Little Forest Hills Modern Gives You a Bird’s-Eye View of East Dallas

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I first met this modern home in Little Forest Hills on both the White Rock Home Tour and the AIA Dallas Tour of Homes back in 2013. Being a gardener and a bit of a treehugger myself, it was easy for me to fall in love with a house that’s so connected to nature. Plus, I’m a big fan of the funky vibe in Little Forest Hills. It’s a great neighborhood!

It hit the market back in 2014, and that’s when I finally got to fall head over heels for this eco-friendly modern design by Thad Reeves, AIA. The property — like many in this area of East Dallas near the Dallas Arboretum and White Rock Lake — has these enormous trees. The home, which is fairly modest in size, was built in harmony with these trees while still allowing plenty of room for a gardener to stretch their green thumb.

Built For Nature

But what was really revolutionary to me was this huge, two-story polycarbonate panel wall that allowed the sunlight, filtered through the canopy of these immense trees, to dance across the interior walls throughout the day. It also acts as a sort of blind for wildlife, as unexpected vantages of neighborhood birds are offered through the clear panel on the structure’s translucent side.

The exposed framing, industrial railings, and open ceiling trusses give you a more warehouse contemporary vibe that feels warm and endearingly gritty.

The bedrooms, both of which are upstairs, have clerestory windows for a California midcentury vibe.

From the architect:

“The relationship between the interior and the exterior is most evident in the expression of the two-story polycarbonate wall, filling the corresponding stairwell and public space beyond with natural light throughout the day. The use of daylight and massing further lends itself to the sustainable nature of home, providing indirect sunlight to active areas of the home.”

Always Coveted, Never Imitated

“This is the type of property that owners forever covet and always wish they still owned,” says David Collier, who just listed the property. “This is my second time to sell this incredible home, both times the owner selling it for new opportunities but knowing that there will only be one Groveland in their lives.”

And that’s true. There’s so much uniqueness wrapped up in this imaginative modern’s shell that you can’t help but put yourself in the seller’s shoes — also while secretly dreaming about being the new owner.

For those of us who do most of their living outside, the rather modest 1,550 square feet of this two-story adult treehouse won’t be bothersome. There are two bedrooms and two full baths on the second floor for total privacy, with an additional half bath downstairs for guests when entertaining. Grab your optics, because the owner’s suite has a fabulous screened balcony for bird watching. Downstairs there’s another screened porch for enjoying cool evenings without getting eaten alive by mosquitoes.

And this is a home that you’ll want to share with friends and neighbors just as soon as you can go back to hanging out with friends and neighbors. The kitchen is a perfect prep-and-serve spot for wine night, and you can meet your neighbors out by the fire pit when the temperatures start to drop — hopefully along with the aforementioned mosquitoes.

And because of this unique design and this home’s connection to nature, no one who steps foot in 8643 Groveland will ever forget it.

“In most neighborhoods, there is that one iconic home on the block, and 6643 Groveland is that home,” Collier said. “A home that is designed to provide its owners the feeling that they have escaped and simply retreated back to nature day after day will always be a commodity in real estate.”

David Collier with David Griffin & Co. Realtors has listed 8643 Groveland for $550,000.

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Joanna England

If Executive Editor Joanna England could house hunt forever, she absolutely would. Instead she covers the North Texas housing market and the economy for While she started out with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, Joanna's work has appeared in The Dallas Morning News as well as several local media outlets. When she's not knitting or hooping, or enjoying White Rock Lake, she's behind the lens of her camera. She lives in East Dallas with her husband, son, and their furry and feathered menagerie.

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