Urbanites at heart, Steve and Amy Hall, co-founders of Driver’s Select, a Dallas-based automotive dealer, say they thrive in a fast-paced world; so three years ago, when they set eyes on their 12th-floor condo at the W Dallas Victory Residences, they were immediately smitten. With a new baby (Aidan, now 4) to consider, however, the obvious question was: Is it family friendly?
Mom Amy says yes and adds, “We were surprised to find there are many families living in the building—several on our floor.”
With round-the-clock concierge, close proximity to restaurants and family-friendly environs, what more motivation can a true urbanite need? So, working together with architect David Cadwallader and interior designer Alissa Sutton, the team set out to create an urban retreat that catered to their young family’s needs, which now includes a second son, Cameron, 8 months. The results (along with the skyscraper view) are breathtaking.
Respecting the most important factor of living in a high rise, the Halls knew they had to make the most out of every inch of available space. First, they revised the home’s floor plan, combining two units into one. The extra square footage made way for two bedrooms in addition to a master suite—one to be molded into a bedroom and another to house a playroom.
Hall then mapped out design ideas with inspiration gleaned from South Beach, a place she finds to be colorful and reenergizing. In the home’s spacious living room, rich, turquoise walls pose a refreshing juxtaposition with the room’s all-white accents and furniture. Surprisingly, her white furniture is forgiving of messes: “It’s so easy to clean because the pieces are made of durable leather,” reveals Hall. She also sheepishly notes that she wipes the couch off daily with Lysol wipes, even though the design-conscious mom knows that she probably shouldn’t.
As a nod to the glittering city lights (seen through the condo’s floor-to-ceiling, southwestern-facing windows), Hall utilizes shiny accents in the living room—stainless steel and glass (apparent in the room’s Quantum Freeform table from Cantoni and the towering, white glass-tile column).
The sofa—an L-shaped, leather sectional from Roche Bobois—is a tufted, low-profile couch with rounded curves (perfect for kids). It separates the living area from the dining area. Adding grownup glimmer to the setting, a modern crystal chandelier sparkles over the glass dining table (Cantoni’s “Precipitation” light fixture).
It’s here, at the family’s table, Hall says she feels most at home. “We all sit together for dinner every night,” she adds. (After which, clean-up is a cinch thanks to the easy-to-wipe glass tabletop, leather-covered chairs and pewter-colored marble flooring).
Other kid-friendly surfaces make the kitchen space a great place for the brothers to help mom during frequent cooking experiments. And, located only an arm’s reach from the kitchen is the boys’ room and playroom. “The boys’ don’t share a room now [Cameron sleeps in a bassinet in the master suite], but the bunk beds are a great way to save on space once he’s old enough to sleep in a bed.”
The boys’ room is bedecked with firefighters’ equipment and thick white-and-red horizontal stripes race along the walls. Toys flow over into the neighboring playroom, which is joined to the boys’ room by a shared bathroom. Here, a kitchen set, comfortable lounge seating (a gigantic red LoveSac) and art supplies welcome little creative thinkers.
One minor con to living in a high rise, says Hall, would be the lack of a grassy lawn; however, Aidan has aptly decreed the family’s expansive terrace as his own backyard, spending hours riding his bicycle along the patio (or on ground level at nearby Katy Trail).
All in all, the family’s high expectations of high-rise living have met with resounding approvals from the entire family, says Hall, who adds that the building’s staff has even become an extended family to her kids. “Our boys are city boys,” she explains. “Here, we’re able to combine a lifestyle that we, as parents, love and a lifestyle that’s easy for our kids.” dc