When you’re driving down Walnut Hill Lane, it’s easy to miss the mid-century modern house at 5221. You might even make it to Ursuline Academy before you realize you’ve blown right past the 1.3-acre property.
Perhaps it’s because you’re too used to beelining it down the road to notice the secluded front gate. Or, perhaps it’s because 5221 Walnut Hill Lane, Dallas’ first Gold LEED-certified home, doesn’t feel like it should belong in the hustle and bustle of a major metropolitan city.
“It’s such a special place in Dallas, because you feel like you’re out in the country,” realtor Shelle Carrig says.
The extensive property is dotted with mature, “sculptural” live oaks. “These trees are so giant that that you don’t even see the amenities, really,” Carrig says, “because they have characters of their own.”
But the outdoor amenities are worth looking at, too. There’s an infinity pool, chicken coop, dog run behind the guest house, firepit, wraparound deck, bar with a window to the kitchen, and even a “dreamy” treehouse patio. Just on the other side of the property line is a small creek, which adds to the ambience, Carrig says. “If we go down there, you can hear the babbling water.”
In 2009, the then-owners hired Shipley Architects* to transform the property, making it eco-friendly and Gold LEED-certified. Because of this, there’s xeriscape landscaping, a rainwater irrigation system, and almost all the materials used in the outdoor living space are reclaimed.
Inside, the house uses a geothermal system that reduces the utility bill, adds automatic smart lighting and motion sensors to help save energy.
The thoroughly modern interiors have a tranquil, museum-like feel, too. That’s intentional, Carrig says. “This house is really all about the art.” The current owners, who have an extensive art collection, remodeled the house from 2012 to 2016, installing museum finishes, silk wall coverings, and luxury art lighting.
Someone “can really appreciate this space, because it’s museum quality,” Carrig says. But its warm architecture “allows you to just feel comfortable here,” too. There are reclaimed pine hardwood floors throughout, and lots of windows pulling you outside.
Additionally, there are plenty of gathering spaces (and three separate wine fridges) throughout, including an excess of sitting areas inside and out, a game room, and a massive dining room.
To truly experience the house, “you actually have to visit [it] physically,” Carrig says. But in the meantime, you can scroll through the gallery to learn more about the home.
*A previous version of the story misidentified the 2009 renovation architecture firm. This has been corrected.