Rich and Vanessa Lowe’s Southwest Arlington dwelling
– still their dream home, some 14 years after they purchased it – is the very definition of eclectic. The view from the street reveals an elegant and conventional 21st-century structure anchoring a five-acre lot nestled in a quiet, peaceful neighborhood.
Once you step inside, though, you enter a new realm, one marked by the keen, artistic talents of an interior designer who masterfully mixes, as Vanessa – that very designer – calls it, “mid-century modern, vintage flea market finds and modern furnishings.”
In other words, it’s perfectly Rich and Vanessa. The former has been a corporate and securities lawyer for more than 30 years and a partner in the law firm Shannon, Gracey, Ratliff and Miller, LLP for more than 17 years.
Vanessa has designed showrooms
across the country for the past seven years, including the Dallas World Trade Center, AmericasMart in Atlanta, the World Market Center in Las Vegas and the International Home Furnishings Center in High Point, N.C.
Collectively, they’ve fused their tastes to create a home like no other – and one to which friends and family frequently pay both visits and homage.
“The house was built in 1982. We were contemplating building a house but saw this one, and it was love at first sight. It is located in a quiet neighborhood on five wooded acres that include a barn, a pond and a tree house, along with a fire pit that has hosted many bonfires. We love how peaceful the neighborhood is, especially our own yard. It feels like we are in the country, when, in fact, we are five minutes from the mall, which is a prerequisite for me.” -Vanessa
While the exterior is very traditional, the interior – Vanessa’s domain – is quite a different story.
“The floor plan is perfect for entertaining, especially the kitchen and family room area,” she said. “The interior is very eclectic and consists of an aesthetic mixture of [design styles]. I am very hands-on and have done most of the interior painting myself, along with making custom drapery.”
Vanessa said the house ideally suits both of their desires for a home – that is, when they stay at home. In addition to Rich’s law career, he has also served in various non-profit board positions for the past 20 years, including Big Brothers Big Sisters, Camp Thurman and The Oakridge School.
Vanessa, meanwhile, has been involved at The Oakridge School and is currently chairman of decorations for the school’s Super Supper and Auction event, set for Feb. 27 at the Worthington Renaissance Hotel Fort Worth.
Rich and Vanessa have two children
– Jordan, a senior at Texas Wesleyan University, and Maddie, a senior at The Oakridge School – so they also have enjoyed the adventures an active family tend to render.
With the busy careers, the community involvement and the parental responsibilities assuming much of the Lowes’ time, their home becomes even more important – if just to offer a comfortable place to retreat.
Even so, respite is sometimes short-lived, as the Lowes love to use their house as a place to entertain. “We have hosted many parties over the years,” Vanessa said. Those include an annual New Year’s Eve Party, an annual Christmas Caroling Party that features a family party bus – “completely renovated by us” – and backyard barbecues at the pool house that has been converted into a retro tiki lounge.
“The formal living room has a disco ball in place of a chandelier, and the room is easily cleared and turned into a dance floor. One of the highlights of events that have taken place at the house many times is the haunted house that we hold in the barn. It takes months of preparation to set up and rivals any professional haunted house. To sum it up, our house is the best mix of providing a great space for family life, especially for the kids, and also for entertaining friends.” -Vanessa
Apparently, eclectic is as eclectic does. And the Lowes do.