University Park Contemporary Remodeled to Perfection

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HGTV, are you paying attention? Not only do we have an incredible University Park contemporary for you, we’re pretty certain we have your next design stars.

John and Whitney Coke own this terrific two-story home at 2941 University Boulevard. It’s just across from Burleson Park and a few blocks from SMU. It didn’t look anything like this when they bought it, however. They have remodeled the original 1940 house to absolute perfection.

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John is a Realtor with Allie Beth Allman, so he knows a thing or two about what people are looking for in a house today. His wife, Whitney, is blessed with an amazing talent. She can walk into a home that needs a lot of TLC and immediately know what old  walls need to come down and what new walls need to be constructed. She’s basically a renovation and remodeling savant.

The University Park contemporary is not their first rodeo. Several years ago, they were looking for a home in the Highland Park ISD. They found one on Colgate, just outside of the district. Their stellar remodel of that home led to a quick sale, allowing them to make the jump into the Park Cities. Their next project was a Tudor on Mockingbird that also sold as soon as it hit the market. They quickly realized they were pretty good at remodeling houses. They moved into the University Park  contemporary in November. Whitney delivered their second child in December. Yep, nothing much slows her down.

“I’m energized by remodeling,” Whitney said. “I love it. I go through my design magazines, gather ideas, and love working with an existing property to see what can be done.”

“Whitney can see beauty and potential when I’m sure it’s not there,” John said. “But she’s convinced me. I know what she can do, and she’s earned her stripes. This house was in pretty bad shape when we first saw it with a potbelly stove just inside the front door and a staircase that looked more like a ladder, but I didn’t worry, I knew Whitney would create something wonderful.”

The Coke family always live in the house while renovating. It’s not easy but it does offer the advantage of understanding what will really work. They try to conserve as much of the house as possible. In this home they kept the original windows but created a more transitional look by simply painting the trim a dark gray — Iron Ore, by Sherwin Williams. This, along with banishing the brick from the façade and unifying it with an all stucco exterior completely changed the look of the exterior.

“The house was somewhat rustic when we bought it,” Whitney said. “It had almost a lodge feel, but the bones were contemporary. I love the transitional look that is popular right now but I also love traditional, classic architecture. I wanted to mix that with the bones of the house so whether your taste is contemporary or traditional, it will suit anyone.”

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The biggest change on the University Park contemporary was the spacious screened porch addition to the back of the house.“It’s great for entertaining both adult friends and kid friends,” Whitney said. “I used outdoor furnishings and fabrics so kids can have chocolate chip cookies, spill their drinks and we can just hose it off.”

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The Cokes repurposed wood trim, using it on the bathroom ceiling, and kept original exposed rustic wood beams in place on the second floor.

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The home now has 2,367 square feet (not including the 377-square-foot screened porch), four bedrooms, and four bathrooms. It’s finally finished to Whitney’s high standards — so of course it’s time to move on. John just listed the home last Friday, for $1.175 million.

“It’s always hard to leave the last house and move on to the next one,” Whitney said. “But I get antsy after a certain amount of time in a house. I want to start creating again. And of course, we need a bit more room as we have new baby coming!”

Your Realtor can get a sneak peak on Valentine’s Day, tomorrow, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. What a sweet treat!

Karen is the owner of Eubank Staging and Design. She has been an award-winning professional home stager for more than 25 years. She’s been a professional writer for 20 years. Karen is the mother of a son who’s studying music at The University of Miami. An ardent animal lover, she doesn’t mind one bit if your fur baby jumps right into her lap. Find Karen at www.eubankstaging.com