Dramatic, Livable Contemporary Offers New Take on Prairie Style

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Fans of Frank Lloyd Wright will fall in love with this exceptional, thoughtfully designed contemporary that captures the most alluring elements of the natural environment and translates them into a structure that harmonizes with its surroundings. That’s what Janelle Alcantara feels about this gorgeous home designed by architect Doug Guiling of GAIA Texas. The stunning estate, set on a beautiful creekside lot, is not only beautiful on the outside, but it’s functional throughout.

It was love at first sight for us with this High Caliber Home of the Week presented by Lisa Peters of Caliber Home Loans. And truly, this house has everything you could ever want wrapped in bold lines, bountiful natural light, and top-of-the-line finishes. And it lives just as good as it looks, too.

“This house is so different from the formula that other builders use,” Alcantara said. “Other builders design houses with as many large, open spaces as possible.  This typically means there is a “wow” factor when you open the front door. However, with that comes little regard for how people actually live in a house. Often, the ability to furnish a house, with proper seating arrangements, lighting, and viewing angles of the TV are sacrificed along with the lack of privacy that occurs when the whole house is visible from the front yard.”

This contemporary in Hockaday Square offers bright interiors without sacrificing privacy from the curb.

This home is not only spectacularly designed, but 11460 Strait Lane perfectly located, too. 

“Though it has a Strait Lane address, it is north of the Billionaire Mile,” Alcantara said. “But because it sits at the northernmost block of Strait where the street is a dead end, its a very private and quiet block, like a cul-de-sac.” 

That makes this five-bedroom, six-full-and-three-half-bath, 7,265-square-foot contemporary an excellent family home. Sometimes, homes suited for families often feel less than luxurious, with some design points sacrificed for function. As it is with the debate of crunchy versus soft tacos, why can’t you have both? From the gorgeous stone, wood, and stucco exterior accented by exceptional landscape designed by David Rolston to the beautiful light-drenched great room and opulent master suite, to the eye-catching and fun second floor, this home truly is the best of both worlds.

“Other builders use the same finishes that everyone else is using, because they know what’s safe,” Alcantara said. “In this house, the finishes were selected to complement the natural setting in which the house was built. The wood floors, kitchen cabinets, venetian plaster, hardware and light fixtures were designed to integrate the house with its peaceful setting, not with the show room at Porcelanosa.”

As Alcantara and co-listing agent Rosemary de Medici point out, the details are what make this modern take on prairie-style architecture. The huge oak pivot door opens to a gallery space, which functions as a foyer. Here, Guiling wanted the homeowner to have the ability to personalize and set the tone of their house, Alcantara said. The gallery will hold a magnificent display of art or collectibles.

The foyer is a great gallery space, which allows the owner to set the tone of the home.

Inside, the house itself is a work of art. It beckons you to explore the elegant dining room off to the right and the spectacular great-room to the left, Alcantara said. All spaces are carefully balanced with perfect proportions so that one feels comfortable, calm and serene regardless of where you are in the house. Even as the ceilings soar to meet the trees and the glass expands your views in every direction, you are still able to feel protected within your own private oasis, surrounded by nature.

A temperature-controlled wine cellar offers plenty of storage for your collection.
The wet bar is just off the formal dining room, which connects to the kitchen via a concealed catering kitchen and butlers pantry beyond.

“The flow of the house is ideal. It allows the owner to entertain 10 guests or 110 while allowing everyone to move easily from the entry to the back of the house, without getting bottle-necked (no pun intended) at the bar area,” Alcantara said. “Built for grand-scale entertaining, there is a catering area adjacent to the bar. It has its own entry, parking for the catering truck, a catering kitchen and prep/serve area. None of this is visible from the family kitchen and great room. Its all concealed and perfectly proportioned so that the living space feels comfortable and serene.” 

The two-story great room is both dramatic and warm, functional and eye-catching.
The windows, which play heavily throughout the home’s more than 7,200 square feet, bring in views of the surrounding lot, which is heavily treed and lush.
The floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace is flanked by two beautiful windows, offering delicious symmetry to the space.

The home is exceptionally well-suited for both large and small soirees, with three living areas, two dining areas, a state-of-the art kitchen, and a beautiful backyard entertaining space complete with an outdoor bath.

When its time to unwind, the master suite also offers breath-taking views down the creek, while the meditation landing provides a peaceful space for reading, painting or yoga. Even the secondary bedrooms are spacious and private with quality finishes and purposeful built-ins. They have access to two upstairs living areas, one indoors, the other out. The outside living areas are covered, wired for TV/sound and of course, offer captivating views of the creek.

If you’re feeling relaxed just looking at this beautiful new build, I can understand. It’s so serene, an attribute that was top-of-mind for the architect. 

“The serene feeling is achieved in three ways,” Alcantara explained, “how the architect designed spectacular windows to capture the artful view of nature from the great room, kitchen, master suite, and meditation loft; how the interior designer selected petrified wood sinks, and rift-cut oak cabinetry; and the use of the Golden Ratio to form the proportions of everything, from the ceiling heights to the spacing on the stair rails.” 

The second floor sports two living areas, one of which has glass pocket doors that allow the space to connect to the first floor living area, giving parents peace of mind. The master, which is on the first floor, is beautifully designed. The second-floor bedrooms, though, are bright and inviting with clerestory windows and colorful, well-designed bathrooms that are flush with built-in storage.

Alcantara says that this home provides a unique opportunity, as the half-acre lot next door is available for purchase. “We currently have three interested parties that are working with the architect to design supplemental structures on that lot. He’s created specialized versions of recreational guest houses that consist of all kinds of exciting supplements to the main house, elaborate guest suites, golf simulator rooms, full-sized gyms, bunkrooms, media rooms, and outdoor kitchens, as well as parking for Lamborghinis, housekeepers, your mother-in-law, or your teenage son’s eight closest friends when they come to hang out for the weekend.”

How can you go on looking at houses after seeing this one? Well, in case you can, Alcantara just launched GalaxyModern.com, an architecture-driven real estate brand owned by Alcantara, a senior associate with David Griffin & Co. Realtors. 

Galaxy Modern is the easiest way for people to discover the best modern and contemporary homes on the market in Dallas,” she said. “If you visit the website, you’ll see that there are pre-built searches that enable an easy way to find midcentury modern homes, 70s and 80s contemporary homes, luxury moderns, lofts, and more.” 


Joanna England

If Executive Editor Joanna England could house hunt forever, she absolutely would. Instead she covers the North Texas housing market and the economy for CandysDirt.com. While she started out with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, Joanna's work has appeared in The Dallas Morning News as well as several local media outlets. When she's not knitting or hooping, or enjoying White Rock Lake, she's behind the lens of her camera. She lives in East Dallas with her husband, son, and their furry and feathered menagerie.

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  1. Cody Farris says

    Two things really stand out about this home: the ’embrace and release’ feel of the foyer leading to the great room (which Frank Lloyd Wright employed), and the use of the golden ratio (used often by Bud Oglesby), which has been around for centuries and ensures that the proportions just “feel” right. I don’t understand why more architects and designers don’t employ these techniques. Gorgeous home, and repped by a great agent.

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