Oak Cliff Home

By

We’d like to introduce you to our recently remodeled house in Dallas, Texas. My partner and I moved here from San Francisco so that I could take a tenure-track job as a U.S. historian at the University of Texas at Dallas. My partner works in design and K12 education; she moved from her work at Stanford University’s d.school to Southern Methodist University. As transplants, we knew it would be important to craft a sense of home. As West Coasters, we also brought a California design sensibility with us.

After looking for the right house for nine months, we were attracted to this house because it was a 1925 three-bedroom one-bath home (1,470 sq ft) that had been only slightly altered over its long life. Part of what that meant, however, was that the kitchen and bath sorely needed an update. Although there was a lovely yard, there was no place from inside the house to see it: the original doors and windows in the back of the house had long since been paneled over.

We worked with an architect based in Oak Cliff, our neighborhood in South Dallas, who specialized in sensitive and creative remodeling of historic homes. Our remodel aimed to make our space more efficient and to modernize the house while respecting its historic design. Without adding square footage and while preserving the overall layout, we completely redesigned the kitchen and nook to dramatically increase storage including built-in benches. We also repurposed space in the hallway and mudroom to add a laundry nook and half-bath, and we made the pre-existing bathroom more functional and beautiful. The kitchen, bath, and fireplace now have tile from Heath Ceramics, a Bay Area company that we loved from our old home. And my partner has the Julia Childs-inspired pegboard she’s dreamt of for years.

We also added a screened-in porch that extends the back of the house by 240 sq ft. Coming from the West Coast, being outdoors is very important to us. When we moved to Dallas, we were shocked by the mosquitoes, which prevented us from being outside during warm summer nights. We built the porch to maximize our time outside, in the cool of the winter and the heat of the summer. With a cathedral ceiling that mirrors the roofline of the house and a salvaged clawfoot tub to soak in during the summer, it truly feels like a getaway attached to our home. (And our three cats and little dog love it too.) Now the two back bedrooms have glass doors where the original doors once stood before being covered up; they open onto the porch.

We wanted to use a mix of old and new materials throughout the house. Through our architect, we worked with a craftsman builder who was committed to maintaining the integrity of the house. Our house is built entirely of shiplap wood, and he salvaged the old hardwood from the walls he demolished to rebuild the new structure. We also worked with a local woodworker to build our kitchen and bath cabinets with 8-ply birch; she also built a peninsula and bookshelf that now partially separate the kitchen from the nook.

When we went through our design process, we used Dwell extensively for inspiration. We think our home fits well with the modern-but-homey spaces we found in its pages, and we hope our ideas could help other readers as well.

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Modern home with Living Room, Gas Burning Fireplace, Chair, Sofa, Coffee Tables, and Light Hardwood Floor. Living room Photo  of Oak Cliff HomeView Photos

Living room

Modern home with Dining Room, Pendant Lighting, and Light Hardwood Floor. Entry/dining room Photo 2 of Oak Cliff HomeView Photos

Entry/dining room

Modern home with Dining Room, Light Hardwood Floor, Pendant Lighting, and Table. Dining Room Photo 3 of Oak Cliff HomeView Photos

Dining Room

Modern home with Dining Room, Table, Pendant Lighting, and Light Hardwood Floor. Dining Room, looking into the nook Photo 4 of Oak Cliff HomeView Photos

Dining Room, looking into the nook

Modern home with Kitchen, Engineered Quartz Counter, Wood Cabinet, Linoleum Floor, Ceramic Tile Backsplashe, Pendant Lighting, and Undermount Sink. Nook and Kitchen Photo 5 of Oak Cliff HomeView Photos

Nook and Kitchen

Modern home with Storage Room and Shelves Storage Type. Mudroom (you can see the barn door set-up solution for putting a half-bath into the repurposed space where the water heater used to be) Photo 7 of Oak Cliff HomeView Photos

Mudroom (you can see the barn door set-up solution for putting a half-bath into the repurposed space where the water heater used to be)

Modern home with Bath Room, Wood Counter, Ceramic Tile Floor, Alcove Tub, Wall Lighting, Ceiling Lighting, Drop In Sink, Open Shower, Marble Wall, and One Piece Toilet. Main bath Photo 8 of Oak Cliff HomeView Photos

Main bath

Modern home with Bath Room, Wood Counter, Ceramic Tile Floor, Drop In Sink, and Marble Wall. Main bath Photo 9 of Oak Cliff HomeView Photos

Main bath

Modern home with Bedroom, Bed, Dresser, Night Stands, Ceiling Lighting, and Light Hardwood Floor. Bedroom (master) Photo 10 of Oak Cliff HomeView Photos

Bedroom (master)

Modern home with Office, Desk, Study, Chair, Storage, Lamps, and Light Hardwood Floor. Office, looking onto the screened porch Photo 11 of Oak Cliff HomeView Photos

Office, looking onto the screened porch

Modern home with Office, Study, Bookcase, and Light Hardwood Floor. Office (with neon art from a local fabricator) Photo 12 of Oak Cliff HomeView Photos

Office (with neon art from a local fabricator)

Modern home with Outdoor, Back Yard, Wood Patio, Porch, Deck, Concrete Patio, Porch, Deck, and Large Patio, Porch, Deck. Salvaged 1910s clawfoot tub in screened porch Photo 13 of Oak Cliff HomeView Photos

Salvaged 1910s clawfoot tub in screened porch

Modern home with Outdoor, Back Yard, Large Patio, Porch, Deck, Wood Patio, Porch, Deck, and Hanging Lighting. 1970s Preway fireplace in screened porch Photo 14 of Oak Cliff HomeView Photos

1970s Preway fireplace in screened porch

Modern home with Outdoor, Back Yard, Grass, Vegetables, Gardens, Wood Fences, Wall, and Wire Fences, Wall. Our two chickens (the porch is visible in the background) Photo 15 of Oak Cliff HomeView Photos

Our two chickens (the porch is visible in the background)

Modern home with Kitchen, Engineered Quartz Counter, and Wood Cabinet. Kitchen, viewing from table in nook Photo 16 of Oak Cliff HomeView Photos

Kitchen, viewing from table in nook

Modern home with Exterior, House, Shingles Roof Material, Brick Siding Material, and Gable RoofLine. Front exterior of our home Photo 17 of Oak Cliff HomeView Photos

Front exterior of our home

Credits

Posted By
Architect
  • Alicia Quintans
Interior Design
  • Custom Cabinetry: Shari Stout
Landscape Design
  • Gwendolyn McGinn and Isaac Cohen
Builder
  • Dennis Meador
Photographer
  • Christina Childress

Overview

Bedrooms
  • 3
  • Full Baths
  • 1
  • Partial Baths
  • 1
  • Year
  • 1925
  • Square Feet
  • 1470
  • Smart Home Tech
  • Nest
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