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Paula Minnis' Boho-Luxe Home

A former fashion executive turned philanthropic entrepreneur has transformed the Bluffview home she shares with her husband, four children and three pets into a playful epicenter of family life. Paula Minnis, whose husband, Todd, is a commercial real estate agent and partner in the burgeoning Coyote Drive-In franchise, puts a high premium on organization to manage her hectic days.
“My decorating style leans toward a more eclectic, layered look, so a wooden toy left out on a coffee table adds to the atmosphere,” she says. “But I also work to create a foundation for the family where we can function and thrive but in an aesthetic way.” To that end, Paula keeps woven baskets for kid stuff in most rooms and cubbies for every family member to corral arts, crafts and mail. Forgiving fabrics on furnishings and crayon-proof paint on the walls also help.
“An apt way to describe our home and my decorating style might be ‘playful boho-luxe,’ with some Mid-Century modern furniture, combined with organic and ethnic pieces, with random flea market finds thrown in,” she says. “Since I’ve had the twins, I have definitely decorated more creatively than I ever had to before. We make more compromises in the décor now, but we still have the environment of an adult space.”
Nineteen-month-old Gabriella and Charlie share a room in the spacious, single-story home. “I’ve never been overly frilly or a big fan of pinks and purples for a girl or themes in children’s rooms, so we would have had the same style even if they’d been the same sex,” Paula says. The bedroom boasts vibrant rugs topped with a large sheepskin – ultra-soft on little knees and hands. Mementos of family life adorn the walls. Paula framed a portrait of a clown that Todd drew as a child. Stepson Will, 13, created a fabulous fish out of clay, while her 11-year-old stepdaughter, Genevieve, painted a watercolor zebra for the twins. Paula’s own contribution was a photograph of children she took on her honeymoon to Zanzibar.
Genevieve’s “big girl” room was a birthday present several years ago. With the help of Jon Tutolo – owner of the much-missed boutique Haven – Paula added colorful Suzani curtains around the bed, offsetting the linen duvet by Matteo Bedding. “Her room was the former master bedroom, so it’s huge,” Paula says. “She has my sofa from when I was single in an apartment!”
If Genevieve has the “princess room,” teenage Will has the hideaway, a small space tucked behind doors that blend with the living-room cabinetry. To maximize the square footage, they chose an elevated bed from IKEA and put a desk underneath. A large world map adorns one wall, complementing the blues and greens in his rug.
The kids tend to congregate in the game room, which doubles as Paula’s office for GAIA, which she founded after volunteering for the International Rescue Committee. GAIA employs eight women originally from Congo, Iraq and Burma to sew cloth napkins from vintage fabrics. Paula launched the business in 2009 to “help marginalized women by paying them a living wage and helping to lead them to a path of self-sufficiency and financial independence.” GAIA’s gorgeous items are available locally at Neiman Marcus, Forty Five Ten, Five & Ten, Madison, Cabana, Wisteria, Blue Print and Nan Lee in McKinney as well as other boutique and specialty shops around the country.
“We keep the textiles that are about to become GAIA items and all the completed GAIA inventory on shelves in there,” Paula says. “The kids play Wii and Xbox in there while I work.”
For such a stylish, multitasking mama, that sounds like a plan.
Published October 2013