1717 One Arts LRWell I failed to tell you when Angie Barrett sold her 3200 ish square foot penthouse condo at One Arts Plaza last December 13. (Spank me!) The condo, which was beautifully decked out in a stunning contemporary style by Droese and Raney Architecture Inc. was listed for $2,575,000. It had been on the market for a bit. The place was and still is just a palace in the sky: Edelman-leather walls, Tully Weis, Muse Integration, Poliform, Miele and Sub-Zero throughout, there is also 673 square feet of terrace to enjoy, custom cabinetry and motorized window treatments.

The master suite is enormous: 18 by 14 with a study, custom closets ( OF COURSE!), a bathroom with a contemporary vessel tub and shower fed by ceiling-mounted spouts and multiple showerheads.

Joan Crawford, eat your heart out on this one. (more…)

NO-to-Transwestern-Deal

You know those “NO” signs all over Preston Hollow? Maybe you’ll start seeing them out as far as Central Expressway and as far west as Webb’s Chapel. Laura Miller and Mitchell Rasansky, both former Dallas City Council persons, Rasansky 6 years on the Council, Laura Miller 4 plus a Mayoral term, now think folks who live along Northwest Highway ought to have a say. They contacted City Councilman Lee Kleinman, District 11, who is pitch-hitting for Jennifer Gates, District 13, who recused herself because of a conflict of interest,  to tell him he needs to expand the group scrutinizing the proposed Transwestern multi-family development at Preston and Northwest Highway to other neighborhood associations from Central Expressway to Stemmons. (Taking a breath, that sentence was about as long as Northwest Highway.) The following letter sent to Kleinman was also signed by John Carona, Steve Wolens, Will Hartnett, and Mike Cantrell. Miller apparently proposed a 600 people strong meeting to cover the entire Northwest Highway area and development. They want total community input on a master plan for the little strip of land Behind the Pink Wall. And they would like Kleinman to be there to listen. I spoke with Lee Kleinman. Stay tuned.

Letter from Councilman Lee Kleinmann

Rangers Fans After World Series

 

 

(Photo: The Dallas Morning News)

Today’s the home opener for your Texas Rangers. We go as a family every year, but I have to tell you — I hate the drive. I hate driving to Arlington. Interstate 30 is always a parking lot from Arlington to Grand Prairie, sometimes even to Hampton Road. Driving to and from sporting events is a huge nightmare.

Until mass transit to Arlington makes the trip to see our favorite baseball franchise less headache-inducing, perhaps the hubby and I should consider buying a townhome within walking distance to Rangers Ballpark?

Check out a few great options for second homes that are close to clutch in Arlington, Texas, at Second Shelters!

Rangers Fans After World Series

 

 

(Photo: The Dallas Morning News)

Today’s the home opener for your Texas Rangers. We go as a family every year, but I have to tell you — I hate the drive. I hate driving to Arlington. Interstate 30 is always a parking lot from Arlington to Grand Prairie, sometimes even to Hampton Road. Driving to and from sporting events is a huge nightmare.

Until mass transit to Arlington makes the trip to see our favorite baseball franchise less headache-inducing, perhaps the hubby and I should consider buying a townhome within walking distance to Rangers Ballpark?

Check out a few great options for second homes that are close to clutch in Arlington, Texas, at Second Shelters!

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!

 

 

 

Update 3/29: Dang, this one is sold leased! This hot market is making my job even harder!

Do not tell me we do not have gorgeous, sleek, affordable contemporary housing within steps of everything you need — well, the Katy Trail, Knox shopping, and some of the city’s best restaurants. You tell me a lie I will hit you over the head with 4525 Cole Avenue, No. 11: a three story empty nesters’ dream den.

Two words will tell you a lot about this home: Diane Cheatham, the builder/developer who put these townhomes together in 2004. So no shocker that architectural details abound: a floating staircase, exposed wood beams, maple hardwoods, lots of glass, open floor plan, vaulted ceilings in the bedrooms, smooth concrete floors and glass wall in the entry, and an airy balcony with great views all in 1429 square feet. Check out that kitchen and quality of finish-out with European cabinetry, gas range, stainless appliances, and stainless countertops. Talk about wiping the slate clean, the two and a half bathrooms have been re-formatted with fresh slabs of Cararra marble. The home is located in an exclusive complex with only twelve homes and reasonable HOA dues ($150/month) which cover: front and backyard maintenance, sprinklers, water, trash, and gas.Unit 11 happens to be a rare end unit, which has a fenced backyard, is pet friendy and boasts the best views of all! I know this is a very popular area for “lock and leave” post McMansion boomers who want to be urbanites but are not ready for that condo plunge ice bath. You get a yard and some privacy, no garage but extra parking for guests. After all, weird concept for Dallas here, but you’ll be walking: who needs a garage? Three floors, two bedrooms,  three living areas and plenty of room for a rebound kid. How much you ask? $339,000. I know: it’s like they are GIVING it away!

 

 

I posted a few shots from this house last summer, when I was first made aware of it’s awesomeness. The young builder is Leo Savino, who is building in the Park Cities under his company name, Significant Building & Construction, with the frenzy of a blue norther. 

Well, now she’s all dressed up and ready for her first date. 

They call her style Santa Barbara, with floor-to-ceiling windows surrounded by gardens on a tidy lot that overlooks St. Michael’s School and church. The kitchen has great Viking professional appliances, gorgeous jewelry-like hardware, stone counters and a sleek, contemporary look prevailing across every inch. My personal favorite is the beautiful wall stonework that looks like a painting in the master, the great tilework and mahogany. The builder, who tells me he is a perfectionist, used hurricane-resistant glass in every window because he recalls a tornado in Dallas when he was younger. Plus his father is a physician; the OCD tendencies are genetic. He also overdid it on the sensors/disaster buttons. Whoever buys this house will know anywhere instantly if the A/C has gotten stopped up, and can monitor pressure arrestors on plumbing fixtures. (The engineering mind so at work!) He is even moving the outside AC units to a more aesthetically pleasing location because they “bother him.” But the home reveals the fruits of his obsessions: it is stunning.

You buy this house for the zero maintenance, not a spacious yard but your usual 150 by 54 foot wide UP lot. The home squeezes 4300 square feet in with a very spacious feel. There are four bedrooms, three and a half baths, three living areas, a two-car garage and outdoor kitchen living area. Listed with CC Allen at Dave Perry-Miller & Associates, asking $1,650,000 which I think is just a tad bit high, but the house really is gorgeous. Go see it and tell come back here, tell me what you think!


I have just heard about what everyone is calling “The Texas Hill Country” up in Carrollton — Darling Home’s Villas at Austin Waters. A friend who is downsizing tells me she is looking at a 2,600 square foot home there in the mid-$200,00o range that has blown her away: low maintenance, great  finish-out, and beautiful architectural styles like Colonials, Classic Revival, Tudor and Arts & Crafts. These are like row houses with a sliver of grass between the homes (she has pets) and darling front porches that make them homier than a condo. The homes are brand new, superior Darling quality, come with energy efficient packages, smart wiring, tons of storage and great design. Best of all, she can lock and leave when she wants to get away, which is also a piece of cake because D/FW is about 20 minutes even  in traffic.

The Villas are snuggled inside a master-planned community designed by internationally-known land planner Peter Calthorpe, who also designed Austin Ranch in The Colony. Calthorpe has been named by Newsweek Magazine as one of the country’s 25 “innovators on the cutting edge” of architectural design. Austin Waters is located on 78 acres of softly rolling hills in the Carrollton city limits and close to the Plano Parkway corridor — Willow Bend, where more folks tell me they shop these days than NorthPark, and the West Plano corridor are all close by. The Villas has mature trees, wide-open green spaces, gardens and waterscapes. I plan to get up there and check it out, but if you’ve already been, drop in a comment and let me know what you think!