When most people think of North Oak Cliff, they picture old homes and tall trees. Unless of course they’re thinking of Kessler Woods.
If you’ve driven down Oak Cliff Boulevard just north of Davis lately, you have most likely noticed the contemporary soon-to-be-gated community. Building one of very few modern single-family developments in Dallas, Matt Holley of Kessler Ventures drew his inspiration from architects Frank Lloyd Wright and Joseph Eichler. Kessler Woods is the result of a lucky stroll and a curious inquiry. “I was taking a walk one day down Oak Cliff Boulevard and saw a ‘for sale’ sign. It looked like it was a sign for three little lots,” Holley remembers. When he asked neighboring property-owner Kathy Hewitt about the sign, Holley was shocked to find the property for sale included four acres. He purchased it, along with an additional parcel of land that came through a bid with the City of Dallas, and Kessler Woods was born.
Not Your Grandparents’ Living Room
Holley’s dream home was the first of the properties built, and true to Oak Cliff form, it’s nestled within beautiful trees and hilly terrain. But unlike other homes in the area, it is made of mostly steel and glass. It’s also pretty smart. Although Holley has always loved to sketch and space-plan homes, he spent seventeen years of his career in the technology field. His work experiences enabled him to naturally incorporate high-tech automation throughout the home. The shades, lighting, security system, television, surround sound, music play lists and temperature can all be controlled with hand-held remotes and a touchscreen monitor. In addition to the latest in high-tech gadgets, other unique amenities include the dipping pool found just outside the disappearing glass panels that separate the sitting room from the patio. This lovely and multi-faceted water feature measures only 12 by 15 feet, but can be used as a lap pool with its built-in swim jets. “Because it’s so small you can keep it heated like a big hot tub all year round,” explains Holley. “It’s the most functional pool I’ve ever had.”
Architect Patrick Hammers designed the 4200 square foot floor plan of Holley’s home with the input of the homeowner, and every room is used regularly. “I had originally planned to have a separate media room, but I hardly watch TV,” Holley states. So he created a space that blends the kitchen with a couch and plasma TV, forming a perfect area to spend time cooking or relaxing.
Contemporary meets Traditional
This mid-century modern home calls attention to a raised marble platform in the formal living room on which stands Holley’s classic grand piano. “I told the designers, ‘You may not like this, but I’m not going pure modern. I want to do a little bit of traditional integration because I feel like that warms it up,’” Holley says. “But most of the furniture has clean lines. All of the upholstered furniture is B&B Italia from designers Mody & Mody, but I sprinkled in a few antiques,” he explains.
The three-story home boasts construction feats such as an entire side that is extended on cantilevers and overlooks the scenic surroundings. “I was raised in Colorado so I really place a premium on views. I feel like I’m in a tree house here because of the elevation,” Holley says. His love for the outdoors is also exhibited by the Zen-like courtyard in the center of the home. Almost every room has vast windows facing inward to the courtyard, and provides the ability to enjoy the space from anywhere in the house. As exposed as this may seem, the air of openness is quite appealing, and as Holley points out, “you can always have privacy by lowering the shades.”
A home in Kessler Woods Court can be yours for prices between $700,000 and $2,000,000. If they’re gone before you have the chance to stake your claim, don’t take your eye off Kessler Ventures. Holley is already planning his next generation of homes which will focus on energy conservation including a system to capture rainwater for irrigation, and of course will also include the same combination of form and function found at Kessler Woods. More information can be found at www.kesslerwoodscourt.com.
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