Home on the Range

Glen Rose, Texas

Project Details

  • Project: Home On The Range
    Location: Glen Rose, Texas
    Architect: John Pankratz

When these clients decided to build a house on their ranch near Glen Rose, Texas, they called me to help with the interiors.

Architect John Pankratz was already well into the design process when I was first brought on board.  For these clients it was important that their ranch house serve not only as the heart of a working ranch but also as a place to entertain in close proximity to the city.  One of the first details I remember about the ranch project was that I arrived at the client’s house in Dallas and saw a room filled with exotic game heads.  The husband is a big-game hunter, and the couple goes on safari almost every year. Many of the mounted heads would be used in our final design. There is something truly striking and magnificent about the heads, and I never objected to including them in the design. 

The stone house is situated on a very large ranch that the family has owned for many years and is at the highest point of the property, with a view of the valley below. All around are soft, rolling hills. It feels like an iconic Texas ranch. Entering the living room, one sees large French doors and, above them, clerestory windows. Though the ceiling height and the windows give it an expansive feel, it is not a huge room. It feels cozy and intimate. A large leather sofa faces the fireplace, which has built-in bookcases on either side. A pair of lamps made from African vases sits on an iron-and-marble French 1940s console. The centerpiece of the seating area is a coffee table I found in Paris after we first began working on this house. 

The dining room is adjacent to the living area. The clients already had the carved German commode, above which we hung a nineteenth-century Indonesian tapestry. The dining table is a heavy farm table with large comfortable leather chairs around it and a French nineteenth-century alabaster chandelier hanging above. On the opposite side of the living room, doors lead to the master-bedroom wing. The ebonized carved bed is heavy and in keeping with the style of the house. The Bennison duvet is linen with an oak-and-acorn design, which is appropriate, given the many live oak trees on the property. A custom antelope rug by Stark warms the room, and a pair of comfortable English club chairs sits near the window.

The clients later added an additional master suite on the other side of the house, with an added loggia leading to the new suite. I happened upon a beautiful French cerused demilune and I knew it was perfect for this location. It is flanked by a pair of bergères upholstered in buttercream velvet, which play beautifully against the stone wall. I love the sparkling decanters on a tray against the rock. It’s a great example of the kind of contrasts that always interest and excite me. The new master suite has incredible views of the rolling hills the house overlooks. We repeated the antelope rug from the other master suite and used an iron bed the clients already owned. We designed new bedding and used ceramic butterscotch bedside lamps on either side of the bed. Of course, two animal heads made it to this part of the house as well!