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Happy New Year, Happy Christmas, Happy Everything! I am so sorry I left you all hanging, but If you were anywhere as busy as I was with traveling and the holidays, I am sure you barely had time to sit down. I will be honest, I did not open my laptop once. It felt good, and slightly terrifying! I thought I would just give a quick pinterest-worthy look back at some of my favorite houses I captured in 2017. There were some very gorgeous homes I came across, from Dallas to London to Florida to California and all around!

I would love to hear from YOU and what you would like to see more on the blog this year! I have some great new content coming for you this week!

All my best and appreciation!

XO Christina

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I really can’t escape them- best problem ever!

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CITY GUIDE: DALLAS

All I can say is- It is about time. I have lived here long enough, dined here frequently enough, and explored this city more than most. Many of you ask through instagram and via email about my favorite Dallas spots, so I figured it was time to create a Dallas City Guide. All of my personal favorite spots from hotels to restaurants to workouts to shopping are right here. If you don’t come to Dallas for the pretty homes, there is plenty else to do as you can see from below. Eat, drink, and shop!

Also, I am sure I am leaving categories and places out…forgive me!

P.S. Please send best wishes to our friends in Houston and surrounding areas. The recovery will be long and the rebuild will take years. They need our support!

THE BEST

Hotels

The Mansion on Turtle Creek

Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek

An iconic hotel from the Dallas based Rosewood chain. The charm of the Mansion bar and the beautiful chinoiserie wallpaper will make you feel like you are in an oasis in the heart of Dallas.

The Ritz Carlton

The Ritz Carlton in Dallas

A beautiful resort in the heart of uptown Dallas that is consistent in service. Chef Dean Fearing’s namesake restaurant offers an excellent dinner. Be sure to check out the Rattesnake bar for a lively and interesting nighttime scene.

Restaurants

Breakfast

Toasted

Toasted Coffee and Kitchen

Imagine any and all types of toast, as well as other delicious breakfast items at this Dallas breakfast spot. A great atmosphere and great food!

Kozy Kitchen

A casual  go-to for classic and fresh breakfast items. They have great gluten free selections too.

Lunch

Bird Bakery

Bird Bakery

Elizabeth Chambers Hammers (fun fact: wife of actor Armie Hammer) opened her second Bird Bakery location in the heart of Highland Park Village. It is the perfect lunch spot to grab a sandwich and a sweet treat. I personally love the California Turkey!

NM Cafe/Mermaid Bar/Zodiac

Dallas is the home of Neiman Marcus, so it is no wonder that we love their restaurants as well. Neimans at Northpark offers the casual and fast Mermaid Bar (amazing chips and turkey chili). It also houses the NM Cafe on the top floor. Enjoy popovers with Strawberry butter and consume broth. It is a staple to refuel during a day of shopping.

Mirador

Mirador Restaurant photo by Paper City Magazine

photo via paper city 

Forty Five Ten is a downtown Dallas-based department store that is beyond your chicest dream. The top floor restaurant, Mirador, is a fun and light-filled place to grab a bite. I personally love the pasta there.

Honor Bar

They have one in Beverly Hills and Montecito, so it is not a surprise that the crowd at the Highland Park Village outpost is just as chic. I adore the fresh greyhound, the burrata on toast, and the ahi tuna salad with fresh avocado.

Dinner

Nonna

I love pasta and while many new Italian restaurants have opened around town, this is still the best. Don’t be discouraged by the strip mall facade, the food is some of the most delicious in town.

Le Bilboquet

Another NYC transplant that never dissapoints. The atmosphere is beyond chic, the staff is the most professional, and the food is always good. It is known for the cajun chicken, but I adore the steak au poivre (grass fed beef too).

Montlake Cut

The best seafood in Dallas. A wonderful atmosphere and perfectly cooked fish (and this is coming from a Floridian).

Al Biernat’s

Dallas has so many steakhouses to choose from, but I really think Al’s is my favorite. It has a pulsating energy and a lively crowd. Last time I was there I dined next to a table of cowboys (Dallas Cowboys to be exact).

Uchi

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The best and most creative sushi. I would venture to say one of the best in the country (bold of me, I know).

Sassetta

From the chefs of Mirador, I adore this new Italian restaurant. Amazing pizza and pasta, as well as a great environment in the design district.

Mr. Mesero

This Mexican McKinney Avenue outpost serves some of the best queso and spicy guacamole around. The margaritas do the trick!

More Casual

Pok The Raw Bar

I love a good pok bowl, and the hip West Village eatery serves amazingly fresh ahi tuna and salmon. They have a great rose selection, as well as yummy matcha drinks. Perfect after an afternoon SoulCycle session.

Yutaka Sushi Bistro

A small and intimate sushi restaurant in an uptown strip mall. It is some of the freshest sushi around.

Mia’s and Mi Cocina

Mia’s for the brisket tacos and Mi Cocina Highland Park Village for sunset enchiladas and a visit to the Monkey Bar upstairs.

Bakery

Panini

White Chocolate Raspberry Cake from Panini Bakery Dallas

The White Chocolate Raspberry Cake is the best in town.

Frosted Art Bakery  

Frosted Art Designed Cake

They make the most beautiful and creative cakes.

Happy Hour

Royal Blue Grocery

Some may find this odd under the “Happy Hour” category. If you pick up a bottle of wine from their store, they will serve it to you in their quaint store. They serve an amazing charcuterie board as well. Great to sit outside on a beautiful day.

Coffee

Magnolias Souis le Pont

Magnolia's Cofffe Shop Harwood

The cutest there is…the lavender latte is a must.

Shopping

Mi Golondrina

The most beautiful dresses created by Mexican seamstresses. Unique to Dallas and incredibly well made.

Forty Five Ten

Forty Five Ten

An icon and trailblazer in the Dallas fashion community. So many top-notch finds.

Stanley Korshak

Almost like a local Barney’s, Stanley Korshak at the Crescent in uptown Dallas has a great selection of the clothes. The Shak and the cosmetics department are some of my favorites.

St. Michael’s Woman’s Exchange

My mom’s favorite store in Dallas

Neiman Marcus

A Dallas original

Nicholson Hardie

One of the best gift selections for the home.

Workouts

Session Pilates 

Session Pilates

This upbeat pilates workout will leave your legs shaking and your spirits (and booty) high. It has the best batch of instructors around.

SoulCycle Uptown

Sometimes you got to put a spin on it.

Walk Around

The Katy Trail

This trail runs from the heart of Highland Park all the way to downtown Dallas. It has just the right amount of shade and just the right amount of fun bars and restaurants when you need to stop and hydrate.

White Rock Lake

A short drive to East Dallas and you will feel like you arrived in another city. A beautiful lake trail that looks onto beautiful homes. It is complete with a dog park and close to the neighboring arboretum.

Facial

Eleven Wellness

Go see Alison at Eleven Wellness Spa. She gives the best facials that will leave your skin glowing and gorgeous.

Mani/Pedi

Mini Luxe

Mini Luxe

Mini Luxe has a plethora of locations around Dallas and they provide a very clean and posh pedicure and manicure.

Spa

The Spa at the Joule has all the fun waterworks you want out of a spa experience. The cave-like grotto is a fun way to start your spa day.

Mall

Northpark Center photo via Northpark Center

Northpark Center. The best selection of stores in one spot. Don’t bother going anywhere else.

Being a Tourist:

Sixth Floor Museum

Go see the grassy knoll and the vantage point from Lee Harvey Oswald in what used to be the Old Dallas School Book Depository. An amazing display of history.

Perot Museum

Place to Donate

West Dallas Community School

This school is privately funded and provides a rigorous academic education for those children in one of the most underserved zip codes in Dallas. It truly changes lives.

Other amazing things to know-

Get your bags and shoes fixed at Deno’s

Get pretty modern calligraphy done by Moore Ink

Get something monogrammed at Ellis Hill

Buy a pretty orchid at Tom Thumb (best $25 you will ever spend on a double stem)

Stunning At Every Turn

I recently posted a photo of a Dallas home on my instagram feed that did not do the house justice. It is a beautiful white brick home, set back on a very popular street. This home is also featured in the recent issue of Veranda magazine (run- don’t walk to get it!).  It is designed by Cathy Kincaid and restored beautifully by my favorite architect Wilson Fuqua. I have never seen an architect understand the great balance and perfect execution of chic and charm quite like Wilson Fuqua. I found some photos of the home on Mr. Fuqua’s website and I just had to share his unbelievable restoration and Cathy Kincaid’s stunning design of this inviting and totally chic home. Happy Weekend! XO

Photos via www.wilsonfuqua.com

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Isn’t this courtyard enterance beyond charming?

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Beautiful boxwood landscape surrounds this home. I really love the chic California privacy of this residence.

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An amazing sun room. The ideal blend of fabrics and light.

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Everything is timeless without looking stale or dated. Cathy Kincaid is really a master at that!

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This is the dining room of my blue and white dreams.

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Her choice of fabrics throughout the home really speak to the architecture.

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Cathy really understands the art of an inviting bedroom. She creates a personal and calming oasis, with a punch of personality.

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The architectural details of this room make for the perfect palette to decorate.

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Really beautiful shutter color and lush topiary borders.

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WOW.

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I love the infusion of brick texture as well as classic cabinetry. Perfection at every turn.

A Dallas Treasure Trove

My friend recently told me about a home that just sold here in Dallas and the treasure trove of design that lies within it. Betty Gertz is renowned for her antiques here in Dallas, so it is no surprise how well she displays them in her home (now, her former home). Gertz enlisted the worldly Belgium designer Axel Vervoordt to create this enchanting and collected home. It seems that every turn leads you into a room not like the other, yet they all flow seamlessly. I love that there is an unexpected surprise around every corner in this treasure trove.

All photos via Architectural Digest

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What an entry. Could you imagine having flowing vines throughout. The skylights really give an outdoors-indoors appeal. dallas-home-of-betty-gertz-designed-by-axel-vervoordt-via-ad-2

I love the washes in this room. Really quite beautifully appointed. The details in the molding are beyond. Also, don’t you love how wide that skirted coffee table is?

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Another view of this fabulous room in its violet hue.

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What a way to display blue & white.

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I normally love a white kitchen, but this does the trick. The woodwork is beautiful.

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A wonderful combination of textures and understated simplicity.

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The entrance of the home just proves it’s a hidden gem.

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Gertz brought some of her former home to her house. The landscaping is unbelievable.

 

 

Dallas Defense

Sorry for my absence. I was mourning the trainwreck of Monday night’s Real Housewives of Dallas (which should more appropriately be named Real Housewives of the SUBURBS of Dallas). No offense to my suburb friends, but if they don’t live in Dallas county?!!!  Moving on….But seriously, those houses…Sorry, I am being mean….Also, true Dallas wealth is very private and tastefully unassuming…They don’t talk about “society”… Ok, off the soap box and back to more tasteful Texas topics.

How about a glimpse at some of the most beautiful homes in Dallas? I am talking about homes within the county line. Some grand, yet charming and some quaint, yet powerfully stylish. Iron staircases and three car garages aren’t always a symbol of luxury living. If you know how to give a home curb appeal and interior warmth, any home can be truly luxurious. Some people say good taste is something you are born with, and I would agree that Dallas county has some of the best genes.

Here are the REAL houses of Dallas, wives not included (nor would they ever want to be). These are all homes I drive by daily and all photos are by yours truly.

Photos by Christina Dandar for The Potted Boxwood

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