It all started with an antler chandelier for Amanda and Michael Bane. The couple was on a road trip to Oklahoma when they stopped at an antique shop in Mina, Arkansas, and fell in love. “We brought it home and told our builder, we need a house for this,” says Michael Bane with a laugh. “We can’t pass an antique store,” he adds. “Even if we’re late getting somewhere, we stop.”
It’s not surprising that the Banes have an eye for the beautiful. Married for 38 years, they met in Kerrville while both were working for jeweler James Avery — she, a jeweler; he, an interior designer for the stores. When new careers brought them to Fort Worth, the Banes wanted a home that was a little bit Hill Country and a little bit Tuscan. “We finally thought, ‘Let’s just build it ourselves,’” says Amanda. The result is a two-story stone home sitting on a bluff in Aledo that transports visitors to the middle of Tuscany.
Now Michael paints full time, and Amanda is in sales. But when they’re home, you’ll find them in their favorite room — the kitchen. Thanks to Amanda’s passion for cooking and Michael’s passion for painting, it’s where their hobbies merge. “It’s where everybody gathers ... no matter how busy I am,” Amanda says.
The room is perfectly collected — a Dutch table found at the now-closed Harris Antiques serves as the island. It was a display table covered with a tablecloth, but Michael noticed the legs and started snooping underneath. “[The antique store owner] said if I’m taking all that stuff off, I had to buy it,” Michael said. “So we kind of made the purchase based off of only seeing the legs.” Amanda made it complete with a piece of hardware she found at a garage sale down the street.
The Banes’ goal for the whole house and especially this room was for nothing to appear cookie-cutter. The result — it feels perfectly collected. Pig paintings, one painted by Michael and one carved by Amanda’s father when he was 9 years old, grace a corner wall. Upper cabinets, painted in now-discontinued Behr Barn Red are made to look like an old antique store, while the bottom cabinets reflect European furniture. That’s all thanks to Michael’s brother, a cabinet maker in Snyder. A relative in Mexico found the intricate blue and rust tile that dominates a prominent wall. The tile is cleverly continued on the steps that lead to the second floor. Rugs were found at an auction. And anchoring the room from above, the chandelier that started it all.