August 2019 issue is a must-have for high-end appliance shoppers.

Consumer Reports is a magazine most of us don’t read often enough. Sure, when we need a new TV or car, we scour the library for back issues, but this is hit and miss. Last weekend, sipping a cool drink outdoors at a local watering hole, I needed armor, so I bought and brought the latest Consumer Reports. So interesting was the August issue that my drink’s ice melted long before I’d finished reading.

For the first time, the magazine issued a report on appliance reliability by the manufacturer. Even more enticing is the inclusion of ultra-premium brands like Miele, Thermador, Sub-Zero, and Viking, which often get left out due to a lack of data compared with brands selling tons more units like GE or LG.

While not to be confused with the organization’s ratings on appliance usability and features, reliability is clearly as important when buying a car as a refrigerator. The surprising yet unsurprising thing was the general consensus by appliance makers that 10 years of life is good enough. Some ultra-premium players like Miele and Sub-Zero/Wolf claim 20 years of useful life while washer/dryer brand Speed Queen touts 25 years.

Of course, that’s not to say that consumers will have 10, 20, or 25 years of flawless service from their appliance. The organization reports that 40 percent of refrigerators will require some type of servicing within their first five years – ranges, the most reliable class of appliance will see 25 percent requiring service.


5539 Montrose Dr. Greenway ParksBuying a house is a lot like online dating. You see the profile, the gorgeous photos and then you meet. That’s when you find out if that profile is really too good to be true. Your first date with this midcentury modern beauty at 5539 Montrose Drive will prove the profile doesn’t lie — it’s going to be love at first sight because it looks even better in person than it does in the photos. But get to it fast because at the open house yesterday, there was a steady stream of admirers, all with the look of love in their eyes.


Central Dallas Home

Kitchens and bathrooms sell houses, the old saying goes. If that’s the case, then the post-war beauty at 5824 Palm Ln. won’t be on the market long, so take a look while it’s still available.

This 2-2 is renovated from the top to bottom of its 1,479 square feet. The reno includes newly refinished and stained hardwoods, crown molding, surround sound capability, Wink home automation, a luxury master bathroom, and a kitchen that wows with its look and amenities.

The North Stonewall Terrace neighborhood in central Dallas is a prime location, near Mockingbird and Matilda, just three blocks from Central Expressway, three miles from White Rock Lake, and 3.5 miles from NorthPark Center.

It’s also zoned for Stonewall Jackson Elementary School, rated “10” by

Our Thursday Three Hundred was listed June 5 by Damon Williamson at Keller Williams Park Cities for $399,900, and we bet this Central Dallas home will find a buyer soon.



Congratulations are in order for luxury appliance showroom Capital Distributing, as the go-to spot for high-end kitchen brands such as Miele, Gaggenau, Wolf, Thermador, Subzero, La Cornue, and Viking has won “Best Appliances” from the Dallas chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers for the third year in a row.

This family-owned business has been doing upscale kitchens right since 1973, and their showroom off of Stemmons is a wonderful spot to discover the perfect range, ovens, and even laundry system for your home. You can even try before you buy in their amazing kitchen demonstration areas. It’s no surprised that the design community loves this brand, as it’s easy to picture these luxury appliances in a variety of custom kitchens.

“We are proud to be recognized by the design community and appreciate that they voted for our company,” said Michael Davis, president of Capital Distributing. “We must continue to work hard at being the best appliance company in our marketplace.”

Enjoy being top banana for the third year in a row, Capital Distributing!

4236 Lorraine kitchen

When it comes to designing a dream kitchen for an expert home cook, the cost can be frightening. Though it’s easy to get carried away in the pages of Architectural Digest and drool over pristine statuary marble countertops, you shouldn’t feel obligated to indulge in every high-end kitchen accessory and appliance. After all, it’s not the kitchen that makes the chef; it’s the chef that makes the kitchen.

Here’s a little guide on where to spend and where to save in your kitchen:

Spend: A good gas range.
What to look for: A range with 6 burners is ideal. Get a range with a convection oven (or double oven) below, that way you can go from stovetop to oven without walking two steps.
Here’s why: I don’t care what anyone says about electric stovetops, gas is the way to go. You can get an instant flame, rather than an electric cooktop which might take a few minutes to get heated. Plus, you never know when you’ll need a flame to blister eggplants for your famous babaganoush. Viking, Thermador, and La Cornue are at the top of my list.

Meadowcreek Kitchen

Save: Go with countertops you can afford.
Here’s why: Countertops are all about cosmetics; if you can’t afford marble or granite go with an alternative such as Formica laminate that still looks good and is easy to clean. Don’t worry about it being scratch resistant. No one uses their granite countertops to chop vegetables without a cutting board anyhow. Go for the more affordable route and get yourself a good cutting board.

Spend: A built-in refrigerator.
What to look for: Dual refrigeration with separate sealed systems to ensure your food tastes fresh. Ample space and shelving is also important. If you often buy bulky items at the grocery store, keep that in mind. A produce drawer — every chef needs one.
Here’s why: In addition to saving space in your kitchen, President of Capital Distributing Michael Davis adds, “Built in refrigerators offer a great high-end look and integrate into your cabinets.”  In a dream world, I’d have a Sub-Zero refrigerator. The brand promises the highest quality to ensure your food will stay preserved.

5549 Fallas kitchen 1

Save: Pass on the built-in fryer.
Here’s why: Unless you find yourself making fresh donuts or fries on a daily basis, save on the extra cost. A good chef can go the old-school route by frying in a pot.

Spend: A ventilation hood.
What to look for: A low fan sound level so that you can still hear your guests while you’re cooking. One that can easily fit over your range and that can vent to the outside, to prevent smoke and too much heat inside. Look for a vent with the Home Ventilating Institute label to ensure it’s a good quality and certified system.
Here’s why: Good ventilation is essential when it comes to cooking in the kitchen. The last thing you need is smoke permeating through the house, rather than the smell of your food. “A great ventilation hood or hood enclosure offers a great design expression and serves an important function of removing moisture, odors, and grease,” Davis explains.

8211 Inwood kitchen 2

Save: Give up the microwave.
Here’s why: For starters, anything that can zap your food to the point that it’s steaming hot in 2-minutes cannot be good for your health. Nothing ever tastes the same if it has been reheated in a microwave.

Spend: A built-in combi steam oven.
What to look for: An oven that is large enough for your needs — think about what you’ll be steaming. You only need one combi oven, especially if you’ve got double convection under your range.
Here’s why: Use that money you would have used for a microwave and apply it to a combi oven — an oven and steamer, in one appliance. “They can produce a moist cooking environment which produces amazing results and is great for ‘refreshing’ leftovers,” Davis says. In my fantasy world, I’d invest in two Miele Combi-Steam Ovens.

Rachael AbramsRachael Abrams is a personal chef and freelance writer who is obsessed with home decor and practically mainlines Pinterest. Find out more about Rachael and her excellent taste by following her on Twitter.

Bridge Hollow HOTWHere’s a little newsflash: Mehrdad Moayedi, the John Paulson of Dallas real estate development, has bought up the remaining lots in the Creeks of Preston Hollow. Where he lives. I probably should use that as a headline sometime, so don’t be surprised if I do. You know Mehrdad — I think he owns more development land in this state than any other developer. He bought the Stoneleigh out of bankruptcy, and that place is cooking — Don Carter bought a penthouse over there after he sold his Highland Park home. Mehrdad lives in the Creeks, which was developed by Hillwood, and is really the perfect neighborhood for intelligent, tasteful, high net worth people who want privacy and are smart enough to know they need a gated community to get it. You cannot build, say, a Taj Mahal on Royal Lane and then think no one’s going to see it or be curious about it.

10731 Bridge Hollow poolAnyhow, I present 10731 Bridge Hollow, a masterpiece of construction and design. It was a masterpiece when I toured this home under construction, as I did most of the homes there — Mark Molthan built the Luxe Showcase home on Elm Hollow, Calais built a home or two, has a lot ready to go, Mehrdad’s home, Hunter and Kandi Mahan have another Mark Molthan masterpiece, and that’s about it. About ten or so of 17 parcels still remain in the 22-acre North Dallas nook, which is framed on three sides by a stone privacy wall, by a tree-lined rock bed creek on the fourth that NO ONE is crossing. I think The Creeks is going to explode because it’s the last place in west Preston Hollow (or whatever you call it, the estate area) where you can get minimum one acre lots in a truly secluded, secure, private environment with a guard/concierge at the gatehouse. Allie Beth agent Ira Archer, who is marketing a lot over there, has told me he thinks The Creeks of Preston Hollow is the absolute last bit of acreage available in this part of town without mowing anything down!

10731 Bridge Hollow Court porch 10731 Bridge Hollow Court LR 10731 Bridge Hollow Court DR 10731 Bridge Hollow Court kitI will be posting a history of The Creeks of Preston Hollow shortly. Want to focus on this home, which is now the only completed property behind those secure gates available for sale. Located next door to Hunter Mahan on a lusciously large 1.18 acres, this home has been upgraded and improved by the current owner. I have to be honest, when I first heard that the owner, who happens to be the CEO and Chairman of the Board of Middleby Marshall, Inc., which owns  Viking USA, improved the home, I thought, how could you improve it? Middleby bought the Greenwood, Mississippi-based stove and appliance company and vows to bring the anemic luxury appliance company back to double-digit growth. His vision includes Jetsons-esque appliances that will boil water  in 15 seconds. a smart-phone stove app, perhaps an oven that doubles as a refrigerator.

Really! I thought Vikings were already perfect?

10731 Bridge Hollow Court kit 2 10731 Bridge Hollow Court caterers kit 10731 Bridge Hollow outdoor kit 1 10731 Bridge Hollow ext kit 2Very similar thing here with 10731 Bridge Hollow Court. For the Santa Barbara look, the original builder, Geoffrey Grant, went in with pillow-cut limestone everywhere, and I do mean everywhere: steps, even the lower level laundry room. Where there is no limestone there is wide-planked hardwoods. The current owner opened up the exterior walls, creating windows and natural light in several areas including the master bedroom vestibule and the master shower.  The effect now is a Calistoga-ranch showering experience, as if you are bathing outdoors. In the kitchen, he moved the original refrigerator to a more utilitarian location and created a beautiful built-in. Of course that fridge hogs a wall, a double Sub-Zero with microwave and drawers in between the freezer and fridge. The caterer’s kitchen is loaded with the latest kitchen toys — ovens, dishwasher, warming drawers. To say there are ovens everywhere is an understatement. The kitchen has a Turbo Chef commercial oven that cooks a frozen turkey in 45 minutes, Wolf ovens (whoops, no Viking?), and then not one but two outdoor kitchens. The first is strategically located off the garage, with a entry into the caterer’s kitchen area. In other words, this is where the caterers will hang out and prepare everything so smoke and odors will be controlled, your guests can enjoy the backyard. There is a second outside kitchen with a brick pizza oven AND convection oven on the far end of the infinity pool, near the pool pavillion, overlooking the creek. This area has a fireplace and provides a great additional outdoor entertaining room that has cover.

By the way, this is the Chicago-based Bassoul’s second home, and while they use it frequently for entertaining, it really looks brand-new.

10731 Bridge Hollow Court den 10731 Bridge Hollow Court loggia 10731 Bridge Hollow Court master 10731 Bridge Hollow Ct master bath 10731 Bridge Hollow Court master tub 10731 Bridge Hollow closet master 10731 Bridge Hollow Court media 10731 Bridge Hollow wine cellarThe home has 6 bedrooms, 8 full and two half baths, formals, family room, game room, study, media room on the lower level with the wine cellar, exercise room, steam shower and media room which is actually a theater. There are 12,842 square feet total. And not to worry about getting up or down — there is an elevator.

The home has delectable design touches and details. For example, there is a large Butler’s pantry off the dining room (from whence you could serve drinks), a bar on the northern wing of the house, and gleaming near surgical grade stainless steel counters in the catering kitchen.  The split master bath is an environment with huge separate shower and the soaking jetted tub. Her bathroom is so spacious, there is even a twin-bed-sized couch near the tub. All the windows and glass doors are by Crittal, counters are rare Italian Stone.10731thumbnail floorplans

The home sold back in it’s more unfinished state for about five million dollars in June, 2010. Now, with the Oven King at the helm, coupled with starchitect work by Stocker Hoesterey Montenegro Architects, and Neil Stewart Interiors for the interiors, the asking is $6,900,000. It’s listed with the darling, vivacious Terri Cox at Allie Beth Allman. Allie Beth herself will be helping the team market the rest of the available properties. And oh I do know Inwood Mortgage would be happy to exercise their construction loan prowess and speed on any of those lots, or a nice jumbo on this winner.10731 Bridge Hollow loggia ext 10731 Bridge Hollow creek





We were just talking about this with Kyle Crews, Daylon Perraria, Missy Woehr and the other fine folks at The Residences at the Ritz Carlton, Dallas, when I had to scoot fast because buyers were coming in to sign a contract.

I hope they liked those stoves at The Ritz. Never know when you have to USE them!

We were talking about the imminent closings of Nana, Charlie Palmer at the Joule, and Craft Dallas. Nana, of course, is at the Anatole, and all three eateries will be replaced. Not as if residents at the W will starve. But the W condos were sold based on the promise of being able to order from Craft Whenever, Whatever. In the Dallas Morning News this weekend, restaurant critic Leslie Brenner touched on the very same topic and went even further, asking, are hotel restaurants in crisis mode?

To be sure, this might very well be an emergency situation at the W Condos: tenants may actually have to turn on and USE those stoves — Kupperbusch cooktops and ovens — at least until Cook’s Hall unpacks the pots and pans.

This reminds me of an article I found in the New Yorker years ago, The Viking Invasion: Annals of Consumption, chronicling the growth in popularity of expensive trophy stoves. Full disclosure: I have one. It’s rather a point of contention in our house because I seldom cook, I don’t like to dirty the griddle except for pancakes, and my husband wants to know why we cannot SELL the Wolf range I so seldom use. When I have used the griddle and cooked a big meal, as I scrub the components and take the stove apart to wipe down its nether areas, I think how easy my old Jenn-Aire induction cooktop was. These big stoves are so labor-intensive, which well may be why the condos have to have a fancy 24 hour restaurant on call like Craft. How did we get to be such slaves to our big, fancy stoves?

Wolf, like Viking, got popular because they were heavily marketed to avid cooks, who love them. Greenwood, Mississippi, is headquarters to the Viking Range Corporation. In the 1980’s, while we were all cooking spaghetti on electric GE stovetops and Jenn-Aire induction cooktops, Proprietor Fred Carl decided to design a stove powerful & aesthetically pleasing enough to satisfy his serious cook customers — a commercial stove. But he wanted this stallion of a stove to be safe and pretty enough for private homes. In 1986, Patricia King, an avid cook from NYC, bought the first Viking stove for $3,000. In 1989, Carl set up his factory in Greenwood & began building his own stoves. Methinks there was an inheritance in the story, somewhere, too. Lo the power of media buzz: Carl began to lend his stoves to chefs, food writers, cooking-school teachers & TV cooks, and soon the stoves became very popular. This was, mind you, before FaceBook. You know what happens when celebrities start using something: everyone wants one. Soon the Viking stoves were so coveted they were copied, so Carl decided to expand deeper into the kitchen world, making not just other appliances but kitchen and cook ware.

By this time, of course, we all had to have a Viking or a Wolf range in our homes and high-end condos, because even though we don’t cook, we might cook at some point. And we just wanted the trophy stove available 24/7, like a decent Concierge.

Are there any hotel restaurants hitting it out of the ballpark? Brenner says yes: Dragonfly at Hotel ZaZa and Fearing’s, one of the most effervescent dining rooms in town, where guests are also treated to some of Dallas’ best cooking. Also heard, have not confirmed, Fearings is listed as one of the top places in the country to have a power lunch.

“In fact,” says Brenner, ” sometimes I nearly forget that Fearing’s is the Ritz-Carlton Dallas hotel.”

I don’t because the parking is decent. Coincidentally, both places have condos that are selling better than most downtown Dallas condos, with the possible exception of One Arts, which has a 7-Eleven downstairs.

And, of course, both The Residences at the Ritz and ZaZa have a trophy stove in every unit.