Sunnybrook IHOTW

Sometimes you see a house and think, “Wow, I could just move right into that one.” That’s the way we feel about this Sunnybrook Estates colonial revival at 5033 Brookview Drive.

Traditional homes create a strong pull. Many of us grew up in them, so they impart an immediate sense of home. But, we don’t want anything very traditional once we step inside. We want clean, sleek lines, museum-quality white walls, classic Carrara marble, and rich hardwoods.

We want this house. (more…)

6410 Woodland Dr. IHOTW
Location, location, location. There’s nothing more important when you’re looking for a home. Our Inwood National Bank Home of the Week is in a perfect location within Preston Hollow, and it’s a gorgeous homage to that 19th century classic European style we all love.

6410 Woodland Drive Front Door

This magnificent two-story, 6,360-square-foot luxury home at 6410 Woodland Drive, is located right between two of the best shopping areas in town: NorthPark Center and Preston Center. It’s close to two excellent private schools: St. Marks School of Texas and Ursuline Academy. And it’s a hop skip and a jump to the Dallas North Tollway. The lovely Preston Hollow Park is just down the street. See, it really is in a perfect location.


Photo: RealTech Dallas

John Backes, left, at the RealTech Dallas event “Cultivate: Building the Next Big Thing in Real Estate.” Photo: RealTech Dallas

John Backes is a young real estate entrepreneur, technology innovator, and champion of the city of Dallas. He practically vibrates with energy and ideas, and has a sort of raw enthusiasm that’s utterly sincere and unscripted.

The St. Mark’s grad is passionate about bringing new ideas to the real estate community by collaborating with the active start-up community in Dallas. That motivation is showing up in myriad ways in his life.

As we wrote about yesterday, he is launching the MOTIVE Accelerator Program this fall. This exciting program will fund selected commercial real estate technology start-ups, as well as provide mentoring through a program oriented around customer and product development.

Backes was also the co-founder of RealTech Dallas 12 months ago, which brings together the startup community with the real estate industry.

His new company, DXZ Media, is a full-service branding and digital marketing agency that aims to solve complex problems related to technology, identity, and strategy.

Sound like a full plate? It’s not even the beginning. He’s also a mentor at the The Dallas Entrepreneur Center and advisor at PoshPublic, a curated crowdfunding platform which allows artists or nonprofits to create a campaign at no upfront cost and no risk. There’s so much more. And the ideas just keep coming.

“We have an incredible story here in Dallas of innovative real estate companies, and so many tech start-ups, too. There was so much vibrancy, but no intersection,” Backes said. “Every day, I feel like I’m in a very dynamic center of change.”


This post is inspired by the town of Kountze, Texas, 85 miles northeast of Houston, where the local public high school cheerleading squad heads to court this week over their practice of hoisting banners up for the football players to crash through — only their banners spout off religious bible verses.

For awhile, the Kountze cheerleaders supported their football team, the Lions, just like we did at St. Mark’s School of Texas, with banners saying stuff like “Go Lions!” Or “Roar!”.  But then the cheerleaders invoked Christianity to help the team. The school superintendent down in Kountze banned the signs a couple weeks ago after he was contacted by an attorney with the Freedom from Religion Foundation in Madison, Wis. That org said it got an anonymous citizen complaint: Kountze is a public school cheerleading team, and the lawyer cited a 2000 U.S. Supreme Court decision, involving another Texas case, which prohibited formal student-initiated school prayers conducted over the public-address system in schools at the beginning of sports events. No more religious banners, she said!

But then, a state district court judge in Hardin County issued a temporary restraining order lifting the ban after the Liberty Institute, a Plano, Texas, group promoting religious freedom, offered to represent the cheerleaders and asked the court to issue a permanent injunction.

See where I’m going with this? A Plano group steps in to help out and lift a hand. The kids in Kountze say they got the idea off Pinterest, from another small town high school, Georgia’s Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School. That was in 2009 and like now, the Georgia school’s district banned the banners following complaints.

AP Photo

The cheerleaders go to court this week. Meantime, the citizens of Kountze, and the Attorney General of Texas, are rallying behind the kiddos. The local branch’s banner says: “Citizens Bank Supports Our Kids.” A football mom has a Facebook page called “Support Kountze Kids’ Faith” with 44,800 members. There is a web site selling T-shirts to help defray court costs. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott vowed to file a legal brief in support of the cheerleaders’ religious liberties.

So is this why people move their families to small towns, like Kountze or Keller or Melissa or Sunnyvale? And if the cheerleaders of Kountze lose this case — this freedom of expression — what does this mean for that good old small town life so many parents crave for their kids? I say this as a mom whose daughter started a club called “Agnostically Speaking” at Hockaday, as a protest to all the religious clubs she saw on campus. Hockaday supported her 100% — freedom of religion and speech.

So why can’t the cheerleaders continue holding up their Bible verse signs as long as the lone agnostic(s) in the group can hold up agnostic signs? (WWAS: What Would Agnostics Say?) Looking at this map by Gallup, Texas is one of the most religious states in the USA, along with most of the south and Utah. But Texas is not one of the top five most religious states: Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, Utah and Mississippi.

I’ll say one thing: the football team is undefeated this year in Kountze…


Every girl dreams of having her own little private castle, where she can steal away the days and nights and live life like a prince or princess.

If you never outgrew that dream, this is the house for you! With wrought-iron finishes, shabby-chic details, cute little windows everywhere, and staircases where you can let your hair down while waiting for Prince Charming, 6340 Brookshire Drive in Waggoner place is the perfect home for a storybook lifestyle.

This five-bedroom, five-and-a-half-bath home is in an outstanding location for a family. You’re super close to some of the best private schools in the state as Ursuline Academy, St. Mark’s School of Texas, and Episcopal School of Dallas are relatively just a stone’s throw away.

To me, the main draw is the super-private master suite. You get two floors all to yourself, with an upstairs sitting room and little balcony for sipping your coffee in quiet, too. The master bath is beautiful, with a soaker tub that will have you relaxed and ready to slay your everyday dragons. And if you’re sneaking in after the ball past midnight, you have your own entrance, too!

The house, which is marketed by the super smart and clever Lydia Player, is listed at $1.25 million — a fair price for almost 6,000 square feet in a centrally located area. This is a great home for a downtown commuter, as you’re sandwiched between Preston and Hillcrest on the west and east, and Royal Lane and Walnut Hill on the north and south.

There’s plenty of great shopping nearby, and for families with young children, there are community organizations such as the Preston Hollow Early Childhood PTA. And with a backyard pool like that, you can expect your kids to invite half the neighborhood over, too!


News flash: Wade and Laurie Phillips just listed their Preston Hollow home on Norway with Allie Beth Allman. Wade, son of former NFL coach Bum Phillips, is off to Houston. He bought the house in 2007 for about $2,800,000 — Allie Beth was their agent, then, too. Asking: $3,295,000. No pics in MLS just yet, but the house is gorgeous and so walkable to St. Marks School of Texas. 8173 square feet on almost a one-half acre of land, the home was built in 2006 and I think — don’t quote me — the Phillips are the second owners. In any case, it comes fully decked and dressed to be a gorgeous family home with plenty of great space for entertaining — wet bar, wine storage, game room, covered back porch. Stay tuned for more deets.