A note from our editors: 

It’s time for one of our favorite traditions! Each year, we spend the holidays reflecting on the stories and articles you loved most. It’s the “Best of Rue” and this is one of 2020’s top stories. Enjoy!

Previously published on May 12, 2020:

The concept of “relaxed luxury” is becoming increasingly influential in how interiors are designed nowadays. Chad Dorsey, the interior designer that worked on this home in Bluffview, a small wooded enclave of Dallas, Texas, puts it perfectly: “It is about living casually with things a person loves to touch and feel in a way that is approachable and not precious. Often quiet, it can go unnoticed, but the user with a discerning eye will appreciate the details and the soothing feeling.”

This newly built home for a family of three embodies this concept through and through. From its location down to the stair banisters, every aspect has been thought out. “My clients had heard from their agent that this particular property might be available even though it was off the market,” Chad said. “We toured the site in January of 2016 in an ice storm the following day! While there was an existing house on the property in poor condition, we were all taken with the corner lot, the expanse of great trees, and views to the adjacent park.”

As luck would have it, they got the property and decided to tear down the old structure and build from the ground up. Despite the fact that they were dealing with a new construction project, they didn’t want their new home to feel character-less. “We designed the exterior as a collection of buildings that appear to be added over time,” Chad explained. “We used an antique brick, both painted and unpainted depending on the building, as well as a horizontal siding, and custom bronze panels. The design direction that we were going in was a classic European country estate with Belgian influences, replete with modern spaces to entertain friends and family.”

Chad attributes the success of the space to the intricate details that were put into the design. “We relied on a handful of local artisans that we have curated over the years to custom create every detail in each project,” he said. They worked with specialists to craft the interior ironwork, such as the room dividers, mirrors, and custom steel-framed fireplace. The most notable custom detail, though, was the hand-stitched leather banister that takes you from the first to the second floor. “The leather was wrapped onsite,” he shared. “My client was so impressed by the fact that the specialist was on site for nearly two weeks hand-stitching it together.”

After two and a half years, Chad completed his clients’ 6,500 square-foot home. “I credit the project’s very refined feel to being able to consider the space’s architecture and furnishings at the same time, from the beginning,” he said. The result was the perfect place for the family to entertain and hold large fundraisers.