Artful and Open Dallas Townhome

Art comes first for Ken Maxwell. While some homeowners choose their art to match their interior, Maxwell followed his instincts and designed his home around his love for art. “I seriously considered going stark,” says Maxwell. “That’s a common design tendency for a lot of people in contemporary structures, but it doesn’t have to be the only option.”An avid supporter of young and upcoming artists, Maxwell acquired some locally produced large and bold pieces to serve as the main design inspiration for the rest of the house. The result is a gritty yet luxe, soiree-ready space full of comfort, color and intrigue.

Who lives here: Ken Maxwell
Location: Exposition Park, Dallas
Size: 3,000 square feet; 3 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms
That’s interesting: An art installation of 400 tiny white ceramic pistols hangs in the fourth-floor stairwell.

This colorful painting in the living room served as Maxwell’s primary inspiration — all of the bold colors in the home were pulled from this piece. The coffee table is a giant working puzzle; this functional piece of art rests on an oversize 100-year-old kilim rug.Oil painting and sculpture: Ricardo Paniagua; coffee table: Phillips Collection; sofa:Donghia; chairs: Fusion Home Fashion

contemporary living room by Valerie McCaskill Dickman

The massive living area is divided into four areas. Maxwell’s curated selection of oversize art distinguishes each space for a unique yet cohesive aesthetic. To achieve the desired museum effect, flat white ceiling paint was used on all noncolor walls and ceilings.
contemporary entry by Valerie McCaskill Dickman

The entryway, featuring artwork by John Spriggins, sets the creative tone of the home. Maxwell commissioned the original oil-on-newsprint piece after seeing similar creations by the artist. “I suppose it found me in a way,” says Maxwell. “I was taking my dog, Oswald, for a walk. He ran into 500X, a local gallery, and laid down right in front of a piece by Spriggins.”Table: estate sale

contemporary living room by Valerie McCaskill Dickman

Maxwell cites Frank Lloyd Wright as one of his greatest inspirations. “I believe in bringing the outside in,” says Maxwell. “The exterior plays a major role in the interior design, flow and color choices. I consider it all an integrated visual experience.”Coffee table: vintage Knoll; artwork: Sandra Leveson; chairs: High Camp Home; cubes and stenciled bench: Fusion Home Fashion

traditional kitchen by Valerie McCaskill Dickman

While the kitchen area isn’t as large as Maxwell would prefer, he makes the most of the space. “It transforms into a great bar for parties, and the long, narrow space helps reduce loitering behind the scenes,” says Maxwell.
by Valerie McCaskill Dickman

This Italian étagère is a modern take on the china hutch. It serves double duty as a utilitarian piece and artful display, thanks to strategic lighting and an accessible arrangement of serveware, books and audio equipment.
traditional dining room by Valerie McCaskill Dickman

The geometric dining table is made of edged glass on top of a piece of solid carved stone. Maxwell often uses the evergreen planter as a foundation for custom party florals. “It’s a great vase alternative,” says Maxwell. “Keeps it low and interesting.”Table: custom artisan piece; chairs: Donghia; fabric: de Le Cuona; planter: Dirt

contemporary hall by Valerie McCaskill Dickman

A fan of alternative perspective, Maxwell pays homage to the average can with this tasteful display atop a custom-designed credenza.Can photography: Ben Cornford; can vases: The Wooden House

contemporary staircase by Valerie McCaskill Dickman

Another piece by Ricardo Paniagua, “Red Wings,” appears to soar in a landing of Maxwell’s dramatic multilevel stairwell. “The first floor is visible from the landing,” says Maxwell. “Aside from being a great work of art, this piece provides continuity.”
contemporary bedroom by Valerie McCaskill Dickman

A red accent wall appears in four locations throughout the home. It started with the artwork that initially inspired the home’s bold scheme; here it enlivens the guest bedroom.Accent wall paint: Chinese Red, Sherwin Williams; photography: Michael Maurer; bedding: Neiman Marcus (no longer available); architectural console: High Camp Home

contemporary home office by Valerie McCaskill Dickman

An otherwise sparse office contains several open shelves displaying industry awards and memorabilia that inspire Maxwell, including a painting from his childhood home that sparked his love of art. A glass dining table was repurposed as a sleek desk.Accent wall color: Freedom Blue, Glidden; Barcelona chair set and table/desk: Design Within Reach; cowhide mirror: High Camp Home

contemporary bedroom by Valerie McCaskill Dickman

The master suite is more subdued than the rest of the house. “It’s just a relaxing space with great light,” says Maxwell. “If I needed to, I could manage to live just in this 400-square-foot area.”Wall color: Hearth, Sherwin Williams; painting, David McCullogh; couch: Crate and Barrel; chair: Fusion Home Fashion; tables: Brueton

modern bathroom by Valerie McCaskill Dickman

Strong, solid lines and understated decor keep the masculine Japanese-style master bath simple.
modern hall by Valerie McCaskill Dickman

Maxwell commissioned young artist Alfredo Salazar-Caro to create a new piece for the fourth-level stairwell. Called “Happiness Is a Warm Gun,” it is the artist’s very first installation and is a commentary on commonplace gun imagery. Ironically, it appears serene and beautiful — like a swarm of butterflies — from the base of the stairwell.
contemporary patio by Valerie McCaskill Dickman

The fourth-floor stairwell leads to Maxwell’s rooftop entertaining area, where he hosts an annual Fourth of July fete.Frank Gehry Left Twist Cubes: Design Within Reach; all other furniture: eBay

contemporary patio by Valerie McCaskill Dickman

Maxwell’s rooftop proves that urban dwellings can be pet friendly. Maxwell installed this rooftop relief area for Oswald using K9 Grass by Forever Lawn.
eclectic kitchen by Valerie McCaskill Dickman

Maxwell installed a small kitchen adjacent to his rooftop deck, where he and guests frequently dine al fresco. “I tired of the four-flight marathon whenever something was needed from the kitchen,” he says. “I got everything at Ikea. It was cost effective and makes a world of difference.”
contemporary exterior by Valerie McCaskill Dickman

Dallas architect Ron Wommack designed the ultimate urban oasis for Maxwell, an open space with plenty of light, all without sacrificing privacy or curb appeal.
Courtesy of: Houzz
Article by: Valerie McCaskill Dickman