Inwood House of the Week: Merriman Park Retro is a Blank Canvas to Greatness

7609 Arborgate IHOTW

Looking at this home, I feel like I’ve landed in a time capsule back to 1979:  those wood paneled walls, twin bow bay windows, the glass weather door so freshly Windexed it always shines, the oh so formal dining room, the avocado green built-in oven which I bet is a GE, and the Chambers cooktop stove. Walnut, walnut everywhere. Built in 1979, a year before I came to Dallas, this was the archetypical hot home back then. Those walnut panels were to 1979 what high ceilings and outdoor living spaces are to 2015. Back then we couldn’t afford to even think about owning a home: negative bank account biopsy and 18% interest rates. Flipping through this space is like going home to mom’s house, or maybe even grandmother’s, where we would have Thanksgiving dinner in that dining room… and just wish so darn much we could own those walnut paneled walls.

I see so much potential in this home I am literally drooling. Let’s get started.Arborgate 2

arborgateb 5 LRFirst of all, I spy some great hardwood floors in parts of the home, carpet and other surfaces in others. Let’s get on the same page here folks, shall we? We need the same floor surface everywhere. I could live with new marble in the foyer, I think, or maybe the same wood. My only problem with the entrance is the older light fixtures, the storm door and the concrete front stoop. Resurface that puppy. I know red doors are very Feng Sui but… I’d do something different. Kind of clashes with the brick. Which could be painted. I like the brick details.

That white carpet in the living room is so retro — my mom must have had the same dang pile. I am liking the plantation shutters and the fireplace, just get rid of that brass screen. And please tell me that is marble. Those walnut walls have to go away, sorry. The kitchen: I spy Butcher Block counters! Haven’t seen those in years, they really belong in a museum! I was once salivating for laminate counters, brings back memories. The cabinets are certainly sturdy and plentiful, they are just, well, too curlicue and dated.

Arborgate 3 dining arborgate 4 Arborgate 6 Arborgate 7 Arborgate 8 kitchen Arborgate 9 Chambers Arborgate 10Would you strip and paint them? They are kind of charming as is. Of course, sleek new cabinetry would be awesome sauce in here. The Chambers stove must remain, no arguments. It will go so well with new stainless appliances, like the new dishwasher that’s already there. A new deep stainless farmhouse sink in that corner, new counter surfaces and backsplash, and you have one snazzy, functioning 2015 kitchen. The little bar could be made into more of a Butler’s Pantry, needs more re-surfacing. Get rid of the mirror and shelves, add cabinets?Arborgate 11 Arborgate 12 Arborgate 13

Arborgate bedroom Arborgate sink Arborgate master tub Arborgate master Arborgate office OK, I am going to deal with the elephant in the room: popcorn ceilings. I know they are not attractive, but they can easily be made to go bye bye.

True confessions here: I actually HAD popcorn ceilings in one of my rental homes. Guess I never realized it was there ’till the last tenant moved out. There they were, those nasty little popcorn sparkly nubs, low ceilings to boot.

I feel like I’m telling Dr. Phil all about a deep, dark secret in my past here: I had popcorn ceilings! And I got rid of them!

The master bath: well here we have another tribute to the late ’70’s: cultured marble. Another super hot item, manufacturers couldn’t make this stuff fast enough for builders. There it is,  a nice sunken oval tub in cultured marble. One way of looking at this is you are inherently green, saving the granite in Brazil, and saving all the energy to mine it. Go ahead, get a Greenpeace award. The master bath needs an overhaul but it does not need to happen tomorrow. In fact, both baths could use some updating.

Arborgate bonus Arborgate patio Arborgate yardAnd the other elephant in the room: the 500 square foot living space above the garage! Is it really a bonus? Some folks might think it is, use it for a home office, others might just go ahead and take it down. Thoughts?

Because really, folks, this is a great house. She has great bones and must have had a rich sugar daddy or two all these years taking care of her.

What, she is a one-owner home? That explains the pristine condition. Lots of work has been done, all you need is cosmetics. Fluff. The roof is new from 2012, the HVAC from 2004, double pane windows 2015, plantation shutters and wood blinds throughout, the wood flooring is from 2014. There are 10 foot ceilings, ceiling to floor windows, great traffic flow, even a built in wet bar. I’m telling you, a diamond in the rough with 3209 square feet, four bedrooms, three full baths and a very nice yard.

Take a second look, my friends, and think outside the box. Richardson ISD, need I say more besides the already reduced price? $459,900, down from $479,000. Listed with Juliette Bouchard at Dallas City Center Realtors. I know a certain bank named after a significant street in Dallas that would LOVE to help you fluff a house. Call the good folks at Inwood National Bank and talk mortgage turkey. They will even let you keep the wishbone!

2 Comment

  • I agree Candy, this home has great bones! Some updating and this will be a great home.

  • I think this house needs just a little “fluffing.” Don’t tear out the wood paneling only to paint all walls that currently popular shade of gray – YUK! As for the kitchen cabinets, just paint/refinish the sturdy solid wooden doors and change the hardware. Someone in our 1970s neighborhood did just that, painting that same design a beautiful white and with stunning hardware, combined with leaded glass in the built-in hutch, to create a crisp and pretty kitchen. Could keep the front exterior lights but change out the glass for a fresher look, maybe refinish the metal Yes, change the front door or its color.

    Cosmetics, not Botox or lipo, are all that’s needed here.