Mediterranean estate

Forget the coffee this morning. Mix up a pitcher of Sangria. Then sit down and have a long look at this gorgeous Modern Mediterranean estate in Preston Hollow, designed by architect Larry E. Boerder.

Although the Mediterranean architectural style has been popular since the 14th century, America only got around to fully embracing it in the 1920s. Better late than never.

The ‘20s were a time of luxury, travel, and leisure for the upper classes. Enterprising businessmen took advantage of the economic boom and created the first resorts for the rich and famous, building them in coastal climates like California and Florida. They turned to the Mediterranean style because it captured the exotic and laid back ambiance of Italy and Spain. The Breakers in Palm Beach and The Miami-Biltmore in Coral Gables are classic examples. Naturally, this commercial popularity led to prominent architects like Addison Mizner in Florida and Bertram Goodhue in California adapting the style for residences. Mizner was one of the first architects to create grand resort-style Mediterranean estates for wealthy individuals.

The Mediterranean style has been made even more desirable by magazines featuring Hollywood movie stars and their homes. From Jayne Mansfield, Marilyn Monroe, and Cary Grant, to Ellen Pompeo, Eddie Murphy, and Gloria Estefan, more stars than I can count have chosen to live in Mediterranean-style homes.

It’s not just the look to love, but this style is also extraordinarily practical for warm climates.

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Santa Barbara Estate

“A courtyard, to me, is the best thing in life,” architect David Stocker said. “It’s an intimate space. It’s not quite inside the house, but it’s part of the house.” The culture of the courtyard is what inspired Stocker to design this luxurious Santa Barbara estate in Preston Hollow for Jane and Mike Nicolais.

Courtyards have been around since dwellings began. They are found in every corner of the world, and there’s a reason for their popularity. They provide the things we want most: security, privacy, light, air, and tranquility.

“A big house can be thought of as a village with connecting pieces,” Stocker, principal of SHM Architects, said.

This Santa Barbara estate, at 9946 Rockbrook Drive, is 7,722 square feet with four bedrooms, four bathrooms, and two powder baths. It’s easy to see the analogy. Award-winning builders Manning, Snelling & Mcllyar worked with Stocker to bring this village to life in 2001 when Stocker was at Turner, Boaz and Stocker.
Santa Barbara Estate

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Highland Park Texas modern

When this incredible Highland Park Texas Modern at 3701 Lexington Avenue popped up on my radar last week, I sat enraptured for some time. Remember, when it comes to beautiful homes, I’m hard to impress. I feverishly texted my fellow CandysDirt.com writers to drop everything and look at this one! When I recovered my composure, I rang up the enormously talented David Stocker, principal and founder of SHM Architects, to get the dirt. Oh, he had so much to say!

“A house should tell a story,” Stocker said. “It should draw you in and take you on a journey. It starts at the street. It’s a tease. You want to peek over the top of the wall. When you come through the gates, it says ‘hey, something is interesting about me, come and visit.’ ”

It’s apparent when talking to Stocker that he had fun designing this 8,156-square-foot home. But, how do you have fun, fulfill the needs of a young family, and create a timeless classic? Well, you enlist the aid of a stellar builder like Stephen Hild.

“He is meticulous, and his ability to pull off the details is unsurpassed,” Stocker said.

You also select time-honored materials to use, such as Lueders limestone, Douglas Fir, and Calacatta marble. Then you put a fresh spin on them.

“We are good at using a traditional form in a more contemporary way,” Stocker said.

Highland Park Texas modern

This extraordinary Highland Park Texas modern has it all. Private yet centrally located, with every amenity you can imagine.

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Modernist Masterpiece

I got a bit giddy when I came across this Highland Park Modernist masterpiece designed by the legendary Bud Oglesby. As I go in search of a home for our Monday Morning Millionaire each week, I try to find something that is not only in the ultra-luxury price range but also has a story to tell.

Dallas has some of the finest residential architecture in the world. That fact often makes me pause and wonder why buyers so often settle for the mundane white box when there are homes like this Modernist masterpiece for sale. Architect-designed homes are timeless. Sure, you may need to update a bathroom or a kitchen, but you should do that on any house over 10 years old.

An architect-designed house is going to last forever, if — and that is a big if — there is a buyer that understands and values that home. It takes a certain level of taste, experience, and intelligence to appreciate a marvelous Modernist masterpiece. Fortunately, this is Dallas, and we have a lot of tasteful, intelligent buyers.

This Modernist masterpiece at 3709 Lexington Avenue was built for the Deals, who were patrons of the Dallas Museum of Art. It is widely believed to be the last residence Oglesby designed. In the 1993 Dallas Morning News obituary for Oglesby, architecture critic, David Dillon wrote the following:

“Honesty in materials, simplicity of form, sensitivity to place, this was the Oglesby canon, and it changed very little over the years.”

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Bluffview soft contemporary

When you can score an award-winning home, constructed by one of the best builders in Texas, move fast. Our Monday Morning Millionaire is a gorgeous Bluffview soft contemporary that was built by Phillip-Jennings. It’s also Phillip Fristoe’s (the Phillip in Phillip-Jennings) home.

Remember how often I tell you that homes owned by a builder, architect, or designer are deal sealers?
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Dilbeck Bluffview Estate

Nestled deep in the rolling hills of Bluffview lies one of the most enchanting homes you’ll ever find in Dallas. This Charles Dilbeck Bluffview estate has retained the whimsical charm that defines the architect. Built in 1935 with Dilbeck’s hallmark walk-in fireplaces, unique brick patterns, and vaulted and beamed ceilings, 4731 Wildwood Road is an architectural encyclopedia of detail. (more…)

Idyllic Reinvented Colonial Revival

Two famous architects, decades apart, have created an idyllic reinvented Colonial Revival home that oozes charm from every corner. Originally built by Hal Thomson in 1921, 3926 Potomac Avenue in Highland Park is one of the most beautiful homes I’ve ever seen.

As the go-to architect of the era, Hal Thomson built many significant homes in Dallas. He was a master of every style, from Spanish Eclectic and Italianate to, of course, Colonial Revival. Of all the Thomson designs I’ve had the pleasure to write about, this is my favorite. It is such a classic fairytale of a home that it appears purpose-built for a movie. If you look up the location used for the original Father of the Bride, it shares a lot of the same romantic ambiance and incredible detailing.Idyllic Reinvented Colonial Revival

As the years pass, any historic home needs a refresh. Sometimes the respect for original architecture takes a back seat when owners have specific needs. When the current owner purchased this idyllic reinvented Colonial Revival, there was a singular focus on not just bringing it back to its former glory days, but also on renovating it into a family home that children would love.

Enter J. Wilson Fuqua, one of the leading architects in Dallas.

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luxury Craftsman

You would have never given 3816 Miramar Avenue a second look a few years ago. It was a 1915, plain-Jane, Prairie-style home that had been remodeled multiple times. It would have inevitably faced the wrecking ball if it were not for buyers that saw the potential and knew who could fulfill their vision. They hired the architectural team of Domiteaux & Baggett to reinvent this home entirely and make it into a luxury Craftsman that takes your breath away.

Before we get into the fantastic renovation, there’s an interesting bit of history on one of the former owners.

A well-known railroad man, W.G. Crush lived here until 1943. He is credited with the establishment of the Katy Railroad’s Highland Park Station. Yes, there was a railroad station in Highland Park!

Before the transformation. Plain-Jane indeed!

“When we met with the owners, they knew they did not want to tear down the home,” Mark Domiteaux said. “They were very involved in the research and wanted this home to be all it could be. We had them look at resources like California architects Greene and Greene’s work at the turn of the century, and that inspired what you see today.”

Domiteaux worked with The Robert Hopson Construction Group to turn this home into what is now a timeless luxury Craftsman. When they got started, they quickly realized they’d have to gut not only the entire interior, but also rebuild the exterior.

Domiteaux reminded me that during the Depression era, homes were seldom built to the highest standards as money and resources were scarce. Unfortunately, the brick and mortar on this home were disintegrating.

“We stripped it all off and rebuilt the house better than it ever was,” Domiteaux said. “We got the opportunity to make the house what it wanted to be originally.”

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