It took Phil Boustani and Ted Schweitzer a full year to find the perfect piece of land, but when they finally nabbed a half-acre corner lot near Greenway Parks, it turned out to be more than worth the wait. The couple had already found their match in Marc Kleinmann of Bauhaus Custom Homes—a design-build firm known for its modern, energy-efficient dwellings—and they already knew precisely the type of house they wanted to put on the property. The trio spent six months designing the four-bedroom home, followed by a year of building. “It’s a long process,” Schweitzer says, “but it’s much better [than renovating].” Boustani agrees: “It’s been a labor of love,” he says. “We both renovated previous homes, and the renovations just go on and on and on. When you build, you get it exactly the way you want it.”
What Boustani and Schweitzer wanted was an open, contemporary space with clean lines throughout. They also wanted their home to be conducive to entertaining large crowds. The couple often hold charitable events for groups such as Lambda Legal and the Human Rights Campaign, in addition to fundraisers for various political candidates, so the house needed to be up to the task. To that end, Kleinmann devised a floor plan that allows every major room in the house—including the master suite—to open directly onto the expansive backyard. A wall of sliding glass doors separates the indoor living area from the outside, making the 5,000-square-foot house feel twice its size. The double-height ceilings add to the effect. The formal living room, dining room, kitchen and family room are essentially one large space, but subtle dividers between the rooms create multiple areas for guests to congregate. Other entertainment-focused touches include a bar near the entry and a prep kitchen off the main kitchen. “It’s a party house,” says Kleinmann.
It’s also a highly energy-efficient house. In addition to being the first residence Bauhaus built that has full exterior foam board encapsulation, which greatly reduces heating and cooling costs, it was also the first house the firm built using an innovative framing system called Ready-Frame. “[The wood] gets pre-cut at a factory,” Kleinmann says. “All the framers have to do is assemble it on-site.” Because there is no cutting involved, Ready-Frame dramatically reduces job site waste.
Though Boustani and Schweitzer called in the pros at Bauhaus for the design and building of their home, when it came to decorating the house, they tackled that job themselves—with a little help from design-minded pals. “We had friends with opinions,” Schweitzer says, “which certainly came in handy.” Furnishings from Cantoni, Modani and Zuri share space with art the couple has collected over their 13 years together, including one-of-a-kind pieces picked up on their world travels. A batik they found in Indonesia catches the eye in the master bedroom, and in the upstairs office, shelves are filled with antiquities from Cambodia, Laos, Brazil, Haiti, Lebanon and more. You’ll also see works by Dallas artists such as Scott Gentry, who created the luminous alabaster sculpture perched on a pedestal near the kitchen. “In our opinion,” says Boustani, “what makes a room is variation.”
That blending of styles, in addition to the collaboration between Kleinmann and the homeowners, resulted in a special home filled with personal touches as well as some risk-taking firsts on the part of the builder and designer. “Phil and Ted were really clear on the features they wanted and the things they did not want to budge from, but then they were very open in other areas,” says Kleinmann. “It’s always fun when you get a client who gives you the creative freedom to execute something that everybody can be very proud of.”