Jill Wood’s discriminating eye for vintage fashion translates into the streamlined interiors of the single-story home she shares with her husband Mike and daughters Chloe, 9, and 5-year-old Devon. Sitting on nearly an acre in Lake Highlands, the 2,400-square-foot residence, built in 1962 by the historically significant Ju-Nel Homes, exudes a relaxed vibe that Jill enhances with architect-designed furnishings from the likes of midcentury luminaries such as Noguchi, Saarinen, Eames and Bertoia.
“I love the thrill of the hunt,” says Jill, who stocks her Etsy shop – Iamclothesminded Vintage – with a well-curated collection of fashions and accessories from the 1950s and ’60s. “Before we had kids, Mike and I would take weekend road trips to small towns in Texas and Oklahoma, where we would find all these incredible things.” These days, she frequents local thrift stores and estate sales in search of treasures for her home and business.
“Right now, I’m obsessed with finding mismatched thrift-store dishes in yellows, oranges and browns,” she says. “We have so many that my girls pick what they want to use each night.”
The family gathers around the Tulip table (purchased from the late, great Century Modern in Deep Ellum) for leisurely meals in the kitchen, a room Jill describes as “light and bright, warm and inviting. We don’t have any window treatments up, so you get a great view of the creek in the backyard.” Designed with privacy in mind, the house has a preponderance of windows facing the rear of the property rather than the street.
When their home was part of the White Rock Home Tour several years ago, the Woods learned that Jack Wilson and Lyle Rowley of Ju-Nel had salvaged the brick used for the flooring from a Chicago fire. “The builders were very progressive,” Jill explains. “They loved things like big ceiling beams throughout the house that continued outside, and cutouts for the trees on the back deck.”
The swanky living room boasts a towering hearth fashioned from flagstones arranged at random. The fireplace acts as a foil to the high ceilings, making the room feel cozy in spite of its large size. A pair of low-slung black Barcelona chairs along with a curvaceous couch and a Saarinen coffee table create a comfortable seating area.
While the Woods have kept most of the home’s original finishes and fixtures, they did expand the property to include a freestanding music studio for Mike, who plays drums with a New Orleans-style jazz band called Johnny Tone. “He’s dreamed of having a studio like that forever, so we loved the fact the house came with so much land,” says Jill, who says her husband has furnished the soundproofed studio with vintage guitars, drum sets and keyboards. “He’s a collector like me.”
Five-year-old Devon seems to have inherited the gene, eagerly accompanying her mother on “thrifting” excursions around town. “She’ll dig with me; Chloe, not so much.” Both girls’ bedrooms contain simple modern furnishings and colorful artwork. The Woods painted the master bedroom a tranquil blue; the shade is a nod to the expansive sky visible through the wall of windows.
“Mike studied architecture in school, and he’s pretty minimalist to the point he doesn’t even like hanging up family pictures,” Jill says. “I like a lot of stuff, but we have so many windows and so much light and color from outside that I’ve become more pared-down. I tell the girls I keep trying to simplify.”
And should she feel the hectic pace of life encroaching, Jill need only step onto her huge deck to take a deep breath and relax. “I love this little pocket of our neighborhood because of the greenbelt,” says Jill, who regularly spots foxes, coyotes, possums, bobcats and squirrels in her yard. “We may be only a few minutes from downtown, but out here we feel like we’re in our own little world.”
Published March 2014