You walk right into 10225 Betty Jane Lane in North Dallas’ Walnut Woods, sit right down, and baby let your hair hang down. (The Rooftop Singers, 1963.)
This house is so very vintage 70s I am having childhood deja vu just from the photos! You know how you always revert to childish ways when you are around your parents, even if you are like, say, a grown professional (man) and they are like 85? Same thing happens when you walk into a home that LOOKS like your childhood home! Where are my culottes?
So Betty Jane was built in 1973. My parents built their dream house in 1972. Their home was almost of clone of Betty Jane, if you added another story and substituted white brick. Everything you see here on Betty Jane Lane was the hot, have-to-have of the time. Let’s start with the cedar rafters and soaring A-line design of the house and cathedral ceilings. Those were so hot in the early 1970’s. Double doors with the glass side windows — check, my mother wanted just that, and got it. Then the foyer — this one has brick flooring, we had tile. The sunken living room was the rage — they called them “conversational living rooms.” Wonder what architect came up with this concept?
Popular from the 1950s to the 1970s, in Europe as well as North America, it was modernist architects Eero Saarinen and Alexander Girard who used a conversation pit as the centerpiece of the influential Miller House (1958) in Columbus, Indiana. Then a brilliant red conversation pit (covered, but recently restored) was later incorporated by Saarinen into the 1962 TWA Flight Center at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. Remember Trans World Airlines? The 1955 Cohen House in Sarasota, Florida by architect Paul Rudolph, which I think we passed last month on my tour with Harold Bubil, used the conversation pit as a signature element, as did Bruce Goff. (Bruce may or may not have designed our Dallas Round House on Baxtershire.) The conversation-pit influenced the somewhat less radical sunken living room, made famous on the Dick Van Dyke Show . That’s probably why I asked my mom…
Wouldn’t people trip?
She told me the architect told HER that the step-down was a way to visually define an living area for, say, cocktail parties. Plus it also gave people a place to put their feet when standing or even sit down, though we had plenty of chairs.
But one step isn’t that wide to sit on, I pressed (God I was a PITA).
My mother was a hoot, you would have loved her. She shot politically correct-isms into the next universe.
“Oh hell,” she said, “If your butt is that big, you shouldn’t be sitting down anyhow.”
(She used a different word than butt, one that begins with an “A”)
So yes, I feel right at home here on Betty Jane Lane, sunken living room, brick walls, beams and all. We had a whole wall of brick with that very same style of fireplace in our family room.
That beamed cathedral ceiling, check. Popcorn ceiling, check. This was really the era of bumpy, jazzed out ceilings.
Love the bar, everyone had to have one and the more mirrors, the better. Look at that dining room! Grasscloth, baby, and that 70’s fixture. I want it so bad for memories! More mirror action here which I bet was added later. The kitchen is probably pristinely original. We had bright orange GE built in ovens, Jenn-Aire and a inside grill I think my mom used twice. Those cabinets are original I think, and walnut. Yep, the whole kitchen has original Formica. Could use an upgrade/update in here, or could leave it as a tribute to Dick Van Dyke.
The master is large, the bathroom typical of what a master bath was in 1973: at least say a prayer there are no beaded curtains. My mother went gaga with those beads.
Look, just look at the wallpaper in the two bathrooms. Geometrics and graphics galore! And carpeted bathrooms, hotsie totsie!
A word about that hot tub off the master: GET RID OF IT! And the pool has seen better days. Clearly they built that cedar deck because again, it was the rage. Had to have one. We did, too, including a cedar balcony off our bedrooms. It was the balcony from which we were told to elope.
This home has 2430 square feet, three bedrooms, three full baths, great bones, but if you are not so into 1970’s architecture — whatsa matter you?— the lot is a healthy .59 acre. And your pool is already dug. The value is really in the land, a private double lot alongside the creek, with an abundance of perfectly placed mature trees. Like having a retreat in the country, but you are just off Midway Road and ESD.
Listed on July 30 with Ebby’s Jason Hyland for $750,000. And if you walk right in, sit right down with the good folks at Inwood Bank, Inwood Mortgage, they will treat you like it’s 1973: great personalized customer service and a solid, old fashioned mortgage on this fabulous home. Who knows, you might even walk home with a toaster!