The White Rock Home Tour is only a couple of weeks away so we are putting the spotlight on one of our favorites, 6522 Trammel Drive! The exquisite A. Gruppo Architects-designed home was built in 2017 and offers 2,650-square-feet of sophisticated luxury living. This includes one-of-kind custom touches from a swinging TV partition to stunning walnut built-ins and polycarbonate walls. But what really makes this home sing?

A Study Of Light And Lighting

According to the owners, Lori and Jim Louis – who both have architecture backgrounds – the home is a study of light and lighting.

“The Polygal light monitors (polycarbonate material used instead of windows in some locations) allow a beautiful quality of natural light to filter in during the day without the need for window coverings,” dishes Lori. “It is translucent and manages UV rays so it is private and controls glare, heat, etc. Between the glass lined courtyard and Polygal light monitors there is natural light all day. In addition, there are skylights on top of the jewel box light crown which bring in natural light to create a soft glow all day long.”

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White Rock Home Tour

This unique modern home on Loving Avenue in Lakewood is one of the seven incredible homes on the 14th annual White Rock Home Tour. (Photos: Angela Flournoy)

The 14th annual White Rock Home Tour is one for the record books, and CandysDirt.com — the official media sponsor of this year’s tour — is giving you an exclusive first look at the seven incredible modern homes selected for the annual event. Slated for the weekend of April 27-28, tour-goers 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.  

For the first time in the tour’s history, ticket holders will get a gander at a work-in-progress — specifically, a delicious modern design by architect Cliff Welch in Old Lake Highlands. Patrons will be able to walk through the large home before construction is complete. Welch, as well as builder Clay Robinson, will be on hand to talk about the home. Two of the newer builds on this year’s home tour are designs by CandysDirt.com Approved Builder New Leaf Custom Homes, both of which are located on Forest Trail just behind Flagpole Hill. A sexy design from A. GRUPPO architect Thad Reeves is worth the modest ticket price, too.

“Each of our tour homes offers something unique for our guests,” said White Rock Home Tour chair Alyson Black. We couldn’t agree more! 

New Leaf Custom Homes will have two of their builds on this year’s White Rock Home Tour, both of which are on Forest Trail in the White Rock Valley neighborhood.

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Urban Reserve is a neighborhood filled with the most cutting-edge collection of architect-designed modern houses in America. Our Inwood Home of the Week is a custom design-build that takes cool to a new level. (more…)


The name Greenway Crest might leave you scratching your head unless you were born and raised in Dallas. Let us assure you — it’s a much-coveted neighborhood. It’s also the location of our Inwood National Bank House of the Week at 5338 Emerson Avenue, a luxurious and timeless modern home designed by A. Gruppo’s Thad Reeves and built by Kyle Belew, president of Veranda Fine Homes. (more…)

Chris-Craft-House

The Chris Craft House, designed by architect Vince Snyder, at 22 Vanguard Way in Urban Reserve, the brainchild of Dallas developer Diane Cheatham.

Dallas developer Diane Cheatham is a dedicated modernist and committed environmentalist.

As CEO of Urban Edge Developers, Ltd., Cheatham has brought those values to her work in multiple settings, from small infill condos and townhomes that won multiple design awards, to her masterpiece at Urban Reserve, a signature modern neighborhood that uses sustainable features creatively.

Diane Cheatham

Diane Cheatham

It’s a trend she’s happy to say is showing up more in North Texas.

“I see more developers and builders responding to consumer demand by building modern and green,” Cheatham said. “The style is much more accepted in Dallas now, and a growing segment of homebuyers are interested in green building and a more modern aesthetic. I’d like to see more developers thinking out of the box, providing more options at all price levels.”

Cheatham envisions and creates enclaves that are both eco-friendly and people-friendly. At Urban Reserve, for example, a reservoir that gets neighborhood run-off water is used to irrigate common spaces and individual lawns. Every house is required to have LEED-H certification. Her own house at 1 Vanguard Way, which she shares with her husband Chuck, has geothermal heating and cooling, energy-saving windows, and an 18,000-gallon cistern that collects rain runoff from the roof. Homeowners in the community are encouraged “not to do the standard Dallas fences,” and many of the homes feature indoor-outdoor living spaces that encourage interaction with neighbors and passers-by.

These efforts have not gone unnoticed. Urban Reserve has earned multiple recognition and awards, like the 2007 Dallas AIA Excellence in Sustainable Design, 2007 CLIDE Award (Celebrating Leadership in Development Excellence), and a 2009 award from Eco-Structure Magazine, where Urban Reserve was distinguished as one of seven innovative projects.

All this took rule-breaking by Cheatham as she customized street widths to slow traffic, created rain gardens and retention ponds, and made the basic infrastructure and layout of the development conducive to her overall vision.

“It’s taken longer than expected, but there are only six lots of the 50 left and work is proceeding on six homes with eight more in various stages of design,” she said. “The realization of Urban Reserve has been the hardest [of all my projects], and as it nears completion, it is also the most satisfying. Being out there on the cutting edge proved to be more complicated than I anticipated.”

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Thad Reeves

The Bley Sleeping House in San Marcos. Photo: Craig Kuhner

In our ongoing series, Interview with an Architect, we speak with leading voices in the North Texas architecture community and learn about their work, development issues in our community, and good design practices and principals (you can read the last one here).

Thad Reeves, AIA, is a co-founder of A.GRUPPO Architects, an office positioned as a vehicle for collaboration between themselves and other designers, architects, fabricators, and most importantly, clients.

He received his Masters of Architecture from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1997. During this time, he studied in Spain and traveled widely in Europe. His interest in the influence of historic European architecture on contemporary design has led him on numerous architectural pilgrimages throughout Western and Central Europe, Australia, and the U.S.

Thad Reeves, AIA

Thad Reeves

After graduating, Reeves began his career with RTKL Associates in Dallas, where he was part of both local and international award-winning projects. He later worked with Oglesby Greene Architects, where he honed his skills on well-crafted, smaller-scale projects.

In 2003, Reeves went entrepreneurial, helping to form the offices of Thomas Krahenbuhl and Truett Roberts Architects, continuing to work on commercial and residential projects at all phases of the design process.

It was in 2005 that Reeves began teaching at his alma mater, UT Arlington, where he taught for ten years (he is currently taking a break, as his business has really taken off). This was also when he co-founded A. GRUPPO.

CandysDirt: You have an interest in the influence of European architecture on contemporary design. How do you see that happening—or not—in Dallas?

Thad Reeves: My interest in European architecture, both historic and contemporary, has to do more with ideas and where they come from. In Europe, they’ve been dealing with buildings in the urban context for far longer than we have. I think there is a lot to learn from how the Europeans approach issues of density, transportation, and public space.

I’ve realized that I’m not as excited about a lot of new buildings. Many are very nicely done, but lack something that I haven’t quit identified yet. A few years ago in New York, I realized there were a lot more things to learn from how someone (probably not an architect) resolved a gate or connection between two buildings rather pragmatically than something considered “high design.” Ideas are all around us, so it’s fun to catalog those and see where they will pop up in our work.

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Karen Eubank of Eubank Staging and Design is one of many locals who won a Houzz award this year. Photo: Shoot2Sell.

Karen Eubank of Eubank Staging and Design (and a Candy’s Dirt contributor) is one of many locals who won a Houzz award this year. Photo: Shoot2Sell.

We love to boast about how ingenious and imaginative the housing construction and design pros are in North Texas. So when Houzz announced their winners of “Best Of Houzz 2015” awards, it was no surprise that Dallas-Fort Worth made quite a splash.

Houzz is an online home remodeling and design site that showcases the work of architects, homebuilders, interior designers, landscape pros, and other residential remodeling professionals. Their Best Of Houzz awards come in two categories: customer service and design. Customer service honors are determined by a variety of factors, including the number and quality of client reviews from 2014. Design winners’ work ranked most popular among the more than 25 million monthly users on the site.

I’ve spent the better part of the last five days combing through the champs, savoring the superb photos, and picking a few of my favorites to share with you today. Candy already mentioned Tatum Brown Custom Homes’ win yesterday, but I’ve got a few others that caught my eye.

First, all five of the designers I wrote about at the beginning of the month in 5 Dallas Interior Designers to Watch in 2015 were Houzz winners (bam!), so a huge shout-out to these five:

Here are seven other DFW Houzz winners that will impress you with their discerning style and exquisite work.

 

1. CAROLINA V. GENTRY, RID: DESIGN AND SERVICE AWARDS

Photo courtesy Kevin Dotolo

Photo courtesy Kevin Dotolo

Photo courtesy Kevin Dotolo

Photo courtesy Kevin Dotolo

Photo courtesy Kevin Dotolo

Photo courtesy Kevin Dotolo

Carolina V. Gentry is a principal interior designer at Pulp Design Studios in East Dallas and her aesthetic is fluid and elegant. What I loved most about her interior designs was the clean, almost architectural feel, and details that feel high-end without being fussy. Many of the photos in her Houzz portfolio feature mirrored or silver accents that lend a midcentury vibe to the overall modern look.

But there’s nothing sterile about her the contemporary ambience—her work is warm and welcoming. She has more than one hundred photos on Houzz that will inspire you. Jump to read about six more winners!

 

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