Diane and Bruce Carleton regretted moving out of 11219 Shelterwood Ln. They bought the 1961 Bill Pardue-built ranch in 2010 and spent the next two and a half years renovating it to be the perfect traditional home. “We enjoyed the process so much,” Diane says, that they wanted to fix up another house. So, they sold their pretty Preston Hollow house and moved across Inwood.
The couple bought, renovated, and sold three more properties over the next seven or so years. But they always missed the Shelterwood house. In 2020, Diane and Bruce were living in a 6,100-square-foot home. It was too much house for the empty nesters. Then, they heard that the couple to whom they originally sold Shelterwood was moving.
“We looked at each other and said, ‘this could not be better,’” Diane says. “’We want to go back.’”
When they first bought the home, the property hadn’t been updated in 50 years. The landscaping was overgrown, Diane says. “You couldn’t even walk in the backyard because it was just a forest back there with poison ivy and old trees and just like Grey Gardens.”
Inside, it was just as dated. There was dark mahogany paneling on the walls. Terrazzo and linoleum floors. The bathrooms needed gutting. The kitchen was a display model from the State Fair in the early 1960s. At the time, the fair had model rooms available—“builders advertising themselves,” listing agent Sherri Courie says. Pardue brought it into the house piece by piece and installed it. The kitchen had round walls, a curved island, pink appliances, and an indoor grill. It was a cool feature, Diane says, but there was no way to renovate it.
So, like the rest of the house, “we brought it up to more modern standards,” Diane says. The Carletons replaced all the windows. They reconfigured the primary suite, and “pretty much gutted the other bathrooms.” They tore out the old State Fair kitchen, selling the cabinets piecemeal to those who needed to match that style. They redid the fireplaces, too. Outside, they cleaned up the landscaping and planted crepe myrtles. They had to touch everything, Courie says.
You learn a lot when you remodel, Diane says. So, when they moved back in 2020, the Carletons were primed and ready to renovate the house a second time. This time, the big focus was on infrastructure, Diane says, “so all the mechanical stuff in the house.” They replaced the plumbing, HVAC, insulation, and roof. They built a new garage, driveway, and parking pad. In the interim, the prior owners had installed a pool, and the Carletons improved the backyard entertaining space.
The couple also took the feedback they learned when selling the house the first time and applied it to this renovation. Buyers wanted a third living space, so they converted the old garage into a media room. People want taller ceilings, so they vaulted many of the spaces, like the formal living room and primary bedroom. They also made a few changes to improve their own small frustrations. They moved where the TV was mounted in the family room, for example, and expanded the back patio.
Throughout the renovations, the couple paid special attention to the light fixtures. “Lighting is really important to Diane,” Courie says. “She would own a lighting store if she could.” She moved some of the original chandeliers to different rooms. She sourced sconces from Kate Spade. And she kept going back to Visual Comfort to light room after room.
The result is a house Diane and Bruce love. But, during the pandemic, they also bought and renovated a lake house. And the two retirees have been spending more time out there. They recently found a lock-and-leave oriented home that better suits their new lifestyle. But, “had we not found that house I don’t think we’d be moving so quickly,” Diane says. They learned their lesson the first time.
Scroll through the gallery to learn more about the home.