Firm Foundation


On a shady Dallas street, the venerable Colonial house with dormered wings that appear to have been added over generations is, actually, one of the newer residences in the neighborhood. “From inception, the house was meant to feel like an old, established home—and once it was all done, we could see that the mission had been accomplished,” says Dallas-based interior designer Shannon Bowers, who was commissioned to design the rooms. (She is also MILIEU’s Editor-at-Large.) “The homeowners are longtime friends, as well as longtime clients,” Bowers adds, “and when they conceived of building a new home, they were headed in a different architectural direction. When I saw the renderings, I said to them, ‘I don’t think this is the right house for you.’” 

Bowers suggested they consider instead Birmingham-based architect Jeremy Corkern, well known for his traditional, yet wholly original, houses, or as he describes in his company’s mission statement, the “melding [of] tradition and order with the modern.” Of this project, Corkern says, “We designed a house with ages.”  He adds, “I say we, since all of us—Shannon, the homeowners, and I—contributed to the realization of the finished product.”  The clients wanted a house that felt timeless and added on to over the years. Although new, the residence appears to have evolved over time.” When asked to characterize the architecture, Corkern calls it “a rambling, updated, modern Colonial farmhouse.”  Though ample in scale, the four-bedroom home appears modest in size and sensitive to its hilly setting—not filling the land, but rather becoming a part of it.  

Both Bowers and Corkern were aware from the start of their collaboration that the clients are people for whom home really is the center of life. “The family, which includes teenagers, is very in tune with all aspects of domestic life,” Bowers emphasizes. Corkern adds that the client is, indeed, “a true homemaker, in every sense. She loves her home and Shannon and I responded to that love.”

This story appeared in the Fall 2021 issue of MILIEU. To read the complete story or to see all photos, visit the MILIEU Newsstand to purchase this issue in print or visit to purchase this issue in digital format.