Now Hear This — Dallas Real Estate Porn

Now Hear This — Dallas Real Estate Porn

Now Hear This — Dallas Real Estate Porn

I recently watched the HBO documentary on the life of Nora Ephron: Everything is Copy. Born to Hollywood screenwriter parents, she learned (and to quote her mother) — everything is copy. Meaning that whatever happens in your life and the lives of those around you is free game to write about.

With that in mind, I am currently looking to purchase a house. I’ve long had some commitment issues. Perhaps it’s from years of moving around the country as I climbed up the museum ladder to higher-profile positions and greater challenges. North Texas (with this being my third time living here) feels like my forever home and thus the need to purchase a home to lay down permanent roots

I went to a lot of open houses last fall — I guess that’s in-line with my penchant for window shopping. On one of those visits, I met a wonderful realtor, Debbie Williams from Dave Perry-Miller. Since she lives in Oak Cliff (which is my ideal part of Dallas), she knows the neighborhoods extremely well and has guided me through the sometimes stressful, sometimes exciting process of finding my new home.

As I do have a strict budget for my home purchase and since I had been spending entirely too much time on Zillow, I thought: “What if the sky was the limit? What would be my dream home in Dallas?” I decided to pose that question as well to my friends here at the PaperCity Dallas offices. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy our responses to this week’s Now Hear This PaperCity office question and if you decide to snatch-up one of these glorious properties please invite us to your housewarming party.

BTW — you will notice that I have provided some commentary to some of my colleague’s choices as I know them oh so well and felt the need to say something about their future homes.

Christina Geyer, Dallas Editor in Chief

I have long had just two favorite houses in Dallas.

One is a historic Italian Renaissance-style manse on Lakewood Boulevard that was recently bought by a stylish couple I know that shall remain nameless. (Heads up: They know I adore their home, and that if they ever consider putting it on the market, they need to give me a buzz first.)

The other is a plantation style beauty in Perry Heights. I don’t know the owners, but every time I drive by I dream of seeing a “For Sale” sign in the front yard. I discovered this house when I was in college, babysitting for a family that lives nearby. I haven’t fallen one ounce out of love with it since. And as I get older, I dream of this being the traditional family home, where I raise a gaggle of children.

That being said, my only requirements for a house are as follows: It must be historic (no new builds, please). And it must have room — and the proper orientation and sunlight — for an extensive garden.

On the market currently are two properties that fit the bill quite nicely.

Here, a gorgeous estate on White Rock Lake (circa 1936). Listed by Douglas Newby at $4.95 million, it’s an investment — but what price 260-degree lake views and a yard that rolls on forever.

Also on White Rock Lake, I could totally see myself moving right into Mt. Vernon. A replica of the actual Mt. Vernon, I envision this as a project: I’d give the interior an upgrade (a bit of contemporary furniture and art to balance the ultra-traditional facade); plant a massive vegetable garden; convert the 16 car concourse into a full-blown greenhouse and elegant garden shed; turn the gym into a pilates studio; and all those basement game rooms would go (no bowling for me), having been converted into a massive library. Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty has the listing.

Billy’s two cents: Since CG loves her balcony garden, I know she is looking to expand her green-thumb skills and channel her inner Bunny Mellon. That’s why I adore the idea of Mt. Vernon for her. Her significant other can purchase a riding lawnmower and they would have weekend projects for days.

Rebecca Sherman, Home Design Editor

Even if price were no object, I still wouldn’t buy the biggest and most lavish house out there. I like smaller spaces, and always with a view of the horizon. Dallas does sky views so well — we have the kind of airspace New York can only dream about.

I’d almost given up finding a perfect listing for this story when I Googled these keywords, “Turtle Creek Boulevard for sale.” The Gold Crest popped up — undoubtedly the best mid-century building on Dallas’ most iconic and beautiful boulevard.

Designed by architect George Dahl, best known for his Art Deco-era buildings at Fair Park, The Gold Crest set the standard for modern Dallas when it opened in 1965. And it still holds up. Where else do you find broad, wraparound terraces for every apartment?

The lobby, with its gorgeous book-matched walnut and marble, remains as sleek and appropriate for the original design as ever. It was Dahl’s personal favorite — he lived and worked out of an apartment on the seventh floor until his death in 1987. Recently, I wrote about artist Pam Nelson’s colorful apartment there, located in what once Dahl’s own studio. You can check that story out here.)

The Gold Crest has always been my favorite building in Dallas, and I’d live there in a heartbeat. But there’s actually more to the story. Of the two available units currently for sale in the building, one happens to have belonged to the inimitable Betty Blake. It’s a corner unit on the 8th floor, listed for $895,000 — a bargain in my mind for something with such provenance, and with such a grand view.

I spent a memorable day shooting in Betty Blake’s apartment many years ago, and have been waiting for the right opportunity to tell the behind-the-scenes story. Let’s just say it involves hundreds of thousands of dollars in errant jewels, some unexpected nudity, and a slight of hand involving the camera and a mirror… click here for the full story.

Billy Fong, Culture and Style Editor

I watch a little too much Huggy TV (my nickname for HGTV) and find the drama that sometimes fills episodes of House Hunters terribly fun. I’ve noticed over the past decade that more men seem to gravitate towards mid-century modern options.

Is it the desire to channel their inner Don Draper? I find myself also falling in that category as I appreciate the clean lines of the architecture from the 1950s to the mid 1960s.

This gem in the Lake Highlands neighborhood would be perfect for me. Built in 1952 and sitting on 1.39 acres it would just need some minor adjustments to suit my lifestyle: to be precise, one bedroom turned in to a master closet. Also, as it fits three cars then I can purchase my dream automobiles: an early ’70s chocolate brown Mercedes convertible (for when I’m feeling classic), a gunmetal gray Mercedes G-Wagon (for when I’m feeling serious and slightly aggressive) and a new black Audi (for when I’m feeling sporty).

It’s a good thing I know the realtor, the ever charming Ralph Randall, and perhaps he can cut me a deal.

Hillery Stack, Dallas Publisher

Stone exterior? Check. Amazing pool and hot tub? Check. Multiple fireplaces and cozy rooms galore? Double Check. Secluded and private lot? Check. Great neighborhood. Check.

This is my dream house. Now all I need is the winning ticket!

Billy’s two cents: We all love that Hillery is our New England transplant. Perhaps the phrase, “you can take the girl out of Connecticut, but not the Connecticut out of the girl” fits particularly well with her choice of homes. I easily see this place sitting on a tree-lined street in Darien.

Perhaps Hillery is feeling the cold weather and the stone fireplace is needed for her life.

Linda Kenney, Account Manager

A Devonshire cottage would be the perfect home! It has the look of a small cottage but has loads of space. The chef’s kitchen is wonderful. The floor plan speaks to me. The idea that you can live in a Cotswold cottage in the heart of Dallas has great appeal to me. I would love to furnish with English antiques. And I would add a swimming pool.

Billy’s two cents: This makes complete sense for our Linda. She is the most European out of the bunch here at the PaperCity offices. As her children have all flown the coop, I see her and her charming husband cozied up in this even more charming cottage.

Samantha Olguin, Dallas Senior Account Manager

I don’t exactly know what my dream home would look like, considering I have yet to become a first-time home buyer — but with that being said, I do know what I like… Ranch-style homes. Huge Kitchens. Oversized windows. Exposed brick. Wood beams. Luxurious bathrooms.

I love a home with traditional bones, so this one certainly caught my eye. With five bedrooms, this does feel like a bit much for me. I am a fan of smaller, more efficient spaces (of course, this does not include my closet, because that should be on the huge side).

Samantha’s daydreaming about this beauty.

I certainly wouldn’t say no to this charming beauty. But, immediately, it would need some cosmetic updates. (This is ideal for my inner perfectionist, who would have to do that upon moving into any new home.) I would also need to schedule a long meeting with a fabulous interior designer.

Then there is this gorgeous home-away-from-home in Aspen that I could escape to when I need a vacation. A girl can dream right?! In the heart of one of my favorite places, this would be the perfect weekend getaway for a quick ski trip or to escape the Texas summer. I love the walkability it provides!

Billy’s two cents: As Samantha is the jet-setter of our bunch I wasn’t surprised that she also added a vacation home to her answer. I see in her Chanel apres-ski wear for days after an exhausting day of hitting the Aspen slopes.

Maggie Wilson, Events and Partnerships Manager

I would love to buy this beautiful house on Potomac Avenue in Highland Park. I love the clean exterior of the white bricks with the dark grey roof. All of those big windows are amazing, who doesn’t love natural light?!

Also, I’ve been trying to cook and bake more and I think this kitchen would definitely do the trick of encouraging me. With such a beautiful and light room, it would be hard to not want to spend more time in the kitchen.

The backyard looks like the perfect place to entertain friends and grill on a beautiful sunny Dallas day or have a fireplace during the winter.

Caroline Lidl, Marketing Intern

While I am not at all in a place in my life to even consider buying a house, it was fun imagining which Dallas Penthouse I would be living the single, city-girl lifestyle in if I were to win the lottery. There are so many amazing places available right now — I couldn’t even decide on just one!

Instead, I am choosing a house on St. Johns Drive in Highland Park I’ve admired from the outside since moving to Dallas. I absolutely love a white house with large windows. It looks sophisticated but yet still cozy. There are some minor details of the interior I would like to change, but the exterior, the landscaping, the pool, and the marble island have me sold!

Caroline is hoping for this cozy little house on St. Johns Drive.

McKenzie Carnes, Marketing Intern

I am absolutely in love with this modern architectural gem in Kessler Woods. This house just makes me happy looking at it. I am a sucker for a magical deck and backyard. I would spend all my evenings and weekends on this patio and in the pool with friends.

The bedroom that opens to the deck is also so dreamy, getting to look at that view every morning with a cup of coffee in bed. I am also obsessed with big traditional bathtubs, so safe to say this place is cozy yet elegant and fabulous all at the same time. I would love to own a home with super cool and trendy architecture.

I think any house like this catches someone’s eye. So, I’ll take it, please!!

If you ever have something you want our team to address, shoot us your thoughts via social media or email (@papercitydallas on Instagram; facebook.com/papercitymagdallas on Facebook; or yours truly, billy@papercitymag.com). Or, better yet send a message to the office, handwritten on the Smythson stationery of your choice — and feel free to include a bottle of Veuve. Champagne really helps get the ideas flowing.

Look for the next installment of Now Hear This from Billy Fong next week.

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