Lakewood Southern Transitional

Our Inwood Home of the Week is a Lakewood Southern transitional home at 7151 Shook Avenue. It was built by Allegiant Custom Homes and designed by one of our favorite architects, Eddie Maestri.  If you enjoy cooking up a big Thanksgiving dinner, this house is going to create some new traditions that will ensure you won’t mind hosting every year!

We are always intrigued by Maestri’s designs because he brings so much to the party. Maestri travels a lot, and all those visual memories come to life in his work. This Lakewood Southern transitional is a pleasing blend of some of the design elements in locations near and dear to Maestri’s heart, including New Orleans and Rosemary Beach.

We seldom think of what challenges architects must face. The general assumption is they just draw something pretty, and poof, it’s done. Not so.


Maestri Gallery

Eddie Maestri is one of those guys that innately knows what’s cool. I met Eddie years ago, in my former life as a photography stylist and producer. I was scouting cool houses, and of course, he lived in one. Eddie has become one of the finest architects in Dallas. He has developed Maestri Studio, a full-service, turn-key architecture and interior design studio, into one of the most cutting-edge firms in the city. They not only build you a fantastic home, but with the launch of Maestri Gallery at 401 Exposition Avenue, they can also furnish it right down to the artwork and accessories. (more…)

The AIA Dallas Tour of Homes will feature a custom design by Maestri Studio.

It’s the only architect-curated home tour in Dallas, and if you are eager for inspiration, these eye-catching, trend-making, and heart-stopping designs on the AIA Dallas Tour of Homes this weekend will do the trick. Personally, we can’t wait to see the gorgeous Texas Hill Country contemporary in Forest Hills designed by Maestri Studio. Of course, there are six more beautiful, ground-breaking designs and renovations that show off the diversity of architectural design in our city. We’re certain that you’ll fall in love at least twice. 

If you haven’t purchased your tickets yet for this weekend’s tour, AIA Dallas has graciously given us two pairs of tickets to give away to our readers. Your chance to win is after the jump!


Designed by Maestri Studio, this stunning contemporary in Forest Hills offers bright and open entertaining. (Photos: Aaron Dougherty Photography)

When it comes to residential architecture, our city is just lousy with incredibly designed homes thanks to our stacked lineup of talented Dallas architects. And like any house porn addict, we here at look forward to the annual AIA Dallas Tour of Homes with excitement, as there’s no faster way to induce heavy breathing among us than with high design and risk-taking concepts come to life. 

This year, the sole architect-curated home tour doesn’t disappoint. With seven incredible houses ranging between 2,700 and more than 6,000 square feet, you can get a taste and feel for the modern and contemporary residential architecture of Big D, from Forest Hills to Preston Hollow and beyond. 

One of our hands-down favorites on this year’s tour, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 28 and 29, is a beautiful, warm contemporary with a touch of the Texas Hill Country vernacular on a beautiful lot in Forest Hills from Maestri Studio. Unlike many more traditionally styled homes in the neighborhood, Santa Clara offers front yard living with huge glass walls that open the home’s interior to the neighborhood. 


IHOTW 42116

After Photos: Aaron Dougherty Photography

When this gorgeous French Eclectic Tudor at 6640 Avalon hit my inbox, I was sure it was a new build. The lines are much cleaner than you see on homes from the 1920’s, and it’s absolutely pristine. Then I looked closer. Those windows are original and you don’t see façade embellishments like these on new builds. My curiosity was piqued and I began to dig in and research.

resized front before of Avalon IS1z3x7xaftdqp0000000000 copy

Before: Hard to believe this is the same house.

This is actually an original 1926 house built by George E. Dolph as his personal home. Dolph also constructed Munger Place Baptist Church.  A little over a year ago, the house was purchased by two very smart investors, Steven Riskey and Bart Fassino. They brought in a dream team — builders, Parc Chateau Homes, designer Leslie Pemberton, one of our favorite architects, Eddie Maestri — and got to work.


Best. Christmas gift. Ever: a Hutsell for under $450,000!

If you don’t know what a Hutsell is, shame on you. Architect Clifford Hutsell built homes that make Lakewood, well, Lakewood. When you see tile roofs, arches, eclectic detail and exterior stairs leading to second floor colorful balconies, you know you’re gazing at Dallas history. A lot of these homes are fairly large and fairly expensive, but this one is neither. All are memorable.

This intimate house at 7327 Lakewood has three bedrooms, two baths in just over 1800 square feet. Great pedigree but it does, however, need a buyer with vision, taste, style and common sense. Someone like a smart young architect (Eddie Maestri, I know you are up for this challenge) to love it back into shape.

My heart about leapt out of my chest when I heard there was a Hutsell available for $439,000 and I called my broker. We’re talking tons of plus factors on this baby. Original rope detail, tile to die for and the sought after round window! There are arches galore, the must have metal interior gate and, to top it off, incredible views of White Rock Lake!

I scampered around this cozy cottage like a kid uncovering treasures. The living and dining rooms are gorgeous. Original sconces grace the fireplace. The wall troweling looks like soft cake frosting swirls. When I headed into the kitchen it was all I could do not to whip out my trusty mat knife and peel back the lino laid during a disastrous 1960’s kitchen redo. I know there must be something wonderful hidden underneath. Yes, a new kitchen is in order but “no big thang”.

So of course I called up uber construction consultant and designer, Carol Gantt who is a legend in Lakewood for rehabbing Hutsells, having brought a number of them back to life.

“The house is a real diamond in the rough,” Gant said. “ It would be a crime to lose any of the original features as long as there is a way to make the house livable, and I think there is if you put enough thought into it.”

The garage was turned into a paneled den years ago, complete with picture window. That’s the bad news. The good news is it has original side windows and I can see laying tile to create an incredible sunroom here and doing it without spending a bundle.

There’s a fab little downstairs bedroom with one of the most beautiful intact period tile floors in Dallas. It’s a great place to keep your teenager far away from you, then turn it into a home office once he goes to college. Oh yes, am I seeing myself here already?

The upstairs “master” had that lovely round window replaced with (drum roll)….a mirror. I know, where are the Tums? Quick fix. The present master shares a Jack and Jill bathroom with a second bedroom. Once upon a time it was OK for kids to share baths, now that all but guarantees ten years of analysis.

So what will make this work for a modern family?

Gantt believes the original house could be rehabbed with a new den and kitchen added off the back, making the dining room an interior room. “Above that I’d probably create a master suite accessed up a short staircase,” she said. “That way the original home would be almost completely preserved while adding value and functionality for the way people use a house today. Leaving the original baths and bedrooms intact would mean less money spent on things that did not result in more square footage. That makes more sense from an investment standpoint as long as the additional square feet honor the original materials and room scale. I think that’s what makes it so special and the more of that you tear out, the less special it becomes.

Whoever restores this house will need to bone up on the right way to renovate a historic property to ensure they get the most out of their investment. You just don’t muck about with Hutsells.

Gantt summed up my feelings perfectly. “The features in the house are in absolutely original condition–you never find a Hutsell like that… so untouched, what a treasure! ”