the original architect for Mockingbird Hilton, now Hotel Palomar.),
wanted every room to have a view. Even through several additions
and renovations by previous owners, including Nancy and Norman
Brinker, outdoor vistas remain a key element to the house.
For Stewart, one of the biggest challenges was to make it look
cohesive. But first, he had to transform the Shirleys into devotees of
contemporary architecture. “They really took a leap of faith because
they were coming from a traditional background,” said Stewart. The
Shirleys have been willing students. “I wish we had let him push us
more,” Rick said, adding, “(Stewart’s) stamp is everywhere in this
house.” It is clearly reflected in the furniture, much of which comes
from the contemporary showroom Scott+Cooner. There is a blend
of Knoll Classics, Italian design and French designer Christian
The house is also a perfect backdrop for contemporary art. The
couple moved in about the time that the Murchison art collection
came onto the market. Being in the neighborhood, they stopped in
to see if there was anything they might like. It was there that they
met Carson Hall of Carson Hall Fine Art. “That was Art 101,” said
Lisa. It has been another enduring relationship.
Hall led them to the work of top 20th century artists, including
Gene Davis, Larry Poons and Sam Francis. He also directed them to
work by lesser-known artists such as Stanley William Hayter. While
not a household name, Hayter was a printmaker who lived in Paris
in the 1930s and ‘40s where his students included Pablo Picasso,
Salvador Dalí and Joan Miró. After moving to New York, he taught
prominent Abstract Expressionist artists, including Jackson Pollock
and Willem DeKooning. The Shirleys own a rare painting by Hayter.
It is one of Lisa’s favorite works.
Console, Time in Macassar ebony from the Giorgetti Collection at
Scott+Cooner; Paul Shapiro, Music of the Spheres, 2003, mixed media on
canvas, 60 x 72 in., Carson Hall Fine Art, Dallas.
Neil Stewart Designs collaborated on all the interiors for the Shirleys. White Latin chair,
Beluga sofa, tan Buddha chair, all by Christian Liaigre from George Cameron Nash; Carolyn
Brown, Anemone, photograph, 72 x 72 in., Craighead Green Gallery.
Bazane stools from Christian Liaigre from George Cameron Nash; Paul Shapiro, Meta Scape #1, 2003, acrylic on canvas, 102 x 84 in., Carson Hall Fine