New Leaf’s Custom Design Studio Eliminates the Builder’s Bermuda Triangle

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This New Leaf build at 7015 Pasadena in Lakewood is the perfect testament to their in-house design services.

Melissa Powell will be the first to admit building a custom home can be a mind-boggling experience. The New Leaf Custom Homes co-founder who runs the business with her husband, Scott, understands the challenges: You get the design you want, but it can’t be built within budget. Or the lot you’ve chosen doesn’t mesh with the architectural plan.

The good news is, this Approved Builder has found a better way. With the recent launch of its full-service New Leaf Design Studio, everything a client needs is now under a single roof.

“It’s how we avoid what we call the Builder’s Bermuda Triangle,” says Melissa. “Bringing everything in-house makes it a seamless process for the customer.”

With construction and architecture services already in place, adding interior design completed the trifecta. “It eliminates the go-betweens, so nothing is left to chance.“

Under the direction of Lead Designer Samantha Bailey, the full-service studio works hand-in-hand with homeowners on everything from floor plans, interior drawings, and custom cabinetry/millwork to window treatments, lighting, furniture, and styling. “Our team continues to push the boundaries. They’re great at making it both super design forward and budget-friendly,” says Melissa. Every detail is addressed in a custom Interior Design Plan (iPlans, for short), ready to review before the build ever begins.

The results have been so impressive that the company now services outside clients. Customers get everything that’s included in the typical New Leaf design package, minus the house itself. Who’s taking notice? According to President of Design Brett Davis, interest has spread outside Dallas, including followers who’ve seen their work on Instagram or Houzz. Local builders are also on board. “They’re understanding the value of this level of detail upfront.”

A true testament to the company’s high standards is New Leaf’s striking Midcentury Modern-inspired spec house located at 7015 Pasadena in Lakewood. Davis addressed the lot’s challenging ten-foot slope by designing a split level floor plan.

“We knew what to do. A stairway leads up to the main living level which sits even with the backyard.” The 4,144-square-foot home also sports a strategically-placed game room above the garage, an open living/dining area, chef-style kitchen, spacious masters suite, and three additional bedrooms with separate baths.

“Even when you walk in the house and it’s unfurnished, every space looks unique,” says Bailey. “There’s a color, ceiling fixture, treatment, or wallpaper to add interest.”

Lighting is another key element. Decorative mid-century fixtures hang throughout the house and there’s a chandelier over the free-standing tub in the master bath. The Bailey likens it to jewelry.

“Little things can have such a big impact,” she said. “We stretched and flexed all of our design muscles.”


Two of Davis’ favorite features are the fireplace — a signature design element in every New Leaf home — and the huge walk-in master closet with adjacent laundry area.

“We shot the moon in every room. We get to do what we love and what’s possible with spaces like this. Specs give you total creative freedom—you just need a buyer who appreciates it.”

Completion is slated for November, 2019, but 7015 Pasadena is already on the market for $1.4 million. 

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Elaine Raffel

Having left the corporate world to launch her own freelance creative business, Elaine Raffel is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the mega-talented Dallas homebuilding community. She credits her work with top fashion and design brands for teaching her one inarguably valuable lesson: that truly great work is always a collaboration.

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