The 2017 Fall Dream Home is Here

Inside a contemporary home with touches of Hill Country.




Our fall Dream Home, built atop a hill in Benbrook’s luxury La Cantera at Team Ranch gated community, doesn’t overwhelm. Even at 5,300 square feet, four bedrooms, four bathrooms and three half-baths, with views of downtown Fort Worth, it’s not complicated, and that’s by design.

Its new owners wanted a home packed with the latest amenities and features, but without haughtiness. The color palette is full of creams, grays and taupes. Arrays of large windows allow light to flow in and augment the spaces without the need for a lot of added light. Designers Brenda Blaylock and Susan Semmelmann — whose Grandeur Design & Interiors was in charge of the construction detailing, finishes, furnishings, accessories, and artwork — elevated the Dream Home’s straight lines and monochromatic scheme with contrasting textures and use of natural materials like woods and metals.

There’s also a nod to the TCU Horned Frogs here; its new owner played football at the university, and the Dream Home has splashes of purple throughout: in the lighting for the kitchen’s glass-enclosed wine wall and living room’s gas fireplace, blooms in the outdoor Texas sage, and custom sofas and Frog memorabilia in the game room. Even the pool’s underwater lighting is programmable in numerous hues for light shows, like red, white and blue for the Fourth of July and purple for the family’s Frog football parties.

“They wanted a rustic, modern home that was very clean, very minimalist, very simple,” Semmelmann says. She and Blaylock planned and sourced or fabricated the Dream Home’s flooring, tile, paint, fixtures, furnishings, accessories, artwork, floral, drapery and bedding. (Grandeur, through its manufacturing center, made virtually all of the Dream Home’s accent pieces, including artwork, floral, drapery and bedding.)

This Dream Home, like our others, is going to be doing a lot of entertaining, and its owners want it to invite. “They want there to be warmth, rather than just hardcore modern,” Blaylock says.

This is the 16th in Fort Worth Magazine’s long-running series of Dream Homes, in which we team with builders and vendors to present the latest in luxury building and fashion trends. Dale Grandmaison of Grand Home Designs designed the home, built by Bryan Braswell of Braswell Homes. The home will be open for tours in October (see box) to benefit the magazine’s charity, a Wish with Wings, which fulfills wishes for sick children in Texas.

The Dream Home’s contemporary vernacular is the latest transitional move away from Old World styles that have dominated Fort Worth’s luxury scene. Transitional is in vogue; this home draws its flavor from the Texas Hill Country and midcentury modern designs.

Its exterior is in gray leuders stone and stucco. The extended roof overhangs offer more shade, particularly important around the pool deck. Its ample Jeld-Wen window treatments and double-glass entry door by Durango Doors provide a transparent street profile. Inside the Dream Home, the floor plan is wide open — a characteristic of transitional — and enhanced by 22.6-foot ceilings and glass. “There’s a lot of light; it feels like you’re outside, almost,” Braswell says.

Braswell, whose home and story we featured in the September issue of Fort Worth HOME, entered construction doing remodeling work as a teenager and then started a roofing company at 18. Two years later, he built his first home and then went into business with a friend building houses. “We built six customs together, but I realized I really didn’t know what I was doing,” Braswell says.

So he went to work for David Weekly Homes and then Village Homes, while getting his bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Texas at Arlington. Then in 2001, Braswell, who grew up in Arlington, went out on his own with a partner, building houses in Mansfield in the $400,000-$800,000 range.

“And architecturally correct houses,” he says. “Mansfield didn’t have any of that. It had just cookie-cutter houses.” He soon moved into building luxury homes in Fort Worth in neighborhoods like Montserrat.

Today, Braswell says he likes to run seven to 10 projects at the same time, including the major remodels he does. And “it’s just me, a superintendent, and one office person,” he says.