This is the kind of home that evokes a vision of fairies dancing in the front yard, like Sleeping Beauty’s Flora, Fauna and Merriwether. Did I spell that right?
But it is also one of the most highly detailed, thoughtful homes I have ever seen. How about an exterior pass-through dumb waiter for the car? Located in the heart of the Preston Hollow fairway — blue chip location just west of Tulane — 6210 Lakehurst is one of the more unusual, charming homes dotting that all-but-completely rebuilt neighborhood.
But 6120 Lakehurst doesn’t look like every kid on the block. This home dances to it’s own drummer, always has. Built in 2004, the home is a “tidy” 5070 square feet on a 74 by 151 foot lot. I say “tidy” because most of the new homes on this block are giants, running from 6500 to 8,000 square feet. Really, it’s too much.
(Recall starchitect Tom Kundig telling me how one of his uber rich clients just retained him to make a 30,000 square foot house look and feel more like 7,000?) People are finally coming back to thinking 5,000 square feet is the perfect size.
6210 Lakehurst was built as a custom home for the builder/owner who brought it into this world, and gave it’s butt a slap. Then he sold it to the current owners, who used it as a lock and leave. Now they are ready to lock and leave forever. They are empty nesters; for them the house is more than perfect. But it would also be perfect for a busy family of 2 or even 3 kiddos. You walk into a gated English courtyard with varying grasses, flowers, and a koi pond. Enter the arched wood front door into an almost whimsical, McKenzie-Childs interior. The foyer is —surprise! — not limestone! It’s saltillo tile of terra cotta and black. There is a huge mailbox drop so big it could hold a package. The home was built specifically to lock and leave, and still get the mail securely together in one place.
To the left, a study lined with bookshelves, a white-washed wood floor, criss-crossed wood beams and a handsome fireplace made of river rock that just melts my heart. I call this the “River Runs Through It” room. This room is flexible — could be a formal living room, music room or library. It opens to the front courtyard through a French door. There is also a secret passage behind the shelves to the master bedroom closet. So very Harry Potter!
To the right of the entry foyer is the dining room, a majestically huge room (16 by 14) where all the holiday meals can be served. The ceiling is cathedral, beamed, with plenty of room for a hutch and even a secondary table.
A meandering short hall leads you to the laundry room, which is loaded with counter space and a deep sink, a home manager office/computer room, a great place to stash the bottomless pit of mail and paper crap that invades our lives 24/7, where does it all come from? This is also a sort of bar area with a serving counter. This hall leads to the kitchen with a first stop at the huge walk-in pantry. In here is something I have never seen, an ingenious idea: the home has a built-in pass-through from the exterior like a dumb waiter. The idea is that you pull up under the port cochere outside and have something to take into the house — cold, hot, dripping. You need two hands and you don’t need to be opening the door, key fumbling. (The garage in this home is in the back. Attached, but a bit of a walk when your arms are loaded.) Get out of the car, plop whatever in the dumb waiter box, and go park, lock, or take off for carpool.
Now, the kitchen. Charming, traditional English with a huge brick hearth surrounding the Viking stove, cross beams, antique white cabinets to the ceiling, white Shaws farm sink, greenhouse window over the kitchen sink, and a huge island topped with a thick slab of rare green marble. The kitchen is a tribute to Viking products. Only one dishwasher ( I have to have 2 in any home over one million, sorry) but room for more. Tons of counter space, storage, and light. A nearby breakfast area has a new built-in pine bench with storage below.
Then there’s the great room, massive, at 23 by 19. This is the one living area downstairs aside from the study. And a great room it is, with fireplace, more beams, hand-scraped hardwood floors. This room overlooks the outdoor room: more Saltillo tile, ceiling fans. a TV and a see-through fireplace flanked by a built-in tiled bench. There is also a built-in grill and storage space for the outdoor kitchen. The patio could be screened off very easily. Outside is a hefty round spa and a lap-friendly, heated salt water pool. There is enough grass in the back and on the side-yard for a small dog to enjoy, otherwise glory hallelujah –ZERO MAINTENANCE!
The last wing of the downstairs is the master wing, and it is generous: 21 by 18. Large, sunny bedroom, great master bath with a built-in alabaster packing counter that doubles as a seat, separate tub, shower, commode (it’s a Toto!) My only disappointment with this house was one large master closet that is, for me, on the small side. I mean, I’m ridiculous. I’d have to kick my husband out to a closet in the — garage? (And I don’t like to share a closet with hubby because then he can count all the Jimmy Choos.) Like most of us, I have way too many clothes and desperately need to purge. But I also want to think of my closet as a boutique store, a la Million Dollar Closet, and you need space to do that. Unfortunately, right now my closet looks more like the Salvation Army Thrift Shop than Barneys. Maybe post purge it would be OK. I also think a closet expert could eek more room out of this space, at least another tier of hanging space. Remember it also opens “secretly” to the front study/library.
I failed to tell you that behind the kitchen is the door to the back yard and garage. There is a huge pantry-sized closet all set to be a — guess it — elevator shaft!
The master bedroom, great room, and breakfast room all open to the back covered porch, pool and gardens.
Upstairs we go, and it is a single staircase divided so as to not waste space on a secondary staircase. Up here are two large bedrooms with enormous closets, plus a large finished media room at the end of the hall. The current owners also finished the space over the garage for a 24 by 23 media room. One bedroom is like a suite, and the huge double bath is split for access from the hall. I couldn’t help but think how comfy my California kids would be up here — window seats, huge walk-in closets, bookshelves.
The two car garage is attached at the rear of the house, has storage space, and can be used from the alley. There is also a single front door to the garage so you can pull in from the single-lane port cochere, which provides car protection to a third car.
Now for the elephant in the room: this house is a bit dark, as are many Dilbeck homes. The Tudor colors, brick, stone and wood are darker. The yummy hand-scraped hardwoods are deep coffee. Of course, consider that Dilbeck homes were designed with large overhangs (and rambling rooms) to keep out the Texas sun. While the house may appear dark, the design really filters and shades the sun. The home is sited on the south side of the street, so it gets bright sun in the winter. That center back patio just cuts off light to the Great room. But you sure will be liking your electric bill come August when the house maintains cool air better than those that let in so much light the floors get fried.
The details in this home are mind-boggling, from the mailbox to the pass-through to stone ledges built into the wall, nooks, niches and corbels. The materials are top grade and barely show any wear. I just want to see this home as a McKenzie-Childs Showcase Home, because I think it’s like having a little bit of Aurora, New York in Dallas. Asking $1,575,000 and listed with Jennifer and Chris Lelash over at Dave Perry-Miller & Associates.