Now let me brag about one of my Candy’s best home builders, Michael Turner, owner of Classic Urban homes who built “Serenity House” at 6720 Greenwich Lane in North Dallas near Forest and Hillcrest. It’s an award winning property built for Steve and Terri Woodward, Steve being a marketing executive at Fossil. Both had great input on the home from start to finish, the blueprints evolving from a single napkin drawing one cold night. The home-passionate couple, and Michael, built their 4050 square foot masterpiece of brick and glass, reinforced with steel. The floor plan is basically three sides of a rectangle: the master and a jewelry studio create the east wing, the guest bedroom and a built-in bar create the west — what a nice treat for guests, eh? In front facing north are the formal living room, dining room and kitchen. There is even a modern-style front porch to invite neighborly chats. The home is one of the warmest examples of modern design I have seen in a long time.
Serenity House sure has a lot of glass, eliminating the boundaries between indoors and exteriors. It’s as if there are no, or very few, walls in the house. The only thing that divides the formals is a brick column with see-through fire place. The brick theme is brought into the living room creating a seamless line from the exterior front of house to courtyard — as if it is floating in.
Most of the walls to the exterior are floor-to-ceiling glass, including more than 10 doors around the back perimeter that simply slide open. For a party, guests would almost not know where the house ended and the exteriors begin!
Michael says the designer, architect Billy Ware of Ware Architecture, designed with a concept of two solid bars connected by a floating plane. The floating plane comprises the public spaces, the bar encompasses private. Yet, even when they shut the windows and doors completely, one still has a feeling of being outdoors. The Woodwords choose a large, leafy lot north of Forest lane in an area where older homes are being scraped to make way for new, reasonably-sized home: this one is just over 4000 square feet. It has what every empty nester needs and not a minute more: two bedrooms, three and a half baths, a custom jewelry-making studio for Terry, upstairs patio for the visiting son, huge walk-in closets each for Terry and Steve, eco conscious materials such as Eco Stone countertops of crushed granite, marble and mirror. There are three fireplaces, hot tub, fancy pants custom bar and a flat TOP roof with a 13-foot overhang to shade from the sun.
Here’s the best part: Michael Turner pulled this off for under $200 a square foot. In fact, this property did not break the one million mark (excluding land costs), and finished on time, a hallmark of Classic Urban home projects.
Turner says the Woodwards were the perfect couple to work with, easygoing folks who have built no less than 15 homes from the ground up, and gutted one pre-owned home. When you tour the property with them, it’s obvious that both care for the home — terry cleans and obsesses over hangers in the huge closet. There’s no bragging about the price of the art or the imported carpets. It’s the house, the creation itself, that stands alone as a work of art in no immediate dire need of fluffy furnishings or name-dropping design to make it pop.
“My rule of thumb is that is you don’t just absolutely love a piece, don’t put it in your home, ” says the former interior designer.
The home building process for these two and the star building team was a passionate output of energy and talent they both enjoyed. Like many things in life, it’s the process that stimulates and becomes almost more important and enjoyable than the outcome. Well, except that this outcome is a total stunner and can always be marketed to create someone else s dream… hint hint.