You are on page 1of 28

Fort Worth Business Press

MAY 2008
Building tradition
Architect Ames Fender
follows in his grand-
father’s footsteps

Fairy tale night

Cystic Fibrosis
Foundation hosts
Once Upon a Terrace

Hollywood design
David Carpenter
continues to hit the
right notes in Fort Worth

Serene summer living

Possum Kingdom Lake
offers an elegant,
natural home site
Steaks and…

812 Main Street • Fort Worth, Texas


May 2008

6 | In synch with heritage

Architect Ames Fender
By Ken Parish Perkins
19 | Fine jewelry
The Six C’s of diamond-buying
By David D’Aquin

Fossil Rim
8| Designer David Carpenter rocks the house
By Betty Dillard
20 | An out of Africa safari in the hills of Texas
By Betty Dillard

11 | The Cellar 100-point scale for wines — good or bad?

By Renie & Sterling Steves
22 | New development
The Harbor on Possum Kingdom Lake

Tom Hollenback
12 | Courtyard on the Bluff at 7-R Ranch
A vision of escape and serenity 24 | Space-bending sculptures

Once Upon a Terrace

14 | Event hits elegant notes 25 | Lone Star Library
Texas books and music in review

17 | Designing womanEntrepreneur Stacie Stewart

By Betty Dillard 26 | Gadgetry! Décor! Innovations!
On the cover and this page: Don and Gloria Siratt’s terrace. Photo by Jon P. Uzzel

Index of Advertisers PUBLISHER Vice President of Operations

Artful Hand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Banks Dishman PRODUCTION Shevoyd Hamilton
Cliburn Concerts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 CHAIRMAN, Brent Latimer Marketing & Events
ADVISORY BOARD Clayton Gardner
Mary Lou Jacobs
Del Frisco’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Richard L. Connor
Dorian’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 EDITORIAL Advertising Executives
Maggie Franklin
The Harbor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28 Editor
Andrea Benford
Elizabeth Northern
Robert Francis Mary Schlegel
Jerry’s GM Dealerships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
Justin Boots Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27 Associate Editor
Michael H. Price
Robert Southerland
Annie Warren HOME style
is a publication of the
Montserrat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 Sales Director Fort Worth Business Press. © 2008
Managing Editor Anjanette Hamilton
So7 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Crystal Forester
National Sales
3509 Hulen St., Ste. 201
Stone Distribution Ltd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Contributors Maureen Hathaway Fort Worth TX 76107
David D’Aquin, Betty Dillard, 248-496-7490 817-336-8300 • 817-332-3038 (fax)
Strings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Ken Parish Perkins, Renie and Sterling Steves

May 2008 | HOME style | 3


A HomeStyle tour

f pring-into-summer brings not only a rediscovery

of the comforts and finer possibilities of one’s
home — but also opportunities to compare notes
with some of the city’s more gracious neighbor-
hoods. No sooner has the Cystic Fibrosis
Foundation’s Once Upon a Terrace fund-raiser
years. Tour admission ($15-$20) will be available on
the Web at
On a more old-fashioned front of HomeStyle tra-
dition, the Texas Department of Agriculture has
set a June 5 deadline for entries in a quilting compe-
tition. (The event will call attention, as well, to Texas’
(see photo essay, within these pages) run its course $1 billion-a-year winemaking industry.) Contestants
in the Montserrat enclave, than Historic Fort will use Texas-bred fibers — cotton, mohair and
Worth Inc. prepares to launch its Hidden leather — to create quilt-block designs. The
Gardens of Fort Worth Tour in the historic Denton-based designer-quilter team of Terri Vogds
Crestwood area. and Johanna Iaia will piece together the winning
The Hidden Gardens dates are May 31 (9 a.m. to entries for unveiling at September’s State Fair. The
3 p.m.) and June 1 (noon to 4 p.m.). Crestwood, $12 quilting-materials packets can be obtained with
vividly expressive of its WWII-era surge of develop- a telephone call to 877-994-6839. Entry forms are
ment, mirrors the rolling terrain of the West Fork of available on the Web at
the Trinity in the very contours of its streets. Many houses convey Tudor This issue of the Business Press’ HomeStyle magazine, meanwhile, offers
and Colonial influences. Others look ahead to the proto-Ranch style of the customary concentration of gracious-living stories. Ken Parish
Minimal Traditionalism — a fascinating neighborhood, made all the more Perkins visits with architect Ames Fender. Guest columnist David
so by the presence of trees that had taken root well before the initial sur- D’Aquin weighs in with a survey of the jewelry market.
veys of 1941-1942. Some construction began before the actual platting, All this — and a good deal more. Welcome home, as usual.
anticipating a harmony of design that has prevailed for more than 70 – Michael H. Price



4600 Airport Freeway • Fort Worth, TX 76117

817.546.2050 • Toll Free 1.888.817.4005
w w w. s t o n e d i s t r i b u t i o n . n e t
There are no patterns or man made imitations
at Stone Distribution. Stop in or call today
and let us help you find the stone that is just
right for you and your home.


4 | style
HOME | May 2008
Family Tradition
Architect Ames Fender is in synch with ancestors’ legacy
By Ken Parish Perkins
Photo by Jon P. Uzzel

T rchitecture works best when dipped deep and stirred in

historical context — perhaps as any art of significance does.
Such conditions can sometimes describe the architect who
designs a property, as well.
Construction is buzzing on Villa de Leon, a luxurious
European villa-style development that already possesses a
sense of legendary acclaim — and not simply because the
price-tag on a condominium there could fetch up to $1 mil-
lion and change. The property is named after the Spanish
explorer Alonzo de Leon, who often is credited as the first
European to lay eyes on the Trinity River, in 1690.
Villa de Leon’s chief designer, Ames Fender, represents a
family legacy that stretches back over a considerable span
in Fort Worth. His father, Howard Fender, was a respected
appellate court judge and Tarrant County district attorney.
And Howard’s father, James E. Fender, presided over Acme
Brick, the nation’s largest brick manufacturer.
Then there’s Fender’s maternal grandfather, Wyatt C.
Hendrick, who produced buildings in a range of historical
and modernistic styles, from Will Rogers Memorial Center
to the Medical Arts Building and the Lone Star Gas
Building. From the 1920s through the 1950s, Hendrick oper-
ated one of the largest architectural firms in the country.
“It’s sometimes overwhelming to see what all he accom-
plished,” Fender says of his grandfather. “That looms over
me … well, not really looms. It’s just there as a goal. I’d like
to achieve some portion of that level of success.”
It’s not a bad start. The Modern at Sundance Square, the
technology-wing addition at Trimble Technical High School
and the fitness center at River Crest Country Club are
Fender designs that have attracted notice. The Villa de Leon
is so front-and-center that it may prove to be Fender’s pro-
fessional stamp.
Villa de Leon will stand six stories, with 23 high-end
condo units taking up, in all, about 65,000 square feet. With
its cast stone and brick, and slate roof, it will be a center-
piece of Trinity Uptown and the beginning of a center city
housing market that could very well transform that part of
the city. or at least knew where to look in a set of drawings.”
A graduate of Georgia Institute of Technology and Fender would return to Texas with his wife, attorney
Harvard University, where he secured a master’s degree in Sarah Hall, in 1988 and set up shop here. Since then, he has
architecture, Fender started his own firm at 30 and recently become known as an astute student of both old-school
moved his staff of three architects into what he characterizes and new-school architecture, having been influenced by pro-
as “funky” new offices at Magnolia and Fifth avenues. fessors and professionals who challenged him to move
So surrounded by success was Fender, it is hardly sur- beyond the traditional, and often safe, ways of thinking of
prising to learn he was drafting by the eighth grade and architecture.
worked steadily through his high-school and college years. “We’re not an egocentric practice here,” Fender says. “We
Fender has a knack, and a love, for urban design. The find out what a client’s needs are and deliver a design that
interests made him an easy choice for developer Tom Struhs, responds to those needs.”
who heads the team pushing this revitalization of Trinity And that is part of the dilemma architects often face: giv-
Bluff, one of the city’s first neighborhoods. Fender had ing clients what they want while trying to push the enve-
worked on a similarly high-profile residential project in lope with something new and different.
Boston while just out of Harvard, having persuaded his “It may make me feel great to always design something
bosses to hand him the reins after the project manager bolt- different, to try new things,” Fender says. “But I’m not the
ed for another team. Never mind his tender age of 25. one paying for services to build it or live in it after the archi-
They gave him the job, though not the title. He certainly tect has gone away.
cut his teeth there, with union construction crews wondered “You have to balance that desire to teach someone anoth-
if he could hack it. er way with what needs to be done, versus satisfying them
“I guess being 6-foot-7 and bald helped,” Fender says. and knowing they will be happy once it’s all said and
“But they found out that I knew what I was talking about — done.” HS

6 | style
HOME | May 2008

Star power
Fort Worth
designer rocks
the house with
lasting impressions
By Betty Dillard
Photos by Glen E. Ellman

e oom by room, David Carpenter is

designing his way across the Lone
Star State. From contemporary to
traditional to transitional, his
sought-after orchestrations pop in a
harmonious blend of crisp, clean
lines, warmth and timeless beauty.
His signature style – “I try to
think outside the box,” he says – is
inspired by his clients’ dreams and
needs. Clients who go to Carpenter
expect their surroundings to be sur-
prising and entertaining. When it
comes time for the reveal, customers
are rarely disappointed.
Backed by degrees and training
in the arts and interior design and
by a repertoire that includes custom
furniture, accessories, artwork and
window treatments, Carpenter says
he succeeds because he listens to his
“The challenge with any designer
is to implement new ideas but at the
same time feel the heartbeat of the
client,” he says. “It’s my job as a
designer to pull out not only what
their needs are but also what their
desires are and then somehow give
them all of that without it looking
like a designer did it.
“When people come to your
home, I don’t want them to say, ‘Oh
my gosh! You must have had an
incredible designer.’ I don’t want
that,” he adds. “I want them to say,
‘Wow, this looks just like you.’ That
to me is the greatest compliment.”
Since founding his own design
company in 1991, Carpenter has
seen his client list explode with TV
personalities, professional athletes
and high-profile businesspeople,
whose interiors range from a scaled-
down but upscale pied-a-terre to
castle-sized homes of 10,000 square
feet and larger.

May 2008 | style

HOME | 9
Carpenter’s commercial-design calling card is showcased in the Dallas
and Arlington branch offices of Capital Title Co.; Haddock Law Firm LLP
and Investments in Fort Worth; the offices of Linebarger, Goggan, Blair and
Sampson LLP in the newly-redesigned Two City Place; national and bou-
tique hotels, including the recently transformed Sheraton Fort Worth Hotel
and Spa; and Cowtown’s Ashton Hotel, where Carpenter – also a profes-
sional pianist and singer – performed every weekend for the past five
Now the 43-year-old Texas native is spreading his design style to
His current West Coast project – the restoration and redesign of the his-
toric Santa Monica Community Church in Santa Monica, Calif. – caught
the eye of some executives at HGTV. A film crew is documenting
Carpenter, step-by-step, for a 2009 premiere of a design show called Rags
to Riches. As host, Carpenter will highlight commercial designs throughout
California and, he hopes, across America.
“It’s a twist on Extreme Makeover but will affect the whole community,
not just one family,” he explains.
Carpenter is three months into the project, and says, “I’m absolutely lov-
ing it. I’ve never had so much fun. But I’m not going Hollywood, even
though they highlighted my hair and sent me to a tanning salon. That’s
just show biz. Don’t worry. I’m going to stay in Fort Worth because there’s
no better place to be. I could live anywhere, but Fort Worth is my home.”
With a current caseload of 21 clients, including a once-a-month dash to
Los Angeles, Carpenter barely has time to take a breath. But he isn’t com-
“When you’re passionate about something, you just have to dive in and
do it. I’ve found my passion. I love what I do,” Carpenter says. “Someone
once told me if you love what you do you’ll never go to work a day in
your life. I never go to work,” he laughs. “I feel so blessed.” HS

Carpenter recently redesigned an East Texas lake house for Dr. Karry Barnes and his wife,
Marian. During the past 15 years, he’s designed both their primary and secondary
“He’s the greatest there is,” Marian Barnes said. “I’ve worked with a lot of designers over
the years. He’s the only one who will talk to you and find out your desires, what you
really need and what should be kept. So many designers have tunnel vision and want to
do what they want to do. David listens. He figures out your personality and listens to
what you like and want. Not everyone has an eye for design. David really has a God-
given talent.”

Bottom two photos by Tom Thompson

10 | style
HOME | May 2008

100-point scale for wines

– good or bad?
By Renie & Sterling Steves

\ f you buy wines based on the 100-point scale used by Robert Parker in
The Wine Advocate and by Wine Spectator, then you have a lot of company —
the practice is not unusual.
But should this system be the standard offered to the consumer? If a wine
is rated 90 or above on the 100-point scale, consumers rush to buy it and the
winery runs out of that wine overnight.
Ask yourself if there is a difference between one wine that rates 89 and
another that rates 90. Can anyone you know tell the difference in one, two,
three or four points on the 100-point scale? We suspect the French thought
the system up to market their high-priced wines.
Buying wine should be based on quality, your palate, and your likes and
dislikes. There is nothing like the personal-touch sell of your favorite wine
merchant, rather than the number given by some guru.
Our palate for wine was quite different 20 years ago. It has been trained
with time, exercise and exposure. Most of us start out with the sweeter
wines, such as German rieslings. With time, our palates become drier. The
whole concept of wine and food as complements to each other has changed
the way we approach wine. A big, tannic, chewy red is not the match for
chicken salad.
Several years ago, we visited a premier Burgundy winery to barrel-taste in
the cellar with the winemaker. He remarked that Robert Parker had been
there the previous morning: “Mr. Parker came alone, tasted over 200 wines
before noon and was gone.” Tasting that many wines so quickly has to be the
breakfast of champions.
Buying wine by such an arbitrary scale is self-deception. It is analogous to
those restaurant customers who want to order a well-known, expensive wine
such as Screaming Eagle to impress their guests. They choose a cult label that
may or may not be of a high caliber. Prices do not necessarily equate with
quality. Wine snobbery still exists, but we encourage readers to enjoy wine
with hamburgers, Mexican food, barbecue, Thai salads and sushi — on an
everyday basis.
With the 100-point scale, lesser-known varieties become lost. Pinot noir,
cabernet sauvignon, merlot and syrah seem to be awarded higher numbers
than lesser-known red varieties such as cabernet franc, nero d’avola, shiraz,
grenache or refosco. It is not often we see a high rating for a pinot grigio, a
sauvignon blanc, a chenin blanc, a riesling or a viognier.
Can you imagine a beer aficionado extolling the froth of a beer or the
aroma, color or body of one over another? If a 100-point scale applied to
beer, how would it read? Budweiser Light, 85; Coors Light, 86; Budweiser
regular, 89; Dos Equis, 84; and Pilsner Urquell, 90. Would beer drinkers care?
Other consumer goods that could be rated between one and 100 are tea,
coffee, movies, restaurants, cars, jeans, shoes, music and cosmetics. Would
those ratings help the consumer? We doubt it.
We would rather describe what we find in a wine in such meaningful terms
as color, aroma, taste, body, aftertaste and a ratio of quality-to-price. We fre-
quently ask winemakers: “Is your $90 bottle of wine three times better than
your $20 bottle?”Almost every winemaker answers,“No.”One Italian wine-
maker, Sandro Boscaini said,“No,”and then added: “The grapes only cost so
much. The rest is poetry.”
If the 100-point scale were to be disregarded, how will Parker and Wine
Spectator market their newsletters and magazines? A waiter’s wine sales
might go up if he or she validates the characteristics of a wine instead of say-
ing a newsletter guru gave it a 90. Wine shops that advertise the Parker or
Wine Spectator ratings might consider adding more staff training.
There are sensible alternatives to the 100-point scale. The Wall Street Journal
rates wines by excellent, very good, good and ugh. A scale of A, B, C and D,
or one to five stars, would be adequate. It is reasonable that the 20-point
scale is used in many wine competitions. We have never used any scale in
writing about wine — other than our enthusiasm for wines we love or con-
sider a good value.
The proof is in the tasting — not in someone’s artificial standard that has
become a tool for marketing wines or selling magazines. HS

Contact the Steves at

Courtyard on the B
A vision of escape and serenity

f tepping out of the commercial real estate development arena and into high-
end custom residential property, Fort Worth-based ColTex Development Inc. has
launched a custom-designed vacation home at 7-R Ranch in Gordon, Texas.
The developers describe Courtyard on the Bluff at 7-R Ranch as “a vision of
escape and serenity, with all the style and amenities of a designer home.” The
designing stages are in progress as a prelude to construction.
ColTex chiefs Linda Votaw and Steve Nichols had specific objectives in mind
when putting together the team of design-and-development experts. The essential
elements called for:
• Contemporary architecture, incorporating a natural landscape.
• Custom-designed interior and exterior spaces to promote livability.
• Energy and utility efficiencies incorporated throughout.

Natural landscape
For a striking natural landscape, ColTex chose a 1.3 acre lot at 7-R Ranch
because of its proximity to Fort Worth and Dallas, natural settings featuring
panoramic views from bluffs along the property’s edge and multiple local
Just a mile down the road at the 7-R Ranch, those amenities include a recently
completed $4 million recreational center with a private theater, gym, two pools,
an equestrian center with boarding services and the Eagle’s Nest conservation
To capture the contemporary feel, Votaw and Nichols chose the award-winning
architectural firm of Schwarz-Hanson for this one-of-a-kind project. Reconciling
the functionality of a human habitat with preservation of the landscape, Schwarz-
Hanson’s environmental design complements the naturally graded slope of the
bluffs overlooking the lakes on 7-R Ranch in Palo Pinto County, creating a serene,
balanced composition.
The new construction will rise out of the hillside with native sandstone cover-
ing the exterior lower walls of the multi-level structure. With 2,842 square feet of
living space and more than 2,550 square feet of enclosed courtyard, covered porch
and balconies, the location appears an ideal place to entertain.
To create a striking contrast with the natural materials used in the exterior

12 | style
HOME | May 2008
e Bluff at 7-R Ranch
design, a corrugated metal roof outlines the environmentally conservative proximity of natural beauty to the outside, while a warm, inviting fireplace
footprint of Courtyard on the Bluff. anchors the living area on the interior end of the upper level floor space.
Voise, of Voise Furniture & Cabinetry, has created a kitchen of fine-restau-
Livability, enhanced rant caliber, with residential appliances of professional style. Imported, honed
Creating the entrance to Courtyard on the Bluff, a large and enclosed pri- Jerusalem Gold Limestone, from Lucasso Stone, lies underfoot through the
vate courtyard area provides a vantage for surveying the surrounding natural living areas, bringing a hint of nature indoors with tumbled edges and
beauty. Landscape designer Bill Bibb, of Dallas’Archiverde Landscape deposits of seashells and fossils in each tile.
Architecture, has utilized all native plants in a contemporary presentation Energy-efficient features, accessible but aesthetically concealed, are incor-
that complements the balance and style of Courtyard on porated throughout. The Daikin Absolute Comfort system, with local-zone
the Bluff. HVAC controls, was selected to give residents and guests alike a personalized
Distinguishing mark of the entrance is an elegantly designed iron gate, by control of each individual environment and space.
Eddy and Mary Phillips of Fort Worth-based Forgotten Works. Two specifically designed, enclosed outdoor areas are designated for an
Each of the three bedrooms features access to its own oversized and cov- environmentally astute organic-composting yard and a central location for
ered deck, with a view of the lakes and natural vistas. Access to the private mechanical equipment. All utilities will be housed underground, with a
deck off the lower-level master suite is available from both the bedroom and whole-house generator among the equipment.
the Ken Voise-designed bathroom area. Courtyard on the Bluff will be one of two custom homes by ColTex and its
From the open floor plan of the dining and living area, a vaulted ceiling team of design-and-development experts at 7-R Ranch. Prices will range
reaches upward and out over double doors to a covered deck that stretches from $600,000 to $750,000 to build as designed. HS
the width of the 23-by-36-foot area. Floor-to-ceiling windows intensify the

May 2008 | HOME style | 13

Once Upon a Terrace
event hits elegant notes
Photos by Jon P. Uzzel

g he Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s early-spring staging of the

Once Upon a Terrace fund-raising event has served to show-
case four strikingly designed homes in the Montserrat
Developer John Zimmerman helped the foundation to
secure “four of the newest and most amazing terraces in Fort
Worth,”as one planner put it, with custom party-designing
Gloria Siratt, Allan and Carrie Meyer, Rod and Mary Sue
Hayes, and John and Nicole Zimmerman.
Sponsors include XTO Energy Inc., Deb and Brian Sneed,
Once Upon a Time…, and Corriente Advisors LLC, with chef
sponsors including Kara and Brian Bell, HealthPoint, Jeff
Moore and Kelly and Chip Wagner.
Floral designers represented include Jim Irwin, Philip
for each location. Combs Design, Chris Whanger and Urban Flower Grange
Susanne Dial, Shannon Hart, Tina McMackin and Deb Hall. Participating chefs include Todd C. Brown of TCB
Sneed served as co-chairs for the April 23 occasion. Two hun- Catering, Tim Love of Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, Jon
dred guests boarded trolleys at Rivercrest Country Club, tour- Bonnell of Bonnell’s Restaurant and David Rotman of Café
ing in groups before gathering at the finale terrace for dessert Aspen. The featured entertainers were the Keith Wingate Trio,
and dancing. Plan B and John Giordano Jr., the Frank Hailey Trio and Saint
Featured terrace locations included the homes of Don and Frinatra. HS

14 | style
HOME | May 2008
May 2008 | style
HOME | 15
Stacie Stewart

Designing woman
Entrepreneur builds upon successful portfolio
By Betty Dillard • Photos by Sue Bodycomb

g hree years ago, when Stacie Stewart built her family’s Cedar Hill home
with all her favorite custom touches, she had no designs to sell the property
any time soon.
But then the offers started flying, and she sold the house without looking
That’s when the self-assured entrepreneur decided to close the door to her
Arlington mortgage company and hang out her shingle through a new enter-
Along the way, Stewart began buying, renovating and selling houses while
gaining experience in residential construction. After marrying and moving to
Texas, she started her own brokerage firm, making loans to other home-
builders. Full of moxie, she soon formed her own construction company —
Stacie Stewart Construction Inc. — and was building that custom home for her
two children.
“I took the risk on my own, and I enjoyed it. I liked the whole process,”she
prise, Stewart Builders Custom Homes. says.“From there, I figured I could do that over and over again.”
“A light bulb went off, so to speak,”Stewart says.“If it was that easy to sell It was a risk that paid off.
one house, maybe I could build other houses and sell them. Maybe there was a Stewart, 30, has built 30 luxury homes, and currently has several projects
market for what I could build.” under construction. The industry at large has recognized her business savvy
Stewart gained homebuilding abilities in Maryland, where her family had and enthusiasm — including a Quest for Success award this year. A program
emigrated from Caracas, Venezuela, when she was 5 years old. After earning an representative, Reginald Gates of the Dallas Black Chamber, says Stewart
accounting degree from New York University, she built her professional skills at exemplifies Quest for Success.
Fortune 500 companies but then ventured into the mortgage industry. “We found Stacie to be an exceptional candidate … especially for her
“I didn’t want to be a CPA,”she says. achievements in a male-dominated industry,”says Gates.“Because of that

May 2008 | HOME style | 17


Stewart Builders Custom Homes built these houses at

Hills of Lake Country, near Eagle Mountain Lake.

woman’s touch she brings to all her projects, she’s out-

Stewart calls the award “quite an honor,”adding: “I
truly love what I do, and it’s nice to win an award for
doing what I like to do.”
Targeting the high-end market, Stewart Builders’ ener-
gy-efficient homes are priced from just below $200,000
upward to $1 million and above. The six-person compa-
ny — which includes a sales team and two in-house
architects — builds in communities carefully selected by
Stewart, including Lake Ridge near Joe Pool Lake at
Cedar Hill, Waterford Park in Mansfield and the Hills of
Lake Country, near Eagle Mountain Lake in northwest
Fort Worth.
“These are not starter homes,”Stewart says.“I was
comfortable in knowing where I wanted to live and how
I wanted to live. I think that’s what our clients are look-
ing for, too. We are dedicated to providing our clients “Women are the decision-makers, so I’m trying to tar- “Stacie builds affordable, quality homes with all the
quality materials, the best subcontractors and craftsmen get them,”Stewart says.“I’m still learning what women modern amenities that people are looking for, but they
and value for their money.” want, but I think my homes appeal to women — the col- go the extra mile with all the added touches. That
Stewart’s grounded attention to detail is a hit with woman’s touch appeals to me, but men like it, too.”
ors, the schemes, the layouts — they’re very artistic.
customers. Her list of standard custom features and Stewart’s overall blueprint for the future is to continue
Women love them.”
amenities — often upgrades other builders tack on to the creating quality custom homes while incorporating more
Rose Marie Llera is one such homebuyer.
final purchase price — includes granite countertops, green-building products and materials into her projects.
hardwood floors, tiled and marbled entryways, and appli- Llera and her husband, Kenneth recently, broke
“Once I have a few more years of gaining experience
ance packages. The custom designs are flexible to fit each ground on a 2,500-square-foot Stewart Builders’ home in
with this, I’d like to try commercial buildings,”she says,
homebuyer’s preferences. Lake Country, where they’ve lived for the past decade.
“not in the sense of skyscrapers, but standard small retail
But it’s her personal woman’s touch — from oversized “We looked all over and came right back here to our
shopping centers or individual buildings like a bank. I
closets and cabinets to precise task lighting, to pleasing neighborhood once we found Stacie’s homes,”Llera said. see myself building commercial for the next 10 years or
designer colors and curb appeal — that win over clients, “I think they’re different than most custom homes at the so.
especially the women. same price. I told my husband this is what I wanted. “I want to try it all. I don’t like to say I can’t. I want to
According to the National Homebuyers Association, Women buy houses, not men.” be able to say I can.” HS
women make about 90 percent of home purchases, with Llera said Stewart’s attention to detail instantly
single women accounting for 21 percent of home sales. appealed to her. Contact Dillard at

18 | HOME style | May 2008

Diamonds Still a standard of excellence – and costliness
By David D’Aquin zoom back up: Fancy colors can cost far more than whites.

j ith gold reaching more than $900 per ounce, everything else is following suit.You’ve
noticed the prices in the grocery, and everywhere else as well, including diamonds and jew-
elry products.
2. Clarity refers to the inclusions in the diamonds, graded at 10 times magnification.
Flawless means no flaws in the stone or blemishes on the stone. Internally flawless does not
account for surface blemishes, such as graining lines on the surface. The grading then goes
very, very slight (VVS), 1 and 2; very slight (VS), 1 and 2; slightly included (SI), 1 and 2 (some
In 2006, one-carat D–Flawless Round diamonds (the top category for colorless diamonds) laboratories include SI3); then, imperfect (I), 1, 2 and 3. Stones below that level are not
were listing in the Rappaport & Diamond Index for $18,000 per carat. worn for jewelry — a stone more closely resembles rock salt. (I have seen some in inexpen-
Looking back, in the 1980s when gold went to $800 per ounce, the one-carat D–Flawless sive jewelry pieces.)
was selling for $35,000. When the gold market fell, so did diamonds. By December, 1984 3. Carat weight literally means what the diamond weighs in carats, with 100 points (a
they were listing for $14,700 per carat, progressing to $16,000 by 1986 (gold at $390). measure of weight) being in one carat. Five carats weigh one gram. The price per carat goes
In 1988, diamonds sold for $17,800 per carat, where they stabilized ($17,000–$18,000 per up exponentially for diamonds as the size of the diamond goes up.
carat) until recently. Gold also had stabilized in the $400-per-ounce range. As a matter of 4. Cut is two-fold. First, which cut is it? That will put it in a specific chart; some cuts com-
fact, all of the catalogs in my store (and those of most other jewelers) are based on $400 mand greater premiums than others. Rounds always are highest in value — they have the
gold. best balance of brilliance, fire, scintillation and dispersion of light due to their prism effect.
Gold has been rising quite steadily over the last two years, finding resting points at $500, All other cuts have a distortion problem with refracted light. The light leaks out of the stone
$650, $750 and now $900 per ounce. Diamonds have taken a modest increase, now $19,200 instead of coming back out. Second consideration is how well it has been cut as that shape.
per carat for D–Flawless, but they are due for a huge jump. A one-carat diamond can weigh a carat, but if it had been cut properly it would have been
I believe a 30 percent to 50 percent increase is about to hit us. Where gold has been a sell- only .83 carat. So it will be evaluated as that smaller weight, which is not only 83 percent of
er’s market for clients bringing me the gold coins they’ve been holding since the 1980s, and its weight, but less per carat as well.
the jewelry they no longer want, it is a buyer’s market for diamonds. From the investment 5. Certification — All recognized laboratories are safe. There is disparity among labs, but
grade of D-Flawless to the more normal jewelry grades, those purchasing now are avoiding these are constant disparities. For example, it is common for an EGL I color to compare
the swing the jewels are due to take. with a GIA or Stuller J color; EGL is not as strict. But, again, it is priced that way. A GIA or
Fortunately for the consumer, the market is not only favorable due to the still-low market, Stuller I color will cost more than an EGL I.
but also much safer than it had been during the 1980s and earlier, due to standard policy of 6. Cost — Well, now you have knowledge of how the stone came to be of a certain value,
certification of diamonds of one carat and above. Now, there are companies that grade dia- but how much is that? There are no laws governing how much a jeweler can charge, but
monds so that the disparities of individual jeweler’s appraisal opinions and grades have jewelers have a distinctive guide to the market — the Rappaport Diamond Report.Your
become a thing of the past. Such grading laboratories as GIA, EGL, AGS and Stuller make price can range from 10 percent below to 50 percent greater (or more, if a jeweler’s clientele
certain the consumer has bought what has been promised. Of course, there are differences will pay the price) than Rappaport’s index.
among grading companies, with GIA and Stuller being two of the strictest, but the laborato- Your jeweler can show you stones and explain the costs of them. Diamonds are similar to
ry is taken into consideration when pricing. houses: You can look at three houses that fit the same description — four bedrooms, three
The biggest thing for the consumer to know is there are now 6 C’s. Color, clarity, carat baths, three-car garage, and so forth, and yet you like only one. And it may cost a little more
weight and cut are the original four C’s. Certification is the fifth, and the combination of than the other two, or less. That need not be the deciding factor: You need to like it.
those five makes the sixth C — cost. If you have been contemplating the purchase of a diamond, my advice would be to beat
1. Color refers to how much or little color a diamond has, D being absolutely colorless, the curve and call on your jeweler now, before the prices of diamonds jump — as gold
through Z, which has the fancy-colored diamonds — canaries, reds, pinks and the like. In already has done. HS
the white diamonds, the more colorless, the higher the cost. The D-J range is most preferred David D’Aquin, president of the Baseball Diamonds store at The Ballpark in Arlington, is a 28-year veteran of
for normal wear. After J, there is noticeable color to the untrained eye. Each grade down the industry and official fine jeweler of Miss Texas and Miss Texas Outstanding Teen. Contact: David@base-
from D diminishes the cost. After J, the prices drastically drop until close to Z, where they

May 2008 | HOME style | 19

An out of Africa safari in the hills of Texas

By Betty Dillard • Photos by Courtesy of Fossil Rim

T s our motor coach crested Cheetah Hill,

all eyes strained to catch a hoped-for glimpse
of one of the six resident giraffes at Fossil Rim
Wildlife Center. A recent devastating wind-
storm had barreled through the pasture,
uprooting, twisting and snapping several hun-
dred of the majestic old live oaks and elms that
serve as the giraffes’ protection.
In 1984, he opened Fossil Rim to the public to
help fund his conservation endeavors.
In 1987, Chrystyna Jurzykowski and Jim
Jackson purchased the park from Mantzell and
began expansion and improvements.
Jurzykowski operated Fossil Rim until 2000,
when operations were turned over to a non-
profit she formed called Earth Promise.
Our guide, Tessa Ownbey, one of the center’s Although internationally ranked — and the
education specialists, couldn’t guarantee that first non-zoo to be accredited by the
we would see any of the graceful, tree-topping Association of Zoos and Aquariums — Fossil
animals. Rim struggled to keep its doors open until
Suddenly, a bright patch of yellow flashed Condy arrived with fresh ideas.
through the woodlands. One by one, each of “Fossil Rim is in a unique place,”says Condy.
the long-necked herd, including the 2-year-old “If you take big national parks on one end of
“baby,”ambled into view. the spectrum and zoos on the other end, Fossil
Our tour group collectively gasped and then Rim is somewhere in the middle. It’s a unique
broke into cheers and applause. place for any wildlife park.
Giraffes, cheetahs, zebras and rhinos are “That’s what excited me and gave me the
some of Fossil Rim’s star attractions among determination to dig it out of the financial
about 30 species, many of which are threatened problems — and other problems — that were
or endangered. From addax to wildebeest, most here. What struck me was the potential. I could
of the 1,200 exotic animals roam freely on the feel it right away.”
1,800-acre facility that specializes in captive- To help attract large corporate donors and to
breeding programs for animals on the brink of increase visits from last year’s 180,000 tourists,
extinction. Conservation professionals at Fossil Condy persuaded Jurzykowski to give the cen-
Rim carefully breed animals for repatriation ter to the nonprofit organization. Earth Promise
into the wild. The center is globally recognized acquired the property in January 2008.
as a leader in propagation and management “It’s the biggest thing that has ever happened
programs, scientific research, innovative educa- in the history of the park,”says Condy.“It’s a
tional programs and top-flight training facili- hugely generous gift. There are not many non-
ties. profits that own their own land.”
Nestled among craggy, limestone-rimmed An aggressive fund-raising campaign and
creeks that spill onto deep valleys and grassy expansion of programs, projects and services are
savannahs along the threshold of Texas’ Hill under way. Since the acquisition, $300,000 has
County, Fossil Rim is located near Glen Rose, been raised. In a strong show of support, the
about 55 miles southwest of Fort Worth. When nine-member board kicked in $1.025 million
first-time visitors experience the three-hour, out-of-pocket, and California-based Rudolph
9.5-mile scenic wildlife drive or camp overnight Steiner Foundation has pledged a two-for-one
in the park’s safari-style tents, they feel as if challenge grant of $1 million.
they’re in Africa instead of just an hour from Plans are in progress to revamp the entire
the Metroplex. park, including the front gate, the visitor center,
Mother Nature even fooled Fossil Rim’s and the Overlook Café and gift shop, right
director, Pat Condy, a native of Zimbabwe. down to the Web site and e-newsletter.
“Many people have the perception that Texas Day and night accommodations — including
is cactus-and-cowboy country,”says Condy.“I the rustic Foothills Safari Camp and the Lodge,
had to pinch myself when I first came. I the original ranch house — for schoolchildren,
thought I was back in Africa.” church and scout groups and families will be
When Condy was hired in 2003, the wildlife updated and expanded. As many as 40 tents to
center was on the verge of bankruptcy. 80 tents and several conference spaces may be
Founded in the 1960s as a private hunting added to facilitate the growing corporate mar-
ground called Waterfall Ranch, the property ket.
was bought in 1973 by oilman Tom Mantzell. “We’ve just begun,”Condy says.“We’re really
Mantzell stopped the hunting, renamed the going to speed up our presence. Our big-pic-
park and began stocking it with exotic animals. ture plan is to be self-sufficient.”

20 | style
HOME | May 2008
The majority of new revenue will benefit the “When people visit here, they are directly
primary mission of dealing with endangered and helping these dying species survive,”he says.
threatened animals. Condy says additional “They should come to get out into clean, fresh
research will be conducted to ensure a high level open air and see nature as it is and to see conser-
of genetic diversity, which is crucial to long-term vation in action. They should come to see species
species survival back into the wild. in their dire straits be uplifted and ready to send
“Zoos can only prepare to send animals back back into the wild.
one or two at a time,”says Condy.“We can send “For whatever reason,”he adds,“people should
back flock-by-flock or herd-by-herd. That is how just visit. When they leave here, they should
they survive in the wild. That is what Fossil Rim know they’ve done a great thing to help these
does.” animals.”
Condy hopes to increase membership from For information, visit or call
2,000 households to 10,000 households within 254-897-2960. A special fund has been estab-
the next three years. He also hopes more visitors lished to buy trees to replace the 400-plus lost
will come to experience his “office.” during the severe storm. HS

May 2008 | style

HOME | 21
22 | style
HOME | May 2008
Possum Kingdom Lake
countryside retreat

\ n the heart of North Texas’ hilly country,

earth and sky merge with landscape and
deep waters. The banks of Possum
Kingdom Lake suggest a uniquely beautiful
home site.
Hence the popular development known
as The Harbor on Possum Kingdom Lake.
An hour drive west of the metropolitan
area, The Harbor on Possum Kingdom Lake
proposes a combination of natural beauty
with elegant style and a wide range of resi-
dence-and-recreation choices.
Built with local stone, rough-hewn wood
and broad porches, homes at The Harbor
are designed to blend with the natural envi-
ronment. Styles of construction include
Texas lodge residences, condominiums, car-
riage houses, five varieties of log cabins,
cottages and verandas.
Situated amid cedars and natural rock,
each Harbor home site is designed to
emphasize the setting from a vantage of
stylish new construction.
Possum Kingdom Lake, the centerpiece
of the development, is among the state’s
more inviting bodies of water, with 400 wet
slips and accommodations for boating
activities from water-skiing and power
boating to sport fishing, pleasure cruising
and scuba diving. Miles of pristine shore-
line boast spectacular limestone bluffs.
The Harbor contains an equestrian cen-
ter, as well, with activities to suit both
accomplished horseback riders and novices.
Hiking trails abound, as well, as do fitness
and spa amenities.
A centerpiece of The Harbor is The
Grille, a five-star lakeside restaurant with
accommodations for social gatherings.
Other event venues include an outdoor
arena and the Country Chapel.
On the Web: HS

May 2008 | HOMEstyle | 23

Tom Hollenback’s
space-bending sculptures

_ ike the most effective artists of any era, Tom

Hollenback creates art that subtly transforms the
perceptions of the viewer. His sculptures, no matter
where they are installed, immediately define and
underscore the spaces they inhabit, thus changing
the experience of being in that situation.
By means of edge and angle, translucency and
juxtaposed with large white spaces to create after-
images of the bright acrylic.
When Hollenback moves his acrylic pieces off
the wall and into the center of the room, wrapping
them around themselves to form enclosures, many
complex and interesting ideas come pouring out of
them. Inclusion and exclusion come into play when
reflection, boundary and interface, the Austin-based some people are inside the structure and some are
artist somehow bends the surroundings to the outside.
authority of his sculpture — “the allure of trans- The interior space can become a stage, and the
parency,”as one critic has characterized people outside become an audience. Some even
Hollenback’s work. The artist has devised an alter- have cell-phone conversations while thus separated,
native means of orientation, a navigational device and these interactions then become an integral facet
for today’s electronic environment. Hollenback is of the work of art. When one person is alone with
represented in Fort Worth by William Campbell the piece, its architecture seems to come to the fore.
Contemporary Art. Mental associations with cloisters, cells or cubicles
Hollenback accomplishes this sleight-of-hand are contradicted by the transparen-
through the most economical of means, keeping his cy of the medium, generating
forms elemental and his concepts straightforward. thoughts about what we can see
He frequently combines steel with sheets of fluores- through and what we can see
cent acrylic to illuminate his art. The glowing edges reflected in other things. Extraneous
of the acrylic seem to buzz and crackle like neon, details are pared away to condense
but in fact their only power source is the track light- and define a response to urban
ing of a gallery. Even under more dimly lighted cir- experiences.
cumstances, the sculptures project a subtle energy On the Web: www.williamcamp-
that envelops the room. The pieces are frequently HS

24 | style
HOME | May 2008
Lone Star Library
A fresh shelf of books and music

A Walk Across Texas

By Jon McConal
Texas Christian University Press; $19.95
Available at

When three old codgers struck out on a 450-mile, 28-day trek from the Panhandle of Texas back down to their home in
Granbury, they accomplished an adventure most of us only dare to dream.
Proving that age really is a state of mind, the trio — former Star-Telegram columnist Jon McConal, 69, Norm Snyder, 62,
and Eddie Lane, 77 — traveled the back roads of the Lone Star countryside in the fall of 2006. As in his previous trave-
logue, Bridges over the Brazos, McConal recorded the sights, sounds, voices and history of rural Texas.
Camping and cooking out under the twinkling constellations, the three amigos rediscovered forgotten places and people.
And in so doing, they rediscovered themselves.
Along the trail home, the three wise men remind us of what’s important: the magical flight of red-tail hawks and honking
geese in the fall sky, hundreds of Monarch butterflies fanning their wings, the piercing shriek of an owl through inky dark-
ness, homemade banana pudding, and the comfort and warmth of wind at your back and friends around your campfire.
– Betty Dillard

What Teachers Expect in Reform

By Penny Ann Armstrong
Rowman & Littlefield; $29.95
Available at

Southwest Christian School’s Penny Ann Armstrong takes a courageous stance, here, in appraising the chronic struggle between
academic achievement and mere passing grades. (The book dovetails with coursework at Texas Wesleyan University.)
The inescapable conclusion is that conventional classroom methods, notably in the No Child Left Behind quota-filling
approach, simply are not working to inspire genuine learning as a result preferable to “just getting by.”
The overriding impression is that the American educational system must empower teachers — who, after all, have the creden-
tials to teach — more so than bureaucrats or lawmakers.
– Michael H. Price

Jewish “Junior League:”

The Rise and Demise of the Fort Worth Council of Jewish Women
By Hollace Ava Weiner
Texas A&M University Press; $29.95
Available at

This spirited and scrupulously well-researched history tracks the Fort Worth branch of the National Council of Jewish Women over
nearly a century. The social and cultural fabric of the community-at-large becomes more vivid as a consequence, but of greater fasci-
nation is a variety of emphatic stances on such issues as immigration and literacy. A casualty, perhaps, of the integration that it had
championed, the organization faced an end by 1999: Times had changed more rapidly than the council’s ability to adapt.
Weiner also is the author of Jewish Stars in Texas: Rabbis and Their Work, also from A&M Press.
– M.H.P

Kiss of the Mudman

By John Nitzinger
Nitzinger; $25
Available at

With Kiss of the Mudman, Fort Worth bluesman and pioneering hard-rock guitarist John Nitzinger has crafted
perhaps his finest sustained album of a distinguished career — a focused and ferocious collection of edgy
instrumental work and provocative lyrics. The prowess on display here, coupled with an uncompromising emo-
tional intensity, is formidable.
– M.H.P.

Also new and of note

• Watauga’s B B Sherman relates a poignant autobiographical saga of domestic violence in My Gidding Street Gang
(WindSpan Press), whose proceeds the author has dedicated to SafeHaven of Tarrant County (
• Fort Worth journalist-photographer Phil Vinson’s new novel is It Takes a Worried Man (Virtual Bookworm Press)
— chronicling the misadventures of a panic-stricken newspaperman in search of a remedy. Vinson’s next book, a pic-
torial collection called Fort Worth: A Personal View, is due this fall from TCU Press. ( HS

May 2008 | HOME style | 25


 Player piano
Gadgetry! Décor! returns
The Yamaha Disklavier
2.0, a digital-technology

Innovations! resurrection of the old-

school player piano, com-
bines Internet streams and
A pictorial array of new arrivals, new inventions — new downloads to allow a vast
ways of arraying and enhancing the home environment: selection of music convey-
ing the illusion of live per-
formance. An owner with a
$200-a-year subscription
to Disklavier Radio has, in
effect, a pianist-in-resi-
 Wave Cube dence on call around the
The familiar microwave oven clock.
shrinks to the size of a tissue- The Disklavier Mark IV
dispenser with iWave Cube, a piano ranges upward from
desktop cooker that takes up $35,000.
as much room as a set of PC On the Web: www.yama-
speakers. Measuring just a
cubic foot, the unit is in the
midst of a debut at Sharper
Image stores. The 12-pound
unit ($130) features a built-in
carrying handle and a view-
through door.
 Planar home-theatre units
Designed for the specialty home-theater
market, Planar’s new line of digital-video pro-
jectors sets almost a theatrical standard for
high-definition movie-watching.
Planar’s PD8150 and PD8130 units ($6,000-
$8,000) feature an eye-catching gloss-black fin-
ish, with almost a sculptural appearance. Both
projectors offer sophisticated calibration for opti-
mal performance under various room-lighting conditions.
On the Web:

Summer Soles
Shannon McLinden’s Frisco-based Summer Soles LLC has scored big-time with its lines of san-
dal liners and FarmHouse Fresh bath-and-body products.
“Five years ago, I would have sold you my house for a dressy pair of shoes that I could
actually wear without smack, smack, smacking my way into malls and restaurants,” as
McLinden tells it. Hence her invention of the Summer Soles line or removable insoles as an
antidote to sticky shoes.
On the Web:

 BainUltra  Savannah fixtures

“We want to envelop ourselves with something peaceful after a North Carolina-base FORMS+Fixtures has introduced
long day,” says Henry Brunelle Quebec-based home-spa supplier the Savannah line of vanity counters as a reflection
BainUltra. “And the bath is probably one of the simplest tools every- of old-fashioned workmanship and innovative design.
one owns that has the power to deliver that sense of calm.” The selections of finish include pewter with
Air jet baths, a concept innovated by BainUltra, are becoming an cracked platinum glass, java with aged mirrored fab-
increasingly popular option among devotees of the bath ritual — ric, sepia and bronze.
closer to a full-scale spa experience than to a conventional On the Web:
whirlpool-tub situation.
On the Web:

 Jane Seymour Collection

THRO Ltd. has thrown in with the Jane
Seymour Home brand to create a line of deco-
rative pillows and throw blankets. The 22-piece
collection includes four groups of pillows and
throw blankets, each representing favorite deco-
rative motifs of artist-actress Jane Seymour.
The items in each line range in price from
$19 to $119. Invented by planting enthusiast Shirley Harberts with a com-
On the Web: bination of a soaker hose and a flowerpot, the $6 Water-Easy
device allows water to reach the roots of a plant via a hidden
On the Web:

26 | HOME style | May 2008