Thani and Landon Burke wanted to rebel against the status quo of house flipping. They were turned off by the proliferation of builder-grade materials, sterile gray walls, and no personality. The couple run Burke Building & Restoration, an Oak Cliff construction company. And they approached 426 S. Ravinia Dr. with a goal to make it feel custom and special.
“We always try to do these projects as if we are moving in because I am admittedly picky,” says Thani Burke, who’s also the home’s listing agent. “We both are.”
The Burkes have been working on the house for over a year. They first fell in love with the project thanks to the hilly and lush neighborhood. It gave off Austin or Santa Barbara vibes, Burke says. The .6-acre lot has a creek running through the front yard with lots of trees. “It’s just really special because you feel like you’re on an island of your own.”
But the actual house was in rough shape. “It was literally completely different than what it looks like now,” Burke says. There were strange Austin stone columns and a crumbling retaining wall outside, she says. Inside, “it was a very weird layout.” The finish-out was dated, the rooms were awkwardly shaped, and there wasn’t enough storage.
So, they changed “everything,” Burke says. “Nothing is original to the house.” They worked with architect Patrick Craine, and Landon Burke, a contractor who oversaw the construction. The Burkes replaced the roof and gutters. They installed a new drainage system, insulation, and drywall, and they redid the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems.
“Every wall, almost, was moved,“ Burke says. They wanted to open up the layout and bring the outdoors in with lots of windows, including adding 16-foot sliding glass doors in the living room. “It gives you sweeping views of the creek and just all the greenery in the front yard.”
The property has a Mediterranean flair. Burke says she didn’t want a “boring ranch” with farmhouse-like siding and eight-foot ceilings. Plus, with the right touches, she figured “it could really feel like your transitional modern home in Santa Barbara.” So, the couple installed terracotta tiles and stuccoed the facade. They vaulted the living room ceiling and installed an Adobe-inspired fireplace, natural elements in the bathrooms, pops of an ocean-like blue color throughout, and an arch motif.
Because the lot is so big, Burke says they wanted to make the house dog friendly. A perk of the terracotta tiles is that they’re easier to clean than the oak hardwood floors they typically use in renovations, Burke says. The couple also installed ample pet storage in the mudroom and “we added in a doggie shower, which is a really cute and fun addition to this house.”
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