A Hunting We Will Go!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012 | Category: Design Inspiration, Material Girls Projects

For the past two years I’ve been living in a 1,000 square foot house in East Dallas with no disposal, a dishwasher that you have to hook up manually to the faucet, one bathroom and a vintage O’Keefe and Merit oven (which is adorable until you want to make cookies and have to buy a special tiny cookie sheet for the oven and THEN have to light a match to even start the baking process).  At times, I forget that I’m living in the 21st century 🙂

Don’t get me wrong, we love our quirky little 1930’s house.  It has lots of charm (original doorknobs, warm wood floors, scalloped built-ins, and french doors.) It’s also fun living near White Rock lake, Mockingbird Station, Greenville and Lakewood.

This house has been a great first house for my husband and I..but let’s be honest…one bathroom, closets that only fit half a season’s worth of clothes, and a living room that doesn’t fit anything larger than an apartment sized sofa, are things that are wearing on us just a tad.

{an example of our oven}

With our lease expiration in May fast approaching, the clock has started to tick on finding a larger place.  We’re toying with the idea of buying something and I have to admit that I’ve been doing what must be typical of every interior designer (right???)- something I like to call obsessing.  I check the MLS for new listings every single day trying to find the “perfect” house in our price range. My realtor has dubbed me the “picky” client as I always seem to point out what is wrong with every single house (“oh I need a separate formal living and separate formal dining”, “is that carpet in the kitchen?”, “does this backsplash give you the heebie jeebies?”, “does the orange undertone in these wood floors bother anyone else here?”, “Zoey can’t live in a house with a detached backyard”)

Okay, okay she’s right- maybe I am picky…but I think the main problem is that I improve spaces for a living and so I am out there every single day seeing the latest and greatest so when I see the not so great, I immediately have to comment on it. Of course no house will be perfect and really, what fun would it be if it was? My husband has been dying for us to get a fixer-upper so we can work on it together these next few years.

Until then, there’s nothing wrong with dreaming of the perfect house, is there?

There are so many images on MLS that make up “my dream house” but since that 12 million dollar house on Strait Lane is a little bit of a reach for me ;), I thought I’d compile my favorite images of realistic houses that we’ve actually been looking at into a virtual “dream home” for ya’ll to see- enjoy!

Hollywood Heights, Santa Monica, M Streets or Lakewood? I’d be overjoyed to live in any of these East Dallas neighborhoods. You don’t get a lot of space for your money, but because I die over those Tudor exteriors, I’d gladly give up square footage for curbside appeal with one of these cottage cuties-

An updated kitchen can be hard to come by for the right price in this neighborhood, but I managed to find a few white kitchens that I’d be happy to bake my cookies in (and I look forward to joining the rest of the world with a modern oven and dishwasher- woo hoo!)

I love a formal living room.  I know it’s not really practical this day and age, but I think I’ll always want to have one.  It’s the one room where you don’t have to feel guilty about purchasing unique vintage chairs that are on the smaller side, delicate mirrored coffee tables and clean lined, dainty tight back skirted sofas. This room can be all about PRETTY.  If your husband is anything like mine, he doesn’t care what goes in this room, as long as he has a “man cave” or a comfortable den, so this room truly becomes whatever you want it to be- bliss!

Of course, a family room is important too, but unfortunately most of these smaller houses in East Dallas only have one living area, so in this case, I’m loving how these homeowners mixed the formal with the informal to satisfy both parties in the family.

Arched doorways, painted wood fireplaces, and crown moulding give these houses architectural interest and extra detail.

My husband came across this listing the other day and said that he wants this exact room as his “man cave”- I can deal with that!

In general, I love me some dark wood floors, white trim and gray (or off white) walls!

I’m a nut for a clean and updated looking bathroom.  You can see that this homeowner was on top of the ball when he chose to use white marble in this guest bath.  I always say that every space needs a touch of black- he must have thought so too!

White subway tile is a very affordable way to give a bathroom an instant makeover.  Normally you see white cabinets with white subway, but I like how this homeowner went against the norm and stained his cabinets a deep brown. It warms up the small space nicely-

This room was done by the homeowner, who is an interior designer (can’t you tell)?  Most bedrooms I stumble across on the MLS in our price range aren’t this put together.  Notice the custom cut sisal around the perimeter of the room, custom window treatments and upholstered headboard. You can tell that this homeowner is with it.  Perhaps if we buy this one, he’d consider throwing in the sunburst mirror for free?

And I almost forgot about storage!  Since our house is bursting at the seams currently because of no storage space, I’d add some extra built-ins to our make believe house like the below-

Since this is a dream, I suppose I’ll add on this indoor side porch too.  It makes such a cute sitting area-

Of course, the backyard is very important too.  Even though our house is tiny, we have a great backyard with a deck (it’s probably larger than our house) so I know that is one of the things that we will miss. Here are some other views from the back porch of my pretend East Dallas home, that I wouldn’t mind waking up to every day-

And while we are at it, let’s throw in a guest-house for EJ Interiors to office out of-

Well I suppose it’s time for me to wake up from my house dream and get back to reality. Until next time!

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11 Comments to 'A Hunting We Will Go!'

Lucinda 31 Jan 12 at 9:05 am

Love East Dallas. I’ve always called Lakewood Blvd my lottery street. I’m a Lake Highlands gal myself but our first home was on Blessing Dr. I always thought that was a perfect name for a street.
Thanks for sharing.

Albertina 31 Jan 12 at 9:57 am

I hope you find something beautiful!! with everything you daydream about! There are some cute ones here!

Paula Jo from Home and Garden Decor 31 Jan 12 at 11:02 am

First of all I’m wishing you lots of luck and success finding the prefect new home if there is such a thing like a perfect new home at all. I have moved so many times, have tried to find the perfect home each time we moved to another town due to my husbands job and I know what you are talking about when it comes to finding the right home.
Btw, in the early 90’s we lived for a few years in Grand Prairie before we moved to the Houston area where Thank God we still are living and hopefully won’t have to move again. Did we ever find a perfect home? Not really but we always made it our perfect home and have been happy in every single house we have rented or owned.
Paula Jo

Liz 31 Jan 12 at 11:36 am

Have fun with your search. I love where I ended up in Memphis – the previous owner did all the yucky stuff – new roof, airconditioning, wood repair etc. but had TERRIBLE taste so I had to / got to repaint every surface including the exterior (4 shades of pink and mauve – lovely). We do have those damn orange floors but I got out a color wheel and blue greys help (as does Mop N Glow!) It is wonderful to put your own stamp on a house – makes you feel like its your home and really made me feel “married”.

Fay 01 Feb 12 at 12:53 am

Hope you find the perfect Dallas house. I currently live in a rental that is also dated. I’ve taken down the large floral wallpaper in the kitchen… the owner said I could do what I want. Here comes the white paint. I’m going to even paint the cabinets and add drapes. The appliances don’t match but at least I don’t have to hook up the dish washer(smile)… good luck!

Suzanne Vachon 01 Feb 12 at 1:39 pm

Hi Emily,

Thank you for the house tours, I am sure you will find a beautiful home, you are working so hard at it, it is difficult to make a decision, but they are some great choices out there and with your taste and your know how you could transform a house into a home anytime. Good luck and all the best to you, don’t forget us….Great posts.


Tricia 02 Feb 12 at 12:36 pm

Beautiful. Do you know what the paint color was in the formal living room?

Amberly 03 Feb 12 at 12:19 am

Love this post! All of those homes are so incredibly charming! I’ll be daydreaming about owning a home for a while, but it’s definitely one of my favorite things to do. Good luck with your search!! 🙂

Lindsey A. 03 Feb 12 at 12:24 am

Wow! These places are all gorgeous! You are one lucky girl!

Melissa 04 Feb 12 at 9:16 am

I totally feel your pain on the house search! I’m an interior designer as well, and when my husband and I started looking for our first house a couple years ago, my taste FAR exceed our house budget. Go with a fixer upper! We bought a place with great “bones” but in serious need of an update. I’m (slowly but surely) transforming it into the home of my dreams, on a much more modest budget than buying a place that was “done.” Good luck with the search!

Kirkley 08 Mar 12 at 7:05 pm

That last photo is (or now was) my friend Blake’s house! It’s super cute and extremely well updated / renovated.
My charming little home, on the other hand, was “updated”, but as my mother puts it, “You could give her a facelift, but she’d still have 60 year old bones”… So friendly word of caution would be to make sure it has the boring essentials like 3 prong outlets and decent pipes before falling in love with the clean and updated bathroom. A few sewage back-ups and visits from Roto-Rooter, and that bathroom won’t look so clean anymore! I speak from experience…
Excited to see where you guys end up! Hope it’s close by! 🙂

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