Albertina Cisneros' Painted HomeBy Lisa Martin
After settling in Preston Hollow a decade ago by way of Venezuela, Miami and New York, Albertina Cisneros began fashioning a life steeped in family, philanthropy and design. Today, she runs The Child Brain Foundation, which she founded in order to support pediatric neurological research primarily at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, while also maintaining her thriving style blog, Mimosa Lane. With her namesake 8-year-old daughter poised at the center of both her and her husband, pediatric neurologist Dr. Juan Pascual’s lives, Cisneros set about creating a sophisticated yet child-friendly home to welcome family and friends.
“When we built next door to my parents two years ago, we knew we wanted lots of light,” explains the self-taught designer and self-described lover of beauty who earned her degree in finance from Boston College and MBA from New York University. To that end, expansive windows framed in steel and dark wood adorn the first floor of the 5,500-square-foot residence. Because of the sizzling Texas sun, she added blackout shades to the two downstairs bedrooms and bypassed any fussy fabric treatments, a decision that helps reinforce her streamlined aesthetic.
Her daughter’s room, which Cisneros completed last month for the popular, web-based #OneRoomChallenge (which she had to complete in six weeks and document her progress along the way), resonates with timeless elegance along with a dash of whimsy. Like most of her projects, Cisneros, approached the space with an overarching concept in mind before making her selections on everything from palette to individual pieces:
“It doesn’t look like a little kid’s room,” Cisneros says. “I wanted to design a space that’s classic and can grow with her. If in the future she wants to move upstairs near her playroom, this could easily transition to a guest bedroom.”
Cisneros started with a pair of painted headboards that her parents handed down to their only grandchild. The antique, gold-accented headboards helped influence the choice of wall color — a serene mint green called Lacewing by Sherwin-Williams. She then further adorned the walls with what’s become her signature element: picture frame molding.
“It’s so simple but has so much impact, like something you’d see at a French hotel,” explains Cisneros, who also incorporated the look in her fabulous lilac-colored walk-in closet as well as what’s arguably the chicest mudroom in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. “You can get the molding at a Home Improvement store like Lowe’s. I spray painted it and had a carpenter install it.”
She and her daughter selected a custom overhead lantern, also painted green, from Coleen & Company, and had bedskirts and shams made from a festive plaid by Brunschwig & Fils. A Carol Summers print — another gift from the grandparents — hangs between the beds while Cisneros commissioned a painting by Austin-based artist Hayley Mitchell for the space above the blue bone inlay dresser, a score she found at HomeGoods. A favorite element of the room is the clear acrylic hanging bubble chair, which Cisneros describes as the perfect reading nook.
“I love that the #OneRoomChallenge makes me accountable for finishing a room,” she says. “Otherwise I could take forever.”
For her husband, Cisneros designed a library in a rich gray and brown color palette.
“I gave a lot of thought to the library, which is a generous-sized room with a fireplace,” she says. “My husband loves studying and reading, and we wanted a comfortable place for all his books that also feels cozy.”
She intended the nearby family room “to feel a little more formal than a regular family room.” So Cisneros took cues from the palette of the adjacent black and gold kitchen when selecting furniture, including the dramatic brass-accented credenza that sits beneath a wall-mounted TV. She repurposed a graphic rug by Stark carpet that she originally purchased years ago for the couple’s first apartment and bought a Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams sectional upholstered in dark gray. Soft pink pillows as well as brass accent pieces including a tray from online curator High Street Market provide contrasting textures along and alluring metallic tones.
The simple, light gray-colored dining room, which opens onto the porch, sits at the center of the first floor and often serves as the epicenter of the family’s entertaining efforts. Above an expansive table hangs a jubilant Jonathan Adler fixture.
“I love to cook and invite friends over for dinner on Saturday or for lunch on Sunday,” Cisneros says. “I’ll take out my silver, nice placemats and monogrammed napkins. I truly enjoy sharing our home with our friends.”
What are your favorite things to collect?
I love collecting necklaces and earrings and Fornasetti plates.
Where's your favorite place to shop for home furnishings or décor?
One King's Lane, 1st Dibs, Jonathan Adler and local stores like Scout Design Studio and Mecox Gardens.
What are your blooms of choice?
What's your go-to cookbook?
Anything by Ina Garten. Her recipes are foolproof and so good.
What's your favorite design blog?
The Zhush, The Makerista, Sketch42 and Marcus Design are just a few of my favorites.
What's your favorite thing in your home?
My grandmother's portrait, which hangs in the entryway, done by Francisco Ribera Gomez, who is from Spain but lived in Cuba, where he painted her portrait, for a while.
Who is your favorite interior designer?
Miles Redd and Lorenzo Castillo
Tea or coffee?
What are your favorite linens?
I love many brands but most of mine are from Schweitzer Linen in New York City. They are classic and heirloom quality.
Where do you go to splurge? Where do you go for a steal?
HomeGoods for a steal and Bergdorf Goodman’s for a splurge.
What's your favorite shelter magazine?
What's your favorite hostess gift to give?
A special and small vase with fresh flowers.
What's the best hostess gift you've ever received?
Wine from a winery that bears my name.
Who is your style icon?
Oscar de la Renta
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