By: Shilo Urban
Winston Ley and Nelson Beville have one of those rare formal living rooms that actually gets used, thanks to the layout of their traditional Tanglewood home. “I love that our house doesn’t have any oversized, open-concept rooms,” Nelson says. He adds that it forces people out of the kitchen or living room and makes them gather in a space that’s made for hanging out. “No TV. No distraction. Just large windows and a big fireplace. It is especially nostalgic during the holidays, and my absolute favorite place to be.”
Winston, the co-owner of Pax & Parker, the upscale clothing boutique inside WestBend, and Nelson, a pediatric dentist, tasked Beckley Design Studio with making their vision come to life. They wanted an old-school cigar lounge with a “homey spin.” That homey spin would come from incorporating items Winston and Nelson had collected over the years.
The whole room, painted in Hudson Bay by Benjamin Moore, is a lesson in mixing styles and aesthetics. Lacquered Chippendale chairs sit in front of Frida Kahlo paintings. A leather Chesterfield sofa sits atop a colorful vintage rug. Ginger jars flank either side of mounted antlers above an oversized brick fireplace. An animal-print bench opens to wingback chairs surrounding a “Sirloin Steak” advertisement Nelson painted as an homage to his hometown, “the beef capital of the world,” Hereford, Texas. His art is in good company too. A piece by Andy Warhol, which Nelson purchased from Warhol’s estate several years ago, sits on a perpendicular wall.
The purpose of the room leads Nelson to his favorite piece — the bar cart. “I love that it has elements from Winston’s family history in Ireland and Corpus Christi and mine from England and the Texas Panhandle. Intermixed in there are other essentials for me: fresh flowers and plants, original art, and Baccarat!”
Winston’s favorite part of the space is all about that homey vibe. “I’m really into the vintage rug. Growing up, my mother and grandmother always had the most beautiful Persian rugs, so it makes it feel more like home. There’s something timeless and sophisticated about it. It was one of the items that Nelson and I selected on our own.”
The room is also approved by the home’s four-legged inhabitant — a Goldendoodle named Fitz. He’s shown a preference for, what else, but a custom-made bench in Kravet animal print fabric. “He has chosen it as his own personal throne,” Winston says. “I’m pretty sure he’s ruined it, and it already needs to be recovered.”
Winston credits Nelson, who doesn’t shy away from colors, patterns and textured spaces, as the room's visionary. “I’m much more simplistic than Nelson,” Winston says.
Nelson sums it up: “We operate in a yin versus yang universe.”
By: Shilo Urban