Dallas Real Estate News: Perceived Thrift Is The Newest Trend in Real Estate

Remember when, right after Lehman Brothers tanked and the market crashed in fall of 2008, how plain brown shopping bags were the rage? Conspicuous consumption was out, and the wealthy did not want anyone to know that they were blowing $90,000 a month on revolving credit at luxury stores when so many people were out of work. (My friends who work at Neimans tell me there was a marked increase in deliveries right about this time.) Anyhoo, the brown-shopping bag trend has now spilled over to Real Estate. It is very in, now, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal, to build a home that looks, well, normal, maybe even smallish from the front, but sufficiently gigantic from the back or rear view:

“Architects are seeing more houses with unassuming façades that explode in size when viewed from the back, or homes split into multiple buildings so they’ll look less massive, or even homes that New York architect Lee Skolnick calls “McRanchions”—1950s ranch houses given luxury makeovers. “There’s a trend we’re seeing—it’s called ‘perceived thrift,'” said Chris Rose, an architect based in Charleston, S.C. “It’s kind of like the ladies going to Bergdorf’s and still buying stuff, but putting it in a brown bag.”

I’m trying to think of any Dallas homes that look unassuming from the front but wow out to massive square footage once you get in — nothing comes to mind, yet, except for a a fabulous home I know in East Dallas on West Circle Drive that looks like a modest ranch but has a full basement wine cellar below it almost bigger than the house. I can think of plenty of homes that strut their stuff like a woman showing off cleavage after a boob job — bigger is better, right? I wonder if and when this trend will hit Dallas. We are certainly seeing a rise in gated and private communities, like the Creeks of Preston Hollow and Vaquero, where folks like Glenn Beck can live as luxuriously as they like and no one can see to dissapprove or bring out the pitchforks.