Bookmatched Beauty

Bookmatched Beauty

This story has since been updated here and here.

In August a dear friend was returning from weeks in Japan, stopping in Austin before returning home to New Hampshire. She alerted me and, never needing much of an excuse to bomb down to Austin, off I went for a dinner date. She’d asked me what’s the hotsy-totsy dining place in Austin these days. Ironically, I responded that it was Uchi – a Japanese inspired venue. Having been in Japan for weeks, her response was, “F that, let’s get some BBQ.” So no Uchi for me … until last night.

Aria Stone Gallery in the Design District had a fab event catered by Uchi. And before we get to the stone, I have to admit that the meal from Uchi gave my tongue a flat tire. Everything I’ve put in my mouth since then (huuush!) has tasted like dorm food.

The media event featured an intimate table-full of fellow writers and designers. Aria went to a lot of trouble and expense for this seated, multi-course dinner and yet a couple of guests were no-shows. That’s just tacky and rude. If it were my house, you’d not get invited back. It doesn’t take much to tap “reply” or to text the host/hostess of an event. For shame.

What these uncivilized no-shows missed was an 8-course tasting menu that caused “Oooooo” as each course was explained, followed by “Ahhhhh” as each was tasted. You know how these things typically go. A tattered Romaine leaf and a blade of rosemary and suddenly it’s Tuscany. Not this time.

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Bunk 1

Like many mundane things that have been made “cool” these days (from Haute Dogs to Lobster Mac & Cheese), it’s now possible (as Candy wrote)  to have cool bunk beds. I don’t know about you, but if I had the ceiling height, it would be soooo fun to have half the set pictured above in my bedroom. Every night I’d be thinking, “Hmmm, do I want to sleep up or down tonight?”

… and then I could post naughty “pin-up” pics to the underside of the upper bed like when I was younger. (OK, perhaps I’ve grown up at least that much since then … but not much.)

Alder and Tweed is run by sisters Lynsey and Heather Humphrey who come by their design chops naturally with parents who founded the largest lighting company you’ve never heard of.   Their firm specializes in creating memorable interiors (translation: house porn) for big-time vacation homes. Many of their clients fall out of the pages of Fortune and People. Their work results in the kinds of interiors most of us slobber over in hopes of finding some trinket we can use in our more modest homes. The Utah-based sister-designers get around with projects and offices in California, Mexico, and of course Utah.

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Bernadette Schaeffler designed a Czech crystal series featuring a silhouette of the Dallas Skyline.

Bernadette Schaeffler designed a Czech crystal series featuring a silhouette of the Dallas Skyline.

This will soon be on the gilded bar carts throughout the homes of Dallas socialites, as who would opt for anything other than gorgeous Czech crystal etched with the city’s trademark skyline?

And you can only get it at Bernadette Schaeffler Collection.

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Modern Mile 1

This unique mid-century modern at 10551 Somerton Drive is a shining example of the interesting architecture to be found in Walnut Hill. (Photos: Dan Piassick)

An idea had been bouncing around in the back of Kathy Adcock-Smith’s mind for a while. How could she promote preservation inside her small North Dallas neighborhood? Walnut Hill is a tidy square mile, bounded by Royal Lane on the north, Midway on the east, Walnut Hill on the south, and Marsh on the west. It’s full of mid-century modern homes, with low-slung roofs all made popular in the 1950s, a style that is very much in demand right now, but was somewhat of a novelty back then.

In fact, several of the homes in Walnut Hill were featured in the National Parade of Homes in 1954, hosting more than 100,000 people. The neighborhood is not only architecturally interesting, but many of the residents grew up here and then bought their own home in the area. It’s teeming with fabulous homes, but they’re being scraped at record rates.

“I go to the White Rock Home tour and the AIA tour of homes every year,” Adcock-Smith said. “A lot of the mid-century modern homes in this neighborhood could benefit from restoration.”

But she didn’t put two-and-two together until a neighborhood association meeting a year ago. “Someone suggested doing a home tour, and I thought ‘That’s it! That’s perfect!'”

10222 Better Drive was  renovated using the home's original footprint.

10222 Better Drive was renovated using the home’s original footprint.

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Tim Jackson Custom Homes' Maison d'Etoile won first place in the "Best Architectural Design - Traditional" category.

Tim Jackson Custom Homes’ Maison d’Etoile won first place in the “Best Architectural Design – Traditional” category.

As we told you last week, the Dallas Builders Association each year honors the work of its members, some of North Texas’ top building and remodeling talent, with an Oscars-like celebration of glamorous dress and beverage. They put on the Ritz for the annual ARC Awards ceremony.

And of course, half of those winners are my CandysDirt Best Builders! All CandysDirt.com-approved home builders are curated from a select group of home builders. Click here to see what they told us about the top building trends for 2015.

There are 50 categories, and the judges are top builders and designers from way outside of Texas. Well, except for Oklahoma.

The celebration, held this year at The Westin Galleria, was a blast. Tim Lansford of Luxury Homes of Texas was the emcee, and teased the heck out of  Tom Greico of Greico Modern Homes, (“BOOOO!”)  But not moi — Tom is another CandysDirt.com fave.

Turns out Tim is not just a home builder, he has his own radio show!

As we mentioned, for the second year in a row, Classic Urban Homes snagged Custom Builder of the Year title. Not too far behind was my man Tim Jackson Custom Homes, also nominated for best, who snagged Best Architectural Design $1 to $2 million. One of his entries was a palace he built called Maison d’Etoile for former Cowboys linebacker Bradie James. Bradie and his wife, Star, slipped in and dined with Tim and Leslie Jackson and watched the show. Other home builders extraordinaire who needed U-Hauls for their prize booty besides the aforementioned: Alford Homes, Desco Fine Homes, Cresswell Builders, our very own JLD Custom Homes, LRO Residential, Bauhaus Custom Homes and of course, Greico Modern Homes.

Desco Fine Homes won the award for "Best 'Other' Room" with their stunning beauty salon.

Desco Fine Homes won the award for “Best ‘Other’ Room” with their stunning beauty salon.

Now a little inside dirt on the photo above: this was a remodel, in Preston Hollow, by Desco Fine Homes. Took two years to complete. The lady of the house wanted a home beauty salon — they are all the rage, by the way — so Desco fashioned one above her master bathroom. Can you imagine waltzing up the stairs to get blown out? I am loving this new trend, and mind you we will be posting more on it!

Here are all the winners in all categories… and the photos. Drool away…

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1004 N. Montclair Avenue

1004 N. Montclair Avenue

Sure, North Oak Cliff is a hot market, but compared to the sky-high prices in other nabes, this area still has some fabulous deals. Take this Kessler Park home at 1004 N. Montclair. Not only does it have some ridiculous curb appeal (just look at that beautiful ivy-covered brick with stone accents!), but the interiors are a wonderful, well-designed surprise.

This high-caliber home from David Griffin Realtor Robert Kucharski just hit the market, and it is a fabulous deal —  you get more than 3,100 square feet for less than $1 million. If you’re ready to put in your offer, call Lisa Peters at Caliber Home Loans to get the ball rolling. Lisa is an expert in luxury lending, and she can make sure you sail through pre-approval all the way to closing.

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Selling your home can be a complicated project. Here are 25 ways you can make the process easier.

Selling your home can be a complicated project. Here are 25 ways you can make the process easier.

Selling your home can be difficult, say the pros at Guardian Mortgage. Even with a great Realtor and a beautiful property, it can take a long time. And the more time that passes, the lower an offer may be.

Do you want to get your house sold quickly and get the price you’re asking for — or more? Then try these 25 tips from some of the best mortgage professionals in the business:

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M3 Container Hotel

This hotel designed by Beck Architecture is made up of 150 shipping containers.

Dallas architects are designing amazing, mold-breaking structures for sites here and abroad, but not every design becomes more than a concept. Still, good ideas are worth recognizing, so the Dallas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects set out to highlight some of the most amazing unbuilt structures designed by Dallas firms.

Design award recipients were selected by a jury of globally recognized architects and brands. Jurists included Jenny Wu (Oyler Wu Collaborative), Elizabeth Whittaker, AIA (Merge Architects), and Adam Yarinsky, FAIA (Architecture Research Office). Of the 34 entries received, five received awards based on its response to cultural, social, environmental, and contextual challenges.

Two of the winners were conceptual designs for the Dallas Holocaust Museum, one is a striking airport terminal in China, while another is a pavilion that responds to sound. Other entries include a re-design of the first floor of the Belo building at 400 Record Street, urban retail infill on Fort Worth Avenue, and a cool hotel constructed with 150 shipping containers. Residential projects include a modern residence in Preston Hollow on Belmead, as well as a prototype for efficient multi-family housing dubbed “Grotto.” We also love the beautiful, modern concept for a public library in Vickery Park.

Vickery Meadow Branch Library

Oglesby Greene designed a bright and open public library branch for Vickery Meadow.

The May 28 opening at Life in Deep Ellum launched the exhibition of these unique concepts, which will be on display until July 11. You can select your favorite design for one of the People’s Choice Awards, which will be announced at the exhibition’s closing.

“The 2015 Unbuilt Design Award submissions highlight the incredibly diverse work being done by Dallas architects in communities around the world,” said Heath May, AIA, of HKS, Inc. May is the AIA Dallas Design Award Committee Chair. “This year’s winning projects exemplify beautiful and inspiring design that are responsive to contemporary issues.”

Jump to see more of these innovative designs!
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