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Photo by Casey Dunn

10 Most Beautiful: 9106 Lake Highlands Dr.

Who do you think you are? What business do you have? How dare you? In the seven years that we’e been crowning winners in our annual celebration of gorgeous homes, we’ve heard all that and more. Allow us to clear up any and all confusion. We are a gang of well-meaning shelter-magazine editors who have made it our business to run the roads of Dallas and select our very favorite houses based solely on curb appeal, with no regard for pedigree of home nor resident. And we dare to do it quite happily. To see the full list of beautiful homes, including our selections from past years, click here

If you’re like us, when you drive a street lined with traditional piles of brick with pointed roofs and paned windows, and then you happen upon a simple square-shaped structure with uninterrupted lines, you stop in your tracks and purr, “Finally, something different.”

But here’s the thing about modern houses: As much as we love them, when you start to look at a lot of them one after another (and we did, as it’s a favorite style among the D Home staffers), you start to notice that contemporary houses can start to look alike. Cubist structures composed of some configuration of plated glass and shiny steel and cherry-colored wood start to become somewhat predictable.

That is, until we came across this one. Perched overlooking White Rock Lake, this Thoroughly Modern Millie won us over because it was contemporary while still managing to be unexpected. The three-decker patios are the main showstopper, of course. The detailing with the steel and opaque glass railing (with just a touch of wood in the form of a hand rail), the repeated beams, and the simple light fixtures make for a beautiful, attention-grabbing look. We also loved the simplicity of the steel “body” of the home. By not mixing a lot of materials, it allows the three-story crown jewel of the house to really stand out.

The landscaping is another element that we loved about this property — and not just because it’s a textbook lesson on how to mix flowerless foliage shapes, textures, and shades, although it is. We also love it because it fits the home perfectly, and the home fits within it perfectly, too. The home looks as though it was plunked down within the existing wild trees and cacti on the sprawling corner lot. Their use of natural stone for the walkway, stairs, and retaining wall is a great choice, as well, contrasting beautifully against the decidedly manmade steel. Perfection.