Caitlin Wilson is sticking to traditional decor for her Dallas home

You know how you can’t judge a book by its cover? The same could be said about houses. In our Highland Park neighborhood of Dallas, people aren’t afraid to make bold design choices. The exterior of a home may look French provincial, but you might open the front door to discover stunning modern interiors.

When I saw our house, I knew exactly how I wanted it to look inside. I was inspired by the formality and romance of colonial architecture, and I wanted the interior to convey the same feel – and remain authentic to the 1920’s era when it was built.

If you’re a designer or a home enthusiast, remodeling an old home can feel like a rite of passage. That was true for me. Before we bought this house, I had remodeled a house from the 80’s. We also had a house built from scratch. In many ways, however, restoring a 100+ year old home is the ultimate project – so much heart goes into it, especially when it’s your forever home.

Although I wanted our home to feel formal, and my style is definitely rooted in tradition, I’m not afraid to use architectural details, color and pattern to give a fresh take on a classic style – I call it “traditional with”. a twist”. .”

Here’s how I use this style to guide our Highland Park makeover:

Let the architecture speak for itself. My design aesthetic has always been shaped by my travels. When I was a student, I decided to study in France. It was a formative period for me and I like that this house had a lot of French inspiration, including the original iron railings on the facade and the old interior doors and fireplaces. I imagine in the 1920’s the styling was great but I think over the years, as with many great old homes, the owners have gradually gotten rid of a lot of it. We salvaged what we could and we use plaster of paris to create those fine details. We also add many toothed moldings and multiple crown moldings to recreate the ornate 1920’s style.

Intricate milling and molding add character to Caitlin Wilson’s home.

Caitlin Wilson

Set accents with colour. People who have followed my career from the beginning may still remember my first collections, which began in bold, bright colors. Over the years my taste has evolved towards a softer palette and I’ve become known for my signature combination of blush pink and French blue. While I still want soft and feminine colors in this house – rooted in this concept of complementary tones and palettes – I use deeper tones and add lots of greens and purples.

Use textiles to layer textures and patterns. I designed my textile line while we lived abroad and I was inspired by patterns and textures from other cultures and the different countries we lived in – London, Dubai and Hong Kong. I started mixing florals and chinoiserie, which add personality and character to a space.

Add a sense of playfulness with furniture. Since we lived in small apartments overseas, we only had access to modern furniture. When we returned to the United States and rented an old penthouse in Rittenhouse Square, Pennsylvania, I felt free to literally expand. I fell in love with pieces that were meaningful and special. I scoured Craigslist, eBay, and local antique stores for unique furniture. I found a Queen Anne style table for my desk and a Regency dining room set. I still love playing around with mixing different styles of furniture and am thrilled that I have the space for it in our home.

Robert Couturier Country House Connecticut

Caitlin Wilson was inspired by this room designed by Robert Couturier and featured in VERANDA November/December 2013.

Max Kim Bee

Be conscious about landscaping. Just as we design interiors that reflect the formal architecture of our home by preserving the original details, we seek to preserve and celebrate our property’s mature trees. We envision a lawn that feels manicured, with sculpted boxwoods but punctuated with arches and romantic perennials like wandering wisteria. The landscaping of the home can be as important a design feature as the interior – it gives the first impression of the home and sets the design tone and style.

caitlin wilson house renovation

Sketch of the garage and mudroom by Wilson Fuqua Architects.

Wilson Fuqua Architects

Keep it functional and flexible. In Texas, garages are often separate from homes, but we wanted to add an enclosed passageway. With five kids, I needed this space as a functional mud room – an essential ingredient for a modern home. We’re going to make it utilitarian, complete with lockers, but we’re also going to make it pretty with Paris Ceramics tiles and raised cabinets. We’re going to be spending so much time here and I want it to be full of light and beauty.

caitlin wilson house renovation

Caitlin Wilson used Paris Ceramics tiles in her previous home (pictured above). This will also serve as inspiration for the tile in their new home.

Caitlin Wilson

Now that we have a framework in place for the architecture and design aesthetic, we’re ready to dive into the details! Join me next month at the heart of our home as we explore how we can bring a small, early 20th century maids kitchen into the modern age.


This is part two in ours Together for revival Series with Caitlin Wilson. Find out about the rest of the series here.

Leave a Comment