From the Archives: Lake Highlands Estates Home Has Custom Features, Vintage Charm

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lake highlands estates home
All photos: MetroplexHD

Editor’s note: This post was originally published Sept. 24, 2015, and features the incredible design work of Summer Riggins. You can read the profile we later wrote on her here.

Some home renovations go halfway, updating a few spots here and there. Today’s Thursday Three Hundred is not that kind of reno.

The owners of the home at 561 Classen Dr. have gone all in, updating and improving the place from stem to stern, and the results are marvelous. It has the clean, finished feel and amenities of a new, custom-build house, with the vintage charm and personality that befits its Lake Highlands Estates location in East Dallas.561 classen exterior beforeOriginally built in 1952, the house was showing its age before—the exterior “before” photo above and several other “before” photos throughout this post give you an idea.

Now, it’s a turnkey property, almost unrecognizable from before, with beautiful details and improvements. You’ll find custom soft-close wood cabinets; a modern, elegant kitchen; recessed lighting; chic light fixtures; a luxe bathroom, low E windows, a new roof, new gutters, new exterior A/C unit, foam insulation in the attic; landscaping, and exterior paint.

With 1,170 square feet, three bedrooms, and one bathroom, it’s a small footprint, and the reno maximizes the space. There’s an open house this Sunday from 2-4 p.m., if you want to check it out yourself after seeing these photos.

Barbara Arredondo with Clay Stapp + Co. recently listed it for $325,000, or $278 per square foot. Nine recent neighborhood comps range from $204,000 to $308,500, or $161 to $229 per square foot. So is this house ambitiously priced? Perhaps. But that’s not without reason. The professional renovations make it one-of-a-kind.

lake highlands estates home lake highlands estates homeThe neighborhood of Lake Highlands Estates has about 1,490 homes and is bordered by Ferndale, New Church Road, and LBJ Freeway to the north; Plano Road to the east; Walnut Hill to the south; and Audelia to the west. Many were built midcentury, like this property, and the overall feel of the area is friendly and appealing. This house is just one mile from White Rock Lake and the Dallas Arboretum.

The curb appeal of this home is show-stopping. The mature crepe myrtles stayed, and they landscaped to accentuate the new paint, modern pavers, and new portico with cedar-wrapped posts.

The front door opens directly onto the living room, which measures 17-by-12 and is stylishly staged to show off function and features, like those new, energy-saving windows. The contemporary floating modern credenza on living room wall is included in the sale. To the right, the kitchen and breakfast area. 561 Classen kitchen before561 classen kitchen before Blake highlands estates home for sale lake highlands estates home for salelake highlands estates home for salelake highlands estates home for salelake highlands estates home for saleCompare the before and after photos of the kitchen and, well, there’s no comparison. In the new kitchen, you’ll find KitchenAid Architect Series II stainless steel appliances, including a drop-in, five-burner gas range; double ovens; under-cabinet microwave; and dishwasher. There are also Siltstone Ariel white quartz countertops, custom walnut cabinets with soft-close drawers and doors, a Kraus undermount farm sink, a marble backsplash, and a large island with storage on both sides. The new pantry has pull-out shelving, and instead of upper cabinets, there are open concept, floating shelves. 

The owners installed new hardwood flooring in the kitchen, and removed a window where the double oven is now located (the washer/dryer used to be there. They put a stackable washer-dryer area in the third bedroom’s closet). They also added new window above microwave area.

The breakfast area’s new atomic era light fixture adds a gorgeous sparkle to the area, and the living room, breakfast area, and kitchen all feel like one, cohesive space.  lake highlands estates home for sale lake highlands estates home for sale 561 classen bathroom beforelake highlands estates home for salelake highlands estates home for salelake highlands estates home for sale561 Classen N561 Classen O561 Classen Plake highlands estates home for saleThe only flaw I see in this house is its one-and-only bathroom. That’s kind of a pain for families. But what a bathroom it is! Check out the two “before” photos above to see the gigantic changes.

The renovation added an on-trend barnyard door and tiled the floor and walls with Carrera marble. A custom walnut floating vanity with quartz countertop and modern brass fixtures, hardware, and vanity light create a spa-like feel. There’s also a new Kohler toilet, new shower fixtures and mirror, a GFCI outlet to prevent shocks, and large built-in wall cabinets for plenty of storage.

In the bedrooms, the hardwoods gleam and there are new ceiling fans. The third bedroom has a contemporary drum pendant light and the master has a new closet system. They measure 12-by-12, 10-by-12, and 12-by-10. lake highlands estates home for salelake highlands estates home for sale lake highlands estates home for saleThe final place to explore is the backyard. With new landscaping (including new sod), a modern back porch light, fresh paint on the small deck, a new wood fence near the one-car garage, and fire pit area, it’s a relaxing, open area.

With so many high-end renovations and its East Dallas location, this house offers buyers amenities galore for under $400K. Don’t forget the open house this weekend—my guess is that this property won’t be on the market long, so it’ll be your one chance to see this impressive property before it’s sold.


Leah Shafer

Leah Shafer is a content and social media specialist, as well as a Dallas native, who lives in Richardson with her family. In her sixth-grade yearbook, Leah listed "interior designer" as her future profession. Now she writes about them, as well as all things real estate, for

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