home tourWe’ve been giving you all kinds of reasons to buy your tickets for the Armstrong Bradfield Preschool Association’s “Homes for the Holidays” home tour this Friday, but maybe you still haven’t purchased your tickets (a little birdie told me, by the way, that you can still get advance tickets online through Wednesday).

We’ve shown you the houses and highlighted all the good things the home tour does for public education in Highland Park ISD, and we’ve introduced you to a family whose home is featured on the tour.

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. Want to purchase tickets? Click here for more information.

But for once, your procrastination may pay off, because we have two tickets to give away for the home tour. Want to know how to win? Jump with me, won’t you? (more…)

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

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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?
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This home on Potomac features traditional architecture with midcentury flair. (Photos: Gittings)

From Staff Reports

Armstrong Bradfield Preschool Association (ABPA) will host the 19th annual Homes for the Holidays Home Tour on Friday, Dec. 1. The tour will start promptly at 9:30 a.m. and end at 1 p.m. The tour will showcase four beautiful homes, allowing residents to have an inside look at some of the most striking homes in the Park Cities during the holiday season.

Look for a newly constructed contemporary French provincial on Versailles, a colorful contemporary traditional on San Carlos, a recently renovated historic home on Beverly, and a traditional Southern with midcentury modern decor on Potomac.

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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!

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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!

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3705 Haynie Front

Looking for a place with personality that can easily showcase a diverse collection? You should consider 3705 Haynie in University Park. This four-bedroom, four full and one half-bath home is full of windows and skylights, making the entire home a more than inspiring vessel for your antiques and art.

3705 Haynie Formal

It’s listed by Ebby Halliday Realtor Ashley McRae-Ross for $1.295 million, a fitting price considering this home’s ample size at 3,943 square feet. A soft contemporary built in 1979 and updated for today’s modern family, you’ll love the details and personal touches that make this home a wonderful and imaginative substitute for your bland, everyday McMansion.

3705 Haynie Living

This is a wonderful home for a family, considering how close it is to University Park’s Goar Park and of course, Highland Park ISD schools. This home feeds into Armstrong Elementary, a fabulous campus with a wonderful parent group in the Armstrong Bradfield Preschool Association.

If you’re security oriented, you’ll love this house’s proximity to the University Park Fire Department and University Park Police station. Of course, it’s adjacent to the town hall, which does draw a bit of a crowd during city council meetings, so you can expect some congestion every other week, but not enough to detract from this amazing property.

3705 Haynie Kitchen

I am absolutely over the moon with this home’s kitchen, which is open to the breakfast area and family room, has tons of storage, upgraded stainless steel appliances, and the most beautiful shade of green lacquer on the cabinets. You’ll adore the unique fireplace that is open on three sides, which will definitely heat this area come another icepocalypse or similarly tragic storm that knocks out power regardless of zip code.

3705 Haynie Master 3705 Haynie Master Bath

Now, you’ll probably consider the master bath a bit polarizing, and it could use a few updates. I do like the peninsula-style double vanity, but I would like it even more if there were mirrors separating the two sides instead of making me put my glasses on to see my reflection across the room. Still, it has steam and plenty of room to avoid anyone who happens to cross your path in the morning (just ask my husband how important that is!). Still, the closets are huge and there’s tons of stone. Good assets for any bathroom.

3705 Haynie Master

But what really makes me swoon is the gobs and gobs of windows, which, along with the soaring ceilings, gives this home a feeling of lightness and airiness that you swear this home just might float away. Buy it before it floats away with someone else!

 

 

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D’Andra Simmons hopes you’ll get a glimpse at her and Jeremy Lock’s personalities when you tour their incredibly chic Highland Park contemporary during the Armstrong Bradfield Preschool Association Homes for the Holidays Home Tour.

The eclectic two-story modern has an open floorplan with a global vibe injected with a shot of old-Hollywood glamour. And Simmons, founder of the Hard Night Good Morning line of cosmetics, knows a thing or two about glamour. The 6,600-square-foot home is both a home base and a showcase for these two world travelers. Lock is an award-winning war photographer, and Simmons, who admits she feels more relaxed on safari in Africa than anywhere else, have assembled their collections in a way that reflects their travels and tastes.

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“A lot of contemporary homes are choppy, but right when you open the front door you can see right through the home to the pool and on to the backyard,” Simmons said of her home, 3501 Lindenwood. “I wanted flow and openness and room to breathe.”

And that’s exactly what she got in this custom home, completed in 2011. The huge windows and tall ceilings give this home warmth from light that reflects off of the gorgeous pine wood floors and soft museum-style paint. It’s like a blank canvas for Simmons and Lock, an empty gallery to showcase their treasures collected from across the globe and throughout history.

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Dotted with animal skins and African art, as well as icons and statues from Asia, you’ll also find walls and rooms filled with Lock’s photographs. The images, taken in Mongolia, Haiti, India and other far-flung locales, are striking and evocative. They offer a look inside Simmons’ and Locks’ travels, history, and personalities, that’s for sure.

Take the incredible Jeffery Bigelow acrylic four-poster bed in the guest bedroom. The vintage bed is a whimsical and glamorous piece, suiting D’Andra’s personality to a tee. There’s also a huge gate from a Tibetan Buddhist temple used as a headboard in the master bedroom, evoking the couple’s well-traveled pedigree and global tastes.

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In fact, 3501 Lindenwood, designed by Marc McCollum, was on the AIA Dallas Tour of Homes earlier this month, so Simmons and Lock are ready for the ABPA home tour. What they really gained was watching the reaction tour-goers had to their home, which does a stunning job of bringing outdoor elements inside through balanced composition.

“I was here the whole time to see people’s reactions. We travel a lot, so it looks like the United Nations. It’s very artsy and personal,” Simmons said. “They really saw our personalities shine through, that it was a warm, relaxing environment.”

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It’s a place to put your feet up and get cozy, Simmons added. “Our lifestyles are very comfortable, which is unlike a lot of contemporary homes.” We definitely agree.

Of course, she is glad to have the opportunity to support the Armstrong Bradfield Preschool Association, which provides funding and programming for Armstrong and Bradfield elementary campuses inside Highland Park ISD. The home tour, ABPA’s main fundraiser, has contributed more than $40,000 to help improve instruction and teacher retention.

“I feel kind of guilty, living in this great school district and not having kids to send to the schools!” Simmons said with a laugh. “If I can do this to give it a little boost, that’s great, that’s what we’ll do.”

You can buy tickets to the Dec. 6 ABPA Homes for the Holidays tour from ABPA members, at Tom Thumb stores, or online at armstrongbradfield.com.

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(Photos: Jeremy Lock)