This beautiful luxury Mediterranean home almost hit the auction block. I’m going to tell you why it didn’t, and how it was transformed into a house that will knock your socks off.

But first, let’s talk about why there are so many luxury properties sitting on the market. Guess what? It’s not the price point. We have plenty of money in this city. It’s because no buyer wants to update, especially when their wallet can easily tolerate building a new home to their exact specifications.

I took a quick look at Realtor.com last night and saw so many properties over $3 million that had been sitting there for over a year that I lost count. Almost every single one had the same problems. (more…)

modern masterpiece

If the design of this modern masterpiece looks familiar, it’s because it’s by the same architect that was responsible for the Dallas Museum of Art.

Edward Larrabee Barnes was commissioned by art collectors to design a futuristic home to house their collection. Barnes is notable not just for the DMA and this incredible modern masterpiece, but also for the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the IBM Building at 590 Madison Avenue in Manhattan. In 2007 he was posthumously awarded the American Institute of Architects’ Gold Medal. There is no lack of world-class architecture in our city, and this home is one of our most stunning examples.

modern masterpiece

A monumental limestone staircase descends into the living room.

It often takes a newcomer to help us appreciate what Dallas offers, especially when it comes to architecture. Recently I had guests in town from London. They were bowled over by our architecture. That’s right, Dallas impressed the Brits!

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modern neoclassical mansion

What makes a great house? “It’s all about texture, scale, and detail,” said Lisa Luby Ryan. And Ryan should know. She designed this modern neoclassical mansion in Old Preston Hollow from the ground up. Ryan has been one of the go-to interior designers in Dallas for years. Her firm, Lisa Luby Ryan Design & Build, is responsible for some of the most luxurious, but livable homes in America.

One of the toughest things about new construction is finding a way to add character so a home is not just another white box. It helps to have a stellar team comprised of not only Ryan, but also architect Richard Drummond Davis, and builder Mark L. Rose. Harold Leidner added the perfect touch to the landscape.

Ryan and her team excel at building in character. “We’re known for mixing in old elements, that look like they’ve been there forever, with the new materials,” she said.

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It’s only been on the market for 10 days, but it’s hard to imagine that someone won’t be ready soon to snap up this Santa Barbara-style Mediterranean on Beverly Drive — it’s just that inviting an oasis.

The five-bedroom, eight-bath home at 3204 Beverly Drive was originally built in 2002, but in 2015 it was completely reimagined by Los Angeles-based Maienza-Wilson, who redesigned the home, Caroline Summers of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s said, “from foundation to fringe.”

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When I think about contemporary architecture, I gravitate to dramatic lines and angles, creative use of light, and bright accent colors. So when I saw this brand new listing from Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate’s Ralf Baumann, I had to share it with you because it not only has a wonderful contemporary feel, but the use of light and the wide-open spaces in this immense Oak Lawn new build will definitely leave and impression.

The home is located right in the thick of Oak Lawn, and sports incredible floor-to-ceiling windows and a floating staircase that definitely brings the “WOW” factor. With 22-foot ceilings, drama is a priority, not an afterthought. 

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McKinney French chateau

It’s not often you find a home that blends what I consider the best of both worlds — French architecture and Southern charm. This McKinney French chateau is grand enough to please the most discerning Francophile, but it also has just the right elements of Southern charm. In other words, it’s pretty darned perfect.

Named “Chateau Lumier” by the present owners, it was custom built in 2011 by Sharif & Munir. In case you are new to Dallas, Sharif & Munir Custom Homes have been building in Dallas for over 40 years. Their reputation for uncompromising quality and outstanding design is unparalleled.

Sitting on over 15 acres, this McKinney French chateau at 1201 Gray Branch Road has 14,665 square feet, eight bedrooms, nine bathrooms, and three powder baths. There are also guest quarters, garage space for five automobiles, and five additional covered areas.
McKinney French chateau

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It’s Labor Day and we are supposed to, you know, take it easy, courtesy of our employers.

But real estate never takes a break: we have to have a place to live, hang our hats, brush our teeth, rest our weary souls, or frolic. Even on Labor Day.

And what better place to rest and replenish your soul than Athens, Texas? It’s only 90 minutes east of Dallas.

I’m particularly fond of Athens and its people. Tell you a true story that happened right on this County Road 4805: I was looking for a ranch property, and I couldn’t find it. Kind of felt like I was driving in circles, so I pulled into a driveway, turned around, and retraced my driving.

Few minutes later I see a couple in a golf cart right behind me. People, I thought, terrific! I bet they know the ranch I’m looking for!

I stop and ask.

“Are you the one who just pulled into our driveway?” the woman asked me.

“Fraid I am,” I say, “sorry.”

“Oh that’s fine,” she said, “it’s just that we don’t get many visitors out here.”

 

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Bluffview traditional

What does a famous architectural and interior designer, who is an indefatigable explorer, world traveler, and devoted historian choose to design for family and personal use? A Bluffview traditional two-story home, of course.

You’re probably not going to know the name, because Paul Duesing is one of those designers that flies gracefully under the radar. He is the go-to guy for resort design, and celebrities regularly tap him to create a get-away feel for their homes. If you are a globe trotter, you may have stayed at the Duesing-designed The Royal Livingstone in Zambia, Africa or The Resort at Pedregal, in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The man is legendary to those in the know.

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