lake highlands estates home

All photos: MetroplexHD

Editor’s note: This post was originally published Sept. 24, 2015, and features the incredible design work of Summer Riggins. You can read the profile we later wrote on her here.

Some home renovations go halfway, updating a few spots here and there. Today’s Thursday Three Hundred is not that kind of reno.

The owners of the home at 561 Classen Dr. have gone all in, updating and improving the place from stem to stern, and the results are marvelous. It has the clean, finished feel and amenities of a new, custom-build house, with the vintage charm and personality that befits its Lake Highlands Estates location in East Dallas.561 classen exterior beforeOriginally built in 1952, the house was showing its age before—the exterior “before” photo above and several other “before” photos throughout this post give you an idea.

Now, it’s a turnkey property, almost unrecognizable from before, with beautiful details and improvements. You’ll find custom soft-close wood cabinets; a modern, elegant kitchen; recessed lighting; chic light fixtures; a luxe bathroom, low E windows, a new roof, new gutters, new exterior A/C unit, foam insulation in the attic; landscaping, and exterior paint.

With 1,170 square feet, three bedrooms, and one bathroom, it’s a small footprint, and the reno maximizes the space. There’s an open house this Sunday from 2-4 p.m., if you want to check it out yourself after seeing these photos.

Barbara Arredondo with Clay Stapp + Co. recently listed it for $325,000, or $278 per square foot. Nine recent neighborhood comps range from $204,000 to $308,500, or $161 to $229 per square foot. So is this house ambitiously priced? Perhaps. But that’s not without reason. The professional renovations make it one-of-a-kind.

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The home at 11325 Chicot Dr. is one of five featured in our weekly open house roundup.

The home at 11325 Chicot Dr. is one of five featured in our weekly open house roundup.

This is not traditionally a great season for home sales—people get busy with holiday plans and postpose their real estate search. But we’ve found five Dallas homes with open houses this weekend that will impress you with their features and style.

They range in price from $349,000 to $1.5 million, and include everything from an Old Lake Highlands cottage updated to perfection to a 7,390-square-foot house in Eudora Estates near Hillcrest and Forest. Let us know what you think of our choices, and if you know of any we should feature next week!

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Summer Riggins

Summer Riggins took an outdated cottage in East Dallas and transformed it into a contemporary, elegant haven with luxe features and a custom-build feel. Photo: MetroplexHD

Two weeks ago, an East Dallas property in Old Lake Highlands went on the market and was featured as the CandysDirt Thursday Three Hundred. It caught our eye with its custom-build features; cohesive, elegant look; and Midcentury vibe.

The response was overwhelmingly positive, and people swooned over the details of this big renovation that turned a dated cottage into a chic, welcoming home. (It also went under contract in 12 days, proving our readers have great taste!)

The woman behind the transformation of 561 Classen Dr. is Summer Riggins, a Dallas-area pharmaceutical rep who is self-taught and does this work in her free time.
561 classen exterior before

summer riggins

Photo: MetroplexHD

After you’ve picked your jaw up off the floor, take a moment to look through the before-and-after photos of this house to appreciate the scale of the reno that Riggins undertook. This was not just paint and floors: Riggins reimagined almost every area and made careful changes to reflect a California Midcentury Modern ranch aesthetic, honed over years of study and practice on multiple smaller projects. The Classen house is almost unrecognizable from its pre-renovation state.

Riggins has been on the path to “renovation virtuoso” since childhood.

“While I haven’t completed a [complete] home renovation prior to this one, I did grow up in a household where it wasn’t uncommon to come home from school and find an exterior wall knocked down, with a smile across my mom’s face and a directive we would be rebuilding it as a family,” she said.

Riggins once got sent to her room for not properly drawing layouts for the home she wanted to build one day.

“I truly wanted to be an architect and I’ve always had visions of living spaces running through my head,” she said. “I guess I thought everyone else did, too.”

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