Stacy Brotemarkle remembers when she was a 12-year-old, tagging along with her parents while house hunting. For most kids, hours and hours of showings and trekking through home after home can be boring and tedious, but Brotemarkle remembers it all fondly.
“I said, ‘Mom, I want to be an interior designer,’ ” Brotemarkle recalled. “She said, ‘Yeah, sure, and last week you wanted to be a singer.’ ”
But unlike her musical ambitions, interior design stuck with her through high school and onward. Right after graduating high school, Brotemarkle went to work for Hawkins-Welwood Homes, later graduating from the University of North Texas with a BFA in interior design. Today, Brotemarkle is the vice president and lead interior designer at Bella Custom Homes, one of the foremost luxury custom builders in North Texas.
It’s a natural fit for Brotemarkle, who brings a keen eye for simple luxury to Tony Visconti‘s Bella brand, which is known for its high-end design, craftsmanship, and attention to detail. She starts with a palette of bright neutrals and adds texture with interesting fixtures and finishes.
“When doing a spec home project, I have to appeal to a broad segment of the market, so my designs have to be interesting, not boring, while still appealing to a wide range of potential buyers,” Brotemarkle said. “One way I like to achieve that is by mixing my metals and bringing in texture with tile and mosaics.”
She likes to balance her materials in a way that offers contrast. “I’ve always loved mixing honed materials with shiny tile — like a honed countertop and a polished tile backsplash,” she said. Lighting is another way Brotemarkle adds variation on a neutral backdrop. A recent project required 120 light fixtures and hundreds of hardware selections.
“Lighting is so hard, because you can’t see everything in a showroom. You have to use catalogs,” she said. One dining room chandelier, while it was pretty on paper, when it was installed, “it was so perfect for the space — much more beautiful than it was in the catalog.”
It’s Brotemarkle’s job to show off the architectural details and craftsmanship that go into every Bella Custom Home. Her passion is authentic European designs, with the majority of her projects completed to date having been French, English, Italian, or Mediterranean. It’s easy for these styles to skew toward overdone, but well-exercised restraint and a focus on quality materials helps Bella Custom Homes stand out.
With almost 20 years of experience building and designing well over 200 projects in Dallas’ custom luxury home market, Brotemarkle brings an expert eye to every room. She is also a Certified Graduate Builder (CGB), Certified Green Professional (CGP), and Certified Age In Place Specialist (CAPS) through the Dallas Home Builders Association, as well as an Allied ASID member.
“I want a potential homebuyer to walk into to one of my projects and be in awe. I want them to envision themselves and their family living in the spaces, entertaining family and friends,” Brotemarkle said. “I try to use classic design elements with a modern twist. I want the spaces to be not only breathtaking, but usable and livable too.”
While she leans more timeless than trendy, it’s a huge compliment to see people enjoying her work.
“You never know — is the person who is going to buy this home going to have a huge collection of antiques, or is it going to be a younger couple with more transitional or modern tastes? It’s nice when a client buys a $6 million or $8 million spec home and says, ‘I won’t change a thing,’ or ‘I wouldn’t have to remodel,’ ” she said.
Through it all, though, Brotemarkle says that through the deadlines and frustration, each day brings something new.
“When you wake up in the morning and you’re excited about your work, it’s not just a job,” she said. “Every day is different, and I love that.”