Power house, a dallas developer channeled versace,  Ian Schrager and the country of Algeria for his sexy swankienda 

dallas modern luxury

September 2008


LIQUID LOUNGE: All rooms in the house open off of this grand foyer. A heated, saltwater swimming pool is a dazzling, unexpected local point, made comfortable in winter by heated slab marble flooring. The solid walnut corbels were created locally by 2cdesign and were three years in the making. A pair of custom chrome and crystal chandeliers involved a variety of specialized craftsmen, while it took Italian artists three years to carve the Moorish marble pediment over the fireplace. 

SMU days had left a lasting passion for French-influenced, ornately carved stone buildings of west Africa. "The big question was: How do you build a traditional house that still looks contemporary, and how far do you take the Moorish influences? I didn't want one style competing against another, or for people to be asking, what the heck is it?" Enter Dallas architect Cole Smith. "I hired Cole because I think he's the best architect in the city. I knew. his style was a little conservative for me, but we worked together for many months on merging the designs, even before I had found a lot to build on." Power discovered the perfect property four years ago, almost an acre along Turcle Creek. "The house is a celebration of the land," he says. "There is so much happening outside with trees and water and wildlife that I wanted all chat to be viewed from every room in the house." While Power tinkered with the modern aspects of the home's design, Smith was responsible for what the owner terms the "weight" of the house, the aspects that give a contemporary space warmth and a sense of history. Everything was custom designed and handmade, from the carved mahogany corbels and doors, to the iron staircases and crystal chandeliers. All the stone is slab marble, inside and out. "le took two years of people hauling marble back and forth. I could have done tile and cast stone in a couple of weeks. But I wanted a monolithic feel, and chis is how we achieved ic." The saltwater pool in the entry posed the biggest set of challenges. To make the design work in our searing Dallas climate, the pool had co be enclosed. "I couldn't find anyone co build the pool. They said no one had ever done it, and humidity and chlorine smell would be an issue." Power researched it himself, interviewing engineers all over the counrry. Each voiced a different opinion. "It was frustrating. Eventually I just went with it." He has no regrets, thanks co a complex and iiber-efficient HVAC system that rids the house of any trace of chlorine and humidity. 

Power's fantasy house is three and a half years in the making, and still counting. A developer at heart, Power plans co use his house as a prototype for building others just like it around the world, and it's currently for sale through Eleanor Mowery Sheets for $13 million. "I feel like chis is my calling. It'll be interesting to see how people respond to it. Will they think the whole concept is odd, or that it's strange to have a pool in the house? We'll see. I've fallen in love with it, and if the worst thing chat happens is that I end up staying here the rest of my life, at least I'll be living my dream." • 


We admit it, a swimming pool in the foyer of a house is unusual. Maybe even a little crazy. Braden Power's 8,000-square-foot Turtle Creek showplace may be the only home in Dallas­perhaps the country-where you can open the front door and jump right in. Blame rhe folly on Gianni Versace. Power, a 39-year-old Dallas native, had visited Versace's manse, Casa Casuarina, 10 years ago during a trip to Miami. Built in 1930, the three-story Spanish­style residence, where rooms flow into an open air courtyard, was inspiration at first sight. The seed had been planted for Power's dream house. "I loved the idea of a central courtyard; it's such a great way to live. Bue how could I make it work in the Dallas heat?" The answer, along with his dream, remained years away. Power put the idea aside temporarily and continued what he and brother Craig had been doing since 1990, buying and renovating '60s era apartment buildings in east Dallas, then flipping them for profit. It was lucrative but not particularly creative. Power was ready for a change. "I wanted to build something from che ground up with a new sense of style, a new way of looking at each room and the way people live in chem. The central courtyard provides a sense of community, and it doesn't allow the house to get too big:" 

Versace's lavish abode may have been the spark to ignite a fire in Power's belly, but he wanted a sleeker, more sophisticated design for this house. In other words, less ormolu and more wenge. Cue Ian Schrager. "I've stayed in every one of his hotels," enthuses Power of the boutique hotelier who has produced such standouts as the Delano in Miami, the Clift in San Francisco and Gramercy Park Hotel in New York. "Schrager looks at rooms differently than most people. He's always doing something unexpected." The living spaces in Power's home are unmistakably influenced by Schrager's eye, from rhe sensuous Lurron lighting and multiple plasma TVs to the clean, polished dark wood surfaces and seductive lounge furniture. Power is unabashedly delighted about chat. "I feel like I live in a fabulous hotel." 

As if Versace and Schrager were nor already enough for his design arsenal, Power introduced another intriguing idea: Algerian architecture. A trip to Morocco during his

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Above: Jennifer Harralson worked closely with Braden Power on the interior design, focusing on neutrals that would not compete with the outside. A Manotti chandelier hangs over a B&B Italia table and Balier chairs. Clockwise from bottom left: An outdoor sitting area and fireplace echoes the home's motif of water, with two indoor pools, an outdoor pool and the creekside view. The owner on the second floor. The kitchen's major appliances are masterfully hidden behind custom, carved walnut cabinets. 
Above: Polly Gessell and Darrell Bartek created the large antiqued and reverse-painted mirror surrounding the fireplace. Walnut paneled walls and Bergamo fabrics add to the sitting room's glamour. Right: The second floor is accessed by symmetrical staircases on opposite sides of the foyer. Steps are slab marble and the iron railings were custom made by local artisan Gary Kasebier. Jennifer Harralson sourced the Venetian­inspired mirror, custom made in Chicago, and console, custom made by Mark Hooper of Dallas. The wall is covered in Nancy Corzine silk. Opposite page: The owner and 2cdesign collaborated to create the infinity pool in back of the house. At night, the negative edge basin, lined completely in Bisazza glass tile, lights up dramatically. 2cdesign designed and created the lighting inside and outside the house. Botanical arrangements provided courtesy of Grange Hall.