We’re suckers for unique architecture here at CandysDirt, and when Rocky Zablan of Dallas City Center Realtors showed off this contemporary modern listing in Bluffview on day on Facebook, I’ll confess — I immediately asked him for more details.

We talk a lot about curb appeal, but this 2,162 square foot home at 9119 Chapel Valley Road is practically a magnet from the road. And you’d probably assume it was a new build, given how distinctly modern this contemporary home looks (although I had a few people guess that it was built in the midcentury range, too).

You’d be wrong. (more…)

8740 Canyon drive poolOne of the most famous Dallas homes with the movie star jet set is on the market, this time for sale, offering a ripe, cliff-hugging slate for a cool California transitional contemporary not unlike the homes it’s famous tenants have built in the Golden state.

See this pool? Oh if only water could talk. This is the famous pool in the tip-top backyard of 8740 Canyon Drive, easily now the HOTTEST piece of dirt south of the Red River.

Practically every celebrity who has come to Dallas for an extended visit has leased this house as their place-away-from-their-place. Built in 1939,  Larry Hagman, Paul McCartney, Barbara Eden, Stevie Nicks, Matthew Perry and yes, even the late, great Rock Hudson, have all slept here. And swam here. (more…)

4610 Wildwood openerYou can tell when someone hasn’t spent much time in Dallas when they refer to our summers. They use words like “scorching,” “oppressive,” or some other generic term. In Curbed‘s case, they say that “a long lap pool also features plenty of seating for guests beleaguered by the hot Dallas summer,” in their write up of J. McDonald “Don” Williams’ incredible Bluffview contemporary mansion.

4610 Wildwood pool

Anyone from Dallas knows that:

1) There is no way being in proximity to a lap pool during summer is going to do anything to cool you down. It will, at best, give you the extra incentive you need to just dive right in, Louboutins and all.

2) You aren’t “beleaguered” by the “hot Dallas summer.” If you’re lucky, you escape to Aspen, the Hamptons, or wherever your second home (or third!) may be. If you’re sticking around, though, you’re morally and physically aggrieved by the inconceivable high temperatures, becoming irrationally obsessed by how many days in a row we’ve seen 100-degree weather, and loathing the many crevices from which your body pours sweat.

But, I digress.

4610 Wildwood LR

What Dallas residents will appreciate in a home is the almost 7,000 square feet of sleek and light interiors in which you can retreat from the “hot Dallas summer.” This home is in Bluffview, one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Dallas, which boasts a stunning variety of architecture and huge lot sizes.

4610 Wildwood library

Williams, who was once the chairman of Trammel Crow Company and founded the Foundation for Community Empowerment and the J. McDonald Williams Institute at the University of Texas at Dallas, hired Bodron+Fruit Architecture, Mesa Landscape Design, and contractor Elite Homes by John and Stephen Hardy to construct 4610 Wildwood Road in 2009.

4610 Wildwood kitchen

This masterpiece of contemporary architecture was built in tune with the surrounding environment. Boasting Cottonwood limestone, mahogany, and copper exteriors, rift cut white oak and Gascoigne marble floors, custom cabinetry, an expansive library, a marble-clad Rumford fireplace, and 14-foot ceilings, the interiors are at least worth a good long gander. It’s marketed by the insanely talented Claire Dewar at Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s for $9.75 million.

45610 Wildwood master

My favorite thing? The beautiful views offered by the surrounding 1.3 acre wooded lot, which you can appreciate in the comfort of air conditioning.

4610 Wildwood master bathWhat do you like best about this unbelievable contemporary home?

We all know Dallas is buggy. Let’s face it, you move to a warmer climate, you get bugs. When I grew up in Chicago we had millipedes and spiders in summer months, but not even an amoeba survived the tundra months of winter. I will not step foot in Main until July 1 because of the black flies. They are VICIOUS!! And I think the mosquitoes on the east coast are the worst, confirmed by this Off Insect Repellent study. After leaving Vail I checked for ticks as I always do when out in the western woods. In Johnson City, I know that scorpions are waiting to get me inside my boots and shoes so we shake ’em before we put them on.

But Dallas is not terribly buggy when measured up to the rest of the nation: we are number 17, behind Austin and San Antonio. Of course Houston is way buggier — it’s a swamp! According to a recent article on The Huffington Post, only about 9 percent of people nationwide say they don’t walk outside without bug spray, and nearly 10 percent say they use bug spray when out for more than 30 minutes. (I have to. Do you?) Just over a quarter of respondents said mosquitos are only bad in the evening, or come out occasionally and don’t pose much of a problem. Nearly 30 percent said mosquitos are rarely a problem. (Where are these peeps? In Kansas City.) In the buggiest cities, however, these stats are drastically different.

Then I saw this story about tarantulas in Bastrop, and I paid attention. It seems that the mild winter and fewer arachnid fungal infections [or] diseases, plentiful food (um, like my legs?) is helping create a bumper crop of tarantulas in central Texas. They are migrating and actually walking across the roads, trot trot trot. Jesus — people see them while driving. That might cause an ACCIDENT.  The homeowner interviewed says she’s had ten tarantulas in her home this past month. EEEEEEK. Full disclosure: they scare the beejesus out of you but do not bite.

“Why we’re seeing them more this year could’ve been the early rains and the lack of rain when it really mattered last year, our drought,” said a board-certified entomologist in Bastrop.

I call BS: I swear every year the entomologists and Orkin guys tell us “this is the worst year ever for bugs.” I’m waiting for someone to say, hey, this year will actually be a good year for bugs because of x, y and z.

Seems like EVERY year is the worst year.

And I think the bug problems are DIFFERENT in different parts of town, of Dallas. We confirmed this at lunch today when my host told me that Lakewood has terrible skeeters — of course, the water — and even the Pyrethrum misting systems don’t really help.

Like worse than other places in Dallas, I asked?

Yes, he said, far worse. In fact, that’s why he’s MOVING!

I know this for a fact: we had a few roaches when we lived east of Marsh for a few years, mostly spiders and pinch bugs, and a ton of mosquitoes. Moved further east to Melissa Lane, east of Midway: almost no roaches, few spiders, a garden snake in the house one time. Park Lane Old Preston Hollow was roach central. We found one in our bed one night, I am not kidding. Little bastard fell right off the rafters.  (Yes, try negotiating with your husband to change the sheets at 3 a.m.  He gave me all of 5 minutes.) I had one in my shoe, found it while I was driving and thankfully did not wreck the car. This was during one of my au natural granola phases when we had four dogs and a duck and the bird and I swore off chemicals and pesticides. After that night with our little bed mate, I begged for poisons. Moved north of Royal, east of Preston, I see one, maybe three roaches a year. Lots of spiders but I have geckos all over the place and I love them: they eat roaches and mosquitoes.

Bluffview I hear has even more roaches than Preston Hollow. Scorpions are prevalent in new home subdivisions far north and anywhere the soil has been recently churned. Tarantulas — have they walked up here from Bastrop yet? After all that exercise, they will be famished. I sure hope they try walking on I-35!

When you buy a downtown Dallas condo, do you get rid of bugs for ever?

Tell us about your neighborhood bugs. Are there really more skeeters in Lakewood? More roaches in the woodsy parts of Preston Hollow? What critters bug the Park Cities, I have never been a Parkie, unfortunately? Do North Dallas and Plano still have to fear scorpions? Where are mosquitoes the worst in town, and what kinds of bugs bug you in Oak Cliff/Kessler? What about Lake Ray Hubbard — tell us about the bugs that bug your ‘hood!

 

 

 

Can a contemporary home be warm and inviting? 4130 Cochran Chapel Road certainly is!

You know me by now, right? Craftsman, yes. Tudor, no. Mid-Mod, um .. DUH!

It’s contemporary design I’ve always been on the fence about. When they are designed poorly, they are sterile, ugly spaces with oddly utilitarian — nay, institutional —finishes.

But when done well, well, they are astonishing. As my search goes on to find every house in the Dallas/Fort Worth area I can fall in love with, I’ve found a contemporary home that is warm, inviting, and just plain gorgeous. It’s 4130 Cochran Chapel, and it’s To. Die. For.

I mean, can you disagree? This one-story steel and glass work of art was built in 2002 on 3.38 lush Bluffview acres and has five bedrooms, six full baths, two half baths, and a kitchen I could live in. It’s marketed by the wonderful Patricia Massey at Dave Perry-Miller & Associates.

What really makes it, though, is the way the floor-to-ceiling windows bring in so much natural light that you’ll forget where all of the switches are. It’s perfect for an art aficionado or an artist, even. Another thing about this house I am in love with is the maple finishes throughout. It’s almost like the floors warm up the entire home and leave it feeling cozy, not sterile.

With this house, the lucky new owner will get three living areas, two dining areas, an exercise room with panoramic views, a media room, and a game room, and then you can hang out by the infinity pool in an outdoor room. Make no mistake, this home has plenty of room!

Of course, when you’re talking about homes like this (and budgets like mine) the old adage rings true: If you have to ask how much, you can’t afford it. If you’re asking, though, sheerly out of curiosity, the price tag on this amazing contemporary home is in the neighborhood of $6.9 million.

 

To afford that, I’d have to sell a kidney and eat ramen noodles for the rest of my life.

A girl can dream, right?