Nothing reflects one’s personality better than his or her home – the place handpicked to return every night, raise a family, relax and entertain guests. With all kinds of people living in Plano, there is also a diverse range of homes. Enjoy a look at three uniquely different homes in Plano.
Living in one of the oldest homes in Plano did not happen by accident. When homeowner Leesie came across the Carpenter House, she knew it was the right place for her. “I’ve always been fascinated by the Victorian period. I felt very lucky to get this house,” said Leesie.
The home was built in 1898 in the middle of a former cotton field – now Plano’s Old Towne residential neighborhood – for Colonel Henry C. Overaker and his new wife. As a wealthy man, Henry spared no expense on the lavish design of the house. Gibson Edgar Carpenter, a farmer, lawyer and judge purchased the house in the 1920s, with the intent of making sure his children had the best education in Plano. Carpenter Middle School was named after Carpenter’s father Robert Washington Carter, and it is located on the land formerly owned by the Carpenter family. In 1976, the house was restored by former Plano Mayor James Edwards; it was labeled a Plano Heritage Site in the 1980s. Later, the house was used as a bed and breakfast and wedding venue. Leesie and her husband are the first people to actually reside in the Carpenter House in 20 years.
“I heard that the wife of Colonel Overaker was an avid piano player, and she had a piano in the front of the house,” said Leesie. “She would play so well that people passing by would stop to listen. The story goes that you can hear ghostly piano music in the house from the wife playing again. I am a little disappointed that I haven’t heard her play yet, but we did just get a baby grand piano, so I may finally hear it!”
The beautiful house features a wrap-around porch and traditional Victorian exterior. Inside the home you will find lavish wooden carvings around the doorways, stained glass windows, gorgeous hardwood floors and intricate architectural design. “Recently, I’ve been renovating the house,” said Leesie. “I’m combining the historical parts with my personality and aesthetic.”
Normal was not an option for Juan Carlos Arias, when he designed this ultra modern home. The sleek façade features huge windows, wood details, straight lines and hard edges.
“Juan is a commercial architect, and his designs translate beautifully to residential spaces,” said Jessica, who bought the newly-completely home with her husband in 2016. “There is not one feature of the home that we like most, but rather, the entire personality of the home. The clean lines, the abundance of natural light and the interior garden all craft a very contemporary, yet peaceful mood.”
To make it their own, the owners added a swimming pool, which was also originally envisioned by Juan. The pool area is aesthetically coordinated with the rest of the house and goes well with the deck and balconies. Together, they provide a comfortable outdoor entertaining space. On the side of the house is a relatively low-maintenance courtyard that is perfect for reading or conversation.
“A non-traditional house can be very polarizing within a family,” said Jessica. “We were lucky that our tastes simultaneously evolved into us both admiring modern styles. We feel very blessed to have found [a modern house], surrounded by great neighbors, in a city we enjoy.”
Although the outside of this West Plano home looks like your typical Plano residence, the inside features specially designed rooms and high-end touches that make this home truly extraordinary.
Homeowner Steve’s favorite room in the house is the sound isolated in-home theater – a completely made-to-order room that features Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired décor, custom woodwork, striking red upholstered chairs and a small projector room completely hidden away.
“When building my home from scratch, I wanted there to be a place for watching movies and TV and gathering for meetings and discussion,” said Steve. “This room really received a lot of thought from the very beginning.”
Signed movie posters decorate the theater’s “lobby” (Steve’s game room). Over the entrance hangs a retro chrome sign. The walls of the theater are studded with delicate, very thin wood veneers that were hand made. A rear door hides the projector room, which also serves as a storage room for Steve’s extensive movie and music collection. The final touches are the special sound and vibration dampening materials that enclose the room, including the floors, walls and ceiling. This enables Steve and this wife Mary to watch a loud movie without disturbing anyone else in the house.
Other unique features in the home include an elevator, a snoring bed/packing surface in his closet and a semi-circular stairway. The stairway includes a water feature in the middle that makes it look like the stairs are flooding.
“I bought the lot when there were very few single family home lots for custom builders still available in 2008, so I wanted to take my time to get the house designed and built,” Steve said. “I think Plano is the best place in America to raise a family, live and retire, so I’ve done what I can to make the house comfortable so I can stay here as long as possible.”