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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8200 Forest Hills Front

I have been watching this amazing home for a little while. A reader sent me a link to this incredible Forest Hills home a couple of weeks ago when it first hit the market, and I was in love. Really, the “Father of the Bride” exterior — classic white with pillars flanking the front door and dark shutters — made me weak in the knees. The gorgeous bay windows are show off in the twilight photos. It is All-American like apple pies, rootbeer floats, or a hamburger at Keller’s.

And now, it’s $50,000 cheaper.

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Rosemary Beach You know why? Because the Gulf Coast is hopping with real estate sales. This is one of my absolute favorite vacation home beach communities that is always loaded with Texans. Plus Santa Rosa Beach realtor extraordinaire Karen Wagner tells us they are going to have a whole lot MORE Texans once Southwest Air Lines starts flying direct to Panama City Beach this fall.

89 Watercolor BoulevardOh, I can hardly wait. Details and more glorious beach front House Candy over on SecondShelters.com.

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Rosemary Beach You know why? Because the Gulf Coast is hopping with real estate sales. This is one of my absolute favorite vacation home beach communities that is always loaded with Texans. Plus Santa Rosa Beach realtor extraordinaire Karen Wagner tells us they are going to have a whole lot MORE Texans once Southwest Air Lines starts flying direct to Panama City Beach this fall.

89 Watercolor BoulevardOh, I can hardly wait. Details and more glorious beach front House Candy over on SecondShelters.com.

BeachCottage12Balc4

I’m cheating on my house again, but it is totally worth it for this one. Oh my, oh my. I saw this house and it took my breath away. I cannot help my feelings. It was a total Jedediah Leland/Citizen Kane moment: this house is my “girl in the white dress”.¬† I immediately flashed back to Mies Van Der Roh’s Farnsworth House, near where I grew up. But this home is called The Glass Pavilion, designed by Steve Hermann, and it is almost 14,000 square feet! A little big but I am still head over heels in love!

Set within a 3.5+/- acre estate of oak groves in Montecito, this almost entirely glass home allows occupants to be enveloped by  nature. As you drive down the long gated driveway, it slowly comes into view.

And it appears weightless, through the use of massive structural steel beams, as if it hovers above the expansive lawn. As you can imagine, the budget to build this home was virtually limit-less and it took six years to complete — well, this is California. The glass panels are all created of Star Fire glass, an incredibly clear glass usually reserved for jewelry displays. Kitchens and baths by Varena, Poliform and Antonio Lupi. The home has five bedrooms, five and a half baths, grand hallway and large wine room. (Do you see that walk-through shower?) The glass pavilion includes an art gallery where the owners currently display their vintage car collection. The space is so generous that it is capable of holding up to 32 cars within its walnut lined walls. I mean, you could practically hold the Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance in there!

The price is $23,900,000 and it has been reduced. I have been telling you — this is a great time to buy a house. Or maybe just buy love! And for a real weekend treat, sit back with a crisp glass of Pinot and watch this video — from the “mahvelous” Kevin Day Media. Crank up the volume! Enjoy!

Want to win my heart for Valentine’s Day? Then snap up this little $65 million dollar estate on 8.04 acres on Jupiter Island, not too far from Tiger Wood’s estate.¬† Ariana Huffington, you should really consider this home as a great investment with your new millions. 9 bedrooms, 13.5 baths, 17,825 square feet. 172′ of oceanfront & 370′ on the Intracoastal Waterway with 6 buildings including garage space for 17 cars. Main house overlooks the Intracoastal, with formal living & dining rooms, great room, gourmet kitchen, wine room, library, den & combined media room & game room. Grill house adjoins a 50′ pool overlooking the Intracoastal, with tennis court nearby. Coach house features 4 car garage down, with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths kitchen and living room. Carriage house includes 6 car garage down, with gym & office up. Oceanfront guest house offers 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, kitchen and living room with something you wont need here, a fireplace. Boat shed will park 7 cars, or any combination of cars & smaller boats. Dock will accommodate a large yacht & includes 2 boat lifts for smaller craft. West lawn allows for a 5500 SF Putting Green with 1 Bunker & 1 Tee set up for 80 yd Pitch shots.

I have never understood the need for a sitting area in the Master bedroom. A chair or two, but if the closet is large enough — and walk-in — why do you need a sofa in the master? Can someone please explain? This $17,995,000 over the top home is in Los Angeles, of course: over 9,200 sq.ft. of living space, lower Bel Air, almost 35,000 sq.ft. of verdant grounds overlooking the Bel Air Country Club golf course.¬† Spacious public rooms include the lovely formal living room, grand formal dining room, library, & family room. The large kitchen is a chef’s dream with professional Viking & Traulsen appliances, center island, & separate breakfast area. The 2nd level of the estate houses all 6 bedrooms, all en suite, including the luxurious master suite with fireplace, sitting area, separate office, & dual baths & walk-in closets. The lower level of the home offers great space for entertaining with media & game room. The grounds are extraordinary with pool, spa, lawns, mature trees, Japanese meditation garden, & European garden with picturesque domed arbor. Wow.

My my we could fit the whole dang family in this gorgeous bedroom. This is how the folks live in Thousand Oaks, CA: 2500 White Stallion Road, great address, Westlake Village. 16,000 square feet, 23.48 acres — you will want horses — 7 bedrooms, 11 baths, formals out the wahzoo, media, pool, outdoor kitchen, all of it. $19,999,000.