House porn: hidden cabinets, teak art and a Japanese soak tub

Photos by Danny Fulgencio

Brian Thacker delights in having a home designed for hiding things in plain sight. 

The front yard and turquoise door just off Inwood Road belie the inside 3,700-square-foot home filled with art and built around a back yard of trees and a pool. Architect Laura Baggett developed a sliding panel to expose a piece of art or the television in the living room. Push aside one screen and there’s instant privacy in the dining room. The wet bar’s pantry pullouts disguise glasses and accessories. A line of minimalistic kitchen cabinets conceals a dishwasher, ice maker and appliances. Even the bathrooms have moveable cabinets.

Another highlight designed by Baggett is a brick indoor gas fireplace that extends outside to a wood-burning fire fixture. 

Thacker says he wanted modern and white, warm with woods, textures and masculine coloring. “I wanted clean lines, uncluttered but still livable. I want people to come in and feel comfortable — not like, ‘Oh, I can’t sit down.’ ”

Unlike other houses on the recent AIA Dallas Tour of Homes, this interior was designed by homeowner Thacker rather than a professional. “It’s a passion project for me. I don’t do it for a living,” says Thacker, who is the chief financial officer for a Dallas entrepreneur. “It’s not how I earn my money, but I’ve always done interiors for friends and family. I wasn’t completely foreign to it, and my father built houses when I grew up so I’ve been around it.”

Thacker lives in the home with partner, Wade Holden, who works in the restaurant industry, and their golden-doodle, Elphie. They bought the original house and land in 2012, dismantled the dwelling, split the property into two lots, sold one of them and took their time building their new domicile, completing it in 2017.

“When we met with the architect, I said, ‘I want modern, not contemporary.’ ” he says. “They’re two different things. Throughout the house, you can see where we brought the brick in from the outside. The tiles start in the front and flow all the way into the patio.”

Gracing the entrance hall is a large teak ribbon root from Indonesia. Thacker asked for another piece of teak to be made into a dining table for the outdoor living area and one as a focal point near the pool. Multiple pieces of art by Robert Mateo Diago are featured. 

Since Holden is 6 inches taller than Thacker, the kitchen counters are 38 inches tall instead of the standard 36 inches. The laundry area is built for their dog, he says, with a full-size dog wash.

The house has two wings with four bedrooms and four and a half baths. All four bedrooms have exterior doors opening to the back yard. The master bedroom is actually two separate rooms, bathrooms and closets. “I sound selfish when I tell everybody this, but I’ll get along a lot better with somebody if I don’t share a closet and I don’t share a bathroom,” Thacker says.

One bathroom features a fully enclosed steam shower. The other has an open shower and a Japanese soaking tub — something Thacker remembers enjoying when he studied in Japan during a college exchange program. “Someday I would love to put a Japanese soaking tub in my house, I thought. Well, 30 years later, I finally did that.” 

Brian Thacker’s shopping secrets:

– Big Mango Trading Co. for polished indoor and outdoor teak pieces.  Bigmangotrading.com.

– Metal Expressions by Mark Juarez for the artistic welding in the indoor gas fireplace and outdoor shower screen. Metalexpressions.com.

– Arteriors for furniture, and especially, for lamps. Arteriorshome.com.

– Arteriors Two Outlet on West Lovers Lane.

– Busybody for home gym furnishings. Busybodytx.com.

– Overstock.com for one-of-a-kind rugs.


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