It’s My Mansion: 3848 Shady Hollow Is Perfect For Vintage Lovers or Renovators

From the 1940s through the 1960s, developers slung together a small development northwest of the Dallas Executive (Redbird) Airport called Kimball Estates, complete with relaxing street names like Oak Arbor and Shoreline Drives along with Shady Hollow and Drowsy Lanes. The two homes on Telstar Drive were among the last, named after the first satellites to carry “tele” signals … graph, phone, and vision. In 1948 when 3848 Shady Hollow Lane was built, it was pretty much radio all the way.

The homes in this neighborhood are generally good-sized, ranch-style designs with a few dormered second stories here and there.  Prices are pretty sweet, too.  For example, 3848 Shady Hollow is a three-bedroom ranch with two bathrooms and 1,746 square feet on an 85- by 129-foot lot.  It’s listed for $169,900 by Patty Tafoya Valenzuela of Century 21 Judge Fite.

If you have children, Thomas Tolbert Elementary, T. W. Browne Middle School and Justin F. Kimball High School are less than 10 minutes’ walk away, as is the 18-acre Doris Berry Park.  Kimball High School has graduated scads of professional athletes, along with former Dallas mayor and Congressman Steve Bartlett, actors Tim Choate and Stephen Tobolowsky, and Barney the purple dinosaur creator Sheryl Stamps Leach.

If you are an aviation buff, the Commemorative Air Force relocated from Midland to Dallas Executive Airport in 2013. For those who don’t know, the CAF is a nationwide group of World War II aviation enthusiasts who maintain the largest fleet of working WWII aircraft in the world.  They hold a yearly Wings Over Dallas air show at Dallas Executive that attracts thousands. The CAF will become an increasing part of the neighborhood with plans for a permanent exhibition and education programs.

Getting back to this home, it has a great potential layout for today’s living. Sure, if you’re a midcentury buff, you’ll be overjoyed by this relatively untouched and well-maintained home. For $169,900 … did I mention that?

Anyway, let’s look around.  The photographer is standing in the entry and facing into the formal living room.  The front door is to the right of the picture and the slight bay window faces the front of the home.  The doorway on the left leads to the kitchen, and the family room is on the other side of the wall from that table.  Since most of us don’t really use formal rooms much anymore, I’d rip out that left wall to open the kitchen and family room.  This would give you large spaces with the kitchen acting as the central hub. I’m going to bet there are great wood floors beneath the carpet.

This picture tells that open-concept story.  That peek of brick on the right is from the front entry. The right wall is the other side of the leftmost wall in the prior picture. Straight ahead is the kitchen with a pass-through cubbyhole.  Imagine pulling down that right wall. You’d have a large living and dining area with seating centered around the fireplace with the flat-screen TV over the mantle – there’s already an electrical outlet.  Removing the kitchen wall would create a kitchen island giving you the kitchen hub.  It would also bring more light into the living spaces.

The fireplace is flanked by built-ins. I’d likely replace the bookcase and ditch the desk area and paneling.  De-popcorn the ceiling and minimize the paneling are the way to go.  Tight budget?  Remove the gingerbread trim on the shelves and paint.

Aside from some questionable wallpaper, the kitchen is in good period shape.  No, it’s not a stainless steel wonderland, but it’s well-cared for.  If you’re like me, the space matters most on Day 1, renovations can come later when budget allows.  So save your pennies to remove the right wall to open up the family room.  Ditto removing the doorway to the living room.  A full kitchen renovation doesn’t need to be pricey.  Demolition to the ceiling and re-cabinet with the fridge moving from the right to the left of the cooktop.  There’s a good amount of counter space already, but if you wanted to maximize it, you could extend in either direction.

See what I mean? There’s plenty of space to extend the kitchen into the breakfast nook if you build the island with seating.  The door leads to the laundry room and on to the garage. Paint or remove the paneling.

The master bedroom is quite large with equally likely wood floors beneath the carpeting.  There’s an en suite bathroom, too, that’s amazingly large for the 1940s.  Two closets offer a good amount of space.

See what I mean about the master bath?  A vanity that begs for two sinks, a separate make-up area for those who make up, a shower, and a bathtub.  It’s got it all.  Sure you’ll probably want to remodel this space too, but as you can see, you don’t HAVE to on Day 1.

That’s what I find great about this property.  It’s very, very well maintained. Usually, with a house approaching its 70th birthday you’d see drawer fronts falling off, peeling countertops, and the like.  Not here.  The current owners really maintained and cared for this home.  Again, $169,900 and you’re 20 minutes from downtown Dallas, and 10 minutes to Bishop Arts.

The backyard demonstrates why it’s called Shady Hollow Lane.  The area and this home’s yard have multiple mature shade trees to cool in summer while offering a perch for the kids to hang a swing – perhaps hard to think about in chilly December, but well worth a look.

Remember:  High-rises, HOAs and renovation are my beat. But I also appreciate modern and historical architecture balanced against the YIMBY movement.  If you’re interested in hosting a Staff Meeting event, I’m your guy. In 2016 and 2017, the National Association of Real Estate Editors has recognized my writing with two Bronze (2016, 2017) and two Silver (2016, 2017) awards.  Have a story to tell or a marriage proposal to make?  Shoot me an email

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