Fat Tuesday is a special occasion at the Needleman House. As guests make their way over, shrimp and grits simmer on the stove and ice cubes rattle in plastic cups. Add to that mix three kids and two dogs, and you get one lively Mardi Gras soundtrack.
The backdrop for the festivity—and for all the other parties the family frequently throws—is a 1966 Glen Allen Galaway creation on Airline Road that Meredith and Josh Needleman bought in 2010 and completely remodeled.
“We had no idea we were taking it down to the studs and rebuilding it,” Josh says of the nearly yearlong project. “But behind every wall we found a little wood rot. So we just kept going and going. We redid everything. It’s a tank.” Working with architect Tom Weber and the team from MORE Design + Build, the Needlemans made sure to stay true to Galaway’s original midcentury modern design. “He built the house where everything serves a purpose,” Josh says. So their remodeling plans also called for smart living. “We use every ounce of space, ”Meredith says. “There’s nothing wasted here.”
One hallway, for instance, contains a piano, a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf, and a desk that served as Galaway’s workstation back when the architect and his family called the house home. “The hallway is our music room, our library, and our office,” Josh says. “That’s the cool thing about this house. You have one of everything. In our other home, we had so many different living spaces, and you never use all these different rooms. But there’s something cleansing about having a coffee table, a dining table.”
“You feel like you’re living in the whole house,” Meredith adds.
That goes for the outside as well. From the roof to the carport, every exterior element at the Needleman house has a reason for being—sometimes two reasons. There’s the 8-by-8 rooftop deck where the couple likes to watch the sun rise and set. There’s the basketball court that converts to an Airstream trailer park. There’s the carport that Meredith turned into a dining room one Thanksgiving. And there’s even a side garden that houses the outdoor shower Josh uses regardless of weather conditions. “When it’s zero, I take a shower outside,” he says. “Even if it’s raining, I’ll take a shower out there.”
Lucky for Josh, the house offers plenty of privacy. “The way Glen Allen situated this house,” Meredith says, “we don’t have a typical house staring down into our backyard.”
“He built it so not one home would face this house on this irregular lot,” Josh says.
As the vice president of business development and the head of sourcing for Peacock Alley, a company his mother founded 40 years ago, Josh appreciates that kind of attention to detail. Combine that with Meredith’s love of mixing design elements—from Asian to Mexican—and you get a house full of color, culture, and quality.
In the master suite, a mirror from Santa Fe shares space with a Waterworks tub and an Indian light fixture, a chandelier from the Paris flea market lights the closet, and a hammered-tin headboard handmade in San Miguel is the centerpiece of the bedroom.
Other rooms feature items from places even more far-flung: a painting Meredith found in a Beijing teahouse, a carved mirror from Indonesia, a collection of German bar carts. When it comes to decorating, Meredith shuns consistency and cookie-cutter design. “Where’s the story?” she says. “Where’s the history?”
There’s no shortage of history at the Airline house, and there’s nothing about it that fi ts the mold of the neighborhood. When this magazine named the home one of the 10 Most Beautiful Houses in Dallas last year, we called it “a midcentury masterpiece in a sea of Mediterraneans.”
That individuality is what attracted the Needlemans when they were house hunting, a process that took the couple to 30 houses they say looked exactly the same. “This house was unique,” Meredith says. “You felt like you weren’t in Dallas, and you weren’t in the Park Cities for sure.”
Friends and family like it, too. Though some were skeptical in the beginning, the final result won them over. “Now everybody wants to have the party here,” Meredith says.
The Needlemans, of course, are more than happy to oblige.
Styled by Jenny O’Connor | Flowers by Haile Wossen
For more information about Peacock Alley, visit our online shopping guide.