The home of LeAnn Behrens and David Montague in Fort Worth’s Park Hill neighborhood appears in the Wall Street Journal (wsj) three times, in film, in article, and in photos. I enjoyed all three mediums. The film was made by Rob Alcaraz. The article written by Alina Dizik, and the photos taken by Casey Woods Maddeaux.
Rebuilding After a Fire
David and LeeAnn completed their home in 2017 to replace the one that was lost in a fire when the fire in an outside grill on the deck spread to the house. This house is on the site of the old house. Out of this tragedy, the couple started from a clean slate, with the help of architect Michael Bennett, to build a home where they could display their collections and live and entertain.
A Video Tour
In the video, David leads viewers on a tour of the home from the front door with a welcoming, “Hello I’m David, welcome to our house,” as he opens the front door. The house he describes as a perfect combination for them, combines living areas, art galleries, a library, and museum in 6,000 square feet with 4 bathrooms and plenty of areas to entertain in.
David shows viewers some of the artwork displayed in the house, his collection of books, and some of the building techniques they used on the back deck, like the burned wood siding, a technique he says is from Japan. The burned wood is proper because it reminds them that the original house that stood there burned down. Also, inspired by their survival of the file are the designed-in multiple decks and multiple ways to get out of the house.
“It Makes Sense to Us”
The art and books are all things David and LeeAnn like and have purchased. “It makes sense to us, even if it may not to anyone else,” says David when pointing out some of the art that is paired with one another in the living room. The central gallery space includes more than 20 masks and two Day of the Dead-themed portraits by multimedia artist Dolan Geiman along with a commanding bird sculpture from Africa. Photos of the house can be found at
Did I mention already that David Montague collects books? His collection of 4,000 books had to be rebuilt from scratch after the fire. The two-story library in his new home includes a fire place with a white plaster representation of the Continental Divide by a local artist and comfortable places to read. In the film tour, David explains that he is collecting some of the original works about the fur trade written by the original mountain men and how that inspired the Continental Divide plaster relief that extends from the first floor of the library to the second floor.
Some of the other interesting features of the house are glass walkways in the upper floor to foster a sense of connections throughout the home, a second-floor coffee bar outside the couple’s master bedroom that opens up to a second floor living room that overlooks the pool in the backyard.
A Red Stove & Day of the Dead Portraits
The pieces that really caught my eye were the red Bertazonni range that gives color to the modern grey-toned kitchen, the 4,000 books (did I say that already?), the two Day of the Dead portraits in the entry hall, and the African Ship sculpture in the living room that is just calling out to be touched.
Okay to Touch
The home does not have a “no touch” policy according to David like a museum would. David says that the art is “pretty much indestructible—they were built for a tribal setting.” As a tactile explorer myself, I am happy to hear that.
Take a look at this beautiful Texas home on the media you like best, or like me, watch, read, and view all three.
This rebuild was way more radical than a standard fix-n-flip, but don’t forget that you too can make a comfortable beautiful home out of a house, one that will hold and display your or your buyer’s treasures. I’m always on the look out for ways to make a fix and flip house stand out.
Let me know if I can be of help to you this month. I can be reached at
Dizik, Alina, 2019, A Texas Home That’s Part Library, Part Gallery, wsj
Maddeaux, Casy Woods, 2019, A Fort Worth home Built Around a Couple’s Collections, wsj photo article.
Alcaraz, Rob, 2019, A Home Built to Be a Live-In Museum and Expansive library, wsj video
Photo credit: Caroistda [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D