in the future.

The MASTER BEDROOM is a collage of practicality and luxury. Not just for sleeping, this room has been designed with a modern couple like Michael and Caroline in mind. The bed, an adaptation of an 18th-century alcove, is flanked by two bedside tables with reading lights. A mural is created on the wall by six lithographic reproductions hung in rows of tasteful threes. A round table inspired by an English Neo-classic fire screen sits in the middle of the room with two chairs, creating a comfortable work space or area to enjoy morning coffee. Most of the large pieces of furniture are available at Baker, Knapp & Tubbs, representing virtually every style, origin and design influence available. Along the opposite wall, a sofa in contrasting cream and slate provides the perfect sitting area to watch the fire blaze in the exquisite marble fireplace. Antiques from Gany Elarn & Associates and French reproductions from French Homestead add intrigue to the room. The caramel tones of the room are reflected in a large mirror that hangs above the Pine Bordeaux mantle. The combination of Southwestern colors with classical pieces is what Ruggiero calls “Texas Tucson,” showing visitors it is possible to mingle timeless antiques with trendy elements.

Modern designs give the MASTER BATH its distinction with the asymmetrical shapes of the bathtub and shower. The corner bathtub/spa by Kohler, a world leader in bath products, is perched in the middle of the area, dispelling the myth that triangular pieces are reserved for cor- i ner spaces. The shower-designed by Krug Granite & Marble-is an efficient! use of space because it is tucked away in a corner. Its delicate fixtures are by Kallista, a company whose name in greek means most excellent and beautiful. The pale ” walls pick up the feathery swirls of white in the dark slab marble, balancing the room’s color scheme.

The KITCHEN is any culinary enthusiast’s haven. The open floor plan showcases the area’s function and beauty. An arch surrounds the Viking professional range oven/cooktop, paying homage to the Southwestern kiva from which it takes its cue. Appliances like the high-efficiency Viking stainless steel dishwasher and the Sub-Zero built-in refrigerator are beautifully harbored beneath a Smallbone cabinet system by SieMatic. This modern line of meticulously fitted and finished cabinets, can be individually selected and fitted to specific areas. A recycling bin provides the family with an easy way to maintain its ecologically minded efforts. Granite tops the counters as well as the convenient island in the middle of the preparation area. The wall covering is a unique blend of 20 percent fabric and 80 percent vinyl, which maintains the look of a fine fabric with the additional benefit of being able to wipe away messy splatters with a sponge. Bench seating is built into the counter, contributing to the flow between the kitchen and family room.

The FAMILY ROOM is an example of Ruggiero’s expertise in maximizing a small space. The entertainment center is cloaked in a pine-finished armoire from Guy Chaddock & Co. The narrow dining table allows the area to be used most efficiently when many guests gather. The sola is backed up to one side of the table, further increasing the space-consciousness of the room. The chenille tapestry-covered chairs from Grange Furniture are signs that effective use of space doesn’t mean skimping on luxury.

SKYLAR’S ROOM is a reflection of the modern young woman-cool, calm and confident. The walls are bathed in pale green, a new twist on the neutral theme. The architectural mural by local artist Clay Curtis is a modern interpretation of the fresco technique and is taken from a black-and white photograph of the Academie Nationale de Musique in Paris and is provided by Beaux Arts. Items like this and the mosquito netting above the bed give the room an international flare.

SKYLAR’S BATH is a continuation of the theme established in her bedroom. The console sink and commode are from Kohler’s “Revival Collection,” and arc reproductions of 1930s designs. The most striking arrangement is the gold mirror that crowns a footed, cast-iron bathtub by Kallista. The antique faucets featuring high-polished chrome add the finishing touch to the immaculate display combining contemporary bath design wih the best of past reminiscences.

The STUDIO was designed for Caroline to use as a gallery as well as a home office. The innovative wall design allows a revolving display of artwork, which keeps the struggle of maintaining a gallery to a minimum. A rustic flavor punctuates the studio, with touches like the distressed Harvest Wheat finish on the credenza provided by Guy Chaddock & Co., which has a convenient computer lift inside. An iron carousel chandelier from Adele Kerr hangs from the ceiling. Equipped with an uninterruptible power supply that ensures power in the event of an electrical surge, this area provides a retreat where thoughts are clear and work is productive.

The DINING ROOM is the most urbane room in the house. The walls are awash with a glittery gold textured verde-color, a specialty of Billy House & Associates. Lighting by the tarnished, bronze leaf-shaped sconces creates a dramatic effect in concert with the Italian chandelier in a chalky rust finish. A globe serves as the centerpiece of the skirted table, suggesting the international charm represented in the room. A leopard-skin-pattern area rug provided by Edward Fields is used here as a “fifth wall,” which allows the furniture to be moved away from the walls, This technique frees the space and eliminates typical constraints. This room is an example of taking standard elements of design and putting them together to create a look and feel that is sublime.

Distinction and tranquility arc combined in the DEN, which provides a refuge from the outside world. The inspiration for the loveseat, club chair, arm chair and pillows comes from couture fashion. The twisted cord around the edges is custom-dyed to match the fabric and is adorned with silk. This detail constitutes the type of refinement evident in this room. Dallas Design District’s Grange Furniture provided the American cherrywood Bibliotech. The authenticity of design and quality of workmanship in this piece is evidence of Grange’s commitment to quality. The cocktail table on wheels is also made of cherry, but its ebony and brass accents make it more of a display piece. The natural wood-toned colors make this room a serene place to relax.

The MEDIA ROOM, sponsored by HG-TV, is equipped with the latest advances in stereo and video entertainment equipment, seats more than 20 people in theatre-like chairs, and is available for meetings or conferences. Contact the Idea House concierge for more information.

Adjacent to the Idea House, the Grange Cafe is a bistro where guests can enjoy cold drinks or coffee while browsing through the design books and periodicals from the Idea House Library. Stone flooring and marble countertops highlight the area. The Halifax lace curtains by Scalamandre mimic a traditional French cafe. Natual woven chairs, metal cafe tables and a wicker sideboard provided by Grange Furniture make this area interesting and rejuvenating.

The Idea House is located at 1400 Turtle Creek, Suite 100, one block west of Stemmons Freeway on Oak Lawn and Hi Line Drive. The Idea House is open 10 a.m, to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday through January 1988. Proceeds from the $3 admission charge will be donated to charities such as DIFFA/Dallas, Young Audiences, Habitat for Humanity and Energy Aid. Accoustiguide allows visitors to move freely through the home and summon commentaries on any room or product as well as information on furnishings and product sponsors. For information, call: 214-698-1350.

The Dallas Design District was founded in 1955 by Trammel Crow and encompasses more than 50 acres and 70 showrooms. More than one thousand national manufactures are represented. Teresa Neilon, director of marketing and communication for the Dallas Design District, said, “We are excited about offering the Idea House for a full ! year. This allows our showrooms and sponsors to showcase their products and services in an environment that feels and looks like a real home. Every possible category in home design is represented.”

From home and room design to wall coverings, paint, floor coverings, art, antiques, accessories, kitchen and bath design, and outdoor design, the Dallas Design District has it all-and the Idea House displays the most interesting ideas and latest trends available in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

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