When this incredible Highland Park Texas Modern at 3701 Lexington Avenue popped up on my radar last week, I sat enraptured for some time. Remember, when it comes to beautiful homes, I’m hard to impress. I feverishly texted my fellow CandysDirt.com writers to drop everything and look at this one! When I recovered my composure, I rang up the enormously talented David Stocker, principal and founder of SHM Architects, to get the dirt. Oh, he had so much to say!
“A house should tell a story,” Stocker said. “It should draw you in and take you on a journey. It starts at the street. It’s a tease. You want to peek over the top of the wall. When you come through the gates, it says ‘hey, something is interesting about me, come and visit.’ ”
It’s apparent when talking to Stocker that he had fun designing this 8,156-square-foot home. But, how do you have fun, fulfill the needs of a young family, and create a timeless classic? Well, you enlist the aid of a stellar builder like Stephen Hild.
“He is meticulous, and his ability to pull off the details is unsurpassed,” Stocker said.
You also select time-honored materials to use, such as Lueders limestone, Douglas Fir, and Calacatta marble. Then you put a fresh spin on them.
“We are good at using a traditional form in a more contemporary way,” Stocker said.
Nowhere is this more apparent than the moment you walk in the door of this Highland Park Texas modern and see the work-of-art staircase.
“That is Lueders limestone,” Stocker said. “It’s a bit of an engineering feat. Solid blocks of stone are set one on another. It is a historical way of doing things. There is a way structurally that it holds itself. Of course, we added some steel, because structural engineers don’t trust history anymore. Although it’s a traditional stair, the room comes off more modern, and the stone is unexpected.”
Clerestory windows lead you up the staircase to a soaring 16-foot, dome-vaulted, Douglas fir plank ceiling. The present owners installed a breathtaking Italian Murano glass and antique silver Nenufar Serip chandelier, designed to fit the slope of the ceiling.
A few steps away there is a thoughtful entry seat backed by Texas limestone walls and accented by a series of leaded cast glass windows. It looks like a perfect napping spot to me!
The gallery hallway has an impressive Catalan-vaulted ceiling created with wood mould brick and Douglas fir timbers. It’s another nod to historic building, but with that modern spin. You will see a larger version of this in the wine cellar.
When you enter the great room, it’s one of those proverbial jaw-drop experiences. I love a good vaulted ceiling and this one, with a height of 21 feet and created out of Douglas fir, is a masterpiece. Light floods this room through a wall of floor-to-ceiling steel windows, as well as clerestory windows. Two sets of French doors set into the bank of windows open to a courtyard overlooking the pool.
Stocker told me this Highland Park Texas Modern was really built for entertaining.
“The great room and dining room flow together, and the dining space has a glamor to it,” he said. “When you see it makes you think what great fun it would be for a dinner party.”
I visualize the kitchen in this home being featured in a television special. Perhaps CandysDirt.com needs to branch out to food porn? It’s one of those kitchens that makes you want to cook, even if you’ve spent your entire life ordering in or eating out. It has book-matched white Calacatta Gold marble counters and walls. Book-matched means mirror-image marble slabs are set side by side to look like the pages of a book. It is essentially a piece of natural art.
The private rooms of this Highland Park Texas Modern are on the second floor. It’s the traditional way of building a home, and I like it. Personally, I want my master bedroom far, far away from the public spaces. The master suite in this home has a foyer. You read that right. You have to see it to believe it.
Interior designer Sherry Hayslip worked with the present owners to create the luxurious layers you see in this home. Her touch is evident everywhere, especially in the master suite.
The master bedroom has a 12-foot cathedral plank ceiling, exquisite Elitis wall coverings, and floor-to-ceiling windows, with my essential, elegant custom blackout draperies! To me, one of the best parts of buying a home from a seller with taste, and a great designer, is the bonus of flawless fixtures, gorgeous wallpapers, and custom draperies! Oh, this house has it!
Along with kitchens, the master bathroom can make or break a house. This one is spectacular with a cathedral ceiling in the ladies bath, a Victoria + Albert soaking tub, a towel warming rack and a flat screen television. There is no need to head to the salon for your up-do. There is a hair shampoo station room, which is la crème de la crème of any master bathroom!
Highlighted by a separate double steam shower showcasing a Thermasol rain shower with body sprays, the gentleman of the house can enjoy a private bathroom that features a toilet room and a fully equipped wet bar, which houses a stainless-steel bar sink and SubZero refrigerator. What else could you need?
A word about that impressive closet. It’s the size of a room because a fourth bedroom was incorporated into the existing space by the current owners. So, if you need a fourth bedroom, it’s a quick conversion. But if not, you can enjoy perhaps the best closet in town. The custom-finished, vaulted plank ceiling features an oversized Murano chandelier and vintage 1960s Murano sconces. There are mirrored and glass display cabinets, an expansive island and a vanity desk area, all with Calacatta marble counters.
Two guest suites are also on the second floor. The elevator will whisk your guests down to the wine cellar, exercise, and media rooms.
There is so much more to this home. I could write a book. But suffice it to say, so often the list price does not equate to value. In this case, at $9.95 million, you are getting incredible value. To have a timeless, architect-designed home, in one of the best locations in Dallas, well it’s the dream, isn’t it?
“We purposely take people on a journey when we design a home,” Stocker said. “It’s like being a writer. You are moving people to the next paragraph, to the end of the book. You don’t give away everything at the beginning. A great house makes a great neighborhood. A great neighborhood makes a great city. It’s definitely with pride when I drive by this home. It tells an interesting story.”
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.