Terry and Janet Kafka’s home on Glendora, designed by Lionel Morrison, is like a canvas. “The home is designed for art,” Janet says. The Kafkas have a rotating series of modern art paintings and sculptures on display through the house. Photos by James Coreas

The stark, white walls enclose the home in such a way that begs drivers by to wonder what lies on the other side.

This style of contemporary architecture is nothing new for Dallas, but Janet Kafka’s house on Glendora was among the first to hit the scene 18 years ago, designed by local architect Lionel Morrison.

“There weren’t very many white boxes in Preston Hollow,” Kafka says.

In the case of her home, the idea involves a simple but striking contrast: complete privacy from the outside and complete openness on the inside. The house has no interior doors, except for one “moveable wall” that closes off the master bedroom.

“We’re modernists,” she says. “We knew this was exactly what we wanted.”

It’s a type of architecture typically seen in Spain — where Kafka derives much of her inspiration in life. Besides running her own marketing firm, she also serves as the Dallas area’s Honorary Consul of Spain, promoting its art, food and culture. She has played a large role in the growth of the Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University, which houses the most comprehensive collections of Spanish art outside of Spain.

“It’s not here today and gone tomorrow. It looks like we just moved in.”
When Spanish guests — businesspeople, artists or dignitaries — visit Dallas, they stay in the Kafka home, which is ideal for entertaining.

The house itself is a compelling conversation-starter. The all-white interior presents an extensive art collection.

“The home is designed for art,” Kafka says. “Art and architecture are very important. They’re kind of hand-in-glove.”

Through the floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors, you can see the shadows of the trees cast on the white exterior, creating different shapes and patterns throughout the day, like a moveable canvas, Kafka says.

When she and her husband Terry built their home back in 1997, they were following the lead of the couple next door who had also engaged Morrison to design a modern white box.

“They didn’t want their home to feel out of place,” Kafka says.

So, both homes were erected simultaneously on one-acre lots previously occupied by original ranch-style abodes.

Since then, other modern homes have sprouted up on the same short block, which dead ends at the Dallas North Tollway.

“Now it’s become a bastion of modern architecture.”

Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Preston Hollow.