100 years old · 1916 · brick · Dallas · family · Highland Park · historic home · home · home restoration · neighborhood · old house · patterns · preservation · renovation · restoration · sisters · stone · Texas · Uncategorized · windows

Pattern play

Look at these precious new leaves against the bright blue March Texas sky! This is the massive tree in our backyard, and we are happy to see it in full bloom.


Patterns and textures surround us constantly everyday and everywhere, and yet we rarely take the time to appreciate them or enjoy them for their predictability or let them surprise us with their little quirks or imperfections. I prefer unusual and somewhat unpredictable patterns, and layered and unique textures. Other people may prefer precise and perfect predictability. Perhaps this should be part of a personality test? Our home is filled with intriguing patterns and textures, and this is indeed one (of the many!) feature that captivated my imagination and heart. These unpredictable and imperfect features make it the perfect home for our family. However, as we have discovered with our stone and brick, make it exceedingly hard to match new to old!

We are trying to match the front stone so that we can recreate the same feeling on our new back patio. We believe it is most likely an old slate, which will be rather challenging to match exactly. Each stone is a little different. Some are strikingly smooth and uniform in color, while others exude the classic character of weathered slate, and yet some others look as though they once harbored little fossils which have since been removed. Anyways, after really looking at the stones, it occurred to me that even if we cannot procure the exact same stone type (or types), we can recreate the same look as long as we match the overall colors and textures. And, most importantly, recreate the seemingly random layout and sizes. I like to imagine that a palate of randomly sized stone pieces was dropped off on the front lawn 100 years ago, and the pieces were placed any which way they fit alongside the others, one at a time, and without a perfectly laid out plan. Perhaps a more geometrically minded person could unravel a predictable pattern, but as of now, let’s all just agree with my randomly set theory. We will recreate the random setting as best we can with a similar looking new stone on the back patio.


We are also having trouble finding the exact texture pattern of our 100  year old bricks. They are highly textural and each one slightly unique from the next. These bricks exhibit mounds and crevasses, striations and hatch marks; there is a almost an underlying feeling of a woven fabric to these bricks. Unique and out of general production, we are in discussion with two different brick suppliers in hopes that we can find a complementary new brick to match the old.


Below you can see the back of the house where the addition will attach to the original house. To the left you can see the exposed wooden siding which was underneath the brick facade. We have taken those gorgeous planks down and are keeping them so that we can use them on the walls of the laundry room and/or interior of the garage. I love the diagonal pattern in which they were laid. I love the knots and striations, I love the many marks of age.  Below to the right you can see the original back of the house with the added utility shed. The old kitchen and breakfast nook were in the area behind the shed and the two windows to the left of the shed. This area will now be our den and then the kitchen will be in the addition with the master room above. There was a bedroom above the old kitchen, and that will become the laundry/craft room.

Below is another view of the wooden exterior and “makeshift” door. Also, an example of our outdoor lanterns! We wanted to check it out next to the door for sizing purposes. It is from House of Antique Hardware, one of my favorite sources for reproduction historical hardware and lighting.


Another view of the exterior siding up towards the gorgeously large overhanging eaves. This window looks into the upstairs bedroom that will become the laundry/craft room, and has the staircase access to the attic. IMG_6699

Below you can see the old kitchen sink windows over the partially removed brick wall.


So, take a moment and enjoy the patterns and textures around you and stop to see which you like better. Predictable and smooth or curiously unpredictable.


Love and hugs,



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