Media Day at the Stanley Marcus House: Orange Formica (Yes!) Was in That Kitchen Before It Was Remodeled

Lovvorns Marcus house (4) I spent the morning last Wednesday with Mark and Patty Lovvorn at their home, the Stanley Marcus estate, with Channel 11 shooting a long segment there for their ten o’ clock news this week. Mark had some insights on negotiating with Mr. Marcus — he was tough! He and agent Nancy Johnson also described the hundreds of famous people who visited the home at 10 Nonesuch Lane. Here I am with Mark and Patty in the famous Marcus library on the leather floor Mr. Stanley salvaged from a leather shoe display at the downtown Neiman Marcus store — waste not, want not. The books in here are the Lovvorn’s. This part of the house was pretty much untouched during the renovation, even the sink in the office bath is original and in such perfect shape I thought it was brand new. The wood used everywhere, here in the library and upstairs in the custom closets, is redwood. Mrs. Lovvorn — Patty — also told me that the exterior of the house was, at one time, sort of a 1950’s red brick, before they painted it all white. Mark Lovvorn also told us how the foyer of the home was understated in true mid-century style — the foyer serves as a vehicle to get the guest moving into the house where the real architectural elements are, such as those dramatic windows out to the estate property and pool. It’s quite the opposite of today’s grand-winding-staircase la-la-la foyers.

Bu it was the kitchen where I got some true insight into what the original house looked like. Patty Lovvorn told me that when they bought the house, it had orange Formica counters! The kitchen was quite choppy and though they did replace those orange counters, she still had (and used) the old cabinets and appliances the Marcuses had used until this renovation. The wine room was not really “replaced” by the laundry room — it had just been a small wine closet. The Lovvorns simply incorporated that space into the  expansion and improvement of the laundry room. There are plenty of cabinets to store wine now, and even a small stairway to the basement right in the kitchen that would make a great wine subterranean nook or a great tornado shelter.

And this I cannot believe: Mark Lovvorn was not only renovating his historical home, he was Chairman of the Planning and Development Committee of First Baptist Church, which was in charge of all planning, development, negotiation, architectural and construction oversight, budgeting, fund raising, etc. for the church’s $134 million new campus in downtown Dallas… that took more than five years to plan, build and complete!

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