Not infrequently, my real estate blogger and interior designer roles intersect. This week I was approached by a prospective client looking for a second home in Fort Worth. The criteria? Budget of $550,000 including renovations, and the coveted 76107 zip code. I scanned listings of the top five Fort Worth agencies — I won’t name them, you know who they are — and found, you guessed it, very low inventory.
Sifting through the limited choices, I did discover one brilliant gem in a quiet corner of Arlington Heights at 4224 Pershing Avenue. Curb appeal? Is that June Cleaver on the front porch? This lovely house has been well loved and it shows. An enormous red oak tree dominates the front yard. The owner’s green thumb is on display in the front beds.
An inviting vestibule leads to the two front rooms. The original oak floors have been hand scraped — not a favorite effect of mine. Here it really does have a quaint authenticity.
To the left is a room now used as a living room. However, since it connects to the kitchen, it could be repurposed as a full-size formal dining room. Rooms, with notable exceptions, are not expansive in scale. Adjectives such as intimate, comfortable, and cozy spring to mind.
The living room of the 1942 vintage house is certainly large enough at 38-by-16. Original built-in shelves have been preserved throughout the house.
Between living room and kitchen is the current dining room, dominated by a large picture window. There is so little fault to be found with this house. As a designer, there is little to be done except customize surfaces and colors.
The kitchen appears to have been expanded to the back and has a delightful sitting area. Original knotty pine cabinets have been finished in a subtle, combed paint. New owners may want updates to surfaces, but with plenty of work space — including an island bar — this is a perfectly user-friendly space. And now a word about open concept: Personally I’m glad that the original divisions have been respected. And I prefer, when entertaining, to keep mounting piles of pots and pans behind closed doors. However, if you were so inclined the current small dining room could be opened into the kitchen area.
All three bedrooms are on the second floor. The master bedroom, at 19-by-13, is of ample modern proportions though pampered Millennials may balk at the size of the adjoining bath. There is, however, another full bath on the second story.
A secondary bedroom is nearly as large as the master. Notice the abundance and size of perfectly placed windows.
A back house brings the total square footage up to 3,000 square feet. Now being used as an office, it could be rented out to cover insurance and property taxes. It’s equipped with a kitchenette and has the added fillip of a wood-burning fireplace.
The backyard is as lovingly tended as the front. Sensitively chosen, mature plantings bracket the lawn, framed by lovely stone hardscape. Pershing and its neighboring streets, like Collinwood and El Campo, have seen a lot of tear-down activity and less-than-wonderful new builds. Luckily, 4224 Pershing, just south of Camp Bowie, shares a quiet enclave with equally charming, and original neighbors.
Billie Cooke with Williams Trew has priced 4224 Pershing Avenue at $470,000.
Eric Prokesh is an interior designer whose work has appeared on HGTV, and in books and publications including D Home, Southern Accents, House Beautiful, and House and Garden. In January 2005, HG named Eric one of the 50 tastemakers in America and D Home has included him as one of Dallas’ Best Designers for 10 years. Having lived most of his life in Dallas, he now calls Fort Worth home and is one of our experts on beautiful Fort Worth Dirt.