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2006 March | Berlin+Opsal Residence :: Dallas, TX

Archive for March, 2006



What an odd experience it is to write down your life on paper and then ask someone you don’t know to build walls that can accommodate you, your spouse, your dog, your good habits, your bad habits, your daily routine, your private times, your social times, your dinner times and the times you haven’t seen coming yet.

But we did. We built our program and we started with our want list. Our needs list. And our love list. The love list was our way of explaining what we loved about “home.” Not necessarily our home, but rather homes in general which helped us narrow down our wants and needs. So with that we started the process.

Jonathon Delcambre
Clifford Welch
Ogelsby Greene
Russell Buchanan
Doug Hildinger

The first thing we quickly learned was that a personal connection with the architect and the team was as important as the architecture itself. It’s a long process. A personal process. A financial process. And you have to be more than comfortable addressing all of those issues through good times and bad.

We got much smarter as the process unfolded. We learned a lot about what we wanted, what we needed, what we could afford, and what questions we needed to ask.

The work was absolutely amazing, but again you have to ask the right questions to determine what is doable within your budget.

Surprisingly, Amy and I settled in on our top three relatively quickly. The final two, however, were a bit more difficult - equal parts good and bad. You see the personality in one, the architecture of the other, the budgets of one, the benefits of the other. It’s difficult, but you can only chose one.

Our advice: Go with your gut. And if the decision is close, call the parties involved. Express your concerns or desires. Make sure all the cards are on the table before you commit. Get everyone on board from the beginning.


Fort Worth Modern It was a beautiful Saturday morning back in March. An architect friend of mine mentioned a new little neighborhood in Oak Cliff. Kessler Woods Court. A small community dedicated to mid-century modern design. A must see. So that Saturday morning I took Amy to go look at the pretty houses. We were on our way to the Fort Worth Museum of Modern Art. The irony is that later on that afternoon we would essentially make the first move toward buying our own piece of modern art in the form of a house.To be quite honest, I didn’t even know Amy liked modern architecture. Upon further inquiry she turned out to be quite the fan as long as it’s not too cold and sterile. I guess that’s why we were both so enamored with Kessler Woods. It’s the mid-century modern approach with a 21st-century flair.So the following day we met with the realtor. Later that week, I made some inquiries with some architectural buddies about budgets. Amy and I ran some numbers. We bounced the idea off a few others and within one month we were under contract and interviewing architects.And I have to hand it to Amy, this was quite possibly the most spontaneous thing she has ever done. I just took her to look at the pretty house. She took it one step farther and called the realtor. Nice job Amy and I love you for it.