Get a Sneak Peek at “The Crown Jewel of Swiss Avenue” Before it Hits The Mother’s Day Home Tour

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We already told you that Elizabeth Mast and her partner, Robby Sturgeon, will be listing the incredible Stubbs House at 6543 La Vista for $1.5 million. Well, I got to tour this home last night at their open house before the Swiss Avenue Mother’s Day Home Tour, and I was just blown away. Just floored!

If you were one of the lucky few who attended the estate sale at this amazing home, you’ll remember how cramped and packed and practically claustrophobic this house felt. It was drowning in antiques and memorabilia, with a variety of Asian art spread across the tables and floors. There was a thin layer of dust and grime on most surfaces, and the chandeliers were dull and sad.

And then Mast and Sturgeon, with the help of their incredible team, completely transformed the home into a show-stopper. Now we understand why this stately Tudor called “The Crown Jewel of Swiss Avenue!”

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Staged by Mast, who owns HESS, this home is a stunner. For the Swiss Avenue Mother’s Day Home Tour, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, along with the Mast Sturgeon Group, are sponsoring the home.  At first, I was a little perplexed. I asked associate Mandi Giallorenzo about why this home wasn’t staged a little more true to its history, considering it turns 88 this year.

“We thought about keeping with the history of the home, but this way it looks a lot more livable,” Giallorenzo said. “It’s more transitional, and it better fits with Elizabeth’s design sense.”

Well, it turned out gorgeous, that’s for sure. And boy did this team really bust out the elbow grease to get this home ready in time. Mast said it almost came down to the 11th hour to get ready for the open house, but they got it done. To prepare for the home tour, and eventually MLS, the team first had to clear out the home. What wasn’t purchased by estate sale goers or Attics to Basements went into storage.

After that, they brought in a team of professionals to give the home an all-over deep cleaning. Every one of the chandeliers was polished to a brilliant shine, and the walls were painted. Art was brought in from  abstract artist Carol Benson Cobb in the living room.

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The latticed and coffered ceilings, gilded and accented, were left untouched save for a deep cleaning. In the dining room, they are enhanced by the subtle decor choices from Elizabeth, accenting the blue and pink paint in the ceiling with gorgeous lamps and glass work, and white furniture with curvy silhouettes to offset the masculine wood paneling.

The ornate trim and moulding, almost all of which is original to the home, was cleaned and some of it was repainted. The floors upstairs were sanded, stained, and given a protective coat of poly. Downstairs, the floors were waxed to a brilliant shine. When it came to re-installing some of the rehabbed light fixtures, many people donated their time and expertise to get it done right, Giallorenzo said.

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For the rest of the rooms, Mast said that 90 percent of the items can be found in her store. Other pieces come from Lawrence and Crane artist Austin Allen James, including many of the large resin-coated pieces on the second floor. As far as the bathrooms, well, some of them are plain gorgeous (hello beautiful cerulean tile!), while others are kind of quirky (a shower with a door that opens to the hallway? WHAT?). And then, there’s the powder room downstairs with the black toilet and pedestal sink. It’s the bright brass hardware that really makes it sing! You really have to see it in person.

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With five bedrooms, three full and two half baths, an unfinished attic upstairs that includes an art studio, and approximately 6,000 square feet, this home will definitely be popular with tour-goers this weekend. Heck, I’m already in love!

Of course, you can’t talk about the Stubbs House without talking about its most recent owner, Willetta Stellmacher. The former showgirl bought the home in 1987 and lovingly preserved it ever since. Two of the bedrooms upstairs are an homage to Stellmacher, with photos from her days as a model and dancer.

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The property also has a pool, a solarium, and a guest house with two separate apartments. According to Mast, the apartments include a studio and a two-story unit, and could bring in a combined $2,400 in rental income if leased. That’s a huge value for a potential buyer!

If you haven’t bought your tickets to the Swiss Avenue Mother’s Day Home Tour so you can see this, and many other historic homes, go do it now! It’s a special event in Dallas, and a way to give mom a wonderful outing and immerse yourself in the beauty and history of this amazing neighborhood.

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Joanna England

If Executive Editor Joanna England could house hunt forever, she absolutely would. Instead she covers the North Texas housing market and the economy for CandysDirt.com. While she started out with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, Joanna's work has appeared in The Dallas Morning News as well as several local media outlets. When she's not knitting or hooping, or enjoying White Rock Lake, she's behind the lens of her camera. She lives in East Dallas with her husband, son, and their furry and feathered menagerie.

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