“Live tweeting from the bathroom of my high school reunion. Two beers in. Ask me anything,” I tweeted in homage of Reddit’s popular AMA format.

That’s right, I started writing this CandysDirt.com column from the women’s restroom of Saint Rocco’s, the Trinity Groves venue hosting my Lake Highlands High School 20-year reunion. But I wasn’t having a John Hughes 1980s movie meltdown moment. I was simply feeling reflective about something I’d been honestly dreading for weeks.

Why would anyone put themselves through that? Now that Facebook has made catching up with old high school friends as swift as clicking a button to “Add Friend,” it admittedly seems pointless. But I’m going to make a bold assertion, so hear me out: Going to your high school reunion could actually be good for you. Here are four reasons why:

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high school reunion

It’s been 21 years since Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion came out, but the scars of high school at Lake Highlands are still as relevant as this classic movie.

When the postcard came in the mail, I read the words “Lake Highlands High School Class of 1998 20-Year Reunion” and audibly groaned. Not because I don’t love my Wildcat alma mater; I really do. But the miser in me doesn’t want to pay $72 to put my social awkwardness on display, and that doesn’t even cover an open bar of liquid courage. I call it extroversion on the rocks.

“But you have to go. It’s your high school reunion,” a miniature-sized Shelby whispered in my ear, though I’m not sure if this mini-me on my shoulders was dressed in white or red. I was genuinely torn. Generally when I write, I do so to inform and help answer reader questions, but transparently I often write to figure out how to do things — I needed to figure out how to go to my high school reunion.

There’s a few ways to go about this:

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Artist rendering of the Villas of Lake Highlands. Photo: David Weekley Homes

Artist rendering of Villas of Lake Highlands. All photos: David Weekley Homes

Houston-based David Weekley Homes is building their second community in East Dallas, with five houses ready for move-in this summer.

Villas of Lake Highlands will be a private gated community of detached, single-family houses near White Rock Lake at E. Northwest Highway and Plano Road. At build-out, the development will have 80 houses.

Prices start at $410,000 and the houses range in size from 2,308 to 2,904 square feet with five different floorplans. All will be built on 32-foot home sites.

Villas of Lake Highlands

 

HOA fees will be $1,450 per year, with a $300 capitalization fee at time of purchase. Community amenities will include include a dog park and swimming pool.

The area is zoned for Richardson ISD, with assigned schools Lake Highlands Elementary School, Lake Highlands Middle School, Lake Highlands Freshman Core, and Lake Highlands High School.

Here’s a quick look at the five houses available this summer.

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Knudson Home by Jennifer Pickett

(Drawing of the Knudson home: Jennifer Pickett)

UPDATE: The Holiday in the Highlands Home Tour day was previously incorrect. It is Friday, Dec. 6. And like the US Postal Service, the show will go on whether ice, snow, sleet, or whatever else Mother Nature may throw our way!

Full of family homes and interesting architecture from myriad styles and schools, Lake Highlands is an incredible neighborhood that spans a broad swath of northeast Dallas. A stone’s throw from White Rock Lake, the area not only has views and amenities, but considering that much of the area is inside the Richardson ISD attendance boundaries means it attracts families with school-aged kids.

But not everyone uproots when the kids graduate and move off to college on their own. In fact, there’s a lovely community of women in the Lake Highlands Women’s League that has truly stood the test of time. Each year this group donates money and time to great causes throughout their community, funding their endeavors with their annual Holiday in the Highlands Home Tour.

This year the Sunday FRIDAY, Dec. 6, tour will include some amazing homes, but you’ll love the people inside these great houses, too. Take Suzanne Knudson, for instance, who, along with her husband, Mark, is opening up their Lake Highlands home for this year’s tour. Suzanne took a few moments to answer some questions about her house, her community, and this year’s home tour.

Keep reading to find out how you can win a pair of tickets to this year’s home tour after the jump!

CandysDirt.com: What are your favorite design elements in your home and why?

Suzanne Knudson: It would be the openness that brings our home to life.

CD: Which rooms do you and your family love the most?

Suzanne: First it would be our kitchen which reflects my love of cooking. We also love our “Flamingo Lounge,” better known as the “party room” with a full-service, large granite bar and 144 wine bottle cellar refrigerator for entertaining our guests. My husband, Mark, loves the dinning room, because it lets us sit comfortably and enjoy our family and friends.

CD: What are you doing to prepare for the Holiday in the Highlands home tour on Dec. 6?

Suzanne: Our remodeling had been completed in 2012, so all I have done is added some fun art and decorated with all my many years of Christmas decorations.

CD: What feature, furnishing, or artwork should home tour goers pay special attention to?

Suzanne: Our home is a reflection of us the Knudsons, including our dogs all over the house! We love all our artwork, The Dirty Chef Coat, “All Done” in the kitchen, the Tango Dancers in the main room and the funky art collection in our bar room.

CD: What does it mean for you to have your home featured on this long-running tour, benefitting the community through the Lake Highlands Women’s League?

Suzanne: It means a lot for Mark and I to be able to give back in this special way and help out our Lake Highlands community. We feel very blessed to have raised our children in Lake Highlands and I personally have loved being a member of Lake Highlands Womens League all these many years …

Want to win a pair of tickets to the Holiday in the Highlands Home Tour from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6? Comment below and confirm your entry by sending your name and daytime phone number to jo@candysdirt.com! We’ll select a winner after 5 p.m. today!

8517 Rolling Rock Front

It’s rare the we have a Tuesday Two Hundred that is a bona fide beauty queen, but today’s featured property was on last year’s White Rock Home Tour. This gorgeous Midcentury Modern made heads turn and faces green, and if you were one of the envious tour goers, now’s your chance to snap up this amazing home in Lakeland Hills for just $295,000.

8517 Rolling Rock Courtyard

This home is like a work of art and definitely makes a visual impact. Of course, this area is known for its architectural variation, with traditionals, moderns, and new construction all sitting side-by-side. This home is build for entertaining neighbors near and far, with two outdoor living areas, one of which greets visitors in the courtyard between the gate and the front door. Just north of Northwest Highway, this home is in the Richardson Independent School District and feeds into Lake Highlands High School.

8517 Rolling Rock Entry

Listed by the Mid-Mod Man himself, Brandon Stewart of David Griffin Realtors says this property has been completely renovated inside and out by its architect owner. Featuring Low-E windows and a host of cool green improvements, this home is both modern and vintage. While there are tons of upgrades, there’s still plenty of midcentury charm in this house, including the wall divider in the living room and the flagstone floor in the entry.

8517 Rolling Rock Living

 

This is a house where you’ll be glad for a high privacy fence because there’s no way you’d want to put window dressings up on these floor-to-ceiling windows. The living areas, of which there are two, feature clerestory windows that flood this home with plenty of light. The house has some amazing textural and color variations, with natural materials such as hardwoods, granite, flagstone, bamboo, and quartz all making appearances.

8517 Rolling Rock Kitchen

The kitchen is what you’d expect for a midcentury home, but I was hoping perhaps in the overhaul the galley would be opened up a bit more to the living areas. Still, the rich wood cabinetry and stainless appliances look amazing, and the huge windows around the sink help give the kitchen a more open feel.

8517 Rolling Rock Den

The bathrooms are fully modern and completely renovated. The guest bath features a linen ceramic tile, custom vanities and vessel sinks. While these finishes may seem a little cold, the honey-stained bamboo backsplash definitely warms the room up. The custom tile in the tub surround is an interesting architectural feature, too.

8517 Rolling Rock Guest Bath

The master bedroom is big and welcoming, with a huge mirror surrounded by wood on one side. I love that the owner maintained the same feel and finishes throughout the home, and integrated the bedside tables into the wall.

8517 Rolling Rock Master

The master bath, well, it’s a bit of a head-scratcher. It looks like there’s no glass between the commode and the multi-head shower, only a shower curtain rod. If I’m not mistaken, these types of shower heads are a little too powerful to go without a glass surround. Unless you want to get splashed, if you have to use the loo while someone’s showering, your best bet is to go down the hall into the guest area.

8517 Rolling Rock Master Bath

I am in love with the backyard, which has a neatly bordered lawn and an expansive deck, a great combo for entertaining crowds big and small. There’s also a custom storage shed in the back that doesn’t look a bit like a shed at all.

8517 Rolling Rock Backyard

I have a feeling that this property won’t be on the market for long. What about you?

8517 Rolling Rock Front

It’s rare the we have a Tuesday Two Hundred that is a bona fide beauty queen, but today’s featured property was on last year’s White Rock Home Tour. This gorgeous Midcentury Modern made heads turn and faces green, and if you were one of the envious tour goers, now’s your chance to snap up this amazing home in Lakeland Hills for just $295,000.

8517 Rolling Rock Courtyard

This home is like a work of art and definitely makes a visual impact. Of course, this area is known for its architectural variation, with traditionals, moderns, and new construction all sitting side-by-side. This home is build for entertaining neighbors near and far, with two outdoor living areas, one of which greets visitors in the courtyard between the gate and the front door. Just north of Northwest Highway, this home is in the Richardson Independent School District and feeds into Lake Highlands High School.

8517 Rolling Rock Entry

Listed by the Mid-Mod Man himself, Brandon Stewart of David Griffin Realtors says this property has been completely renovated inside and out by its architect owner. Featuring Low-E windows and a host of cool green improvements, this home is both modern and vintage. While there are tons of upgrades, there’s still plenty of midcentury charm in this house, including the wall divider in the living room and the flagstone floor in the entry.

8517 Rolling Rock Living

 

This is a house where you’ll be glad for a high privacy fence because there’s no way you’d want to put window dressings up on these floor-to-ceiling windows. The living areas, of which there are two, feature clerestory windows that flood this home with plenty of light. The house has some amazing textural and color variations, with natural materials such as hardwoods, granite, flagstone, bamboo, and quartz all making appearances.

8517 Rolling Rock Kitchen

The kitchen is what you’d expect for a midcentury home, but I was hoping perhaps in the overhaul the galley would be opened up a bit more to the living areas. Still, the rich wood cabinetry and stainless appliances look amazing, and the huge windows around the sink help give the kitchen a more open feel.

8517 Rolling Rock Den

The bathrooms are fully modern and completely renovated. The guest bath features a linen ceramic tile, custom vanities and vessel sinks. While these finishes may seem a little cold, the honey-stained bamboo backsplash definitely warms the room up. The custom tile in the tub surround is an interesting architectural feature, too.

8517 Rolling Rock Guest Bath

The master bedroom is big and welcoming, with a huge mirror surrounded by wood on one side. I love that the owner maintained the same feel and finishes throughout the home, and integrated the bedside tables into the wall.

8517 Rolling Rock Master

The master bath, well, it’s a bit of a head-scratcher. It looks like there’s no glass between the commode and the multi-head shower, only a shower curtain rod. If I’m not mistaken, these types of shower heads are a little too powerful to go without a glass surround. Unless you want to get splashed, if you have to use the loo while someone’s showering, your best bet is to go down the hall into the guest area.

8517 Rolling Rock Master Bath

I am in love with the backyard, which has a neatly bordered lawn and an expansive deck, a great combo for entertaining crowds big and small. There’s also a custom storage shed in the back that doesn’t look a bit like a shed at all.

8517 Rolling Rock Backyard

I have a feeling that this property won’t be on the market for long. What about you?

I have a small child, so, invariably it seems, he will turn into a shrill, soul-sucking monster just as soon as my mother-in-law leaves from babysitting him. Thank goodness he’s super cute, right?

Somedays, though, I really do consider moving into a home that has an in-law suite. Something private that will be comfortable for Mimi to stay in so she doesn’t have to drive all over creation to come and baby sit every once in a while. An in-home nanny would be living the dream, amiright?

If you’re looking for a home with a second suite, 9363 Hunters Creek is perfect. Presented by Keller Williams’ Matthew Scobee, this five-bedroom, four-and-a-half bath home has two good-sized main floor suites, with the other three bedrooms on the second floor. With 3,459 square feet you won’t even run into the in laws if you play your cards right! And it’s pretty affordable, too, at $327,000.

While the downstairs has fresh moulding and paint in the living and dining areas, the kitchen will need some attention. At the very least a cabinet re-facing is in order, as well as some new appliances. If you’re going to go whole hog, though, might as well rip the whole thing out and start over.

The master bath, with double glass vessel vanities, a slate shower and a jetted tub, is ready to party. Nothing I’d change in there.

Speaking of parties, you can throw a heck of one in the backyard, where there’s a hot tub! I wonder if it’s a time machine?!

Is an in-law suite something that people look for, and would it be a selling point for you?

Let’s do some word association, mmmmmmkay?

When I say “starter home,” what pops into your mind?

For me, I think of three bedrooms, two baths, well-priced and with good schools. Not terribly small but not overwhelmingly huge. And dollars to donuts, it’s inside LBJ.

It’s no accident that today’s Tuesday Two Hundred fits those requirements and then some. This L Streets cutie, 9626 Leaside Drive from Vicki White of Dallas City Center Realtors, has 1,381 square feet and packs every last one of them with stainless, granite, and wood everywhere, huge windows and tons of natural light, and is just $229,000.

You read that right. With this house, a young couple could stay for several years, especially considering the Richardson ISD schools and great shopping nearby. And it’s inside 635, but just barely, so it’s still pretty accessible.

With three bedrooms, there’s enough space for a master, a children’s room, and an office or guest room. The bedrooms benefit from gigantic windows, which really brighten up the house and show off the new flooring and designer paint.

The bathrooms are completely redone and have the kind of mosaic tile you normally see in homes that cost twice what this one does. With all of the remodeling that’s been done to this house, I can definitely see a Gen Y-er moving in.

Outside there’s a really sweet deck, which will make this house party central, at least until the homeowners-to-be have a little bundle of joy. Or two!