They got a few real estate numbers wrong, but what does it matter? It’s the New York Times, right, and they got the design story spot on. Check out this splendidly glowing write up on Emily and Steve Summer’s house (with a well-deserved plug for her forthcoming book, “Distinctly Modern Interiors,” ) in the “affluent Dallas suburb of Highland Park” which their daughter, real estate dynamo Caroline Summers, found for them about 20 years ago:
Twenty years ago, when her daughter, Caroline, a real estate agent, saw a listing for a low-slung 1962 house designed by the architect Robert Johnson Perry in the affluent Dallas suburb of Highland Park, Ms. Summers and her husband, Steve Summers, who worked in finance before retiring, decided they should have a look.
“Originally they said the house cost $1.3 to buy and $1.5 was the total remodeling project,” says Caroline, who works with Briggs-Freeman Sotheby’s. “They must have been talking to my dad!”
The actual sales price was $1.5 and the remodeling tab shot northward of $2.5. No biggie.
“My mom of course remodels one room at least every month,” says Caroline. “I mean, that’s what she does.”
(Indeed, Emily says in the article, “designers are always changing things.”)
We in North Texas know of Emily Summer’s vast design talents, but it’s nice the rest of the country knows now, too. And her book, published by Rizzoli, which includes photos of the Summers’ Round House and their 60s Palm Springs getaway, will be out February 12, just in time for Valentine’s Day gift-giving.
Emily Summers is a champion of modern design, past and present. With a Dallas firm known for interiors that are crisp and edited, yet equally comfortable, she has become one of Texas’s most prominent designers. But as a preservationist appointed to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation by former president George W. Bush, she also has a soft spot for maintaining the work of modernists who preceded her.
Emily told the Times that “if they didn’t buy it, someone else might knock it down to make way for a McMansion, an “ overwrought “pastiches of Tudor.”’ Thankfully, that didn’t happen.
Caroline says the Times was corrected on the actual price, and while they cannot change the print product, the online version of the story will, of course, be corrected. Which is why I love online so much — you always get a do-over!
While her mother lamented the fact that the price of their home was publicized, Caroline reminded her that in real estate, there is no such thing as too much publicity. Case in point: one of Caroline’s primo listings and the last Frank Welch-designed home in North Texas:
Caroline has just lowered the price of 3636 University Boulevard, which she has had listed since October of 2016. Originally priced at $4,950,000 back then, the price was shaved to $3,990,000 and then took a market rest. The home came back to seriously sell last November.
“I’ve just shaved $700,000 off the last listing price,” says Caroline, “on this, the most photographed architectural gem in Dallas.”
3636 University is now listed at a cool $3 million. That is for 7,442 architecturally perfect square feet, four bedrooms, five and a half baths, on almost a third acre in University Park with glorious pool. Stay tuned to CD for the write up, I’m touring soon. And know that if Caroline finds you a house, it will be spectacular and very well may end up in the Times.