An Afternoon with Laura Lee Clark

Designer Laura Lee Clark was gracious enough to haul me around with her last week to look at a few projects. We met at her office overlooking Lee Park, inside 3303 Lee Parkway, a fabulous mid-century modern building. It brought back a lot of good memories -- I used to work at PaperCity eons ago, and their offices are on the 3rd floor.

I have a thing for Saarinen tulip tables, and I love this one in her office with its chocolate walls and Ghost chairs.

I thought I'd show you some of work by local artisans that Laura Lee hired for some of these projects. Even if it's not something you'd do inside your own home, you'll still be in awe of their craftsmanship and beauty:

Brad Oldham designed and forged all the hardware in this Preston Hollow house. (Click on the photos to see the details better.) My gosh, the hinges on this door are gorgeous!

He also created a floor with the family's crest on it

I love these dragon handles that Brad designed for the man's study. I won't tell you the family's last name, but it's very Irish.

Here's an overall shot of the Goth-inspired study, with dragon handles in background.

Here's a fantastic room inside the same Preston Hollow house. The the gold leaf and Venetian plaster walls make this small sitting room just magical. (Click on these images so you can see the details.)

The muralist is Dallas based Jackie Musso (You can't find her on line or in the phone book, but here's her number: 214-828-1249). Laura Lee says Jackie is originally from New Orleans, and while there did Emeril Lagasse's house.

In case you're wondering, the architect on the house was the amazing Robbie Fusch.

An attic room is in the Preston Hollow house is in the midst of becoming a castle. The ceiling and walls are Venetian plaster, with Jackie Musso's fantastic gold leafing.

More magic, outside: These antique faux bois table and chairs in the backyard were not created by a Dallas artist, but I couldn't resist taking a photo of them. Laura Lee took her clients shopping in Paris last year, and they found these at the Paris flea market:

One thing that amazed me, too, is that their gardener has to keep the gravel on the pathways throughout the grounds raked in these beautiful spirals on a continual basis. It feels very French, although I'm sure it's also very Japanese.

Our next stop was a grand house on Lakeside. Laura Lee hired an extremely talented seamstress in Dallas, Joan Cecil, to create the family monogram on these dining room chairs. Joan took inspiration from the Fortuny draperies in the room, she says. I tried to find a current phone number for Joan for you, but can't. If you want to get in touch with her, contact Laura Lee.

Just beautiful.

I'm seeing more and more big Italianate houses mixing it up with modern artwork, such as these two David Bates works, above and below.

In fact, I'll be shooting another big Italianate project by John Marrs soon that mixes it up with modern works from Kristy Stubbs, Craighead Green, and others locally.