With Cooler Weather Looming, Houses Boasting Firepits are Hotter Than Ever

Those cool Dallas evenings bundled up on the coziest chair will soon be upon us. Many homeowners opt to take advantage of the season by incorporating a customized firepit into their outdoor area, creating a chic, comfortable spot for entertaining and relaxing. To that end, we’ve got some of the most beautiful, make-you-envious firepits in the city.


The firepit and seating at 6009 Royal Crest Drive mirrors what you’d find at the world’s finest resorts. Steel-gray gravel lines the area, and the cut-to-precision bushes and greenery add a natural touch. The light stone and fabric accents create an inviting atmosphere and complement the design of this Mediterranean-style home.


The Highland Park home at 4412 Lakeside Drive features an extraordinary firepit and outdoor area that’s surrounded by lush landscaping and accented by concrete floors and abundant space for seating. The firepit can be seen and enjoyed from the solarium, which boasts floor-to-ceiling windows.


1022 N. Montclair Avenue is a stunning Kessler Park Tudor that has an incredible outdoor area that includes trails, a foot bridge, a pond, and a firepit that has been designed to be a part of the natural setting. The firepit sits atop stone flooring and blends in to the lush surroundings.


Situated in Mayflower Estates is 5211 Meaders Lane. The home’s oversized backyard has a stone patio, a pool, a pergola, a pool bath, a play yard, and an elegantly designed firepit that sits among beautiful landscaping and mature trees.


4246 Northview Lane has a large backyard lined with mature trees. Here, the firepit, which is set just beyond the arbor, was designed with the same stonework as the backyard flooring. This minimalist design complements the overall ambiance of the backyard.

A version of this article also appears on CultureMap Dallas.

Dines & Kraft Home in Lakewood Will Be Held Open This Sunday Afternoon


Henda Salmeron is marketing 6748 Avalon Avenue, an architecturally significant Dines & Kraft home on a sought-after street in the Lakewood Conservation District. The house exemplifies timeless appeal, from its stained-glass windows, dentil crown molding, and curved archways to the generous, open rooms and handsome hardwood floors seen throughout.

To the left of the open entry is the formal living framed by beautiful windows, a gas-log fireplace, and ornate, dentil crown molding. Bi-fold doors separate the formal living room from a charming, brick-floored sunroom with sliding glass doors to a wood deck and the lushly landscaped backyard. Anchored between the formal living room and kitchen is the spacious formal dining room, highlighted by a beautiful bow window overlooking the backyard. A convenient powder bath serves the first floor.




The renovated kitchen offers granite countertops, copper-tile backsplash, custom cabinetry, built-in plate rack, an island, dual sinks, and top-quality stainless appliances. An adjoining breakfast room leads outside to a delightful covered patio and rear yard.



A handsome hardwood staircase — with stained-glass windows alongside — leads upstairs to three generously sized bedrooms with en-suite baths. The master suite has room for a sitting area, along with a beautifully appointed master bath.






The spectacular backyard encompasses an expansive covered patio and deck, a mosquito misting system, a firepit, a lush lawn, a pergola, a greenhouse, and a board-on-board privacy fence. An added bonus is the attractive two-story detached guest house featuring 1,600 square feet of living. Amenities include a full-size kitchen, a living and dining area, a bedroom, a full bath, a game room, and an upstairs loft. Ample parking space includes a circular drive and a five-car garage.






As president of the Lakewood Neighborhood Association, Salmeron points out that Lakewood has become one of Dallas’ most sought-after neighborhoods.

“The gracious tree-lined streets, the abundance of parks, and the easy access to downtown make this neighborhood a perfect place to call home,” Salmeron says. “White Rock Lake with its jogging and biking trails, sailing, and the Dallas Arboretum help define the area lifestyle.”

6748 Avalon is priced at $1,099,000 and will be open from 3:30 to 5 on Sunday afternoon. For more information or to schedule a private showing, contact Henda Salmeron at 214-520-4433 or henda@daveperrymiller.com.

Bold Color Choices Can Make Your Property Stand Out From the Crowd

Experts in home renovation and interior design agree that one of the most effective ways to make a personal statement, bring in a pop of color, or create an ambiance is through paint and texture.  From natural tones to accent walls, here are four homes that use paint for colorful and dramatic flair.

Natural Look


The home at 5800 Armstrong Parkway demonstrates the use of natural hues in several rooms. Airy light blue in the bedroom creates a calming effect; pale teal in the children’s bedroom establishes a playful atmosphere; and the deeper pale green in the dining room creates cozy yet inviting ambience. This gorgeous Park Cities home features authentic French influences and high-end finishes throughout. The chef’s kitchen has soap-stone counters and a black granite island with top-brand appliances. The home also offers a formal library; master suite with his/her baths, walk-in closets, and coffee bar; and exercise room/study. Additional features include an elevator, motor court, art gallery, and exterior apartment.





Bring in the Blues


The Mid-Century Modern home at 10110 Daria Drive has a must-see kitchen. The blue-hued Geneva cabinets are accented by silver backsplash tiling and sleek hardware for a clean and inviting modern look. This home also features terrazzo and hardwood floors, master bath with dressing area, and kitchenette near the pool.

Go Green


The living room of the Greenway Parks home at 5560 Waneta Drive is a study in green. Three walls are painted in a lime hue, while the fourth wall is covered with kelly green patterned wallpaper. The room is pulled together with green side chairs and accents—and decorated by Michelle Nussbaumer, who is known for her beautiful interiors work. This four-bedroom home is located on a greenbelt and features an open floor plan, chef’s kitchen, game room, and office.


Another estate to use green is the Classic Mediterranean at 6810 Turtle Creek Boulevard. Here, you’ll find taffy green walls and matching furnishings (including a green chandelier!) in one of the six bedrooms. This home sits on 0.9 acres along Turtle Creek and features beautiful landscaping, wide plank wood floors, paneled study, wine cellar, and a master that opens onto a terrace.


How have you used paint as an accent throughout your home? Share your favorite colors in the space below.

This story first appeared on CultureMap Dallas.

Newly Released Analysis Says Dallas is Among Nation’s Best Sellers’ Markets

One of Dave Perry-Miller & Associates' newest listings is 10490 Silverock Drive in East Dallas, which Jim Berrong is marketing for $469,000.
One of Dave Perry-Miller & Associates’ newest listings is 10490 Silverock Drive, which Jim Berrong is marketing for $469,000.

Dallas is one of the hottest markets for sellers, according to a new analysis by Zillow. Only California’s Bay Area and Seattle favored sellers more.

On the whole, the best conditions for sellers — with homes being on the market for a shorter time, price cuts occurring less frequently, and homes being sold at prices very close to their listing prices — can be found on the West Coast or in the Southwest. Conversely, most of the metropolitan areas that Zillow deemed favorable for buyers were in the Northeast.

If you’re looking to buy a home in Dallas, that means you need to strike while the iron’s hot. Check out our newly listed properties to get a jump on the competition.

Property Tax Rates Approved in Dallas, Highland Park, and University Park

This afternoon, the Dallas City Council approved maintaining its property tax rate at 79.7 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. That means the owner of a $1,000,000 home in Dallas will send the city $7,970 in taxes for fiscal 2015, which begins Oct. 1.

Today’s decision came on the heels of the Highland Park Town Council keeping that town’s tax rate at 22 cents per $100, while the University Park City Council actually lowered its tax rate from 27.432 cents to 26.979 cents. So that means owners of $1,000,000 homes in the Park Cities will pay $2,200 (HP) and $2,698 (UP) in municipal taxes.

Why is Dallas’ rate so much higher than those of the Park Cities? Well, as we all know, the houses in Highland Park and University Park are, on average, more valuable than those in Dallas. So the governments can afford a lower rate if the taxable values are so much higher. As these charts indicate, Highland Park and University Park typically have the county’s lowest municipal tax rates, while Cockrell Hill’s and Lancaster’s are among the highest.

But enough about tax rates. Let’s discuss those million-dollar houses. Here are three homes, one in each municipality, that are on the market for somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,000,000.



The four-bedroom home at 6215 Prestondell Drive is listed for exactly $1,000,000. It’s situated on two-thirds of an acre on a private cul-de-sac in North Dallas. The house boasts a massive master suite including an exercise room, plus three living areas, a study, and a chef’s kitchen.

Highland Park


The two-story house at 4529 Fairway Avenue can be a single-family home or divided into a duplex. Original stained-glass windows and period tile work maintain the charm of this great building offered for $999,000. The outdoor living spaces include large patios and separate arbor areas.

University Park


The charming Tudor cottage at 4316 Stanford Avenue is listed for $995,000. It includes walk-in closets in all three bedrooms, and the family room features a large window with great views of the lush backyard. Living in the Idlewild subdivision means you can walk to Highland Park High School.

(Note that each home is illustrated by a photo of outdoor seating. I figured potential buyers would want a pleasant place to sit as they calculated their tax bill.)

Don’t Miss Your Chance to Win a Prize From the CASA Parade of Playhouses

Butscher Construction Company built this recreation of the house from Pixar's "Up."
Butscher Construction Company built this recreation of the house from Pixar’s “Up.” It would look great in the Kollers’ backyard.

If you haven’t bought a raffle ticket for Dallas CASA’s Parade of Playhouses at NorthPark Center, you have until 3 p.m. on Sunday to remedy the situation.

The Parade of Playhouses is an annual fundraiser for Dallas CASA, which stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates. Generous corporations and sponsors build and donate the playhouses, which are raffled to raise funds so that Dallas CASA can provide more volunteer advocates to help abused children have safe, permanent homes.

Raffle tickets are $5 apiece, but $20 will get you five of them. My family and I used to spread our raffle tickets among five different houses, but for the past couple of years we’ve been playing the odds, i.e. setting our sights on one house in particular — such as this Texas Rangers model two years ago — and then putting all of our proverbial eggs in that basket. It hasn’t worked out for us so far, but this year we have our fingers crossed that we’re going to win a miniature version of the house from Pixar’s Up. So if you could place all of your raffle tickets in a different house’s box, my sons and I would really appreciate it.

What’s that? You’ve never seen Up? Well, grab some tissues before you watch this pivotal four-minute segment from early in the film.

Owner of Luxury Mansion in Bluffview Hopes Luxury Vehicle Helps Seal Deal

This is a much sweeter incentive than the iPads that are typically dangled in front of buyers’ agents.

The owner of 5139 Seneca Drive, a seven-bedroom mansion that sits on 2.34 acres in Bluffview, is motivated to move the property. Not only has he reduced the price by $1 million, he’s offering a unique bonus to the agent who brings a buyer to the table: a custom 2013 Mercedes SL550. As Chad Schulin, the Dave Perry-Miller associate representing the seller, points out, the luxury sedan has massage functions in both front seats. That should feel really nice as the buyer’s agent drives to the bank to cash the $300,000 commission check.

Prominent Seven-Bedroom Estate at Inwood and Royal Goes on the Market

Anybody who’s taken a drive through Preston Hollow knows this house.

If you’ve driven down Royal Lane or Inwood Road at any time in the last 20 years, then you’re familiar with the estate on the southeast corner of those two streets. It’s notable because it’s the only property at that crossing that isn’t hidden by a wall or trees or both.

You know the one I’m talking about, right? Then you’ll be interested to know that you could buy it.

The mansion at 10770 Inwood Road includes seven bedrooms, each of which features an adjoining full bathroom; an enormous kitchen with two refrigerators, three ovens, three dishwashers; a fully outfitted gym on the first floor that could easily be converted into a master bedroom, because it already has a steam shower; a wine cellar; three garages that can hold a combined six vehicles; and a media room that boasts blackout drapes and a $250,000 sound system.

The kitchen includes three ovens, three dishwashers, and two refrigerators.

“There are many expensive homes on the market, but this truly is an estate,” said Dave Perry-Miller associate Charme Gallini, who’s listing the property for $7,700,000.

The mansion sits on 1.74 acres, and as I strolled around the backyard — which includes a saltwater pool — I was struck by how quiet it was, given the location near a prominent intersection. If you look closely at the photo of the backyard, you’ll notice two gargoyles on each of the three balconies overlooking the pool. Charme pointed out that all six of them are whimsical twists on gutter spouts; the rain runs off the balconies through the gargoyles’ mouths. How fun is that?

Don’t take my word for it; tour the property yourself. Charme can be reached at 214-215-5136 or charme@daveperrymiller.com.

Look closely at the three balconies, and you’ll notice two gargoyles’ faces on each one.
The formal dining room
The formal dining room
A sitting room on the first floor
A sitting room on the first floor
One of the seven bedrooms, all of which are upstairs
One of the seven bedrooms, all of which are upstairs

Your Children Will Love You Forever If You Buy This Home With a Water Slide

See the black spiral staircase in the middle of the photo? It leads to the top of the slide.
See the black spiral staircase in the middle of the photo? It leads to the top of the slide.

With more than 3,400 square feet of beautifully updated space, the house at 6522 Park Lane includes four bedrooms, four bathrooms, two living areas, and one two-story water slide.

Yes, you read that right — a two-story water slide.

The owner had the slide installed in the late ’80s, when his two sons were in their early teens. Those boys are now men with families of their own, but they still enjoy their childhood home’s most unusual feature.

“The slide has turned a lot of adults into kids over the years,” the owner said. “Many, many kids have enjoyed it, but the adults have probably had more fun.”

He paid $15,000 for the slide, which was installed at the same time that the pool was being dug. After placing a call to Wet ’n Wild, the Arlington water park now known as Hurricane Harbor, he was able to order the slide from an affiliated park in Georgia.

“It just occurred to me that if they sold them in pieces, then you ought to be able to buy a smaller version of the ones at Wet ’n Wild,” he said.

Sliders get to the top by climbing a spiral staircase, which also leads to a second-floor balcony. As you can imagine, dozens of family members and friends have climbed those stairs over the years.

“It’s solid as a rock; it’s welded on there,” the owner said. “The slide’s been used a lot, but it’s as sturdy as can be.”

Here's another angle of the bottom of the slide ...
Here’s another angle of the bottom of the slide …
... and here's another angle of the top.
… and here’s another angle of the top.

Register For the Tour des Fleurs Before Fees Increase at Midnight on Thursday

Holly Aldredge shows off the branded water bottles distributed at last year's Tour des Fleurs. (Photo by Ben Marshall)
Holly Aldredge shows off the branded water bottles distributed at last year’s Tour des Fleurs. (Photo by Ben Marshall)

If you’re considering running in the Tour des Fleurs, you should be aware that the registration fees will rise at midnight Thursday. Dave Perry-Miller & Associates is the presenting sponsor of the Sept. 20 event, which will include 10K and 20K races that begin and end at the Dallas Arboretum. A number of our associates will compete, while those of us who are not so athletically inclined (ahem) will be on site to cheer on the runners and pass out schwag.