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How Many Midcentury Ranch Houses Can One Couple Renovate?

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It all started with a one-sided offer. After completing two refurbishments in Dallas, Ben and Josh Collins weren’t thinking about working on yet another project until the realtor contacted them with an undeniable offer.

The couple’s home wasn’t on the market, but the agent had a buyer who was willing to pay $ 1.2 million for one of the previously purchased and refurbished homes for about $ 950,000 — It will leave them sufficient profit for the new project.

Ben, 42, senior vice president of retail at a furniture company, said: Michelle Gold & Bob Williams..

After expanding and renewing two 1950s ranch-style homes that most locals would have considered demolishing, Ben said they had little doubt that another transformation was possible. I did. His husband, Josh, 38, is an interior designer who can translate their ideas into architectural plans, and they already knew many contractors.

The real challenge was finding a home to buy in the heated real estate market in the summer of 2020. So the couple set some parameters. They wanted to stay in the northern part of Dallas where they could live comfortably with their daughter. , Eleanor, now 3. And they wanted some outdoor space — “a good-sized garden with big trees,” Josh said. “That was our main goal.”

What is the style and condition of the house? It was almost irrelevant as they intended to make major changes.

When they heard about a new list of 1950s ranch houses planted with mature oak and magnolia trees on about 0.4 acres of ground in the Preston Hollow district, they began to put together an offer before seeing it. The asking price was $ 525,000, and after the bidding war, the couple signed a contract to buy it for about $ 560,000.

Closing that September and digging into it, there were a lot of details they didn’t like. That was exactly what they wanted. “For us, it’s better than if someone went and put money in it, because you’re paying for it,” Ben said.

In addition to the 1970s styling and the blue carpet across the wall that hit the bathroom, “it was very choppy, with a small space and an eight-foot ceiling,” he said. They wanted the opposite: a well-ventilated open space with high ceilings.

To realize their vision, they turned to their friend Raul Baeza. Raul Baeza is a guest of the couple’s house and an Austin architect who was familiar with their sense of style and their way of life. They worked primarily in video conferencing and planned a complete overhaul, including an addition to expand the house from approximately 2,500 square feet to 4,300 square feet.

Just inside the front door, they blew the interior walls, arched the ceiling, and placed the living and dining rooms on either side of the central fireplace.

They expanded the opening of the brick façade to create a huge bay window space that extends to the floor. “They just bring in the outside, so there’s natural light and it extends into the vestibule,” Ben said.

One side of the living room faces the new kitchen. The new kitchen features a lower beamed ceiling and a storage room with four Bridget swivel chairs from Michelle Gold and Bob Williams.

According to Ben, one of the benefits of working in the furniture industry is that he can combine his professional and personal interests.

The Niles bed, which the couple chose for their primary suite, is a good example. When Michelle Gold and Bob Williams were designing it, Ben said in his new home, “We thought we were going to use it.” So he tweaked the proportions of the bed, leaving space for art on the headboard of the bedroom and including wings on the sides to create a cocoon-like sensation.

On the other side of the house are three additional bedrooms, including a home office and a bedroom for Eleanor. “We have a lot of entertainment, so we wanted a space where we could still do it, but she was far enough away so that it wouldn’t get in the way if there were people here a little later,” Ben said. Said. “That side of the house is also for the guests. When staying on the weekends, I want them to feel like they’re not right above us.”

Outside, they painted old dusty orange bricks white and replaced the brown roof shingles with a heather-gray one. The backyard has a pool, a submerged area for the gas fire pit, and another sitting area under the pergola.

After selling the old home, the family moved to rent to give the new home to a contractor. Construction began in January 2021 and was completed in November at a cost of approximately $ 800,000.

Since then, the house has become a favorite destination for Eleanor’s friends who make the most of the heated pool. Later this month, the couple will open their homes to a large family as they celebrate Eleanor’s fourth birthday.

Recently, a friend asked me what to do if I had to start over. But now the couple can’t overlook what’s important by refurbishing too many homes.

“We sat down and pondered about it,” Ben said. “And I can’t think of anything we’ve done differently.”

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