Diversity Is Key for this Award-Winning Dallas Builder

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This custom build for a commercial architect took plenty of skill and finesse, says Kevin Key of Key Residential.

Listening to owner Kevin Key talk about his eponymous company, the term that comes to mind is “renaissance man.” With over 25 years of experience in the homebuilding/remodeling business, the portfolio of this CandysDirt.com Approved Builder encompasses multiple genres.

From traditional to contemporary, rustic to transitional, the one factor that unites them all is Key’s commitment to quality — a time-tested mix of craftmanship, purpose, and style.

“We don’t want to get pigeon-holed into one specific type of house. Our point of difference is that we can do any type of project.” Another plus is the opportunity to work with Dallas’ top architects, trade partners, and interior designers. From beginning to end, it’s a collaborative effort. “The ultimate goal is to make our homeowners’ vision come to life.”


According to Key, the homes themselves best tell the story. Definitely the most dramatic is the Brookridge contemporary created for a commercial architect.

“Although the bulk of our work is remodeling and renovations, this was a custom build for a previous client, Key said. “It was his dream house. We made it happen.”

Among the many challenges: having to finish out concrete floors pre-construction, laser-installing over 50 windows on curved dining room walls, and hanging a massive lighting fixture from 24-foot-high ceilings.

“Needless to say, it took a lot of finessing,” he said.

Curves are evident throughout the home, both in the exterior architecture (entry foyer, office, and bedroom walls) and interior design (spiral glass staircase, oversized circular shower). An abundance of windows adds to the allure, designed to fully optimize natural light. Winning multiple industry awards, the property was named ARC Best New Home over $2 million in 2013.

Totally different in scope and feel is the company’s rustic Caruth renovation/remodel (also an ARC award recipient). “The homeowner wanted it to look like a 100-year-old French farmhouse. Outdoor living was especially important,” says Key. To create the look, the porch features carved wooden columns, wavy cedar siding, hand-painted moldings, and unique decorative elements. Inside, repurposed barn wood floors, stained ceilings, exposed beams, and creative painting techniques help provide the home’s country farmhouse flair. Also important: the owner’s personal finds, including antique windows, doors, and vintage signage

Still another style in the Key Residential playbook is the more traditional Night Hawk remodel, sporting an expansive porch off the main living area. This 800-square-foot, climate-controlled space features 28-foot sliding doors, hidden roller screens, a full kitchen, and flip-down television. Updates to the formal dining room incorporate antique glass mirrors and a metallic wallpapered ceiling. Customized closets round out the homeowners’ wish list; built-in amenities run the gamut from steamer and angled mirrors to cloth-lined jewelry and trouser drawers.

“Everything we do is based on what our clients need and want,” says Key Residential associate Evan Ratcliff. “We encourage interaction throughout the entire process. Our top priority is ensuring that customers have the best experience possible.”

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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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