Cliff May Home Tour

Photo: Mindy Niehaus/Cliff May Home Tour

In the East Dallas neighborhood of Casa View Oaks, homes on the blocks surrounding Andrea Drive are selling like hotcakes. With their low-slung gabled roofs, walls of glass, and clerestory windows, these homes hit the highlight reel of everything everyone nowadays loves about midcentury modern design. Cliff May Homes floorplan brochure

In this transitioning neighborhood with tree-lined streets and upwardly mobile residents you’ll find the largest collection of Cliff May-designed homes in all of Dallas, according to Preservation Dallas.

Houses in Casa View Oaks are representative of May’s signature design: an open floor plan with an abundance of space and light beneath a low-pitched gable roof. Large expanses of glass—in both windows and doors—were used to create an open feeling and ease in circulation. Outdoor living was encouraged by the incorporation of patios and barbeque and picnic areas, in many cases doubling the “living space” of each house.

One of the selling points of the new May houses in Casa View was their modern conveniences, including disposals, built in ranges, a touch-plate lighting wall and radios with speakers throughout the house.

Add one part history, one part architecture, and a dash of house porn and you have the perfect recipe for a home tour.

In fact, it’s been a year or more since Nathan Grace Realtor Mindy Niehaus first hatched the idea of a Cliff May home tour in this neighborhood, and it’s finally getting its debut on Oct. 15. The tour, which runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and benefits the Greater Casa View Alliance, will feature seven of Cliff May’s iconic designs renovated in such diverse ways but all carrying that easygoing, California modern vibe for which May is known.

Jump for a sneak peek!

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When architect and city councilman Vernon Smith built this Oak Cliff home in 1949, much of the features were revolutionary for the time. A double carport worked well for the growing number of two-car households. The windows and lines were clean and angular. The floorplan allowed for movement throughout the space with relative ease.

And that design, while revolutionary 67 years ago, is perfect for today’s family. Thanks to sellers David and Becca Holt, both of whom are interior designers, the functional and aesthetically pleasing design of this home is updated with carefully chosen materials that stay true to its history while looking to the future.

We’re thrilled to feature this listing from David Griffin Realtor Crystal Gonzalez as our High Caliber Home of the Week sponsored by Lisa Peters of Caliber Home Loans. If you find yourself smitten with this midcentury modern home in North Oak Cliff, call Lisa Peters of Caliber Home Loans today to sail through your transaction from bid to closing.

Jump to find out more about the truly inspiring renovation of this lovely Stevens Park Estates home.

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Colvin Court Rendering

I know this is a little unorthodox for our weekly High Caliber Home of the Week feature, but we would be remiss if we didn’t draw a little attention to a cool new development right off of Gilbert Street in Oak lawn. Designed by renowned, award-winning architect Russell Buchanan, this beautiful limestone and metal grouping of eight townhomes (four duplexes) was built by Centre Living Homes and is being marketed by David Griffin & Company Realtors.

This is exactly the type of property that Dallas needs — beautiful architecture, private courtyards, greater density, and environmentally conscious construction — and is certainly fitting of being named this week’s High Caliber Home of the Week sponsored by Lisa Peters of Caliber Home Loans. If you’re ready to make your dream home a reality, call Lisa Peters of Caliber Home Loans to breeze through your purchase from bid to closing.

Jump to find out more about the delectable architecture and amenities of Colvin Court, as well as how you can get a first-look tour on Thursday, April 28.

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The metal exterior and bright orange boxes might make you think that this home at 16 Vanguard Way is a super-industrial, sterile design inside. Nothing could be further from the truth, actually.

This home, with its corrugated metal, wall of glass doors, and cantilevered shape designed by A. GRUPPO Architects will turn your conceptions of modern architecture on its head. And it’s just one of the five incredible homes on the Lake Highlands Area Early Childhood PTA Home Tour.

The modern home at 16 Vanguard Way is one of two Urban Reserve, with the second one being the Russell Buchanan-designed 29 Vanguard Way. Buchanan is known for his innovative use of industrial materials, and I’m sure this big red box will be full of surprises.

You can check these two beauties out on April 9 from 9 a.m.to noon and then head out to the Turtle Creek Association Tour of Homes, which starts at 1 p.m.

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Photo by Jeff Mitchell

Photo by Jeff Mitchell

In our ongoing series, Interview with an Architect, we speak with leading voices in the North Texas architecture community and learn about their work, development issues in our community, and good design practices and principals (you can read the last one here).

Adriana Meyer, AIA, was born in Guatemala City and attended architecture school at Universidad Francisco Marroquín, graduating in 1999.

Adriana Meyer, AIA

Adriana Meyer, AIA

She started working on residential projects while still a student, and began her career at HKS Architects in Dallas in 2000, specializing in healthcare and assisted living. Some of her projects included Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta; St. Rose Hospital, Las Vegas; Lynn Cancer Center, Boca Raton, amongst others. She worked on many aspects of these projects, but specialized in planning and exterior design.

In 2007, she founded her own firm, APM Architecture. Meyer designed modern homes throughout Texas, working in Dallas neighborhoods like Kessler Woods, Highland Park, Forest Hills, and Bluffview, as well as Central Texas’ Hill Country and Oklahoma.

All have the common thread of being environmentally conscious with a modern aesthetic. In recent years she has designed a warehouse conversion to mixed use in the Dallas Design District. She is expanding into the commercial and assisted living markets.

CandysDirt: Your first professional work with HKS had you specializing in healthcare and assisted living. What drew you to that firm and that kind of architecture? 

Adriana Meyer: I was drawn to a large firm environment for my first job in Dallas, because I wanted experience working on major projects and learn as much as possible. Healthcare was a great learning experience. I worked on planning and design. I quickly learned that focusing on how complex spaces are used, creates the best solutions. How to collaborate with a team and how to listen to clients were two of the most important lessons I learned.

I am still interested in those projects, even if my practice today is more residential/small commercial. One of the goals of APM architecture is expanding my team to allow me to work on larger projects, perhaps including healthcare in the future.

 

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Jo vs Kylo Ren

I did my best to use the force against Kylo Ren.

Huge Star Wars nerd that I am, I went to the special screening of The Force Awakens hosted by Keith’s Comics at Studio Movie Grill. Let’s just say that, if you’re a fan of the force, you’ll love this film. Big props to J.J. Abrams for doing right by the franchise. Last night, however, was pretty dang magical as a bunch of cosplayers showed up and whipped Padawans, Jedi, and Sith of all ages into a frenzy over the film’s opening.

Afterward, I wanted to take that magic home with me, maybe to a house that felt straight out of Episode VII. So I rounded up a list of five homes in Dallas-Fort Worth where the force is particularly strong. See for yourself:

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La Casa del Viento (the Wind House), built in 2013 near Jalisco, Mexico, by Carlos Avila, with architect Ricardo Agraz, and plastic arts by Adrián Guerrero. All photos by Mito Covarrubias, except where noted.

Modern architecture in the North Texas area has lots of fans, but the range of houses offered can be limited. Often, they are custom-build or luxury only.

Cavso Homes is aiming to change that with their unique style of planning and building homes. They plan to offer eco-friendly, modern houses all over DFW, ranging from affordable to luxury.

“We plan keep doing single houses and townhouses, but in about two years, we are planning to build a complete complex,” said one of Cavso’s owners Carlos Avila. “We could talk about tons of statistics explaining why Dallas is the best place for Cavso Homes to start [in the U.S., but really], the Dallas Metroplex chose us!”

Cavso homes

Fabricio Solorio, Alberto Casillas, and Carlos Avila on site at a local Cavso home. Photo courtesy of Carlos Avila

The name Cavso Homes comes from the last names of its three owners, builder Alberto Casillas, project manager Carlos Avila, and business manager Fabricio Solorio. They are based out of Guadalajara, Mexico, and now call DFW home as they offer houses for sale (they have two completed houses in Irving and five future projects planned), custom homes, and their services as builders.

“The owners of Cavso Homes came together to create a different company with an integrated view of a home, and the goal of offering clients better living,” Casillas said. “We listen what clients have to say about their new house, analyze that, and take all of it into consideration for future designs. There is also a person who follows all the steps during the life of a project in order to understand a house like the unique project it is.”

Vivo Realty agent Kimberly Mitchell is working exclusively with Cavso Homes these days, and Vivo is doing all the marketing for the homes.

“Cavso Homes has a wonderful vision for bringing affordable modern homes to Dallas and not sacrificing quality and craftsmanship,” Mitchell said. “We think this is great because modern homes are generally thought of as a high-end product. We think this will be superb for Dallas!”

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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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