Floor 9, please. Not a lot of kids living in Dallas get to take an elevator home, but for sisters Kadia, 10, and Isala, 8, that’s a part of life. The duo, along with their parents, Bo and Tiffany Kice, and family dogs, Jackson and Doodlebug, live in a high-rise W Hotel Victory residence. For most, downtown is a destination to visit, but for the Kice family it’s home.
This was only supposed to be a one-year fling while the family built a new home, but the temporary experience turned into a long-term lifestyle the entire family enjoys. “We asked the girls if they wanted to live in a house, because we thought we’re taking a back yard away from them, but they said no, we want to stay,” Tiffany says. Four years later they’re still not missing that back yard – or the yard work. Making the commitment to stay, they moved into a larger 2,300-square-foot space with a 200-square-foot terrace in the South Tower. Bo and Tiffany aren’t new to high-rise living, since the pair spent two years living in a loft in Germany shortly after they got married. They knew the space would benefit their tight-knit family. “When you live in a small space, the family has to be together,” Tiffany says. “You don’t go off into this wing of the house to do your own thing.” Since both parents work – Bo as a senior technical director at AT&T, Tiffany as CFO of Chuck E. Cheese Entertainment – they wanted their home life to function with ease. “Living here helps that balance,” Tiffany says. “There are lots of services available to get things done, and the space is small so it’s easier to maintain.”
The sleek interior and open floor plan boast a panoramic view of downtown skyscrapers, but the real attraction is the Jean Paul Gaultier sofa the family recently purchased from Roche-Bobois. Looking to replace their orange Ligne Roset Togo sofa, Bo and the girls immediately flocked to the distinctive sofa. Tiffany, however, had her doubts. “I never wear prints, so it was going to take some convincing,” she says. “Bo kept saying, ‘It’s going to work, it’s going to work.’ It has lots of flexibility, and for me the first thing it has to be is functional and then it has to be beautiful.” The distinctive sofa sits on the dark wood floors and brings art and color into the white, minimal space.
Like the sofa, everything in the home was a mutual decision. The couple that met on a blind date share a love for traveling and culture. They purchased many of the eclectic pieces and artwork during their travels around the world. Their favorite “treasure” is the Remo Bianchedi installation they stumbled upon during a visit to Buenos Aires, Argentina. The girls make their own decisions when it comes to decorating their rooms. Kadia saw a fabric streamer display in an Anthropologie window and decided to make it for her room, and Isala uses old wooden crates to display her American Doll collection. Bo, an avid sports fan, used his powers of persuasion to elucidate the reason why an 80-inch television would really be the best thing for the large white wall in the living area. “He’s in heaven,” Tiffany says. Adds Bo: “It’s changed the experience of TV-watching, and proportionally it fits.”
The girls agree. It’s just one more reason why friends love coming over to their house. The others include endless bike riding on the nearby Katy Trail and visits to the aquarium and museums, all within walking distance. On the weekends they like to take their scooters for a jaunt to the West End, experiencing the city in a way most kids never do. “I like the two pools,” Isala says. Yes, that’s right – they have full access to the W Hotel pools year round. And Mom and Dad like that they don’t have to clean said pools. Bo and Tiffany take advantage of living downtown as well, enjoying live concerts at The House of Blues, walking to Mavericks games or going on an “ANO, Adult Night Out” with their friends.
Moving nine floors up doesn’t isolate them or keep them from having a sense of community. “There are a lot of people that you can meet,” Kadia says. “Our neighbors throw parties and invite everyone in the building.” With a moment’s notice, their home is open for guests of all ages. “We want to be the house where kids come, because as a mom you get to have a lot of insight that way,” Tiffany says. “And we’ve always wanted to create an environment that’s comfortable and everyone wants to be here.”