Something for everyone - Old Oak Cliff tour brings home the delights of decorative diversity

The Dallas Morning News - Friday, October 11, 1996
Author: Patricia Lowell, Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News
The dramatic color of lipstick-red sofas and school-bus-yellow swirl-back

If you like Tudor, head to Hollywood Heights. If Prairie is your preference, set your sights on Munger Place. If you appreciate anything and everything, cruise the neighborhoods of old Oak Cliff.

Here every architectural and decorative style from Greek Revival to Art Nouveau can be found along winding streets tucked under decades-old trees.

The neighborhoods open their doors Saturday and Sunday for the Old Oak Cliff Conservation League Home Tour, which features 10 homes ripe with decorating inspiration.

On Turner Avenue in Kessler Highlands, a large 1940s home features a two-story sun room that joins the master bedroom and diner-style kitchen.

A smorgasbord of religious artifacts, textiles, chrome accents and eye-popping furniture decorate the home. For instance, the aqua living room sports a violet-silk love seat, lipstick-red sofas and school-bus-yellow swirl-back chairs. Chrome and black accents invigorate the room.

But climb the stairs, and there's a master bedroom that appears to have been lifted from a Ralph Lauren Home catalog, complete with dark-wood bookcases and a pool table.

In contrast, an Edgefield Avenue cottage (it was built in Highland Park, cut in half and moved to Oak Cliffin 1985) offers guests a cool palette of parchment, mustard and ivory.

Gilt-framed paintings hang from cove ceilings, and decorative accents include Indonesian carvings, clay vessels, columns and wrought-iron furniture. The well-traveled owners display their collection of artifacts with unique touches - a large mirror substitutes for a headboard, for example.

On Mayflower Drive, the former home of vaudevillian "Molasses Williams" has been transformed into Spanish-medieval grandeur.

Downstairs, the living room features a cut-stone fireplace with a family crest cut into the facade. Dark wood floors, molding and arches complete the period look.

Upstairs, the owner has renovated the master bedroom to include a large parchment-marble bathroom with double shower and separate tub.

In Hampton Hills, a 1928 Tudor cottage on Montreal Avenue was constructed by a builder who built many M-Street homes. The present owners added a two-level fishpond in the back yard.

Stained-glass windows and clay creatures made by the homeowners decorate the home. A gargoyle, modeled after those on the Old Red Courthouse, is perched on the chimney. One other home in the area features a chimney gargoyle.

Patricia Lowell is a Dallas free-lance writer.

The Old Oak Cliff Conservation League Home Tour will be from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets purchased today cost $8; call (972) 606-3693 for more information.

On tour days, tickets will be sold for $10 ($7 for seniors) at the Stevens Park picnic shelter (Colorado Boulevard between Plymouth Road and Kessler Parkway).

The Old Oak Cliff Conservation League , founded in 1974, hosts the tour to raise money for neighborhood projects, including updating parks and preserving the area's heritage.