When I spotted this 1961 midcentury cottage in Sparkman Club Estates, I could not summon an immediate connection to a Dallas architect. That’s because it was designed, as many homes are, by a builder.
We remember architects. It’s the builders of our city that are often overlooked, or completely forgotten. I’m going to rectify that today and tell you a bit about not only this adorable midcentury cottage but also this excellent builder — Gordon Nichols.
Gordon Nichols started Nichols Engineering & Materials Co. with his father, then added his brothers into the mix with Nichols Construction Company. They began building custom homes in the mid-1950s. Quality in planning, materials, and craftsmanship, for a reasonable budget, were the founding principles of the firm. Their apt motto was, “Save Dollars with Nichols.”
Nichols was married with four children, so understood the concept of family living better than most. In an archived Dallas Morning News article, he had the following to say about his design theory:
“Family space needs in the modern home are now measured by what fits the family snugly under present conditions. We are designing homes that meet this qualification and go a little further. We are building homes that a family can grow into rather than grow out of as is the case so many times.”
Nichols was quite a prolific builder, constructing 50 homes in Midway Hills alone. You may remember our post on the Smith House at 11016 Pinocchio Drive. It’s a Midcentury Modern time capsule that has been featured in numerous publications. Nichols also built homes in Willow Park Square, a 10-acre tract at Forest and Inwood.
But I think his heart was in Sparkman Club Estates. Just check out the advertisement!
I should think the one on Camelot has to be this lovely midcentury cottage. If you note the wide variety of styles offered in the ad — it’s not at all unusual that Nichols chose to blend a bit, and create a midcentury cottage.
The breeze-block screen wall, fountain, and immensely cool double front doors catch the eye first. You realize there is more to this midcentury cottage. Indeed, there is, and it’s what we all hope for in midcentury design. The large foyer with a stone fountain wall and floating stairs are the elements that satisfy every bone in a midcentury lover’s heart. That enormous fiddle-leaf fig tree that wraps up to the second story has been there for years and adds just the right organic touch.
There are original walnut wood built-ins throughout the midcentury cottage. Sliding glass doors open from the master bedroom to the covered patio and pool, perfect for a midnight dip!
“What’s amazing about this home is that multiple owners have respected the original character,” Russell Trenary Realtors listing agent Lindsey Thomas said. “Of course there has been some updating over the years, but the original design elements of the house have been kept.”
It’s evident that Nichols built this 2,747-square-foot, four-bedroom, three-bathroom midcentury cottage for a family in 1961. Don’t you think he’d be tickled pink to realize his home has been so well preserved? And that yet another family will soon be enjoying the best of everything? I certainly do.
Learn more about this truly one-of-a-kind midcentury cottage at 3332 Camelot Drive, including the price, here.
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 all dogs, international travel, good chocolate, great champagne, and historic homes knows no bounds. Her father was a spy, so she keeps secrets very well! Find Karen at