Stephan SardoneParting is such sweet sorrow. At least it is for us at CandysDirt when one of our favorite homebuilders puts his sensational reno on the market.

Stephan Sardone, owner of Sardone Construction, took the L-Streets house at 10229 Linkwood Dr. in Lake Highlands to the studs and reimagined the space entirely. What emerged is extraordinary—we’ve written about it twice, here and here.

“We essentially demolished its entire insides and redesigned it into an open concept that maximized every inch of the home,” he said. “We were able to fit three full bedrooms and two full bathrooms—and the master bath is really large—as well as an incredible open living space and nice-sized kitchen.”

Stephan SardoneTo make this house happen, Sardone partnered with Larry Paschall of HPD Architecture in Oak Lawn. Together, they totally overhauled the 1,320-square-foot interior. They moved all interior walls, changed the layout of the space, and created a vaulted ceiling with wood beams by pushing out a gable on the roof.

Sardone’s abode served both as a home for him and his wife, and as a contractor showcase to show potential clients just how to create a smart, efficient design. It was a no-brainer to choose it as today’s Thursday Three Hundred. It was listed Friday by Michael Cassell at Gilchrist & Company Real Estate for $379,900.

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All photos: Kevin Twitty

In January, I wrote a post called 5 Dallas Interior Designers to Watch in 2015 and Kevin Twitty of Frisco’s IBB Design Fine Furnishings made that list.

Twitty creates original, inspired interiors and shows tremendous ambition and attention to detail in his work. He seems to have an intuitive nature that helps translate a client’s wants and needs into beautiful, functional spaces that serve as the stage to create their memories.

Since I published that post, I’ve wanted to talk to Twitty and find out more about his background, influences, design process, and upcoming projects. As I suspected, he’s a genuinely likable guy with a great story, incredible passion, and a general joy of living that he brings to his work.

Kevin Twitty_Headshot

All photos courtesy of Kevin Twitty

Twitty got his professional start following his first semester at Stephen F. Austin State University, where he was an accounting majoring. On winter break, he took a job at a small showroom at the Dallas Trade Mart helping with visual displays.

“Day one on the job was a 12-hour marathon of learning, creating, and refining new designs and it left me yearning for more,” he recalled. “When I returned home that evening and shared my day with my mother, tears started to run down her face as she told me, ‘You’ve found what you are meant to do. I’ve never seen you this happy.’”

Upon return to college, he changed his major to interior design and never looked back. That showroom job lasted for seven years.

“My time there was invaluable to my growth as a designer and I was able to hone my skills and better understand scale, space, and balance,” he said. “I’ve now spent the better part of a decade making spaces of all kinds beautiful and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.”

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All photos: Sardone Construction

All photos: Sardone Construction

Stephan Sardone did not arrive at his career in home renovation by direct route.

The Flower Mound native headed to graduate school with the intention of earning his masters, then traveling to Papua, New Guinea, to work with indigenous tribes and translate their native languages, as well as aid with microfinance projects and community development.

Now, with two masters degrees in hand, he performs a different kind of community work: helping Dallas homeowners translate their vision for a home remodel into reality.

The transition started with a side business during his undergrad days. Sardone was an eager student with an entrepreneurial spirit and a knack for laying tile. It lasted into his graduate school days, and he drove around in a minivan, filled to the brim with tiles, and took on clients under the name Tile Fast.

“Tile Fast was never supposed to go anywhere, it was just supposed to teach me business and such, but then it turned into kitchen remodeling, then into full-scale remodeling,” he said. “It took about six months after I graduated to realize I was going to stay in the business because I really liked it.”

Stephan Sardone portrait

He changed the name of his company to Sardone Construction in 2010 and has earned accolades as his reputation has grown for creating smart and efficient designs that maximize space in a truly beautiful way.

The most important thing is to do really high quality work, have high standards, and give our clients a good experience,” he said.

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All photos courtesy Erik Schuessler

All photos courtesy Erik Schuessler

When Erik Schuessler first encountered the midcentury modern house at 1434 Bar Harbor Cir. in the Wynnewood Hills neighborhood of Oak Cliff, he fell in love with its potential and retro aesthetic. As he renovated the 4,600-square-foot beauty and learned more about it, he also grew fascinated by its history.

In its heyday, Bar Harbor Drive was known as “Pill Hill” because so many doctors lived on the street. The house’s original resident, Dr. John B. Chester, ran Parkland Hospital and later ventured out on his own with The Chester Clinic and Hospital.

Dallas Morning News society editor Ann Draper wrote a piece in the early 1960s on his wife, Charlotte Chester, which described the Bar Harbor house as “among the most unusual and elegant in Oak Cliff. An indoor swimming pool has been a favorite with large and small groups of guests, as have rooms in the living area, which lend themselves to any number. Set in a wooded area, the house is on the very edge of the Oak Cliff Country Club’s No. 2 green of the golf course.”

1434 Bar Harbor

Located near the intersection of W. Redbird Lane and S. Polk Street, south of Highway 67, the house was what Schuessler describes as “pretty beat up” when he purchased it in early 2012.

“You can tell it was designed so well, and the way it was built is head and shoulders above many other midcenturies I’ve seen, and newer properties,” Schuessler said. “You can look in every corner and see that it was thought out. I fell in love with the aesthetic of the house.”

And thus began a three-year renovation for Schuessler and his girlfriend Meredith Moore, with Schuessler as the general contractor, carefully overseeing every detail of the revamp. The goal was to bring the house back to its original glory and perhaps make it even better by updating key elements, like HVAC, pool equipment, and the roof.

He is selling the house himself—it is listed for $475,000, or around $100 a square foot—but the intent was never to flip the property. It was to restore it.

“I think most flips are terrifying—it’s a ‘beige-ification’ with beige walls, Berber carpets, boring, boring, boring, nothing original to the style of the house except for maybe a pillar or two,” he said. “I’ve had a couple of houses and I buy a place, I really get into it, live in for three to five years, then move on. I find myself enamored by a place or an area and I have to buy it.” Jump to read more and see photos!

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All photos courtesy Russell Ross

All photos courtesy Russell Ross

When Russell Ross took on his first interior design job, his bosses only let him make 50 percent of the design decisions and the pay was zero, but he was hooked.

Turns out it was an addition to his family’s home in Oklahoma and his parents were in charge, so getting about half his design ideas implemented was pretty great for a pre-teen.

“I’ve always had interest in design since I helped my dad build an addition on to our house,” Ross said. “I was only 10 or 11, but was fascinated by building, designing, and selecting finishes. I remember a couple of evenings sitting down with my mom and dad looking at drapery fabrics, light fixtures, wallpapers, wood stain colors, and carpet samples and my dad asked me my opinion.”

Russell Ross

Fast-forward to 2015 and you’ll find Ross bringing his calm presence and analytical mind to interior design projects all over Texas and around the United States. His West Village firm, Russell Ross Design, rebranded last year from the name Intuitive Design, and he is tackling design projects that include the revitalization of two 1980’s homes, designing a fitness center with an affluent retired football player in Southlake, and working on a new construction house in Vaquero Club in Westlake, with elements like a floating walnut staircase, a powder room with a lighted floor, and dramatic two-story fireplace.

“I think we are known best for being able to listen to each individual client, and marry their tastes and needs with our creativity and unique style, to give them the homes of their dreams,” he said. “Our intent is to create one-of-a-kind looks for each client.” Jump to read all about his designs and see pics!

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2015 trends

Wallpapers, blue pops of color, and subtle midcentury modern accents are all on Zillow Digs’ trend forecast for 2015. Photo courtesy Zillow Digs/S + H Construction

Style makers, movers, and shakers, 2015 is going to be a beautiful year, one that is “modern, yet approachable.”

At least, it is according to Zillow Digs, which has announced the top five 2015 trends in their annual Home Trend Forecast, as well as which four fads from 2014 are on their way to the style graveyard.

The top 2015 trends will include cowhide accents in unexpected places, gold fixtures in brighter tones than the past, and wallpaper in all sorts of new styles, textures, and colors.

Style losers include chevron patterns, matchy-match furniture, and the super-saturated colors that have dominated interior palettes for the past few years.

“Home design will embark on a dramatic shift in 2015, moving far away from the bright jewel tones and overused chevron and ikat patterns that took 2014 by storm,” said Kerrie Kelly, Zillow Digs design expert. “Unexpected textures and an eclectic, modern vibe are about to find their way in 2015. Expect to see a more sophisticated look in 2015 that incorporates gold hardware, natural textures, and a subtle midcentury modern undertone.”

The forecast combines data from a survey of leading interior designers and an analysis of the most popular photos on Zillow Digs. Let’s take a look at  these burgeoning 2015 trends, and those on the way out. Click through to see the lists!

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5328 Quail Run Front

Every once in a while, a cool house will come along that will have me practically screaming, “JUST GO AHEAD AND TAKE MY MONEY!” They are usually crazy unique, fun homes with dramatic spaces and vintage charm. I am a sucker for those midcentury modern homes with original details, ones that are like time capsules, catapulting you back to when smoking was a harmless habit, day-drinking the norm, and seatbelts were optional.

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8911 Rolling Rock Curb

This house is pretty much the sexiest. From the first time I saw this beautifully redone midcentury modern in Lakeland Hills, I was in love. Just positively smitten. It’s totally remodeled with everything you want including a brand new kitchen and it’s inside Richardson ISD.

And did I mention that it’s sexy? Because it totally is!

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