When architect Christian Cassidy got his hands on 9425 Mercer Dr. last year, the ’60s-era Dutch Colonial was “very dark and dank and depressing,” listing agent Shannon Metcalf says.
The house was in rough shape. It was unkempt and overgrown, and it took about 10 months to restore, she says. But that could be because Cassidy, who has worked as an architect, designer, and painter, is meticulous. His philosophy, says Metcalf, is to take a 60-year-old house in disrepair and “make it so will last another 60 years.”
Cassidy made plenty of cosmetic fixes, like painting the outside of the home, putting in a decomposed granite walkway, and finishing the interior walls with a smooth, museum quality drywall. But many of the changes were more substantial.
He moved the front door and created a new entryway inside. Before, you entered right at the staircase and had to turn down a hall, Metcalf says. Cassidy built out the airy foyer, sourcing vintage hardwood from a scrapped house in San Antonio to create the floor’s inlay-pattern.
Everything was closed off inside the home—think your typical ’50s ranch, Metcalf says—so Cassidy reconfigured the downstairs layout. He moved the window in the formal dining room to make one large window in the formal living room, letting in more light. In the informal living room, Cassidy painted the original fireplace and installed a new mantle. He took out the old built-ins on either side of the fireplace, which, Metcalf says will give the new owners the opportunity to personalize the area in their own style.
While the kitchen is in its original location, everything about it is new. Cassidy added a coffee and wine bar area and installed quartz counters. The island countertop is inlayed with salvaged quartz scraps and looks a bit like a butcher block, Metcalf says. It’s a subtle statement, “a different take on what your standard stone and tile can be.” Additionally, the whole space was closed off, so Cassidy took down the walls. It also once had linoleum floors that “looked like the Jetsons” so he sourced more wood from the San Antonio project.
The biggest change downstairs is the primary suite. There used to be two downstairs bedrooms, but Cassidy blew them out to make one large suite. He installed double doors to the back deck. He constructed two massive walk-in closets that could be just a finger-print lock away from becoming Tiffany Moon’s next scrub closet. Cassidy built a new primary bath and converted the old, shared bathroom into a powder bath.
The original primary suite is up on the second floor. The oversized room might have at one point been two spaces, says Metcalf, but, really, “you don’t need six bedrooms. A lot of people aren’t looking for that.” Cassidy didn’t do much to the actual bedroom, besides expanding the storage closet and converting the attic area into a flex space. The primary en-suite, however, is another story. He turned the old closet and large, shared upstairs bathroom into a new en-suite bathroom and a hall bath for the two other secondary bathrooms. Part of this area went to the flex space, as well.
Outside, Cassidy erected a new deck and expanded it past the old patio. He cleaned up the shed, installing a window and new door. He put some effort in the garage, too, painting the fridge and building a workshop space using salvaged wood from the home. Your garage is one of the first things you see when you come home every day, Metcalf says, so Cassidy “wanted even that to greet you in a good way.”
While the flip itself is well done, part of the house’s draw is its location. The neighborhoods surrounding White Rock Lake, like Little Forest Hills and Lakewood, are always popular, but Casa Linda Forest is more off the radar. It’s a charming “little gem” with lots of second-generation families, says Metcalf. “They grew up there, and they bought homes there.” Most people are there to stay.
To see more of the home, scroll through the gallery.