Up in the Air

Dallas, Texas

Project Details

  • Project: Up In The Air
    Location: Dallas, Texas
    Architect: Lionel Morrison of Morrison Dilworth + Walls

These clients are well-known philanthropists who have long been active with the city’s cultural institutions, particularly the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

When the W Dallas Victory Hotel and Residences broke ground, they saw an opportunity to have an alternative urban getaway, a place where they could entertain near the city’s sporting and cultural centers.

Before construction was complete, they purchased the entire twenty-ninth floor of the W Residences, with more than 11,000 square feet of interior space and some of the most spectacular, soaring views anywhere in Dallas. Lionel Morrison of Morrison Dilworth + Walls was hired as the architect.  It was decided at the start that the central area of the twenty-ninth floor would be made into an entertainment space with a massive bar for hosting large groups. This would leave two equal units on either side of approximately 5,000 square feet each, where the clients’ grown children would each have their own residences.

Their daughter had a vision from the start. Because she loves color and combining color with white, that became a common thread throughout her space. She found a lot of interesting pieces on her own, discovering, for example, a vivid amethyst chandelier in Los Angeles to go with the yellow satin Louis XVI–style chairs I’d found in Paris. The architecture revolves around the city views, and so did the design. The loft-like interior has few walls, and windows everywhere, so we focused on using low-profile, light, and—in the case of a Lucite dining table—transparent furniture.

One of my favorite things about working with this client is her complete fearlessness about mixing old and new. She’s never reluctant when it comes to blending styles and periods. In her entry hall, we used an eighteenth-century piano, a nineteenth-century Napoleon III mirror, twentieth-century Louis XV–style chairs from the Eden Roc Hotel, and a 1950s clear Murano chandelier. They work together in such a smart and unexpected way.

The views made her bedroom one of the biggest challenges of all. There are two walls that are not glass—one of which definitely could not accommodate a bed. The other wall was the obvious choice for the bed, but it didn’t allow for the best view of the city, which she wanted to see upon waking in the morning. That view was nonnegotiable as far as she was concerned, so we fabricated the headboard itself as a wall in the corner. On the opposite side of the room, we created a matching upholstered corner wall, which contains a seating area. One of my favorite color combinations is Benjamin Moore’s Palladian Blue mixed with almost any green. So the headboard and seating walls were made of a silk in that color, accented with green lamps on either side of the bed and a chic green chair in the sitting area. “Spa-like” is a term so ubiquitous that it’s almost meaningless, but in this bath, it couldn’t be more accurate. The room truly is like a spa in the sky. 


On the son’s side of the retreat, sports reign. He is an avid fan who loves sports memorabilia and comfortable seating for watching games on TV. He’s very tactile and sensitive to texture. In designing the space, we had to be certain that every fabric, carpet, and rug passed his touch test. Most people imagine retreats in ocean or mountain settings, but this retreat is twenty-nine stories in the sky in the middle of one of the most exciting cities in the world.