Scene setter: Stockton Briggle’s cinematic touch at Rutherford’s

Posted by on Sep 12, 2010 in Featured Articles, Press | 0 comments


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Scene setter: Stockton Briggle’s cinematic touch at Rutherford’s

Beverly Hills designer Stockton Briggle – crisp dress shirt, gold cufflinks – flings back the temporary black curtain inside Rutherford’s on Lovers Lane.

www.DallasNews.com

BY CHRISTOPHER WYNN | PHOTOGRAPHY BY CARTER ROSE

Beverly Hills designer Stockton Briggle – crisp dress shirt, gold cufflinks – flings back the temporary black curtain inside Rutherford’s on Lovers Lane.

Behind it, a room: red-lacquered fireplace, chrome-and-black goat-hair rocking chairs, metallic faux-snakeskin window shades, a glass Fortuny chandelier.

The effect is high drama – and not what’s expected in one of Dallas’ most traditional fabric and furniture showrooms.

“Having been in the theater, been in television, knowing how I wanted the sets to look by working intimately with lighting directors, set designers … it was all stored in some obscure part of my brain that now expresses itself when I create a space,” explains Briggle, who clearly knows a thing or two about theatrics.

He’s been in show business since leaving his native Dallas to launch an acting, directing and producing career in New York City. (“Creativity and Texas didn’t always go hand-in-hand back then,” he offers wryly.)

Success led him to London, Africa and eventually, Los Angeles. Along the way, he befriended stars, including Rock Hudson, and even turned his beloved former SMU professor Lon Tinkle’s book on the Alamo into an Emmy-nominated television movie with Alec Baldwin.

Briggle found what he calls “my third act” over lunch at a TV executive’s house. He offered suggestions on the exec’s remodel-in-progress and was soon hired to redo the entire home.

The striking result drew the attention of actress Alyssa Milano, who hired Briggle to decorate her Beverly Hills mansion and later, a “funky English Tudor” on her four-acre California ranch. That project, splashed over nine pages of InStyle in 2004, put Briggle on decorator speed dial with LA’s fickle industry crowd.

Enter Briggle’s brother, Anthony, a retired Neiman Marcus public relations executive needing help decorating the new home he and his wife, Marla, had bought near NorthPark Center.

The project brought Briggle back to Dallas, and took more than a year, but from the red gloss of the Chinese-inspired study to a grand front parlor worthy of Merchant Ivory, the result is cinematic.

When showroom owner Robert Rutherford saw the house, he invited Briggle to stage the scene that now wows at the store’s entrance.

Briggle says he drew on urban projects like the W and Stoneleigh to create “my version of a room in a modern downtown condo.”

That includes a black linen sofa of his own design with “hundreds of silver nail heads,” hand-blocked custom Farrow & Ball wallpaper (sent from England in numbered rolls), and an unexpected fireplace surround created out of black-and-gold Ann Sacks tiles, normally reserved for kitchens and baths. “Bold colors have always been my calling card,” Briggle says.

With local clients clamoring for more, Briggle now plans to divide his time between LA and Dallas.

“Every house speaks to me in its own language,” says Briggle. “I’ll spend hours sitting quietly in a room, and by the time I’m done, I know what every detail should be, right down to the doorknobs. Then I execute that vision.”

Spoken like a true director.

See article and full images here.

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