16th annual White Rock Home Tour, April 20-21, includes gay couple’s home

DAVID TAFFET | Senior Staff Writer

Kevin and John share a home in the Lake Highlands section of Dallas that has been in Kevin’s family since his grandparents built it in 1955. His mother lived in the house for a number of years and, for the last six years, he has shared the sprawling ranch-style home with his husband John.

For much of the time Kevin and John have occupied the house, it’s been under construction. And it’s still not finished. Yet the home, with its beautiful renovations and expansion, has been chosen to be part of this year’s White Rock Tour of Homes to be held this weekend.

The 16th annual home tour will be held on April 20 and 21 from noon to 5 p.m. each day. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 during the weekend and are available at WRHomeTour.com. All money collected goes to DISD’s Hexter Elementary.

John and Kevin expanded their house to include a new master suite and office. In an area that used to include a kitchen and the old master bedroom, walls were removed to create an open kitchen area and a great room.

“We expanded our living space where we spend time,” they said.

Sitting on more than an acre of land, the newly expanded house doesn’t overpower the property like so many East Dallas McMansions do. Instead, it gracefully compliments the contours of the land.

As they planned the expansion, the men “respected the architecture and history of the house,” John said.

He explained that the mid-century home was built during an era of larger windows, minimal trim and generous interior use of brick. Those features were carried through into the expanded master suite. Although smaller closets were a feature of that era’s houses, the new master closet they describe as “really large.”

The kitchen appliances are new but respect the design of the era.

“When we incorporated the old master suite into the kitchen, we took down a wall, added counter space and seating in the great room,” John said.

And, he said, they used and reclaimed as much of the old materials as possible.

What was a three bedroom, 2½ bathroom house has become a three bedroom, 3½ bathroom house. While larger, the space doesn’t overwhelm.

Along with indoor expansion, outside they added what they call a cocktail pool. The 50-by-30-foot pool is only 4½ feet deep. In the lovely space around the pool, they recently hosted a party for 75 people.

For the home tour, docents will be located around the house, pointing out design features and giving directions. Does that make the home feel more like a museum?

“We want it to feel like it’s a space that’s lived in, not a museum,” Kevin said.

John jokingly said he expects the experience of opening their home to be more like, “300 queens coming through your house, judging.”

The White Rock Home Tour includes six homes. Participants can start at any of the houses. Addresses are included with purchase of tickets. You may visit each home only once, and tickets will be collected at the door to each house.

White Rock Home Tour. April 20-21 from noon-5 p.m. $25/$30. WRHomeTour.com.


The homes of the 16th Annual White Rock Home Tour


Photography by Hunter Photographic
Sponsored by Reside Builders
We are excited to share this vibrant and generous contemporary, architect-designed home in Old Lake Highlands near Hexter Elementary. Architect Robert Croysdale sensitively sited this new home to maximize the use of beneficial natural light to minimize energy usage (daylighting) and to engage the outdoor spaces created by the home’s C-shaped floor plan. Inspired by the principles of the sustainable building industry, the architect utilized additional ceiling and wall insulation, efficient HVAC design, and low water and energy use fixtures, appliances, and landscape design to reduce the home’s operating cost and environmental impact.




Photography by Stephen Karlisch
Sponsored by Bonick Landscaping
When you learn this new Lakewood home was designed around the love for an existing mature live oak tree by a vibrant family with architect Bentley Tibbs, now with Abeyta Tibbs Architecture, and interior designer Alice Cottrell, you may instantly imagine a place like a retreat that is soulful and sensual, modern but textural — and you would be right. Tibbs, who perceives natural light as a building material, consciously weaves connections to the site through the continuity of building materials from the exterior to the interior and framed views into the surrounding gardens by Bonick Landscaping. We cannot wait for you to experience this harmonious collaboration of creativity and vision.










Photography by Hunter Photographic
Sponsored by Jennifer Rice, Compass, Heather Guild Group
Dedicated WRHT patrons and former Hexter parents, this passionate, artistic family dreamed up a renovation and addition that would keep the character of their beloved original 1951 cottage while adding a series of well-designed modern elements that embrace natural light and contemporary craft and detailing. Combined with the vision of the designer and builder, the product is alluring and unique, human in scale, sensitive to place and considered in every way.





Photography by Hunter Photographic
Sponsored by David Collier Realty Group
It should come as no surprise that the Mediterranean Gardens Women’s Club has hosted their annual July 4th potluck and parade on the picturesque front lawn of this wonderful storybook ranch for several generations. Built in 1955, this charming home was recently renovated and imaginatively expanded by the third generation of the original homeowners. The new addition was carefully woven into the existing home, repeating the unique characteristics of the original dramatic roof and hand-carved eave braces while transitioning into expansive glass walls which deepen the experience of the spacious site. Rich in history, story and mystery, this home is not to be missed.




Photography by Hunter Photographic
Sponsored by Lemmons Remodeling
A pure example of everything we admire in MCMs, you will fall in love with this thoughtfully restored, exuberant modern home built 1957. As part of the Lakeland Hills section of Highland Meadows, these homes were originally advertised as “expressions of forward thinking” equipped with “revolutionary Frigidaire” appliances and air conditioning systems.
This home lives up to this sense of optimism for the future through the celebration of technology and design, through the articulation of structure and space, through Architecture — the house seems to say, “Look what I can do!” Notice the clarity and consistency of the structural system, in its massing and detail, continuous from the exterior through the interior of the home. And lucky for us, these wonderful homeowners have continued the celebration through creative projects that further deepen a special sense of place.



Photography by Hunter Photographic
Sponsored by Ed Murchison, Realtor
We are excited to share this impressive home with you on the tour this year. Not only is it designed by a WRHT favorite, architect Cliff Welch, it is masterfully placed on a spectacular site to maximize breathtaking views only visible from the home’s interior. Characteristic of Welch’s work, the home is expertly detailed and flawlessly executed. Be prepared to be inspired.