We’re departing 2019 in style, with a drop-dead gorgeous, ivy-covered English Georgian manor house in Old Westover Hills, Fort Worth.
When I saw this mansion pop up on Realtor.com I thought I’d found my next historic preservation post. Then I saw the next photo and the next. I had one of those “Well, shut my mouth” moments. It’s common knowledge by now that I’m a devotee of historic properties. I’ve spent over half my life visiting stately homes and castles all over the world, so my expectation level is exceptionally high. This English Georgian manor house surpassed all my expectations and then some.
What completely blew me away about this seemingly traditional 5,551-square-foot English Georgian manor house was the juxtaposition of that classic exterior with designer Holly Lydick’s completely fresh interior finishes.
“I think it is one of the prettiest homes in the neighborhood,” Lydick said. “I love the idea of being true to the architecture, but doing updated finishes on the inside. You are expecting something different from the outside, then you look inside and see a home that is fresh, new, and exciting. It’s a cool way to update.”
This beautiful English Georgian manor house was built by Byrne & Luther for William and Pauline Tyler. Tyler was the president of Tyler & Simpson, a wholesale groceries firm based at the T & P Warehouse. It’s been described in the Tarrant County Historic Resources Survey as follows:
… an eclectic, two-story Period Revival style design faced in dark red brick. Composed as a series of intersecting, hipped masses, the structure has fine window and door surrounds and quoins of stone.
The sellers have already moved on to new pastures, so Williams Trew listing agent Martha Williams brought in the talented Julie Herd to do a live-in staging. You heard that right. Filling up a two-story, five-bedroom, six-bathroom English Georgian manor house is a tall order, but not for Herd.
Herd, you may know from other stories we’ve published, owns JSH Design with Kim Boyd. She sold her home and was considering renting while she and her husband looked for their next property. Then her friend and Fort Worth stager extraordinaire Tina McMackin suggested Herd stage properties and live in them until they found their perfect abode. Having someone live in a home while it’s for sale is not a new concept. Show Homes and Castle Keepers have been providing this service for years, but we see seeing a whole new level here as Herd has not only street cred as a designer, but also warehouses full of her stored furnishings, which happen to be gorgeous.
“This is the third house I’ve staged and lived in while it was for sale,” Herd said. “My staging is a bit unique because of the fact I move in with what I have, tweak it, and then buy a few things to finish it out if I feel I have a gap. To me, it’s a very personalized staging, and I’m enjoying the nomadic lifestyle, for now, because I love creating a new space and atmosphere for others.
This English Georgian manor house is in a coveted neighborhood and has beautiful, big living spaces. It’s a great family home and excellent for entertaining, but it’s often a challenge to understand the way a home lives when it’s empty. And multi-million dollar vacant homes tend to stay on the market for a long time because of that lack of spatial comprehension and emotional attachment. The first home Herd moved into as a live-in stager had been on the market for a few years. It sold within six months. The second one had been listed for over a year and sold in four months. “Homes sell better when you have furniture in them,” Herd said. “People need to walk in and experience how a home lives. Staging is a great tool.”
Amen to that.
Seriously, can you imagine that stunning black lacquer study empty? It would never have the same effect on a buyer. It goes to show it does take a village to sell a home regardless of how stately, historical, or beautiful. You must have a great team, and this English Georgian manor house, at 22 Valley Ridge Road, has the best because, of course, that team starts with Williams, who has this beauty listed for $3.95 million.
Starting the new year out in this gorgeous home should be at the top of your Santa wish list!
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!