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By Jessica Otte | Photo: James Schroder | April 12, 2016
Dallas couple Mark and Sharon Kane enlist a dream team of design professionals to craft a minimalist home that’s everything they need—and nothing they don’t.
Sometimes it takes having what you don’t want to realize what you do.
Such was the case for Mark and Sharon Kane. For years, they lived in the most recently developed part of Dallas’ tony Preston Hollow neighborhood, where tight lots and large homes left little room for privacy. They rarely spent time outside. Inside, the floor plan was riddled with wasted space, like a second-floor media room they never used. Plus, the home’s French country aesthetic felt overwrought and cluttered over time. The Kanes were ready for a change. “If I never had another knickknack in my house again, I’d be all right,” Sharon says with a laugh.
Like many empty nesters, they considered going the high-rise route but eventually ruled it out, deciding instead to build their dream home. The search for the perfect lot ultimately led them just a few miles down the road—to Old Preston Hollow, which offers the sprawling lots, winding roads and off-the-grid feel they were looking for. They snagged a 1.27-acre tree-lined lot and enlisted David Stocker of Stocker Hoesterey Montenegro Architects to help them execute their vision. “I told David if there was anything he’d been dying to try that this was the house to try it on,” Sharon says, “because I wanted something very different.”
She wasn’t kidding. What the Kanes asked Stocker to deliver—a bright and airy contemporary—was a complete departure from their existing home. They spoke at length with Stocker about how they lived and their must-haves for the house. Sharon’s included a well-appointed kitchen, lots of natural light and a warm feel. Mark wanted fireplaces throughout, a pool that felt natural to the lot and a space where he could relax. But just as crucial to the conversation were those things they didn’t need: a wine cellar, for instance, or another underutilized media room. “They asked for well-used spaces, and that’s what we gave them,” Stocker says.
After a year spent perfecting the plans and selecting materials with Stocker Hoesterey Montenegro’s in-house design team, the Kanes were ready to break ground. They turned to Mark Danuser of Tatum Brown Custom Homes, who worked in seamless partnership with Stocker and landscape architect Bill Bauer of The Garden Design Studio. One of the home’s most striking design elements, in fact, was a collaboration between all three: cantilevering the front of the house over water. “It took a lot of smart engineering and good steel work,” says Danuser. “It was a challenge but definitely worth it.”
With nothing but their mattress making the move to the new house, the Kanes worked with designer Gary Riggs to furnish the space with comfortable, colorful pieces. “You get into some houses where you’re afraid to sit down, and that was not what we wanted,” Mark says. “I wanted it to be happy and fun,” Sharon adds.
In the end, everything came together exactly as the Kanes envisioned. Though minimalist in design, the interior feels anything but cold thanks to the blend of natural materials used inside and out. Paneless, floor-to-ceiling Unilux windows allow natural light to flood the house. (Per Sharon’s directive to “try things,” Stocker designed a series of vertical louvers in the living room that can be closed to offer shade and privacy.) Mark got his study, four fireplaces and an infinity-edge pool; Sharon got her top-of-the-line kitchen.
At a little more than 5,800 square feet, the house is modest by area standards, but it fits the couple to a T. “Mark and Sharon didn’t want big,” Danuser notes. “They wanted perfect.” The homeowners use every square inch of space, with the possible exception of the upstairs bunkroom, which was built in anticipation of future grandchildren. But Mark—the founder of CD Warehouse and Movie Trading Company whose latest venture is Keeks, a designer handbag buy-sell-trade business—says he and Sharon are even enjoying their backyard now that they don’t have neighboring homes to contend with. “We just really enjoy being out on the—they call it the loggia. It’s a porch. I guess at this price point they call it a loggia,” Mark says, laughing.
This being the couple’s first build, Sharon reflects on how much she enjoyed the process. “I’d do it again in a heartbeat,” she says, “but I can’t imagine what could be better than this.”
David Stocker, with Stephen Lohr and Cassie Watson
Stocker Hoesterey Montenegro Architects
Tatum Brown Custom Homes
The Garden Design Studio
Gary Riggs Home
Exterior metal on second floor
Etched glass panels in kitchen