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Cathy Négrel's Childhood North Dallas Home Revamped and Revisited

Cathy Négrel, co-owner of Négrel Antiques and remarkable Austinite, grew up in the rapidly growing city of Dallas, Texas in the 1960s. And a key contributor to her taste in decor and style was the home in which she and her family lived during her formative years. A contemporary home on Yamini Drive in North Dallas, designed by architect George Richie, was the family's sanctuary and featured a number of intuitive architectural elements to make the home feel like a part of the outdoors.

Large windows throughout, an interior "courtyard," and color accents from the exterior brought through to the living areas gave the home a seamless feel with the outdoors. With an intriguing floor plan and some unique interior styling choices, the house was remarkable enough for a write up in the Dallas Times Herald in August of 1962!

Written by DTH Home Editor Shirley Catter, the home in the Herald is described as a place for both the raising of three small children as well as the entertainment of esteemed guests. Conveniently, the decor and appointments are described in vivid color, which is quite helpful, given that the photographs are unfortunately in black-and-white.

Luckily, the listing photographs of the home from its sale in 2014 are still available from the MLS, so we can catch an updated glimpse of the layout of the home, even though interior designer Esther Rosenthal's thoughtful design decisions for the Seltzer family are no longer present. Here, we have a view of the living room in color!

A unique feature of the home is its duplicate common rooms. The living room, pictured above, could accommodate large numbers of people and opened onto the patio outside. The den, shown below, was the children's playroom and where the family watched television. The two common rooms were on opposite ends of the house to keep the children from disturbing the adults, should a party be underway.

Typical of many mid-century homes, the Yamini house had elevation changes, many large windows, as well as the grand courtyard. The home also had several brick walls to complement the wood paneling, as you can see in the master bedroom here.

In 2018, Cathy visited the home with her mother, Linkie, to meet the new(est) owners and see the changes to the house. Ever the conversationalist, Cathy learned a great deal about the history of the home since her family had moved out. And the new owners were fascinated to see the newspaper article from 1962. Even with the removal of walls, the addition of a room and swimming pool, and many decorative changes, the house still screams "mid-century" to those who see it. That goes to show you why the style has endured with so much vigor, and why this home certainly contributed to Cathy's aesthetic in her hunt for French treasures for Négrel Antiques!

posted on 9/22/2019