Friday, September 13, 2013
TV producer Tommy Habeeb’s Bluffview home is the house that “Cheaters” built
This 11,000-square-foot beauty seemingly has it all.
DALLAS I think I’m out of words. This house is so freaking amazing, you’d better slice out some time here. And get tissue, you are going to drool. Dorothy, we are not in Dallas. This home is what you would find in LA, or Hollywood Hills: grounds large enough for a hunt, ocean-like pool, glass elevator with TV, a courtyard for Shakespearean drama, massage room, meditation room and an outdoor shower that puts the Joule’s car wash shower to shame. Are you in Tuscany? Looks like it, feels like it, even sounds like it, but you are within walking distance of Shinsei and yes, Inwood Bank!
And there is drama in every room.
The Italian-styled farmhouse is on 1.56 wooded acres, hiding down a romantic winding driveway with a front circular criss-cross drive anchored by a 19th century French limestone fountain. The water trickles as you approach the front door, and you think you are centuries away. Enter an 11,071 square foot residence of two stories, five bedrooms, five full and one-half bath, 14 living areas, two dining areas, utility room, multiple fireplaces, glass elevator, five balconies, courtyard, loggia, pool and a four car garage. The details — 12-foot ceilings, hand-chiseled limestone, wide-plank hand scraped hardwoods, imported wrought iron, lighting, velvet draped doorways, imported doors, marble and limestone — do very well what they are intended to do: trick the visitor into thinking this home is centuries years old.
I was confused, for a moment, when I walked in — “is this an older home that has been updated?” I asked? Has it been here forever?
No way. Built in 2009 — just four years ago — the home has already debuted on several TV shows and been published locally umpteen times. Of course, there’s a reason for that: The owner is Tommy Habeeb, well-known Dallas producer, actor, entrepreneur and co-star of the weekly TV show Cheaters.
Well, parts of it are very old. There’s the 200-year-old reclaimed barn floor double entry doors from Upstate New York. You step through old to new, a dramatic entrance hall with soaring two-story ceiling, hand-chiseled limestone flooring, and floor-to-ceiling limestone wall. Deja vue San Miguel de Allende. But then there’s the old again – the foyer is flanked by a formal living room and study, both with impressive 100-year-old wood doors reclaimed from a New York bank building.
Peering out at the grounds from the European style windows with phantom pull-down screens, I am wondering, again, are these old? New?
You might as well go get yourself a large glass of wine — it is going to take us a while to get through this amazing home you have passed a hundred times on your way to Inwood Bank’s Lovers location.
There is not one room in this house that does not make a statement, or evoke a sense of drama. The living room has herringbone hardwood floors, rich striped wallcoverings and decor that gave me a McKenzie-Childs pause, plus glass shelves. Across the foyer, the oversized study has a fireplace, starry-lighting, storage and passage to the Butler’s pantry and kitchen. In a theatrical touch, rich velvety curtains cover doorways and closets.
For the formal dining room, an antique wrought iron entry sets the tone, bringing you into a space with a gorgeous ornate gold-leafed chandelier and sconces. The room is oval-shaped, walls are silver-leaf with limestone flooring. This room also flows through a walk-in pantry to the kitchen. Then there is the oversized great room. Two stories tall with clerestory windows and iron chandelier, huge fireplace, and dramatic (again) floor-to ceiling limestone walls. From here you can pass through the stained leaded glass Palladian French doors to the cobblestone courtyard.
This is one thing I REALLY love about this house: the split stairway. Instead of the ho-hum circular staircase that is in every single Park Cities and Preston Hollow foyer, including mine, this home uses the staircase to make a statement. It nestles the piano gallery, then does what it is supposed to do: take you to the second story.
Should you not go up, however, you could go down through dual entry glass doors to the wine cellar. I love this — why hide the wine cellar? Make it the centerpiece of the home!
You know the kitchen is huge and off this great room, with a massive honed limestone center island and a barrel-vaulted brick ceiling. It is so loaded I might as well just rattle off names — wide plank hand-scraped hardwood floors, 19th-century French butcher block island built into the limestone island, bar sink, stainless appliances like Viking, Hoshizacki and Liebherr, a white Rohl Shaw farm sink with cutting board counters I could die for, two walk-in pantries, and an adjacent breakfast room. From this breakfast room, which is enormous (23 feet by 14 feet) and really a combo morning room-breakfast room, the flow continues to an oversized playroom. Both the breakfast room and playroom have built-in love-seats and antique French doors. And you know what I am going to say next: This all opens to the courtyard.
There is a downstairs bedroom with the old, reclaimed church doors, and the new – an elegant granite-and-marble bath. There is a custom glass wall Cambridge elevator, complete with a television.
I’m telling you, Dorothy, we are not in Kansas or Dallas anymore!
You can also walk up the stairs on the custom wood-and-iron freestanding staircase, wood stair treads reclaimed from a fallen tree on the property. The utility room is in this wing and as you can imagine, I could live in it: It’s 20 by 11, as big as the formal living room, with celedon mosaic tile counters, white octagon-shaped ceramic tile floors, abundant built-ins with seating and storage, and obvi room for a full-size washer and dryer.
Upstairs one whole wing is essentially a Belizean spa. There is a living area with more wide-plank hardwoods, bali rock-and-marble floor accents, special-finished walls and antique French doors opening to the Juliet balcony overlooking the courtyard. This is the entrance to the massage room with a slate mosaic-tiled shower and flooring, an exercise room with custom Herculite Glass doors and mirrored walls, and an intimate meditation room with stained glass window.
Then there is the game room, with a flat screen television and colored glass-topped wet bar with a stainless steel bar sink and a refrigerator. More imported French doors open to yet another private office, which is a black and white story with a stunning red glass blown chandelier, black-and-white patterned marble floors.
Custom glass doors take you to the room where it all happens, the master suite. Huge at 31 by 17, it has a sitting area, a fireplace, iron grill balcony and separate his and hers closets that are bigger than most apartments. The master bath is palatial with floor-to-ceiling tile and marble, dual vanity desks and counters, mirrors with those hidden televisions, jetted tub, huge steam shower. Also on this floor is a pretty guest suite with sitting room, living area and a white Calcutta marble bath that honestly is too fancy for guests — well, unless I’m visiting! This bathroom should win an award: dual sinks, a stunning hand-carved imported honed marble soaking tub that costs about as much as it weighs, separate double shower and — you guessed it — another iron balcony. The other two bedrooms up here are huge with ensuite baths that spared no expense: floor, wall and ceiling mosaic glass-tiles, floating Zebrawood counters.
Did you ever think we would get outside? Who wants to leave this house? Remember we are on a huge Bluffview acreage: There is almost enough room for a hunt! The cobblestone courtyard that every room worships has a Citizen Kane-sized wood-burning fireplace, an imported, hand-carved antique marble fountain and views of all those balconies. Seriously, you could have a play out here! The courtyard flows to a columned loggia with everything found in the interior kitchen, but out here: granite counters with bali rock accents, grill, limestone sink, fridge, storage and a cabana bath with the most amazing oversized mosaic glass-tiled outside shower I have ever seen.
Seriously, Joan Crawford is turning in her grave: three showerheads.
Oh yes, how can I forget the pool? Euro-style, heated with a beach entry, which is the very latest as I learned in Hawaii where they have sand-bottom beach-entry pools. This means no steps in — you walk in as if you are walking into the ocean.
There is a four-car attached garage and two automatic gates, with front and rear entries, and all sorts of high tech/safety/security systems such as Control4 remote-controlled audio/visual/lighting system, interior fire sprinkler system, exterior misting system, and a very sophisticated security system. Don’t cross it. The home was also built with green construction, including LED and Fluorescent lighting, foam insulation and five rooftop commercial three phase A/C units. For a home of this size and magnitude, utility bills are peanuts! The home is listed with Doris Jacobs who has it priced at $3,895,000. Seems like you are getting the world for under $4 million, and the folks at Inwood Mortgage are so close by.
I could say this is the house that Cheaters built, but actually Tommy is hard at work on another TV project right here in Dallas: The Big Big Show starring Tom Green, Andrew Dice Clay and Tara Reid as judges — and Tommy as host. Something tells me they have been rehearsing in that courtyard ...
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