Hollywood Heights

This home at 903 Valencia is a perfect example of a Hollywood Heights stone-embellished Tudor. (Photo: Kim Leeson)

When I started looking for a home as a newlywed in 1990, my British husband was traveling for work in Europe. He said, “Dahling, just find something as close to a thatched cottage as possible.” Little did he suspect that in bright, shiny new-build Dallas, I’d do just that. I found a charming little bungalow that was just perfect for building my nest, lodging my revolving door of rescue pups, and eventually raising my son.

I also found a lot more in this eclectic East Dallas Conservation District.

I found great neighbors, and the sort of unity I’ve only experienced growing up on military bases around the world. When we lost power recently, my next-door neighbors, who are on a different grid, let us run an extension cord from their home so we could get on the internet. A few years ago, when our internet went out, my other next door neighbor gave me her password so I could continue writing.

When I moved into Hollywood Heights, one neighbor was approaching 90. She was the original homeowner of the first spec home in the neighborhood. Most of my neighbors were well past retirement age. They looked out for us young’uns, and now 29 years later, my generation is doing the same for the incoming batch of newbies.



930 Valencia

How does a four-day weekend of partying sound? Get ready because the legendary Hollywood Heights Home Tour is changing a few things up, and pulling out all the stops this year.

Hollywood Heights is an eclectic East Dallas conservation district neighborhood. It is well known for having one of the largest collections of stone-embellished Tudor Revival homes in America. You’ll also find plenty of Spanish and French Eclectic, Minimal Traditional, Craftsman, and Monterrey style homes. There are even and two Flat-Roofed Pueblo Revival style houses.


Stacey Warnix in front of her Hollywood Heights home on Hammond Avenue. (Photo: Jo England)

Stacey Warnix is opening her Hammond Ave. home to tourgoers for the neighborhood home tour this month. (Photo: Jo England)

If you think you’ve seen Stacey Warnix’s home at 6934 Hammond Ave. before, you’re not having deja vu. Our own Cassie Evans featured this home as an off-market listing just weeks ago. This five-bedroom, three-bath renovated Tudor is in one of the mos picturesque areas of Hollywood Heights and has such fabulous finish-out thanks to Warnix’s own superb tastes.

While she absolutely adores this home, Warnix is ready for a fresh start in a new house. After a previous offer fell through due to financing woes, she’s putting this beauty on MLS hoping to get more bites. Surely, buyers will love some of the creative uses of space in this lovely abode, and the second floor, a converted attic, is just so cozy and chic.

In fact, she’s had so much interest in this remodel that Warnix is planning to launch her own firm that will do upscale renovations. To get a sample of her style, don’t miss the Hollywood Santa Monica Neighborhood Association Home Tour April 25-26, where you can tour Warnix’s home as well as several other gorgeous Hollywood Heights houses. Hurry and buy your tickets today!

To see what makes a great historic renovation, jump for more photos of Warnix’s terrific Tudor.



Emily Larkin of EJ Interiors with her pup Zoe in the backyard of her Hollywood Heights home at 707 Cordova.

Emily Larkin of EJ Interiors with her pup Zoe in the backyard of her Hollywood Heights home at 707 Cordova. (Photo: Lance Selgo)

Emily Larkin, AKA “The Chair Whisperer,” could not be more thrilled about being on the Hollywood Santa Monica Neighborhood Association Home Tour this year. In fact, when I visited her adorable brick Tudor at 707 Cordova, the interior designer who works out of her backyard guesthouse had several paint swatches taped up around her home and painters tape outlines where newly designed furniture will go. Truly, for an interior designer as inspired by historic architecture as Emily Larkin is, a home tour is like the Olympics and she wants her home to win a medal. However, it’s only three and a half weeks until the two-day home tour celebration on April 25 and 26, so Emily has her work cut out for her. Luckily, this young and ambitious designer works well under pressure.

Emily and Ben Larkin's home at 707 Cordova.

Emily and Ben Larkin’s home at 707 Cordova. (Photo: Kim Leeson)


6918 Patricia Avenue

6918 Patricia Ave. (Photos: Shoot2Sell)

My first house, which became my home, is on the market today. It’s a hip pocket the amazing Britt Lopez of Dallas City Center Realtors is handling for me.

I can’t go into detail about how kind Britt Lopez is – I will save that for my book – but know that she is not only a smart, clever Realtor with a sharp mind, but she is a gracious person whose true colors shine ever so brightly.

Britt Lopez

Britt Lopez


Originally built in 1938, this Hollywood Heights jewel underwent renovations from 2007 – 2012 which included all new electrical, recessed lighting, hidden speakers in every room, fabulous insulation, a 2012 roof and gutters, a 3-ton Amana furnace and air conditioner (2010), a Rinnai gas tankless water heater (2007), and a Rain Bird programmable sprinkler system (2011). This was no DIY or Home Depot reno.



(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.


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