Deciding where to live was a tough call for Meredith and Ernesto Gomez: They had their eyes on neighborhoods in Lakewood and Northeast Dallas.

During the February 2021 freeze, the Gomezes saw first-hand the hospitality shown in the Lake Highlands community. The care and love they saw from their future neighbors is when they knew they had found the perfect place for their family.

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“We drove through during the freeze, and people had extension cords across the street to run power to neighbors’ houses. What have we found? These people are so nice,” Meredith Gomez says.

“Where else would we go? I would never leave my little bubble

of Lake Highlands because the people are so genuinely wonderful,” Meredith Gomez says. “I don’t feel like I ever felt that sense of community in any other neighborhood I’ve lived in.”

The Gomezes watched the house they wound up buying in December 2020 for a while before purchasing. It was on the market for about a year and a half. Gomez believes that one of the main deterrents from buying or wanting to see this house was the listing photos, which she says didn’t present the home in the most appealing way.

During that time, Meredith was four months pregnant. Baby Gomez was born in May, shortly before they moved into the home.

Meredith Gomez owns a remodeling and design firm and leaned on some of her friends and subcontractors to help with the remodel.

The Gomezes did all of the demolition themselves. By the time they moved in, the house was livable, but not entirely up to their standards.

“When we moved in, we didn’t have a backsplash in the kitchen. We didn’t have a couch for a month,” Meredith Gomez says. “A lot of things were not finished, but it was livable.”

Meredith bought her first house at the age of 21 and has moved 12 times since. Due to the nature of her job, she has never really felt attached to a home — at least until she moved to Lake Highlands.


The house was built in 1967. The previous owners purchased the home in 1982 and added a master bedroom a few years later.

“Everything had been done very well. … The bones of this house were built super well,” Meredith Gomez says. “Everything functionally and structurally is very sound.”

However, the home needed a complete renovation. 

So many boxes were stacked inside the home that the kitchen countertops weren’t visible. The Gomezes filled 15 dumpsters to haul off everything in the home.

Despite all of this, the Gomezes saw a future for this home.


The Gomezes wanted the three-bedroom, three-bathroom home to feel like a West Coast escape in Lake Highlands with an interior inspired by coastal Spanish Revival homes.

“I just want to wake up and feel like I live in Santa Barbara,” Meredith Gomez says.

Though the Gomezes are both involved with their home design decisions, Meredith says she made most of the design decisions for the home.

“He does challenge me in certain things when he’ll be like, ‘Well, why do you want to do that?’ Which is great. It’s a great balance.”

One of their favorite spaces is a pantry they added to the home for its multi-purpose organization and functionality. It features skylights and cabinets original to the home.

The kitchen includes a large island and two dishwashers meant for hosting their large family and friends. The living room includes art that was created by the Gomezes themselves.

The Spanish Revival influence is seen throughout that house and overflows to the backyard.

The Gomezes wanted to add one more bathroom to the house. In the pool area, they added a half bath lined with a terracotta pattern near the new pool they added to replace a 13-foot kidney-shaped pool.

Also in the backyard area, the Gomezes designed areas for a firepit, grill, fridge and TV.

The home has another special feature you don’t often see in Texas — a full basement. There you’ll find a full playroom for their children, two offices, a bedroom, a bathroom, a mini bar and TV, and plenty of seating.

“I think what people appreciate the most is the transformation,” Meredith Gomez says. “People can acknowledge the before to appreciate the after.”