The redesign of a Preston Hollow home evokes the owner’s Peruvian roots
Emily Vargas Miller, a native of Peru, was hoping to make her new home in Preston Hollow a little reminiscent of her beloved hometown. “Peru is known for its rich textile tradition and artisanal designs. Naturally, I wanted a style that was familiar to our home in Dallas,” she says.
When the Millers initially toured the house, they were able to see beyond the attractive aesthetic of the recent renovations. “I immediately noticed the high ceiling, spacious gathering areas, and elegant hallway upstairs,” Miller says of the home’s key features. However, she realized she needed a professional to make her house her home, and reached out to Dallas-based interior designer Juliana Oliveira, owner and principal designer of Beyond Interior Design, known for its drive toward globally inspired luxury. “I needed Juliana’s help to bring a sense of intimacy, warmth and privacy to the space,” Miller says.
Oliveira was up to the challenge. “Because Emily is from Peru, and I am originally from Brazil, we immediately had this connection where I really understood what she was saying. “She wanted to make the place feel welcoming, like a haven for their family,” says Oliveira. “When we talk about Peruvian influences It’s not the same as the topic. It’s a feeling. It’s a nod to nature, and I understand how to mobilize that feeling and bring that culture into a space without it looking tacky.
Upon entering the home, two floors of stacked artwork sourced from Wendover Art Group fill the space on the left, above a layered, curved console table by Noir Design with a sculptural, bridge-inspired design.
“We wanted to make sure it had the right amount of excitement and drama, so the pieces we brought in were visually stunning. We leaned into arcs and curves and hand movement, so it was very striking but soft in many ways,” says Oliveira.
Double-sided rugs add warmth in the entryway, where an upholstered bench overlooks a staircase surrounded by layers of plants that breathe life into the space and pay homage to nature-filled Peru.
Initially, Oliveira was faced with an abundance of white in the main kitchen and living area, so she warmed up the space using natural materials. “I wanted to bring in some wood elements, some leather and interesting curves, things that didn’t look like they just came from the factory,” she says. “You can see accents throughout the house, like different types of wood together like trees in a forest.”
In the kitchen, she brought in leather barstools and an asymmetrical four-handed table made of yucca wood, and replaced the matching chrome finishes with mixed metals like the hammered brass in the Visual Comfort light fixture hanging above the table.
“We wanted it to look sculptural but also very attractive, so there are no sharp edges. Everything has a handmade feel,” says Oliveira. This includes chairs made of wrought iron, a material repeated on the stairs. She adds a fresh coat of Sherwin-Williams color-coded paint Dark Peppercorn on the island and deep vent hood.
At first the huge, blank white fireplace wall seemed intimidating. Instead of opting for typical wallpaper or complex masonry, Oliveira got creative with a lemon wash—about five coats. “It feels like concrete limestone,” she says. “When you walk in, it gives you that earthy feeling and grounds the space.” The Millers didn’t want anything with too much stark contrast, which is why we decided to play with textures.
Simple furniture allows for window views and plenty of natural light. A sectional sofa from Four Hands perfect for cuddling up in the family is paired with statement chairs, one (sourced from 1stDibs) with a dark fabric for an unexpected moment full of personality and two Four Hands chairs with a rattan backing that picks up the wood of the bar stools in the kitchen. “The black frame creates a cool design,” Oliveira says of the geometric pattern on the back of the rattan chairs.
Custom curtains soften the space and highlight the high ceilings, as does a monochrome artwork gallery with brass accents. Four-handed bean-shaped coffee tables made of yucca wood and stained off-white sit in the center of the space. Above all, hangs a sculptural Visual Comfort light fixture with a mid-century modern vibe that’s just the right size for such a large space. Black and copper complement the mixed metal story from the kitchen to the living room.
Oliveira brought in a Brazilian walnut dining table by Roberta Schilling with a curved edge at each end, then covered it with a carved double-sided veneer from CB2. The comfortable, fully upholstered chairs were chosen with comfort in mind for long after-meal conversations. An Arteriors linear chandelier is centered in the center of the space, along with a custom mirror that reflects the art in the foyer. Double sconces from Visual Comfort surround the mirror, designed by Bower Studios, on each side.
“It’s simple and simple to maintain the ambiance of a safe haven, while keeping it warm enough with the curves and texture of the fabrics and wood finishes,” says Oliveira.
The primary bedroom includes a variety of natural textures, including monochrome grass cloth wallpaper throughout. “We wanted it to feel like a hug, so you can come in and relax,” Oliveira says. She didn’t want to overwhelm the walls with multiple pieces of art, creating unwanted busyness in a cozy space, nor did she want a mirror so large that it would conjure images of 1980s mirrored doors. I played around layering a Four Hands Art Studio canvas with a mirror at just the right scale to create a unique composition. It worked. A custom easel behind the artwork allows enough space for the mirror to slide into place.
I filled the existing roof tray with natural-finish wood beams to add a craftsman architectural element. The curved media unit has half-moon-shaped door handles that come together to form perfect circles. “None of it is boxy,” Oliveira says of the mixed woods, leather, and iron in the bedroom. “Everything feels organic, warm and inspired by nature.”