Juliette and Mark Moussa couldn’t wait to be married in the house they were building in Dallas. So they didn’t. Right there in their future library, the giddy couple tied the knot—surrounded by stud-framed walls and power tools, with their wedding cake on a makeshift table of plywood and sawhorses. Guests were promptly handed Sharpies to scribble sentiments within those walls, since sealed up for posterity behind Sheetrock.
Love is all around chez Moussa, now a setting for three members of a lively blended family that totals seven in all: Juliette, one of her three children, and Mark, the founder of Arteriors, purveyor of sophisticated lighting, furniture, and accessories. Design isn’t just a business for the Moussas—Mark founded Arteriors in Dallas in 1987 and has built it into a global beacon of chic—it is a passion, relished every day in a home where everything is considered, even how a shapely oak tree appears through windows.
The family’s choice of architect had become obvious. As they drove about, looking for ideas, “every single house that we loved was his,” Juliette says of David Stocker, principal of the local firm SHM Architects. Stocker dug deep for his own inspiration for the Moussa house, arriving at a crisscross between classicism and modernism, wrapped in the metaphysical. “Architecture is supposed to bring mystery and delight,” he says, reflecting on the progression of rectilinear spaces. “We worked hard to let the house slowly reveal its secrets.” One of the confidences is the aforementioned live oak tree, already on site, which now spreads its branches in its own central courtyard, with vistas to it unfolding slowly. Mark likes to call it “the happy tree” for its exuberant, affirming presence.
Dive Deeper Into the Design of Mark Moussa's Family Home in Texas
As Stocker created with limestone, glass, stucco, and steel, San Francisco–based designer Jay Jeffers pulled together the mélange of furnishings and art. Jeffers had first met Mark at an industry function, but a chance run-in at a Mexican hotel fortified their bond. Not only did Mark eventually ask Jeffers to design a collection for Arteriors, he asked him to help with his family’s new house, too. Jeffers stirred together vintage and antique finds, Arteriors pieces and prototypes, and more. The only real goal? “We wanted to celebrate design,” Mark says. Everything—from a Swedish buffet picked up at a Paris flea market to a long sofa designed by Jeffers—is cerebral, crafted, alluring. “It all kind of fits,” says Mark. Because the Moussas are inveterate travelers, the interior pulsates with the “worldly, universal vibe” that Jeffers says the couple envisioned. Though Mark always has another plane to catch (bound for India, China, or Europe, as part of his sourcing and creating for Arteriors), the would-be homebody feels a tug. “I never really want to leave,” he says. “We’ve got it all right here.”
Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest