How New York and California Transplants Are Reshaping Dallas Home Design

We’ve all heard that people are moving to the Dallas-Fort Worth area in droves. With a healthy business market and frequent corporate relocations to the area, it’s no wonder more and more families are calling it home. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 146,000 people moved to DFW in 2017 alone, helping us secure our spot as the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country. With such an influx, we asked our 2019 Best Builders to give us the lowdown and what our new neighbors are bringing to the world of homebuilding.

With so many corporate relocations to the DFW area such as Toyota, it’s no surprise that the majority of Texas transplants hail from California. In fact, census data shows that 114,413 Californians moved to Texas between 2012 and 2016, making it the top destination for those leaving the state.

These new neighbors are bringing one priority with them from their sunny (and albeit more temperate) home: maximized outdoor living. “Our coastal clientele often requests expansive backyards with sustainable landscape, along with outdoor living environments complete with temperature-controlled patios and motorized, retractable screens,” says Joe Jackson of The Newport Group.

“The influence of  our West Coast buyers has completely changed the styles of homes we find ourselves building.”

Chad Brubaker, Ron Davis Custom Homes

He’s also seeing an influx of requests for digitally controlled home automation systems, built-in patio heaters, and misting systems. And these sophisticated systems aren’t just meant to be enjoyed by the homeowners. “Outdoor entertaining spaces are always atop the list,” says Chad Brozovich of CJB Homes. “With the stable climate in California, having outdoor spaces to entertain are always desired.”

David Leite of David Leite Custom Homes has also noticed Californian clients requesting solar panel systems, helping to make DFW’s homebuilding landscape a little more eco-friendly. Stephanie Dauwe of Rosewood Custom Builders has Californian clients who want wall-to-wall sliding glass doors and outdoor kitchens complete with a fireplace. Similarly, Les Owens of LRO Residential is finding more clients from California and Florida who love a good outdoor loggia.

But our sun-loving new residents aren’t just impacting the outside of the home. “The influence of our West Coast buyers has completely changed the styles of homes we find ourselves building,” says Chad Brubaker of Ron Davis Custom Homes. “They want open and informal living. It has helped influence our most important category of architecture, which is stunning, modern designs with clean lines, innovative lighting, and much larger windows for outdoor views.”

coastal cool: Our new neighbors from the sunny West Coast are inspiring us to take a more neutral approach to the home—think tans, creams, and barely-there pinks. In this look, texture rules over color, with beachy accents of wood and rope. Anything’s fair game that evokes sea and sky!

On the other end of the country, New Yorkers are also on the move. According to MarketWatch, more than 1 million people have moved out of the New York metropolitan area since 2010—and Dallas is ready to welcome those relocating with open arms. One major perk for migrant New Yorkers? Space. Lots and lots of space.

Mark Molthan of Platinum Homes by Mark Molthan has seen that New Yorkers moving to DFW want to maximize their newly available legroom, with clients requesting large master closets and garages for more than five cars. “Coming to Dallas allowed them to get Dallas-sized features, and they are taking advantage of them,” he says. “The master closet is now a room—not a closet; the garage is an entertaining space—not a car-storage area.”

“The influence of  our West Coast buyers has completely changed the styles of homes we find ourselves building.”

Chad Brubaker, Ron Davis Custom Homes

Stephanie Dauwe of Rosewood Custom Homes also sees these customers focusing on the master closet. “Our New York clients are always blown away by our boutique master closet spaces,” she says. “We usually build his and hers closets … and for clients who travel often, we always build a small but convenient suitcase storage area so they have easy access to get packed and unpacked quickly.”

That love of private spaces can expand beyond just the master closet. Heather Lee of Endurance Homes has clients from across the East Coast including Connecticut and New Jersey, but the trend stays the same: “All of the clients love large lots, open floor plans, and luxurious master bathrooms.” And apparently if you move from a cold climate such as New York or Chicago, it’s hard to shake that need for extra warmth and coziness in all areas of the home. “On the interior, we are installing heated floors in bathrooms,” says Tanner Rivera of Tanner Homes.

Concrete jungle: We’re in a New York state of mind with more masculine elements and cool-toned details to furnish our Eastern Seaboard-esque dream home. Here, we incorporate strong, angular pieces, pinstripe-inspired fabrics, and, of course, lots and lots of subway tile (no MetroCard required).