Make Yourself at Home

What is it about another person’s home that’s so fascinating?

It’s why we insist on a tour the moment we walk into a friend’s home for the first time. It’s why a couple from Waco has turned inexpensive real estate into an HGTV empire, and it’s why we click through house listings when we have no intention of buying a home. Although, I’m here to tell you that last one can really get you into trouble.

After doing some unnecessary house hunting, my husband and I made the very questionable decision to renovate a home that was practically falling over. Thus far, we have run into four different well-intentioned people, let’s call them strangers, exploring the construction site. That's what happens when you have no walls, windows or doors. Why are we doing this again?

But, I can hardly blame the snoopers. I grew up in a Houston suburb in a home surrounded by new builds. My family and I would often go see what our future neighbors’ future homes had in store by taking self-guided tours as they were being built. What if the door was already up? No problem. I would use my small second-grade hands to reach through the space where the deadlock should be and grant us entry.

Thanks to our inaugural Home of Dreams, you can do all of the snooping you want, both in print and in person. Touring starts on Aug. 6, and to ease your curiosity until then, you can read Scott Nishimura’s inside look at the more than 7,000-square-foot estate that is full of surprises - think a puppy shower with custom tile, a kitchen without ovens and a $16,000 bath tub. Turn to page 44 for all of the details.

As I flashback to my first days as a home snooper, I realize that it taught me to love homes and also a little bit about breaking and entering. It's important for an education to be diversified. While our parents are our inevitable first teachers, they eventually hand us off to the professionals. And that's another topic we bring you in this issue with Gail Bennison’s feature, “Delivering Education in a Digital World,” on page 108. It’s the perfect complement to the 2016 Private School Guide, which you will find on page 121.

Finally, exclusively on this month is this year’s Top 10 Teachers in Tarrant County list. It includes five private and five public school teachers: among them, a teacher who raised $80,000 for a new art room, a woman who has been teaching history for more than 30 years and a recent winner of two prestigious national teaching awards. They are the apples of your children’s eye, and we hope they catch yours on later this month.

Happy snooping,