Coram Deo

I drive by Coram Deo regularly, just to stare at it. I’ve seen a lot of stately homes all over the world, but this one continues to fascinate me.

Coram Deo was built for Donald and Mary Catherine Huffines in 2005. Yes, the same Don Huffines who was a Texas state senator and runs Huffines Communities with his twin brother, Phillip. The Huffines named their home Coram Deo, which means “in the presence of God” in Latin.

If you are not familiar with the architectural style, it’s because we seldom see a Richardsonian Romanesque mansion today. It’s an expensive style to build, so it’s generally seen in large public buildings. The Trinity Church in Boston, The American Museum of Natural History in New York, and our own Old Red Courthouse are all excellent examples of the style named after architect Henry Hobson Richardson.

Because this is a style that offers a strong sense of stability, permanency, and individuality, it was not long before it became popular among the titans of industry in the late 1800s. The Cupples House in Saint Louis, Missouri, or the James J. Hill estate in St. Paul, Minneapolis, could well have been the inspiration for Coram Deo.

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If you aren’t making your way to these Far North Dallas open houses this weekend, then you are missing out! That is because each one sits a heavily treed lot, has loads of charm, and is great for families, but has price points that are miles apart. Which will you tour first?

Terrific On Tangleridge Lane

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The Medical District is full of great Open Houses to tour this weekend. And here are our top three!

Make it an event and check out one from each price point. Not only will you get an education on where the market is at — especially in the Medical District — but you’ll find tons of inspiration for when you’re ready to make a move. Enjoy!

We See You, Arcady Avenue

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Italian Renaissance

We all know restoring a historic property like this Italian Renaissance mansion takes deep pockets. Dallas has plenty of those. What it is lacking, however, is enough of those pockets that also have the dedication, education, and drive to preserve architecturally significant homes. Thankfully we do have what I like to call architectural angels.

These are the men and women that get it. They know why a historic home needs to remain standing and they figure out, not only how to keep it in place, but also how to improve it. I cannot think of a better example of perfect preservation and restoration than 3601 Beverly Drive.

Italian Renaissance

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classic French chateau

Photos courtesy of Full Package Media

Blame the French. They set a precedent for what we expect when we hear the word “chateau.” It’s a word that conjures up not just a majestic image, but also a luxurious lifestyle. This classic French chateau offers all that and more!

The superior quality initially caught my eye. It was built by Calais Custom Homes, a company that is well known for building luxury estates. But what stopped me in my tracks was the interior design of 10706 Bridge Hollow Court. You don’t expect to see a classic French chateau with bold color and edgy modern accents. Thank Ashley Astleford of Astleford Interiors for that.

classic French chateau

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LeeLee Gioia with Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty has listed 4707 Wildwood Road for $3.095 million. Open House, Sunday, April 28, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

If you’re busy hosting family and friends this weekend for Easter, we get it. But it never hurts to plan ahead! Here we offer a round-up featuring the best of Bluffview, each with upcoming Open Houses for buyers seeking million-dollar views.

Bluffview Estates Custom Build, Open This Weekend

Open House: Saturday, April 20, 1 to 3 p.m., Sunday, April 21, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Two words – Bluffview Estates. If you have nothing to do this weekend and a bank full of cash, then this brand new construction gem is for you! It sits on a large lot with a secluded dead end street and affords a spacious open floor plan with all the designer touches. This includes Wolf and SubZero appliances, a show-stopping master with luxurious spa bath, huge game room with balcony, and so much more. Clean lines, transitional style, and replete with detailed hardware and wood flooring throughout. Go see this one! You won’t regret it.

Kelsey Bond with Allie Beth Allman & Associates has listed 4304 N. Cresthaven Road for $1.899 million.

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Highland Park Texas modern

When this incredible Highland Park Texas Modern at 3701 Lexington Avenue popped up on my radar last week, I sat enraptured for some time. Remember, when it comes to beautiful homes, I’m hard to impress. I feverishly texted my fellow CandysDirt.com writers to drop everything and look at this one! When I recovered my composure, I rang up the enormously talented David Stocker, principal and founder of SHM Architects, to get the dirt. Oh, he had so much to say!

“A house should tell a story,” Stocker said. “It should draw you in and take you on a journey. It starts at the street. It’s a tease. You want to peek over the top of the wall. When you come through the gates, it says ‘hey, something is interesting about me, come and visit.’ ”

It’s apparent when talking to Stocker that he had fun designing this 8,156-square-foot home. But, how do you have fun, fulfill the needs of a young family, and create a timeless classic? Well, you enlist the aid of a stellar builder like Stephen Hild.

“He is meticulous, and his ability to pull off the details is unsurpassed,” Stocker said.

You also select time-honored materials to use, such as Lueders limestone, Douglas Fir, and Calacatta marble. Then you put a fresh spin on them.

“We are good at using a traditional form in a more contemporary way,” Stocker said.

Highland Park Texas modern

This extraordinary Highland Park Texas modern has it all. Private yet centrally located, with every amenity you can imagine.

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NarreIt’s not every day that a mansion on Narre Lane comes on the market at all — usually homes in the extremely exclusive Dallas if-you-have-to-ask-you-can’t-afford-it enclave of Savage Gardens are kept within the families that long ago claimed that tiny haven inside Dallas to themselves, or are quietly shopped among peers who tire of the social requirements of Highland Park.

In fact, most don’t even know that Savage Gardens exists at all, so obscured by greenspace and the conventional wisdom that says situating mansions near the Trinity River is foolhardy — unless, of course, you’re wealthy enough to afford the mechanics and technical workings to keep your home free of river water.

So when we heard that 401 Narre Lane was being offered as a hip pocket listing to potential buyers who can prove their bottom line, we jumped at the chance to pull back the curtain and show our readers how the other other other half lives.

Homes in this well-heeled sanctuary are a reflection of the families that owned them, always, with finishes and touches so unique you’ll never find them in another home. Even the exteriors are frequently changed through the years, peeling off older facades in favor of newer amalgamations of styles, in order to better blend in with the less-preservation minded neighborhoods around them.

“Nothing to see here, we’re just your average McMansions from 1990s Preston Hollow,” the homes in Savage Gardens seemingly say to anyone who accidentally happens upon them, adopting a hide-in-plain-sight motif that serves the cloistered residents well.

“It’s really amazing how private this neighborhood is, and how ingeniously these families have kept it that way,” said listing agent Dia Daspetas with North Texas Luxury Homeplaces. “If you’re looking for a place that only tells people your net worth once they’re fully vetted and allowed in by staff, this is the perfect place.”

“A few years ago, there was some deep-seated worry about a toll road and a park potentially clueing in Dallas residents to this spendy spot, but luckily, time and a rumored juggler’s strike forced the city to reexamine the idea, and once again Savage Gardens is safe,” she added.

While the outside conforms to a rigorous requirement to appear awkwardly normal, rest assured that doesn’t hold true once you enter the home. Inside is where the imagination runs amok, flowering with details you definitely won’t find on Strait Lane. Ready to look? Let’s jump, shall we? (more…)