Every once in a while, if you are lucky, you get to work an a project that takes your career to a new level. About a year ago I had the opportunity to sit down with Scott Simmons of Simmons Estate Homes and design a jewel of a house with him. This house would eventually be Scott’s entry into the 2010 Kaleidoscope of Homes show, a luxury home tour that has been running in the DFW are for twenty years now. Our plans for this house were grand- we intended from the very 1st meeting to design something of lasting impression, and in my mind, a work of art. In most respects, I think we succeeded.
Scott was fairly certain that he wanted to do something of mediterranean influence. However, we both wanted to avoid the trendy “Tuscan” design that had been overdone in our area. In researching the various forms of and styles of architecture, we came across the works of George Washington Smith, an Architect in the Santa Barbara region of California from the early 1900’s. Smith’s houses were defined as a style called “Spanish Colonial Revival”, and we both knew that the aesthetics of this style were what we wanted to express in our design.
I poured over books detailing Smith’s houses from both the exterior and interior. They were based on simple farmhouses of the Andalusian region of Spain, and yet, Smith was able to interject details of the Spanish Baroque movement in key areas. The massing of his homes were both simple and sophisticated at the same time. I made careful sketches and studies of the proportions that Smith employed in his designs and, to the best of my abilities, attempted to stay true to that aesthetic. We also took a very deliberate and careful approach to outdoor spaces. Our design makes use of three very significant ones. To the front is a large terrace with a fountain and a freestanding fireplace. Large trees were planted to the southwest of this terrace to provide some natural shade during the day, although it’s uncovered nature will probably keep it from being heavily used during the day in mid-summer, it is still a fantastic space and one that people have used extensively during the cooler weather of the show in October.
Probably the most significant outdoor space is the main Outdoor Living Room, which is located right next to the Great Room in the house. The front door lines up with the center arch, and provides a fantastic line of sight from the foyer all the way through the fountain at the pool and beyond to the water display behind the property. Another interesting feature is a large 6 panel sliding french door system. All 18 feet of this door system separating the Great Room from the Outdoor Living Room slides into wall pockets and lets the two spaces flow seamlessly with each other.
Below are some additional photos of the exterior and interior of the house. As of today, the finished house is a total of 9500 s.f. (a/c) and has 5 bedroom (including the one in the 600 s.f. separate Guest House) 6 full baths and 2 half baths, a Catering Kitchen in addition to the main Kitchen, 4 car Garage, downstairs Billiard Room, upstairs Play Room (with Popcorn Bar) and a private Wine Room and Wet Bar with adjacent Patio. Should you have a chance, do come out to the show and tour this house for yourself- I consider it one of my finest works to date.
For more information about the Kaleidoscope of Homes, visit www.theKofH.com.