Best of 2020: Two Opportunities to Own Timeless Modern Design From ‘A Damn Nice Guy’

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The original rendering of Tom’s Valley Ridge home.

[Editor’s Note: This year has been a decade, right? So many things happened, lots of things were postponed, and houses continued to sell despite it all. While the team takes a hot minute this holiday season to recharge the ol’ Energizers, we’re serving up our very favorite stories from 2020. Enjoy!]

Elaine: As Tom Greico’s biggest fan — personally and professionally —this was naturally the story I chose as my Best of 2020. Much more than just a profession, designing and building homes was Tom’s passion.

The good news is, I recently got word that Michael Turner, owner of Classic Urban Homes, is carrying on his legacy. Early in 2021, he’ll break ground on a spec house using both the lot and the original plans Tom had slated for his personal residence. Expect all the signature Greico elements: Sleek, flat roof. Clean, classic lines. Tons of glass. Seamless indoor/outdoor integration.

“The project is going to be a cool tribute to Tom. He was a great mentor and friend,” Mike told me. “I’m honored to have the opportunity to build one of his final designs. That it’s the house he wanted to live in himself makes it even more special.”  

Located on Valley Ridge Road, the property also happens to be within walking distance of my own Midway Hollow Greico. I’ll be following its progress closely. Thanks, Mike. Tom would be thrilled.

Modern masterpiece: This Tom Greico North Dallas custom build is on the market.

House envy is pretty much a given for us writers at After all, we get to feature some seriously amazing properties. Today is no exception. Two of the late Tom Grieco’s modern stunners are currently on the market.

I admit I’m not totally objective. I happen to live in a Greico — and was lucky enough to hang out with Tom for more than 10 years.  Every day, I’m reminded what a great talent he was. (Not to mention, “an Observer of Architecture, Student of Construction, Master of Good Taste, and a damn nice guy,” according to his Linked In profile.)

Clean lines and an open floor plan are Greico signatures.

Throughout his too-short career, Tom designed and built about 40 custom homes.

A pioneer of modern construction in the Metroplex, his houses were among the first to effectively meld style, warmth, and timeless design.

“With their classic clean lines, Greico’s signature design features set his homes apart from the often sterile, boxy look of many moderns today,” says Realtor Mary McLean. (She and her husband Randy also own a Greico.) “His homes are one of a kind.”

Delight in the details: the floating staircase and built-in fish tank

Compass agent Christy Berry showed me around her listing at 4520 Northaven Lane, a sleek, two-story, 5,920-square-foot head turner. Special features abound. Immediately upon entering, there’s a beautifully designed, floating glass-and-wood staircase.

An uber-cool, built-in fish tank serves as a room divider, integrating perfectly with the modern décor.

High ceilings exude an open, airy feel; an abundance of windows allow natural light to flood the great room. Every space on the main floor looks out to the expansive backyard, complete with a pool, two spas, fire pit, and three seating areas. Making outdoor living even more amenable, at the touch of a button, the covered patio converts into a screened-in porch.

Outdoor living at its ultimate best.
The principal suite sports views of the outdoors.

The principal bedroom connects to a huge ensuite bath on one side and a home gym on the other. On the opposite side of the house, a second en-suite bedroom features a kitchenette and separate living area.

Upstairs, there’s another living area with an adjoining media room. The second level also houses four more bedrooms and baths. Perfect for a large family, the home is located in close proximity to the best private schools.

“It’s Los Angeles leisure on a Dallas-sized lot,” says Christy.

The .54-acre property is listed at $2.099 million.

Head south to Bluffview’s Rexford Drive to preview another Greico property, designed and built in 2015. According to the Door Texas Realty listing, it’s the “epitome of a stunning midcentury-inspired modern home.”

Like many of Tom’s houses, it’s intentionally constructed around a courtyard. The focal point here is a majestic 80-year-old red oak tree that shades the pool and spa.

A central courtyard optimizes outdoor space.

“This home evokes tranquility, sophistication, and a sense of modern comfort,” says agent Jeffrey Robillard.

A huge great room is ideal for entertaining. Additional highlights include a chef’s kitchen with top-of-the-line appliances, super chic lighting fixtures, and a spa-like master bath.

Lighting adds a stylish touch.

The 3,630-square-foot, four bedroom, 4.5 bathroom is listed for $1.189 million.

“Living in a Greico home offers the best of two worlds: the cool vibe of the original Midcentury Modern homes with all the modern-day amenities,” says Mary. “There are smart homes, and homes with smart design. Tom Greico’s homes encompass both.”

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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.

Reader Interactions


  1. Carol says

    Great piece honey. Would love to see your Greico. Also the number on Redford?

    Thanks. Miss you at the crescent!

    Carol Orr

  2. Jeff Dworkin says

    As a friend of Tom’s and a fellow builder, he was One of a Kind! The man lit up a room with his smile and jokes wherever he went. He was also one heck of a Builder! Kudos to my good friend and fellow Past President of the Dallas Builders Association- Michael Turner for building this “Legacy Project” in Tom’s name! Once it is finished we are all going to have to go there and have a toast in Tom’s name, of red wine of course!

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