Ronald Siebler, left, working on the

Ron Siebler, left, and Daniel Lohr making a final inspection of the restored bell after it was returned to its original home in the Renner Church tower. All photos: Fred Hight, New Hights Photography

The preservation man of the hour seems to be Ronald Siebler, a talented craftsman and preservation advocate with a long history of the highest quality work.

At the 2016 Preservation Achievement Awards from Preservation Dallas, he received the prestigious Craftsman Award, and was part of four other award-winning projects, a rare event.

“You’re lucky to get one award from Preservation Dallas,” Siebler said. “To walk across the stage five times – it shows you I had such a wonderful year of opportunities.”

It also tells you the caliber of his work.

“Ron is an outstanding craftsman and his work on historic buildings shows the care and quality to which he approaches his work,” said David Preziosi, executive director of Preservation Dallas. “Ron often uses historic techniques and tools to make sure his work is accurate for the period and respects the historic structure. He has worked on numerous Preservation Achievement Award winning projects in Dallas and his skill and dedication have no doubt been an incredible asset to those project teams helping them to win awards from Preservation Dallas.”


I am going to declare 2013 the year of the Midcentury Modern. Tons of amazing mid-mods went on the market this year, and some incredible historic properties were listed, too. This was an amazing year for real estate in pretty much every price range, with a frenzied spring season, and strong summer, and unprecedented growth.

We feature a new listing each Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday in several different price points, and, of course, we have our favorites (who doesn’t?).  We’ve picked a few choice properties we’ve featured right here during 2013 for you to get nostalgic about!

First up, we have ….

Tuesday Two Hundred:

We had so much fun finding some incredible deals this year, and some of the fastest-moving properties were Midcentury Modern or mid-mod inspired (even early 70s soft contemporaries!), with tall ceilings and exposed beams.

2854 Claudette Full Living View

Some of these homes had been artfully remodeled, like this beautiful Ravinia Heights home with warm beadboard ceilings and fantastic details. Listed for $228,000 by Hewitt & Habgood, 2854 Claudette was a great deal, too!

8517 Rolling Rock Front

Another favorite Tuesday $200K was 8517 Rolling Rock Lane, a former star of the White Rock Home Tour. This gorgeous renovated mid-mod was listed for $295,000 and featured some beautiful and eco-friendly updates.

Thursday Three Hundred:

Eustis Front

The $300Ks was where it was at this year. In this price range, you could find just about anything your heart desired. Our finds in this price range included one incredible Midcentury Modern on Eustis (the “it” street for mid-mods in Dallas), that has tons of fabulous details including an industrial floor and the coolest master bath and backyard.

7723 Northaven Front

Let’s not overlook this mid-mod in Janmar that was very well preserved, if a little hodge-podge on the flooring front. And boy, was 7723 Northaven Road a value at just $350,000!

1658 Nob Hill Fireplace

Another super-cool Midcentury Modern property was this Nob Hill project. A tree house that hadn’t seen a contractor in long enough to make it more of an investment than move-in ready. Still, it has that free-standing wood-burning fireplace that faces that wall of windows, giving it more of a ski lodge feel than you’re apt to find in Kessler Woods most days.


Now, we had some amazing historic properties come our way this year, and nothing was more phenomenal than this truly astounding turn-around job from Kings Highway’s own Jennis Stolarski. Just days on the market and this sweet Craftsman-style renovation with marble and better shades of gray than you’ll find in any pulpy novel, 806 N. Windomere stunned us all.

Tremont front

Other historic properties we loved in this price range included this super cute Munger Heights home that was so bohemian chic I felt like I was running away with a bunch of Gypsies I was swept off my feet! Pops of color and tons of great antiques, as well as a bold mix of finishes make it so perfect!

601 Parker Front

And of course, we could never forget this lovingly restored 1880s farmhouse in McKinney. More than just a home, this Parker Street estate is just epic inside and out with some of the most unreal woodwork that has been preserved for posterity.

Friday Four Hundred:

Velasco Front

Now, in the $400K to $500K range, there were a lot of adorable Tudors, but none were so cute as this Lakewood Heights home! Situated on a corner lot on Velasco, this home is just so, so cute with its steep roof and red windows, and bright interiors. Lovely!

Monte Vista Front

For a Tudor with a lot more flavor, this Hollywood Heights work of art has so many cool details and a garage that doubles as a party barn. It was designed by Coy Talley, who also did some amazing work on the Perot Museum of Nature and Science.

5841 Morningside Front

But we shouldn’t leave the M Streets out, which has hoards of cute Tudors. This one, a sort of Dutch-revival meets Tudor, was one of the most beautiful renovations I’ve seen this year. Apron sink, designer lighting, gorgeous fireplace and wood floors, everything sparkles — especially the master bath!

Friday Five Hundred:

979 S. Rustic Circle Back

Finally, capping our week was always fun, especially considering that the $500K to $600K range is so diverse in architecture and design. You can find architect-driven remodels like this modern masterpiece by Russell Buchanan. A Midcentury Modern made over to be sleek and stunning, this Lake Highlands home sparked some great discussion.

7210 La Vista front

On the flip-side, this cool German contemporary remodel on La Vista in Hollywood/Santa Monica with a traditional front could fool you with the wood siding exterior, but once you step inside it feels so modern. The back of the home has this incredible layered covered porch that is perfect for entertaining.

What were your favorite listings we featured this year?

Up next: Stay tuned for our favorite high-end and auction properties of 2013!


Hughes Brothers Candy Factory 1401 S. Ervay

According to Steve Brown, folks in the Cedars can expect more loft housing thanks to a recent purchase from SkyWalker Property Partners out of Arlington. The firm, which buys up distressed industrial, retail, and historic properties in Texas, just bought the 110-year-old Hughes Brothers Candy Factory building on South Ervay Street.

The building, which has been boarded up for quite some time, was being used for unauthorized parties and was sometimes used by squatters. To the delight of preservationists, SkyWalker will convert the building into housing.

The new owners plan to spend $3.2 million converting the former manufacturing building into residential units.

“We just love the area, its growth and momentum,” SkyWalker Property’s Clint Holland said in a statement. “It’s got phenomenal views of Downtown Dallas that will always be unobstructed.”

The new owners bought the building from Frieda Bosh, the mother of Miami Heat basketball player Chris Bosh. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

The 5-story building contains about 7,000 square feet.

Loft housing is very popular in this area, which is a hot spot for artists. I think this will be a very successful development for SkyWalker if they keep prices affordable. What do you think?



Joanna and Chip

(Photos: Magnolia Homes)

These must be exciting times for Chip and Joanna Gaines, the husband and wife team behind Magnolia Homes. These two have carved out a niche for themselves renovating and restoring historic properties into absolutely legit luxury homes.
Fixer Upper Kitchen

After a successful pilot, the two have inked a 12-episode deal with HGTV to produce a series dubbed “Fixer Upper” in which the pair will take dilapidated and neglected structures from gross to glam in their signature style. Joanna gushed about hearing from HGTV on her blog, The Magnolia Mom:

We couldn’t believe what we were hearing as they went into detail about the ratings and the nationwide response. It’s been two weeks since we found out (we couldn’t go public about it until now) and it still hasn’t set in. All I know is that it’s going to be exciting, crazy, and an adventure like no other. We are going to need a lot of prayer as we juggle our family, our business, and the show for the next few months!

We’re thrilled to hear a Texas couple getting noticed for their hard work. They’re looking for home to feature on their HGTV show right now, and if you have a money pit in the Waco, Austin or North Texas area (sorry Houston!) you’re dying to restore, get in touch with them pronto! Details are below!

Joanna Gaines Magnolia Mom

Here are the details, we start at the end of August and complete filming in March 2014. We will be renovating 12 homes in Waco and the surrounding communities, Dallas/Ft Worth, and Austin. The network is about to put out a casting call for these locations. If you or anyone you know is looking to buy a fixer upper in these areas, please tell them to contact us at We would love to be a part of your renovation!


It’s been almost a year since that freak hail storm demolished roofs throughout Lakewood and East Dallas, leaving many of the slate and clay-tile roofs on Swiss Avenue in pieces.

Some homes that line Swiss have gotten new roofs only within the last few weeks. It’s incredible, to me at least, that these historic properties have sat with only a blue tarp protecting their interiors from the elements for more than nine months.


Meanwhile, homes throughout Lakewood, Caruth Terrace, and the M Streets have had roofers’ signs planted in their front yards and brand new roofs for months. What gives? Is it demand for materials? Stingy insurance companies? A shortage of reputable contractors?

What do you think?