Welcome home? Completed in 1964 and designed by Philip Johnson, the same Philip Johnson who designed 550 Madison Avenue, Glass House, the interiors of The Four Seasons Restaurant in the Seagram Building, and, just a stone’s throw away from where I grew up in Orange County, California, Crystal Cathedral, this imperial home, located in Dallas, has a single rule (outfits with big, broad shoulder pads are required) and two suggestions (sequins and more hairspray, always) with which to live by when in residence. I imagine life in those home to include dressing rituals, every action measured, a life Edith Wharton would feel very at ease living in, a life of correctness and convention that a younger me would have loved for its rules and regulations. It is just that, the rigidity and structure, that bring beauty to this house, the whole composition of its setting.
The exterior portico which surrounds this home, a multi-columned screen, a veil, a pair of opera glasses from which to view the world from behind, is supported by two rows of eight tapered columns, each punctuated my seven archways, welcome you into the house. In order to reach the good fortunate of entry, one must walk from a vehicle, down a gracious, stone paved entry plaza, and then through the minimalist portico, the considerable massing of the home looming behind, even more columns abounding.
The entry hall harkens back to two famous movie scenes: when Fraulein Maria arrives at the von Trapp family schloss and when the unnamed second Mrs. De Winter descends the grand staircase during Manderley’s annual costume ball. Quite in juxtaposition to the warm wood paneled, jewel-box-sized entry vestibule, the immense entry hall is a space and a half—two stories and topped by a skylight. I very much appreciate the light and volume this adds to this space and hones its definition: event space with ample walls to highlight an extensive art collection. The textures, while subtle, include the smooth stone floors, rounded glass rear windows, curved stairs leading up to a second floor gallery, glassed-in with metal railings. Again, it is the spareness of the space in which there is the most beauty.
Each interior room is a true delight, a distinct space operating within a larger interior theme stocked with wonderful materials, furniture pieces, art, lighting, and décor. Every room has at least one full wall of glass, yet the expansive grey living room has two plus a large, welcoming fireplace. The large leather lounge is just calling my name! The separate library and office is also a true, rare treat, especially when the library contains its own fireplace and expansive table with which to lay a laptop, folders, stacks of books, yellow legal pad and writing utensil! Priceless. The office, regal and imposing in size, is has a wonderful fountain feature outside its massive sliding wall of glass. The dining room is perhaps one of the most unique dining experiences I have ever seen—the vaulted ceiling, multi colored walls, and sheer size are fantastic! I am quite enamored with stainless steel kitchens, and with this example in particular; every detail within the space is deliberate, from the double island mounted sinks to the gleaming trio of milk glass light fixtures above said island, everything is thoughtfully and tastefully chosen. Warm wood paneling makes a return in the family areas of the home, behind the entertainment console of the large breakfast and family room space. Dark, shallow exterior pools surround these spaces.
The master bedroom has warm built-in bookcases—bookcases! I have a great affinity for whoever these current owners are and their relationship with books. The master bath with floor to ceiling white marble is simply delicious when paired with the warm wooden vanities and immense tub. The other family and personal spaces all center on these same principles of clean angles, warm colors, walls of glass, and timeless elegance.
The rear façade is a study in mannered, midcentury extravagance. Columns surround the entire structure, the walls of glass secured behind. There are only two repeated curves, those of the arches atop the pillars and those of the staircase windows, on the entire façade. From the rear it is even lead to by an expansive stone staircase from a tiered lawn, all set above a Bachman Branch Creek. A pool, private tennis court, and ample, rolling lawns dotted with mature oaks complete the grounds. The grand home exudes majesty, and rightfully embraces its endless grace.
10210 Strait Lane is currently listed by Faisal Halum of Dallas’ Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty office for $23,000,000. The house encompasses 6 bedrooms, 7 full and 4 half bathroom, within 11,387 square feet on a 6.45 acre, or roughly 281,000 square foot lot.
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