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Building Character

For a family of Florida transplants, their eclectic new house in Dallas mixes Miami modernism with vintage charm.

GOING GREEN In the dining room, vintage Milo Baughman chairs have been reupholstered in a bold green velvet fabric. An Anthropologie mirror and deer bust from Avant Garden accent a vintage buffet that was lacquered white. The print is by photographer Lyle Owerko.

When Amy Bloom and her family moved from Miami to Dallas, there wasn’t much familiar about their new surroundings. So rather than move into a similarly unfamiliar home, Bloom, an experienced house flipper, wanted to create a home that was uniquely them—an eclectic mix, in her words, of “Miami modernism and tropical art deco, and vintage things with a lot of character.”

They found a perfect opportunity in a teardown in Highland Park, which offered good schools for their daughters and proximity to the amenities of their new city. Despite her extensive renovation experience, this would be Bloom’s first new build. So she hired Robert Elliott of Robert Elliott Custom Homes to oversee construction and architectural designer Brent Slocum of BK Design Studio to create the plans. They designed an open-concept main floor containing the kitchen, living and dining areas, with the private family area upstairs.

From a decor standpoint, Bloom wasn’t short on ideas. Having pored over magazines, blogs and Pinterest boards for inspiration, she knew exactly what she wanted and had already begun scouting for her dream home. “I had been shopping for the house for a number of years and filling up a storage unit with vintage items from local resale and websites,” she says. But even the most confident creative mind can use a second opinion. So she called in designer Melissa Enriquez of Gallerie Noir for guidance. They found common ground in their shared backgrounds (Enriquez had also lived in Miami) and similar points of view. The pair hit it off right away. “Amy and her husband were those special kinds of client who had a really clear vision of what they were looking for,” Enriquez says. “They were probably some of my easiest clients.”

“I came to her with a giant binder of all these things I had picked and told her, ‘I need somebody to edit me who knows what they’re doing to make sure I’m on the right path,’” Bloom says. And so it went: Bloom did the dreaming and scouting, and Enriquez had the resources and know-how to make Bloom’s ideas come to life. “She was amazing,” Bloom says of working with Enriquez. “I would tell her the idea and she would help me source it. She’s got such a great eye.”

HAVE A SEAT The kid-friendly breakfast nook features a Restoration Hardware table surrounded by Herman Miller chairs and a bench from Gallerie Noir. Leather barstools, also from Gallerie Noir, provide additional seating at the island.

One of Bloom’s grandest ideas was black-and-white flooring in the entry and formal dining room, inspired by the original Fontainebleau Miami Beach. Enriquez was immediately on board. “Black and white with brown wood is kind of my signature,” Enriquez says. “It’s one of those color palettes that can scare people, but it’s surprisingly warm and versatile. It creates a beautiful backdrop for anything else you want to add.”

Through it all, Bloom made sure the home would work for her family without sacrificing style. The focus was less on choosing, say, stain-resistant materials and more on function. “I think family-friendly translates differently to every family,” Enriquez says. “Amy wanted the house to have an element of being eclectic and fun. And it couldn’t look too staged or feel museumlike, where it’s not usable.”

To wit, they designed a cozy breakfast nook downstairs and a work area with sliding antique doors that can close to hide homework and messes. They added a pool and sandbox play area outside, as well as an indoor-outdoor patio with retractable screens where the adults can supervise. Upstairs, sophisticated bedrooms and a playroom can grow with the girls. In the end, Bloom says, “there’s not any place that kids and dogs can’t be. There’s room to dance and there’s room to play.” In fact, the Blooms regularly use every square inch of their 4,300 square feet—including some surprising spaces. “The whole family ends up spending a lot of time in our master bathroom while getting ready,” she says, laughing.

Though Bloom relished the experience and admits she’d love to do it again, for now, the family is more than content with their new home—and, in turn, their new city. “I didn’t feel like I completely fit in Dallas until we made a little piece of ourselves here,” she says. “This house makes us so happy.”


Single-family home


Interior Design
Melissa Enriquez

Robert Elliott Custom Homes

Antiques Moderne
Vintage chandelier in dining room

Pendant light over breakfast table

Cole & Son
Wallpaper in master bedroom

Gallerie Noir
Bench in living room, cowhide rug in office, bedside tables in master bedroom

Il Granito
Granite in kitchen and master bath

LDF Silk
Faux plants

Natural Selections
Granite flooring in entry and dining room

Front door

Timothy Oulton
Sofas in living room and office, marble table in dining room

Victoria & Albert
Bathtub in master bath