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Chateau Lumier: A Magnificent Estate in the Heart of McKinney

Chateau Lumier aerial

Situated in the heart of McKinney, TX is a 15.8 acre estate which has undoubtedly caught the eye and curiosity of many who have traveled along the romantic Gray Branch Road. Built by Dallas’ Sharif & Munir Custom Homes in 2011, with design work by Dallas Design Group, this French-inspired estate, given the name “Chateau Lumier”, is a work of art and craftsmanship. At approximately 15,000 square feet, with 6 bedrooms and 7.3 baths in the main home, and 2 bedrooms and 2 full baths in the attached apartment, the grandness of the estate can only be appreciated in person.

The driveway to the front of the home starts with a 22 ft wide gated entry, winds around the treed property, across the cattle guard, over a 50 x 18 ft former country bridge and pond, and alongside the Longhorn cattle to arrive at the circular drive and picturesque fountain. Upon entering the home, you are greeted by a 26 ft high entry with two beautiful crystal chandeliers and a marble floating staircase and views to the pond and manicured gardens in the back of the home.

You begin the experience of the one-of-a-kind and custom features such as an antique 1845 Communion rail from Tuscany built into the kitchen bar counter, specialty stones like Breccia De Vendome marble from Italy and African Blue granite, numerous custom fireplace mantles, intricate crown moldings, and specialty wall and ceiling finishes. The China and Silver room, just off the kitchen and formal dining, has custom felt-lined drawers, glass cabinet doors, and the most envied cabinet hardware. Two laundry rooms are in the main home as well as one in the apartment. Everyone loves the “Costco” room and the Craft/Wrapping room.

The well-equipped media room has a 123-inch media screen and is located downstairs for ease of use, along with a formal Study and another separate Home Office overlooking the property. Additionally, the master bedroom with separate luxurious closets, a large secondary bedroom, an exercise room or flex room, storm room, and a temperature-controlled 1000 bottle wine room, and two guest powders are located on the first floor. The Otis elevator is ready and waiting to bring you upstairs.

If you need ice or coffee, Chateau Lumier has 5 ice makers and coffee bars throughout the home. Five sets of French doors lead to the patio from the Great room, which is adorned with a cathedral ceiling and massive wood arched beams. One of the favorite rooms of the home is the breakfast room with a bricked ceiling, cozy fireplace, and a Betty Lou Phillips inspired wall of plates. Not to leave out two of the award-winning rooms—the master bath and kitchen are remarkable and elegant.

Entertain and enjoy al fresco dining on the large covered travertine patio and veranda with a Linx stainless grill, cabinets with laminate interiors to prolong life outdoors, two mounted TVs, and a large romantic fireplace while overlooking the manicured gardens and the picturesque cypress-tree-lined pond with a fountain. This Chateau in the middle of the city lives and feels like a country paradise.

Listed by Debra Brown of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty. Call 214-478-7543 for a private showing.

See more photos at

B magazine

What is your furniture saying about you?

They’re not ‘just things,’ as some will try and tell you. Your home furnishings telegraph all kinds of messages and meanings — and not just to those who come to visit. The journalist LEE CULLUM does some translating.

Dining Room Furniture, Home for sale

THE LOOK: 308 Kings Lake Drive, McKinney, Texas (click image to see the home)

“Things contain people.” So said Dallas-born novelist Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey. They also contain ideas, memories, places.

For Hailey, it was all of those when she furnished The English Room at her house in Los Angeles. In it, she put pieces that she and her husband, Oliver Hailey, a playwright, had collected from shops in Rudgwick, West Sussex, for Eames House, a treasure of the 16th century that they bought and renovated. (The kitchen was redone thanks to her phenomenally successful first book, A Woman of Independent Means.) Generously apportioned and with radiant roses in front and back, Eames House was down the street from the pub and the Anglican church. There were bedrooms for everybody: Hailey and her husband; their daughters Kendall and Brooke; his mother, Hallie Mae; and his brother Thomas, stricken with polio as a child but who, from a wheelchair, lavished attention on politics and chess.

“When they first came to Rudgwick,” recalled Mr. Tilley, who sometimes drove the Haileys to theaters in London, “they were so full of life, every one of them.” Hallie Mae lived in the room in L.A. that later would recall Eames House, and now guests enjoy the fold-out bed and the ambience of antiques stores, where the Haileys found a drop-leaf dining table and six chairs — their first purchase — and a chaise longue called a duchess chair, Hailey’s favorite, now in her L.A. living room. Though Eames House has a half-timbered Tudor façade, the family’s taste, Hailey tells me, “ran to Bloomsbury, inspired by Charleston, the farmhouse in East Sussex where Virginia Woolf’s artist sister, Vanessa Bell, lived with, among others, the painter Duncan Grant.”

Dining Room Furniture, Home for sale

THE LOOK: 5131 Shadywood Lane, Dallas, Texas (click image to see the home)

 It is not unusual to find special parts of oneself via another country. Interior designer Emily Summers, in her own Dallas house, has resonated with the elegant restraint of Germany’s Bauhaus modernism and, in her courtyards, with the gardens of Japan. Her styles of furniture, she says, range “from the ’40s to the ’80s.”

Paula Lambert of the Mozzarella Company has infused her new home with the colors and light that I associate with Italy, where she learned to make cheese. A spectacular coffee table, however, began in London at the restaurant NOPI, where Lambert was having dinner. She peeked beneath the tablecloth, admired very much what she saw and sent a photo back to her interior designer, Dan Nelson of Vision Design. Without telling her, Nelson drew a replica as a coffee table and had it built in Dallas.

For biblical scholar Marjorie Currey and her husband, Fred, it’s the Middle East and their enduring hope for its three great religions of the book: Christianity, Judaism and Islam. A magnificent archway leading from the entrance hall to the living room is inscribed thus: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” On the other side is this from the Koran: “There is one God. His name is Allah and Muhammad is his prophet.” Everything in both rooms has been selected to support the idea of cultural convergence.

Then there is Garrett Boone, co-founder of the Container Store and now chairman of TreeHouse, the Dallas and Plano home-improvement stores that are highly focused on green living. The Dallas Morning News featured Boone’s own Walking Table, an irregular slab of wood mounted on slender wood legs with feet moving ahead, filled with purpose, and his Jonah Bed, with its partial canopy inspired by the rib of a fish he found somewhere, hugging the shore. Both of these exuberant creations of his — made in his own woodshop across town — grace the Turtle Creek condominium he shares with his wife, Cecilia.

Furniture style, Dining Room Furniture, Home for sale

THE LOOK: 3821 Beverly Drive, Highland Park, Texas (click image to see the home)

And what could be more inviting than dining in the round, at a table that envelops a group and encourages intimate conversation? Bonnie Wheeler, director of medieval studies at Southern Methodist University, once had a long, splendid groaning board of “diamond mahogany and rosewood French Art Deco,” she explains, with “multiple leaves that could be extended to 22 feet — enough space to have dinners for whole classes of students, but also cozy enough for just a few friends when brought down to its basic size.” All this she traded to a round mahogany table, large enough to seat 12, worthy of King Arthur and his knights, though it’s from the much more recent 18th century.

Gail Thomas, a founding fellow of The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture and the former CEO of The Trinity Trust Foundation, now the Trinity Park Conservancy, and her husband, Bob, a lawyer, have explored plenty of urgent issues at their dark circular table, hand-painted at the center with rich and glorious color. She found it at AOI Home, formerly Art of Old India, in the Dallas Design District years ago and around it has led full and fluent conversations — “soulful conversation,” Thomas would say — ever since.

So, things — especially those that bear witness to our most closely held moments, to our love — do contain people, places, ideas and memories. Our home furnishings testify to our enthusiasms, our emotions, to the quality of our intellect and the lasting impact of our lives.


LEE CULLUM, a Dallas native and Southern Methodist University graduate, is an award-winning journalist and the host of CEO, a series of interviews with business leaders, on KERA. She is a contributor to The Dallas Morning News.



Top 5 Neighborhoods for Your Next Move in North Texas

Photos / Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty

The Elegant Life: Park Cities

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Your neighbors are leaders in society, business and politics — plus executives, influencers, pro athletes and generations of families — in these sophisticated cities. The quintessential American neighborhood, Highland Park was created to be a respite from the stresses of early 19th-century life. Rich in history and legacy, University Park is home to SMU, considered the “Ivy of the South” and a great place for kids to attend summer camps and athletic events. Located just a few miles from downtown Dallas, homes in the Park Cities range from quaint cottages to large estates — all located within blocks of great local and global shopping in unique neighborhood centers.

Explore all that the elegant life has to offer and find your perfect spot in the Park Cities: 

Highland Park    /     University Park 

The Elevated Life: Uptown/Downtown Dallas

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These areas are alive with young professionals, smart-sizers, artists and CEOs — and anyone who loves the high-energy buzz of a city. This is the heart of Dallas’ music, cultural, event and art scenes, from the five-acre Klyde Warren Park to the renowned Arts District. If you’re a foodie, you’ll love the award-winning restaurants and hip bars. Catch a ride on the historic McKinney Avenue trolleys and discover incredible local shops and luxury retailers. Here, it’s all about luxury high-rises, smart live/work spaces, sophisticated mid-rises and convenient townhomes — home to people from all walks of life.

Explore the elevated life and find your perfect spot in Uptown/Downtown. 

The Energetic Life: The North

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It’s one of the most desirable areas in the United States: safe, sophisticated and perfect for executives, professionals, young families and smart-sizers. There are award-winning schools, bustling city centers and vibrant green spaces — all within a booming business scene. Discover Plano, home to major corporations and boasting parks, ball fields and recognized schools, plus a wide array of shopping, dining and community organizations for every lifestyle. Frisco is home to professional soccer and the vibrant Frisco Square, filled with shops, restaurants and entertainment. Just 25 minutes from DFW and Love Field airports, homes in The North are spacious and gracious — in architectural styles from traditional to tomorrow.

Explore the energetic life and find your perfect spot in The North: 

Plano     /     Frisco     /      McKinney

The Easy Life: Lakewood

There is an unmistakable vibe to Lakewood: Foodies, hipsters, yuppies, artists, grandparents and kiddos happily mix and mingle in this community known for outdoor activities and community support. Money magazine called it one of the top 10 best big-city neighborhoods in America and noted its beautiful setting on the rolling hills next to White Rock Lake. Lakewood is a community that embraces nature, with that sparkling lake and its 15 miles of trails and many tributaries serving as a giant playground to those who live and visit here. Many of the neighborhoods’ iconic homes were built in the 1920s — mixed today with architecturally sensitive charmers and the occasional cool contemporary.

Explore the easy life and find your perfect spot in Lakewood.

The Educated Life: Southlake

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Just minutes from downtown Dallas, Southlake is known for its exemplary public schools and its Friday-night lights. It’s a place where the whole town comes together in the fall to cheer on the Carroll High School Dragons football team, which has won the state championship multiple times. Ranked among the best neighborhoods for families with children by The Dallas Morning News, here you can hike, bike or fish at one of nearly 20 local parks — or you can take the kids to nearby Milwaukee Joe’s Gourmet Ice Cream in the Southlake Town Square for a cone. From year-round golf to sophisticated shopping, Southlake is also a popular executive-relocation town, just minutes from DFW Airport and with easy access to all things Dallas. There is a home here for everyone, especially if you like new construction and custom-built traditional homes.

Explore the educated life and find your perfect spot in Southlake.


Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty is a luxury brokerage headquartered in North Texas. Its award-winning agents, serving clients from offices in Dallas, Fort Worth, Southlake, Lakewood, Uptown, The North and The Ballpark, achieved a record-breaking sales volume of $3.2 billion in 2016. Independently owned and operated by president and CEO Robbie Briggs, the firm specializes in the purchase and sale of significant properties, from historic and contemporary to waterfront, ranch and land. The company’s deep-rooted connections, superior marketing resources and global strategies, as part of the $95 billion Sotheby’s International Realty network, bring the extraordinary to every client.

Beauty, Just Listed

Just Listed in North Texas 3.21.2017 {Video}

Photos and video / Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty

The Spring market has begun in North Texas! Take a look at these beautiful properties in Fort Worth, Dallas, McKinney, Highland Park and more!

1201 Stetson Lane | Graford 

1201 Stetson Lane | Graford | Listed by John Zimmerman living

Listed by John Zimmerman 

9963 Boat Club Road | Fort Worth 

9963 Boat Club Road | Fort Worth | Listed by Bip Nauta living

Listed by Bip Nauta 

1301 Throckmorton Street #2004 | Downtown Fort Worth 

1301 Throckmorton Street #2004 | Downtown Fort Worth | Listed by Allison Hayden living

Listed by Allison Hayden 

2821 Harlanwood Drive | Fort Worth 

2821 Harlanwood Drive | Fort Worth | Listed by Carley Moore living

Listed by Carley Moore 

300 Park Lake Drive | McKinney 

300 Park Lake Drive | McKinney | Listed by Debra Brown living

Listed by Debra Brown 

4229 Arcady Avenue | Highland Park 

4229 Arcady Avenue | Highland Park | Listed by Susan Marcus

Listed by Susan Marcus 

3405 Princeton Avenue | Highland Park 

3405 Princeton Avenue | Highland Park | Listed by Vicki White sitting

Listed by Vicki White 

3912 Holland Avenue | Turtle Creek 

3912 Holland Avenue | Turtle Creek | Listed by Nancy Dunning living

Listed by Nancy Dunning  

Explore these neighborhoods and more at

For more luxury homes throughout North Texas, see President and CEO Robbie Briggs independently owns and operates Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty with offices in  Dallas,  Fort Worth Cultural District,  Fort Worth-Mira Vista,  UptownLakewoodSouthlakeThe North, Ranch and Land, Ranch and Land West, and The Ballpark.  

Beauty, Buzz

Homebuyers Rush to North Dallas Neighborhoods

5601 Banister Court . Photos / Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty

Welcoming communities, beautiful homes, exemplary schools, and roads that are relatively traffic-free – these are just some of the factors making neighborhoods to the north so attractive to homebuyers.   

“I’ve described the growth in this area as graceful, and it’s making Plano, Frisco and the neighboring communities wonderful places to live,” said Robbie Briggs, president and CEO of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty.

Continue Reading…

Beauty, Just Listed

Just Listed in North Texas 1.16.2017 {Video}

Photos and video / Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty

Lots of stunning luxury homes just listed in North Texas- including Fort Worth, Southlake, Dallas, Park Cities and more.

3408 Hamilton Avenue | Monticello | Fort Worth 

3408 Hamilton Avenue 76107, Monticello, Moses Druxman, Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty home for sale-exterior

Listed by Moses Druxman 

1309 Biltmore Drive | Southlake

1309 Biltmore Drive 76092, Southlake, Marilyn Newton, Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty home for sale- kitchen

 Listed by Marilyn Newton 

6291 Douglas Avenue | Frisco 

6291 Douglas Avenue 75034, Frisco, Patti Winchester, Maureen Steitle, Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty home for sale-sitting

Listed by Patti Winchester and Maureen Steitle 

4016 Park Lane | North Dallas

4016 Park Lane 75220, North Dallas, Ashli Clements, Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty home for sale-exterior

 Listed by Ashli Clements 

11714 Pine Forest Drive | North Dallas

11714 Pine Forest Drive 75230, North Dallas, Pogir, Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty home for sale-exterior

Listed by Pogir 

4915 Nashwood Lane | North Dallas

4915 Nashwood Lane 75244, North Dallas, Chad Schulin, Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty home for sale-entry

 Listed by Chad Schulin 

5611 Caruth Boulevard | Devonshire | Dallas

5611 Caruth Boulevard 75209, Devonshire, Dallas, Elizabeth Hutchison, Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty home for sale-sitting

 Listed by Elizabeth Hutchison 

3648 Mcfarlin Boulevard | University Park

3648 Mcfarlin Boulevard 75205, University Park, Jennifer Miller, Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty home for sale-exterior

 Listed by Jennifer Miller 

6468 Anita Street | Lakewood | Dallas 

6468 Anita Street | Lakewood, 75214-exterior

Listed by Tessa Mosteller and Lucinda Buford 

6032 Richmond Avenue | Lower Greenville | Dallas 

6032 Richmond Avenue 75206, Lower Greenville, Missy Woehr, Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty home for sale-living

Listed by Missy Woehr 

1999 Mckinney Avenue #404 | Uptown Dallas

1999 Mckinney Avenue #404 75201, Uptown Dallas, Missy Woehr, Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty home for sale-living

Listed by Missy Woehr 

Explore these neighborhoods and more. Visit the Best Neighborhoods Site in DFW.

For more luxury homes throughout North Texas, see President and CEO Robbie Briggs independently owns and operates Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty with offices in  Dallas,  Fort Worth Cultural District,  Fort Worth-Mira Vista,  UptownLakewoodSouthlakeThe North, Ranch and Land, Ranch and Land West, and The Ballpark.