Chris Plavidal

Home & Garden

How New York and California Transplants Are Reshaping Dallas Home Design

With our population influx comes a whole new twist on style.

We’ve all heard that people are moving to the Dallas-Fort Worth area in droves. With a healthy business market and frequent corporate relocations to the area, it’s no wonder more and more families are calling it home. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 146,000 people moved to DFW in 2017 alone, helping us secure our spot as the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country. With such an influx, we asked our 2019 Best Builders to give us the lowdown and what our new neighbors are bringing to the world of homebuilding.

With so many corporate relocations to the DFW area such as Toyota, it’s no surprise that the majority of Texas transplants hail from California. In fact, census data shows that 114,413 Californians moved to Texas between 2012 and 2016, making it the top destination for those leaving the state.

These new neighbors are bringing one priority with them from their sunny (and albeit more temperate) home: maximized outdoor living. “Our coastal clientele often requests expansive backyards with sustainable landscape, along with outdoor living environments complete with temperature-controlled patios and motorized, retractable screens,” says Joe Jackson of The Newport Group.

“The influence of  our West Coast buyers has completely changed the styles of homes we find ourselves building.”

Chad Brubaker, Ron Davis Custom Homes

He’s also seeing an influx of requests for digitally controlled home automation systems, built-in patio heaters, and misting systems. And these sophisticated systems aren’t just meant to be enjoyed by the homeowners. “Outdoor entertaining spaces are always atop the list,” says Chad Brozovich of CJB Homes. “With the stable climate in California, having outdoor spaces to entertain are always desired.”

David Leite of David Leite Custom Homes has also noticed Californian clients requesting solar panel systems, helping to make DFW’s homebuilding landscape a little more eco-friendly. Stephanie Dauwe of Rosewood Custom Builders has Californian clients who want wall-to-wall sliding glass doors and outdoor kitchens complete with a fireplace. Similarly, Les Owens of LRO Residential is finding more clients from California and Florida who love a good outdoor loggia.

But our sun-loving new residents aren’t just impacting the outside of the home. “The influence of our West Coast buyers has completely changed the styles of homes we find ourselves building,” says Chad Brubaker of Ron Davis Custom Homes. “They want open and informal living. It has helped influence our most important category of architecture, which is stunning, modern designs with clean lines, innovative lighting, and much larger windows for outdoor views.”

coastal cool: Our new neighbors from the sunny West Coast are inspiring us to take a more neutral approach to the home—think tans, creams, and barely-there pinks. In this look, texture rules over color, with beachy accents of wood and rope. Anything’s fair game that evokes sea and sky!

On the other end of the country, New Yorkers are also on the move. According to MarketWatch, more than 1 million people have moved out of the New York metropolitan area since 2010—and Dallas is ready to welcome those relocating with open arms. One major perk for migrant New Yorkers? Space. Lots and lots of space.

Mark Molthan of Platinum Homes by Mark Molthan has seen that New Yorkers moving to DFW want to maximize their newly available legroom, with clients requesting large master closets and garages for more than five cars. “Coming to Dallas allowed them to get Dallas-sized features, and they are taking advantage of them,” he says. “The master closet is now a room—not a closet; the garage is an entertaining space—not a car-storage area.”

“The influence of  our West Coast buyers has completely changed the styles of homes we find ourselves building.”

Chad Brubaker, Ron Davis Custom Homes

Stephanie Dauwe of Rosewood Custom Homes also sees these customers focusing on the master closet. “Our New York clients are always blown away by our boutique master closet spaces,” she says. “We usually build his and hers closets … and for clients who travel often, we always build a small but convenient suitcase storage area so they have easy access to get packed and unpacked quickly.”

That love of private spaces can expand beyond just the master closet. Heather Lee of Endurance Homes has clients from across the East Coast including Connecticut and New Jersey, but the trend stays the same: “All of the clients love large lots, open floor plans, and luxurious master bathrooms.” And apparently if you move from a cold climate such as New York or Chicago, it’s hard to shake that need for extra warmth and coziness in all areas of the home. “On the interior, we are installing heated floors in bathrooms,” says Tanner Rivera of Tanner Homes.

Concrete jungle: We’re in a New York state of mind with more masculine elements and cool-toned details to furnish our Eastern Seaboard-esque dream home. Here, we incorporate strong, angular pieces, pinstripe-inspired fabrics, and, of course, lots and lots of subway tile (no MetroCard required).

With our state’s healthy job market, the DFW area is seeing plenty of relocations from around the globe. In 2017, Texas received 110,417 international migrations to the state, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. As such, our local builders are catering to a more varied cultural clientele. Among out-of-state and out-of-country clients, Blake Fletcher of Southgate Homes is seeing new homeowners from India and China, specifically. “Second master suites have been a big request, as well as private baths in all bedrooms and full sliding glass doors off the family room,” she says.

The international landscape not only impacts where people are coming from but what they want in their homes. Susan Newell of Susan Newell Custom Homes has noticed even domestic relocation clients requesting more high-tech appliances manufactured in Australia and Europe.

“They come with different knowledge of suppliers; they bring a broader spectrum of products and materials.”

Elliott Perry, Hudson Construction Group

Elliott Perry of Hudson Construction Group, who has completed work for international clients from Australia, Germany, and Eastern Europe, has noticed that many of these customers are drawn to high-end multifamily living as opposed to single-family homes. He’s currently working on one Turtle Creek penthouse for a citizen-of-the-world client who has lived in Toronto and Israel, among other places. “Dallas is becoming a spot where [international] investors want to get involved residentially,” he says. “They come with different knowledge of suppliers; they bring a broader spectrum of products and materials.” For example, while Sub-Zero Wolf is a familiar kitchen brand to the local market, many of these clients may request Miele or Bertazzoni. For plumbing, Kohler or Delta may give way to German-based Hansgrohe and Grohe or Australian brand Reece. And while Dallasites are very familiar with California Closets, out-of-state or international clients may request Italian brand Poliform, German-based Bulthaup, or Brazilian closet maker Ornare.

All of these unique touches blend together to create a more diverse homebuilding landscape within the Dallas market. “They want to bring their style,” says Perry. “We have a couple from Mexico City—they want to bring a mix of what they’re culturally used to with what Dallas has to offer.”

Passport required: Travel the world over and bring the look home! International flair is an opportunity to get creative with bold colors and prints. Indulge your globetrotting sensibilities with a mix of textures, as well—from velvet to chrome.

Dallas Source List:

TKO Associates
Outfit your kitchen and bath with pieces from this high-end retailer.

Pierce Hardware
This showroom has the perfect thing for your whole home, from front door to master bath.

Ann Sacks
Explore beautiful collections of tile, stone, and mosaics for any room of your home.

Modern sensibilities abound at this kitchen and bath showroom.

Texas Paint and Wallpaper
Decorate your world with color at this Benjamin Moore retailer.

ID Collection
Wallcoverings and fabrics from a variety of lines make up this showroom.

Lee Jofa
This century-old English maker brings sophistication to the home.

Find the wallpaper or trim of your dreams with this classic line.

Create the perfect bath or kitchen with sleek details from this showroom.


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