Our Monday Morning Millionaire is a movie-worthy white brick traditional Colonial home with a picture-perfect picket fence. But open up that striking candy apple red front door and you are transported to a non-traditional world anyone who embraces maximalism will love.
As a whole, America has gotten pretty bland when it comes to home design.
Playing it safe with neutral colors feels comfortable and easy, and you don’t have to put much thought into it. However, it also means almost every house we see is simply a version of one we’ve seen before. Do you remember Flobbertown School in Dr. Seuss’ Hooray for Diffendoofer Day?
It’s miserable in Flobbertown, they dress in just one style.
They sing one song, they never dance, they march in single file.
They do not have a playground. And they do not have a park.
Their lunches have no taste at all, their dogs are scared to bark
Dr. Seuss with help from Jack Prelutsky and Lane Smith
Let’s face it. The vast majority of our homes have fallen prey to Flobbertown-style.
I don’t know about you, but I was ready for this business-on-the-outside-party-on-the-inside house.
Of course, it goes against the grain of what professionals advise about preparing a home for sale. It’s overflowing with collectibles, and a statement is being made with color, texture, and collections everywhere you look. But in this house, it all works because they have embraced maximalism, and frankly, it’s what we need right now.
So, why does maximalism work, in this case, for a home that is on the market?
There are a few reasons, but number one is that after a pandemic forced us to stare at our drab white walls for two years we are beginning to look at our homes differently.
We are craving character and a home that showcases our personalities. That’s the example presented in this non-traditional Colonial. It demonstrates how to display art and collections and helps us realize we can stop pretending we don’t love color, pattern, and texture. Personal expression is fulfilling and comforting in a way minimalism cannot match.
We are tired of rules.
Even though maximalism has been around for ages, it’s a fresh concept for a new generation of home buyers. In the 1960s, Dorothy Draper and Billy Baldwin used bold color, mixed patterns, and lacquered any surface in sight. Jackie Onassis, Bunny Mellon, Babe Paley, and every American blue blood in the 1960s embraced maximalism.
The owners of this delightful non-traditional Colonial home are Michael and Melissa Collins. They have given us a template on how to throw caution to the wind in favor of weaving a joyful tapestry of collectibles and a tale of travels into home décor.
Do not confuse maximalism in design as an excuse to collect a bunch of stuff and throw it together. It’s about expressing what you love, where you have been, and who you are. It draws you into the owners’ world. It may be visually rich, but it’s also purposeful and thought out.
Michael is a Dallas native. Fresh out of college and bored with law school, wanderlust led him to a teaching job in Teheran, Iran. Who should he meet but Missy? Her parents were posted there as diplomats. Fast forward, and Missy has finished her degree at Georgetown and is working in Washington. Michael has gone back to the law but kept in touch.
On a trip to Washington, he rings Missy up for dinner. Love bloomed, and for 41 years, they have had a life filled with raising two kids, traveling, adventure, and collecting what they love. Missy’s mother was Russian, and her father was an American raised in France. When you are growing up with parents posted to every nook and cranny of the world and immersed in the treasures of each country, collecting beautiful items becomes second nature. Michael has had a love of books since he could read and did the usual collecting of baseball cards and coins as a boy. You can see this was indeed a match made in heaven.
When they were ready to move to a larger home in Dallas 23 years ago, Missy hopped on her bike and rode around the neighborhood they loved. She spotted this 1930s traditional Colonial, knocked on the door, and asked the owner to sell it to her. It turned out their daughters were both in the same class at Hockaday. What do they say about no coincidences in life? The owner said,” Find me a house, and I’ll sell this one to you!” She immediately rang up Sandy Petruska and said please find this woman a house which, of course, Sandy did in record time.
Missy set about making this home into the non-traditional Colonial of her dreams.
“We never considered demolishing it and starting over,” Missy said. “We wanted to respect the house and bring it back to its glory days.” They added a great room in 2010 with a bookcase that runs the length of the room to accommodate Michael’s collection of over 4,000 books. The upstairs of the original part of the home was next on the list, and the rest of the new addition was completed in the past few years.
Missy began the first steps in the home’s transformation with paint and tiles left over from the Sheppard King Mansion. We all know it now as The Mansion on Turtle Creek. When Michael stumbled upon crates of tile at an antique store on McKinney years ago, he snapped them up.
“There was a letter with the boxes,” Michael said. “Charles Dilbeck had bought the shipment intended for the mansion as it arrived after completion. He planned to use them in his own home but never got around to it. We had 70 crates of these tiles, numbered on the back.”
Missy started laying them in the kitchen, which is no ordinary kitchen. It is a massive, 33-foot-high, vaulted-and-beamed room with one wall tiled entirely in an Italian flower bouquet mosaic. The room has possibly the longest Marmara marble countertops I’ve ever seen, topping custom-made cabinetry inlaid with brass.
The non-traditional Colonial house is now 7,093 square feet with five bedrooms, six bathrooms, and two powder baths. There are three secret doors. One is to the principal suite with a bathroom that looks like it should be in The World of Interiors Magazine. If it were not for the Victoria+Albert Bateau free-standing tub, you would never know it was a bathroom.
“This house is our life lived,” Missy said. “In every glance, you are transported back to a wonderful memory.”
Everywhere you turn in this non-traditional Colonial, there is a story, a memory, and a treasure. Even though the collections will go with Michael and Missy, they leave behind a house replete with architectural wow factors and so many cozy and intimate spots to read, think, and dream.
Courtney Petruska of Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate listed 6207 Lakehurst today for $4 million.