Dressed in a relaxed linen brogue and a pair of Stubbs & Wootton tangerine Venetian slippers, Javier Burkle is the picture of spring chic. The 33-year-old designer, who grew up in Mexico City and moved to Dallas with his family as a college student, dons this sleek combo for just about any task. “I was just doing a few plantings,” Burkle confesses, pouring champagne from cut-crystal goblets under a tasselled umbrella in his garden. An accomplished host, he often sets a long table for dinner parties of 30, even though the home he shares with his partner, real estate agent Mason McCleskey, is just 2,000 square feet.
Several years ago, the couple beat five other bids on this circa-1937 cottage by promising not to harm the integrity of the historic home. “We didn’t touch the layout,” Burkle says, “but we updated things to make it a more livable space.” The guest bedroom has been transformed into an intimate lair, and what was once an office has been transformed into a spacious formal dressing room to hold Burkle’s nearly 400 pairs of slippers. But when it comes to the living room and dining room, Burkle stuck to tradition.
“I like the old-school format,” he says. “Our living room is where we welcome people, where we sit, chat and have a drink. We start the night there. Then we move into the dining room. The ceiling drops, so it’s a little more comfortable. I want people to feel comfortable sitting there for hours. The floor plan layout is an integral part of how Burkle hosts: “The house has a transition and a process, which makes it exciting. It keeps the guests surprised. To accommodate larger gatherings, Burkle turned to the backyard. Two intimate seating areas and an expansive patio, anchored by an extended pergola, now provide ample space for cocktail parties and extra-long dinner tables.
Inside, the house is dotted with heirlooms, antiques, and personal memorabilia that tell the story of the designer’s travels and family legacy. His parents were born and raised in Mexico City, descendants of European families – his paternal side being from Germany and his maternal side rooted in France. “We are extremely proud of where we come from and knowing our roots and the importance of family,” says the designer. “Both sides pushed me: what you dream of, you have to pursue and go for it.”
The place to be for happy hour. Chandelier, console and wall lamp: Ralph Lauren House. To paint: Chantilly lace, Benjamin Moore. Canapes: Arterials. Low table: ancient. Sketches: by Burkle’s grandmother.
A green marble countertop and Serena & Lily wallcovering make this “little jewelry box,” says Burkle. Sconces: Seletti. Mirror: Glycine. Layouts: Aqueduct.
“A gentleman’s space to relax and get comfortable,” says Burkle. Chandelier: HR. Ceiling wallpaper: Wallshoppe. Cover: ancient. Low table: found at an estate sale. Cocktail table: Round Top Antiques Fair. Portrait: Burkle’s maternal grandmother, Tita.
Wall tiles and flooring: Anne Sacks. Mirror: ancient. Plant stand: Timothy Oulton. Layouts: Kingston Brass.
Anchoring the main entertainment space in designer Javier Burkle’s home, an ever-changing mix of furnishings can work for cocktail parties or sit-down dinners. The stone wall references haciendas in Mexico, Burkle’s home country. Paints: Greek Villa, Sherwin-Williams (walls); Black Onyx, Glidden (accents). Table: Ralph Lauren House. Chairs: CB2. Carpet : Serena and Lily. Canapes: One Kings Lane, at Pindler Sunbrella.
Vintage doors open to the pool from the master suite. Chairs: vintage, in Pindler Sunbrella fabric. Carpet : Serena and Lily. Benches and ottoman: Global market. Candlesticks: from Mexico.
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