By: Malcolm Mayhew
Vibrant purples, pinks and greens greet you at the door of Matt and Katie Stadler’s home, a new build that exudes youthful energy and a spirited personality. Just a stone’s throw from TCU, the two-story house was designed with entertaining in mind – and to accommodate the Stadler clan, which includes William (8), Emme Cate (7), Huck (6), Millie (4 1/2), Sam the dog, Clara the cat, and Bomber the bearded dragon.
An enormous teardrop chandelier presents a stunning welcome. It was a treat for Katie from Matt and the kids. “If it was my choice,” Katie laughs, “I’d put crystal everywhere.” Animal-print carpet adds verve to the sweeping staircase, with a banister burnished to a soft gold sheen by Joey Lancaster (who did all of the custom painting in the house). “I love the carpet. It makes me happy every time I walk in.”
After living in the existing house on the lot for a year, the Stadlers tore everything down and reconstructed their home from the ground up with builder Doug Brooks. A classic footprint remains, including a wraparound balcony and grand banister entryway. Funky colors and a fun-loving attitude permeate the home with a fresh, in-the-moment feel.
Doors with glass knobs and double-sided mirror panels open onto a reach-through bar. It’s a deep-blue dream for entertaining, with beer taps and a wine fridge. Rose pink pocket doors lead to the dining room.
“We knew exactly what we wanted,” explains Katie. “My eye always goes toward color. I wear a lot of color, and I would say that my personality and my husband’s personality are colorful and so are all of our kids. I wanted lots of entertaining space and porches. We have a big family. We live hard in our house, and we live big in our house.”
Five bedrooms, three full baths, and two powder baths are just the beginning. Play spaces with pillow forts mingle with places of sanctuary, like the chic laundry room with a flat-screen TV. Copious crystal chandeliers shine and shimmer. There are oodles of hangouts: inviting living rooms, chilled-out nooks, and oversized outdoor patios. It gives the family plenty of room for parties, from children’s birthdays to black-light nights for parents.
Bright colors bounce in the formal dining room. It’s a festive whirl of fuchsia, blue and shiny gold, from the floral abstract art to the eye-popping embroidered chairs. Modern chandeliers contrast with traditional crystal sconces and antique credenzas. Artwork by Alison Castillo. Credenzas from K Flories.
Calcutta Retro marble creates the waterfall island in the kitchen.
“We throw a lot of parties. We’ll invite over five couples with all of their kids, and it doesn’t stress us out. How we built the house makes it really easy to entertain because the kids’ stuff is easy to hide. We just clean it up, and it works. Knowing how we use our space was really important for us and for Mary Lee.”
“You can always push the edge in a powder bath,” says Mary Lee – and they did in this one. Black and white animal stripes race around the walls, punctuated by the kids’ framed artwork. Black herringbone tilework continues the pattern geometrically.
Dusted with sugar-and-spice magic, the little girls’ bedroom features a fairy-tale house of custom bunk beds. It’s painted in the style of MacKenzie-Childs, with black-and-white shutters and flower-filled window boxes.
Matt and Katie enlisted design help from Mary Lee Proctor, who worked on their previous home. “I’m probably more traditional, and Mary Lee definitely pushed me toward a more transitional style. She would push me out of my comfort zone with modern, clean lines – things that I probably wouldn’t go to myself. And then she brings it all together.”
Mark and Katie bought the mirrored, aged French doors from Round Top before knowing where to put them. Their pointed arch and panels evoke the look of a church window, and indeed the room is a sanctuary of glam. Katie’s beloved sparkle is toned down by minimalist mirror frames and sconces, which were Mary Lee’s idea. “She helped to make it a little more masculine for Matt and a little less crystal and girly for me.”
Katie and Mary Lee share a love of color. “There was a connection immediately,” reveals Mary Lee. “They really let me run loose with ideas. Katie wanted this home to be different. Current, but still timeless. Every room was carefully planned for what was going to happen in it. They have a very active family, and we took that into great consideration with the durability of fabrics and carpets and flooring. They trusted me completely, which was so much fun.”
The Stadlers cleaned up the “complete jungle” backyard, leveled it, and put in a custom swimming pool. “We are in it every single day. We live out here.” Lounge chairs and artificial grass surround the rectangular pool, complete with sun shelf and fire feature. There’s a huge back patio for get-togethers and family time, including a 12-person dining table and bar. Pool by J. Caldwell.
From zebra wallpaper to framed finger paintings, unique touches give creative sparkle to the family home and gathering space. “We love to entertain; we really do,” Katie confides. “We feel like God has blessed us, and so we like to use our house to bless others.”
By: Malcolm Mayhew