Kelly and Robby Robinson lead what some would call a charmed life. They have two adorable children, Kate, 4, and Ford, 6, who recently started first grade at St. Marks. The family is just a mile down the road from Robby’s parents, who still live in his childhood home. Kelly’s best friend is married to Robby’s brother.
So it’s not really any surprise they have a 4,700-square-foot home, tastefully decorated, but also built for fun with a swimming pool, hot tub, billiard table and an outdoor fireplace.
When Kelly saw the house four years ago, she knew it was right for her family.
“It was the first house I showed [Robby], but it was about the hundredth house I’d looked at,” Kelly says, adding that they were looking for a more mature neighborhood than their last one in Coppell.
“I just knew when I saw it. I wanted a big house with a big yard and big trees, and this has all of that.”
But the house hadn’t been touched since 1968, when it was built.
The Robinsons wanted more living space, and they wanted the home updated. To that end, they hired the Burke Co. to direct the major remodeling projects, and Kelly has been hard at work decorating the home to her tastes, picking our furniture and fabrics herself.
“My design style…I would call it country French. It’s very, very casual. I can’t go into a contemporary house and appreciate one thing,” she says.
The result of her efforts is a home filled with an assortment of one-of-a-kind furnishings and knick-knacks. There’s a rooster motif throughout one side of her house (“My mom always loved them,” she says), and she favors red, white and blue color schemes and collects antique birdcages.
And though her home is filled with stylish purchases from The Horchow Collection and Provence (on Lovers, not in France), much of what she has acquired were bargains: a set of rooster plates displayed on her hutch are from Target, and an antique United States flag framed in the den, with 48 stars, was purchased for $20 on the Internet.
“It’s a very lived-in house. The dog sleeps on the furniture, the kids are on everything with yogurt. But I’m the only one of my friends who truly loves her house,” Kelly says.
With four phases of remodeling that began in the spring of 2001 now nearly complete, it’s little wonder she feels that way.
To begin with, the Robinsons renovated the den, which when they moved in was already a half-hearted conversion of the original garage. The Burke Co. added vaulted ceilings, hand-scraped wood floors and a set of French doors leading out to the pool – made to match the French doors the Robinsons already had installed to replace five sliding glass doors on the back half of the U-shaped home. They then built a new three-car garage.
It was the second phase of remodeling, however, that displays the most striking contrast. An archaic kitchen was completely gutted and updated, adding new hardware floors, granite countertops, a tumbled marble backsplash and paint-grade cabinetry antiqued in a glaze finish. The remodel also introduced Viking and Subzero appliances, recessed lighting, a wrought iron chandelier over the island and antique pewter hardware.
The third and fourth improvement projects have focused on the couple’s one-half-acre back yard. An arbor was added on the back of the den to shade it from the sun, and an outdoor fireplace also was built.
Next year, the couple expects to begin the fifth and final stage of major remodeling. They’ll renovate the master suite, enlarge the bathroom, add walk-in closets and knock out walls to make the whole area more open and accessible.
And then, Kelly says, they’ll be able to relax and settle in as they plan to stay in Preston Hollow for a long time, much like Robby’s parents have.
“We’re not moving,” she says. “I love this house. I am just so thankful to my husband every day for letting me talk him into buying this house.”
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