An Idyllic Reinvented Colonial Revival with Historic Roots

Idyllic Reinvented Colonial Revival

Two famous architects, decades apart, have created an idyllic reinvented Colonial Revival home that oozes charm from every corner. Originally built by Hal Thomson in 1921, 3926 Potomac Avenue in Highland Park is one of the most beautiful homes I’ve ever seen.

As the go-to architect of the era, Hal Thomson built many significant homes in Dallas. He was a master of every style, from Spanish Eclectic and Italianate to, of course, Colonial Revival. Of all the Thomson designs I’ve had the pleasure to write about, this is my favorite. It is such a classic fairytale of a home that it appears purpose-built for a movie. If you look up the location used for the original Father of the Bride, it shares a lot of the same romantic ambiance and incredible detailing.Idyllic Reinvented Colonial Revival

As the years pass, any historic home needs a refresh. Sometimes the respect for original architecture takes a back seat when owners have specific needs. When the current owner purchased this idyllic reinvented Colonial Revival, there was a singular focus on not just bringing it back to its former glory days, but also on renovating it into a family home that children would love.

Enter J. Wilson Fuqua, one of the leading architects in Dallas.

Fuqua was particularly suited to this project. He has always been inspired by early the 20th century homes of the Park Cities and Preston Hollow. As his website beautifully states:

A fundamental tenant of the architects in the Fuqua team is honoring and enhancing the architecture of our tradition.  As always, the challenge — and excitement — comes from restoring spaces to original glory while offering the comforts of livability today.

“The challenge with a house like this is there is an existing stylistic template, and so you have to work within that, and it helps you focus on the right way to do things,” Fuqua said.

Idyllic Reinvented Colonial Revival

Idyllic Reinvented Colonial Revival

 

An interesting feature of the home is the fireplace in the kitchen.

“All of these old houses had chimneys that typically went to the basement,” Fuqua said. “We took advantage of it and opened it up to the kitchen. Cathy Kincaid did the interior design on this project and found an antique fireplace in New York that fit beautifully into the space.”

Kincaid is one of those designers that understand how to create a style that seems to have always existed in a home. She takes a traditional approach that is comfortably elegant and completely fresh. In other words, you can have a home where both kids and dogs can jump on the furniture, and it’s all still going to look fabulous.

Zubar wallpaper was custom made with scenes from where each of the owners’ children was born.

 

 

 

 

One of the most stunning and unexpected new features of this idyllic reinvented Colonial Revival is not just one, but two skylights.

“The original entry stair hall was a bit moody and dark,” Fuqua said. “The ceiling was at a normal height, and we had another six or seven feet to the roof level, so we could raise it and create a skylight. We built it like an old-fashioned skylight you would have found in an early 1900s building.”

What’s particularly unique is the elevator cab was built with a skylight. What? Why?

“So the skylight on the roof comes down into the skylight of the cab,” Fuqua said. Brilliant! An added benefit is when the elevator opens into the basement wine cellar that light comes straight down and out through the elevator’s glass door.

That basement wine room was quite a feat of engineering. The existing basement was enlarged to create the wine cellar and tasting room. This meant carving the extension out of limestone!

The porch was expanded into what has to be the most beautiful screened porch in Texas, if not all of America. Lutron blinds descend to shield you from any wind or heat, so the space is usable year-round.

Landscape architect Naud Burnett created English gardens filled with blooming hydrangea, peonies and, a perfect rose garden.

 

This idyllic reinvented Colonial Revival is now 5,949 square feet with five bedrooms, four bathrooms, and a powder bath. Remember that’s just the house. The property has a garage apartment and a pool. The backyard has cisterns underneath it to collect water to reuse in the sprinkler system.

But, my very favorite thing on this property is the playhouse. Yes, there is an absolutely perfect miniature version of the home complete with slate roof and a working fireplace! Forget the kids, I’d claim it as a she-shed. I’m certain there is space for a wine fridge!

Idyllic Reinvented Colonial Revival

This idyllic reinvented Colonial Revival has absolutely everything you could want, classic style, modern livability, and film-worthy looks. If you purchase this stunner, don’t be surprised if a location scout comes knocking at your door.

Compass Real Estate listing agent Michelle Wood has this beauty listed for $6 million. You won’t find anything like this in Dallas. It’s an extraordinary home.


Karen Eubank is the owner of Eubank Staging and Design. She has been an award-winning professional home stager and writer for over 25 years. Karen teaches the popular Staging to Sell class and is the creator of the online course, The Beginners Guide to Buying Wholesale. Her love of dogs, international travel, history, white paint, champagne, artificial turf, and Tudor and Midcentury Modern homes, and any house designed by Clifford Hutsell knows no bounds. Her father was a spy, so she keeps secrets very well! Find Karen at www.eubankstaging.com

5 Comment

  • BEAUTIFUL house. I would love to have more information about the skylight in the elevator – more specifically how it works. Is there a permanent skylight on the roof that the skylight on the elevator “slides” into when the elevator is on the top floor or what?

    • Hi Bill
      You are correct. By putting a skylight in the elevator it allows the skylight above it on the roof to filter light straight through to the basement . Genius.

      • Hi Karen, Thanks for your reply. I assumed that was the case, but I’ve never seen that before, thus I was interested to know for sure. You are right – genius!!!! Bill

  • Over the top beautiful. Perfect details. What an elegant cohesive package.

  • A working fireplace in the playhouse? That is a real commitment to authenticity!