There are a fair number of small houses in East Dallas near White Rock Lake. Many of them were built in the 1950s and 1960s, when closets were tiny, floorplans were divided up with lots of walls, and families were perfectly happy with just one bathroom.
As homeowners renovate some of these houses, they’re rethinking the use of space. Today’s Tuesday Two Hundred exemplifies smart reno choices that make the most of the small footprint of a midcentury house.
The White Rock cottage at 6464 Fisher Rd. near Northwest Highway and Abrams Road measures a modest 1,124 square feet. But nothing feels cramped or confined in the house. Owner and listing agent April McGowan at Keller Williams’ Park Cities office took the house to the studs in 2013 and reimagined a bright, modern interior. The living room and kitchen share one open space that’s multifunctional and well conceived. She tore apart the outdated bathroom and added a second, and they’re both luxe: think Carrera marble floors and a frameless shower with freestanding soaker tub.
Because of its small size, this house will naturally have lower energy bills than larger builds. But McGowan took that a step further, installing low-E windows, new insulation, new electrical wiring, and a tankless water heater to make monthly bills feel like pocket change.
Oh, and did I mention it is zoned for the coveted Lakewood Elementary? I predict this house, newly listed for $269,000, will go fast.
The exterior used to have old iron porch railings and overgrown shrubbery. McGowan tore that out and added cedar pillars to the portico, new garden beds, and a small water feature. New gray-blue paint on the wood siding gives it a fresh look.
A glass-and-wood door opens to the entry hallway, leading to a breakfast area. That atomic-era light fixture sets a stylish tone, as do the dark hardwoods, which run throughout the house (except in the master bathroom).
Here’s the space that really makes this reno a winner—it used to be a wood-paneled nightmare. The living room and kitchen are now one large, open room that has multiple seating areas and lots of functionality. At the far end of the living room are two storage closets; the left side has a washer-dryer and the right side has a small office area.
A full update of the original kitchen replaced it with a modern, practical space that’s elegant, as well. Instead of an outdated, ugly room, now there’s an open plan with a breakfast bar. McGowan updated with granite counters, stainless steel appliances, a gas cooktop and oven, and white tile backsplash.
The two bedrooms are bright and well-staged and McGowan added a walk-in closet in the master. But the true art is in the two bathrooms. Check out that before picture above for a glimpse of the horror of the house’s single bathroom before she began renovations (a ceiling fan above the shower?!). Check out the two bathrooms now. Wow!
In the master, wood paneling and laminate have made way for marble subway tiles and a frameless shower with a soaker tub and infinity waterfall shower. Total spa feel. McGowan got real estate for the second bathroom by getting rid of a formal dining room (who uses those nowadays?), and created another blissful space with a frameless shower and contemporary feel.
The backyard is a bit torn up because McGowan installed a sprinkler system recently and the grass hasn’t quite grown back (although with all this rain, it’s sure to recover quickly). Not pictured in a one-car garage, typical for midcentury homes, and a covered patio. It looks like the backyard is one of the only unfinished spots in an otherwise brilliant renovation, which will allow new owners to make their own mark on the space.
Leave us a comment with your thoughts about this updated White Rock cottage!