Tucked away next to the Dallas Zoo is an adorable, eclectic neighborhood filled with a mix of houses in a variety of sizes and styles – from 1920s Tudors to 1950s Moderns.

It’s called Beckley Club Estates, it’s right off Interstate 35, and listing agent Bill Farrell found it years ago by accident. This is his second home in the neighborhood and he absolutely loves it, which is why he’s the perfect listing agent for 132 South Shore Drive.

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6803_SanMateoDavid Bush Realtor Joe Kacynski is one of the top Realtors in Hollywood/Santa Monica, and he’s hosting and sponsoring a home on this year’s tour. He’s a HSMNA home tour veteran and has lived all over East Dallas, but is in love with Hollywood Heights. I mean, who isn’t really? This adorable neighborhood — a well-curated collection of Tudors and traditionals — has a wide and fervent fan base!

We wanted to know more about Kacynski’s home tour experience and what he is doing to get ready for this year’s tour, which is scheduled for the weekend of April 26 and 27. Find out more about this year’s tour and buy your tickets on the Hollywood/Santa Monica Neighborhood Association website.

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(Editor’s Note: Cassie Evans, Candy’s amazing animal-loving daughter, will be sharing a few posts from her new blog on how she’s getting her adorable home ready for the annual Hollywood Santa Monica Neighborhood Association 2014 Hollywood Home Tour. Interior Design by Bernadette Schaeffler. Enjoy!)

If you ever need to get several items accomplished around the house, perhaps a mini renovation, little organizational projects, or take that baby down to the studs and build it back up, having your home asked to be part of a HOME TOUR is the fire under your fanny that will get all of those things done.

Hollywood Heights is a historical conservation district. The story of Hollywood/Santa Monica begins in the 1920s when J.B. Salmon acquired this former dairy farm and formed the Hollywood Company to subdivide and improve the land. Also known as the developer of Kessler Highlands in Oak Cliff, Mr. Salmon was exceedingly careful in the planning of his property. So thoughtfully conceived was his development that he could allow other developers to build in diverse styles as long as they stayed within the deed restrictions. These styles include the predominant Tudor Cottage, as well as Spanish Eclectic, French Eclectic, Minimal Traditional, Craftsman, Monterrey, and two rare examples of the flatroofed Pueblo Revival style. We may suppose that Mr. Salmon was pleased by the outcome because he made his home within the development. Much has been said of the architecture to be found in Hollywood and Santa Monica, and the neighborhood may well be the largest collection of stone-embellished Tudor cottages in the nation. Indeed, it’s because of the attention paid to the aesthetic beauty of the area and its historical significance that in 1989 the neighborhood association succeeded in having Hollywood/Santa Monica declared a local Conservation District. This classification is shared by only a few other neighborhoods in the Dallas area.

We were very excited when we checked the mail and found a letter stating that the HSMNA (Hollywood Heights Santa Monica Neighborhood Association, Inc.) would like to consider our home to be part of the 23rd Annual Hollywood Home Tour. If you haven’t heard me screaming from our little rooftop about it – I’m that smitten – we live in Hollywood Heights on the most quaint, quiet, darling street in Dallas. It’s called Patricia, and us Patricians refer to ourselves as the Patricia Militia. Ain’t nothing getting past us. Our ultimate goal is to gate in little Patricia and have Tolltags open the gates. Unlikely to happen now, but once the home tour is over and I have some spare time, well… you never know! Our street is like a movie set – everyone says “hi” when out in their yard, everyone knows everyone’s pets and kids (and their kids can say your pets and your name no matter how young they are), and we look out for each other when someone is out of town. (Jake is not afraid to use night vision goggles and a shotgun…).

This wasn’t just like “oh great, sure we’ll be in the home tour.” A “walk through” was set up wherein the committee came over and toured our home, looking at all the details and definitely taking mental notes of what needed to be accomplished/changed stat. When you have two working attorneys and 6-7 animals at any given time, plus Board duties and Junior League, who do you think is going to meet the ________ workman between 9am and 12pm, to which he likely won’t show, and then make sure he does his job, doesn’t destroy anything else that will require another workman, doesn’t steal, and doesn’t let a cat or dog out of the house or yard? Yeah, it doesn’t happen.

Cat LadyI was a little nervous after the walk through. These people, whom I had never met before, likely think I am an animal hoarder. When they entered the house, there were 3 animals in small crates, and one HUGE crate (Bitsy). It was VERY loud and I had to bribe everyone with Greenies. Our grass was dead (so was everyone’s – it was winter and we’d had 3 freezes) but add that to the animal hoarding, absurd tee shirt and shampoo collection, and my love of reusing large Sonic styrofoam cups, and these people may start a separate, one-home tour called “what the hell is going on in this house?”

Shockingly, we received a letter a few weeks later. I was sure it was the “we’ve contacted the City about you. We think you have a problem and you need help” letter from HSMNA.

Instead, it was “you’re home has been selected for the 23rd Annual Hollywood Home Tour. What I read in between the lines was “now get your ass to work on that house.” Well, that’s just what I needed!

Due to some other factors as well, I took time off from working and decided to hit the home organization/project ground running. (Lent is such a great time to give up nuisances). I inventoried our home, made a list of everything that needed to be done in my mind, checked those items against a reasonable budget, tailored the list, found qualified workmen for each project (joining Angie’s List was really helpful – reviews are essential when quality, punctuality, and price are critical), and scheduled them all, and got to work.

The urine colored marble fireplace sans mantle HAD TO BE OVERHAULED. Here’s a before pic:

Fireplace Before

So I decided on travertine to go with my country french furniture and to complement the black mantle that is being made by a carpenter I found to match the home’s fabulous, detailed moulding.

Moulding

Progress pics:

Fireplace Progress Fireplace Tile Fireplace Tile Grout

Huge difference, no?! [Ignore the row of yellow on top – that will be completely covered by the mantle!] If you need a tile/stone worker, my guy is AMAZING. He hand chipped the side of the pieces that had to be cut to make them look perfect. I heart him. Next stop – a chimney sweep to teach me how to use this bad boy and what type of gas logs I need to invest in. Again, there are usually great deals on Angie’s List for chimney sweeps, especially now when they are out of season.

I also had an electronics man come out and mount the ridiculously large television on the wall and run the wires through the wall to a box near the floor so you don’t see any hint of wires.

Wall Mount TV

I actually had to leave him at the house while I ran my bleeding cat to the vet one day. When I returned, covered in blood and fur, stressed, and worried, he nervously informed me that when he went to drill a hold for the wires through the fire wall in the wall, there was a random pier at a 45 degree angle that his drill hit and it came flying out the wall. And yes, it put a hole in the wall precisely where we did not want one. “I’m so sorry, are you mad?” I told him, “Randall, I’m covered in cat blood, I have cat blood all over my house and back steps, and they don’t know if they can fix his leg at this point. This hole is the least of my concerns and I am not mad at you at all.” I’ve never seen such relief on a man’s face. Apparently, some homeowners’ are real assholesjerks; he was expecting me to fly off the handle. He had his dry wall guy come out with him the next time, of course did not charge me for the mistake, and all is ok in the world!

He also installed a small tv in our bathroom. The previous owner has mirrors all over the walls to make the space appear bigger and brighter, and it turns out that ordering a tv from walmart.com is much cheaper than replacing a custom mirror with a space for a tv mount with another custom mirror without said space. So, looks like my showers will be as long as Naked & Afraid from now on…

Bath TV

This adorable two-bedroom, one-bath home in Santa Monica is perfect for a DINK couple with personality.

I have a 10-month-old son, so I know kids take up a LOT of space. And seeing the crib in this absolutely adorable two-bedroom, one-bath charmer in Hollywood/Santa Monica leads me to believe that these owners are in search of more room. And after getting a good look at 6938 Patricia, which weighs in at 1,118 square feet, that’s the only reason I’d every let this little beauty go!

Obviously, this home offered by Susan Matusewicz from Briggs Freeman has been well loved. Details like arched doorways and niches, as well as lovely crown molding hearken back to the 1930s, when this house was built.

Of course, there are plenty of modern touches, especially in the kitchen. It’s updated, bright, and so cute with the checkerboard floor and chartreuse paint. The little breakfast nook is perfect for the space, too. The Jenn-Air oven and cooktop is nothing to sneeze at, either.

 

You know, more single women are buying homes, and I could totally see this as being one of those houses that would fit a young professional woman. It’d be perfect for newlyweds, too!

 

The deck would be party central from March until October, really. There’s plenty of space outdoors to spread out. And the front porch has a swing, which happens to be one of my weaknesses!

And at $239,900, you can get a great location and a very cute cottage inside what I would consider to be a “hidden gem” of a neighborhood. Hollywood/Santa Monica is part of a conservation district, so you know that when you buy the property, there won’t be any teardowns next door. It’s close to White Rock Lake, Tennyson Golf Course, and Lakewood. The vibe is very close-knit, too. You get Lakewood schools, including the prestigious Lakewood Elementary and Woodrow Wilson High School.

It’s a great value, and I’m sure it won’t be listed for long!

 

Our First House Porn of the New Year! 6810 Hammond Drive in darling, darling Hollywood Heights/Santa Monica. Look at this brick and stone High Tudor treasure that has been reduced to $275,000, from $299,000. You get the circa 1929 charm on the outside, but inside, everything is NEW: updated kitchen with stainess appliances, Jenn-Air gas cooking top, granite counters, clean new Maple wood cabinets, and pendant lighting. Hard wood floors!!! There are only 1603 square feet, but you still get three airy bedrooms, one and a half baths, formal living areas and a great center hall design. I am loving the incredible center of the block lot, heavily treed and woodsy. Talk about location — Hollywood Heights is it! Reduced from $299,000, this home will be purchased in 3, 2, 1… I mean, 2012!