Extraordinary Contemporary Bluffview Home Features a Musical Commode that Washes, Dries, Deodorizes, Glows & Warms… Your Tootsies

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Swananoah FrontGrab your smelling salts and get ready. I have homes that just might make you forget the wrapping, baking, even the parties and flat out MOVE right now. I know we are all holiday crazed, but this one is worth stopping for!

8519 Swananoah, another creation by Kettering Ideas, is one such house. You have seen Kettering’s work before, but by the time you get to see it more closely, it’s usually gone. The genius behind these homes is a former airline pilot (stay tuned for a profile) who wanted to build the perfect home for himself, so he did. Then he just kept on building, every home as perfect and precise as the landing of a 747 on ice.

Speaking of ice: 8519 Swananoah was on open house tour the weekend of Dallas’ ice storm. More than 200 people came by each day, some from as far away as Southlake on icy roads! “We had music, we had wine, we had great food,” says agent Jacqui Bloomquist with Coldwell Banker. This girl knows how to throw a party, as much as Kettering knows how to build a house.

Swananoah Living 1 Swananoah Living 2 Swananoah StaircaseThis time, he took a perfect lot in a fabulous location: sought-after Bluffview, on a quiet side-stretch of Midway road (not the busy part), on the corner of Swananoah and Midway. This masterpiece of contemporary construction is surrounded by three to five million dollar homes. He grabbed an almost half-acre lot loaded with trees and constructed a soft contemporary that is quite honestly a perfect home in floorplan, size, and energy efficiency. The home has what I can best describe as an “Austin light” feel, created of very light wood and unusual stone. Walk in to an efficient foyer, tall clerestory windows and a solid free-hanging stairway that displays like a work of art. The study is on the left with a direct vent fireplace — these are necessary with airtight homes because they seal the fireplace off from losing interior air. The living room features a curved wood ceiling, total talking piece.

Swananoah Dining Swananoah Kitchen 1 Swananoah Kitchen 2 Swananoah FamilyStraight ahead is the huge, loaded kitchen that has the name “Wolf” stamped on every appliance, and family room. There is a large wet bar/Butler’s pantry, and first floor master off its own vestibule. Let me tell you about the master bedroom — you do not see retreats like this, not even in $7 million dollar homes. The master is almost the central focal point of the entire house, and why not? The main bedroom is huge, 22 by 17 or more, with a breakfast/coffee bar on one side. The bath is beyond words — it’s just one big O! The graceful soaking tub is the dramatic focal point, while there are two water closets off each side holding — actual water closets, or commodes! HE gets a commode and a urinal, SHE gets a commode and a bidet. Brilliant!

Swananoah Master Swananoah Master Bath Yes, that is a car-wash shower behind the tub!Swananoah FitnessThere are oceans of graceful counter space, storage and two huge closets with built ins and those easy-to-lower high rods. Off the master bathroom is an exercise room. This room features a giant steam shower, more like a steam room. A nearby powder room boasts an exterior door to serve as the pool bath.

Back to the family room, overlooking the pool: this home does not stop with a downstairs master, a study and call it a day. Yes, you could use the study as an extra bedroom I guess, it has the storage, but you won’t need it. There are five bedrooms in total, including a lovely guest room downstairs (with en suite bath) behind the family room. I would be a guest here 24/7: the wine closet would be right across from my bedroom door! Thus this would be a perfect home for empty nesters who may have an aging parent under the roof — hell, let them nip all they want — or a busy family with a live-in nanny.

Not to worry: the wine “cellar” does have a nanny-lock.

Swananoah gameroom Swananoah Office The hallway leading to the garage and laundry room is called the “Owners Foyer” in Ketterings’ book, and I love it. What is an Owner’s Foyer? It’s the place where you de-junk, de-load stuff, sometimes even dis-robe upon coming home with your arms full of the day’s activities. There are closets here, counters, sometimes even cubicles. In this home, there is something else for the whole family to enjoy: a powder room with the latest Kohler technology commode, a Kohler Numi Toilet. kohler-numi-toilet-1This starkly modern, box-shaped loo is motion activated, plays music, washes, dries, deodorizes, glows and warms your feet.

I would not be at all surprised if it also gave you a pedicure.

Swananoah Media Swananoah Pool Swananoah CabanaDo you see what I mean about this house? Every inch has been used wisely, adroitly, no wasted space or boasty, braggy hallways. The laundry room is efficiently loaded with built-ins, counters and a panic/safe/tornado room, so you can get in quick from the garage or pool. There is also a  closet. Up the back stairs is another flexible room with a kitchen/bar that could be a game room and even has a dishwasher, with an efficient media room off this. There is a half bath up here as well as the fifth bedroom and en suite bath.

On the front end of the second floor, accessible by that free-standing stairway, there are two large bedrooms with en suite baths, and a loft overlooking the living areas below.

This home has room to house four cars, in each of two structures. The second garage is a one-car and yields yet more space on the second floor that could be a cute studio or office. In all, there are 6032 interior square feet which you really won’t believe because there is just so much freaking space in this home. There are many decks, and the patio boasts invisible retractable screens which nets even more entertainment space. Of course the back patio is decked out with a full kitchen, grill, storage, sink and refrigerator — I think there is even a kegerator out here, no? Well, one could be added. Honestly, have not seen an exterior kitchen like this since Mike and Jan Davis’ home, Michael being the CEO of Capital Distributing!

The salt water pool is a tranquility infinity that provides the constant soothing sound of water. Don’t forget, this is off the master so you may even fall asleep to this soothing sound. There is also a spa, and a rear cushion cabana with fireplace, ceiling fans, and acrylic panels that make this a haven in the cold or a refuge from the August sun.

As if this epistle isn’t enough, I must tell you the home is created of natural stone, stucco and cedar with a metal seam roof and fully encapsulated with thick spray foam insulation. Energy costs for a home this size will be peanuts.

Everything is state of the art and created with conservation in mind, from the NEST Learning thermostats, to the recovery ventilation systems. Even the appliances are efficient.

Asking price is $3,450,000. I’m not sure any other home is Dallas gives you as much bang for your buck as this one does — just ask Rudolph!



Candy Evans

A real estate muckraker, Candy Evans is one of the nation’s leading real estate reporters. She is also the North Texas real estate editor for Forbes.com, CultureMap Dallas, Modern Luxury Dallas, & the Katy Trail Weekly. Candy has written for Joel Kotkin’s The New Geography, Inman Real Estate News, plus a host of national sites. Constantly breaking celebrity real estate news, she scooped former president George W. Bush's Dallas home in 2008. She is the founder and publisher of her signature CandysDirt.com, and SecondShelters.com, devoted to the vacation home market. Her verticals have won many awards, including Best Blog by the venerable National Association of Real Estate Editors, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious journalism associations. Candy holds an active Texas real estate license but does not sell. She is on the Board of Directors of Braemar Hotels & Resorts (BHR).

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