Yates Home – 626 Kaufman Street

Few North Texas cities have preserved their historical heritage more than Waxahachie. Though history buffs and architectural junkies flock to the city year-round to get an outward glimpse of its treasured structures, the annual Gingerbread Trail Tour gives visitors a chance to step back in time and step into select homes and buildings for an inside look.

Slated for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 1, and Sunday, June 2, the 51st Annual Gingerbread Trail Tour of Homes will spotlight the ornate historic architecture for which Waxahachie is known. Get a peek at Queen Anne Victorian, Gothic Revival, Bungalow, Romanesque, and Greek Revival styles.

Plus, CandysDirt.com will be giving away one pair of tickets to the Gingerbread Trail Tour of Homes, so stay tuned next week!

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During this year’s Swiss Avenue Mother’s Day Home Tour, the Aldredge House – the Grand Dame of the Swiss Avenue Historic District – will open its doors at 5500 Swiss Avenue and host a free and open to the public speaker series sponsored by Friends of Aldredge House.

Slated for Saturday, May 11, and Sunday, May 12, scheduled talks will cover a wide range of topics, including antique cars, family heirlooms, historic homes, and preservation, as well as native greenery. 

The speaker series is just one of the activities on offer during the weekend-long Swiss Avenue Historic District Mother’s Day Home Tour. 

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This stunning Italian Renaissance-styled mansion from Bella Custom Homes is the highlight of the May 4 Dallas Builders Association Parade of Homes. (Courtesy Photo)

When we talk about the Renaissance masters, names such as da Vinci, Michaelangelo, and Raphael are bandied about. But in the Dallas building scene, we’d wager that the master of the Italian Renaissance is Tony Visconti of Bella Custom Homes. The evidence is on view May 4 during the Dallas Builders Association Parade of Homes, where you can tour this Italian Renaissance masterpiece that showcases the incredible design and construction you get in a Bella Custom Homes build.

“Our buyers are very sophisticated and they appreciate the authentic architecture and recognize the craftsmanship we put into our homes,” Visconti, a CandysDirt.com Approved Builder, told us. “While we are well- known for the classic European designs, we can design any style of home and we approach each home with the same attention to detail whether it is 5,000 square feet or 20,000 square feet.” 

And while we’ve been in love with this stunning Italian Renaissance design on Deloache, we’re also thrilled to see what the six other Dallas Builders Association members on Saturday’s tour bring to the table

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The Peep at the Coops Tour benefiting Moss Haven Farm is Sunday, May 5.

Staff Reports

Come say ‘Hola, chicas!’ to these chicks living their best lives, at a special way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo! Join us for A Peep at the Coops, a one-day tour of private urban chicken coops in North and East Dallas. This year, it’s “Peepin’ La Vida Loca,” a 10th anniversary celebration, on this urban chicken experience tour set for May 5, which will allow you to chick out the eggcellent hen houses right here in Big D.

Some of the most innovative coops for raising chickens in the city are featured on the tour, and experts will be on-hand to answer all of your questions about urban chickens. The family-friendly event also features an Urban Market with local artisan and food vendors, community information booths, live entertainment, food trucks and other activities that the whole family will enjoy.

A Peep at the Coops is the largest fundraiser for Moss Haven Farm, a 501(c)(3) outdoor learning garden and STEAM curriculum enrichment for students located at Moss Haven Elementary. Moss Haven Farm is entirely supported by community and corporate support.

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By Nikki Lott
Special Contributor

This year’s Fairmount Historic Home Tour on Mother’s Day features a gorgeous Craftsman-style home at 1831 Fairmount. The owners are Michael Tucker-McDermott and his husband, Stan. We can’t say this Craftsman is unlike any other (but it is), but we can say that the owners most definitely are. In particular, Michael is a researching, history-knowing, antique-loving ball of energy that basically never sleeps. And he’s tons of fun to talk to. We sat down with him for an exclusive sneak peek into how 1831 Fairmount came to be.

Michael and Stan restored this repurposed dining room built-in sideboard with Prairie-style leaded glass. All light fixtures are period restored lighting.

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Sweet American Colonial

The Hollywood Home Tour is coming up this weekend! We thought we’d offer you a sneak peek at a sweet American Colonial that has grown up, and out, and the adorable couple that had a clear vision of how to turn this home into the stunner you will see on tour.

Katie Arani

Katie and Shawn Arani have what we think is a storybook life. They started dating in high school, got married when Katie turned 21, finished college, built their first home, and then they got really lucky!

“Toyota arrived and our neighborhood exploded,” Katie said. The Aranis realized there would never be a better time to capitalize on their first home in Carrollton, and they put it on the market.

“That first house was new and almost too perfect,” Katie said. “So, I ended up filling it with old things to give it charm. Building that first house gave me the fever to find a house to restore.”

With friends in the neighborhood and longing to be closer to the heart of Dallas, they started their search in Hollywood Heights. When they found this sweet American Colonial on Santa Monica Drive they knew their search was over.

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Every time they do a custom home, for Melissa and Scott Powell — the power couple behind New Leaf Custom Homes — it’s a chance to make someone’s dream a reality. 

“With custom home building, almost everybody has a learning curve,” Melissa said as we enjoyed the early spring sunlight pouring through the wall of windows in her family’s modern home. “A lot of it is accommodating ideas from clients, and then finding the right craftsman or subcontractor to do those creative, edgy things.” 

That’s a common theme for New Leaf Custom Homes — a CandysDirt.com Approved Builder — and the Powells. The brand is so client-focused that each home is a completely new vision and the results are a category by themselves. 

But the family’s personal home, which is definitely worth the shuttle ride during this weekend’s White Rock Home Tour, was an exercise in stepping out of their comfort zone.

Not only did Scott and Melissa build their dream home, but they did it in a way that was easy on the environment without sacrificing style. It’s definitely an inspiration, from the suspended-slab foundation to the floor-to-ceiling windows to the reclaimed wood siding to the solar panel array. 

You can still score your tickets for this weekend’s tour, which not only features the Powells’ personal home on Forest Trail, but another beautiful build from New Leaf on the same street. 

The 14th annual White Rock Home Tour is this weekend, April 27-28, and tour-goers will get a close-up look at two Midcentury Modern homes and five new modern homes, each of which offers can’t miss details and design. Discounted early bird tickets are on sale now for $15 each at whiterockhometour.org. During tour weekend, tickets are $20 each and will be on sale at Hexter Elementary (9720 Waterview Rd.) starting at 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., as well as each tour home from noon to 4:45 p.m. (tour closes at 5 p.m. sharp). All proceeds from the 14th annual White Rock Home Tour benefit DISD’s Hexter Elementary. The 2018 WRHT raised $61,400 for students and teachers.

You can also try your luck to win a pair of tickets from CandysDirt.com — the official media sponsor of this year’s tour. Keep reading for more!

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Every stylish lady needs a refreshing makeover from time to time. Grand historic homes are no exception. When the Swiss Avenue Historic District kicks off its weekend-long 46th Annual Mother’s Day Home Tour, 5007 Swiss Avenue will be unveiling an elegant new look.

Since sharing the vision for historic home preservation is part of the Swiss Avenue Historic District’s mission, it featured the home in last year’s tour to showcase planning and craftsmanship in-progress. This year, tour-goers will get an up-close-and-personal look at the exquisite results.

The sprawling Italianate-style home was built at the top of Swiss Avenue in 1921 for Mr. and Mrs. Wesley Porter Mason. Mr. Mason owned Mason Engineering Company, and his wife was a Dallas arts benefactress who sponsored tours for famous musicians like Ignacio Paderewski, Jascha Heifetz, Van Clyburn, and Sergei Rachmananoff. Legend has it that Rachmananoff once performed in the home’s music room.

In 1983, another set of owners had the house physical moved from the original site at the corner of Swiss Avenue and Oram to its present address. Since 2011, homeowners Brian Shultz and his wife, Dr. Elizabeth Odstrcil, have been making their own history in the home.

The couple initially married while on vacation in Istanbul – one of their favorite places in the world. They later hosted an alfresco Turkish-themed wedding at the house for a few hundred family members, friends, and new Swiss Avenue neighbors.

“Since our families did not join us in Turkey, we surprised them by getting legally married here with a dear friend of mine [who’s a] minister officiating,” Shultz said. “Our families were thrilled, [and] It was an awesome event.”

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