Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest French-inspired home of them all? In Dallas, it’s this Preston Hollow stunner. Looking at this fabulous abode, it seems like horses and carriages should be lining up to drop off guests in sparkly dresses and penguin suits. The romantic architecture and immaculately landscaped shrubbery transport you to Paris or Provence, minus the smell of fresh baguettes, but a quick drive to Central Market will surely take care of that.

Clocking in at 7,990-square-feet, no lavish detail is too small at this chateau. Its stately rock and stone façade was designed to impress, and certainly succeeds in that. Right inside, a 20-foot marble foyer and curved staircase make you feel as if you’ve stepped into Gatsby’s mansion.  


loveAs we’ve mentioned before, every week we solicit pitches for our various featured listing posts, including our weekly roundup of open houses – and we love what you send us.

You can tag us on Instagram, or even better, you can join our Facebook group, Getting the Dirt.  It’s a great place to virtually mingle with fellow professionals, ask questions, lend a hand, and, yes, pitch stories to CandysDirt.com writers. Not a Realtor? It’s a great place to get a first glimpse at some of the most recent listings all over North Texas, too.

Take, for instance, this week’s properties featured in our CandysDirt.com Open Houses of the Week. We have three incredible properties this week — and one of them has even taken pains to help you out with your Valentine’s Day needs.

Want to see who made a successful pitch? (more…)

It’s true, love is certainly in the air this February! Call us corny, but our hearts truly did skip a beat the moment we first laid eyes on 5242 Monticello Avenue, a charming M Streets Tudor in coveted Greenland Hills.
Just in time to fall in love this Valentine’s Day, this three-bed, two-and-a-half-bath home hit the market just a few days ago and it is nothing short of swoon worthy. 


Gary-Gene-Olpvote-button-3One of my favorite architects –and I have a few — is Gary Gene Olp, FAIA, LEED AP. Gary has been nominated for the Sustainable Leadership Award.  Voting ends today, on Valentines Day, which seems so appropriate, so I am posting this in case you haven’t heard the good word.

If you agree that Gary Gene rocks when it comes to sustainable, green design, go for it right here. Or maybe you have someone else in mind. In any case, I love a lot of architects and wish they could all win. Maybe the good folks at the Memnosyne Institute Green Source DFW Sustainable Leadership Award will give CandysDirt a heads up next year. This sounds like a really great program!

Now, go vote, please.


1115 Sarasota Front

The Hollywood/Santa Monica neighborhood is hot right now, with hundreds of families looking for the perfect home in this sweet little subdivision, but thanks to higher prices and a market that is poised for even more growth, it’s hard to find the right house for the right buyer.

Still, there are some very lovely homes in this area, including 1115 Sarasota Circle. While this beauty blends with the rest of the Tudors and cottages in the area, you’ll be surprised to hear it was actually built just 13 years ago, a labor of love by a retired builder, Daryl Davis. It’s marketed by Allie Beth Allman agent Alex Roostaei for $549,000.

“This home was built for [Daryl] and his wife back in 2001. He’s one of those guys who if he’s going to do something,  he does it correctly,” Roostaei said. “He built this house not only to be beautiful and functional, but also to be just as sound behind the walls and in the construction.”

1115 Sarasota Entry

Sounds like this beautiful stone-and-brick-clad home will stand the test of time just like the rest of the 1920s-era Tudors you’ll find in Hollywood Heights and in Lakewood Heights. This particular home has three bedrooms, three full baths and two half baths, a huge backyard and a two-car garage with an air-conditioned studio/office space upstairs.

1115 Sarasota Living 1115 Sarasota Dining

Inside you’ll find elegant millwork and trim, with glossy stained hardwood mouldings throughout. The gorgeous fireplace in the living room is modeled after Rookwood fireplaces that are common in the area. The dining room is spacious, perfect for entertaining, and has a lovely chandelier overhead.

1115 Sarasota Kitchen 1115 Sarasota Breakfast

In the kitchen you’ll fall for the beautiful red cabinets and gorgeous pendant and wall-mount light fixtures that add a soft vintage flair. Of course, you’ll find high-end stainless appliances and a built-in, made-to-match refrigerator. A wine nook and a beautiful island complete the space, which benefits from tons of natural light from the windows. There’s a beautiful breakfast nook next to the kitchen with huge windows and a lovely, understated fireplace.

1115 Sarasota Master 1115 Sarasota Master Bath 1115 Sarasota Vanity

Upstairs, the master suite is just absolutely adorable. The same touches you love in a 1920s Tudor can be found in this home, including the adorable commode with a vessel sink modeled to look like an old wash pan. The woodwork, honeycomb tile, and the cast-iron claw-foot tub make it a trip back in time. Nostalgic and more romantic than a New England bed and breakfast!

1115 Sarasota Screen Porch 1115 Sarasota Yard

Just off the breakfast room is the screened porch, which opens to the huge, grassy backyard. In all, this home is perfect for lovers of vintage details with tons of modern amenities that make this incredible property a perfect Valentine for anyone!

Casa Santuraio ext frontJust two days before Valentine’s Day, on February 12, Casa Santuario, a 9,700 square foot creature of retreat perfection in San Antonio’s Austin’s Tarrytown neighborhood, goes to auction without reserve.

That’s — yikes! — tomorrow! (Biting my red fingernails!)

That’s right, this carefully constructed, tough-as-the-Alamo, Spanish Colonial -style home will be auctioned to the highest bidder. Concierge Auctions, the folks who brought us closure to Champ d’Or — well,  past closure — as well as the M Mansion and the Preston Trails home of Lanny Wadkins —  are auctioning off this Hill Country beauty.

If you are thinking of a rare Valentine’s Gift this year, well, here is your one-in-a-lifetime chance.

Casa Santuraio loggia Casa Santuario LR Casa Santuraio DR Casa Santuraio masterCasa Santuario is situated on five rare acres at 2600 Kenmore Court in the Tarrytown neighborhood. Most Tarrytown homes are luxurious, but virtually none enjoy this sort of square footage or land grab. The home is a warm. loving retreat that was carefully planned and built by owner Kim Granger with love. The estate features five bedrooms, five full bathrooms and three half-bathrooms. It has clear views of Lake Austin and the foothills of the Texas Hill Country. Really, you will think you’re in Napa. The huge lot size is a rarity in this neighborhood. Casa Santuario kitchen Casa Santuraio stairs Casa Santuraio library Casa Santurario ext rearThe home was designed by renowned Austin architect Paul Lamb , and was built in 2003. The estate had been on the market for $15 million. Austin residential real estate broker Jeannette Spinelli has the listing for the home, as does Dallas residential real estate broker Kyle Crews.

Why would anyone leave this work of art in Austin?

For love, of course.


What makes a home a great place to skip the crowded restaurants and have Valentine’s Day with a party of two at your very own chef’s table? A fantastic, dramatic, dining table paired with the perfect master suite!

We’ve been digging for great homes that would play the part as a beautiful background for a fantastic Valentine’s Day away from all the boxed candy and cheap cards. Here are a few that caught our eyes long enough for us to imagine bubble baths and Barry White records. Enjoy, lovebirds!

5410 Mercedes

This home has a fantastically romantic dining room and a HUGE tub in the master suite. All it’s missing is rose petals and a bottle of Veuve Cliquot, and some Barry White on the Hi Fi. Serious seduction could happen here, thanks to the subtle and sexy lighting. This home will make your Valentine purr. You dig?

Mercedes Dining


Mercedes Master Mercedes Master Bath

1115 N. Clinton

This is the Marilyn Monroe of houses, as you’ll want to show off all it’s curves. It has Hollywood Regency style, thanks to the chandeliers and romantic drapes, with 50 shades of gray and white all over the place. The marble in the master bath is so sleek and sexy. Put on some Enya, light a fire, and turn the lights down low.

N. Clinton Living N. Clinton Dining N. Clinton Master Bath

4053 Lomita


JUST LOOK AT THAT SEXY PENDANT LIGHT OVER THE DINING TABLE, PEOPLE. Seriously, if your Valentine doesn’t go for that (and really, who wouldn’t?) you’ve got your work really cut out for you. The marble in the master bath is super sexy, too. Perfect for that bottle of red you’ve been saving for a special occasion and some Serge Gainsbourg.

Lomita Dining Lomita Living Lomita Master Bath

2843 Lee Street

We may have found what is the sexiest house in Dallas. Look at that chandelier in the dining room being sexy, right next to the sexy furniture and incredibly hot window with a view to the pool that is sending shivers down my spine (in a good way!). The master bedroom is sexy for obvious reasons, but if you need it spelled out, the answer is W-A-L-L-T-O-W-A-L-L-M-I-R-R-O-R. Perfect for a handcrafted cocktail and some Depeche Mode.

Lee Street Living Lee Street DIning Lee Street Bedroom

5437 Miller

And at the pinnacle of sexy, we find ourselves at this home, which has a bathroom that can make any Valentine’s Day memorable. That huge steam shower along with the gigantic and private soaking tub, coupled with the amazing kitchen and dining room … Ugh. Even the outside of this home is sexy! Pair up some Marvin Gaye and some good Scotch.

Miller Outside Miller Master Miller Shower Miller Bathtub

Paris Chairs

Sure, Valentine’s Day was a  week ago, but why stop sharing the love?

That’s Bernadette Schaeffler’s philosophy. The Dallas decorator and style maven is in love with love, especially the Parisian variety.

“Paris awakens all your senses! Everyone who ever spent time in Paris keeps the memories in their hearts as though it were yesterday. I have no  explanation but there is just something magical about this capital,” Schaeffler said. “Just setting feet on cobblestone streets is an experience. Living history combined with fashion, food and shopping is wonderful vibrant lifestyle for me. Every time I go to Paris it seduces me and I guess many other people.”

Paris Gargoyles

It’s a source of inspiration for her, especially landmarks such as the Notre Dame Cathedral with its gargoyles and stained glass. Walks along the Seine revive her, as do the colors and people of the city of light, and of love, for that matter.

Paris Stained Glass

“After visiting the gothic masterpiece, I love to stroll down the Seine Quai and see what the Bouquinistes — the famous booksellers — have to offer. This is a 300 year tradition!  Then take strong coffee or a Ricard in a little bistro and just enjoy life!”

Bernadette Shaeffler Dining Set

Schaeffler definitely employs that same zest for life into her designs, which are inspired by her European roots. Find out more about her and her collection on her website.