luxury Craftsman

You would have never given 3816 Miramar Avenue a second look a few years ago. It was a 1915, plain-Jane, Prairie-style home that had been remodeled multiple times. It would have inevitably faced the wrecking ball if it were not for buyers that saw the potential and knew who could fulfill their vision. They hired the architectural team of Domiteaux & Baggett to reinvent this home entirely and make it into a luxury Craftsman that takes your breath away.

Before we get into the fantastic renovation, there’s an interesting bit of history on one of the former owners.

A well-known railroad man, W.G. Crush lived here until 1943. He is credited with the establishment of the Katy Railroad’s Highland Park Station. Yes, there was a railroad station in Highland Park!

Before the transformation. Plain-Jane indeed!

“When we met with the owners, they knew they did not want to tear down the home,” Mark Domiteaux said. “They were very involved in the research and wanted this home to be all it could be. We had them look at resources like California architects Greene and Greene’s work at the turn of the century, and that inspired what you see today.”

Domiteaux worked with The Robert Hopson Construction Group to turn this home into what is now a timeless luxury Craftsman. When they got started, they quickly realized they’d have to gut not only the entire interior, but also rebuild the exterior.

Domiteaux reminded me that during the Depression era, homes were seldom built to the highest standards as money and resources were scarce. Unfortunately, the brick and mortar on this home were disintegrating.

“We stripped it all off and rebuilt the house better than it ever was,” Domiteaux said. “We got the opportunity to make the house what it wanted to be originally.”

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English Tudor Revival

Let’s talk hot property, shall we? This gorgeous Highland Park English Tudor revival at 4814 Saint Johns Drive hit the market for $4.9 million last Friday. Our Monday Morning Millionaire is everything you could ever want in a home, and you simply cannot ask for a better location!

The English Tudor revival style evokes a sense of gracious living, and tradition. When you can find an original like this one that’s been seamlessly renovated and expanded, well you’ve hit the jackpot because they are rarely available.

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5706 Watson Cir IHOTW

Dallas has always been a hotbed of excellent residential architecture, and our Inwood National Bank Home of the Week is a perfect example of the sterling level of local talent. The architectural firm Domiteaux + Baggett are the masterminds behind this Frank Lloyd Wright inspired Preston Hollow custom home with a Palm Springs vibe. It would be a perfect location for a remake of any Rat Pack movie. We can easily imagine George Clooney and Brad Pitt hanging out by the pool at 5706 Watson Circle.

The 5,000-square-foot home is listed by Minnette Murray with Coldwell Banker for $2.75 million and we were lucky enough to get a peek at it this week.

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Chris-Craft-House

The Chris Craft House, designed by architect Vince Snyder, at 22 Vanguard Way in Urban Reserve, the brainchild of Dallas developer Diane Cheatham.

Dallas developer Diane Cheatham is a dedicated modernist and committed environmentalist.

As CEO of Urban Edge Developers, Ltd., Cheatham has brought those values to her work in multiple settings, from small infill condos and townhomes that won multiple design awards, to her masterpiece at Urban Reserve, a signature modern neighborhood that uses sustainable features creatively.

Diane Cheatham

Diane Cheatham

It’s a trend she’s happy to say is showing up more in North Texas.

“I see more developers and builders responding to consumer demand by building modern and green,” Cheatham said. “The style is much more accepted in Dallas now, and a growing segment of homebuyers are interested in green building and a more modern aesthetic. I’d like to see more developers thinking out of the box, providing more options at all price levels.”

Cheatham envisions and creates enclaves that are both eco-friendly and people-friendly. At Urban Reserve, for example, a reservoir that gets neighborhood run-off water is used to irrigate common spaces and individual lawns. Every house is required to have LEED-H certification. Her own house at 1 Vanguard Way, which she shares with her husband Chuck, has geothermal heating and cooling, energy-saving windows, and an 18,000-gallon cistern that collects rain runoff from the roof. Homeowners in the community are encouraged “not to do the standard Dallas fences,” and many of the homes feature indoor-outdoor living spaces that encourage interaction with neighbors and passers-by.

These efforts have not gone unnoticed. Urban Reserve has earned multiple recognition and awards, like the 2007 Dallas AIA Excellence in Sustainable Design, 2007 CLIDE Award (Celebrating Leadership in Development Excellence), and a 2009 award from Eco-Structure Magazine, where Urban Reserve was distinguished as one of seven innovative projects.

All this took rule-breaking by Cheatham as she customized street widths to slow traffic, created rain gardens and retention ponds, and made the basic infrastructure and layout of the development conducive to her overall vision.

“It’s taken longer than expected, but there are only six lots of the 50 left and work is proceeding on six homes with eight more in various stages of design,” she said. “The realization of Urban Reserve has been the hardest [of all my projects], and as it nears completion, it is also the most satisfying. Being out there on the cutting edge proved to be more complicated than I anticipated.”

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