luxury homes
Jonathan Rosen with The Collective knows a thing or two about selling luxury homes. He has just closed a deal on  3925 Centenary Avenue in University Park in two days. Now you may think ho-hum, OK. Well my dears, this is a $5.85 million sale! And we repeat, he went to contract in two days. (more…)

2016 homebuilding trends

“Barnitecture” is one of the big 2016 homebuilding trends, with elements like rough-hewn ceiling beams mixed with more contemporary elements. This home is by LRO Residential. Photo: Shoot2Sell Photography

The 2015 real estate market in Dallas-Fort Worth went down in the books as the best in three decades, and year-end housing construction numbers placed Dallas as one of the country’s top building markets.

North Texas is headquarters to some enormously talented (and busy!) builders. We’ve asked the best and brightest among them to tell us their predictions for 2016 homebuilding trends. They’ve also given us some gorgeous photos that illustrate how those trends are showing up in their work. You won’t want to miss this!



3615 Amherst Fountain back

Rarely do you see a home take such fantastic advantage of a unique lot in such a special way as this luxurious transitional design from Stocker Hoestry Montenegro Architects does. Built by Approved Builder Tatum Brown Custom Homes from the finest materials, this is a home that feels so seamlessly integrated into the land that there is no beginning or end, just a timeless, elegant design that hugs one of the most sought-after spots on Turtle Creek — Culture Gulch.

When you fall for a home like this — and once you see the interiors staged by Cindy Musgrove of Blu Sky Living, you will fall hard — you want to make sure your financing is bombproof. There’s no better person to call than Lisa Peters of Caliber Home Loans, as she’ll make sure you get the right loan to make closing a breeze.


Photo courtesy Greico Modern Homes

Photo courtesy Greico Modern Homes

The homebuilding market in DFW is super hot, and with a new year comes new trends. Candy already mentioned the emergence of the skullery, but there’s more!

We’ve asked the best and brightest North Texas homebuilders to look into their crystal balls and make predictions about homebuilding trends for 2015. They’ve also given us some sublime photos that illustrate those trends in action in their own work. You won’t want to miss this—jump to read the whole story!


This kitchen boasts a built in coffee maker (Photo Credit: Tatum Brown Custom Homes)

This kitchen boasts plenty of sleek built-ins. (Photo: Tatum Brown Custom Homes)

Would you ever consider using unique, fun colored cabinets in your kitchen? If you’re a trendsetter and a client of Tatum Brown Custom Homes, you might.

“People are getting away from doing the all-white kitchens,” says Mark Danuser, President of Tatum Brown. “They are actually starting to use a lot more fun colors, like shades of taupe, champagne and grey.”

People are willing to use more non-traditional decor and finishes than in previous years, and Danuser attributes this to social media and the popularity of home improvement shows. He says his clients can now visualize things they might not have otherwise been able to imagine themselves, and because they can see what these ideas actually look like, they are more willing to go for it in their own homes, he said.



Constantly at the top of the region’s best builders list, and a Approved Builder, Tatum Brown Custom Homes are known for their quality and longevity. Founder Mark Danuser works hard to bring great design, excellent materials, and top-notch workmanship to his customers, which are some of the most fiercely loyal in the industry.

Danuser, who has built homes for the creme de la creme of North Texas, knows how to build a home that will capitalize on the latest technology while still producing the timeless structures for which his brand is known. We asked Mark to tell us what prospective custom home clients will see as emerging home building trends in 2014.

“Clients are moving toward a fully functional home – one that works for the way they live every day and for how they entertain,” Danuser said. “Formal living rooms are still on floor plans, but they’re becoming a useable space – often more open to other areas of the home.”


Besides creating multi-functional spaces, decor will have to become more flexible, too, and perhaps even more casual to allow for spaces that serve as hubs for guests.

“We’ve seen a lot of clients move away from the traditional home theater rooms as well, preferring to have multi-use spaces suitable for entertaining and televisions in all common areas, including outdoors,” Danuser added.

While we were seeing the grand double-staircase foyer as a huge trend just a few years ago, Danuser believes homeowners will forego these impact-making additions and choosing to focus space and resources toward the living and entertaining areas.


“Recently, we’ve done several homes with staircases located away from the front entry or homes with a single staircase,” Danuser said. “Our clients are getting more creative with the stair railings as well – cantilevered stairs, mixtures of materials like glass and iron, interesting railing designs, etc.”

And more homeowners are choosing to simplify when it comes to design, too. Danuser says that clean, simple lines continue to dominate. “We’ve seen a big push for all things natural and lighter – from raw beams on the ceiling to sealed-only wood floors with no stain,” he said.


And homes that are easy to care for are a big trend, too, as low-maintenance materials and finishes are coming back in a big way. “Where the trend was all marble for many years, our clients are now asking for materials like quartz that don’t require constant upkeep,” Danuser said. “This is especially true in kitchens.”

That’s excellent news, especially as homebuyers are looking for well-constructed homes that will look brand new for years to come.


6909 TokalonYou give me a list of the top streets to live on in Dallas and Tokalon is right there, maybe at the top. I love Beverly Drive and Overhill and would kill (not really) to live on Lexington. I lived on Park Lane and love it, particularly where it winds down to Sunnybrook and then down to where Mark Danuser of Tatum Brown is building on the old Heath property. I love Sunnybrook and Audubon. Oh, Alice Circle! Strait Lane, meh — give me Crooked Creek instead. And how can I forget Nonesuch!

But Tokalon has the trees and topography, and I swear anyone comes up here from Austin, finds themselves on Tokalon, they will be totally confused and think, wait, where am I? Dallas or Austin?

6909 Tokalon exterior azaelasWell, David Griffin just listed one of the most amazing homes on Tokalon, a beautiful, charming, gracious Southern colonial originally built in the 1930’s that is so perfectly situated on a hilltop, you will think it’s am movie set. This home has not been on the market for 37 years, ever. It has, however, been loved, enlarged and sensitively remodeled to maintain the quality and integrity of the original home but still embrace life in the 21st century.

As if it’s southern belle perfect was not enough — and that columned porch that takes my breath away!!! — the home has almost .7 of a verdant, treed acre, accessed via a serpentine Pennsylvania blue stone pathway cascading forward under tall trees.

Tara, this is Tara.

The exterior is surfaced in irregularly cut Austin stone, and the floor length first floor windows as well as the second floor windows are fitted with operable shutters. One look at that stone and you will see why we go gaga over it as a building product here in Texas. Texas stone doesn’t last a lifetime, it lasts a millenium.

The home has a classic central foyer hall flanked by living room on one side, huge formal dining on the other. Tucked off of the living room is a cozy paneled library with a real bay window.

6909 Tokalon foyer 6909 Tokalon staircase 6909 Tokalon Living room 6909 Tokalon studyYou have heard me speak of Morning Rooms or Keeping rooms. Well, here is one for the record books in Dallas and it isn’t even a $12 million dollar mansion. The beamed ceiling’d morning room overlooks a New Orleans- inspired rear garden, a motor court entrance and a large, light filled garden room. There is a wet bar with an ice maker in the morning room to keep the Mint Julips we will be served at the right temperature and properly iced.

The kitchen is so very 21st century, but retains a nod to the home’s pedigree with a beaded wood ceiling and a herringbone patterned floor. There are butcher block islands, no granite (don’t faint)  plus a 5-burner Gaggenau gas cooktop, 2 Gaggenau ovens, a 5-burner Miele electric cook-top, and 2 Miele dishwashers. This is a kitchen for dead-serious cooks, not people like me who reheat takeout. In between the kitchen and the two-car attached garage is a large fist floor utility room.

6909 Tokalon dining 6909 Tokalon kitchen 6909 Tokalon real dining 6909 Tokalon port cochere entThen there is the “Great Room”: carved antique fireplace at the end of the room, a large wet bar with a wine fridge in the other. (I’ll have another mint julip, please.) Oh those arched niches for books, the rich, dark stained wainscoting, and reinforced beams: this room is the heart of the home.

Upstairs: three bedrooms, including the master suite with a  “den sized” screen porch facing the lushly landscaped rear garden. The master bath has marble finishes, double vanities, a separate shower and a Kohler tub plus two large walk-in closets.

6909 Tokalon master 6909 Tokalon master bath 6909 Tokalon porchThe other two bedrooms have updated baths. There is another room and full bath on the third floor. There are two patios off the rear garden. The second patio is at the property’s highest point, is covered with a wisteria-laden arbor, has an outdoor fireplace and built-in outdoor grill.

As if there is not enough in 6909 Tokalon to take you back to a charming, more mannered and gracious time every single minute you live in this home, please make sure you serve the next round of Mint Julips next to the cascading fountain and reflecting pool off the second garden.6909 Tokalon patio 5909 Tokalon longshot

David Griffin, of course, has this listing and it can be your’s for a mere $1,850,000.

I would much rather it could be mine!





Mark's Headshot

We swear that Mark Danuser’s brain never takes a break, the wheels are constantly spinning for this incredible builder behind the Tatum Brown Custom Homes brand. Sure he’s incredibly smart and has more energy than a toddler high on Halloween candy, but he’s down-to-earth, too.

You’ll know Danuser best by his portfolio of amazing, award-winning homes, which has earned him a spot as a Approved Builder. Find out more about the man behind the brand after the jump! Where are you from?
Mark Danuser: I was born and raised in Columbia, Missouri. I arrived in Dallas by way of New York and Los Angeles.

CD: How did you get into custom home construction?
Danuser: My summer jobs growing up were always in construction — roofing, installing kitchen cabinets, selling plumbing fixtures, etc. When we relocated to Dallas, it was the perfect opportunity to jump in with both feet.

CD: What project are you most proud of?
Danuser: There are so many projects we’re proud of, but the home we built at 11310 Crestbrook stands out. Not only did it win numerous ARC awards, but D Home Magazine named it as one of the 10 Most Beautiful Homes in Dallas. As an added bonus, the clients became some of our closest friends and we just finished a new home for them, as well.

CD: Where is home for you in Dallas?
Danuser: University Park

CD: What’s your favorite neighborhood in Dallas to build in and why?
Danuser: We’ve done some incredible projects in the Park Cities and Preston Hollow. And, Bluffview holds a special place in my heart because the topography reminds me of my hometown in Missouri.

CD: What materials or shapes evoke your signature style?
Danuser: The key Tatum Brown signature is high-quality construction. We’ve worked with a number of architects that have brought a different perspective to home concepts – from traditional estate projects to a more modern flair. From an interiors perspective, our design team signature is creating unique homes with clean lines.

CD: What was your most memorable project?
Danuser: The most memorable project for me wasn’t actually a house – it was the entry gate for President Bush’s neighborhood when he moved back to Dallas. It was such an honor to work with the President and Mrs. Bush.

CD: How many projects reached completion last year?
Danuser: 11

CD: What have you learned about building that makes you so successful?
Danuser: We are laser focused on providing a great experience for our clients during the building process. And we don’t compromise on quality. It’s important to us that a Tatum Brown home stands the test of time.

CD: If you ever change careers for an encore you’ll…
Danuser: Right now I’m enjoying this too much to think about an encore, but I would definitely do something entrepreneurial.