December 12, 2007

Wherein a bon vivant biz exec knows precisely who to call to turn up the heat in his modernist house: two globetrotting architects who just happen to be his good friends. Good-bye, black floors and white furniture — hello, Buddhas, slides, limestone and leather.

Lounge Act. The luxurious living room, with its long sofa by Modénature at HaRoo & HaRoo, SC^ rug by Niels Bendtsen from Satia Art + Floor at Scott + Cooner and sexy slipper chairs from Donghia’s Panama Collection. The iron and glass table was designed by homeowner Robert Hallam Jr. and his aunt, Fanchon Hallam, and fabricated by The Nelson Line in Dallas, which also made the iron fireplace surround, designed by Gonzalo Bueno and Mauricio Lobeira. The cylindrical table of petrified wood and iron, directly in front of the fireplace, is by artist Larry Whiteley, from Forty Five Ten. Over the fireplace, Mary Hood’s Almost Heaven, incorporating the artist’s sketchbook in the center. Custom lighting throughout by Dennis Jones at City Lites.

You could say that Robert Hallam Jr. is a good-time guy. As the young vice president of marketing for Ben E. Keith’s beverage division — think Budweiser, Michelob, Kirin and Grolsch — raucous events and nonstop fun are a way of life. Pleasure is his business. But after almost 10 years of coming home to painted black floors and bright white sofas (the place was, he admits, a little too “Nightclubby”), Hallam was ready to evolve his own environs iced down to warmed up.

Enter Mauricio Lobeira and Gonzalo Bueno, design partners in Treceavo Plano, their firm in Monterrey, Mexico and Ten+3, the Dallas branch of same. Because Bueno live mostly in Dallas and Lobeira mostly in Monterrey, the two have learned that when they are actually standing together in the same project space, they have to think fast, come to conclusions and not look back. “We try to put it all together at once,” Bueno says of the design plans for their commissions, which have ranged from a Jaguar dealership in Monterrey to a penthouse in Mexico City to the shuttered Stolik restaurant here. So when Hallam was ready to roll up the sisal and sweep his 20s out the door, he called on his friends Lobeira and Bueno for a full-on renovation and redecoration. The house, as they say, had the proverbial good bones — it’s a 1996 cubic composition of lofty spaces by architect John Boyd, tweaked by its builder and original owner, caterer Wendy Krispin — but over the past year, comprehensive changes to the interior have meant the infusion of everything from streamlined cabinetry to chic limestone floors. (Hallam loved the floors at the former Calvin Klein store in Highland Park Village; Bueno says that manager Barbara Boettigheimer “was kind enough to give the secret away” — and now Hallam has the identical battier azul Spanish limestone from the same quarry.) But it was in the furnishings where the mercury rose the most: In came luxuriously long sofas, capacious chairs and commodious tables, all in masculine, organic shapes but enlivened with architectural classics by Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier. Nightclub no more: Hallam’s inner sophisticate started to show. Even his modern art collection go shuffled about — “so it would feel fresh,” Bueno says — and mixed in with new Asian and Latin American objets d’art, which “add some complexity,” home-owner Hallam says, to the otherwise angular lines and surfaces. The result? More drama. “He like the drama,” confirms Bueno, who always thought the house “looked to ‘SMU,’ and not like a VP at a big company.” Now, says Hallam, “it’s a more mature, finished place, with more warmth and depth.” He pauses. “A place that reflects my own growth.”

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