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Inside Jason Witten’s Farmhouse-Style Dream Home in Vaquero

The former Dallas Cowboys tight end and his wife, Michelle, built a Tennessee-inspired abode that is big on fun, family, and, yes, football.
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Jason & Michelle Witten's Home, Basketball Court
Homeowners Jason and Michelle Witten take a timeout in their gym while three of their four children—Cooper, Landry, and Hadley—play on the basketball court. Cody Ulrich
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Inside Jason Witten’s Farmhouse-Style Dream Home in Vaquero

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When it came time to build their dream home, Michelle and Jason Witten didn’t go far. The Wittens and their four children were living in the exclusive Vaquero neighborhood in Westlake. But after adding on to their home and still craving more space, they realized it was time to build on a lot just around the corner. And they knew they wanted to do it their way. “It was super important for this to be ‘us’ and who we are,” says Michelle.

For starters, Jason and Michelle, high school sweethearts from Tennessee, wanted to honor their roots aesthetically with farmhouse-inspired elements, like sliding barn doors, wooden shutters, exposed beams, and shiplap siding. But the Wittens also wanted to stay true to the ethos of Southern hospitality, which exudes from their down-to-earth natures. “We’ve all been in nice homes where you can’t sit there or you can’t touch that,” says Jason. “We wanted comfortable and welcoming.” Add a little Dallas Cowboys nostalgia and a hint of coastal Florida cool, and the house is uniquely Witten. 

To do that, the couple carefully crafted an A-list team. First, they called on Jon Hebb and Neal Calhoun with SCH Builders, who are well versed in the Vaquero neighborhood—their team has worked on around 40 projects there. Plus, SCH had helped the Wittens add on to their previous home, so they knew the couple’s personal style well. “They wanted tons of natural light—lots of windows that go from floor to ceiling. It’s a bright, light house,” says Hebb. From there, Michelle was introduced to designer Fran DeLeo of DeLeo & Fletcher Design. “She was able to take my ‘all over the place’ ideas and bring them all together and make it all flow,” Michelle says. 

Finding the right architect was crucial in order to create a big family house with a fresh, laid-back vibe. The couple met with David Stocker, principal architect at SHM Architects, and clicked right away. Stocker was tasked with designing a home that wasn’t overbearing—an important note from the couple. “We didn’t want you to pull in and say, ‘Oh, this is a big formal home.’ We aren’t formal people,” says Michelle. To do that, Stocker strategically placed the 2,200-square-foot gymnasium on the back of the residence, which hides the large structure from the street. “The site fell off in the back, so we were also able to find a space to lessen the scale of the gym,” Stocker explains. “David nailed it,” says Jason. 

Michelle took the lead in selecting the furniture and fabrics for her home, with inspiration ranging from Atlanta-based designer Suzanne Kasler’s portfolio to the family’s favorite vacation spot of 30A in Florida. “Michelle has a great eye for design, and she is passionate about her home,” explains DeLeo, who worked to marry her client’s selections with just the right paint colors, trims, hardware, and plumbing fixtures. “But she’s also realistic about everyday life. She has four children, so things have to be comfortable, fun, and playful.” 

That’s apparent in the family room, where an oversized sectional from Lee Industries is perfect for cuddling up during movie night. “I wanted a sectional that the entire family can fit on, which is hard for six people and a big husband,” Michelle laughs. It’s paired with a Currey & Co. lighting fixture, a couple of Lee Industries chairs, and sheer drapes designed by Kirstie Carollo, owner of Bella Beach House in Destin, Florida. Multiple play-rooms are sprinkled throughout the residence, including a craft room, where the kids are encouraged to play with slime and Play-Doh. “It’s a place where they can be messy and do all the things,” says Michelle. Each room is livable but still beautiful, with a mix of showroom pieces, custom furniture, and Michelle’s finds. (She loves to hunt for unexpected items, like the Barnaby Lane swing in the family room, which she purchased on a whim on Cyber Monday.)

And naturally, the home features collectibles from Jason’s 17-season NFL career, during most of which he was a celebrated tight end for the Dallas Cowboys. “I wasn’t a huge memorabilia guy,” he says. “My boys thought it was pretty cool. So I kept most of it.” After moving into the house in July 2020, Jason slept in the home for two nights before leaving for Las Vegas for a season with the Raiders. During that time, Michelle installed most of the keepsakes. “I didn’t ask for permission from him,” she explains. “He didn’t want to make it about him. But it’s special and important to us.” For instance, Tulsa, Oklahoma–based designer Judy Littrell, a friend of Michelle’s, recommended they line the wall that leads to son CJ’s room with cleats. As they are suspended in the open rather than encased within glass, sometimes Michelle will notice shoelaces have been messed with. “I wonder, ‘Were the boys touching them or putting them on?’ ” Michelle says. “It doesn’t matter, because that’s the feel of the house. Nothing is off-limits.”

Heart of the Home

Jason Witten knows all too well the importance of giving back. He’s never shied away from telling his childhood story, which was tainted with domestic violence. “I was blessed that my grandparents took us in,” he says. “My grandfather also happened to be my high school football coach, and everything I accomplished in my life, I owe to him. I wanted to recognize people who did that for me and pay it forward by being involved in charities.” Throughout his time as a Cowboy, Jason often volunteered with organizations such as The Salvation Army and The Family Place. After working with the latter, he noticed a specific need in shelters: male mentors for kids from abusive homes. Through his SCOREkeepers program, trained volunteer mentors are placed in six shelters across the state so that children have a positive male influence to emulate. On top of his volunteer priorities, Jason’s latest career path has led him to the head football coach position at Liberty Christian School in Argyle, where he continues to mentor and lead young athletes—including his two sons—on and off the field. They often open up their home for school pool parties and football-team celebrations. “We just love this latest season that we’re in,” says Michelle. 

Author

Ryan Conner

Ryan Conner

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