issue 57 - may 2024

Page 1

‘24 // robyn mentor design associates e.57
COME SEE “What lighting can do for you” at LIGHTS FANTASTIC PRO. Our team of experts can prepare proposals, layouts and renderings to visualize new moods and possibilities. DALLAS 4645 Greenville Ave. Dallas, TX 75206 214-369-1101 LEWISVILLE 2525 E. State Hwy 121 Lewisville, TX 75056 469-568-1111


interior designer Robyn Menter
menter design
|| project:

Robyn Menter does not typically use color. She likes to keep things simple, but impactful.

However, for a home in Preston Hollow she chose a long curving couch with plush feel in a brilliant blue. “Blue is my favorite color…I feel that (it’s) a kind of soothing color and

that it’s something I didn’t think the client would get tired of easily. The texture, it’s kind of a velvet texture, and it just works beautifully in the space.” It’s welcoming and makes a statement without overwhelming its surroundings- it’s a perfect balance aesthetically and functionally.

// project: chapel hill
// project: highland park

Menter grew up in South Africa and described the furnishings she grew up around in her own home and others as “traditional,” but, she clarifies, it was Cape Dutch-style furniture. “It isn’t very ornate at all. It has much more clean lines.” Her father, a surgeon, taught her how to sew, which gave her an appreciation for both materials and craftsmanship, and he showed her that just because one piece is somewhere doesn’t mean it’s meant to stay there. “He was forever moving furniture around in the house. It used to drive my mother insane.”

She came to America in the Eighties and worked with a designer who had a Japanese-inspired aesthetic, “very minimal, and it really appealed to me. I think I just had that aesthetic from a very young age and with time and being exposed to different styles when I moved to America… it helped me get control of my own aesthetic. There are some clients that don’t want that type of minimalism, but I’ll introduce them to some different materials and furnishings that complement the look they’re going for that still appeal to my design aesthetic.” Her very defined point of

// project: chapel hill
// project:
chapel hill

Enjoy a Timeless Contemporary Second Home

view has not just attracted clients for decades, but helped her to quickly evaluate a space and propose a solution. She was selected to do a remodel in an existing home on Chapel Hill because she was asked what would she change about the main living area. She immediately, and courteously, recommended removing a wall which ultimately was replaced with a low, streamlined bench that

allows for conversation, display, and opens up the room. Mentor’s career has been built on her instincts, great collaborators, and her ability to fully envision what a room will be in her mind’s eye, but now with 3D modeling it’s possible to take what only exists in her mind and show that to the client. “Typically when I go into a home- a lot of our projects are new construction-once we have a basic plan

// project: preston hollow // project: preston hollow

of what the architect’s vision is we’ll work with them and, in my mind, I can see the house in 3D and I can see how I would like to finish it out and furnish it and I can see that in my head, but, clearly, most people can’t, and I feel with the ability to do 3D renderings…has been fantastic for the clients because you can walk through the entire house and give them a better understanding of where they are

and how the house is going to finish out and then they can envision themselves living in it.” A full walkthrough is possible with the programs that put everything together today, which helps calm a lot of misgivings a client may have, especially when there is a need to raise the budget and the results will not be seen in person for some time. Whether its furniture placement, how a bank of floor-to-

// project: highland park
All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, condition, sale, or withdrawal without notice. All measurements and square footages are approximate, but not guaranteed and should be independently verified. This is not intended to solicit property already listed. Nothing herein shall be construed as legal, accounting or other professional advice outside the realm of real estate brokerage. Compass is a licensed real estate broker. Equal Housing Opportunity. BECKY FREY 214.536.4727 3121 Beverly Dr This modern masterpiece stands as a testament to architectural innovation and design. With its sleek lines and harmonious blend of materials, every detail speaks of refined elegance and meticulous craftsmanship.
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ceiling windows look, or how the light fixtures will actually illuminate a room, the program is able to show all of these aspects so that they can be discussed, understood, and, if need be, adjusted all before anything is crafted or put in place. “It’s so much easier than back in the day when everything was hand drawn. It’s just a quick change and accomplishes things so easily.”

It’s been especially useful for the placement of art. Clients will often bring substantial collections with them, and often with large pieces that need to have the right space. Although sometimes a piece has to be chosen to change the feel of a room once it’s created. For a home in Highland Park on Armstrong the client was concerned about the home feeling “cold.” The interior architect had wanted the limestone from the exterior of the home to continue

/// project: chapel hill
// project: chapel hill

into the house as a large interior wall, and it struck the client as lacking warmth and feeling too much like an impersonal commercial space. “Fortunately we found some art locally that was not too expensive and we installed the canvases framed on the wall and it made the client so happy and really grounded the room too.” The work itself is composed of shapes that are positioned to give the illusion of depth, which helps reduce the flatness of

the stone walls and add a more dynamic appearance to the room overall without detracting from the architecture itself.

This project also necessitated the design of a garage. The client has an impressive collection of cars, so Menter worked with Bernbaum Magadini (the architecture firm for the home) on the finishes of the concrete and the lighting

// project: beverly drive

to give it a very sleek showroom feel. At the back of it is a lounge with a bar that’s complemented by a wine storage room. Menter even added two metal pullout curtains in the space to allow for practicing golf swings without potentially damaging the windshield of one of the cars. It’s truly space that accomplishes multiple needs and uses through careful planning.

The Preston Hollow home with the bold blue coach also has a retractable feature. The dining room is quite spacious as the owner is very fond of hosting many guests, but rather than having a room that is expansive enough for twenty when you have a more intimate group of twelve Menter worked with architect Cliff Welch to make the space adaptable to make it more appropriate to the

// project: highland park


group. A screen at one end of the room that separates it from the wine room on the other side can be slid back into the glass wall of the wine storage area that hides it and allows for the table to be extended. The screen was also designed with a recessed area for the painting that hangs on the opposite side so that the wall can be pulled back

without damaging or moving it. It’s an elegant, simple approach that perfectly captures Menter’s approach.

// robyn menter design associates

// dave shafer - photography

project: preston hollow
Conduit Gallery Craighead Green Gallery Cris Worley Fine Arts Erin Cluley Gallery Galleri Urbane Holly Johnson Gallery James Harris Gallery Keijsers Koning Laura Rathe Fine Art Meliksetian | Briggs PDNB Gallery Pencil on Paper Gallery RO2 Art Valley House Gallery & Sculpture Garden CADDALLAS.ORG 2024 MEMBERS


// synchronicity
Margo Sawyer at holly johnson gallery of color
34 x 25 1/2 x 6 in.
ferrari red and yellow, 2007-2024 powder coated steel
paint, mirror copper

Margo Sawyer’s latest exhibition at Holly Johnson Gallery, titled “Synchronicity,” is the latest segment of a series of work titled “Synchronicity of Color” that the artist has produced over the last twenty-five years. The underlying inspiration for this body of work is a continuing exploration of the psychiatrist Carl Jung’s concept of coincidence specifically, the unexpected encounter of unrelated elements that is, nonetheless, meaningful. The

unseen, unknown potentially even unknowable underlying forces that produce these events fascinated Jung, as they do Sawyer. Her exploration of this takes the form of colors (some solid, some blended just enough to reveal the colors that created them) placed in correlated sequences to quiet our minds and better hear their secretive whispers to each other. Though, even if you believe you’ve found the ties that bind, Sawyer adds an element

// installation view
// installation veiw

// synchronicity of color - presence and absence, 2007-2024 powder coated steel and aluminum, automotive paint, mirror copper 42 1/2 x 60 x 6 in.

that eludes even our finer senses; some things can only be felt.

Even Isaac Newton’s color wheel can only take you so far. Newton developed this visual representation of the color

spectrum in the late 17th century, and rather than laying each color progression in a straight line he formed it into a circle to fully communicate the relationships between each color no matter their position, red becomes orange, and orange to yellow, to green, to blue, purple, and finally

// synchronicity
of colorred through to blue, 2007-2024 powder coated steel and aluminum 51 x 34 x 3 in.

back to red. The genius of it is the relationship it shows in reading left to right around the circle, but especially in the relationships it also shows by counting outwards or looking across to show how even red and green share a symbiotic connection. It’s similar to how the rhythm of a poem intones the words with greater significance and through its music eliminates the need for obvious relationship of rhyme. Sawyer also places her colors in a

form that can be read in a left to right round-shaped direction, but adds in a jarring juxtaposition that can hardly explain itself in a spectrum of red there’s suddenly cobalt blue or yellow in a non-sequential gradation of purple to pink. The relationships the coincidence of their placement are extended further apart with less to bridge the gap to invite further speculation and contemplation.

// synchronicity of color - sunset to dawn, 2007-2024 powder coated steel and aluminum, yellow zinc on steel 8 1/2 x 68 x 6 in.
// synchronicity of colormirror copper and stainless, 2020-2024
copper and stainless steel
34 x 34 x 3 in..
// synchronicity
of colorpurple to blue, 2024 powder coated steel and aluminum 1/2 x 17 x 6 in.

The size, depth, and positioning of the panels also work to hold each at arm’s length. It’s made clear that they constitute the work while remaining distinct, independent actors in it rather than a tidy chain, which furthers the need to examine their relationship to one another. Typically the works in a gallery show have an underlying relationship to each other, but this is a rare opportunity to see work that directly relates to the work around it. One

reflective piece is composed of two vertical rectanglesone copper-colored and the other reflective as a mirror. As you move from one side of it to the other the pieces on the opposite wall come into view and become part of this work, and, you may even see yourself in it. The exhibition is open through July 27.

// installation view

Engage Educate Experience Enjoy

The Dallas Architecture Forum is for everyone who wants to experience inspired design. The Forum presents an award-winning Lecture Series that brings outstanding architects,interior designers, landscape architects and urban planners from around the world, as well as Symposia, Receptions at architecturally significant residences, and Panel Discussions on issues impacting North Texas.

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// architect bodron fruitphoto: charles davis smith
PARKS, blending old and new

As a lifelong resident of Dallas, I have long driven down Mockingbird Lane past the curving “Y’ shaped boulevards that mark the entrance to Greenway Parks. I would occasionally drive through it just to enjoy the parkways and lovely homes. It has always felt like it was and English village commons, homes clustered around green space,

and indeed that was the original plan when it was first conceived back in 1925 when Texas architect David Williams laid out the original design. He previously designed a residential development in Tampico, Mexico with a similar concept, but there the homes were arranged around parks rather than parkways.

// architect: david benners architecture
// palomar residence // architect
bodron fruitphoto: charles davis smith

The spacious set backs and attention to massing and landscaping has kept Greenway Parks a comfortable and lushly green neighborhood. A majority of the homes were built before the 1960’s yet the neighborhood is an eclectic mix of traditional and contemporary homes. On a recent drive through the area, I was impressed how well the more modern designs do not seem out of place next to an Arts and Crafts Tudor home from the 1930’s.

Contemporary gems sparkle throughout the area, including some significant homes like the 1950’s Bauhaus inspired home designed by notable architect Howard Meyer. It has a distinctive modern look while using materials that blend well with the heavily wooded neighborhood.

The home which has been praised by architectural historian Rick Brettell as ,”the best international modernist

// architect bodron fruit - photo: charles davis smith

house in Texas”. Built for the Lipshy family, it is a geometric arrangement of “volumes” created in Redwood, glass and brick. It’s open flowing floorpan and distinctive cantilevered open staircase creates a sculptural centerpiece of the structure. Bodron + Fruit architects remodeled and restored the home. They maintained much of the original built-in furniture Meyer created in its interior. The architects preserved and in some cases remanufactured the distinctive doorknobs, cabinet pulls and stair railings.

Keven Mut, Project manager for Bodron + Fruit says the firm has done many works in Greenway Parks including, “two new homes recently as well as seven remodels.” Their work reflects a cognizance of the materials used in the homes and a style that brings the interior and exterior together.

With all their work in the neighborhood, they maintained the attitude that, ”we wanted to make the houses feel like they had always been there.”

// architect: david benners architecture

It’s a challenge in this eclectic neighborhood but one that continues to attract the interest of architects and designers like architect David Brenners who built his own home there. He was conscious of the restrictions of the neighborhood since it has been listed on the National Registry of Historic Places and is covered by the designation as a Dallas Conservation District. The designation specifies setbacks, height specifications, and building to lot ratios that will prevent the kind of massing taking over other neighborhoods. One has only

to drive through neighborhoods adjacent to the “M” Streets to see how oversized homes can completely change the character of a neighborhood.

Brenners’ home was built on a lot previously occupied by an older and poorly maintained house. To keep with the look and feel of the area, Brenners’ conserved brick from the home to use in the new structure. He even used a color palette from the older home to lessen the effect on the area. It worked beautifully and the home he calls “Before House” blends beautifully with the surroundings while having it’s own distinctive char-

ricks circle residence
// architect bodron fruit - photo: charles davis smith

acter. Brenners says, “our home illustrates that contemporary architecture can flourish in a conservation district and a neighborhood that is listed with the National Registry of Historic Places, and function delightfully for a family with small children.”

Today, Brenners still has projects within his own neighborhood, though most are renovations of existing homes to bring them up to date and make them more accommodating of the modern lifestyle. His work puts a contemporary spin on older homes, discovering what he calls, “lost op-

portunities” in the use of space.

The future of Greenway Parks seems bright. With Conservation District status, the original concept of the “village commons” and flowing greenbelts will continue to make the neighborhood desirable for homeowners and designers alike. A neighborhood where the ideas of the past blend with the current and future to create one of the most pleasant neighborhoods in the city.

// architect bodron fruit - photo: charles davis smith
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// wabi, designed by alain gilles combines the sculptural quality of the feet, boldly contrasted by a soft and textured headboard. available. scottcooner

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hurricane, made up of organic shaped hand knotted rugs, new zealand wool and natural chinese silk. available. atelieragahzadeh

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