hen Terri Anderson moved into her Westworth Park home last year, she brought a bed. Just a bed. Nothing else. She was ready for a new look. One that wasn’t masculine or heavy. Mostly, she didn’t want brown. She wanted color — lots of it.
Anderson’s husband died a few years ago, and she moved from Weatherford to Fort Worth with plans to start a new life. She wanted a place that would reflect her taste. She was no longer a wife, and her three daughters had left the nest. She wanted a home that reflected her zest and vivaciousness.
She hired Fort Worth-based interior designer Brad Alford of G. Bradley Alford & Associates and told him to make her five-bedroom house colorful and feminine. Even though she lives alone, her daughters and grandchildren often visit, and she wanted plenty of room for them. She has four granddaughters and an infant grandson, so she didn’t want anything in the house to be unwelcoming to family living.
“I wanted everything to be functional, not so precious you couldn’t put a glass on it,” she says.
Anderson and Alford went shopping in Dallas. They toured the wholesale showrooms and Anderson was encouraged to point, chirp, ooh and aah. From this shopping trip, Alford had a sense of what she liked.
Anderson was very enthusiastic about one riotously colorful print that Alford bought and hung across the kitchen and dining area window. From there, he spun through the living room using the colors from that fabric in prints, stripes and solids.
“I loved that fabric and all the colors. It’s where the color palette came from,” says Anderson.
The colors spread to the upstairs.
Alford brought in a deep teal velvet sofa, but it was banished to the upstairs hallway. Anderson was adamant: This house had to accommodate not only her grandchildren, but also her two large blond dogs. Teal velvet would do nothing but accumulate shedding dog hair. Alford found an oatmeal-colored fabric for a new sofa and liberally covered the functional, but hardly decorative, new sofa in brightly colored throw pillows.
The enormous dog beds are relegated to Anderson’s bedroom, and because they cover most of the available floor space, Alford had them covered in forgiving blond fabric. The teal sofa with nailhead trim is perched on a luxurious, brilliant orange shag rug in the large upstairs hallway. It is neatly centered between two large cabinets with interiors painted a similar orange. “They were a closeout, and the rug was bought when The Rug Company closed,” he says.
“This is the way I like to do homes. Some things are expensive; other things, not so much. ... This Murano vase, for example,” he says as he picks up a large, multicolored glass vase. He turns it over and laughs as he pulls off a tag that is printed with a Pier One price tag of $59.
“I want the houses I work to feel like homes, not stage sets,” Alford says.
He is in one of the guest rooms upstairs. It is not as accessorized as much as he might like. He says it can’t be — the room is for guests, and they have to have a place to put their things. An elegant table that doubles as a desk and vanity is left almost bare. It has to be functional. An entertainment center is along one wall; it provides empty shelves so guests can have a place to put their things.
“I want guest rooms to be as luxurious as a suite at the Plaza Hotel,” he says. “But, I am not above using Pier One or Target accessories to get there.”
He quickly realized just how insistent Anderson was that her family be comfortable, even though they’re not always present.
The four granddaughters share a large upstairs bedroom. Her baby grandson stays with his parents in a guest room. The girls’ room is delightful; the striped walls and polka-dot and striped bed linens are visually joyful. The little felt trophy mounts under the shelves are whimsical, and the shelves make useful and defining headboards. Simple and effective.
Plus, says Anderson, “When they aren’t here, I can turn off the lights, close the door and leave it all dark. It’s the beauty of being a grandmother. I live downstairs.”
The house is laid out in such a way that, when she does have company, she can come and go without disturbing her guests. In return, she can shut herself off from the mayhem and noise that they bring.
Her bedroom is a feminine palace. A large, glass-front armoire Alford found at an estate sale is used to display a small portion of Anderson’s handbag collection. This large piece of furniture is painted pink, and the walls of the room are a dusky blue, painted in automobile paint for a high gloss.
Over the holidays, Anderson hosted her large family. All of her girls, their children and spouses stayed at the house and everyone was comfortable, she says. “The house passed the comfort test, exponentially.”