Gladiolus FrontSure, it’s a little rough around the edges in some spots, especially with the curb appeal, but this 1963-built Midcentury Modern in Oak Cliff is a great house with some truly trademark 60s style. No further proof necessary than the almost-flat roof, the dual carport, and the half-brick facade.

The home, which is at 2626 Gladiolus in the Kiestwood area of Oak Cliff, is priced at $284,899. It’s a little lofty for the three-bedroom, two-bath home situated north of Ledbetter and west of Hampton Road. Still, it has some great details that will tickle your mid-mod sensibilities. Truly, I wish that there had been a professional photographer to really grasp the assets of this home, but you’ll have to live with what we’ve got.

Gladiolus Living

Step inside and you’ll see a sunken living area, which features tall, exposed beam ceilings with a brick floor begging for a groovy rug. While the windows in the front of the house are sparse, check out the huge patio sliding doors that open to the back, letting in plenty of light. You’ll love the huge brick fireplace, which is unfortunately painted. I don’t even want to think about how much it would cost to strip the paint off of that thing! There is some track lighting and other bonuses to this house, but what you’ll truly love is that it hasn’t been paneled over and carpeted like so many gorgeous homes this age.

Gladiolus Kitchen


The living area is open to the kitchen, too, which has a few updates. There are stainless steel appliances and painted cabinets topped with a solid surface counter. It also opens to a windows that gives you great views of the wooded backyard which backs up to a creek.

Gladiolus Master Gladiolus Master bath

The bedrooms are sizable for this 2,214-square-foot home, which is situated on a 0.74 acre lot. The master opens up to a private deck, which is just perfect for enjoying a few moments before dealing with morning (or evening) chaos. And the master bath has been remodeled to include a new vanity and tile floor.

Gladiolus Backyard

Of course, this home could use a little polish, mostly with the landscaping. And after that it could be a supermodel among midcentury modern homes. Do you agree?



5333 Walnut Hill Lane extIt’s hard to imagine, but in 1963 Walnut Hill Lane was the new frontier of building in Dallas. Nothing typifies the period more than 5333 Walnut Hill Lane. Built in 1963, this sprawling ranch has all the ingredients that consumers were groovin’ back in 1963: port-cocheres with pebble aggregate driveways and patios; brick walls in the house. Sliding glass doors, oh my, they couldn’t get enough of them. Low ceilings were more typical of the 1950’s but they still abounded; however, in the early sixties we started to see a lot of these new things called “A-frame” ceilings where one edge of the room was at standard ceiling height, say 8 feet, the other soared up to a new height. Also so hot: brick and tile floors, aggregate marble, linoleum and even some stone. Very little wood was used as flooring unless specified. Iron gates as interior doors, barbecue grills right in the kitchen, and pendulous light fixtures that my dad once said reminded him of boobs.

I was a wee child in 1963, but I do recall a cool house my parents’ friends built somewhere outside of Chicago: Roy and Evelyn Scacia. Evelyn was one of my mother’s most sophisticated friends and she wore these flowing, Loretta-Young type dresses when she entertained. Their home had two sets of triple sliding glass doors, a double door entry that made my mother drool, an avocado formica kitchen (the built in oven was the talk of the day) and a sunken living room.

Of course, being young I first thought that a “sunken” living room was underwater or something, but later I would learn that it was designed to be two or three steps down from the main house to “define” the room and create an elegant gathering space for cocktail parties.

Thus 1963 was a huge year for step-down or step-up rooms in homes. Lawyers had not yet figured out the bucket-loads of money they could make for suing people who tripped in these rooms after too many martinis.

5333 Walnut Hill Lane has one of these step attributes, but this being Dallas the step-down comes after a dramatic entrance right off the double-doored foyer. This dramatic room has another element that was just coming to vogue: the skylight. The idea was to walk in and just be wowed. At 5333 Walnut Hill Lane, you are “wowed” by this columned, octagonal-shaped structure with a skylight that steps you down into the cocktail-party social scene. I can just see the men lighting cigarettes for the ladies.

5333 Walnut Hill Lane front door5333 Walnut Hill Lane sunken living roomI have a feeling Dave Perry-Miller agent Ryan Streiff is selling this pup as a acreage lot for homebuilding at $1,595,000 — my Lord there are 1.921 of them, wooded, far back enough from Walnut Hill Lane which was, in 1963, probably a two-lane highway. Now it the acreage is gated, and since it has never been on the market I am assuming these are the original owners. There are formals, five bedrooms, five full baths, which tells me this was a home built extremely well and without regard to cost. The laundry room even has a drain in the floor. There is a redwood sauna, which Stanley Marcus probably made popular in Dallas. Let me add that this is a pretty jazzed up laundry room for the era with a sink, counters, storage and room for a second refrigerator or freezer, which was also considered a sign of affluence. The pool is surrounded by aggregate stone, and I suspect this one has undergone some updating, as has the kitchen: it’s white, not avocado.5333 Walnut Hill Lane double doors

5333 Walnut Hill Lane breakfast 5333 Walnut Hill Lane study 5333 Walnut Hill Lane living room 5333 Walnut Hill Lane kitchenTake a look, too at the master bathroom: sunken bathtubs were quite the rage in the master bath and in 1963, they were sunken — you really stepped down into them, like a pool. The more brass and gold the faucets, the better.

5333 Walnut Hill Lane master sunken tub 5333 Walnut Hill Lane poolI don’t know. I think I would have a hard time tearing this house down. Yes, it’s 50 years old, but it is just a beautiful tribute to an era of elegance and all that we craved back then: youth, vigor, growth, sophistication.

So very like Jack and Jackie.



caruth boulevard Reisenbichler

The Dallas Center For Architecture hosts some amazing open houses, allowing patrons to tour homes with unique design elements and stunning construction and giving architecture lovers access to some truly one-of-a-kind properties.

This time patrons can tour a Park Cities home that is as sustainable as it is chic. Enjoy wine and hors d’oeuvres while touring this incredible 8,300-square-foot home designed by Perkins+Will principal Tom Reisenbichler, designed for himself and his family.

Reisenbichler’s objective was to prove that environmentally sensitive architecture can be both appealing to the eyes and senses. We think he achieved that, with an LEED-H Platinum structure that is absolutely enchanting but doesn’t distract from the natural beauty surrounding it.

“The use of entertaining spaces which flow from inside the home to under the canopy of trees, engages the site and creates wonderful linkages between spaces. The design is a balanced composition of solids and glass with strong horizontal lines tying the building to the site,” the press materials state. “The home uses high-quality reclaimed and recycled materials, such as teak, local stone for interior walls and tile rich in recycled content. The house far surpasses Energy Star efficiencies and uses the highest efficiency materials available in the market for insulation.”

You can see it for yourself on Nov. 21 from 6 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $75 per person and specific details will be shared after confirmation. Find out more about registering for this event on the Dallas Center For Architecture’s website.

Frank Lloyd Wright-Inspired Home Keeps a Son From Heading For The Hills


Y’all remember Rucker Hill, right? He’s the son of dynamo Nathan Grace agent Peggy Hill (no, not that Peggy Hill!) who has an eye for properties with remodeling in mind. His company, Rucker Design Build, has done some amazing work!

We love what he’s done with some of his projects, especially 10726 Meadowcliff, a 1970s contemporary he brought back to life. So, we were pleased as punch to hear he bought that gorgeous Lochwood Midcentury Modern we wrote about last week.


His mom, Peggy, is even more happy. You see, Rucker had planned to run off to Colorado, but after seeing 10815 Sinclair here on, he snapped it up and decided to stay put!

I think both Peggy and Rucker can consider themselves lucky, since listing agent Brandon Stewart says that amazing little Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired home sparked a feeding frenzy that ended with five bids all above asking!

Congrats, Rucker! And do keep us in the loop as you remodel this fabulous property!

Remember That Box of a House on Mockingbird? You Can See Its Insides on June 4

Mockingbird June 4

This Highland Park house was a controversy before it was even built. Neighbors in Craftsman, traditional, and Mediterranean mansions surrounding this modern modular home on Mockingbird (say that five times fast!) were up in arms on the design.

If you’re curious to see what all the fuss is about, the Dallas Architecture Forum will host a Modern Living Cocktail Reception at the Russell Buchanan-designed home June 4. Cheekily dubbed “Inside The Box,” guests can expect a talk from the designer at 6:45 p.m., cocktails, hors d’ oeuvres and a visual tour. The business casual event lasts from 6 to 8 p.m. and will set you back $75 per person.

Here’s the write-up from the Dallas Architecture Forum website:

MOCKINGBIRD residence is one of the most experimental and controversial new residences in Dallas. The building is clad in an ultra energy-efficient metal insulated panel system that combines maximum protection with minimum long-term maintenance. Designed for a young family in the stone import and fabrication business, the 4,410 sq ft residence contains a main building in a simple rectilinear shape, designed in plan using five equal squares. Adjacent to the main building is an entry vestibule clad entirely in onyx slab. Completing the composition is a polished black stone wall for privacy and security. Tailored details, such as the quirk miter at corners, subtly refer to the craft of the owners’ livelihood.

Solutions 4 Living is planning to build six modern custom homes on Oates Road in East Dallas.

Sometimes, overly modern homes can look a bit like spaceships that land in the middle of otherwise suburban areas. It’s best, I think, if you want to build a modern home to do so amidst other modern homes.

These kind of clusters are becoming more and more popular. Take Urban Reserve for example. This Mathews-Nichols Group development hugs White Rock Creek and offers homes in a broad price range — from the high $300Ks to upwards of $1 million — in a very natural setting.

Solutions 4 Living, a Houston-based builder of sustainable homes, is doing something very similar, if not on a much, much smaller scale.

The development, which will include six modern, sustainable homes, will occupy what was formerly two lots on Oates Road. Lots will range from 14,000 to 20,000 square feet, while the homes will be in the 2,000- to 3,000-square-foot range. The homes are being marketed in the $400,000 to $500,000 range, and the developer is looking to break ground on lot No. 6,  a spec home, this fall.

“The original expectation was to give buyers three home plans to choose from,” said Dara Childs of Solutions 4 Living, “however, as a custom home builder and designer, if a client were to request a new design, we would certainly strive to accomodate them and we are close to putting Lot No. 1 under contract in this manner.”

Subdividing lots, especially when they are that sizable, is nothing new. Personally, I think six lots is kind of a tight fit. I’d feel more comfortable with my neighbors if it were, perhaps, four lots. That’s enough distance without giving up too much in the way of profit.

Burke Lowe, who has partnered with Childs on the project, says the lots vary in depth from 200 to 295 feet. All of them, he added, will back up to a creek.

“We feel that the area is ready for development,” Childs said. “In the words of Robert Frost, the lots are ‘lovely, dark and deep.’ We think the lots will sell themselves.”

I do, however, like the idea of creating a niche of green custom homes in an area that is heavily treed and is right next to a creek. The only thing than concerns me a little is this post on the Solutions 4 Living blog extolling the virtues of composting toilets.