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Hot Property: Visit the Hill Country in This Rustic Mid-Century’s Backyard

Sitting on two-thirds of an acre, the White Rock Hills property includes a pond, waterfall, glass-walled guest cabin, and dozens of trees.
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Hot Property: Visit the Hill Country in This Rustic Mid-Century’s Backyard

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Some homes you fall in love with for their historic charm. For others, the modern luxuries do the trick. Still more find a way into your heart because of their size. At 8320 Coolgreene Dr., though, “the backyard is what makes it the unicorn,” homeowner Kathy Whitbeck says. 

The property sits on a long .676-acre lot in White Rock Hills. (“We’re always the Easter egg hunt house,” Whitbeck says.) There’s a pond, a creek at the back of the property, and lots of trees. Whitbeck has lost count of just how many there are, but the yard is peppered with live oaks, cedars, and a fruiting plum tree. The back also includes a pea-gravel courtyard, a fire pit, a stacked-stone fountain and waterfall, and a rustic, glass-walled guest cabin. The entire setup is “like being in the Hill Country,” Whitbeck says.

Because of the creek, the pond, and the home’s proximity to White Rock Lake, “it’s very normal for us to have owls and birds in the backyard,” Whitbeck says. Hummingbirds and dragonflies hover near the pond; blue herons hang out in the trees. 

The property features xeriscaping and naturalized grass. Meaning: “The only real mowing is one little patch right in the front [yard],” realtor Terri Woods says. “And the rest of it just pretty much takes care of itself.” 

Whitbeck and her husband, Jason, moved into the 1960s-era mid-century—situated snuggly on a sleepy cul-de-sac—back in 2013. The previous owners really leaned into the house’s more rustic sensibilities, Woods says. The dark-stained wooden front door features metal strapping and nail-head trim. The living room had a Southwestern flair, with yellow walls and rustic beams. In the kitchen, the countertops are stone, and the decorative metal ceiling tins are used as a backsplash. Besides the tiled entry and kitchen, the house has golden oak-stained hardwood floors.

“The color is a bit old-fashioned,” Woods says, “but it’s always considered a classic.”

The Whitbecks kept some of the home’s rustic features, like the beams and the front door, but they put their own spin on the property, too. They renovated the primary bathroom four years ago and built a brand-new deck earlier this year.

In the kitchen, they added a chalkboard wall and a floating bar that Whitbeck calls a “fauxdenza.” The couple also put up a perimeter fence and added an extensive camera security system. Nine cameras are strategically hidden in trees throughout the property, and the Whitbecks use them to keep an eye on things, as well as birdwatch.

“All the men who come and look at the house [are] totally blown away by the camera system,” Woods says. “It’s like the ultimate man toy.”

One of the best aspects of the home, however, is all the windows, a calling card of mid-century modern design. There are lots of high-placed windows in the bedrooms, which Woods considers a “trademark throughout the house.” They let in lots of natural light, but their height doesn’t inhibit furniture placement, she notes. And in the living room, large sliding glass doors look out to the showstopping backyard. “The indoor-outdoor-marriage is amazing.”

Scroll through the gallery to learn more about the property—but don’t get too attached. The house, which was listed on July 8, is already under contract. 

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Catherine Wendlandt

Catherine Wendlandt

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Catherine Wendlandt is the online associate editor for D Magazine’s Living and Home and Garden blogs, where she covers all…

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