Why I don’t buy houses that I love.

Why I don’t buy houses that I love.

Many buyers want a home that looks as fabulous as their Instagram feed.  They’re looking for a home that they love.  But if you are up for a fun and profitable challenge, consider buying a home that needs love instead of buying a home that deserves love.

My husband and I call it the ‘Slow Flip.’ We’ve done it several times over the last 15 years. Slow-flipping has given us some good investments, creative outlets and even a little marital bonding.  We’ve looked for a home that’s in a great location, but because of some funkiness, has been sitting on the market a long time.  If that funkiness can be cost effectively fixed, and if the seller is motivated to make a deal, then maybe it’s worth taking on the challenge.


This was one of my favorite slow flips. I remember telling my husband when we bought it “I don’t like this house, but I love the dirt.”

The slow flip means you live in the house while you figure out how to fix its flaws.  Living in a space, learning how your family uses it,  can often result in more creative and cost effective decisions. Sometimes it takes a while to chew on the design problem before you come up with the right solution. With a slow flip, time is on your side. Better still, after you’ve lived in a home two years (or two of the last five years to be specific) you can avoid paying federal income tax on the gain you make when you resell.

Photo credit @tonyconnect – a realtor in the Texas Hill Country who’s also helping people make homes beautiful.

If you find the challenge of home renovation interesting… and if taking on short term projects won’t add undue stress to your family and relationships, read on!  Here are my top suggestions based on our experience.

Get wise counsel before you buy. 

I’m a firm believer in seeking out good advice and that often means hiring someone with expertise.  Some renovation wisdom is obvious – you see the biggest return in kitchens and bathrooms.  Removing a non-load bearing walls or doors is usually inexpensive; moving plumbing is almost always expensive. But before you make a commitment to take on your slow flip, bring in a trusted advisor that can talk through your options with a fresh set of eyes and real world experience.  During your option period, as buyer you can terminate the contract for any reason and not risk losing your earnest money.  Use that time to ask the right questions to the right people.

Photo credit to @printitengineer – love wallpaper and open shelving for an inexpensive upgrade.

Pick your battles.

Once you’ve decided on the home, decide what you’re able to live through.  Some renovations are more disruptive than others. Flooring & painting wood cabinets are particularly tough  – messy & stinky.  If the floors need to be redone or you need to paint kitchen cabinets, consider doing them before you move in.  Carpet is not as big a deal and can usually be completed in a day with installers moving furniture for you.

Crushing on @thevictorianfarmhouse.  So fun to follow their DIY home restoration.

Don’t underestimate the transformative power of paint.

Paint can give you the most bang for your buck — hands down.  It can take disparate materials and bring unity.  It can transform the lighting of a room and make the old and dingy look new and clean. With the right primer, lots of different surfaces can be painted. So many times I’ve coached buyers “Ok, imagine this whole, dark, dingy space painted white…”

This fireplace is transformed with $20 of paint. Photo credit and plug to follow @conklinhouse.

Are you are unskilled labor?

You can save a lot of money by doing the unskilled labor jobs yourself.  Demo, painting, patching, sanding – if you need to find ways to cut costs consider DIY.  Labor can be 50% of the cost of the job.  Nervous?  YouTube is your coach and can give you the confidence to take on all sorts of projects. Plus, it can be hugely gratifying when you take a crow bar or sledge hammer to a situation.

We chose to do our own demo in our entry and have a pro install the hardwoods.

No shame in calling in the pros.

Be realistic about your skill set.  Know when to call in the experts. When you do go to resell, you don’t want it to be obvious that you did it yourself.  You are going to be spending a lot of money on materials.  You have to live with it when it’s done. Some things that look “easy” really need a skilled hand. For example, perfect tiling is an art form – especially when you use dark grout.

@patticakewagner, your tile install is pro!

Don’t start until you are ready to go.

Living through construction is stressful, so do your homework and don’t demo until you’ve got a complete plan.  There will always be surprises and hidden costs.  Don’t add to the challenges and the timeline by not having the components you already know you’ll need. When possible I buy materials myself, so there is no middle man. Many places will take returns.  Better to overshoot and return, than to be unprepared.

Before and after pantry photo credit Hartley Home Designs.

Give yourself a break between big projects.

It’s stressful for everyone in your family to live through a construction zone. Don’t underestimate that.  Having workers in your home early and late feels invasive. For that reason we’ve spaced our projects out and divided projects up when possible. Spacing projects also helps you save up to pay for them – win, win.

Our current kitchen before & after. 

Our kitchen, for example, was done in three phases.  Before we moved in, we had the cabinets painted, and a carpenter cut some of the upper cabinet doors for me to install glass fronts.  The next year we retiled the backsplash and swapped out the sink faucet.  After living there for awhile, we could see a 48′ refrigerator would be perfect where the ovens were located.  It would improve the flow. After almost two years of looking,  I found a used 48′ Subzero for a steal on a local FB yard sale site.  Our carpenter was able to make it a built-in pretty easily and swap places with the ovens.  It’s a totally different space.  Dividing the project up made it not so bad to live through.

Don’t forget Craig’s List, E-bay, Demolition Sales etc….

Before you buy new, check alternative places like Craig’s List, E-bay, on-line yard sales,  demolition sales, Habitat for Humanity Resale Shop.  Call stores and ask what’s in their scratch and dent section.  When we were planning for a bathroom renovation, I collected all kinds of things for months until we needed them.  I found inexpensive 12×12 marble tiles at a big box chain and then had them cut to the more expensive 6×12 size to lay in a herringbone pattern.

I removed this tub filler and shower hardware from a demolition sale paying approximately a 10th of their retail value. Pro tip: wear closed toed shoes when using a sledge hammer. 

I think of it like a treasure hunt.  When you have time on your side you can patiently wait for just what you need.

Before and after of our bathroom & the new home for my salvaged plumbing fixtures and $15 shower door I scored at a yard sale.

This month we will finish the last planned renovation in our current home and we’ve had a few discussions about doing this again.  The problem is that while I did not love my house before;  I really do love it now. More importantly, our family loves our dear neighbors.

So we’re most likely here for a while.  But just in case this article inspires you to try a “slow flip”, give me a call.  I’ve been following several interesting properties on the market now.  Maybe I can help you find a home you don’t love!



Considering Listing Your Home this Spring? 6 Things to Do First

Considering Listing Your Home this Spring? 6 Things to Do First

Here are my top 6 recommendations so you have everything ready come spring. Time is on your side. Plan ahead, save yourself some stress and improve your chances of getting top dollar for your home.  

Edit, Donate & Recycle

A perfectly decluttered kitchen by Studio McGee.

If you want your house to look more expansive and thus sell for more – this is the key.  Do a clean sweep of your countertops and windowsills. Go through your closets, shelves, glass front cabinets, and bookcases. Take out 1/2 the stuff and neatly organize what’s left.

When I list a home, I always come in with my stager. We work together to rearrange and do a final edit, but only you can decide what you want to keep or not.

A good stager can help make even awkward spaces feel purposeful.  Image credit Everygirl.

Have three boxes going –

  • things to keep, but store for now (like family photos)
  • things to give away
  • things to throw away or recycle

Get excited about an opportunity to give away things you do not need to people who do. For the Nations Refugee Outreach and Genesis Women’s Shelter Thrift Store are great places here in Dallas to donate all manner of household items and clothes.  H&M  has a bin in their store to recycle clothes and fabrics that are too shabby to donate.

Moving homes can be a great opportunity to reset and reevaluate. Don’t waste this opportunity to get rid of things that you don’t really love or need!

Fix what’s broken

Walk through your house like an inspector or potential buyer. Often we live with problems in our home – that leaky faucet, or that door that’s hard to open.  Go ahead and fix these flaws.  If you don’t fix it now, your buyer will most likely ask you to do it, or they will ask or for a concession (a lower asking price to compensate for them fixing it).

Trim, fireplace and built-ins are Benjamin Moore Simply White

If you’ve got children, pets, or are a human being, a fresh coat of paint can be a very cost effective way to brightening up a space.  There is nothing that gives you more bang for your buck than paint. And if, for example, your dining room is red, go ahead and paint that to a more neutral color.

Beautiful 1940’s tile in a pristine bathroom.

Make sure your bathroom grout is in good shape.  If you have shabby appliances it could well be worth replacing them.Replace worn door handles or knobs. Sometimes just spaying them with Rust-Oleum can make big difference. I’ve also done that with light fixture frames.

A wood paneled drop-in tub replaces a dated jacuzzi tub.

There are situations where it’s cost effective to do more substantial improvements, like replacing an ugly countertop or swapping out a dated jacuzzi tub. This is true particularly in higher end markets.   But these can still be tricky decisions. You want a good return on your investment of money, time, and hassle. This is where your realtor can offer solid advice on where to best spend your rehab dollar.

Squeaky Clean

You may want to hold off on this one until right before you list, but everything needs to be spotless to get the most for your house. If this sounds overwhelming, consider hiring a cleaning company for a deep cleaning service.

Julie Hickman to the rescue! She’ll make your home squeaky clean.

Let me give a little shout-out to Julie Hickman, owner of Maid Meticulous here in Dallas. I’ve used her at clients’ homes been stunned by the results.  She and her team know how to make your home look its very best.

Don’t neglect washing your windows – you want to let all the light in you can. I always recommend Dale Harris here in Dallas. He can be reached at 214-986-2334.

Steam cleaning carpets kills most odor causing bacterias and surface mold.

Do you have carpet? Have it cleaned by a professional or rent the equipment to steam clean it.  Many will companies will also steam clean tile floors, bathroom grout, and can also clean upholsery and area rugs.

Almost every home will benefit from several boxes of magic erasers.  They are little cleaning miracles in a box.

Image credit to Style at Home

This is also a moment to be honest about smells.  Scent can be a big deal for buyers, so don’t underestimate it.  Is there anything in your house that smells nasty?  Is it obvious you have a litter box or pets in general, or that you smoke? Does it smell musty? Candles and cookies are nice, but it’s usually pretty obvious when you are masking an odor.

Light & Bright

Everyone wants a home that’s light and bright.  You can’t change the direction your home faces, but there are a number of things you can do to help.

Image credit, the lovely Emily Henderson

Take down heavy drapes, or if you just can’t bear to part with them, open them as wide as possible. Light colored drapes are best for letting sunshine in. Clean the windows (see above), and replace dark lamp shades with light ones. Up the wattage in your light bulbs if necessary, but make sure it’s a warm light and not a blue cast.  Consider installing can lights – flush mount can lights are less complicated (and expensive) to install.  If landscaping blocks light from your windows, consider trimming it back or replacing it.

Curb Appeal

First impressions count. Whether it’s driving by or swiping right on your phone, you want to make the most of your curb appeal. Repaint or stain the front door. Pressure wash the stoop or steps or sidewalk.  Update your porch light, and maybe your front door hardware.  A fresh front door wreath and welcome mat can go a long way too.

These vinyl house letters from Etsy cost $12.95. I bought them for the glass transom above our front door – love!

I recently recommended that a client paint their home’s exterior here in Highland Park. At the time it was a combination of brick, stone and stucco. There was a lot going on, and I thought painting it one solid color (Sherwin Williams Marshmallow) would unify the materials.


The dramatic difference it made was worth the few thousand dollars they spent.  It sold quickly, and for so much, that I was a little nervous about it making appraisal. (It did!)

Image credit Home Best Idea

Are your shrubs leggy or overgrown?  Often you just have to start again, and an afternoon pulling out the old and planting the new can be a good investment.  If you need help with a master plan I highly recommend Julie Simons of JDS Landscape Design  here in Dallas.  She is brilliant at creating beautiful outdoor spaces.  It’s also almost time to plant fall bulbs for spring flowers.  If you’re listing in the spring that can be an easy way to add color.

Finally – Plan to Price Right

Hire a realtor you trust…  then trust them.  The single best strategy for selling your house is to price it correctly.  Listen to the data only a licensed realtor has access to. This is especially true in Texas, where the law does not require public disclosure of real estate sales prices.  This means places like Zillow and Trulia have the list price, but do not have what the house actually sold for.  Unless you live in a Charles Dilbeck or a David Stocker home, most buyers won’t overpay for your house.

David Stocker’s Sunnybrook North in Preston Hollow – more glorious pictures here.

A good realtor will pay for themselves, not only in the price you ultimately get for your house, but also in helping you navigate and avoid stressful pitfalls.

If you are planning to list in the spring, check out open houses in your area in the mean time.  It’s a free way to see first hand what your buyers are seeing.  I’ve had clients who do not listen to the data. Their houses sit on the market overpriced and people start to wonder “What’s wrong with it?” Typically, overpriced houses sell for less than if they had been correctly priced from the beginning.

One final thought I must add…

Image credit to The Imagination Tree

I’ve had several clients, particularly those with lots of young children, for whom the best thing was to move completely out, let me bring in my painters and a cleaning crew and then lightly stage.

If all the home improvement suggestions above make you sweat, maybe this is best for your family too. There are financial products, like a bridge loan, that can help to make that possible. It’s not an option for everyone, but if you need references for creative mortgage brokers, I’ve got them too.

If you’re thinking about selling in the spring, give me a call – I’d love to help.  If you’d just like to know what you’re house could sell for I’m happy to help with that too.  Good luck!


Feature image credit goes to Emily Henderson. I’m such a fan. If you love homes and decorating you should be following her blog.





Buying Vintage: 6 things you always should consider buying used

Buying Vintage: 6 things you always should consider buying used

“Everything old is new again” goes the adage.  When you search Instagram and Pinterest, you see countless examples of big box retailers recreating vintage pieces. In many cases they are not as interesting or as high quality as the original. It’s almost impossible to recreate the personality and patina that comes with age. Plus, a great vintage piece will usually hold its value, whereas the value of a new replica declines the moment it leaves the store.

These days, finding great vintage home decor is as easy as it’s ever been. I love a great estate sale and struggle to pass one by, but in the past few years most of my vintage finds have been on-line.  I love local community groups like those on Facebook and Craig’s List, but on line auction sites are a game changer. Sites Everything but the House on line auction are such a fun resource.  For many of these sites, you can even search within your local area, so you can drive to pick up items and avoid paying shipping charges.  

Here are some of my recommendations for items well worth seeking out the original.


Photo credit to mi casa revista

New chandeliers really can’t compare with their vintage counterpart. Especially with crystal, the new does not have the heft and luster of the old.  Plus, in most cases, older pieces are a great value in comparison.  If you find a chandelier where the wiring looks suspicious, it’s worth a trip to a lighting store to be rewired.  Even with that additional cost, I’m my experience, it’s still been a great value. 

chandelier 2
For sale on Ebay.

A beautiful chandelier is like a piece of statement jewelry for your home.  Even if crystal is not your style, there are some fabulous vintage light fixtures out there that can be a unique centerpiece in your home.


Loved the vintage rug in this bedroom by Sarah Sherman.

A vintage rug can set the stage for the entire room.  With a bit of patience, it’s not that hard to find.  In most cases, new rugs are not made with as high quality wool or as soft a texture as older rugs. Plus, many new rugs are machine made.  They both shed and wear quickly. 

rugs 2
Photo credit Katie Hodges Design.

I find even the worn spots of vintage rugs very charming.  I’ve found large antique hand-knotted oriental rugs in wonderful condition for a fraction of what a rug that size would cost new, at say, Pottery Barn.  Also, it’s entirely possible that an antique rug could appreciate over time, whereas modern rugs have practically no resale value.


SF Girl is a blog and shop where she sells found pieces, particularly art.

Invest in original art and old portraits.   Estate sales both on-line and local are a great way to find these treasures which are infinitely more interesting than big box store reproductions or trendy quotes on canvas.

art 2
Photo credit from Lulu & Georgia

Sometimes when I see a piece at an estate sale, especially a sale that is very cluttered, I have to stand back and try to think of the piece outside of that setting. Maybe it needs a different frame or just refinishing the current one. Maybe it just needs to be center stage with a white wall behind.


Mid Century Absinthe Green Cocktail Shaker on Etsy

You can curate a very glamorous bar by scouring estate sales.  Vintage cocktail glasses and barware are so much more fun and unique than most anything new and generally at a fraction of the cost.

bar 2
Photos from Architectural Digest

Cocktails served in fabulous glasses taste better — I promise – try it and see.



trays 3
Photo credit Roses & Rust.

I love trays to corral and unify a space. I have a tray by my night stand, on the coffee table, in our bathroom by the sink and a tea station on a tray in our bar.  Trays are organizational superstars and a great place to add a unique touch. 


Moroccan Inlay Tray – see one similar for sale on Everything But the House

I look for a tray that is sturdy and waterproof like this brass and copper Moroccan tray.  I got mine for $20, and you could not get a metal tray that size at Wal-Mart for that price.


This beauty was found on Craig’s List.

If it’s taken care of, leather can age beautifully. If you are in the market for a Chesterfield sofa or leather club chair, these classics are best bought vintage. Some distress to the leather only adds character.  Of course you don’t want heavy cracking or peeling, but a little love with a product like Leather Honey can bring many pieces back to life.  A little tear?  Depending where it is, there are easy answers to that too. Here is a recipe for leather glue with natural ingredients you likely have on hand.    

This chair was so dried out when I picked it up at an estate sale for $75 (including it’s ottoman). Leather Honey was like a miracle for it.

Buying vintage makes a home feel more relaxed and comfortable too. People are not worried about messing things up.  With some scratches and wear, well it’s just broken in for you.  Like glorified recycling, it feels good too.  Happy hunting!  


Welcome to Dallas, Caitlin Wilson!

Welcome to Dallas, Caitlin Wilson!

Dallas friends, have you heard? Caitlin Wilson Design chose Knox/Henderson here in Dallas to place their second showroom.  Her warm, inviting, family-friendly style will fit right in. Check it out for yourself – I think her pieces have the perfect blend of whimsy and timelessness.

Caitlin Wilson’s Dallas Design Showroom opened this fall at 2923 N. Henderson Ave Dallas.

Do you know about Caitlin Wilson Design?  They are an on-line decorating phenomena with a fabulous line of rugs, textiles, wallpaper, upholstery, lighting and more. But they also offer interior design services at an hourly or by project basis.


Caitlin Wilson Design Services include:

  • Client on-site consultation (if you live in Dallas or San Francisco)
  • Creation of design plan
  • Architectural detail, millwork, materials, paint & finish selections
  • Space planning & furniture layout
  • Selection of furniture, lighting, rugs, fabrics, wallpaper, artwork & accessories
  • Custom made furniture, window treatments, pillows, bedding, & more
  • Installation, accessorizing, & styling

You’ve probably seen Caitlin Wilson’s designs before. She has been featured by all the fun decorating magazines – Domino, House Beautiful, Domain, Traditional Home, Better Homes and Gardens.

This weekend's CW instagram pic inspired me to rethink mudroom.
This weekend’s CW Instagram pic was my mudroom inspiration.

I’m giving their design services a go with our mudroom which could use some attention.  It’s where we frequently foster dogs and puppies for Operation Kindness.  Needless to say, it needs to be scrubbable and durable.  The design team was up for the challenge!

Her joint venture with Pratt & Lambert was featured in last month’s Traditional Home Magazine.

If you are not following Caitlin on Instagram already you should start now – especially if you live in Dallas.  You will be notified of all the fun local events they are hosting.  I stopped in yesterday for their ‘Galentine Party’ and left with a dear watercolor greeting card personalized for free by an on-site calligrapher.

caitlin bathroom
I love how she uses pattern through tile and wallpaper in this modern classic bathroom.

In addition to having a fabulous eye for all things hearth and home, Caitlin and her family are so dear and quite genuine.  This summer I got to know them better when they  moved in next door.  It was a busy summer – moving to a new state, opening a new store, doing extensive renovation to their new home. Did I mention Caitlin was very pregnant with their fourth child? She handled it all with grace and a smile.  I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next and am thankful we get to have a first row seat to Caitlin Wilson Design here in Dallas.


Do stop by their showroom at 2923 N. Henderson to see for yourself — you’re welcome!


Helping the Less Fortunate Dwell with Dignity

Helping the Less Fortunate Dwell with Dignity

I want to share with you about a great non-profit here in Dallas that’s working to help people escaping homelessness. Dwell with Dignity partners with local agencies like Genesis Women’s Shelter, Interfaith Family Services and Promise House to help people transitioning to self-sufficiency.  Once participants have graduated from their agency’s program (meaning they’ve attained necessary life skills, secured a job, and have the financial resources to pay first & last month’s rent along with ongoing expenses) they have the opportunity to be nominated to receive a DwD home interior.

A participant’s apartment before DwD. Photo: Dwell With DIGNITY/nousDECOR

Typically when a family leaves one of these programs, they take very few possessions with them.  Dwell with Dignity staff meets with the family to hear their hopes and dreams for a home. Then, along with the help of volunteers, they come together-not to just furnish, but to create a beautiful welcoming space. They put up window treatments, create art, provide dishes and silverware in the kitchen and even stock the pantry with groceries.  About every 2 weeks Dwell with Dignity does this for a family in neighborhoods all across Dallas.

DwD double
A participant’s apartment after DwD. Photo: Dwell With DIGNITY/nousDECOR

“What we find is that families start thriving right away,” Founder Lisa Robison says. “Kids do their homework at the kitchen table or a desk. They get a good night’s sleep because they’re sleeping in a bed. They start to socialize in the home—they can finally invite other kids over to their houses. It instills confidence for mom and children.”

Testimonials from participants tell of how they felt, for the very first time, they could be proud of their home. They tell of finally being able to all eat together because there were enough plates and silverware for everyone in the family. This dramatically improves one’s outlook on life, and the impact is even felt generationally. 

A newly designed bedroom. Photo: Dwell With DIgnity/nousDECOR

“When we reveal a home to a family, we try to tell them, ‘The reason this is happening is because you’re doing a good job, you’ve been nominated because of your success. We have confidence you can strive for more.’” Robison says. “One of the things we find is that when we talk to the families again later, the parents will tell us they got promoted, they want to move to a bigger place, they’re saving to get a house. They have confidence and the feeling that all their hard work is coming together.”

Every installation is treated like a professional interior design project.



How can you help?  There are a number of ways.  

Donate Wood Furniture – DwD is always in need of wood furniture they can paint and rehab.  They need dressers, night stands, end tables, chairs, bookshelves, tables and desks.  If it’s not in perfect condition, that’s just fine – they’ll fix it.  All donations are tax deductible and can be brought to their facility at 1127 Conveyor Lane, Dallas. Check their website to coordinate.

Join the DIY Team – Volunteers can repair, sand, repaint and update donated pieces Wednesday evenings from 5:30 – 8:30 pm or Saturdays from 10 am -1 pm at 1127 Conveyor Lane, Dallas.  This is also a great team building activity. I’m organizing an evening for fellow Dave-Perry Miller realtors right now.  You can sign up here

Help with an Install – Have you always wanted to be a part of a big HGTV reveal?  This is your chance.  1-2 times per month, over the course of 3 days, DwD volunteers help install the furniture and decorate the home while the family is away.

Cash – They’ll put it to good use for sure. 

Since 2009 they have installed home interiors for more than 100 families in Dallas and recently started a DwD branch in Atlanta.  For more information on how to get involved, check out DWD’s website here.  I love being able to spread the word to you about this non-profit supporting our neighbors here in our community!

Feature image photo credit: Dwell With DIGNITY/nousDECOR.  This living room was designed by Dwell With Dignity.

Company’s Coming | Ideas to Keep Cool in Dallas-Fort Worth

Company’s Coming | Ideas to Keep Cool in Dallas-Fort Worth

Our first family of summer house guests arrive this weekend. The challenge? How to arrange a week’s worth of fun activities – taking into consideration the consummate Texas sunshine and without spending a fortune. Dallas friends, do you have company coming to visit this summer? Wondering what to do?  I did some research and here’s what I came up with.

Get excited.  You can visit top Dallas attractions (all but one is under air) at the fraction of their price. Have you heard about the Dallas CityPASS ticket booklet? It’s valid for nine consecutive days, beginning with the first day of use. Cost: $48, adults (a value of $81); $32, kids 3-12. It includes admission to:


Perot Museum of Nature and Science


So CityPASS is a great start. But wait there’s lots more….



Trinity Audubon Center   $1 admission in August. Hiking trails, nature center and for $15 per person a guided Night Hike Owl Prowl Thursday, Aug 10th from 8-10 pm.



Dallas Arboretum Live local music at twilight on Thursdays July 14-28. And in August, $1 admission all month along with $2 hotdogs, root beer floats and pies and $4 ice cream sundaes.



Klyde Warren Park  has free concerts with local bands Thursday nights… and food trucks of course.  From July 13-August 10th the public is invited to build a Ninjago-theme giant mosaic with 79,320 Lego bricks.  We love this award winning urban space!



Dallas Museum of Art   General admission is free. The Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion exhibition goes through August 27th showcasing 45 of her exquisite outfits from 15 collections. 


DAD_VisualArts_Nasher_05Nasher Sculpture Center – considered one of the foremost collections of sculpture in the world.  Friday July 21st is the next ’til Midnight at the Nasher. A free evening with outdoor concerts by Sudie and Bryce and then a showing of one of my favorite movies  Sing Street.



Dallas World Aquarium A world truly class aquarium. $20.95 per person, $14.95 for children, and since it’s all indoors, it’s great no matter the weather.  




White Rock Lake Paddle Board & Canoe Hourly canoe, kayak & paddle board rentals on White Rock Lake. This is a popular activity so get reservations ahead of time for sure. 

Just outside of Dallas:


Dinosaur Valley State Park –  1.5 hours away in Glenrose, Texas – $7 per person over 13. Bring swimsuits & wade over actual dinosaur footprints in the Paluxy riverbed where the first sauropod trackways were discovered.

buerger lake

Burgers Lake   Bring a picnic for a fun day at a spring fed lake with lots of water slides etc. $15 per person 


Ft Worth Stockyards Touristy, but fun and free.  Watch long horn cattle run down  main street at 11:30 am and 4 pm. 

Kimbell Art Museum  Free and always inspiring. The exhibition A modern Vision: European Masterworks from the Phillips Collection is here through August 13th. 

Where else would you recommend taking visitors in DFW?  I’ve got 48 hours until the first guests come ya’ll.