can you imagine time it takes to work with clinker brick?

Clinker brick exterior helps make 200 Crestwood Drive look like a fairytale home. (Photos: Trey Freeze Media)

Have you ever driven past a home and had to do a quick double-take because of the brick? I bet you didn’t know that there are almost a dozen different sizes of brick.  The times I have to stop and take a closer look are when the home appears to be bricked in a random pattern with a total hodgepodge of brick sizes and colors … with even some lava rock mixed in.  Those homes are built with clinker brick.


It’s 20,000 square feet under one roof, about 13,000 to 14,000 of living space, a highly contemporary mega mega manse under construction by builder to the stars Simmie Cooper, interior design by my dear friend Joanie Wyll. But to give you a little preview, consider this: Simmie was the *speculative builder on this 12,220 square foot home at 4512 Isabella, now owned by Shawn Marion.

4512 Isabella Lane was, at least to me, a refreshing change from the boring McMansion hum drums: there are, don’t faint, no turrets, no rock, no Country-French pickled cabs. Well, unless Marion has added them, and we can see all this Sunday morning at 11 am on  Designing DFW with my precious friend Jocelyn White, tune into Channel 8. (Jocelyn, I am dying to see this show!) I recall the huge windows viewed the 1.07 acre lot without dust-catching mutton bars.  South-African-born Simmie calls it “transitional”; the house just rocks and is sexy to boot — can I please have a few hours alone with my husband in that master tub? Porcelain floors and shoe molding/wall trim, even both stairways are porcelain, as I recall. There’s a humidor/wine room all visible, show-offable, a knock out theatre and ballet/exercise room upstairs, upper and lower laundry rooms, venetian plaster walls, lacquered mahogany, and a huge, cool kitchen I’ve seen east of the Rockies: lacquered striped mahogany, stainless steel, double everything — microwaves, ovens, fridge, dishwashers. Miele coffeebar — doesn’t everyone have one? Naysayers of course ridiculed the home, saying it was a pariah amongst a swea of flat, one-stry ranches. Well I say that exterior glass-mosaic pool, huge travertine entertainment area with fireplace and grill MORE than made up for it.

Anyhew, I’m dying to get inside this new one and can hardly wait to see what Simmie at al cooks up. It’s a custom build for the owner, a young Korean physician who heads up a minimally invasive surgery center and is probably a member of the Lucky Sperm Club. I guarantee you he does not take Medicaid!

*Speculative builders were once considered, well, not quite up to snuff to private commissioned builders. However, they are now such a faint memory of our past, such a twinkle in our eye’s memory, I predict that having been a speculative (rather than “spec”) builder will be a title most of these wonderful builders from the boom will wear with pride.