Home tour

The Simpton family’s year-old home on University Boulevard is one of the homes featured on the Armstrong Bradfield Preschool Association’s “Homes for the Holidays” home tour, which is Dec. 7. (Photo courtesy Gittings)

Stephen and Abby Simpton’s home on University Boulevard, which is one of the homes in this year’s Armstrong Bradfield Preschool Association’s “Homes for the Holidays” home tour,  is the seventh home the couple has built.

Abby, you see, really loves building homes. When they moved to San Antonio to Dallas, they began looking for the site for their next family home, and found it — with a 1951 cottage in poor condition sitting on it.

“We moved to Dallas about four years ago,” Abby said. They bought the lot while they were living in a townhome at first, and then moved into the home briefly while plans were being drawn for their new house. “Then we moved to a rental home in the Disney Streets while it was being built,” she said. “It took about 10 months to complete, so we were really pleased with the timeframe.”

The Simptons are a family of six — Stephen and Abby have four children: Luke, 17; Emma, 15; Julia, 14; and Anna Grace, 10.

But don’t expect the home you tour next month to be the Simpton’s final foray into the wide world of home building — Abby has plans for more.

“For 13 years, we owned and ran dental practices, and I spent a lot of time downstairs on my computer doing that. but now that we’ve sold them all, I get to do more of what i want to do — which is build houses,” Abby said. “In fact, we’ve started another project down the street with Ellen and Rob Grasso (of Ellen Grasso & Sons, who also built this home) — we’re building another home on University, and we’ve got that lot cleared, and the foundation framed.”

And from the 13” tall baseboards, the screened back porch, the 7” wide-plank white oak floors, and the shiplap and trim work throughout the home, you can immediately detect the theme the Simptons were going for — Southern Coastal.

Photo courtesy Katie Nixon

(more…)

home tourBuying a ticket for the Armstrong Bradfield Preschool Association’s Homes for the Holidays home tour  is not only a chance to tour some of the most beautiful homes in Highland Park ISD, it’s also a chance to support things like kindergarten Spanish program, instructional materials, books, teacher workshops and more with every step you take through the gorgeously decorated homes.

And it stands to reason that since the tour is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, the annual event has also become one of the must-dos of Dallas, just like the Trains at NorthPark, lighting the tree, and queuing up for Santa.

But for the initiated, the ABPA is a nonprofit that supports current and future families of Armstrong and Bradfield elementary schools, through social, community outreach, and fundraising programs. That fundraising supports the kindergarten and first-grade classes at the two schools.

More than 400 member families take part in the association, too. And the ABPA Home for the Holidays Home Tour is the main fundraiser — 97 percent of all the money raised goes to the two schools.

Last year’s tour raised $75,000 for kindergarten and first-grade classes at both schools, with half the funds going to support the kindergarten Spanish program at Armstrong, and the other half purchasing instructional materials, books, technology, math manipulatives and teacher workshops for Bradfield.

This year’s co-chairs are Chelsey Baker, Nina Sachse, and Jane Wallingford. This year’s tour is Friday, Dec. 7, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance, and $30 at the door. 

This year five amazing homes have been chosen for the tour, and we’re going to give you teeny sneak peeks at four of them, and a bigger look at another one (and the family that lives there), next week. Ready?
(more…)

3311-drexel-dr-dallas-tx-High-Res-2

This year’s ABPA Homes for the Holidays home tour is a bit more tightly curated than in years past, with four amazing homes to enjoy from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. next Friday, Dec. 4. This annual home tour is a huge fundraiser for the Armstrong Bradfield Preschool Association, and has brought in more than $675,000 for kindergarten and first-grade classes at the two elementary schools serving Highland Park. Now that’s something to be thankful for! Check out this video about what ABPA does for neighborhood schools!

Our favorite house on this year’s tour is a lovely cottage on Drexel Drive with a spacious front porch. It looks like it would be at home in New Orleans’ Garden District, with rows of French Doors and a lovely, bursting landscape. We caught up with the McClung family, owners of this Creole beauty, and asked them a few questions about their adorable abode.

Jump for a little teaser ahead of what is going to be a fabulous home tour!

(more…)

4205 Lakeside is a gorgeous Anton Korn original on one of Highland Park's most picturesque streets. It is the bonus home and site of the ABPA Homes for the Holidays home tour market.

4205 Lakeside is a gorgeous Anton Korn original on one of Highland Park’s most picturesque streets. It is the bonus home and site of the ABPA Homes for the Holidays home tour market.

There are just two days until the highly anticipated ABPA Homes for the Holidays Home Tour, which showcases some truly amazing Highland Park homes that will have your brain buzzing with ideas for your own casa, and we have an early Christmas gift for our dear readers!

Thanks to the amazing sponsors, of which we are beyond proud to be counted as a Platinum-level sponsor with this year’s tour, CandysDirt.com is able to give away TWO PAIRS of tickets to the Homes for the Holidays Home Tour, which raises money for the teachers and programming that make Highland Park ISD schools great.

Jump to find out more about the home tour sponsors and how you can win tickets to the Friday event!

(more…)

This home on Armstrong will certainly be a tour favorite.

This home on Armstrong will certainly be a tour favorite.

To say that we were bummed about last year’s ABPA Homes for the Holidays Home Tour getting canceled due to inclement weather is an understatement. We full-on mourned, y’all. This year, though, not only can you use your tickets from last year to see four incredible Park Cities homes (including D’Andra Simmons’ gorgeous contemporary on Lindenwood!), but you can still buy your tickets at the advance price of $20! That’s a $5 discount over the price of tickets on the day of the tour!

Or, you could stay tuned right here to CandysDirt.com for our ticket giveaway! We’ll be giving away two pairs of tickets to this year’s ABPA Homes for the Holidays Home Tour, and you don’t want to miss your chance!

(more…)

Rachel Stevens and her family outside their Georgian Revival home on McFarlin, which is featured in the 16th Annual ABPA Homes for the Holidays Home Tour on Dec. 8. (Photo: Kate Ward)

Rachel Stephens and her family outside their Georgian Revival home on McFarlin, which is featured in the 16th Annual ABPA Homes for the Holidays Home Tour on Dec. 8. (Photo: Kate Ward)

Update 11/22: The ABPA home tour is December 5, 2014.

The Armstrong Bradfield Preschool Association puts on one of the best holiday home tours, and this year’s stroll through Highland Park will be a tremendous one! The Homes for the Holidays Home Tour is in just two weeks, and you can get your tickets for the Friday, Dec. 5 fundraiser for this active early childhood PTA right here. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 on the day of the tour, which runs from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Of course, you have to go to this year’s tour if you missed out on last year’s thanks to the insane ice storm that shut down North Texas. Don’t miss out!

In the lead-up to the home tour, we’re chatting with a few of the homeowners who have graciously opened their doors to all the folks who want to ogle and gawk at their beautiful abodes for a good cause. Today we have Rachel Stephens on the blog, whose home on McFarlin was teased by Candy just a short while ago. Rachel, who has always had a passion for design, enlightens us on what to look for when you tour her gorgeous traditional. Jump for more!

(more…)