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Real Estate / Houses

Texas’ Version of a Central Park West Sky-High Stunner

Top Designer and his Husband Jump Into a Higher Life

BY // 05.05.17
photography Lisa Petrole

George Cameron Nash’s new urban apartment soars above the Dallas Arts District, with views for days.

George Cameron Nash, whose namesake showroom celebrates its 30th anniversary this month, discovered his new Parkside aerie overlooking Klyde Warren Park by accident.

Nash had been alerted to the project by designer Neal Stewart, who invited him to look at the newly completed mid-rise he’d helped finish out. Nash and his husband, Mark Williams, popped over for a quick tour and were bowled over by the views.

“It had a great vibe, like Central Park West on a small scale,” Nash says. “I turned to Mark and said, ‘I’d move here in 10 minutes if we can sell our place in five. Let’s see if we can make it happen.’ And we did.”

With tall ceilings, large open rooms, and two balconies, the apartment is an ideal launching pad for their new urban life downtown. They walk almost everywhere — often with their three West Highland terriers — as some of the city’s most exciting arts venues are just a stroll away.

“For Mark’s birthday last week, we had lunch downstairs at Lark, then walked to the opera house to see Madame Butterfly,” Nash says. It’s a short streetcar ride to Whole Foods, and at least six steakhouses and several hotels are in the immediate vicinity

Holiday Gifting

  • Cotton Club
  • Loeffler Randall - Shoes
  • Elaine Turner - Felicia Stole in Magenta
  • Cle Du Peau - Lip Gloss
  • Cotton Club
  • Oscar De La Renta - Clutch
  • Bond No 9 - Perfume
  • Asher Gallery
  • Mariquite Masterson
  • Museum of Fine Arts Houston
  • Bond No 9 - Candle
  • Elaine Turner - GiGi Flats
  • Cle Du Peau - Nail Polish
  • Loeffler Randall - Clutch
  • Oscar De La Renta - Earrings
  • Wayne Smith
  • Wayne Smith
  • Mariquite Masterson

“Stanley Korshak is right there if you want to shop, and if you’re feeling energetic, you can walk to For Home,” says Nash, whose showroom also has a stylish space in Forty Five Ten’s new ultra-chic home emporium on McKinney Avenue.

Decorating their new residence has been almost effortless, thanks to good-looking interior finishes and architectural elements that were already in place, such as limestone floors; exquisite wood cabinetry, doors, and coffered ceilings; and, of course, lots of glass to offer up views.

“The only thing I had to add were wall coverings,” says Nash, who transformed a small study off the living room into a chic “drinks room” with gleaming Maya Romanoff capiz-shell wallpaper on the ceiling and a simple goldleaf Paul Ferrante chandelier.

Inspired by the rich sensuousness of Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle in New York City, the drinks room is a standout. “I wanted to create a room that nobody ever does,” says Nash. “It needed to be dark, smoky, and real sexy.”

To make it feel bigger, he wrapped the walls in bronze mirror and installed a custom silk-velvet banquette. Dimly lit and glittering under the capiz-shell ceiling, “the room looks like a jewelry box,” he says. Two small custom dining tables in Macassar ebony and gold-plated metal add to the lounge vibe.

The room seats eight with the addition of a pair of Cameron chairs upholstered in luxurious woven horsehair. “It’s a refined, masculine room, but women especially love it,” he says. “It draws you in and says, ‘Sit down and enjoy a fine tequila.’ ”

Ann Packard’s Provincetown Marsh, 2006, hangs in the entry hall, which offers a view into the drinks room.

Nash likens their apartment to “a design laboratory of ideas, where I can play with styling ideas and furniture for the showroom in a real setting, and vice versa. Furniture is always moving back and forth from the showroom and the house.”

In the living room, one large space has been visually divided into two by defined seating groups. Perhaps the most used side is anchored by a pair of sumptuous Cameron gray velvet chairs and a large Cameron ottoman covered in Rogers & Goffigon leather, which face a sleek Bang & Olufsen flat-screen TV.

Custom-mounted on a glass backdrop by Wave Electronics, the television extends and swivels so that it can be watched from many angles, including the drinks room and the kitchen. “We’ve always got something on like Versailles, The Borgias, Homeland, or one of the cooking shows — Anthony Bourdain, not Paula Deen,” he assures.

I said, ‘I’d move here in 10 minutes, if we can sell our place in five.’ “

A custom bookcase backed with bronze mirror holds objects from travels to Istanbul, Buenos Aires, Paris, London, and Rome. Among them are two 19th-century gold-plated Bavarian bear and snake candlesticks, and a favorite collection of 19th-century Japanese dolls under Plexiglas. A traditional Billy Baldwin-style sofa (copied from the one he grew up with in his family home in Meyerland), a crescent Lucite-and-macassar-ebony table, and a pair of Cameron Museum chairs upholstered in Rogers & Goffigon leather create a focus in the other half of the living area.

One-of-a-kind prototype chairs pepper the space, such as Yale R. Burge armchair covered in Clarence House leopard-and-neoclassic design by Rose Tarlow for Melrose House. A seven-foot Jeff Bertroncino painting helps to visually divide the space and the two grand windows in the living room have electronic shades in Classic Cloth.

In Mark Williams’ bedroom, a Holly Hunt bed with custom coverlet and pillows in Great Plains. Rose Tarlow Melrose House side cabinet from David Sutherland. Holly Hunt lamp. Window coverings are in David S. Gibson linen from George Cameron Nash. Harry Borgman’s primitive nude and mask, 1988. Early 20th-century black lacquer and gold Chinese chest.

The masculine color palette throughout is all about deep sable brown, black and ivory, punctuated by Chinese red. “I always have Chinese red in a room… because it matches my fiery personality,” Nash laughs.

Dedar’s Chinese has the perfect balance of red and blue, and he keeps a swatch of it on his inspiration board. “When I’m playing around with fabric or designs, I’ll put them up to it and see how I feel about it. Everything has to work with Chinese red, or I don’t use it.”

In the living room, two Holly Hunt Chinese red lacquer tables and a collection of antique lacquer boxes brighten up the neutral palette.

In the mornings when the motorized shades roll up and the master bedroom is washed in rosy dawn light, Nash enjoys the scene from his bed. In the evenings when the downtown lights twinkle, he and Williams may take their cocktails and their dogs to the rooftop.

“The view is still one of the most incredible things about this place,” he says.

Home, chic home.

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