The Barnetts’ living room and kitchen feature black appliances and cabinets. ( Photography by CHARLES DAVIS SMITH)

Mark Barnett always dreamed of living on a cul-de-sac. So, when he and his wife, Kristen, saw a lot for sale in Lake Ridge Estates, they knew it was their chance to build the home they’d always wanted.

“We’ve had really nice houses, but they haven’t been efficient,” Kristen says. “The layout hasn’t worked for us, and we’ve had space we didn’t use. My husband always really wanted to build one ourselves and get it exactly how we wanted.”

The couple knew they wanted to stay in Lake Highlands after living in the neighborhood for 13 years. “We love the community. We love the people. The schools are great,” she says. “We knew we wanted to stay here.”

The Barnetts placed an offer and got the house. They decided to work with architect Thad Reeves after seeing his work on an American Institute of Architects home tour, not realizing that their future home would be on the 2019 tour.

Inspired by clean lines, the two centered on mid-century modern homes. Natural light is the highlight of the home. Reeves and fellow architect Timothy Ballard were captivated by the neighborhood’s trees and built windows to take advantage of the view. Every room emphasizes the trees.

“You kind of lose sight that you’re in the middle of this really busy neighborhood sometimes, which I love,” Kristen says.

The Barnett family took a leap of faith when architects approached them about featuring black cabinets and appliances in the kitchen. “They said, ‘This is what I think you should do,’ and we were like, ‘OK, we’re going to trust you.’ And it worked out great,” Kristen says.

The combination of black, white and wood offset each other in a surprisingly different way. The couple’s furniture is square, with clean lines and walnut legs.

The Barnetts’ favorite space? The media room. “We wanted somewhere that we could gather as a family, and [our kids would] want to come down and hang out with us,” she says. “It’s served that exact purpose. We spend a lot of time in here as a family, more so than we did in our previous house.”

Are you a design devotee?

Check out the midcentury and contemporary homes at the 15th annual White Rock Home Tour. Proceeds benefit Dallas ISD’s Hexter Elementary. The tour is April 25-26, noon-5 p.m. For more information about tickets, go to