“I went kicking and screaming to Dallas,” laughs designer Joslyn Taylor of her move down South 20 years ago for her husband’s job relocation. “I’d lived in Northern California my entire life so the thought of moving somewhere else was difficult.” Missing her childhood home, Taylor often found herself trying to recreate her Northern California roots in the South through the interior design of her new house, but nothing ever quite fit the laid back, bohemian vibe she was drawn to.
It wasn’t until she and her husband Bryan were driving through Dallas’s Lake Highlands neighborhood that they came across a home which embodied the NoCal aesthetic the couple had been looking for. “The moment we saw the house, it reminded us of a place we’d gone to while on our honeymoon in Big Sur, and we immediately fell in love,” says Taylor, a designer with Swoon the Studio. “It just had that seventies California feel to it.”
The couple purchased the circa-1978 U-shaped ranch home knowing that it would need updating. “We jokingly say we scraped off some of the dust on it,” laughs Taylor. “There were shag rugs everywhere, bad foil wallpaper, and chocolate-colored tubs in every bathroom.”
Dark wood paneling lined the walls of most of the rooms, which all needed a major facelift. While most people would’ve removed the paneling or painted it white, Taylor opted instead to strip the walnut stain and add wax to get that lime wash finish, thereby bringing out the grain of the wood. “Everyone tries to wash away the ’70s groovy feel, but we decided to play up the organic attributes of the place [rather] than the disco home that it once was,” she explains.
“My dad is a professional musician, so there was always this artistic undertone wherever we lived growing up. Lots of pottery, earthy, organic woods, and natural materials. I really wanted this home to have that same feeling.”
To maintain that organic vibe, Taylor kept the stone fireplace in the living room in lieu of painting over it. The same went for the room’s existing columns, which she kept as is to complement the newly finished ash wood paneling. “I always knew I wanted it to feel organic and easy and collected and have that feeling of the places I grew up in in Northern California,” she says.
“When I first moved to Dallas, everyone loved French Country and more traditional decorating styles,” Taylor explains. “But Dallas has evolved so much and has become so much more interesting in the last few decades. You have to stretch a little further for it, but it’s definitely here. I think that’s what makes this project that much more rewarding.”
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