Area homeowners show off vignettes that distinguish their homes & gardens

What, exactly, makes a space great? We asked some folks in the community — some who design, some who collect, some who garden and some who just like customizing their environments — to share with us the parts of their homes that add a sense of uniqueness or grandeur, sophistication or comfort, to their lives. Here are some ideas you can consider for transforming your space into a Great Space.

— Arnold Wayne Jones


IMGP8014VICTOR OF VICTORIAN  |  Rob Bradford celebrates bygone elegance in his home, which oozes the sophistication of the Victorian and Edwardian eras. “That’s pretty much everything I have,” he says. “A few things up to the 1920s. I’ve been buying it for 30 years and keep buying.” The color and tone throughout is decidedly masculine; for instance his dressing area, above, is a tribute to men’s fashion with collapsible top hats, collars and bow ties. Bradford lived in Oak Lawn for 22 years, but moved to Munger Place Historic District, which suits his vintage sensibility. He also enjoys the early days of photography, and even oil paintings, opposite, which “keep piling up. I have an obsession with Victorian and Edwardian portraits — good ones, bad ones. Everything is in some stage of decay … like me.” (Photos courtesy of Cody Kinsfather)


TIME FOR A FIESTA!  |  Mark Knight remembers when, as a boy, he told him mother he would set the table. He picked up a stack of her Fiestaware — the iconic, earthy-pastel-colored dishware that began being manufactured in 1936 — and promptly dropped it, shattering several pieces. “I don’t recall Mom being too upset,” Knight says. “She would just go to the store and buy some more.” Ever since, though, Knight has collected the dishes, from soup bowls to S&P shakers to chip-and-dips, which are now considered among the most highly prized of American folk memorabilia (a set of vintage nesting bowls can cost upwards of $5,000). But just like his mom did, Knight and his partner, Russ Reiger, don’t treat them as precious items to be hidden on a shelf. They use it as their daily dishware, and pop it in the dishwasher. “What’s the point of [not using them]? If it breaks, I go to eBay to buy more… though I might not be as forgiving as my mom was if someone dropped them.” (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)


IMG_8887WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE  |  It took Tom and Patrick Boyd-Lloyd more than a year to get their Kessler Park home in livable condition once they bought it in 2002 (“Have you seen ‘Grey Gardens?’” Patrick asks), but ever since, they have tinkered and tweaked their space into an urban oasis on the far side of Oak Cliff. Patrick, a registered landscape designer, has been especially active in experimenting with various beds, plants and designs, using their massive yard as a kind of arborological laboratory, with plants, trees, flowers and decor to complete the soothing, inviting space. The back includes two sitting areas with fireplaces for entertaining; the couple have even hosted several weddings in their backyard… some of whom were even straight! Hey, heterosexuals deserve the right to marry, just as much as anyone else. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)


WHAT A DIFFERENCE THE DAY MAKES  |  In the daytime the backyard of Jef Tingley and Jerrett Morris’ Oak Cliff house is a shaded picnic area — a floral oasis behind their privacy fence perfect for morning coffee or afternoon al fresco dining. When the sun goes down it transforms into an inviting and festive cocktail patio (Photos courtesy of Jef Tingley)

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 22, 2016.