University Park

Everyone needs a few historical anecdotes to share during their next happy hour or dinner party, depending on your scene. Here are a few facts about University Park, a city named quite literally for its beginnings as a small residential cluster of teacher and staff homes surrounding the small Southern Methodist University.

The school provided nearby residents with utility services from its founding in 1915 to 1924, when the neighborhood population outgrew what utilities the school could provide. After failed attempts at annexation by Highland Park and Dallas, University Park became its own city in 1924, noted for its consistently high land values, adjacent employment at the university, and later shared excellent schools with its equally affluent neighboring city.

But for a suburb named Texas’ wealthiest and best-educated city earlier this year, the city didn’t have its own municipal library until the year 2002 when decorated Dallas Public Library director and college professor Sharon Perry Martin was first hired. Up until then, UP residents paid to use the Highland Park or Dallas libraries. Now of course residents flock to the municipal library located at Preston Center Plaza, but it’s one of those interesting things that happen in a city’s journey to becoming who they are today. And today, University Park is a vibrant part of the shining Park Cities, where you can find this week’s selection of Suburb Sunday homes.  (more…)

English Cotswold Manor

Photography 2019: Sean Gallagher. The renovation included painting the exterior of the home which produced a profound change.

This English Cotswold manor house is a perfect example of the simple, transformative, power of paint. When I first spotted it, I thought it had to be new construction. Guess what? It was built in 1997! This is a beauty that defies age, however, and it’s pretty much all down to paint and cosmetic updates.

Of course, the extremely talented interior designer Amy Berry was instrumental in the transformation process. Amy is one of those designers that understand how to move a home into a new era. Although she makes it look effortless, we all know a lot of work goes into any renovation.

English Cotswold Manor

While it was grand before, updates to this English Cotswold Manor made it a stunner.

It helps to begin with good bones, and this English Cotswold manor house has them in spades. Built by luxury custom home builders Hawkins-Welwood and designed by award-winning architect Robbie Fusch, it has an excellent pedigree.

“The original homeowner loved antiques and had a traditional style,” Berry said. “My client is definitely not traditional. She has a very strong point of view and knows what she likes.”

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Modern French Eclectic

Forget going over the rainbow. This Preston Hollow renovated French Eclectic luxury home takes you inside the rainbow. Dorothy and Toto would be right at home.

We all know the mantra today is to paint everything white. But, there are exceptions. This renovated French Eclectic house is one of them. The home was built by Hawkins-Welwood and had a great floor plan. Of course, every buyer wants to put their stamp on a home, so an interior makeover began with a singular goal. The owner is a mother to three daughters. She set out to create a happy house, one that makes you smile the moment you enter.

I think she succeeded beautifully.

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Bud Oglesby Townhomes

When two Bud Oglesby townhomes in Turtle Creek hit the market, I was thrilled because we at CandysDirt.com are a bit obsessed with Oglesby. In fact, Candy thinks an Oglesby house may be considered the ultimate Dallas home. After all, they are sleek, modern, simple in form, and intelligent in function. His use of light was masterful whether the house was a multi-million-dollar estate or an urban townhome.

We are always thrilled to see Bud Oglesby projects are not only still standing in our fair city, but are also being appreciated by a whole new generation of buyers. It requires intelligence, sophistication, and an appreciation for the modernist aesthetic to understand why anything designed by The Oglesby Group is a keeper.

Although some people have not learned the lesson of preservation, so we’ve lost iconic Oglesby homes like 1003 Strait Lane. We still mourn the loss of that beauty. But, we take heart because we believe these architect-designed homes are finally being more fully appreciated.

There is a reason these townhomes have stood the test of time.

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Empty nesters retiring to the Park Cities? They love the renowned schools, but more couples are moving to the Park Cities after their children leave the nest of a large North Dallas/Preston Hollow or even Plano home for very specific reasons: security, lower taxes, walkability, and beautiful parks that someone else maintains.

When it comes to security, anyone who hears the news or owns a Ring knows Dallas has a big problem. In fact, we are on track for 228 murders this year. Not so the Park Cities, where you are never more than a mile away from a park. When it comes to schools, your home investment in the Park Cities is blue-chip safe because even though you may not need the higher-rated schools, the next buyer may.

Enter 3912 Windsor, marketed by Gretchen Brasch and Elly Holder of Compass. I swear this home is a brand new classic build. Actually, it’s about nine years old, which is really nothing for home age, and an immaculate custom-built, one-owner dream. I have seldom seen a home so lightly lived in (I wondered for a split second if it was a builder’s model!) and so transitionally contemporary without being a stark white stucco box. The architect, Paul Turney, wisely chose painted white brick, ahead of his design time — plus long, broad metal windows and French doors, upstairs balconies, and capped it with a metal roof. Downbursts be damned, that metal roof is hail-proof and going nowhere the next time 71 mph winds pack into our area.

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In this week’s Agent Migration column, we catch up with a former Virginia Cook agent from Fort Worth and meet a California newcomer. Did you make a big move? Contact Joshua Baethge.

Stephanie Quevedo Happy to be at Christie’s Ulterre

Stephanie Quevedo is settling in with the Giordano, Wegman, Walsh, & Associates (GWW) team at Christie’s Ulterre.  She started at the end of May after previously being affiliated with Virginia Cook Realtors.  While her former employer’s closing was a shock, she feels it may ultimately turn out to be a blessing in disguise.

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Hamptons-style

If you long for the laid-back luxury look of East Coast summer homes, you will love our Monday Morning Millionaire today. D Magazine named this Hamptons-style mansion as one of  “The Most Beautiful Homes in Dallas” two years ago. Guess what? It’s even more beautiful now.

It’s not surprising this Hamptons-style mansion at 4337 Westway Avenue in Highland Park is a crowd favorite. When builder Jennifer Duncan and architect Lloyd Lumpkins team up on a house, you’ll get perfection every time. Have you noticed there are not a lot of female builders out there? I can’t figure it out, because they build impressive homes like this Hamptons-style mansion, and they hire great architects to make their dreams come true.
Hamptons-style

Duncan generally builds a home, lives in it for a while, then sells it. She’s essentially building each home for herself. If you are a regular reader of CandysDirt.com, you will know one of our mantras is if you buy a house a builder lives in, you’ll never have a worry.

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Jenn Riley Rice is joining the Heather Guild Group at Compass Real Estate.

According to Rice, the technology offered by Compass should streamline her job and allow her to spend more time with her clients.  She also already knew several members of the Heather Guild Group team and was really inspired by their dedication to both their clients and the East Dallas community.

“These women are actively involved in their neighborhood schools and community, as am I, so it feels like a perfect fit,” she said. “I can see and appreciate how supportive they are of one another, which can be a rare thing to observe.”

Rice is a lifelong Texan who moved to North Texas when she was 11. She’s spent the past two decades in East Dallas, which is also where she has the majority (though certainly not all) of her business.

“What I love most about East Dallas is all of the interesting people that create our tight-knit community,” she said.

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