Denton County Magazine May-June 2020

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DENTON County MAY/JUNE 2020 $5.95








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MAY/JUNE Volume 3, Issue 3



Special Home Section

Inspiration, trends and expert advice you can use right now to spiff up your abode.


What defines our county today

11 Developing News

The latest on eight mixed-use developments

16 Nonprofit Spotlight

Habitat for Humanity of Denton County

18 Time Machine

Photo courtesy of Clarke Landry.

UNT's Women's Defense Corps

IN E V E RY ISSUE 8 About This Issue On the cover: Irwin Construction's farmhouse-style renovation can be seen in more detail at — complete with paint colors, materials used and before pics. Photo courtesy of Irwin Construction. M AY/J U N E 2 02 0 D E N T O N CO U N T Y


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There’s No Place Like Home


e hope that you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic and that you’re coping well with all that 2020 is throwing at you. Like most things these days, this magazine looks a little different right now, but we’re still here to help you live your best life in Denton County with this special issue. Since we’re all spending a lot more time than usual in our homes, we wanted to bring you a whole issue of stories that will help you make your time within your four walls a little — or a lot — more pleasant. This special edition of the magazine will provide you with expert tips, inspirational photos and interesting stories of Denton County citizens doing amazing things with their homes and yards. Turn to page 20 for: u Inspiring before-and-after renovation photos u Tips on how to declutter your whole house u Design trends you can use right now to freshen up your space u Expert advice on how to plant a lush, sustainable garden in North Texas u Surprising insights on what it’s really like to live in just 375 square feet with a family of four u Hidden treasures from local antique malls u Stories on custom wine cellars, luxury garages and faux materials that will make your next renovation easier u The sagas of a long-abandoned Sanger mansion turned event venue and a relocated historic home in Grapevine u Pictures of some of Denton County’s most desirable dream homes

If you haven’t already, please visit dentoncountymagazine. com to get this magazine delivered to your home six times a year for just $25. As always, we welcome story ideas, photo submissions and feedback of all kinds. Have you done some home renovations or improvements while in quarantine? Share them with us! Email us at


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PUBLISHER Bill Patterson S A L E S M A N AG E R Shawn Reneau ACCO U N T EXECUTIVES Becci Hendrix Joanne Horst Danielle Thompson Shelly Vannatta MAILING ADDRESS 3555 Duchess Drive Denton, Texas 76205 EDITORIAL 940-566-6879 A DV E R T I S I N G INQUIRIES 940-566-6843 C R E AT I V E PA R T N E R madison/miles media

EDITORS Kimberly Turner, Rachel Hedstrom EXECUTIVE EDITOR Sean McCrory DESIGN DI RECTOR Ben Carpenter DESIGNER Phil Lor CO N T R I B U T I N G W R I T E R S Kristy Alpert, Abigail Boatwright, Samantha Colaianni, Jessica DeLeón, Mary Dunklin, Nicole Foster, Annette Nevins, Paula Felps, Nicole Foster, Rachel Hedstrom, Ellen Ritscher Sackett, Donna Stokes, Leslie J. Thompson, Kimberly Turner CO N T R I B U T I N G PHOTOGRAPH ER Abigail Boatwright PROOFREADER Wendy Angel

SUBSCRIPTIONS Subscribe to Denton County magazine for $25/year. Subscribe online at or mail a check or visit us at 3555 Duchess Drive, Denton, Texas 76205. For subscription questions, call 940-387-3811. S T O RY I D E A S LETTERS TO TH E EDITOR Write to Please include your full name, city and phone number. Denton County magazine reserves the right to edit for length and clarity. L I K E U S FAC E B O O K FIND US ONLINE

© Copyright 2020: Denton County magazine is published by Denton Media Company, publishers of the Denton Record-Chronicle. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part of any text, photograph or illustration without written permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited. Editorial content does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the publisher.


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What defines our county today

INSIDE: u Updates on Denton County’s mixed-use developments u A blast from the past at UNT u Habitat for Humanity’s work for Denton County families



Lakeside Village in Flower Mound

T Image courtesy of Realty Capital

ake a brief nap in Denton County and you’ll wake up to find a new mixed-use or residential development. It’s the nature of being one of the fastest-growing counties in the nation. Whether you’re looking for a new community to call home or just keeping up with the bustling progress, here are some updates on a few of the larger new and planned developments.

Development: Lakeside Village

Location: Southern Flower Mound What it is: Villa homes and high-rise residences, offices and restaurants, with terraces overlooking the lake are all planned. In total, the development will have approximately 2,200 residences and 705,000 square feet of commercial space, for a combined value of $1.5 billion. Progress: The project is currently 75% complete, with construction of the final 40-acre phase expected to begin the second quarter of 2020. What makes it different: Plans offer many ways for the public to interact with the lake views, from public trails and community green space to restaurants, an amphitheater, hotel and wedding venue.

Other features: “Lakeside Village aims to share the treasures of the town of Flower Mound with the rest of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex,” says Austin Gray of Realty Capital. “Lakeside Village will open the beautiful views of Lake Grapevine to the whole community.”

Development: Harvest

Location: Argyle What it is: The first “agrihood” in the Dallas-Fort Worth area features 3,850 homes and 150 gardening plots that families can use to grow fresh vegetables for their own tables or their neighbors’. Price: Homes in the $200,000 to $500,000 range What makes it different: Offering a unique and simple lifestyle, Harvest in M AY/J U N E 2 02 0 D E N T O N CO U N T Y


Argyle grew out of the farm-to-table food movement that values community connection and homegrown friendships. “People were looking for ways to enjoy life more simply and know their neighbors. They were planning more ‘staycations’ than vacations,” says Diana Carroll, Hillwood Communities’ marketing manager. Other features: Hillwood donated land for an on-site elementary school, adding to the neighborhood feeling.

Development: Corinth Project (unnamed)

Location: Corinth at Corinth Parkway and I-35E What it is: This 20-acre mixed-use community will feature up to 350 residences adjacent to restaurants, a hotel and other commercial businesses. Progress: Expected to break ground later this year What makes it different: High-end, multi-family residences and a trail system will join a network around


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Corinth, linking public amenities and entertainment options not currently available in town. The developers, Realty Capital Management, say the project, a part of the city’s master plan, will be pedestrian-friendly and focused around a new transit station. Other features: “The unique cluster of patio-centered restaurants, combined with quality mixed-use, will grow the tax base, promote further investment in the area and further establish Corinth as a prestigious location for businesses and residents to grow and thrive together,” says Austin Gray, development partner for Realty Capital.

Development: Pecan Square

Location: Northlake, on the former Woodhill horse farm about a mile west of Interstate I-35W and 30 miles north of Fort Worth What it is: The Hillwood Communities development will be 3,100 homes at build-out.

Price: Homes in the mid-$200,000 to $600,000 range What makes it different: The town square, the traditional center of community life, is featured prominently in the Pecan Square development and will serve as a place to gather for holidays and community barbecues. The development, which will essentially double the current population of Northlake, features a community center and a dramatic entry off FM 407 with two rows of trees down the center of a grand boulevard. Other features: While the town square concept sparks memories of a quaint vision of life in the past, Pecan Square’s tech-savvy homes are outfitted for modern life, with Wi-Fi, video doorbells and smart-home hubs that neighbors can use to stay connected and make plans to attend on-property activities like concerts or yoga classes. A co-working space is also a part of the mix at Pecan Square.

Image courtesy of Realty Capital


Corinth’s newest development will feature 350 residences, a hotel, restaurants and more.

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Aspen Meadows in Aubrey

Development: Aspen Meadows

Location: Aubrey, off FM 2931 and Frontier Parkway

What it is: With 312 homes on 116 acres, including 40 acres of private nature preserve, the development will feature three parks, a trail system, campsites,

dog parks, a community pool and pavilion, a playground and scenic overlooks that focus on bringing the community together.

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Image courtesy of Huffines Communities


Price: Homes will be priced from the low $200,000s. What makes it different: Aspen Meadows aims to provide homebuyers with small-town charm. “We are excited to bring more new homeowners and residents to the fast-growing Denton and Aubrey communities,” says Garrett Huffines, project manager with Huffines Communities. “We are focusing on bringing the outdoors into a small, tight-knit community. We hope that each neighbor gets to know one another and takes part in the outdoor lifestyle Aspen Meadows offers.” Other features: Residents will still have easy access to the employment hubs in Denton and surrounding counties and will be in the Aubrey ISD. Phase 1 is scheduled for completion by the end of May, and Phase 2 by the end of the year.

Development: Union Park

Location: Little Elm, along U.S. Highway 380, near FM 1385


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15,000 new homes to Denton, covering about 6,000 acres along I-35W in far southwest Denton. Progress: In April, Denton City Council approved special taxing districts to help finance Hunter Ranch (a Hillwood Communities planned project) and Cole Ranch (a Stratford Land project). What makes them different: Hunter Ranch will be Hillwood’s largest project, with about 7,000 to 8,000 lots. Cole Ranch, a 3,070-acre master-planned community of retail, industrial, office and both single-family and multi-family units, will include 600 acres designated as green space. Other features: If everything goes as planned for both developments, the Denton school district could add six elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school to serve the area. The developers also plan new apartments, shops and businesses, including a corporate campus for the base of Pilot Knob Hill.

Development: Hunter Ranch and Cole Ranch

Location: Denton What they are: Proposed as master-planned communities, Cole Ranch and Hunter Ranch could bring more than

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What it is: The walkable 1,100-acre residential community will feature 3,200 single-family homes. Price: Prices start in the mid-$200,000s. What makes it different: Union Park was designed as a walkable community, with miles of walking and bike trails that lead to Central Park, a 30-acre oasis of fields, woods and trails. Other features: The Hillwood Communities’ development also offers a food truck park, open-air pavilion for concerts, fishing pond and Exploration Park, an ADA-accessible discovery park for children. The development is also convenient to restaurants in nearby Frisco, as well as the growing lakefront district of Lake Lewisville.


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Built with Love Habitat for Humanity volunteers construct homes for those in need. BY JESSICA DELEÓN


arla Miller, a single mother of three, faced numerous problems in her duplex. Her washer was in the kitchen, her dryer in the dining room. She covered the windows and doors with blankets when it got cold. The plumbing didn’t always work. So Miller — who works as the activities director and hairdresser at Cottonwood Nursing and Rehabilitation in Denton — was elated when she found out that Habitat for Humanity of Denton County would build a new home for her. “The whole Cottonwood heard me,” she recalls. “This is a blessing times 20.”

The Miller family: Austin, Carla, Charlie and Aspen


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Place to Call Home Volunteers for both the Denton County affiliate and its international parent organization build homes for those in need. Miller’s home will be the 103rd house built by Habitat of Humanity of Denton County, which is in its 23rd year. “Habitat for Humanity believes everyone deserves a decent place to live,” says Lora Blakeslee Atkinson, interim executive director and director of resource development. Eligible families may not have owned a home in the past and must have an income that is at least 80 percent below the median — about $25,000 for a family of four. Selected families pay a mortgage with 0 percent interest and contribute 350 to 400 hours of sweat equity by working on house builds or conducting other volunteer work. Miller’s new, 1,200-square-foot home in Pilot Point will include a living room, three bedrooms, two baths and a laundry room. Like all Habitat for Humanity houses, it will come with appliances, a shed and a lawnmower. “It means the world,” Miller says. “It’s stability. It’s somewhere for me and my family to call a home.” Community Support Funding usually comes from donations, grants and other fundraisers, but in

Volunteers have built more than 100 homes for Denton County families.

How to Help: Shop at ReStore, a home improvement store with new and gently used items, and Ruth’s Room, a thrift store, both in Denton. Visit to learn more. u Learn about volunteer opportunities and ways to donate at u Keep an eye out for fundraising events such as the annual Party With a Purpose. u

Miller’s case, the Cross Timbers Rotary Club of Flower Mound contributed $105,000 through fundraisers and a grant from the David Henry Foundation. The club also will put in 360 volunteer shifts for the house’s 14-week build. When Miller spoke to the club in December, her story reaffirmed the group’s commitment, says Cross Timbers Rotary Club President Ginger Eads. “It was just one of those magical days [that reminds us that] this is why we do all our hard work,” she says. David A. Johnson, board president of Habitat for Humanity of Denton County, emphasizes how rewarding the work is. “Seeing the smiles… on the children and the parents at the dedication, and knowing the kids will sleep in their own bedrooms is very fulfilling,” he says. “Love went into the building in the home. A secure, safe home they’ll be able to live in for 20 years is really the most vivid example of the value of Habitat.”

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Photo courtesy of Denton Public Library via The Portal to Texas History

Training on the Tower The Women’s Defense Corps (WDC) was formed at UNT in 1942 as part of the North Texas WWII efforts. This photo shows members training on a three-story fire drill tower. The only known women’s training unit in the country at the time, the WDC trained its members in skills such as first aid, firefighting, gas mask usage, ambulance driving and other tasks that would prepare them to become leaders in home and hometown defense. One of the school’s first Hispanic students, Maria Isabel Rodriguez, aka Betty Rodriquez, was appointed second lieutenant of WDC’s Company B.


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renovation inspiration t ra n sfor m at ion s


Bringing the 1920s Into the Present

This 1920s Tudor-style home in downtown Denton has all the charm and features of its era — including a small kitchen with a galley layout that Kelley Irwin defines as “choppy.” Walls closed it off from the dining room on one side and a hallway on the other. “This family has five children and couldn’t be in the kitchen at the same time!” she says.


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Photos by Darby McFall

If the four walls you’ve been staring at need an update, you’ll want inspiration for your home makeover. Irwin Construction — run by husband-and-wife duo Jeremy and Kelley Irwin — has been helping Denton County families breathe new life into their homes since 2014. Here are a few of their favorite renovations.

Working hard to maximize space, the Irwins drew the layout again and again before landing on the idea of moving the water heater to allow the refrigerator to be installed at a 45-degree angle, a design that allows visibility into the kitchen. The addition of a large peninsula with seating creates a place for kids to do homework while mom is cooking, bringing the family together.

Keeping the original character of the kitchen was important to the homeowners, so extra care was taken to preserve features such as the antique windows and make sure that any new elements fit in seamlessly.

Custom-made corbels separate the kitchen from the dining room and tie in with the new trim and back-banding around the windows.

Kelley enjoys the contrast of the dark stain in the original dining room with the white paint in the renovated kitchen. The juxtaposition creates a design that feels at once classic and refreshed. M AY/J U N E 2 02 0 D E N T O N CO U N T Y



“This is an example of a house that was completely livable — a lot of it even looked nice in photos — but it wasn’t super functional; it wasn’t laid out well,” Kelley says. The front door, for example, opened to three uninviting walls, and the boy’s bathroom was extremely dated and dark.

The project, the Irwin Farmhouse, was very personal to the couple, who purchased it for their own family in 2018. In what Kelley calls one of her toughest design challenges, she redesigned the entire circa-1981 house in one-and-a-half weeks before shifting gears to sell her former home and move her family in before the school year began. Jeremy spent three months gutting the house and adding on. These images show the entryway and boys’ bathroom after renovation.

The walls that had previously separated the entryway from both the kitchen and the living room were demolished (“We passed around a sledgehammer to the tune of a Michael Jackson song,” Kelley remembers fondly). Because the walls were load-bearing, beams were installed in the attic to support the weight. “One thing that worked for us was the solid hardwood flooring,” Kelley explains. “We patched it in areas where we took out the walls and refinished them all.”


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The garage addition and half bath were converted into a master suite with the same modern farmhouse aesthetic as the rest of the home. Neutral colors and clean lines are balanced with textures and warm wood accents. Black and iron elements add a modern twist to traditional elements such as shiplap.

Photos by Darby McFall

Making a House Into a Home

Creating a Bright and Homey Kitchen If this before picture looks familiar, it’s probably because many kitchens in Denton County have the same look and feel. The owners of this 1999 home were the first to live here and had been there for some time before getting help from Irwin Builds.

The kitchen was full of “dead spaces” like the corner desk area, empty space above the cabinets, tiny island and bi-level peninsula. One of the goals was to eliminate these wasted spaces with the new design.

The clients asked for an updated kitchen with an all-white motif, but they were receptive to Kelley’s suggestion to also incorporate some warm elements. “In the past several years, there’s been a giant rise in the all-white kitchen, which can feel sterile without a lot of natural light,” she says. “It can feel like a hospital. I think also that if you don’t have some touchstones of warmth in there, it doesn’t feel ‘homey.’”

Bringing the custom cabinets up to the ceiling added storage space, reduced visual clutter and made the room seem taller. The island was painted a rich blue, and a beautiful herringbone marble backsplash chosen by the homeowner provided a taupe undertone that tied the look together.

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how to Considering your own home makeover? Jeremy and Kelley Irwin offer these tips: Make an inspiration board. “I usually ask people to make me a giant Pinterest board and pin things they like. Sometimes, I can see patterns in their choices that they can’t even see themselves,” Kelley says. The internet can provide an abundance of inspiration (don’t forget to check out past issues of Denton County magazine at DentonCountyMagazine. com). Keep in mind that square footage makes a difference. Kelley encourages homeowners to look for inspiration photos of rooms similar in size and layout to their own. Be realistic about your budget, and do your homework. “Not everyone recognizes how much quality work and materials cost,” Kelley says. One of the worst things you can do, she says, is to invest in high-quality materials and then skimp on installation. “Use contractors that take pride in their craftsmanship,” she says. “See a contractor’s finished work in person to make sure the quality meets your expectations. That’s where our website really started from.” Trust the contractor you hire. If you have done your homework, Kelley says, then you have found a contractor who can bring your vision to life. They should be experienced in renovations and should have done enough of them to know how certain aspects may turn out. See the process as a collaboration, and listen to their advice.


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Cleaning Up a Dated Design This bathroom not only had a dated design, it didn’t function the way the homeowner preferred. “This client has a very traditional home in Corinth, so we tried to keep the updated look she liked while making it work for her house,” says Kelley.

Using blue for the vanities was the homeowner’s choice, and Irwin Builds used the color as the star of the palette, keeping everything else neutral and textured. The ceramic floor (“It’s really easy care,” Kelley says) was laid in a herringbone pattern, and the glossy white subway tile adds texture. The freestanding tub and arched window provide a striking focal point without adding clutter. Removing a linen closet the homeowner didn’t need allowed for a larger, more open shower with a large, sliding glass door, which was the biggest change to the bathroom. The additional space gained from using a vanity with more storage allows the homeowner to easily reach her linens. “We added a lot of space by not having a cut-out in the vanity,” Kelley says.

Redeeming a Dilapidated House

One of Irwin Builds’ signature renovations is a home they lovingly call “The Redemption House.” Close to being condemned after an extended period of vacancy and neglect, the home was called “unlivable” — until a local couple decided to bring it back to life.

“The house was built in 1916, and we were working on it exactly 100 years later, in 2016,” says Kelley. Of primary importance was keeping the character of the house wherever possible (the shiplap on the ceilings is original, for example), while incorporating the family’s mid-century modern style.

Photos by Darby McFall

The work started by making the necessary repairs to the actual structure of the house, then opening the space up to maximize it. The new master bathroom features black hexagon tiles that help tie the stand-alone, clawfoot tub in with the clean white subway tiles.

Among the many unique finds construction teams discovered under the house were a tanning bed, a boa constrictor snake and an antique door. Kelley decided to paint the door teal and use it as a sliding, barn door for the couple’s new pantry. Friends who had helped work on the house along with the Irwins signed the chalkboard portions of the door as a surprise for the homeowners.

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big t i ny home s



ess is more for the Schons, a family living in America’s first urban area community of tiny homes. Homes in this development, located just two blocks off Main Street in Lake Dallas, can measure no more than 8.5 feet by 40 feet. The Schons’ humble abode is just 375 square feet. GETTING DOWN TO WHAT MATTERS Katie Schon admits downsizing takes time, but she is glad they made the change. “We love it,” she says of the move they made last October. “We’re a close family, so we focus on time we spend with each other instead of hanging onto all our stuff.” Katie also points out that living small makes financial sense and helps organize their lives. “We don’t worry about leaving so much behind when we travel,” she says. “It takes 30 minutes to clean. And, we can move whenever we want.”

The homes are small on space, but big on personality.


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The downsizing process started two years ago when the Schons — Katie, Rick, their two children, two dogs and two cats — moved from their 1,800-square-foot home in Garland to a 900-square-foot home in East Dallas. There, in the backyard, they built their 375-square-foot tiny home from the ground up. MOVIN’ ON UP Rick, a catastrophe claims adjuster, hitched the completed tiny house to a truck and drove it to one of 13 spaces in the Lake Dallas Tiny Home Village, where they connected to the community’s water, sewer and electrical systems. Living tiny in a 375-square-foot home may sound like cramped quarters for a family, but each child has their own space. Their son’s loft overlooks the kitchen, and their daughter’s is above the bathroom. The couple’s room is in the gooseneck part of the six-room house. Their children are homeschooled in a classroom just steps away in their living room. Small touches inside make the homemade habitat uniquely theirs. Their home’s floors, for example, were personalized during construction with decoupage created from pages of books selected by the couple’s two children, 10-year-old Jakub and 6-year-old Cora.

GAINING POPULARITY The tiny home community was established by developer Terry Lantrip, who says, “We had this really nice property, complete with trees and an old 1910 farmhouse, and no real plans for it. The property was purchased from the original family and they requested that the house not be torn down, and the large old pecan trees be saved. That limited options for this property.” A few years ago, Lantrip visited Earth Day in Dallas, an event where nine tiny homes were available to tour. “As I was looking at them, and seeing their popularity, I thought this would be a cute addition to the Lake Dallas Downtown District.” Today, the Lake Dallas Village is a thriving community of young families, couples and singles, and is the first village of its kind within any city limits. Some of those who helped plan and build the Lake Dallas Village are now working in the initial stages to build additional villages. “It’s fun to see residents living their daily lives at the Village,” Lantrip says. “It’s a close-knit community where they spend a lot of time outdoors with other residents, just hanging out, grilling, working in the community garden, working on their yards and helping each other.” One couple even put together a Little Free Library at the front of the Village, along with a bench. And, there, along with other tiny homes, sits the Schon Schack, a tiny house full of family, life and only the things that really matter to them.

Photo courtesy of Lake Dallas Tiny Home Village


Wilson Daggett plants yellow lantanas at the Lake Dallas Tiny Home Village.


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Denton, TX 76201

H O M E a nt iq ue s


Reel-to-Reel Tape Deck, $795 This TEAC Model X-10R reel-to-reel tape deck has three reels, tapes and commercial hubs. It’s been serviced and is ready to go. A Sharpe Receiver and Monteverdi Speakers are also available to round out your retro sound setup. Piano Bar, $595 This Stratford piano repurposed into a bar, complete with glass holders, is a one-of-a-kind piece that is sure to draw attention at your next cocktail party.


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If you love antiques, vintage and retro items or unique home décor, you’re just a stone’s throw away from 35,000 square feet of heaven. Antique Experience Denton and The Antique Gallery, both located in the shopping center at 5800 North I-35, offer thousands of items to satisfy your collector’s heart. Denton County magazine took a tour of these two stores and found a few treasures to share with you.

Vaseline Glass, $26–60 Vaseline glass was first made in the 1800s and perfected in 1860. To create it, glass makers add small amounts of uranium oxide to produce brilliant, yellow-colored glass. When exposed to ultraviolet light, it glows bright green. These are reproductions, but because of the material’s scarcity, they are very collectible.

Post-World War II Uniform Jacket, $50 Own a piece of history with this “Ike” jacket, aka Eisenhower jacket, from 1949. It was issued to members of the U.S. Army as a dress and parade uniform. Because of its comfort and utility, the jacket style is still used today by various federal and state law enforcement agencies across America.

Thai Elephant, $500 This captivating elephant head was handcarved in Thailand and features inlaid mirrored glass and intricate details. “Trunk up for blessing and favor!”

English Trolley, $850 This huge, rare English wicker trolley is set on industrial wheels that still work. It was used by the British General Post Office to move letters and parcels.

Seed Counter, $1,950 This useful wooden cabinet once held seeds for sale — as shown in display here — with drawers on the back side that correspond with the seeds. Today, this handsome conversation piece can be used for files or other objects.

Wooden Bistro Table, $2,500 This statement piece made of reclaimed wood is just one of many beautiful, rustic wooden pieces in Bill and June Marquis’ booth.

about the shops

Antique Experience Denton is 13,000 square feet of ever-changing antiques and collectibles, including one of the largest collections of advertising signs and tins in North Texas. You’ll find furniture, antique books, Native American rugs and pottery, Western items, cameras and more. Furniture styles include American, European, primitive and art deco.

The Antique Gallery houses one of the largest collections of dealers in North Texas. It has more than 22,000 square feet of everything from antiques and vintage tools to furniture, home décor, jewelry, craft paints, Western Americana and collectibles. M AY/J U N E 2 02 0 D E N T O N CO U N T Y



st ora ge s olut ion s

refine your wine BY SAMANTHA COLAIANNI


ori Jones, founder of Fainting Goat Wine Cellars, takes wine seriously. “Wine needs to be accessible in the home and ready to be enjoyed,” she says. “Wine is a showpiece and beautiful, like a piece of art, with special temperature needs and display needs.” “As I traveled globally and started to collect and enjoy wine, it was apparent there was a need for adequate wine storage in the home setting, besides a refrigerator,” she says. She decided to fill that need in the Dallas-Fort Worth market herself. Using her decades of experience with her father’s HVAC and refrigeration company, the skills she built while designing cold storage for gelato shops and her passion for wine, Jones started her business, which creates custom-built wine cellars for the home. YOUR WINE NEEDS When designing a custom wine cellar, Jones takes the time to learn about her client’s lifestyle and needs to create the perfect storage option for their home. “Every job is very different, and I have to be very flexible,” Jones says.


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tips for storing wine You could keep your wine on a shelf in the kitchen, but Jones points out that you’re doing your bottle a great disservice. A few quick tips:

“Is the cellar for display or just storage?” she’ll ask. How many wine bottles does it need to hold? Will it be seen from all areas of the house, or is it a private room? Do you want barreled ceilings? Stone columns? Rolling ladders? How about refrigeration? “Refrigeration can add $5,000 to $8,000 to the project cost. For a refrigerated space, you must basically create a walk-in cooler and control the temperature and the humidity.” As with most custom-designed projects, the cost can vary greatly, depending on the client’s needs. “For a 10 foot by 12 foot refrigerated, traditional space holding 1,000 bottles, the average cost is $45,000 to $55,000,” Jones says. If you’re looking to design something smaller or simpler for your home but don’t have a huge budget, don’t give up. “Any space can be converted to a wine storage space,” says Jones. “Some wine cabinets incorporate a humidor built into the cabinet, and we can also do modern metal racking with chrome or black finish and glass enclosures.”

Keep it cool. Anything above 70 degrees will age your wine prematurely. Extremely hot temperatures can damage the aroma and flavor of the wine. The ideal temperature ranges from 45 to 65 degrees, with 55 degrees being a frequently cited sweet spot. Control the humidity. Humidity is important because extremely arid environments can dry out the cork, allowing air in and oxidizing the wine. Leave it in the dark. Sunlight and UV rays also prematurely age your wine. (There’s a reason wine bottles are often tinted.) Be still. Shaking wine can disturb the sediment, particularly in older red wines. No one wants a gritty glass of wine. Put it on its side. Storing bottles sideways keeps the cork moist and reduces the chances that it’ll dry out and allow oxygen inside. It’s also a space-efficient way to keep more bottles.

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clean house de clut t er i n g



Does this poorly organized closet look familiar? If garments don’t fit, or you haven’t worn them this season, it’s time to donate them.


Carefully chosen organizational bins and drawers can do wonders with what’s left after you’ve purged what you don’t wear.

here are a lot of reasons to declutter: Perhaps you’re about to move and you want a fresh start. Maybe your family has lived in the same home for decades and has slowly accumulated way too much stuff. Perhaps you’d just like a bit more room to breathe. Whatever your reason, Reanna Wallace can help. As the owner of Flower Mound-based Blissfully Organized since 2011 and a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers, Wallace’s mission is to help homeowners declutter. “Once it’s organized — once things have been done — people are happy,” she says. “I’ve had people cry. Being able to use items for their true function, being able to do things for their purpose and therefore feeling comfortable in your home, to me that creates inner peace.” Wallace shared a few of her best tips on getting your home in order. Find the hotspots. Wallace says the kitchen pantry is one of the least organized spaces in many people’s homes. Countertops and drawers also attract clutter, and closets, chairs, floors and tables can accumulate stuff that doesn’t belong there. You may find different hotspots in your home. Focus. Once you’ve found a hotspot, focus on it until it’s done. Take things one area at a time. For example, start with kitchen cabinets. Finish them, then go to the pantry. “Don’t try to do everything at once,” Wallace says. “It helps with you not getting overwhelmed and sidetracked.”


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Make a plan. Before you start on an area, determine what and how many items you will store in that space. Make a staging area. You may even want to take a picture so you’ll remember how you placed the items. Get the right supplies. Wallace recommends boxes, thick trash bags, designated recycle bags, clear bags for clothes, cleaning wipes, sticky notes and markers for labeling items and bins of various sizes. Create zones. Use painter’s tape to designate zones for items to be donated, kept and thrown away. Set up a folding table as a review zone if there are items you need discuss with another person. Get organized. Use items — such as containers, bins and baskets — that you already own whenever possible to organize things. If you need to buy items, a shelf divider can provide space in a cabinet. Clear, durable shoe bins are another good option. Ditch the junk. Nonprofit organizations, such as Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore and the Denton County Friends of the Family Upscale Resale thrift shop, will take your unwanted, gently used items. Best Buy recycles electronic items and appliances. Get help if you need it. If you have attempted to clear space but got distracted or frustrated, or if you’re using a room in your house as a dumping ground, it may be time to get professional help. It’s okay to feel anxious and overwhelmed. Wallace says most of her potential clients feel that way.

Photo courtesy of Blissfully Organized





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Each 1,400-square-foot space is fully customizable.

passion for automobiles (he’s a lifelong car collector and ex-racecar driver) — sells space that owners can customize to suit their personal tastes.

BLANK CANVAS Each secure, 1,400-square-foot insulated shell comes equipped with LED lighting, a wood mezzanine, HVAC and utilities. The 14- to 18-foot doors are designed to make room for vehicles of all sizes, and the 22-foot ceilings mean owners can even add lifts to create more space for their wheels. From there, The 22-foot ceilings owners can tailor the allow for lifts. space to their liking, whether that means adding man cave-y touches as a jukebox or vintage Coke machine, sticking to the automotive theme with a racecar simulator or keeping it strictly as a showroom for their prized vehicles.


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“Every unit is different because every owner has their own taste, style and feel for what he wants to create,” Gans explains. “We sell a shell with all the utilities, and they can finish it out. It’s like a blank canvas; there’s no limit to what they can create.” MEETING FELLOW ENTHUSIASTS It’s the perfect concept for a car-worshipping state like Texas. Gans says that about 40 percent of their customers buy more than one space: “They knock the walls out and make one enormous space, and they end up creating something pretty remarkable.” The new Roanoke facility, located at 1725 U.S. 377, is one of 11 locations that Garages of Texas has opened since 2016. But Gans says the greatest selling point isn’t the space they’re buying; it’s the community they’re buying into. “We have community events where members can get together and get to know each other. When you get 50 or 60 car enthusiasts together in one facility, it’s amazing how much fun they have.”

Photo courtesy of Garages of Texas


here’s no such thing as “too many” cars, but there is such a thing as having too many to fit into the garage. That’s where Garages of Texas comes in. Launched in 2014 by Fred Gans and Jack Griffin, Garages of Texas opened Phase I of its Roanoke location in May, providing car collectors with the perfect place to park their high-end machines. The company — which combines Gans’ background in storage with Griffin’s

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gardening, north texas style g r e en t hu m b


Ask questions. The first step toward achieving abundant vegetation is education. You don’t want to end up with a truckload of foliage that won’t work for your space. Before heading to the greenhouse, arm yourself with information. Will your plants be in the sun or shade? If sun, does it shine most directly in the morning or afternoon? What are the soil conditions? Is the area unusually damp or dry? What size and shape plants are needed?

Take a close look at your soil. “Many of us have clay soils that require amendment before planting,” Moyer says. “Tilling to a depth of eight to 12 inches is recommended. Then add at least three inches of plant-based compost or organic matter and till that in, too.” Consider native plants. Moyer, a passionate advocate for native plants, says soil and drastic temperature changes are the greatest obstacles in North Texas. “We experience 20- to 30-degree temperature drops or increases over the course of a day, and a lot of plants just can’t take that,” she explains. “Native plants are born and bred here, and they can take our soils and our climate.” Think beyond aesthetics. Once you understand what can thrive in your yard, Moyer suggests considering the needs of wildlife rather than choosing plants based purely on aesthetics. “Here in North Central Texas, we are very good at planting flowering plants low to the ground, shrubs and shade trees, but not so good at planting ornamental trees — those smaller trees that provide habitat at a height between shrubs and shade trees,” says Moyer.

These beautiful blossoms of the Mexican plum, Prunus Mexicana, attract many pollinators, and produce small plums beloved by many species of birds and wildlife — and people too!


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Help native animals. To provide food and shelter for local birds

The purple blooms of the Texas mountain laurel, Calia secundiflora (Sophora secundiflora), have a wonderful grape soda fragrance.

and insects, she recommends incorporating redbud, Mexican plum, Texas mountain laurel or yaupon holly into your landscape. Conversely, a detriment to indigenous wildlife has been the introduction of exotics into yards. These plants eliminate food and shelter opportunities for native and transient insects and animals. “We’ve all seen concern about pollinators, especially monarch butterflies, but we need to take into account the many other animals that depend on the environment for their daily ‘bread,’” says Moyer. “Native plants provide both food and shelter year-round, so we highly recommend them.” Check out the Trinity Forks Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas (NPST. org) for a comprehensive list of sustainable and responsible growing options.

Photos by Liz Moyer


hether your goal is to create a lush landscape, impress neighbors with bountiful window boxes or just to keep a potted plant alive, Liz Moyer from Denton County Master Gardener Association (DCMGA) offers sage advice to help make your thumb a little greener.



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H O M E a s e c ond ch a nc e

happily ever after BY ELLEN RITSCHER SACKETT


or three decades, the Sanger mansion overlooking Interstate 35S sat empty, waiting for the right person to recognize its value. Then the right person did: Isabel Ramey. “I wanted to start a wedding-event venue for years but was unable to find the perfect location until I drove by the mansion and saw it was for sale,” says

Ramey was inspired by the spiral staircase.


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Ramey, who, with her parents’ help, purchased the 27,000-square-foot manor on 9.5 acres. “From the highway, you don’t realize how big it is. Once I stepped inside, I knew this was the perfect place.” DELAYED GRANDEUR The iconic three-story mansion was built in 1984 by a family who planned to turn it into a show and event space for an Appaloosa horse business. It later became the property of the Porter family, who wanted to sell it to someone who would finish it to the level of grandeur the original owners intended. When the Rameys acquired it, the interior was covered in broken glass, leftover construction debris and graffiti, but its concrete-and-steel construction had held up. “The ‘bones’ of the mansion are not broken in any way. It is perfect,” Ramey says. “The house wants to be loved. The only vibe you get from the house is sadness — so much potential that was wasted. I can’t wait to make the mansion feel beautiful!”

INTRODUCING BELLA MANSION Once Ramey and her team have completed the renovations, the new venue, called Bella Mansion, will be able to accommodate both indoor and outdoor events. Her vision is an elegant space with clean lines where brides can incorporate their own wedding styles. She will, of course, also use the existing beauty of the space: “The staircase took my breath away,” she recalls. “I immediately imagined a bride making an entrance by walking down it.” While designs are not finalized, plans right now are to dedicate the first floor to ceremonies and receptions, the second floor to guest rooms with a mezzanine, and the third to honeymoon, bridal and groomsmen suites. Landscaping will include ponds and water features, vineyards and bamboo along the fence line. “There will be a magnificent grand entry boulevard as well as a luxurious back patio,” Isabel says. She expects to start booking events in August and September with an anticipated opening date of April 2021.

Photos by Miranda Longoria Photography

The long-neglected Sanger mansion needs work, but its bones are still good.

r elo c at i n g h i st or y

a house divided

The 1905 farmhouse was carefully relocated to save it.



Photo courtesy of Grapevine

t was a house divided as the road closed to traffic along Fairway Drive one early morning in March. No, there wasn’t dissension or opposition to the road closure that day, but rather there was quite literally a house divided — and it was moving along the road at a snail’s pace toward its new location in Grapevine. That morning was moving day for Denton County’s beloved Roberson farmhouse. The historic home was cut into two parts, moved on trucks driven across the Grapevine Dam and placed on a vacant lot on Dooley Street in Grapevine. FROM 1905 TO TODAY The relocation took place to both preserve a piece of Grapevine’s history and to clear the land for Grapevine Lake’s new Lakeside Village (see page 11). The house was constructed in 1905 by R.J. Roberson and his wife, Manie, long before the lake was created. The Roberson family resided in the lakeside home until 1987 when Roberson’s great grandson sold the property to Peter P. Stewart. He then donated the house to the Town of Grapevine, which facilitated the move. “We have lost so much of our agriculture history,” says Grapevine Mayor William D. Tate. “There are very few of these period farmhouses left in Denton County or the region, and we want to replace and save the few that are remaining.” A PERSONAL CONNECTION Mayor Tate has been instrumental in preserving historic Grapevine during his years in office, but the Roberson

farmhouse was a project that hit even closer to home. “When I was growing up, I knew Huber and Ruby Lipscomb, who lived in the house with her sister Opal Roberson and her talking parrot named Polly,” he recalls. “The Lipscombs owned and operated E. J. Lipscomb and Son Dry Goods in Grapevine, which was next door to my family’s hardware and grocery

stores. I was friends with the family and visited the house on many occasions and admired the two-story home.” The Roberson farmhouse is undergoing exterior stabilization and renovation at its new home near the historic Thomas McPherson farmhouse, but it won’t be long before the house will begin its new life with a new family to call it home.

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faux real i n spi rat ion



well-placed brick accent wall, a new stone fireplace and mantle or rustic wooden ceiling beams can change the entire feel of your home. But doing those sorts of renovations means hiring a stone mason or a structural engineer who can ensure that your ceilings can withstand the weight of the beams… or does it? Not necessarily! Faux versions are sturdy, light enough to install on almost anything and realistic enough to fool even the most discriminating eye. That’s why the faux products from Barron Designs have been used in TV renovations on shows such as ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, TLC’s Bakery Boss, NBC’s American Dream Builders, Animal Planet’s Insane Pools,


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DIY Network’s Man Caves and I Hate My Kitchen, Daryl’s Restoration Over-Hall and others. IT’S MADE OF WHAT? It starts with the real thing, then molds are created of the natural stone, brick, wood and other materials. “That way, you capture all of the imperfections of nature,” says Pamela Wesson, Barron Design’s vice president of marketing. “We get the exact shapes and textures. That’s why it’s virtually indistinguishable from the real thing.” Those molds are then used to cast high-density polyurethane versions of the real thing. Polyurethane is a lightweight, durable material — sometimes used for things such as sneakers, skateboard

DIY IT! When Wesson and her husband wanted to add an accent wall to their own home, she says, “The only tools we owned were a couple of hammers, some screwdrivers and an electric screw gun. All we bought was an electric hand-held circular saw, and we did the accent wall in our dining room. It took us two and a half hours and six cuts, and we have never done anything like that before. We are truly DIYers.” If being completely on your own is not your thing, that’s okay. Barron offers on-staff designers and engineers who can help with your project using photos with measurements or architectural plans. “You’ve got a lifeline,” says Wesson. “You’re not by yourself like you would be if you went into a retail hardware store. We can help you out or help you envision what you want to do.” Not sure what you want to do? Browse Barron’s website at to get inspired. Some products can be customized for your exact needs. “We’ve had customers who have created this gorgeous two-story fireplace,” says Capra. “Then they have a beautiful truss design in their vaulted or cathedral great room. We’ve also had customers build out truss systems and frame out their arched windows with gorgeous arched trusses. Those are stunning.”

Photo courtesy of Barron Designs

wheels, hoses and more — that keeps moisture out. That means it’s resistant to weather, insects, water, abrasion and other factors that can age natural materials. “When you have real stonework, you have to refill the mortar every year or so because it can start to crack and crumble a little bit,” says Liz Capra, Barron Designs operations manager. “With our products, you can basically put it up and almost forget about it. The beams are not going to warp or crack like real wood would. I used to joke that the house would end up falling down around our product before it would fail.” Finally, each beam, column or panel is hand-painted by artisans right here in the U.S., so no two are the same — just like the real thing.

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lu x u r y

living the dream

This $10.9 million stunner is a true dream home. Below: The elegant wood-paneled library

We all have our own idea of what makes a dream home, which means no two are exactly alike. But many of us start with similar characteristics — spacious floorplans, well-appointed master suites, spectacular kitchens and, of course, Texas-size backyards with plenty of room for entertaining. Denton County has no shortage of homes that check all the boxes. If you’re looking for a new place where you can live your dream, these five properties are, as of press time, just waiting for the right owner.

A French Chateau in Flower Mound 5905 Giverny, Flower Mound Listing price: $10,900,000

This sprawling estate in Flower Mound’s gated Chateau Du Lac community pairs traditional appeal with thoroughly modern features. Sitting on 8.34 heavily treed acres, it feels tranquil and secluded from the rest of the world, while its close proximity to Grapevine Lake gives you the feeling of having your own private lake access. However, it’s only fair to warn you that the many outdoor features of this backyard could prevent you from ever making it to the lake. In addition to


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the beautiful, meticulous landscaping, there’s a spring-fed pond with its own well house and mill — arguably the most unique water feature in anyone’s backyard. Multiple seating areas, an infinity pool and spa, as well as multiple patios, firepits and an outdoor kitchen and fireplace give you dozens of reasons to relax in your own yard. Of course, the home itself, built in 2008, is the main attraction, and this one definitely was made for entertaining. With 14,906 square feet of elegant charm on two stories, it boasts six living rooms, each magnificently appointed and designed with its own individual personality, as well as eight bedrooms, nine baths, six fireplaces and an elegant library/study with a spiral staircase. Two full kitchens — with commercial-grade

appliances, granite countertops and more high-end features — are just what you need for a dining room that seats 28. With features like scraped wood floors, floating staircases, cathedral ceilings, marble flooring and exposed beams, every room emphasizes the elegant warmth of this home. A gorgeous wine cellar has its own tasting room and doubles as a safe room. Rest assured, if you do need to use it as a safe room, you’ll be doing it in comfortable style: It even has a Murphy bed and television… and, of course, the wine. There’s room for everyone (and everything) in this grand manse, and that includes your favorite automobiles. With a 10-car garage, you’ll have sufficient room to park your favorite rides — and maybe a good reason to buy another vehicle or two. Contact: Jim Striegel, Coldwell Banker, 214-728-6399,

Photos courtesy of Jim Striegel


This home’s elevation gives it one of the area’s best views.

Get Sporty in Frisco

Photo courtesy of Jeff Reinhard

4012 Starling Drive, Frisco Listing price: $6,900,000

When Dorothy said, “There’s no place like home,” she could have been talking about this five-bedroom, seven-bath showplace in Frisco. Built in 2017, it has a modern, California Hills-inspired look that is perfectly at home on the acre of land it rests on. That acre happens to be one of the highest in Frisco in terms of elevation, which means you have one of the best views in Denton County. Overlooking a wooded greenbelt owned by the Army Corps of Engineers, the land will never be developed, so future owners are guaranteed unobstructed views for years to come. Combining rustic flair with clean lines, with unique details defining every room, the home’s transitional modern design combines old with new. In the study, for example, you’ll find brick walls from a demolished New York City brownstone and naturally beautiful wooden floors from an Amish community. Smooth Venetian plaster walls are found throughout the home, and they’re topped by ceilings that have as much detail and character as the rest of

the room. In the formal dining room, there’s a semi-barreled brick ceiling. Many of the rooms, including the kitchen and bedrooms, boast massive wooden beams. The 9,865-square-foot home is clearly designed for those who love to entertain, with a subzero refrigerator, dual dishwashers, Viking appliances, warming drawers and a La Cornue French top stove. There’s also a butler’s pantry and prep area complete with a Miele coffee maker. When it comes to relaxing, you can take your pick of well-appointed options, including a media room with wooden walls that have secret doors to conceal storage, a game room with ostrich-skin walls and even an indoor basketball court with maple floors and an electronic scoreboard. If shooting hoops isn’t your style, head to the full gym for your workouts. The opulence continues outside. The rear veranda, which was designed specifically to receive sun year-round, has a travertine deck with a see-through fireplace. Enjoy a full outdoor bar and kitchen, a two-level infinity edge pool with a waterfall, and if you want to practice your putting, there’s even a golf green on the third level. Contact: Jeff Reinhard, Reinhard Real Estate, 972-740-9150;

From floor to exquisite ceiling, no detail was overlooked in this California Hills-inspired home.

The indoor basketball court with maple flooring and electronic scoreboard

Rock waterfalls, a refreshing pool and a fireplace... what more could a homeowner want?

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Tuscan-Style Beauty 4004 Quail Run, Flower Mound Listing price: $5,980,000

This Tuscan-style home, built in 2014, sits on more than 13 acres in Flower Mound. With a gated entry and winding, tree-lined driveway, this gorgeous house feels like a retreat before you even arrive.

Resort Living in Argyle 748 Cimarron Court, Argyle Listing price: $5,100,000

This seven-bedroom home in Argyle is a one-of-a-kind oasis with the look and feel of a resort. Everything about this property is built on a grand scale with an unmatched attention to detail. Because its owners are also home builders, it has an emphasis on unique amenities that make it an exceptional find. More than 550 tons of Oklahoma brownstone were brought in to craft a striking, one-of-a-kind exterior, and that stone doesn’t just make it look amazing: It also helps keep the home cool even during those famously hot Texas days. Although its current listing price is based on inclusion of all furnishings, which were purchased specifically for each room, it can also be purchased without furniture. With room to sleep 28 people — as well as nine bathrooms, five living areas and four dining rooms — this is the perfect retreat for guests. You won’t have


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Once inside, you’ll find reinvented rustic elements and warm, modern elegance. The layout creates a welcoming environment that comfortably flows from one expansive room to the next. Beamed ceilings, aged finishes and intricate patterns throughout the home are complemented by features like a floor-toceiling stone fireplace in the living room and a massive spiral staircase leading to the open second floor. The kitchen and prep kitchen were to worry about keeping them all entertained, as this outstanding home also includes features such as a movie theater, game room and wine closet. Need to get away from the guests for a bit? No problem. The super-sized master wing has everything you need, including its own laundry room. Two full-size gourmet indoor kitchens — one upstairs and one down — are complemented by a full outdoor kitchen with restaurant-quality grilling units. The downstairs kitchen, which serves as the heart of this 11,509-square-foot home, opens up to multiple living areas, all of which feature windows that look out onto the thoughtfully landscaped property. A well system keeps that 5.56-acre property green and gorgeous year-round. A stocked fishing pond, koi pond, fountains, three covered verandas, a

saltwater pool and even a swim-up bar add to the resort feel of this gorgeous estate. Perfect for entertaining, it’s big enough for weddings and large functions, but it’s equally suited for smaller family gatherings. To make sure your guests have plenty of room to park, there’s a six-car garage plus a 50-foot motor coach garage. And it’s all protected by an extensive security system to give you peace of mind to go with that peaceful environment. Contact: Clarke Landry, Allie Beth Allman & Associates, 214-316-7416, This Argyle oasis sells for $5.1 million.

Top photo courtesy of Jim Striegel. Bottom photo courtesy of Clarke Landry.

Rustic meets modern in this $5.9 million home.

designed with plenty of storage for all your entertaining needs as well as dual farm sinks, a gas cooktop, a large granite countertop island and custom cabinets. A well-equipped game room includes a wet bar, and sliding barn doors lead to a rich, wood-paneled media room where you can kick back to enjoy a movie on the big screen. Six bedrooms and 8.5 baths leave plenty of room for guests, and the master bath is an exceptional retreat complete with fireplace, sitting area and spa touches. Outside, a full outdoor kitchen, outdoor living and dining areas and a firepit for cool nights make backyard entertaining easy. There’s also a diving pool with a tanning ledge, spa and water feature. And, if you feel like you need to get some work done, the three-stable barn includes an office, bathroom and air conditioning. Contact: Jim Striegel, Coldwell Banker, 214-728-6399,

Call or text Where to Retire Deb Siefkin, RightSize Realty magazine, the Associates LLC for a personal tour of Robson Ranch and lunch. Authority in 940-368-1013 Retirement Relocation, has named Robson Ranch Texas to its Top 50 Best Master Deborah Siefkin Broker / Owner / REALTOR Planned Communities Email: Visit: in the U.S. ©

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H O M E t r end s

stylish sanctuary BY LESLIE J. THOMPSON


century ago, the Roaring Twenties was an age of opulence. The era known for flappers, gangsters and speakeasies also boasted a unique aesthetic when it came to architecture and interior design, with sleek furnishings, shiny fabrics and lavish ornamentation. Fast-forward 100 years, and you’ll find that many of those same design trends are making a comeback — albeit with a contemporary twist. As we enter a new decade, you’ll witness a shift toward organic materials, geometric shapes and vibrant pops of

color, among other exciting trends. Here’s a snapshot of what to expect — and what to avoid — in the years ahead.

lighten it up

“We are done with heavy textures and heavy troweling on walls. We are done with dim spaces,” says Courtney Adams, who has owned her namesake interior design business in Denton since 2009. Instead, homeowners are craving bright, airy, well-organized interiors that are as practical as they are stylish. “People are understanding that homes need to 2020 is about bright, airy, eclectic options.

be restful, not overdone and cluttered,” Adams says. In: Bright, airy interiors Out: Heavy textures and troweling

showcase yourself

What one homeowner considers soothing, however, may be too spartan — or too bold — for another. The good news is that in the new Roaring Twenties, interior design is all about showcasing your personal style. “Today, almost anything and everything is acceptable,” notes Jennifer Homeyer, owner of The Design House in Denton. Much like in the fashion world, traditional rules for interior design are breaking down, as people are given more freedom to create a look that brings them joy. In: Personal style Out: Following the rules

add vibrant touches

Gone are the days of dark interiors or monochromatic spaces. Instead, expect to see increasingly vibrant palettes in home interiors, whether on walls painted with cheerful hues or jewel-tone upholstery. “This last award season, you saw bright emerald greens and beautiful fuchsias,” says Adams, noting that celebrity fashions often forecast interior design trends. “We’re going to see a resurgence of bright, bold and colorful elements into spaces,” she says. In: Cheerful hues, jewel tones, vibrant palettes Out: Dark interiors, monochromatic spaces

People also want more richness and texture in their homes, says Kristy Mastrandonas, owner of Kristy Mastrandonas Interior Design & Styling in Flower Mound. As part of the move toward personalization, she is seeing an upswing in Grand Millennial style, which she describes as traditional design with a twist. Younger homeowners, especially, are combining previously passé elements, like chinoiserie, oriental rugs and scalloped furniture, with sleek, contemporary case goods, accessories and modern art. The resulting look is both playful and personal, says


D E N T O N CO U N T Y M AY/J U N E 2 02 0

Photo courtesy of Courtney Adams.

play with tradition

Mastrandonas, although achieving the right balance is key. “Doing too much of that can look a little cray cray,” she says, laughing. “It takes a fine-tuned eye to help it make sense.” In: Tradition with a twist Out: Passé elements without playfulness

choose organic

Botanical prints also are going to be big, designers note, whether in fabrics for window treatments and throw pillows or upholstered furniture pieces, like accent chairs and ottomans. The look goes along with a larger trend of incorporating organic elements into interiors. For example, homeowners are replacing polished mahogany dining suites with rough-hewn wood tables and blended seating for a more casual style, and accessorizing contemporary living rooms with things like natural fiber rugs and handblown glass vases. In: Botanical prints, organic elements Out: Slick and synthetic

ditch the cave

Gone are the days when suburban homes in the Metroplex resembled King Arthur’s castle or a Tuscan villa, with dark interiors and chocolate brown leather in every room. What once was viewed as comfortable now feels cave-like, as homeowners want to bring in natural light and opt for streamlined furnishings. “People have a tendency now to be drawn toward minimalism,” notes Adams, who helps clients find clever design solutions to hide frequently used items, like small appliances and hairdryers, to create an uncluttered space. In: Natural lights and minimalism Out: Cave-like spaces, clutter

Photo courtesy of Kristy Mastradonas

blend and curate

Ironically, the all-white, Pinterest-perfect farmhouse look likewise is on the wane, notes Mastrandonas. Although elements of the trend are timeless, people are tired of excess shiplap and want a more curated style, she says. They are also unafraid of blending vintage and antique pieces with new furniture and accessories, and layering textures and colors, she notes.

Color, texture and natural elements are in!

In: Curating a careful blend of vintage and modern Out: All-white, perfect farmhouse looks, excessive shiplap

mix it up

One of the most prevalent trends is the use of mixed metals, especially in kitchens and bathrooms. Light fixtures and drawer pulls no longer have to have the same finish as faucets and doorknobs, as design styles become more diverse. Designers also are using tile and even wallpaper to create visually interesting backdrops in utilitarian spaces. “Some of the tiles look like fabric, some have a subtle snakeskin texture, but it’s not overwhelming,” says Homeyer, who also owns Stonemeyer Granite on Highway 377, which specializes in countertops and flooring. People are adding pops of color in kitchens and bathrooms, as well, she says — for example, by painting a kitchen island a deep navy blue, or adding tinted glass tile behind a vanity. In: Mixed metals, pops of color, interesting tiles and wallpapers Out: Bland, perfectly matched finishes

consider quartz

Floating vanities are increasingly popular in bathrooms, as are pedestal tubs, from the traditional clawfoot variety to a spa-like bathtub with a teak pedestal base. Many homeowners are opting for

quartz over granite for countertops, and even using large slabs of quartz on shower walls or to turn a fireplace into a focal piece. “You have minimal seams, and you don’t notice them because it follows a pattern,” Homeyer notes. In: Quartz, pedestal tubs, floating vanities Out: Granite, built-in bathtubs

make budgetfriendly changes

For homeowners wanting to embrace the new design trends, the easiest way to freshen up any space is with a coat of paint, says Mastrandonas. “Adding new throw pillows, maybe changing out a few art pieces, [or] changing out your lamps,” likewise can transform the look of a room and spark other ideas, she says. Adds Adams, “You can restyle a whole bookshelf to be on trend, and it’s not going to cost you an arm and a leg.” Even placing interesting accessories on a coffee table and changing out the wall art can add eye-catching elements to an otherwise understated area. The real goal is to fashion a space that is uniquely yours and functions to fit your lifestyle. Because, ultimately, interior design is meant to create a kind of safe haven in which you can relax and unwind. So, regardless of current trends, do what makes you happy, and you will always feel at home. M AY/J U N E 2 02 0 D E N T O N CO U N T Y


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