Far North Dallas home layered with personality, warmth
By JAMIE KNODEL
A room doesn’t have to have much color to be warm, thoughtful and charming. In fact, it doesn’t have to have any. Paula Young has taken her passion for all things white and created a cozy and collected atmosphere. While you will find loads of texture and sentimental pieces in her North Dallas house, you won’t find anything but shades of white, from chalk and cream to almond and linen.
The sofas and chairs are white, and so are the antique secretary and buffet. Dressers, cabinets and side tables all wear the color. Windows and beds are dressed in it, too. Even her autumn pumpkins are white.
“Everything looks good on white,” says Young, who has added wood tones to the mix to keep her rooms from being too stark. “And white makes everything look bigger.”
Young layers her white rooms with vintage photographs and frames, antique silver and glassware, dried flowers, and glass cloches and wire domes that highlight special pieces.
The walls are filled with architectural salvage, worn and chipped shutters, aged windows and even pieces of furniture that have seen better days. One weathered drop-leaf table was dismantled, and individual parts were affixed to walls for decorative effect.
Young’s isn’t a look that comes together overnight; she’s been collecting furniture and accessories for years. The collector of cast-offs is a regular at flea markets, antiques stores and thrift shops. She also often takes home items from the curb and gathers branches and natural elements from neighbors’ yards.
“I’ll always stop and pick up finds,” says Young, 59, who shares her all-white house with her husband, Bob. She says he is crazy for the look, too, and has even dragged home a few pieces on his own.
One thing the New Orleans native and mother of two grown children can never pass up is wrought iron. “I never go home and come back without some new iron piece,” she says. And if it’s chipped and rusted, that’s even better.
The worn, aged look that Young has made her signature means that everything in her house has a story. The chair with the ripped upholstery in the master bathroom came from a beloved grandmother. A screen door hung in a rear foyer was picked up in Louisiana during Hurricane Katrina cleanup. The silver platters scattered throughout the rooms were used at the rehearsal dinner before her son’s wedding. “I can’t get rid of anything,” she says. “But living with the stuff that I like just makes me happy.”
After decades of helping friends and families style their homes, Young has left her job as an assistant at a school and is launching a business to help others showcase the things they love. Paula’s House takes the furnishings and pieces that a client already owns and enhances them through editing, styling and new placement.
“I’m using your things, but giving you a new look,” Young says. People mostly use their furniture only for its intended purpose, she says, and wind up with rooms that look like they are reproductions of store displays. Young finds ways to add personality and interest by highlighting collections that may have been tucked away, adjusting furniture layout and creating interesting vignettes for tabletops and bookcases.
“I just want people to love their things and love their rooms.” Young says. The initial consultation, which includes one hour of service, is $175; additional help is $75 an hour.
Paula’s House isn’t just for people who want the all-white look, says Young, who also works at the popular LaurieAnna’s Vintage Home in Canton on First Monday days. She’s comfortable with all styles — from cozy cottage to sleek and contemporary. “No matter the style, we’re finding ways for people to be happier in their homes.”
No Sign of the Cross on Arch
Not everyone driving onto campus through the Tudor Gothic arch - trying, as many do, to miss hitting the span in the narrow passageway – can easily notice that the artful span, the very symbol of the university, is incomplete.
A cross is missing from the top. Campus peer advocate Shannon Joyce didn’t notice until a family member pointed it out. “The one day, my dad and I were just talking and he goes ‘Did you realize the cross isn’t up there?’ and I was like, ‘I never looked when I was driving up to school.’”
The cross, which rested on top of the arch’s left turret, went missing sometime between the 1960s and 1980s. University officials speculate that it was removed due to weather damage or it may have fallen during a storm.
The span was built in the 1930s, and officials say the left turret was designed to be higher than the right as a representation of the infallibility of God. The right turret is significantly lower to represent the fallibility of humans.
The cross was made of wrought iron in a modified Celtic design and was approximately two to three feet high and one to two feet across. The ornate stone base of the cross remains.
Joyce feels that its absence misrepresents the school. “I see the cross as a religious symbol in general, just saying we’re open to people coming here if you have religious values,” said Joyce. “The arch is what makes our school different.”
Joyce said it’s not just only part of the school’s identity; it symbolizes her religious background. “Without the cross on top, I understand that everyone one is welcome, but it’s kind of like that emotional like ‘I came here because I am Catholic’ but on top it I am a Christian,” said Joyce. “The cross to me is something that I look to, and not seeing it there is really frustrating. It’s annoying.”
Joyce isn’t the only one who connects the cross with the school’s Catholic heritage. Since 2006 the arch – complete with a cross - has been the logo and symbol of the school. The rendering replaced the original seal logo that represented the school when it had college status. Jim Roberts, Director of marketing Communications, was at the forefront of the creation of the new logo.
“It was agreed that we should to come out with a new logo that incorporated university with the Misericordia and also to find the most iconic symbol we could that represented the university. It was agreed at that time that the entrance arch was very iconic, very recognizable and would be an appropriate symbol for the university going forward,” said Roberts. “It’s in many cases the first thing people see when they get to the Misericordia campus physically.”
Roberts said he made a conscious decision to include the missing cross as part of the design to represent the new university’s religious background. “Part of our strategic plan, part of our identity, we are a Catholic university. We decided that we wanted to feature both the Mercy cross, what you see in the center archway logo, which is representative of Catholic faith but also of the Mercies and some of their history and tradition. That cross was brought forward as a continuity element and then we added the cross on top, where it was originally, as part of the logo to indicate that Catholic faith.” said Roberts.
President MacDowell is well aware of the missing cross: hanging in his office is a painting by alumni Ellen Hiedrich in which the cross is not depicted on the arch. MacDowell purchased the piece when it was painted in 2001, and he donated it to the school. It will remain in the office after he retires in May.
MacDowell said that the school is in the process of replacing the arch, but that’s a complicated task. “So what we’re going to do is put the cross on there, a cross that actually is a replica of what was on there. We went to the archives and got the actual cross. It’s a Celtic cross,” said MacDowell. The complexity of the replacement effort centers around the condition of the arch. It was built with steel reinforcements, but over the years it had collected water, which has weakened the structure. Officials sought a bid for repair in 2008. The cost was $350,000.
Paul Murphy, Director of Campus Safety and Facilities, said the repair cost has risen. “Bear in mind that the price of $350,000 has gone up considerably because of inflation. That was four-and-a-half years ago so you can probably add in anywhere from two to five percent per year inflation,” said Murphy.
Officials say the cross replacements will be paid for through the university’s capital budget, but funds must be raised for arch renovation.
“Typically big ticket items are identified, such as that restoration and that would be a capital project. So every year we would do X number of capital projects, depending how much money was in the pot to spend. There’s urgency on some projects more than others,” said Murphy.
Replacing the cross is not a money issue, he said. It’s waiting for a price on a complex custom item.
“As soon we get the price from the company, I’ll share it with Mike. I know he wants to move forward with it,” said Murphy. “They’ll have to do some research to make sure that it’s going to be a unique item. You’re not going to Lowe’s or Home Depot. The mold will have to be specially made.”
Murphy said he believes the replacement is important and it might be completed prior to the larger, more costly, renovation project. “It’s part of our history. We want to restore it, and eventually it will be a part of the entire arch restoration, but it’s not a bad idea for the short term to install a new one.”
Vintage Vocals stage ‘sing-along’ with Doc at Hill Village
by Sally Litchfield
Inspired by his ability to draw musical pitches out of his anvil, Vintage Vocals, a women’s trio out of North Georgia, staged an impromptu ‘sing-along’ with Doc Cudd, master iron craftsman at Biltmore Estate’s Antler Hill Village on Nov. 10, opening day of the Estate’s holiday season. When he’s not working on projects in the Estate, Doc can be found in the Barn, heating and pounding out artful wrought iron objects for visitors to the village, teaching about his craft and playing his unlikely instrument.
Vintage Vocals, consisting of Philippa Anderson, Deb Gerace and Mary Slider have performed at Biltmore many times in the past. On Nov. 10, the group performed for Veterans Day weekend in Cordele, aboard the SAM Shortline Excursion Train for the Providence, Presidents and Patriots Special Run. For details, check with www.samshortline.com.
The unique trio Vintage Vocals performs eclectic vocal music for all occasions and all audiences. The ladies first performed at Christ Episcopal Church in Kennesaw where they all attend.
Dancing with the Stars alum Corky Ballas opens dance studio in Northwest San Antonio
by Leslie Mouton
Wrought iron railings line the balconies of colorful apartments. There are upscale shops, cafe dining and even a rail line that runs through the city.
But within this city is another city, and it’s dedicated to dance. iDanceCity is the first of its kind, high-tech dance studio, run by world champion dancer and instructor on Dancing With The Stars, Corky Ballas.
This unique dance studio has a giant and elegant, wooden ballroom floor. On each side of the ballroom, are several flat screen monitors hanging from the ceiling.
The screens are programmed with all levels of learning, so students can perfect their Paso Doble at their own pace.
“Whatever level you feel comfortable at, you get in front of those monitors, and live teachers walk up and down and dance with you to make sure you are progressing,” Ballas said.
Corky says what’s unique and wonderful about iDanceCity, is it works for dancers of all levels.
You can watch the monitors and mimic the moves until you master them. You can also practice with the instructors or even the other students.
“I also teach ballet body workouts and do personal training,” said Lauren Quiroz, one of the hired instructors. There is also a dance instructor for young kids.
Rather than pay for lessons to learn an individual dance, this place is set up like a gym membership.
Students pay a monthly fee of $50 and get unlimited access to all lessons. “If you want to take every class, it would come out to about 80 cents a class. That’s less than a cup of coffee” Corky said.
Ballas decided to open the studio in San Antonio because he says he sees the potential for huge success in this city.
A dancing craze has swept the country, and he hopes iDanceCity will get more people off the couch and ready to Rumba!
White Ideas for Your Home
White has ‘fresh’ associations. So, it makes you think clean sheets, new beginnings. Surprisngly, even though white is worn in mourning, it signifies a peaceful end and a journey toward a new beginning.
It’s synonymous with purity. That’s why, western brides, doctors and nuns wear it.
The canvas, the whiteboard, a blank paper…white, with its absence of colour, puts the mind at rest and extends an invitation to get creative!
When in doubt, choose white—for the walls, sofa set or bed linen. It provides the perfect template against which to play off your pops of colour and texture.
If a room lacks natural light, paint the walls a bright white and watch it brighten up and look more spacious!
If you have elderly guests or senior colleagues coming home, pretty up your place with a bunch of white flowers—they are serence and signify respect.
White blossoms are also a way of saying a heartfelt ‘Sorry’…they are symbolic of peace and surrender.
Lovely white candles on a wrought iron candelabra…always a heart-warming sight.
Brilliant red and orange peppers, a bunch of lush berries, colorful salad, creamy herbed risotto or pasta—what better to present them than on pristine white plates and bowls?
White on white can be wonderfully serene in the bedroom. Just accent it with pebbles, lavender sachets or candles, perhaps a bunch of blue posies…doesn’t just thinking about it make you feel relaxed?
Three areas of your home where white works best: bathing, cleaning, food (both kitchen and dining). These are places where dirt and grime need to show up against the spotlessness of white.
White goes with everything, and for a cool, timeless feel, all you have to do is combine it with blue.
Some say white can be cold. Not if you choose the right white accents. Fluffy white pillows, a distressed white cabinet, a gorgeous white chandelier—so warm and welcoming!