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Bonnie Lance's Collected Gem

When Bonnie Lance first stepped inside the University Park Tudor that she and her anesthesiologist husband, Rob, bought six years ago, the jewelry designer felt the telltale tingle of love at first sight.
Pregnant with their third child at the time, this energetic young mother quickly set about juxtaposing family heirlooms, midcentury furnishings and ethnic treasures in a way that reflects her eclectic yet accessible style.
Lance’s aesthetic inclinations seem almost like a birthright. Growing up in the west Texas town of Monahans, Lance watched her artist father, Joe Basham, work in media ranging from watercolor to wood. Her mother, Carol Hurst, collected jewelry and intriguing objects on trips to exotic destinations all over the world.
As an undergraduate at Texas Christian University, Lance studied advertising and public relations but began making jewelry soon after graduating in December 1998. Her eponymous label took off thanks in part to the enthusiasm of celebrities like Jessica Simpson and Nicole Richie.
But Lance scaled back her thriving business as her family grew: son Hewes celebrates his ninth birthday this month, Willa is 7, and Shep is 5. Today, Lance sells her handmade collections mostly at in-home trunk shows hosted by friends. And with a friend, she launched Look Interiors in January; the business focuses on staging and styling high-end homes for the real estate market.
To make her own 3,400-square-foot residence function better, she and her husband embarked upon a major remodel this year. The renovation ultimately encompassed most of the first floor, with the reimagined spaces honoring the home’s 1920s-era heritage while conveying warmth and comfort along with a relaxed, kid-friendly vibe.
“Before, our office was cluttered and dark,” says Lance, who mentions that pre-redo, two desks dominated the cramped space. “There’s now a built-in case for my jewelry and a built-in desk for Rob. We brought in a table with four chairs around it so the kids can come in here and work [on] puzzles.”
Contractor Travis Rohde broke through a wall in order to connect the office to the expanded kitchen area.
“Five people is a lot and we wanted a way to spread out, so when it came to our kitchen, we were really looking for a more livable space,” explains Lance, adding that her family often congregates around the tulip table and built-in banquette as she pre- pares meals and experiments with recipes. Rohde also installed new cabinetry, white Silestone countertops and a second dishwasher. Plus, he refinished the wood floors original to the house, the look of which completely exceeded the couple’s expectations.

“A few areas of flooring had to be ripped out and patched, but it worked so well,” she says. “When I walked in after they’d stained all the floors I couldn’t believe it was actually my house!”
The workers also turned
their attention to the screened-in porch, one of the home’s features that initially attracted the Lances to the property in large part for its potential as a casual living space.
“My dad carved a sign for me that says ‘Hippy Hollow’ which we hung above the doorway to the porch,” she says. “Travis built a hanging bed that the kids love, and I recently had the floor painted in black and white tiles. It’s just a happy haven out there. We spend a lot of time together as a family out there.”
The couple tends to use the formal living at the front of the house for entertaining friends after the kids have gone to bed.
“My husband loves the wood- burning fireplace, and the seating in there — several midcentury pieces — is very comfortable.”
As a general rule, Lance avoids delicate upholstery, rugs and accessories. For the cushions on the built-in banquette in the kitchen, she opted for pragmatic (and wipeable) vinyl. “The last thing I want is to worry about is spills,” Lance explains.
That move, as much as any- thing, captures Lance’s philosophy on how her children should interact with their environment.
“It’s a great family home in part because nothing is too precious,” she says. “The kids really live here, which is exactly what I want.”