It’s not often I come across a home where it’s hard to find enough superlatives to create a worthy description. Even the photographs of this Mediterranean villa, as gorgeous as they are, cannot begin to showcase the depth of beauty of this estate.
When listing agent David Griffin said, “You have to see this one,” I drove right over.
Turtle Creek is the jewel in the crown of Dallas neighborhoods. There are only 34 homes here, all beautifully designed by leading architects and dating from the 1920s.
Most of us have walked, jogged, or driven by 4107 Turtle Creek Boulevard and wondered what lies behind the gates. All you can see is lush landscape for what seems like miles.
When I arrived and began the scenic walk through the wooded hillside and up the brick driveway to the house, I was struck by the balance between the landscape and the home. There is a strong tendency to overbuild the lot in Dallas, mostly because our land is pricey, so people want bang for their buck. However, what they lose is evident in this setting.
The moment I entered the grounds I was transported to the Italian countryside. Gravel paths wind through the lush greenery. There’s a surprise at every turn, from a draped dovecote to a statuary deer nestled in the bushes behind the swimming pool. If the pale pink villa did not beckon, I could have sat there for hours drinking in the ambiance Robert Bellamy designed. Bellamy is well known for creating a garden setting that looks like it’s been in place for generations, and this one certainly feels like it was planted when the house was built in 1924.
Entering the villa is much like stepping into a secret boutique hotel in Italy or France, the kind you need references for before you can even get the phone number, much less a reservation.
It was fully renovated from 2010 to 2012 by Chad Dorsey of More Design + Build using the finest materials and craftspeople. Updates were made for modern luxury living, but the original qualities of the home were honored. The house has also been thoroughly thought-out and flawlessly styled. Beautiful architectural elements have been added that further enhance the European sensibility of the home. The elevator and silver closet are hidden behind antique doors, and most striking are the generous use of encaustic floor tiles throughout the villa.
“The tiles come with their own letters of provenance, and they will be passed on to the new owners,” Griffin said.
There are 4,606 square feet, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and one powder bath in the main villa. Every room on the first floor has access to the outdoors, providing a seamless connection between the home and grounds. There are multiple living areas, intimate enough for private conversation yet all flowing into one another for easy entertaining.
Although this Mediterranean villa looks ready for an Architectural Digest photo shoot, it’s definitely a put-your-feet-up-and-relax home.
It’s hard to pinpoint a favorite spot in the house, but the kitchen is definitely high on my list. With tall ceilings, large casement windows, those gorgeous encaustic tile floors, and a marble farm sink, nothing has been overlooked. I was happy to hear the present owners do use that breathtaking custom-commissioned French La Cornue stove.
There is a sunken greenhouse next to a three-car garage. The carriage house on the second floor is a charming guest house with a large beamed ceiling living room, one full bedroom, one small bedroom, a full bath, and kitchenette.
“A very full life is going on here that includes six adorable dogs,” Griffin said. “Chickens provide fresh eggs every morning, and there’s a dovecote.”
These must be the luckiest chickens in the world. They live in a pale pink terracotta folly that at first glance looks like a child’s playhouse.
“This house is something very, very special,” Griffin said. “Each time I’m there, I see more. There is a beautiful view from every window, and the setting is enchanting. It’s a delightful refuge in the heart of the city with the attitude and demeanor of a country estate.”
Griffin has the stunning Mediterranean villa listed for $5.95 million.
This house offers a lifestyle that is hard to find in Dallas. I cannot emphasize enough how much this home has to be seen in person to appreciate all of the beautiful details. A person recently touring the home told Griffin: “This is the kind of home that someone will buy, not because they are in the market looking, but because they see it and will have to have it.”
Karen Eubank is the owner of Eubank Staging and Design. She has been an award-winning professional home stager for more than 25 years. She’s been a professional writer for 20 years. Karen is the mother of a son who’s studying music at The University of Miami. An ardent animal lover, she doesn’t mind one bit if your fur baby jumps right into her lap. Find Karen at www.eubankstaging.com