Dallas Modern

Modern Monday: Q&A with Ryan Williams of W2 Studio {Video}

We love W2 Studio‘s modern look, clean lines, sleek structures, and calming spaces. Maybe you’ve heard about them in Modern Luxury Magazine or in AIA publications? Then you’ve probably already caught the clever take on this incredibly talented couple’s names (Ryan and Melissa Williams). You’re sure to enjoy this exclusive interview with Ryan Williams, one of the dynamic duo that make up this incredible firm.


1. What is the most difficult thing for people considering a design change and how do you help them resolve it?

a. Most difficulties in design planning come from an imbalance between the preferred scope/quality of work and budget. This is pretty normal, though, and can almost always be mitigated by looking at areas where you can save and spend that money in a more important way.
2. What’s your favorite element of the home?

a. I would have to say the kitchen. Kitchens are a focal point and usually open or next to the living and dining spaces. Kitchens are also very detail oriented, and a great kitchen can really make a difference overall.

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3. Do you have a favorite color palette?

a. I really like contrast and think that a minimal backdrop generally works best with a client’s furniture and art selections. I also like to use accent surfaces, like wood panels or tiles, where applicable but prefer most of the walls and ceilings to be white.

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4. Favorite materials or textures?

a. That’s hard to say; there are so many great materials and textures that, if done well, look great and work great.

5. How did you style your current home?

a. Melissa grew up in Japan so we have a mixture of modern American and antique Japanese art and furniture. We live in a small apartment that is very sparse and minimal so we think it is a great backdrop for us. We are also authorized dealers for Donald Judd furniture and have a couple his pieces.

6. What’s the most difficult design challenge you have ever faced?

a. That title goes to 10 Nonesuch, the former Stanley Marcus estate. Luckily the clients were absolutely wonderful to work with and they were very patient and understanding. This project was a large home built around 1936 and is one of the first examples of modernism in Dallas. It was selected to become a city and state landmark so the pressure to get it right was very high.

7. Who is your favorite designer or architect?

a. I love the work of many designers and architects but if I had to pick a favorite, I would probably say Donald Judd. I know he is considered by most to be an artist. He definitely was, but he was really a total environment designer on every scale. I definitely recommend visiting his spaces in Marfa and New York. I think they are outstanding.

8. Where do you go for inspiration?

a. Anywhere quiet. I have a very energetic 5-year-old daughter.

9. Is there anything forbidden from your design style?

a. Forbidden is a strong word, but I definitely don’t gravitate toward anything opulent or rococo.

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10. Is there a design rule you love to break?

a. My design rules are pretty pragmatic and easy to work with in most situations. I can’t really think of a situation where I would need to break them.

11. What design trends in 2014 are you most excited about?

a. More and more of our clients are showing interest in smaller, higher-quality, higher-efficiency space and their homes impact on the environment. We are excited about this because homes make such a large percentage of our environment.

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12. If you were to compare your design style to a movie or book, which would it be?

a. “The Art of War” – I like to think of design as the art of protection and organization.

13. Where is your favorite neighborhood in Dallas? Favorite shop?

a. Deep Ellum has always been my favorite Dallas neighborhood. We moved there first out of school and used to office there as well.

14. What’s the best place/thing a person can put their design money?

a. Aside from kitchens and bathrooms, which are always the best (return on investment), I think great furniture and art can make the biggest impact.

You can learn more about W2 Studio by visiting their website or by  following them on facebook.

Click here to see the latest in real estate news. CEO Robbie Briggs independently owns and operates Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty with six offices in Dallas, Uptown, Lakewood, Ranch and Land, The Ballpark and Southlake

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