Who needs sex when you have homes like 626 Rainbow? This mid century modern beauty comes on 2.1 acres in East Kessler nestled next to a stunning stone bluff that serious says Dorothy, we are not in Dallas anymore. We are in Austin or the low Texas Hill Country. Perched in the center of the neighborhood’s largest residential expanse of property, the home was built in 1958 by Liz Hart, who was the first female photographer for the Fort Worth Star Telegram and also a sculptor. It has been extensively, compulsively updated by the talented and well-resourced current owners and a few owners in-between.
In fact, the ownership lineage of this home is rather a Who’s Who in the building and design world of Dallas: current owner Jarrette Ouellette, a Dallas Design District & Atlanta entrepreneur and investor who I last remember as part owner or something of William & Wesley. (Love me some Bill Lawrence!) Jarrette and his wife clearly took the house to soaring new levels of greatness. Builder extraordinaire Marc Kleinmann lived in this house for a year or two, he being a CandysDirt.com approved home builder AND the genius behind Bauhause Custom Homes.
So you get the newest of the sleek, new kitchens, bleached oak wood floors, a Zen-like master spa bath with step-down shower and huge master closets they sure did not have in ’58. But you also get some terrazzo, brick walls, A-line ceilings and expansive windows that take it all in.
I mean, after I saw this house, I had to recover. Might still be shivering! Like I said, when I say O House, drop everything and READ!
The gated lot begins with a gate, and a huge circular driveway that lands you in front of the house and into an outdoor relaxation patio with seating for four just to the left of the front door. The expansive back yard (approximately 1.2 of the 2.1 acreage) is visible from this little Zen garden through the glass, which is the trick that opens the house up to the outdoors so much. You cannot do this on small, .20 acre postage stamp lots; bring in the front yard through huge glass and you’ll get the neighbor’s car or fence or something.
In the center of this front lawn — Flag Football games! — is a lovely lit sculpture.
Enter to the spaciousness of the original era design: large living area with the fireplace and brick wall as focal point, a flat screen TV mounted over. This long room (27 by 21) connects to the open dining room and the piece de resistance kitchen. Cook here? Hell, this room is museum-worthy: thick one-giant piece antique granite slab that must have come from the biggest stone mine in Brazil (found by the previous owners), sleek white custom cabinetry, and a little nook around the corner from the stove where you will find the built in coffee maker and expresso machine. Kind of a little space to hide the mess.
There is a huge, deep stainless sink, Miele gas stove, double fridge, SubZero wine captain and counter seating for four to six guests. Current owners (the Ouellette’s) added the windows and fur down for even more light.
Off this room is a very private guest suite that was created out of one garage car bay in the tidy now 2-car garage with workbench counter, plus some other space. There is a laundry area and mud room, an office, followed by a tucked away closet. This entrance from the driveway leads to another little side reflecting garden and patio with a copper water sculpture now patina-ed blue. The sculpture was created by the home’s first owner, Liza Hart.
Of course, this bedroom has a stunning and large en suite bath, mais oui.
Proceed back into the main heart of the home and formals (but really nothing is too formal in this home) and you encounter the hallway to the three bedrooms. Up a contemporary flight of oak steps, on the other side of the wall to wall brick fireplace wall, is the upstairs media/game room I would use as an office. Views of the bluff are priceless.
Down that first level hall we have two bedrooms with en suite baths, and the master(piece).
Here is where the magic begins: Brick wall (again) behind the master bed across the expanse of the wall. A free-standing two-sided fireplace serves double duty for a sitting area as well as the master. Beyond that fireplace is where the Ouellette’s created a sanctuary of glass, the perfect place for a couple to sit and chill.
The Ouellette’s took the master bath to the next level, too: an extra-deep square jetted bathtub built into a corner window overlooking a private courtyard fenced for privacy, dual vanities, a huge step-down shower, and a dressing room/closet with built ins, mirror, cubbies and shelves. The master closet is a retreat to itself.
This is the house: 4439 square feet with four bedrooms, four full and one half bath, office, media room and studio. Solid brick construction inside and out.
Listing agent Melissa O’Brien met the Ouellette’s when she sold Brendan Bass his home. Melissa is with Dave Perry-Miller’s Hewitt Habgood group. Asking price is $2,100,000.
The back of the house has a large patio, most of it protected by a deep eave, with plenty of room to add a grill. There is no pool, scads of room for an Olympic sized one. There is a wonderful children’s play ark and swing set, and a storage shed. You are just a few miles from downtown Dallas, maybe three to Methodist Hospital — the original owner’s husband was an Oak Cliff physician.
So close and yet, so very far away.