Vaulted ceilings effectively achieve an open feel in the home.
Donna Moss figures that by the time the tours of the 2013 Fort Worth, Texas magazine Dream Home are over, her company will have invested about 1,000 hours.
Her company, Donna Moss Designs, is responsible for the interior design of the home. HGTV fans will recognize her name. For the past two years, she has been the host of her own show called Donna Decorates Dallas. It airs at 9:30 p.m. Saturdays.
The 2013 Dream Home is at 4010 W. 4th St. in the Monticello Addition. It is a 5,600-square-foot French Eclectic style home. Architectural design is by Flynn+Watson Architects. The builder is Gary Nussbaum of AG Builders. Proceeds from the tour tickets benefit a Wish with Wings, a non-profit that grants magical wishes to little Texans dealing with life-threatening conditions.
Moss has been in the business since her husband, Paul, began building homes in the Fort Worth area in the early 1980s. She and her daughters, Ashley Moss Black and Tiffany Moss Jenkins, opened a retail boutique, That’s Haute, five and a half years ago. Moss lives in Arlington, her daughters in Fort Worth. That’s Haute is located in Bedford with offices in Colleyville. “We are all over the place,” she says.
“The first thing we do when we take on a project like this is to pinpoint a design direction,” Moss said. “We took our cue from the exterior of this home, which is French. Next, we began planning a collection of furniture with a slight French character and charm. The devil is really in the details, and many, many hours went into planning.”
But it’s not all work and no play. “I was able to fly to San Francisco to select the majority of the furniture from Silkroute, a wholesale furniture manufacturer that has a large warehouse there,” Moss said. “So two days of work and two days of play make it all worth it.”
Donna Moss hosts a show on HGTV called Donna Decorates Dallas. Her company, Donna Moss Designs, is responsible for the interior design of the 2013 Dream Home. Donna and her daughters, Ashley and Tiffany, opened a retail boutique, That's Haute, five and a half years ago.
Her design philosophy is to create a timeless living space that is beyond the expectation of the client, reflecting the homeowners’ taste, “while having them inspired by the unexpected; recognizing current trends, but also staying true to clients’ needs and good design.”
That’s a little bit of a problem in a Dream Home, where there currently is no owner. In this case, the planning is more psychological. “Trying to get inside the head of the person who might buy the home and furniture is the hardest part,” Moss said. “The goal is not just to put furniture into the house but for the furniture to make the home a home.”
Her general feeling is exhaustion, she quips. “Kidding aside, working on a project like this is very fulfilling and lots of fun. Working with a talented builder and great Dream Home partners all working together to create this extraordinary home is a great experience,” Moss said.
And then there is the charitable aspect. “I love participating in projects where great charities benefit, especially charities for children. One of the reasons I agreed to do the Dream Home is because I feel a Wish with Wings is doing magical work by granting magical wishes.”
She has some experience with the organization. “Years ago, I did a surprise bedroom for a teenage girl who was in remission from leukemia,” Moss said. “Years before we met, she had received a trip to Disney World through a Wish with Wings. She told me what a great experience it was and that she would always be very grateful.”
Moss says she’s been interested in interior design her entire life, and being the wife of a homebuilder made for an easy transition from her initial interest in fashion design to interior design.
“To me, life is about creating yourself and your fashion style as well as creating your environment and your home style,” she says.
Many say the kitchen is the heart of the home, and the 2013 Dream Home kitchen won't disappoint.
“For us to showcase our work here is a wonderful opportunity,” Moss said. “But mostly it is a great honor to be able to give back to a charity we respect as much as a Wish with Wings.
Acme Brick Co., the nation’s largest U.S.-owned brick company, is a consistent participant in Dream Home projects. The builder made an unusual choice, says Rusty Haile, the company’s North Texas regional sales manager. “Most of the time, a painted brick consists of a common texture that we refer to as a velour or smooth texture,” he said. “On this particular home, the brick has what we call a Heritage texture. Every brick is not the same, and the texture shows up beautifully through the paint.”
Acme is asked to participate in projects like this often but is not always able to comply. “However, one of our cultural beliefs at Acme Brick is active community stewardship,” Haile said. “We chose this particular project because it is in Fort Worth and it is benefiting a worthy charity, a Wish with Wings.”
The growing trend for multigenerational space is reflected in the Dream Home. Builder Gary Nussbaum of AG Builders has incorporated a media room that easily converts into additional living space, complete with an elevator installed by Nationwide Lifts of Texas.
R.D. Baxter started the elevator company in 2004. He also deals with wheelchair lifts, stair lifts and dumbwaiters. “We focus on always finding the right product for every project. Not all elevators are good candidates for every home or client,” he says.
Other than the wall finish, the element that most links a home is the flooring treatment, and Texas Designer Flooring — formerly Masters Flooring — has been doing that more than 20 years. The company also deals in tile and natural stone.
“I like to say that we specialize in giving the customer just what they want whether this is for the flooring to fade into the background or a backsplash that says, ‘Hey, look at me,’ ” says owner Jesse Boyd. The company has been part of the magazine’s Dream Homes from the very beginning.
Phillips Lawn Sprinkler Co. has been involved in the last three Dream Homes, and owner Jeff Phillips says that it is always rewarding to help others when possible. His job is to design a sprinkling system for the property that meets both state and city codes.
Luke Gilcrease started Presidio Tile just last year when he converted his travertine stone tile factory into a cement tile factory. “We wanted a way to re-use the millings from the stone industry and came up with an innovative recycled stone and cement tile product,” he said. He’s doing the fireplace in the Dream Home.
“A lot of people put their time and hard work into making this house the best home it could be. Seeing how my products are positively impacting the beauty and character of the home is the most rewarding,” Gilcrease said. And the charity aspect is appealing to him. “As a father of three, I know how helpless a parent feels when their child is sick,” he said.
First, you have to be able to get in the front door, and that’s where Mike Stekoll of Unique Door Designs enters. He considers his expertise to be bringing new ideas to the door industry. “Our biggest,” he says, “was combining iron with wood.”
A great benefit to him from the Dream Home is showing his nationwide customers that he can build something specific to a specific need. “We are a wholesale distribution company, and most of our customers don’t understand how specific our capabilities can be,” he says.
“I think the Dream Home is outstanding. Gary is a true hands-on guy and pays much attention to detail, some of which may not be noticed,” Stekoll said. “When you visit, take your time and look close.”
The tile setting is by Vintage Floors, started in 2011 by Bryan Page, who has been in the flooring business in the Fort Worth area for 25 years. “It is always rewarding to work on a Fort Worth, Texas magazine project,” Page said. “We have developed so many great relationships from being involved with this project; we wouldn’t even consider not doing it.”
James Carrasco, the Fort Worth city manager for The Sherwin-Williams Co., also sees it as a privilege. “This is a high-profile project that will draw a lot of attention from the public. We are very proud to have been considered the preferred paint supplier on this project,” he said.
Terri A. Loddick, owner of Proscapes Lawn and Tree Care Inc., became involved in Dream Homes in 2008. “Continued association with the Dream Home keeps us involved in our community and is one way in which we are able to give back. It is always gratifying to be able to participate in a program that brings a little bit of pleasure to children with life-threatening illnesses,” Loddick says.
“This is a large property on a small lot,” Loddick says. “Our goal is to produce a nice accompaniment for this beautifully crafted home.”
OmniView Window and Door opened in December 2006 and specializes in custom windows and doors for the high-end residential market. “We are always very pleased to be involved in the Dream Home. It is an absolute pleasure to work with Fort Worth, Texas magazine and this year’s builder, AG Builders,” says partner Rudy Aramburu. “Obviously the exposure we get in the magazine is of great benefit, but more importantly, maintaining the relationships and supporting our local community has a far greater impact on our company.”
IMC Stone is a long-time participant in Dream Homes, and Elliot J. Fischer, the manager of the company’s Fort Worth showroom, says he thinks the stones that will be showcased this year are better than ever before. “I am particularly excited that this year’s Dream Home is going to feature the exotic Black Cloud Onyx slab as a backsplash in the wine bar,” Fischer said. “This material is translucent, and will be lit from behind, giving a truly stunning focal point which can be seen all the way from the foyer across the dining room.”
The lighting Fischer speaks of will be thanks to Texas Electric, a seven-year-old company owned by Jose Rodriguez. It’s his first Dream Home, and he says dealing with electricity is pretty much the same whether the project is large or small. “But it feels good to do a job like this,” he says.
Dannie Loveless of Loveless Modern Gutters Inc. says there is a sense of excitement about working on his third Dream Home, although what he does varies little regardless of the size of the house. But a Dream Home is different because it provides him a public venue to show the quality of his company’s work.
2013 Fort Worth, Texas magazine Dream Home
4010 W. 4th St., Fort Worth
Benefiting a Wish with Wings
Tour Dates: Sept. 25 - Oct. 27