July 12, 2005
Mexican designer Gonzalo Bueno spices up his new Dallas home.
Gonzalo Bueno and business partner Mauricio Lobeira have projects that run the gamut: an award-winning Jaguar dealership in Monterrey, Mexico, a sexy cityscape pent house in Mexico City, a 7,000-square-foot restaurant/bar in Miami Beach, and tony residences from Puerto Vallarta and Garza Garcia, Mexico, to Preston Hollow in Dallas, Headquartered in Monterrey for the past 12 years, the two dazzled us a year ago with their design for the dearly departed Stolik restaurant. (The fact that the décor was more memorable than the fiery Portuguese-influenced fare in a testament to Bueno’s talent.) Recently, Bueno and Lobeira opened a stateside base here in Dallas named 10+3 — a take on the name of their Mexican firm, Treheavo Plano (“Treheavo” means 13th in Spanish).
Business is so good that Bueno has bought a residence in Dallas, on of the first CityHome townhouses built on Travis Street. He quickly set about remaking it in his self-proclaimed “contemporary style with an eclectic twist.” Through very deliberate placement of furniture, art and accessories, Bueno has achieved a Zen-like balance despite the strong asymmetry of the architecture and its contents.
Good lighting is essential to effective décor, so that’s where Bueno began. As he tells it, “I changed the lighting everywhere except the garage.” From museum-like spots that highlight worthy pieces to a commissioned chandelier (created by Mexican glass artist Roberto Chapa) that doubles as artwork, careful positioning of fixtures renders every room and dramatic.
The most powerful impact comes from the dark, rift-swan oak wall added by Bueno. This stair enclosure allows the second level to be slowly revealed when you walk up the stairs, and its ebony finish and substantial visual weight dramatically transform the main living floor into a more elegant, intimate space.
Bueno also opened up the kitchen by replacing the island with a bar-height glass and steel table, designed architectural pockets to conceal heavy, motorized drapery hardware, traded standard powder room cabinetry for an imaginatively adapted planter-cum-sink placed atop a floating iron console, and added a skirt to an existing granite pass-through for the illusion of a built in buffet.
The place was originally cold and rigid, but Bueno transformed it into a resonant, romantic space with a palette of toasty browns, shimmering silvers, and earthy naturals. The selection of textiles — supple leathers, nubby linen blends, and silk mohair velvets — begs to be touched. Bueno designed much of the furniture, such as a cantilevered console of white marble and clear acrylic. In the master bedroom is a custom platform bed flanked by side tables from 10+3’s Petra Collection of indoor/outdoor pieces.
Bueno’s Dallas home is an urban retreat, an oasis of civility. “Clients want to breathe in their homes, no matter how small the space may be. They are treating their homes as sanctuaries, trying to create serenity,” says Bueno. He’s done just that.