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Individuals who become temporarily disabled (ie, knee/ hip surgery or a broken bone) can navigate the home without barriers Homeowners can care for aging parents and their young family simultaneously without having to move or endure additional extensive remodeling Aging homeowners can ‘age in place’ should they choose Homeowners can comfortably entertain friends or family with mobility limitations, such as aging parents and/or grandparents who use wheelchairs or walkers These features provide higher demand in resale or home rental aXess Homes™ is a statewide nonprofit program based at ILRU TIRR Memorial Hermann and funded by the Texas Council on Developmental Disabilities.

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J u l y 2 0 1 0 | Vo l . 9 I s s u e 7 PUBLISHED BY



In This Issue


Around Town

10 14

A preview of our June 2010 edition.

Home With a View


Summer Entertaining

a 1950s home near White Rock Lake goes Spanish modern At-home parties with pizzazz

PUBLISHER . . . . . . .Mike Harrison, Ph.D. ART DIRECTOR . . . . . . . . . .Robert Coplin EDITORIAL INTERN . . . . .Anastasia Jakse CONTRIBUTING WRITERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pamela Crawford, Amanda Flatten, . . . .Shawn Gustafson, Steve Huddleston, . . . . . . . . .Jeffrey Jacoby, Joetta Moulden ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tammi Greene OFFICE MANAGER . . . . . . . Cheryl Collier PRINTING . . . . . . . . . DROR International

DIY Decorating: British Accent

A budget redo brings British Colonial style and comfort to a homeowner’s living room Ideas to help you step up your home’s curb appeal Gardening: Budget Gardening

Tips and tricks on upgrading your outdoor spaces



Out and about in the Metroplex.

Handbook: Your Welcome




Green House:

Rainwater Harvesting

20 on the cover Jon and Brooke Berman transformed their 1950s home near White Rock Lake to reflect their modern, eclectic style. Modern art and vibrant fabrics are carried throughout the home. The sofa in the formal living room is an estate sale find that Brooke had reupholstered in a vibrant teal fabric. Centered between two lamps is a painting by local artist Mindy Collins. Photography by Terri Glanger.

MBH Inc., dba Dallas/For t Wor th House & Home ("DFWH&H"), is a news magazine with emphasis on interior design and remodeling. House & Home does not knowingly accept false or misleading adver tising or editorial content, nor does H&H or its staff assume responsibility should such adver tising or editorial content appear in any publication. House & Home has not independently tested any services or products advertised herein and has not verified claims made by its advertisers regarding those services or products. House & Home makes no warranties or representations and assumes no liability for any claims regarding those services or products or claims made by adver tisers. Readers are advised to consult with the advertiser and/or other home repair and renovation professionals regarding the suitability of an advertiser's products. No reproduction is permitted without the written consent of the Publisher. Copyright 2010, all rights reserved. Subscriptions available for home delivery at a cost of $25 per year.

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in this issue: Design is everywhere. Consider your morning coffee stop, your commute to work, your workplace itself, the environments we live in — all represent thousands of hours put in by many designers. We pay tribute to some of those designers this month in our annual “Design and Décor Issue.” We also introduce you to a new column, “DIY Decorating.” Designer Joetta Moulden offers affordable tips and techniques to make decorating easy and practical. Turn to page 10 for more information. In our “Your Welcome” story, you will learn about simple steps and stunning changes for your home’s first impression. The story begins on page 14. When Jon and Brooke Berman purchased their 1950s home, it wasn’t the home itself they fell in love with, it was the views of White Rock Lake. Their vision was to transform the home to match their modern, eclectic style, and bring a Spanish feel to the exterior. The outside of the home now has a Spanish modern vibe, complete with a courtyard and terrace on top of the garage. Inside the home, the kitchen was expanded and the main rooms all have a view of the lake. Modern art and vibrant fabrics are carried throughout the home. See the completed project on Page 20. Entertaining is fun, but can be overwhelming. On Page 30, local party planners share expert advice on how to throw the perfect summer party even if you have a limited budget. Get creative with the things you already have in your home instead of buying items you won’t use after the party. Rather than going with an over-the-top theme for your party, integrate a signature color into your décor to add a touch of sophistication to your event. Find out about these tips and more, as well as some unique party ideas to make sure your next at-home event is a hit. Enjoy the issue!

House & Home



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B y L A R A M O F FAT, M L A


around town July 2010

Mulch is a MUST! What does your landscape need to have a fighting chance during the hottest time of the year? Proper watering, fertilization, and mulch are vital to help your garden through the summer months. Plus conservation is key during our typically dry summer months and one of the simplest yet most effective ways to save water, time, and energy is with mulch. Mulch comes in a variety of mediums but the two best for our area are shredded native cedar or shredded hardwood bark. Why mulch? Mulch provides a much needed blanket for your garden: keeping the soil temperatures more even, conserving moisture, providing a healthy environment for critters (earthworms, bacteria and microbes), and eventually decomposing into the soil to provide essential organic nutrients for fertility and to improve the soil’s structure. Therefore, a layer of 2-3 inches applied at least twice a year is a must! In areas where it may be washed or worn away, it may be necessary to apply more often and with the rains we have received in the last six months now would be a good time to access the mulch depth throughout your gardens. One note of caution, too deep a layer of mulch can be detrimental. As in planting, when mulching, it is paramount to ensure the root flare of the plant is properly exposed. Making certain the root flare is uncovered is often the most proactive care that can be provided for a plant. This condition is often seen as a problem in trees though other plantings are affected as well. In larger plant materials, lack of a root flare 8

reduces oxygen to aerial trunk tissue, ultimately suffocating the plant. Additionally, increased moisture causes swelling and a gradual decay of trunk tissue, stunted growth of the trunk tissue by hiding or covering potential injuries or problems that could possibly be treated, and hide girdling or encircling roots that will choke or restrict development. Limiting the depth of mulch based on the plant size will guarantee the root flare receives adequate circulation while still benefiting from the layer of natural protection. Our summers can be brutal but with a little groundwork now, our gardens are able to survive and thrive in the future. By applying a moderate covering of mulch, tailoring a fertilization program to your soil’s requirements and adhering to appropriate watering practices your garden will weather our Texas summers. For more information visit our website Tips page for the full story on ‘Summer Gardening . . . Texas Style’. Happy Gardening! Moore Lawn & Garden, Moore Life Organic Plant Health Care, and Moore Tree Care offer an array of horticulturally correct services including landscape maintenance, landscape installation, organic plant health care practices, and proactive tree care. We adhere to the most current standards as established by the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA), the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) and the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) while providing our clients with superior customer service.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 2-4, break out the picnic basket at The Fort Worth Botanical Garden’s Old Fashioned Family Fireworks Picnic. This Fort Worth family tradition is filled with patriotic songs and heart-pounding marches, and the Independence Day celebration offers one of the best fireworks displays in the area. 8:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m. Admission is $15 in advance or $18 at the gate. Parking is $5 at Farrington Field or $10 at the Gardens. The Gardens are located at 3220 Botanic Gardens Blvd., Fort Worth. Information: 817.871.7686 or INK inc. is on exhibit at The Holly Johnson Gallery through Aug. 15. The exhibit features recent work by ten artists using ink as their primary medium. Admission is free. The Holly Johnson Gallery is located at 1411 Dragon Street in Dallas’ Design District. Information: 214.369.0169 or Garden Walk – Herbs is an herb garden tour where you can learn about the common and unusual herbs throughout the Texas Discovery Gardens in Fair Park. Also learn about container herb gardening and companion planting. Taught by Dallas County Master Gardener Marian Buchanan. The event opens at 11 a.m. on July 17. Admission is free with garden admission. 3601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dallas. Information: 214.428.7476 or Constructive Spirit: Abstract Art in South and North America, 1920s–50s is on exhibit at the Amon Carter Museum, 3501 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth, through Sept. 5. See the works of approximately 80 seldom-seen paintings, sculptures, prints, photographs, drawings, and films. Information: 817.738.1933 or

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British Accent BEFORE: Green leather seating, a bright gold mirror and candlesticks, lack of end tables and a rug and too many accessories kept this room from being a standout.

before 10

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AFTER: Simplified accessories, new white sofa,a mail order sea grass rug, new matching leopard print chair from and custom pillows and ottoman achieve the British Colonial look the owner desired. Latrissa painted her existing Bombay Company mirror, candlesticks and the back of the bookshelves.


Budget redo brings British Colonial style and comfort to a homeowner’s living room Homeowner Latrissa loves British Colonial style and wanted to replace her 17-year-old leather sofa and chair with new white seating. She felt indecisive about whether to purchase one Ethan Allen Hyde sofa (or two, facing each other) and whether to buy a new dark mirror. She also needed to know what size end tables and rug to purchase. “I wanted a more tropical look, but I wasn’t sure what would work. I wanted a warmer room…one that looked more ‘put together,’” she explains.

While reading a “DIY Decorating” column in House & Home, Latrissa liked the fact that a tablecloth the featured homeowner had purchased on a trip was used as the color palette for the entire room and that his family pieces were reupholstered and painted rather than thrown away. The sources listed in the article were the same stores where she shops. “I figured if his home could look that good on a budget, why couldn’t mine?” Latrissa says with a smile. HISTORY LESSON

Before my intern, Leigh Diamond, and I met Latrissa, we brushed up on British Colonial style. During the Victorian era, the imperial British had expanded their empire to more exotic parts of the world, from Singapore to East Africa, from India to the British West Indies. With them they brought their language, government, customs and, of course, their furniture. While the British enjoyed traveling to the distant outposts of the empire, they were often loath to forego the comforts of home. As a result, they brought with them the sturdy furniture designs of England and adapted them to the tropics using hardwoods, such as teak and mahogany, which were particularly suited to humid climates without warping. Along the way, they adapted Asian and African motifs into their traditional furniture. Native carvers added little flourishes of Asian, Caribbean or African art to the more staid British designs — a mélange known now as British Colonial style, easily recognized by its mix of animal prints, white cotton fabrics and sturdy, yet sometimes fanciful, furniture. SMART MOVES

During our meeting, Latrissa pointed out the large round mirror and candlesticks, which she liked, but not in their gold finish. Rather than replace them, I recommended she paint them herself with a small jar of bronze metallic paint (#ME 525 “English Brown”) from the Modern Masters Metallic Paint Collection found at Benjamin Moore paint stores. Moving to the furniture arrangement, I suggested she buy just one sofa. Instead of buying twice as much very expensive fabric (directly from the manufacturer) to cover a new larger chair, Latrissa could buy far less of the manufacturer’s fabric and have my upholsterer build and cover a new custom ottoman and a pair of 22-inch down throw pillows using forms from Interior Fabrics. Then to tie the chairs into the sofa, she bought inexpensive animal print fabric from Interior Fabrics to make an additional throw pillow. I then suggested she purchase a less expensive, matching leopard Showood Accent chair (from to match her existing one and have both chairs flank the fireplace. “I was shocked that you liked the leopard chair and suggested I buy another. Now with everything done, I love the balanced leopard chairs,” she admits. Additionally, Latrissa purchased a $49 18-inch-diameter accent table on clearance from Bombay Company and an inexpensive 8-by-10-foot sea grass rug from to complete her shopping homework. GREAT ADDITIONS

While Leigh and I were there, we noticed the paneled wall space between the benches from Pilie Inc. looked a bit empty and suggested Latrissa buy a British Colonial chest or table about 42 to 44 inches wide and 36 to 38 inches tall to place there and balance out that wall.


diy decorating


“I was receptive to everything, but wasn’t so sure I wanted a chest there. For the past 13 years, that spot had been empty,” Latrissa explains, “and I thought if I put something there it would look too cluttered. Turns out, the John-Richard Furniture Drop Leaf Table [bought from] is one of my favorite pieces now, and it really adds style to the room.” For continuity, we also suggested she paint the back wall of the bookcases the same color as the breakfast room (“Corsican Treasures #1407-300 ICI Dulux Ultra SemiGloss enamel) to visually tie the two rooms together. I also provided her with detailed instructions for arranging her own bookcases, which she followed to the letter. MAKEOVER COMPLETE

BEFORE: The wall between the benches cried out for another table. AFTER: A handsome, heavily carved drop leaf table from, low bowl from Z Gallerie, large lidded basket from Pier 1 Imports and new custom ottoman add drama and simplicity to the room.


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This project is a classic example of a one-meeting makeover that was accomplished with just a few additional e-mails back and forth. Each week, Latrissa tackled another project from her detailed instruction sheet. Does she have any advice for those considering decorating? “My advice is to wait before you buy furniture, paint or accessories,” Latrissa offers. “I almost bought too much furniture that was too big for my room because I did not measure first. By not buying a second sofa, a huge chair, new mirror and candlesticks, I saved thousands of dollars and the room functions better.”

DISCOUNT HOME WAREHOUSE TRADE SECRETS • To eliminate costly mistakes, hire an objective professional to help you stay within your budget. • For smooth color flow, repeat colors from adjoining rooms using paint or fabric. • Before you toss out perfectly good furnishings, consider painting them first. • Sometimes the most effective strategy is not to buy more furniture and accessories for your home, but to first rethink the pieces that already are paid for.

Joetta Moulden offers home makeovers using your own home furnishings to create the home youÕve always dreamed of. Joetta believes your pieces collected through the years reflect your personality and can be artfully arranged. Her ability to focus on your personal style and not let her own preferences influence the design of your home makes her unique. See more makeovers on her Web site at, e-mail her at holds a "Pages of Happiness" rating and, for the fourth consecutive year, a “Super Service Award” presented to 5 percent of companies that achieve and maintain a superior rating on

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Your Welcome

Add class and character to the front of your home with a few easy upgrades. Photograph from the book House Colors by Susan Hershman. Reprinted with permission of Gibbs Smith.

SIMPLE STEPS AND STUNNING CHANGES WILL YIELD SECOND GLANCES F O R Y O U R H O M E ’ S F I R S T I M P R E S S I O N B y S H AW N G U S TA F S O N Any good realtor will tell you, boosting a home’s curb appeal counts toward a lot, whether your planning to sell or not.

“If you can elicit a reaction of ‘Wow, look at that!’ when people walk up to your door, that’s a reflection of your pride of ownership” says Veronica Mullenix of the Veronica Mullenix Real Estate Group. “If you take care of your curb appeal, you’ll inspire your neighbor to do the same, which keeps property values up. That way, everyone wins.” From tiny details to total transformations, making the most of your own little slice of heaven can be as simple as focusing on a few of the following cost-effective and fast fix-ups. CRANK UP THE COLOR

Take a poll of home-improvement experts, and time and again, the talk turns back to color. “Paint is the biggest visual bang for your buck,” says Scott Ludwig, vice president of AMS Remodeling. “You can radically change the look of your home just by putting a paint job on it.” AMS president Mike Hess adds that today’s paint trends can even add color character to traditional suburban brick homes and new construction. “We’re seeing a move to tri-color paint jobs, which add a third color to win14

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dows, siding trim and even gables,” he explains. An extra pop of color can also be applied to the front door, shutters, an entryway or even the garage door. Tried and true favorites include red, black, or deep shades of brown or green. GET A FACELIFT

Nothing welcomes like a charming home entry, so make sure yours invites a visit. A new front door is a quick way to jazz up your entrance. From contemporary etched glass to historic wrought iron and classic mahogany-leaded glass combos, there’s a door style to inject personality into every porch. Installing shutters is another vibrant and economical way to up your wow factor. Be sure to match your shutter selection to the style of your home, though, advises Stephen McNiel, president of Creative Property Restoration (CPR). “The plank [board and batten] shutter style you’d choose for a stone-façade house would be totally different from the traditional louver you’d put on a colonial,” he explains. Finally, highlight your entrance with a cultured-veneer or thin-cut natural stone wainscot or refaced columns, and you’ll be rockin’. Ricardo Escobar, president of Escobar Company, hardscaping specialists, points out that from flagstone to river stone to limestone, veneers offer a thinner, lighter version of the real thing — minus the extra installation cost incurred by shaping and cutting natural stone.


David Morello, principal of David Morello Garden Enterprises, knows a thing or two about creating one-of-a-kind curb appeal. His own yard was featured in Better Homes & Gardens earlier this year. For his garden and those of his clients, Morello likes to add a bit of the unexpected. “Water features are entertaining and popular with birds and other wildlife, and who doesn’t like the music that water makes?” he says. He also suggests adding a focal point, such as a sculpture, as well as a comfy bench as a seating destination with a view. Morello also emphasizes that showcasing your yard’s beauty isn’t just a day job. “Landscape lighting prolongs your enjoyment of a garden into the evening hours by illuminating your yard and giving you something to look at from inside the home,” he says. Try silhouette lighting to highlight distinctive plant shapes, or spot lighting to shed light on romantic displays of color. Solar lanterns are also attractive day and night, and serve dual duty decorating and defining the path to your door. And when the time comes to update that path, particularly a dilapidated concrete one, Ricardo Escobar recommends stepping up to natural stone or pavers. “Paving is an art, especially when you’re working with the colors and shapes of natural stone to make them blend into your property and the taste of the owner,” he says. Stamped and stained concrete walkways and driveways are also coming on strong, with a multitude of finishes available — from cobblestone to brick to flagstone looks. RIGHT: A striking, yet harmonious, three-color paint scheme on this small home gives huge impact from the curb. The extra-wide house numbers, which match door hardware and doorbell, help tie together the horizontal accents in the architecture, such as wide door with its unique grill, the white bands on the columns and the large rectangular front window. For more inspiration, see Susan Hershman’s House Colors (Gibbs Smith, 2007).

Add Drama with Details If accessories make the outfit, then just imagine what they do for a home front. Flanking your doorway with new coach lanterns adds an old-world aesthetic, while accent lights installed at the corners of the house provide a striking nighttime effect, as well as extra security, says Ludwig of AMS. Bring on the details en masse, like upgraded house numbers, door hardware, a mail slot and even a new doorbell, all in a modern matching finish. “You’ve got so many options now: antique pewter, brushed nickel, oil-rubbed bronze,” adds Ludwig. “It’s a small thing, but it really does change the look of your entry.” Finally, encourage front-door friendships with a well-placed rocker or two, a cozy rattan settee or, if room allows, a welcoming porch swing. Include a small side table for setting down a frosty glass of iced tea, and lay out a brand-new, oversize “Welcome” mat as a grand finale. “When you drive by a house, everything matters,” concludes McNiel. “All those little details can really add up to a big impact.”

The Power of Flowers Landscaper David Morello’s favorite plantings are those he describes as “hard working,” especially those that are fragrant, repeat bloomers, fruit producers, drought-tolerant and/or wildlife magnets. Following are a few of his top picks: WARM-WEATHER ANNUALS Coleus, Pentas, Por tulaca, Purslane, “Sweet Almond” Verbena, Zinnia COOL-WEATHER ANNUALS Alyssum, Dianthus, Pansy, Petunia, Snapdragon, Viola GROUND COVER Ar temisia alba, Asian Jasmine, “Pink Buttons” (Polygonum capitatum) For more great tips on Texas plantings, order The Best of Texas Landscape Guide, a 100-page, full-color resource published by The Texas Nurser y and Landscape Association. Purchase online at, or call 800.880.0343.




Budget Gardening

S AV E M O N E Y ON PLANTS FA R L E F T : Save money and still have a beautiful, full garden by learning how to propagate your plants. Garden: Mrs. Bill Taylor, Jr. L E F T : This colorful garden includes many side-planted containers. A good way to get beautiful color in your yard and in the neighborhood it is to trade with your neighbors. Have everyone divide their perennials and trade with each other at a block party.

Straight from “Easy Gardens for North Central Texas” by Steve Huddleston and Pamela Crawford, these amazing tips will save you money and still have your garden looking beautiful.


• Newspapers, cardboard or brown paper bags cut down on weeds until they disintegrate. Put them on top of the soil, wet them down (so they don’t take water out of the soil), and cover them up with mulch.


• Buy the smallest size you can. A shrub in a one-gallon pot costs about a third as much as the same shrub in a 3-gallon pot. • Buy annuals in multi-packs, such as an 18 pack. The roots of the plants are about three inches across. The same plant in a 4-inch pot is at least twice as much money, and it only takes about a week for the smaller plants to grow as large as the more expensive ones.

• Before applying any homemade sprays to an entire plant, test one leaf to be sure the spray doesn’t hurt the plant. Spray the top and bottom of one leaf and flower, and wait 24 hours. If no damage shows on the plant, spray the entire thing. Be sure to spray the tops and bottoms of the leaves. • Soap and water works on aphids, mealybugs, mites and some scale and thrips. Mix 1 tablespoon Ivory liquid in a gallon of water.

• Seeds are the cheapest way to buy new plants. Buy an old book from a used book supplier called “Park’s Success with Seeds” by Ann Reilly. It will only cost a few dollars and it’s the best book for fast and easy success with seeds.

• Slugs and snails are attracted to beer. Sink a small can in the garden (so the top is level with the soil), and fill it with beer. The slugs and snails will drown in it.

• Learn how to propagate your plants. In most instances, it’s easy. Learn how to do root cuttings, and you will have a gorgeous garden for nothing.

• Salt spray works on spider mites. Mix 2 tablespoons of salt in a gallon of water.

• Trade with your neighbors. Have everyone divide their perennials, trade with each other at a block party, and color your neighborhood.

• Make the leaves or flowers of the plant taste bad to any bug who tries to eat it. Mix some garlic cloves and hot peppers in your blender in a cup of water.

• Look for local gardening events. Often, home growers sell plants cheaply.

• For fungus and mildew, mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a gallon of water.

• Abandoned properties that are scheduled to be cleared can be great places to find plants. Be sure to get permission from the owner. Check with your local city hall to find out how to find the owner’s name. • Space plants correctly. If you plant them too close, you waste a lot of money. For example, it takes four times as many plants for 1 foot spacing than for 2 foot spacing.


Authors: Pamela Crawford has written six gardening books and is one of the bestknown container gardening experts in the country. Her work has been featured on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens, in Southern Living and HGTV Magazine, and in more than 50 newspapers. Visit her Web site at www.easy Steve Huddleston is the senior horticulturist at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden.

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Jon and Brooke Berman started out their married life in their first home in North Dallas in 2003, but they soon realized the area wasn’t for them. Both had previously lived in the Lakewood area years before and missed the small town atmosphere, the community feel and the unique homes in the East Dallas neighborhood. Brooke started looking online at homes for sale in the area and found one that boasted great views of White Rock Lake. They took a tour of the home, originally built in 1953. As soon as they walked inside, it was love at first sight, with the views that is.


“The house wasn’t really our taste, so we wanted to bring out our character in the house while not compromising any of the views,” Brooke says. “It was important to us that the neighbors felt like we were enhancing the community,” Jon adds. The Bermans chose W2 Studio (214.328.2448, to design and remodel their home. “We knew W2 Studio could bring our vision to life and come up with a design keeping the respect for the neighborhood in mind,” Brooke says.

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ABOVE : The terrace on top of the newly built two-car garage takes full advantage of the lake view. The façade of the home, formerly brick with a shingle roof, was given a Spanish modern makeover featuring stucco and a vintage Spanish tile roof. OPPOSITE :

A stunning architectural detail upon entering the home, the staircase consists of a steel frame, wood stairs and sandblasted glass panels. The antique Tibetan hope chest was purchased in New Mexico. “We are fairly modern people,” says Brooke, “but we also have this old world, eclectic part of us, as well.”



Jon and Brooke wanted an open concept for the main floor to take advantage of the lake views. The living room has an eclectic collection of art and furniture, including a teal sofa from an estate sale, a tiki chair found on eBay and corner stools covered in zebra fabric on either side of the fireplace purchased in New Mexico. On the far wall is a painting by local artist Mindy Collins. “I love sitting in the formal living area because I can see pretty much every aspect of the house,” Brooke says. “I can see the lake, my kitchen and the play room down the hall.”


In the beginning, the house had two main problem areas. The garage and kitchen were too small to function properly. When the couple first contacted Ryan Williams, co-owner of W2 Studio, they wanted to focus on these two areas, as well as select new finishes for the bathrooms throughout the home. However, as the couple and Williams began to make plans, the project grew into a full-scale remodel. A new two-car garage, complete with a rooftop terrace with a view of the lake, was built into the slope on the front corner of the property.

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The exterior of the home received a major facelift. The original home had a brick façade with a shingle roof. Owners in 2001 added a second story and tried to match the original brick, while also bringing in stone and stucco. The Bermans wanted a more cohesive look. They modeled the exterior after The Hotel San José in Austin. “The hotel is stucco and it has been transformed into a modern, urban oasis,” Brooke says. “We tried to pull that look into our house. Our look is Spanish modern.” The outdoor space in the front of the house now has a stucco wall that surrounds an inviting courtyard. The vintage Spanish tile roof blends

nicely with other Spanish style homes throughout the historic neighborhood. “In Lakewood, a lot of the older homes have a Spanish direction and large entry courtyards, so we took that setup, modernized it and took advantage of the property’s views,” Williams says. While the couple enjoys modern design, Brooke says she and Jon also appreciate old world style, which can be seen in the two 100-year-old pure teak entry doors from Afghanistan purchased in New Mexico. Inside, a dramatic transformation took place. A small, closed off kitchen was opened up and now includes a mix of dark painted cabinets 23


The dining room, featuring floor to ceiling windows with views of White Rock Lake, has a semiformal look, including a white chandelier and round table. “The round table from Crate & Barrel just fit the space perfectly,� Brooke says.



Concrete countertops, a glass backsplash, and a mix of painted cabinets and natural pecan wood cabinets set the organic, yet modern tone for the kitchen, which is open to the living area and dining room.

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and pecan cabinets on the island, a glass backsplash and concrete countertops. The kitchen is open to the formal living room and dining room with wall-to-wall windows facing the lake. A large sunken den replaced the space previously inhabited by the too-small garage. This opened up the entire den, which now has soaring windows that highlight amazing pool and lake views. Previously, an upstairs bedroom/ office could only be accessed from outside. The Bermans joined the rooms together from the inside and cut off the exterior access. The remodeled floor now includes the master bedroom, a guest room, a baby room for the couple’s 2 1/2-year-old daughter, a room for Jon’s 11-year-old son and a music room. The master bath also was completely reconfigured, and a vaulted ceiling was added to the master bedroom. “The master felt boxed in and small before,” Brooke says. “Now with the vaulted ceiling, the room seems enormous and we still have the views.” INTERIOR DESIGN AND AR T

Jon, who is in the oil and gas business, and Brooke, who has an interior design background, wanted natural materials to play an important role in the home’s interior design. Light wood floors run throughout the home. Each bathroom has its own special look. On the main floor, the powder bathroom features a floating natural pecan wood vanity with a striking red vessel sink. The room has dramatic black wallpaper with a bold botanical pattern in silver. The upstairs bathrooms feature unpolished marble countertops. Another highlight in the guest bath is river rock flooring. In the master bath, Carrara marble can be found on the floors, countertops and in the shower. All the marble is accented by Ann Sacks tile. A soaking tub with mood lighting enhancers adds to the spa-like feel of the room. In the master bedroom, Brooke wanted to use wallpaper. Designer Katy Wallis with Faulkner Design helped her created the look she wanted in this space. Robin egg blue grass cloth wallpaper with white tulips encircles the room. Gray fabric with pops of bright pink color was used on accent pillows (brilliant against a white tuft comforter) and on the large custom bench at the foot of the bed. White mirrored nightstands flank the bed. A white custom desk 25

faces a large window with a view of the lake. The formal living room has a lively color palette, starting with the teal fabric on the sofa. “The sofa is an estate sale find, but it had terrible fabric,” Brooke says. “I really started falling in love with teal and aqua and blue velvets and plush blue textiles. I wanted to bring those colors into upholstery somewhere in the house, so this fabric was the perfect color. The color set the tone for the room’s color palette. I consider it the centerpiece of the room.” Unique color is also seen throughout the house in special art pieces. The Bermans, who own a local art gallery, showcase many works by local artists who have exhibited at their gallery throughout the home. “One of the ironies is, we put in so many windows to capture the lake view that we hardly have any place for art,” Jon says. In the entry, a chocolate brown wall provides the perfect backdrop for a large commissioned painting by local artist Tamara White. Above the fireplace in the living room is Brooke’s prized screen print by Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhaze. A painting by local artist Mindy Collins picks up on the vibrant color palette in this room. “The Turkish suzani hanging on the wall in the den is my prized textile piece,” Brooke says. HOME AT LAST

Brooke says she loves the fact that there is no wasted space in the house and that every room is put to good use. “The way everything has turned out has completely exceeded my vision,” she says. “It seems like everything that I have been collecting over the years just fell into place here. Here everything has life and it’s just where it should be.”



In the large master bedroom is a white custom desk that faces a large window with a view of the lake.

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During remodeling, a small garage space was turned into a sunken den with amazing windows that highlight the pool and lake views.


RIGHT : Designer Katy Wallis with Faulkner Design helped Brooke with the design of the master bedroom. Robin egg blue grass cloth wallpaper with white tulips that seem to jump off the walls creates the perfect backdrop for the room. A custom bench with unique fabric sits at the foot of the bed. Reupholstered in pink fabric is a wingback chair from a Swiss Avenue estate.

“It seems like everything that I have been collecting over the years just fell into place here. Here everything has life and it’s just where it should be.” —Brooke Berman


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ABOVE: Throw a cozy backyard get-together in your outdoor living room. With a complete kitchen outdoors, you won’t have to leave your guests for one moment. This space was created by Bonick Landscaping. Photo by Sara Donaldson BELOW : An outdoor, at-home event can be classy and elegant with crisp white linens and place settings by Ducky-Bob’s Event Specialists.

AT-HOME PARTIES WITH PIZZAZZ By AMANDA FLATTEN There is something about summertime that gets us in the party mood. While economic reasons may be keeping you home instead of taking that tropical vacation this year, staying at home this summer doesn’t have to be boring. More and more homeowners are thinking of unique ways to entertain at home. We asked local expert party planners for tips to make your next athome party a smash. TIP 1: USE WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE

Get creative when hosting a party in your home. “You don’t have to go out and buy a bunch of things that you won’t use later,” says Executive Event Planner Tamara Harris, owner of Eventfully U, a full-service event planning firm. “Look around your house to see what you 30

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When enter taining indoors or outdoors, make the dinner table more interesting with a variety of chair styles, as shown here by Tara Wilson Events.

already have and make the party a reflection of your style. For example, you can use a wall mirror as a serving piece.” For those things you do need to buy, you don’t have to break the bank. “Go bargain shopping,” Harris says. “You can find great items at discount stores, such as Big Lots, Ross, Dollar Tree and the clearance section at Pier 1.” TIP 2: PICK A SIGNATURE COLOR

Rather than choosing a theme, such as Hawaiian or Western, Harris suggests choosing a signature color when preparing for an upscale event. “Be careful not to carry a theme too far,” Harris says. “If you have a luau theme, choose a color and integrate it into table linens and décor.” Jay Cooper, director of marketing for DuckyBob’s Event Specialists, says during summer parties, turquoise tablecloths and napkins are popular, especially with Caribbean themed events. “Orange and lime works well if you are serving a Mexican menu,” he says.

Lend your dinner par ty a French Bistro feel and let guests get a sneak peek at what’s for dinner with a menu board. Photo cour tesy Tara Wilson Events

Event Specialist Tara Wilson prepares the table before a dinner par ty. Wilson says you should make or preassemble as much of your meal in advance as possible to cut down on stress before the big event. 31

If you don’t have matching stemware and place settings for the special evening you have planned at home, Ducky-Bob’s Event Specialists can provide dishes, glasses, linens, chairs and also deliver it all to your home so you don’t have to worr y about anything except enter taining your guests.

Skip the formal dinner and have a smashing cocktail par ty outdoors, complete with appetizers, specialty drinks and cocktail tables. Photo courtesy Ducky-Bob’s Event Specialists

Skip the e-vites and mail a hand-written note to invite your guests to your par ty. From Nest, the Bell’Invito Studio collection is the per fect par ty invitation for summer.


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Plan ahead, and don’t wait until the day before a party to go shopping. “Pick up décor, tables, chairs, and order food at least a week before your party to reduce stress,” Harris says. Make or preassemble as much of your meal in advance as possible, says local event planner Tara Wilson, owner of Tara Wilson Events. “Many sauces, dressings and dry ingredients can be mixed hours or even days ahead of time. Staying ahead of the curve will help you enjoy your party.” Even if you are grilling out, Harris suggests grilling before the guests arrive and keeping the food warm in the oven so you can enjoy yourself and prevent guests’ clothing from smelling like barbecue smoke. TIP 4: MASTER THE BUFFET

There is no need for a structured dinner in the heat of summer. A buffet is very cost effective, and it doesn’t need to be boring. “Presentation is everything,” Harris says. “Set food up on elevated platters and get creative. If you have a tight budget, you could go to Home Depot and get 12 by 12 tiles or a marble slab, wrap in clear plastic wrap and use as a serving piece.”

If you don’t have all the serving pieces you need for your buffet, Ducky-Bob’s Event Specialists has a number of serving and buffet options, from silver to white china patterns to pewter. “Make your buffet interesting by using an assortment of different materials in the same shape or all one material in different shapes,” Cooper says. TIP 5: ADD CANDLELIGHT & FLOWERS

“Candlelight enhances and adds elegance to any event,” Harris says. If you are hosting a party outdoors at night, add floating candles to the pool to create an enchanting atmosphere. Place clusters of candles rather than one on a table. Harris says citronella candles now come in sophisticated containers, providing the beautiful glow of candlelight while keeping the insects at bay. “You can get great citronella candles from Pier 1 for around $5,” Harris adds. Fresh flowers are perfect for any occasion. “Flowers should be fresh and brought in the evening before the dinner party,” Wilson says. Fill a vase with beautiful garden flowers, or create a cluster of small bud vases with single stems to add a refreshing touch to the table. TIP 6: BRING THE INDOORS OUTSIDE

Share all your best with guests, even when dining outdoors. Pair indoor dining chairs with your rustic outdoor table. Use your special crystal pitcher to serve a fruity drink, silver platters to serve food and metal bowls for fresh fruit. TIP 7: ADD A PERSONAL TOUCH

Forgo the e-vites. “For a dinner party it is appropriate to mail a handwritten note to invite your guests,” Wilson says. “You want your guests to feel special and pampered. Receiving an invitation through the mail lets your guests know to expect something different, something more than pizza and beer.” TIP 8: STAY COOL OUTSIDE

Overcome the summer heat. “For a backyard soiree rent small fans with misters,” suggests Wilson. “Place them behind shrubs and potted plants to reduce their visibility and add a soft ‘wind in the trees’ effect.”

Use your best platters and ser ving pieces no matter if your event is indoors or outside. Appetizers and bite-sized treats are great to ser ve at any par ty. Photo cour tesy Tara Wilson Events

small party ideas WINE PAIRING EVENT Similar to a Pampered Chef par ty, host a Wine Pairing par ty. A specialist will bring dif ferent types of wines to your home and teach your guests how to pair dif ferent wines with dif ferent types of foods. “This is a ver y elegant par ty, and you learn dif ferent techniques of wine tasting,” says Executive Event Planner Tamara Harris, owner of Eventfully U. Harris recommends WineShop At Home ( as a local resource. If you want to go it alone, ask guests to bring dif ferent bottles of wine and dif ferent types of cheese so you can create your own pairings. MOJITOS AND MEXICAN For small girlfriend get-togethers, have a Mojitos and Mexican food par ty. Ever yone can bring a dif ferent Mexican dish and experiment with various mojito recipes. Tr y this same concept with any number of food and drink items.


COOKING CLASS Hire a chef to come to your home to teach a group of friends how to prepare a few special dishes. This is a great way for ever yone to get involved in making the meal for the evening, and your guests will walk away with cooking tips from a professional chef.

Inevitably, something will go wrong at the last minute, so you must be prepared. “Disaster can strike when you least expect it,” Wilson says. “Should you burn the main course or leave a key ingredient out of your world famous dessert, make certain you have a backup plan. Mixed nuts and gourmet cheeses, simple pasta dishes and decorative cookies all can be life savers. Keep the pantry stocked with a few of these items and you’ll never be caught off guard.”

HOMEMADE ICE CREAM PARTY Few things are more refreshing than homemade ice cream. Of fer guests a variety of toppings, or to spice things up a bit, “of fer guests liquors as an alternative to traditional toppings and ser ve in chilled antique brandy glasses,” suggests Tara Wilson, owner of Tara Wilson Events. “For par ty favors, give each guest the recipe for your homemade ice cream as well as the main ingredients needed so they can make it for themselves at home.”


If you can’t afford to hire a party planner for your event, consider a consultation. “We can give you ideas, tips and tools to pull off the event on your own,” Harris says.

resources EVENTFULLY U 214.747.8222 TARA WILSON EVENTS 817.764.2601

DUCKY-BOB’S EVENT SPECIALISTS 3200 Belmeade Dr., Ste. 130 Carrollton 972.381.8000


green house


Rainwater Harvesting in the Concrete Desert have used rain collection systems to conserve precious water resources. Evidence exists that rainwater cisterns were in use as many as 5,000 years ago. Now, amid the asphalt and concrete deserts of the 21st century metropolis, we are witnessing a renaissance of this ancient technology. As our own water usage becomes an ever-growing concern, rainwater harvesting becomes an ever-growing solution. RAINWATER HARVESTING 101

This sturdy olive container enjoys its second life as a 60-gallon rain barrel from Catch the Rain ( The barrel stands 39 inches tall and 24 inches wide and weighs 20 pounds when empty. It costs $139.95 and comes with an overflow fitting, drain plug, screw-on cover, screen and a threaded spigot for easy hose attachment. Link multiple barrels together with a simple, short length of 3/4-inch garden hose.

Benjamin Franklin wrote, “When the well is dry, we know the worth of water.” Of course, modernity has rendered the old water well something of a relic in our urbanized cityscapes and suburbanized lawnscapes. For most contemporary urbanites, water is something that flows from the tap on command rather than a living substance divined from the ground or captured from the sky. However, as population grows and water supply shrinks, a consciousness for conservation is emerging, particularly here in the parched Southwest. With Texas in the throes of yet another waterrestricted summer and drought conditions across much of the state, it is worth musing on “the worth of water” and one way we might rediscover our ability to literally catch the rain. AN ANCIENT SOLUTION FOR A MODERN CONCERN

Throughout history, human beings have inhabited dry lands where dust storms outnumber rain storms for vast stretches of the calendar. While these ancient peoples didn’t worry about ozone alert days or peak oil or offshore geologic carbon sequestration engineering, water use was a constant concern — often a matter of life and death. As a result, enterprising civilizations from early Jordan in the Middle East to prehistoric Navajo in the American West


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Rainwater harvesting consists of two key elements: rainwater and a method of capture. The former is beyond your control. The latter, however, provides an abundance of options ranging from the simple Jordanian cistern to trucks full of dirt needed to completely overhaul your landscape. Most rainwater harvesting systems use a catchment area (usually a rooftop), a conveyance system (such as guttering), storage containers (barrels or cisterns) and a distribution method (a simple spigot or a more elaborate drip irrigation hose leading to the vegetable garden). Other systems use landscaping such as berms and swales to direct the rain toward greenery and away from concrete. A common rainwater harvesting setup takes advantage of your home’s existing architecture. When it rains, water rolls down the roof into the gutters, which in turn carry the rainwater to a downspout where it can be diverted into a rain barrel or cistern. Gravity does the work while you reap the benefits. The only equipment you need to purchase is a special downspout diverter and the container. Most experts also recommend a roof washer to flush away the first few gallons, which carry most of the dust and other rooftop contaminants, allowing fresh water to collect in the barrel or cistern. Additionally, leaf guards for the guttering will help prevent clogs. After installation, this simple system can collect tens of thousands of gallons per year. What’s more, unlike municipal water from the tap, rainwater is free of chlorine (and of cost) and can be used to water the flowers, wash the clothes, create a beautiful rain garden or, with the right filtration and purification systems, to make lemonade. (A word of caution: I like lemonade as much as the next guy, but I urge you to do your research before drinking harvested rainwater — rooftop shingles can contain toxic glue or asbestos, gutters can contain lead solder, and birds and squirrels are not potty-trained. Your body will thank you for your diligence.) NOW THAT YOU KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING …

… you should consult an expert (or at least a Web site) before setting up your rainwater harvesting system. Beth Mortensen owns and operates Catch the Rain, a local company specializing in helping homeowners implement residential rainwater harvesting and irrigation systems through professional consultation and a proven product line. You can purchase products online and find more information on how to get this chief rainmaker’s expert advice at As a bonus, when you purchase equipment designed for rainwater harvesting you’ll be eligible for a sales tax exemption. To divine everything you ever wanted to know about water conservation and rainwater harvesting, go to the extremely thorough guide at With a little research and a little work, you can conserve water and money even as you drench the dahlias and saturate the snapdragons. Jeffrey Jacoby is program director for Texas Campaign for the Environment, a grassroots nonprofit working locally and statewide to press for sustainable waste and recycling policies. Call 214.599.7840 or visit

B y L A R A M O F FAT, M L A


How To Get A Healthy Lawn

Texans just love their lawns! But growing a healthy lawn is not as easy as one may initially think. Knowing the following key items will help you take your turf from a water and chemical-guzzling entity to a healthy and environmental-friendly amenity.

mown to 1 ?” when it reaches a height of 2 ?”. St. Augustine, our all purpose grass, is ideally cut at 3” down to 2”. For best results, remember to keep blades sharp which will reduce plant injury and help prevent disease. If at all possible hold off mowing after a rain, waiting untill the grass is dry.



Unfortunately irrigation systems cannot be set once a season and left to run without modifications. At certain times of the year, this area receives substantial rain and at other times almost nothing. Therefore it is essential to monitor your landscape. This winter, for example, most homes in DFW did not need any supplemental watering; whereas now in the heat of the summer homeowners must water. Generally, the understood rule is to give your lawn one inch of water per week, though more precisely water enough so that the soil is moist to a depth of six inches. A recommended watering schedule for the summer will usually be three days a week for beds and turf. Remember, it is always better to water less frequently and more deeply than to water every day. Also, the best time to start watering is early! 5 a.m. is ideal. To determine the correct amount of time to irrigate with your system, check out

We recommend organic fertilizers since they naturally improve the health and productivity of the soil which in turn benefits the plants on multiple levels. Furthermore, organics are safer for our families, pets, and the overall environment. Our defense is a proprietary product, Moore Life Enhanced Compost Tea. Compost tea is a highly concentrated microbial liquid fertilizer produced by extracting beneficial microbes from compost. What sets ours apart is the specially blended tea using a high-quality, microbial rich compost along with liquid molasses and fish hydrolysis. These additives assist in feeding the diverse population of both bacteria and fungi in our soils needed for healthy plants. By “putting the life back in the soil,” soil tilth is improved and thus increases root growth which ultimately results in reduced water usage. Plus you can “Feel free to walk barefoot on the grass. It’s been treated organically!”


The Moore Companies offer an array of horticulturally correct services including landscape maintenance, organic plant health care practices, and proactive tree care. We adhere to the most current standards as established by the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA), the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) and the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) while providing our clients with superior customer service. For more information visit

Mowing established lawns on a regular basis is a must. Industry standards advise removing no more than 1/3 of the blade length each cut to keep your lawn lush. When it comes to mowing frequency, it will vary from type to type and week to week based off of a mixture of cultural practices and weather conditions. In our area, most homes have either St. Augustine or Bermuda. Remembering the 1/3 rule, Bermuda, the sun lover, should be


Great Escapes A Weekend Away is closer than you might think. Start Your Adventure at Grape Creek Ranch.


BED BREAKFAST The Grape Creek Ranch is located on the beautiful banks of Grape Creek, just 9 miles from historic Fredericksburg. This serene bed and breakfast features four newly constructed luxury family cabins perfect for a peaceful getaway for family, friends or even corporate retreats. Each morning a fresh breakfast is delivered to your door. Just steps from your cabin enjoy the Grape Creek Trail, tour the historic Lower South Grape School, pick your own peaches in the orchard (seasonal) and enjoy a bonfire under the Hill Country stars.

Nitzan and Etty Mendelbaum 10279 East Hwy 290 Fredericksburg, TX 78624 830-997-7478 • 713-443-2534

Special Summer Rates CABINS FEATURE:

• Separate bedroom with queen bed • A loft with 2 twin mattresses (Additional mattresses available) • Completely furnished kitchen with a stovetop, coffee maker and large refrigerator • Full bath with tub/shower • Central air/heat • 2 TVs • Covered porch with table and chairs • Beautiful landscaping

Weekday Special: $85 per night for 1 to 2 people or $99 per night for up to 4 people* Regularly $155 per night for 4 people

Weekend Special: $150 per night for up to 4 people** Regularly $185 per night *Sunday-Thursday only. Minimum 2 night stay **Friday-Saturday only. Minimum 2 night stay. Offers valid through August 31st.

Dallas/Fort Worth House & Home Magazine July 2010 Issue  

The Complete Resource Magazine For Your Home

Dallas/Fort Worth House & Home Magazine July 2010 Issue  

The Complete Resource Magazine For Your Home