The Amber

Today, I’d love to tell you about one of the most beautiful homes I’ve seen in a long time — there’s not another place like this in North Texas. So unique is this property, it even has a name. The Amber is an expansive, pastoral property nestled in the quiet community of Little Elm. Little Elm is only 45 minutes from downtown Dallas and ten minutes from nearby shopping and dining, but has the coziness of country living on 10 gorgeous acres. And if you haven’t been up there in awhile, well, things are hopping!

Located at 751 Amber Ln., this is sophisticated contemporary transitional living with everything a buyer could want, right on the northern shores of Lewisville Lake. Locals here have access to all the fishing, boating, and fun they could ask for!

The Amber was designed by noted Dallas architecture firm Bernbaum Magadini in 2006, and holds a reputation for award-winning horses, in addition to the breathtaking tranquility of the curated grounds. It has four bedrooms, four full bathrooms, two half bathrooms, and 6,232 square feet on two stories. The home is divided into special privacy wings that lend itself to so much versatility of living. Clearly, you can see the spacial use genius of Bernbaum Magadini in every inch. This property is going to knock your socks off — it’s listed by Evan Stewart and Nilza Rueckert of the Rueckert + Stewart Group with Ebby Halliday Realtors, who were kind enough to give me a full tour and let me chase the hens! Jump to watch the video we made and see all the amazing photos of The Amber.

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GetMedia.ashxOne of Dallas’ Real Housewives and her LA-house flipping spouse, Travis,  just snatched the bargain of the century on a house that may well be the most notorious dirt in town. I am talking about 3816 Turtle Creek Drive, which was built by Braden Power, as you may recall, back in 2005. The home was famous for, among other things, the swimming pool in the main foyer! Built of the highest quality materials, the home is exquisite: when Braden thought one element was wonderful, he put in 10 and added swans! The master closet rivals the couture department at Neimans size-wise with a sitting room, wet bar and desk. The jacuzzi spa is indoors and part of the upstairs media room. Yes, that is the point: you sit in or out of the oversized spa while watching the tube, clothes completely optional. Mais oui. (Must have been a blast on election night!) Sixty percent of the upstairs is devoted to the master suite, including a whole room for a shower, that indoor spa jacuzzi with television, a separate bathtub room, coffee/wine bar and of course, the room where you actually sometimes really sleep.

Downstairs there are two kitchens, formals, the pooled foyer, and a fabulous infinity exterior pool and yard overlooking Turtle Creek.

We have loved 3816 Turtle Creek since she was a gleam in her daddy’s eye. She even has a name: Casa Bellamini and was featured on HGTV’s Million Dollar Room. Once Braden built the home, he tried to sell it but the market did not cooperate — remember Lehman Brothers? First Erin Mathews listed it back in early 2010 for $6,900,000, getting it again in July 2010. No go. Even Marilyn Hoffman had her hands on this deal, raising the asking to $7,900,000. In January of 2011, a Chris Lowdon listed it for $7,900,000 or $929.41 a square foot. Yeow! And then, sometime in between all these agents, Braden covered the pool in the foyer.

You always want to be the first-born, the second wife and the third agent: Along comes Doris Jacobs to the rescue. She sells the home on March 24, 2011 for a whopping $7,900,000 to none other than Lee Bailey, then the fresh ex-wife of restaurateur Ed Bailey. Lee proceeds to make the home respectable: no more wild parties, talks to both Sherry Hayslip, whose husband, Cole, designed the home, and Trisha Wilson about the interiors, and takes the cover off that pool in the foyer!

Fast forward to 2016: Lee Bailey wants to sell, she enlists Doris again who lists the home at $8,895,000 after more than a million dollars in renovations, and in a much healthier market. In June, shocker: Lee changes agents to Kelly Watson with Keller Williams Urban, a lovely woman from Zimbabwe, South Africa. Then shocker of all shocks: Lee and Kelly bring on Concierge Auctions, who, as you know, can get the job done lickety split. (“3816 Turtle Creek is for the elite and someone who really loves to entertain high end black tie, but also casual AFFAIRS”) 3816 Turtle Creek Drive is going, going, GONE on November 14, 2016 for… are you ready because it’s LESS THAN DCAD…
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outdoor living

The tasteful Kenneth Pressley estate at 1708 Byron Nelson Pkwy. in Colleyville is a golf course property with incredible views. All photos: Ebby Halliday Realtors

Even on the hottest summer day, North Texans have an evening when outdoor living is enjoyable. This is especially true if you’re lucky enough to have a home with superb outdoor spaces.

We’ve found five outstanding Ebby Halliday properties on the market now that elevate outdoor living to an art. You’ll find everything from infinity-edge swimming pools and cool cabanas, to gourmet outdoor kitchens and cozy fireplaces. They have everything you need and want to make the most of outdoor living.

“These five properties represent some of the finest homes in our extensive portfolio, both in terms of outside amenities and quality of the properties,” said Randall Graham, vice president and director of marketing for Ebby Halliday Realtors. “One of the reasons these homeowners chose to list with us is Ebby Halliday Realtors has wide-ranging experience marketing and selling these kind of luxury properties and letting buyers know about the amazing features they offer.”

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Photos: Shoot2Sell

Why move to Italy and spend years restoring a crumbling farmhouse when you can have your own Tuscan village (yes, village!) minutes from downtown Dallas? We watched in awe as 4636 Chapel Hill Road was being built back in 2006. It just kept growing into what seemed to be much more than a grand house — in fact it began to resemble a Medieval town rising above White Rock Lake. When you have 13,555 square feet on 1.57 acres that is accessed by a bridge over a running brook, yards of red tile roofing, multiple courtyards, and a watchtower that rivals those in San Gimignano, we can easily call that a village even by Texas standards. Don’t you think?

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3816 Turtle Creek is, of course, the former home of Braden Power, now owned by the beautiful Leigh Bailey. Everyone knew it as the “Party House” when Braden owned it, mostly because he was a bachelor who liked to have fun. The home’s history is like writing a book on Dallas real estate agents: absolutely everyone in town had the listing.

Built on .7 acres bordering Turtle Creek and designed by owner Braden Power, co-founder of Power Properties, the home was created with loving care and exquisite attention to detail. There are five bedrooms, six baths in the main house, a loggia, fireplace, beaucoup outside rooms and seating areas plus (another) exterior infinity pool, guest quarters, rolling lawns and an intimate lounging area/fire pit smack dab at the edge of Turtle Creek. Braden, when he owned the home, even dredged the creek so he could run wires across it to light the opposite bank. The ancient Rome influence is evident, revealed in the front atrium foyer with a reflective pool right as you walk in the house. That pool is probably the most talked about pool in Dallas. It’s bordered with heated limestone passageways connecting the Moorish style entrance to French doors flanking the fireplace. Cole Smith was the architect. Details abound such as zebra wood inset in wood railings, hand-carved corbels, and monochromic wall and window coverings. The main kitchen is so integrated you don’t realize it’s a kitchen — a butler’s/catering kitchen is adjacent. The home is so sexy I think Viagra is circulated through the evaporator coils as a pheromone. There’s one-touch interior/exterior mood lighting and sound systems and, most vitally, automatic window coverings. Verrry private.

The home has the most decadent master suite in the country, maybe the world! Half of the second story is devoted to a languishing master bath with heated floors and towel shelves, indoor spa/media room, spa with steam room/waterfall/full bar/fireplace, gym, to-die-for haberdashery closet that is like having Neiman Marcus in your closet, a sitting room, balcony and dressing room.

The home is 7697 square feet, but why stop there? Cole Smith designed a greatroom of approximately 4,000 square feet for future expansion. The original price tag on this house was $13,500,000 in July 2008 when Eleanor Mowery Sheets and Company had it listed.

Let’s see if I can get straight subsequent agents: Doris Jacobs, $9.8, then Dave Perry-Miller at $7.9, then Erin Mathews $6.9 million, then Doris AGAIN who sold it to Leigh last March. Sale price undisclosed but I heard around $6 million.

Now here’s the funny thing. The home has that pool in the foyer, which I think is great. Well, Braden took it out to help move the house. Along came Lee Bailey and everyone thought, oh, Lee will be so happy without that pool. WRONG! The foyer pool is back. I was at the home today and it looks fantastic! That plywood you see from Turtle Creek? She’s doing some work on the balcony, and I would not be at all surprised if Ms. Bailey had Mr. Smith’s plans out for that 4,000 square foot expansion.

I mean, why not?

Pool’s Back!Expansion on Turtle Creek?

It’s that time of the year when we wonder why we have pools. Because, right about now, they are all like bathtubs.

I’m not a cold water gal. I actually LIKE my pool in May, June and July when I can just walk right in without a “period of adjustment”. But come August, it seems the pool is only a few degrees cooler than the air and hardly worth getting my hair wet. It must be about 90 degrees.

So tonight we were talking about pool chillers. I want to know if anyone out there has one, how they work, how they like it, and whether we should all get a pool chiller along with a Texas drivers license!

By the way, this is the gorgeous infinity pool over at Veruschka and Thomas Dundon’s 13,556 square foot home overlooking Northwest Highway built in 2007, with a swim park, indoor-outdoor tennis courts, baseball diamond, automate batting cage, a putting green, go-cart track, stocked pond, this pool, and and indoor and outdoor slide from the first floor right into the family room. Oh the kids rooms also have gymnasium floors and baseketball hoops. The home is valued at $10,250,000.