SANCTUARY IN THE CITY

by JEANNE DE LATHOUDER photography by HOLGER OBENAUS


The renovated porch, with its classical Doric columns, open rafter tails, operable shutters and ceiling fans, creates an inviting afternoon spot to perch.

 

Clad in wood siding with white wood trim accents and operable shutters, this charming, historical farmhouse seems surprisingly at home right in the heart of Dallas. With a sprawling backyard and located only a minute from North Park Mall, where the family often pops over for shopping or a quick movie, the property seamlessly blends the beauty of rural living with the ease of city life.

“This home has good bones and good views,” says Christy Blumenfeld, architect and president of Blume Architecture. “It only needed a few tweaks and additions to make it just right for this family of four—plus three cats and two dogs—so they hired me to renovate specific areas of their house.”


The renovation included the addition of a detached, oversize screened porch. Swivel chairs by Lee Industries from Ann Sacks create a peaceful sitting area in front of the fireplace while custom hanging beds offer a place for an afternoon nap.

 

The renovation included the addition of a detached, oversize screened porch, an overhaul of the kids’ bedroom and bath areas, a master suite addition, a kitchen and bar remodel, and a total revamp of the front porch and garages to enhance curb appeal. The homeowners also wanted their kids to have a Ping-Pong table, a TV and a game area on the porch, along with a fireplace, so the teenagers would have their own space to have friends over.

“The porch turned out to be one of our favorite areas,” says the homeowner, who is also one of Blumenfeld’s best friends. “We love everything Christy has done to transform some really blah spaces. When we said we had always wanted a screened porch, but could see no way to add one, BOOM— plans for a screened porch appeared.”


Interior designer Tracy Hardenburg completed the living room with custom furniture. The art above the custom TV cabinet is by Arturo Mallmann from Craighead Green.

 


Tiles by Ann Sacks create unique risers for this back stairway off the kitchen. Organic white Caesarstone is wrapped around the island.

 


Hardenburg finished out the breakfast room with lamps by Mary Kate, art from Blueprint and a custom console. A beehive-shaped, woven pendant light captures attention while it illuminates the room.

 

The separation of the screened porch from the rest of the house was key to making it feel more like a destination, as well as a retreat. Blumenfeld incorporated hanging swing beds into a nook on the lower part of the porch so they would be tucked away inside their own space and create a sense of coziness. Open on three sides to allow spectacular views and cool summer cross breezes, the porch provides the perfect place to hang out, relax or indulge in an afternoon nap.

Another significant feature of this home renovation are the sweeping French doors that open up the house to the inner courtyard. Blumenfeld removed a deep roof overhang across three sides of the courtyard so the natural light could filter through. From the entrance foyer, brilliant sunlightfilled views can be seen all the way to the courtyard, with a study to the right and a dining room to the left.


Leather and chrome drawer pulls were used throughout the kitchen. Kitchen stools are from Restoration Hardware. The pendant lights are from Serena & Lily. The backsplash is from Ann Sacks.

 


Hardenburg placed an antique sideboard with custom benches in the front entry, where fixed windows open up the view to the rear yard.

 


In the formal dining room, the designer placed chairs from Restoration Hardware and a round mirror from Brendan Bass, and finished the room with a custom chandelier.

 

“My favorite thing about this home is the warm and inviting feel you get from the moment you step on the front porch,” says the architect. “I love 8-foot ceilings, and this house is full of them. I feel like they create a sense of intimacy that you can’t create any other way. When you start designing a home from the ground up, it’s important to include cozy spaces with lower ceiling heights.”

Boasting multiple living rooms, dens and porches, the house offers plenty of gathering spots for this family, who like to make the most of being together, whether they’re singing around the piano, playing guitar, playing Ping-Pong, lounging by the pool or relaxing by the outdoor fireplace.


The master bath is a masterpiece of symmetry. Matching his-andher medicine cabinets from Restoration Hardware frame the Victoria & Albert tub. The scones are from Jonathan Adler.

 

Throughout the entire project, interior designer Tracy Hardenburg, owner of Tracy Hardenburg Designs, collaborated with Blumenfeld and the homeowners to ensure a custom look infused with personality and a layering of alluring textures. With her great eye for color, scale and proportion, Hardenburg worked mainly with the owners’ existing furnishings, adding only a few things to each room to make them even more special.

“I love when a client is able to see potential in their own home, and we can all work together to make it their dream home, instead of always thinking we have to start from scratch,” says Blumenfeld. “My favorite part of this project was working alongside the homeowner—one of my best friends. She can make me laugh like no one else. She has a great eye for detail and knew what the house was missing so we had a clear path to creating the vision. My only regret is that we don’t have any more rooms to renovate. We joke about buying another house just to do it again. I know I would.”

Jeanne de Lathouder currently resides in Kansas City, where she works as a freelance writer for books and publications across the country. Contact her at jdelathouder@gmail.com.