01/24/17 8:35am

montana landscape

Texans love the fierce, independent spirit, wide-open spaces, and natural beauty of Montana. The fourth-largest state has long been a favored vacation home setting for folks from North Texas, made even better last summer when American Airlines instituted daily nonstop seasonal flights to Bozeman Yellowstone Airport, the gateway to the area known as “Big Sky,” from May through September — prime time to get away from triple-digit heat.

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01/13/17 4:18pm

Boot Ranch 25

More news from Boot Ranch, the luxe private golf club and residential community we’ve been following in the Texas Hill Country: a new toque in the kitchen. Boot Ranch chef (and Abacus alum) chef Aaron J. Staudenmaier left the ranch in October to return to Dallas to join Tracy Rathbun and Lynae Fearing in Lovers Seafood and Market which opens in the next few weeks. Fredericksburg pastry queen Rebecca Rather filled in during the transition while Boot Ranch management sought out their new executive chef – Casey McQueen. McQueen is now at the helm of the Boot Ranch kitchens, overseeing the clubhouse dining room, outdoor bar and grill and catering activities.

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01/12/17 1:42pm
Julie Dodson Round Top

Kevin Isbell with Julie Dodson at the Round Top Designer Shopping Spree 2016. Photos courtesy of Julie Dodson.

Twice a year, 2,000 dealers and over 100,000 shoppers from all over the U.S. flock to Round Top, midway between Austin and Houston, for the Round Top Antiques Fair. It’s a shopping extravaganza showcasing European and American antiques, architectural elements, and collectibles.

Texas’ own designer Julie Dodson hosted a special event at last year’s fall show that was such a success she’s returning for a reprise this year. The Second Annual Designer Dream Spree, to be held September 26-29,  will include shopping the dealers of Round Top, a designer panel discussion on “Exceptional Discoveries,” and an array of social gatherings, from wine tastings to fine dining featuring cuisine prepared by notable Houston chef Travis Lenig.

Click to read more about the event and the design star-studded panel she’s recruited to speak at this year’s Designer Dream Spree on CandysDirt.com!

01/10/17 8:15am

 

Kimpton Seafire Resort on Seven Mile Beach on the Grand Cayman Island.

Kimpton Seafire Resort on Seven Mile Beach on the Grand Cayman Island.

 Yikes, that arctic blast made me long for a warm beach with a tropical breeze! Time to head for Seven Mile Beach, named by Travel and Leisure as “The Caribbean’s Best Beach.” The destination I am longing for? The Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, Grand Cayman, the first new hotel in the Cayman Islands in a decade. Developer Dart Real Estate opened the boutique hotel just this past November, and announced the launch of an affiliated residential option: The Residences of Seafire, 62 luxurious modern units in floor plans ranging from 600-square-foot studios to 4,000-square-foot, four-bedroom abodes that share the resort’s landscaped gardens and pools, panoramic views, and open access to gorgeous Seven Mile Beach.

Click here for a peek at pics of this posh paradise, enhanced with famed interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullards’ Carribean-inspired public spaces and the stunning natural beauty of the setting: (more…)

01/04/17 2:02pm

2000 N. Lake Dr. Greenville

Happy New Year!

Hopefully, these past few weeks were filled with family and friends, celebrating and relaxing in comfortable quarters. If hectic activity left you wishing you owned a convenient retreat away from the hustle and bustle of city life during the holidays (and on weekends, over the summer, maybe even mid-week) today’s post is for you!

We kick off 2017 with a look at a delightful lake house in a gated community on Greenville Club Lake, a private waterfront development in Hunt County just a little over an hour northeast of Dallas. The listing at 2000 N. Lake Drive, Greenville is inspired by the Prairie-style housing of the 1940s, but was built in 2010.

The 3,272-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath structure on a 0.75-acre waterfront parcel marries the best of both worlds: Nostalgic, casual styling and modern surfaces and amenities. Describing it as a three-bedroom home is misleading, though. With additional bunkroom space, the house sleeps up to 14. It’s a picture book-pretty place to showcase vintage family photos, farmhouse furniture, and those pretty quilts you picked up in Canton.

Click through for photos of this charming Greenville Club Lake retreat:

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12/23/16 2:09pm

 

3325 17miledrPebbleBeachA

Six months has gone by fast for me writing about vacation homes for SecondShelters.com. What have we been covering? Beach, lake, ranch, and mountain abodes, among other destinations of interest to North Texans. Year end is a time to look back and reflect. What are the top spots for vacation homes for DFW residents?

Gas up the virtual jet and click to see highlights; we’re taking a tour of some of our favs…

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12/02/16 4:56pm
Boot Ranch

Longhorn Lake. All photos courtesy of Boot Ranch.

Lucky me (Lucky I?) was invited to be a guest at Boot Ranch in Fredericksburg this past month, to learn details of news from the 2,000-acre luxury residential development and private golf and swim club set in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. We’ve written about Boot Ranch before. On the agenda now: an introduction to the Village Homes at Metzger Park, a condominium-like option added to the array of residential offerings here; and planned Longhorn Lake amenities: a party pavilion, tree houses and jumping rocks off the spring fed lake’s shore. A road trip was in order to check out the new features. Here’s the scoop: (more…)

12/01/16 9:00am
Flat Rock Creek Ranch

All photos courtesy of TheRanchAdvisors.com.

Forget Southfork — if J.R. Ewing were for real and among us, this would be where he’d want to live. Because, no doubt, while the oil market is depressed, he would be diversified into (what else?) tech.

This cool ranch 90 miles outside of Dallas (with plenty of room for a heliport) would be just the thing for J.R.’s pad. The Hill Country-esque Glen Rose area in Northern Bosque County is scenic, a setting for exotic wildlife (Fossil Rim), and home to Dinosaur Valley State Park.

Indeed, there are dinosaur tracks on the 267-acre property known as Flat Rock Creek Ranch (physical address: 674 PR 2955) in the tiny community of Eulogy. It’s listed by Jim Brosche of The Ranch Advisors in association with Keller Williams Realty at $4.69 million.

Flat Rock Creek Ranch’s owner is a tech buff who has outfitted the four-bedroom, seven-bath Hill Country vernacular main house designed by noted architect John Lively with state-of-the-art electronics. In Preston Hollow it would be gorgeous. Set in the countryside near Glen Rose, its beauty is over the top. Even if you’re not shopping this price range, it makes for a fun house porn viewing romp. Feast your eyes: (more…)