rambling Ranch

When you think about the residential architectural styles that define America, the rambling Ranch is one that immediately comes to mind. It’s the definitive 1950s home that many of us grew up in, so it’s not surprising a new generation is gravitating towards these traditional homes as they begin their families. In other words, the rambling Ranch is hip again, in a big way.

These homes have become sought-after for the same reasons our parents and grandparents longed to own them. They promote “a casual, family-oriented lifestyle,” according to our favorite reference book, “A Field Guide to American Houses.” They are also the first homes that were designed to promote the indoor-outdoor connection. Because architects like Cliff May helped to popularize the style throughout America, there are still plenty of them around, and we have a beauty for you today at 5349 Southern Avenue.

rambling Ranch


4242 Walnut Hill Front

Built in 1959 and reimagined as a contemporary home for today, this ranch at 4242 Walnut Hill is an excellent example of how you can convert an older, less-functional home into a showstopper. Let’s look at some “before” pictures, which show some of the hallmarks of this building style.

4242 Walnut Hill Before 4 4242 Walnut Hill Before 3 4242 Walnut Hill Before 2 4242 Walnut Hill BeforeSwag drapes really set it off in the formal living room, but you can definitely tell that this home was a time warp. Walls and walls and more walls make it very claustrophobic. And check out the carpet in the master bathroom — yikes! Located in Meadowood, though, this house has a wonderful asset in location. That’s probably why it was so attractive to investors, who have turned this home into an epic example of a contemporary ranch remodel.

4242 Walnut Hill Dining

From the living area with the cool fireplace straight across to the kitchen, you can practically see the entire house when you walk in the front door. It’s a far cry from the home’s choppy, walled-off beginning. This four-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath home with more than 2,500 square feet is priced at $599,000, down from the original $649,000.

4242 Walnut Hill Living

The paint colors are modern — striking tone-on-tone grays and whites, that blend well with the stone and hardware selections in the kitchen, which is a total knockout. I love the island and the light fixtures, which are chic bell jar-style pendants that have tons of contemporary style without looking like spacecrafts hovering over your workspace.

4242 Walnut Hill Kitchen

And you’ll just adore the master bath. Not a hint of carpet or pepto pink ceramic tile. Just loads of glass and marble, with a brilliant divided vanity. Tons of storage and a beautiful stand-alone shower make it absolutely modern and stunning.

4242 Walnut Hill Master Bath

The backyard has a great stone patio with built-in planters and tons of grass for playing catch or burning off steam. You could definitely fit a garden back here, too, if you’re the sort with a green thumb.

4242 Walnut Hill BackyardIt really shows that structures built years ago can be rejuvenated with the right details. What do you think?



Haverford Front

University Terrace is a total deal, folks. Not only do you have a great community with access to mass transit, White Rock Lake, excellent bike trails, and great shopping nearby, but you also are inside the Lakewood attendance area with Lakewood Elementary and Woodrow Wilson High School — both of which are award-winning DISD campuses.

Haverford Living

Imagine all of that for just $229,000 and you have 7209 Haverford, a super-cute remodeled ranch listed by Becky Frey. This home is a three-bedroom, two-bath vision with fresh paint, gorgeous refinished wood floors, and an adorable eat-in kitchen.

Haverford Dining

Seriously, this home is straight out of a catalog and staged to perfection with subtle “greige” shades on the walls and white accents with dark wood furniture. And I would expect nothing less from Becky Frey, who is known for her amazing listings. And she is absolutely right that this home is a bargain — priced to sell! With marble, subway tile, and tons of cute details, I have to agree that this ranch has everything a buyer could want an amazing price.

Haverford Kichen

With 1,352 square feet, this 1956 ranch may seem small on paper, but it definitely feels larger inside. It has a two-car garage and a storage shed, as well as a covered patio area outside the eat-in kitchen. The home has been opened, up, too, allowing for more light to filter through the windows and into the home.

Haverford Breakfast

I think is a gorgeous house at a great price with tons of hidden benefits. What about you?

Haverford Master Haverford Bath Haverford Backyard


“We don’t need to go watch HGTV for drama. This was real drama — it wasn’t ‘staged,'” said Michelle Lynne, catching herself, a real estate stager, in an accidental pun. The drama was, of course, the last-minute flurry of activity before the doors opened at 10229 Linkwood, an L Streets home built in 1955 that got a complete facelift thanks to Stephan Sardone of Sardone Construction.

Yes, look closely at the photos, because this is the same home we featured in July. What an incredible transformation!

Sardone 1


“I am in love with the office. It is definitely the best use of space,” said Lynne, echoing the comments I overheard all evening as Realtors and trade representatives perused the home as Main & Sides chef Shaun Collins dished out amazing hors d’oeuvres and Lakewood Brewing offered sweltering guests cold beer at the outdoor kitchen.


I was truly floored by what Sardone Construction accomplished without increasing the 1,320-square-foot footprint of the home. By vaulting ceilings, opening the space, and increasing the flow and utility, the home got a second life as a modern marvel.


All of the closets are completely organized, thanks to Elfa systems courtesy of The Container Store. The office got the Elfa treatment, too, which will help the homeowners immensely, I’m sure! Another amazing feat is the five-piece master bath Sardone managed to shoehorn into a 5.5″  x 12″ space. It incorporates a rather new trend called a “wet area,” and when fully complete, will include a frameless glass door that separates the vanity from the shower and soaking tub.


Tina Garry, a sales rep from Floor & Decor, was amazed at what Sardone had accomplished with the home. Her company contributed the penny accent tile that covered an entire wall of the kitchen — a high-impact detail that doesn’t overpower the whole room, but begs to be noticed. Floor & Decor also contributed the tile in the master and guest baths.


(Guests, including Larry Paschall, Michael Veale, and Robert Hernandez, padded through the home in socked feet to protect the refinished hardwood floors from Lumber Liquidators.) 

And the master bedroom featured several LED lights canvassing the ceiling, giving off a subtle glow that fills the room without tons of shadows. LEDs are incredibly efficient, too, and Nauhaus Lighting & Decor sourced some great models for this home.


In the kitchen, well, it’s a far cry from the dated and bland one that once stood in its space, and features a huge island and chef-grade Jenn-Air appliances from Capital Distributing. Of course, I am sure the homeowners wish Chef Collins could come with the kitchen, too.


Truly, this home was amazing, which was attested by the crowd that turned out last night. The design, an outstanding work of art from HPD architect Larry Paschall, will be one that will last.



Lanett Front

We talked about photos this week, and how sometimes a listing photo works against a potential sale, but what about fixer-uppers? You already know you’re going to be looking for outdated and slightly funky properties, so I guess the more photos the better, right?

Lanett Living

Well, if you’re in search of a great investment in a fixer-upper, this Lake Highlands home on 1.2 acres (!) is a really great place to start. The price is absolutely right, too, at $445,000. The home is 10752 Lanett Circle, a four-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath traditional in Highland Meadows with more than 2,800 square feet. And guys, this lot is just gigantic. You get a huge pool with a slide, as well as tons of green space!

Lanett Dining

Once you go inside, though, you see why this home is priced under a half mil. The blue carpet, worn and outdated, has some very funky stains and spots, especially in the kitchen. Also, THERE IS CARPET IN THE KITCHEN. Ugh. That is definitely one of my phobias! Besides that, the cabinets and counters are worn and ugly, and the kitchen and living areas are just coated in ugly wallpaper and dark wood paneling.

Lanett Kitchen

The bedrooms and baths, which also have funky dark carpet everywhere, aren’t nearly so bad as the common areas. There are some great built-ins in the bedrooms, too. And there’s a really great sun room that is definitely a selling point for this house. Just imagine how inviting that will be when winter sets in!

Lanett Sun room Lanett Master

The lot, though, that’s the big selling point for me. It’s just gigantic, and there’s a great pool, too. Just go ahead and find a great contractor like Sardone Construction to do a walk-through with you. They can tell you how to convert this ugly house into your dream home!

Lanett Back

Green Terrace Front

I am seeing a lot of 1960s ranches lately that have interesting Midcentury Modern details. They have tons of charm and contemporary character, but none of the flat roofs and linear exterior details that we’d expect from a true Mid-Mod.

Green Terrace Dining

This house, a renovated ranch in Midway Hollow, is a perfect example of what I’m seeing lately. At 9450 Green Terrace you’ll find an adorable one-story that is just perfection. I love pretty much everything these sellers have done, from the gorgeous French doors in the living room, the high-gloss kitchen cabinets and concrete floors, the beautiful master bath, to the fabulous wallpapered accent wall in the dining room.

Green Terrace Living

This gorgeous Greenill Park home has formal living and dining rooms, two bedrooms, and two baths with 1,676 square feet and a two-car garage. If you’re not in love with this house already (and really, why wouldn’t you be?) you’ll just adore the backyard, which is manicured to perfection with an amazing back porch. It’s the cherry on top for this house, making it a great home for someone who loves to host parties.

Green Terrace Kitchen

Now the kitchen might be my favorite part of the home. I love that the sellers went with a butcher-block counter rather than the typical granite, because it really sets off the high-gloss white cabinets and high-end stainless appliances. The pendant lighting over the eat-in breakfast bar complements the kitchen perfectly, too.

Green Terrace Master Green Terrace Master Bath

With all of these incredible details, and an amazing location, this home is an absolute deal at $310,000. I am sure Virginia Cook agent Annette Rivera knows that, so if you head over to this amazing ranch for its open house on July 21, get ready to put in an offer!

Green Terrace Backyard

Joyce Way Front

You know what I like best about the HGTV show “Property Brothers“? It’s the very beginning, when the buyers are going from house to house looking at all the abysmal fixer-uppers, trying to use their imaginations to see that house through the lens of an experienced renovator. Sometimes they can see the potential immediately, sometimes they just can’t fathom how the ugly, dated house they are standing in could ever become the design that captivates them on the screen.

Joyce Way Living

That’s all to say that, if you have an imagination and are great at budgeting, this house could be the canvas for you. Listed by Lori Sparks of Virginia Cook Realtors, 7048 Joyce Way is a one-owner custom 1967 ranch that is in fabulous shape, just begging for an overhaul. It has fantastic bones and just the kind of framework that could make this house into something spectacular.

Joyce Way Family

This traditional has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, formal living and dining rooms, huge windows, a sizable kitchen, and almost 2,500 square feet in Windsor Parks, just south of Walnut Hill and east of Hillcrest. This is an excellent location and a great price, too, at $415,000. You could buy this house and renovate it as a hobby project, pulling up carpet and taking a sledgehammer to walls on the weekends. Or, you could hire an experienced contractor and architect and forego the DIY experience.

Joyce Way Kitchen

Still, considering how much this property will increase in value after a thoughtful and thorough renovation, you are definitely going to see some appreciation here, my friend. And also consider that the backyard already has a pool (you can ask the amazing landscape architects at Harold Leidner Landscape Architects about renovating it, too), so you don’t have to worry about putting one in.

Joyce Way Backyard

Really, I am having a “Property Brothers” moment. Are you?

Sardone 1

You know what? We don’t feature enough homes in the L Streets neighborhood. I really adore this area, which has such an incredibly diverse selection of architecture and style. You can find anything in the L Streets, from Midcentury Moderns, to 1970s contemporary, to post-war traditionals. It’s an amazing neighborhood.

stephan_sardoneThat’s part of the reason Stephan Sardone took on one of his latest projects — an L Streets one-owner traditional home that was in desperate need of vision. Built in 1955, this house in the Lake Highlands area has just 1,200 square feet to work with.

Sardone has an eye for using materials and textures in unexpected ways, with a style that skews more minimalist and modern. Still, he’s known for his personal touch as founder of Sardone Construction. He understands nuance and how to make a space livable.

“Concerning our design philosophy on this particular project, I wanted to both be true to the neighborhood and existing architecture, while updating the space dramatically,” Sardone said.

As you can see from the photos, he has a lot of work ahead of him.

“I took what was a house crammed full of doors and short ceilings and opened up the living space with a vaulted ceiling and a few beams about 10 feet up. We also eliminated the gable on that side of the house to achieve the desired look,” he said. “We wanted to show a few things with this Arts and Crafts style house: you can do a lot with only 1,200 square feet; you can do even more with a great design/remodel company.”

Sardone 4 before

Sardone 3

Isn’t that the truth. Most of the remodel is focused on the living/dining areas, which extend to the outdoor kitchen in the backyard by way of a passthrough on the kitchen counter. The master bath will also get a new look. Lest you think the focus is just on eye candy, Sardone also wants to make this house a modern marvel of earth friendliness.

Sardone 2

“With this size house and some of the efficient and creative designs we’ve incorporated (spray foam insulation, new windows, LED lights), we should reduce the energy bill to below $50 a month,” Sardone said.

That’s incredible, and we can’t wait to see how the project turns out. Stay tuned!