Bella Vita Custom Homes Blog

Willis Wine Rack: The Application of Technology to an American Classic

Categories: Custom and Intelligent Design | Posted: October 25, 2014

Willis Wine Rack

   From the beginning, Bella Vita Custom Homes has utilized the latest software in computer-aided design (CAD). While these computer programs are typically used for graphical representation and more efficient document production, current technologies allow for three dimensional, detailed simulation at any scale. Not only does this result in a more refined product, but it also provides a strong foundation for innovation and enhanced communication from concept to finish product.

   Alongside computer-aided design is computer-aided manufacturing (CAM). This is a digital fabrication process where the designer/engineer enters information into the CAD software, and then controls the manufacturing through a specific machine (CNC router, 3D printer, laser cutter, water jet, etc.). The benefits in using these technologies include fabrication efficiency, pinpoint precision, creating identical units, reducing material waste, and more overall control.

Bella Vita Custom Homes is a company comprised of many individuals from different backgrounds and career paths. The beauty of this condition is the diverse experiences, perspectives and talents collaborating to offer the clients the best the industry has to offer. It so happens that members of the architectural design team also have a strong background in CAD/CAM technologies, and it was decided to utilize this skill set by offering one-of-a-kind, functional installations for the clients.

     Bella Vita‘s newest available residence located on 5424 Willis Avenue in the M Streets, was selected to receive a unique CAD/CAM installation to serve as a functional art piece causing an unexpected moment of interest. After considering different concepts for the design installation within this true American craftsman home, a wine rack was chosen. Herein below describes the design approach, the design concept, and the fabrication process of the innovative “Willis Wine Rack” project.

5424 Willis Avenue

Design Approach:

      The Craftsman style is heavily defined by simplicity and use of “honest” materials; respect for the natural. While it embodies the essence of modern design, it pulls from traditional methods of construction. It is also influenced by Japanese design, not only for the materialtiy and simplicity, but more so on the science of joinery. Lastly, Craftsman furniture is more than just aesthetic, it is functional.

Key characteristics of the Craftsman style are:
* Heavy “structural” design
* Sturdy, natural wood
* Clean, straight lines
* Recti linearity
* Vertical slats
* Emphasize joinery
* Corbel supports
* Little to no ornamentation
* Horizontality

Willis Wine Rack

Design Concept:

The design concept was to develop a craftsman influenced, functional wine rack that will maintain the interest level when not stocked. With the space for the installation being taller than it is wide, horizontality is emphasized throughout with the orientation of wine bottles, wooden slats, and light boxes. The vertical structural units will be twice the thickness of the horizontal slats to imply “sturdiness” as well as provide better support for the wine bottles. The material will be similar to the wood used to make the kitchen cabinets, which also helps maintain the “respect the natural” craftsman theme. The primary joinery system will be slot connections.

Willis Wine Rack

    A major influence for this wine rack is the variety of craftsman style light fixtures. Frank Lloyd Wright often used geometric designs inspired by organic patterns, such as leaf veins. For this design, we chose an organic form of organization known as “voronoi” to develop the patterns and three dimensional texture of the light boxes. Voronoi is a system that is derived using a pre-set number of points, or generators, and for each one there is a corresponding region containing all points closer to that generator than to the others. For example, soap bubbles in compression naturally organize themselves developing voronoi patterns. This is an interesting concept because they form a 3 dimensional, structural lattice system, which can be seen in the 2008 Olympic water cube. The voronoi concept can also be found on giraffes, turtle shells, reptile skin, and leaves. In this installation we took it a step further and added a second voronoi layer that will only be seen when the light is on.

Willis Wine Rack

Fabrication Process:

   For consultation and fabrication, Bella Vita looked to TOPOCAST LAB, which specializes in the CAD/CAM process and is directly affiliated with The University of Texas at Arlington School of Architecture. This turned out to be a very effective, collaborative partnership from start to finish. An advantage of digital fabrication is the ability to meticulously control the material efficiency and assembly process. The machine chosen for fabrication is the CNC (computer numerical controlled) router, which essentially carves material with a robotic arm. Below is an image of a preliminary cut sheet sized to fit a standard 8×4 sheet of plywood. This is an example of how the pieces are arranged to limit the amount of wasted material without losing the desired computational precision.

Willis Wine Rack

With the speed and efficiency of the CAM process, more testing can be done to make appropriate calibrations. This is extremely helpful when fabricating slot connections as it allows you total control of tolerances. Here are images of from the testing process:

Willis Wine Rack

Willis Wine Rack

    We hope to have sparked your curiosity with this glimpse of a uniquely designed installation you won’t find anywhere else. The final product will be on display at our Open House on Saturday, October 25th and on Sunday, October 26th where it will be fully stocked with wine! For more information, please visit the Open House Event or call 214.750.8482 to set up a private viewing of this extraordinary installation within this Bella Vita Custom Home.

Live Beautifully,

Bella Vita Custom Homes

Bella Vita Custom Homes Host Open House Event at its’ Newest American Craftsman Home on 5424 Willis Avenue!

Categories: Custom and Intelligent Design, News, Recent Events | Posted: October 24, 2014

5424 Willis Avenue

Texas’ leading luxury custom home builder, Bella Vita Custom Homes, is thrilled to unveil its’ newest American craftsman residence located in the M Streets on 5424 Willis Avenue. As one of fifteen custom homes currently available, Bella Vita will host this open house event Saturday, October 25th and Sunday, October 26th. Mimosas and gourmet pastries will be offered from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 pm on Saturday, and from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm on Sunday. Those who can attend later in the day will be treated to wine and cheese from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm on both days.

At 4,148 square feet and listing for $869,990, this custom home is a true classic American craftsman. The exterior of the home has a front porch, with stone bases beneath tapered wooden pillars, exposed rafter tails, layered rooflines and a standing-seam metal roof. Inside, the floor plan is as bold and innovative as the exterior is nostalgic. Designed for entertaining, upon opening the front door an unbroken 53-foot vista is revealed stretching from the living area through to the rear of the kitchen. The eye, however, returns to the dining area, which is in part separated from the kitchen by a digitally fabricated, custom-built, wine cellar “wall.”

The design concept was to develop a craftsman influenced, functional wine rack” says the Bella Vita‘s architect. “By utilizing the latest software in computer-aided design and computer aided manufacturing, this unique installation will serve as a functional art piece causing an unexpected moment of interest within this classic American home.

Gracious hosting is further augmented by the large kitchen with island and bar with access to the open courtyard. The secluded master suite beyond the kitchen features a vast walk-in closet with twin bays for his and hers, and a sumptuous bathroom with twin basins, and both shower and garden tub. Upstairs, three bedrooms share the space with a two-room game and media suite.

A perfect combination of traditional Craftsman bungalow on the outside, and a dramatic and innovative traffic flow within. Traditionally, in the 1920s and ’30s, bungalows often extended deep into their narrow city lots, and Bella Vita has equally chosen to maximize this prime lot, only 3 miles north of the heart of downtown Dallas.

To attend the open house event, take US-75 to exit North Henderson Avenue/Knox Street. Head west on Knox Street and turn left onto Willis Avenue. In half a mile, the home is located on the right.

For additional information regarding the open house event at 5424 Willis Avenue, call 214-750-8482 or visit

Live Beautifully,

Bella Vita Custom Homes

Bella Vita Custom Homes Reflects on an Event to Remember!

Categories: Recent Events | Posted: October 16, 2014

Bella Vita Custom Homes Lakeway Model Home

Bella Vita Custom Homes is still rejoicing over the success of our Lakeway Show Home grand opening! Bella Vita homeowners, prospective homeowners, real estate agents, community members and other guests enjoyed delicious hors d’oeuvres, fine wine and an intimate performance by Bob Schneider! During the event, Bella Vita Sales Executives provided guests tours of the custom home to attain a better sense of our sophisticated style and timeless design.

Lakeway Show Home Grand Opening    At 6,400-square-feet, this Mediterranean estate leaves lots of room for luxury: a brilliantly illumined circular stairway in the grand foyer; an open, beam-ceilinged family room that doubles in size through three sets of French doors leading to the courtyard and infinity pool; a regal, groin-vaulted passageway to an exclusive Master Suite occupying an entire wing of the house; two additional family bedrooms (plus the casita), two-story library with a spiral stair to a wrap-around balcony connecting to a fully appointed lounge with wet bar; a vast upstairs game room connecting to a roomy media suite, and a roof-top veranda on the third level, accessible from the three-stop elevator, that offers expansive views of the lake area.Lakeway Grand Opening!

The Lakeway Show Home provides guests the opportunity to actually see, feel and touch the quality craftsmanship that Bella Vita is known for. Located on 409 Rough Hollow Cove, Lakeway, Texas 78734, this custom home is open Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and on Sundays from 12 pm to 6pm. We encourage guests to visit our newest show home to experience the sensation of living beautifully.

Bella Vita Custom Homes would like to thank all those who attended the event and made the grand opening a weekend to remember!


Live Beautifully,


Bella Vita Custom Homes

Bella Vita Custom Homes Host Open House Event at 4007 Lively Lane!

Categories: Custom and Intelligent Design, New Home Efficiency and Performance, News, Recent Events, Uncategorized | Posted: October 3, 2014

FULL for PRINT (2)

Texas’ leading custom builder, Bella Vita Custom Homes, is inviting prospective clients to view its newest available custom home at 4007 Lively Lane in Midway Hollow Saturday, October 4th and on Sunday, October 5th. Mimosas and gourmet pastries will be offered from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday and from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. For those interested in afternoon tours, wine will be served from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on both days.

At these events, Bella Vita Sales Executives will provide tours of this classic tile-roofed Mediterranean villa. At 4,496 square feet, this custom home is designed for entertaining. Upon entering the home, guests are welcomed into a dramatic two-story entry foyer, with a staircase visible past the formal dining room to the right. To the left of the entry, a colossal window floods the study with light.

The heart of the house beyond the foyer invites informal entertaining in an open living area with fireplace, a roomy kitchen with island bar and Viking appliances, an arch to the breakfast room, and French windows onto a large covered terrace. The terrace opens onto a generous side-yard, which is preserved by having the three car garage accessed from the alley.The boundary between formal and informal living is defined by a butler’s serving pantry that connects the kitchen to the dining room, and to the left of the foyer, bartender’s access to the fully appointed wet bar with pass-through to the living room.

With four bedrooms and four and a half bathrooms, the luxurious master suite occupies the whole west wing. Reached through a corridor past the bartender station and powder room, the master suite features his and her walk-in closets, a relaxing bath with twin basins and both shower and garden bathtub. Upstairs three family bedrooms, each with full bath and walk-in closet, cluster about a private corridor that extends north from the most fun space of all: a spacious game room, with double doors leading into the media suite.

This is a custom home for all seasons, a family seat to be inherited for generations, and lists for $974,900.

To attend the event, exit Walnut Hill Lane from Dallas North Tollway. Travel west on Walnut Hill Lane for approximately 1.7 miles and turn left onto Midway Road. In half a mile, turn right onto Lively Lane. The home is located on the right in .5 miles.

For more information regarding this custom home, please call 214-750-8482 or visit the website at

Live Beautifully,

Bella Vita Custom Homes

Bella Vita Custom Homes Presents Bella Vita Custom Remodeling!

Categories: Creating Value, Custom and Intelligent Design, News, Recent Events, Remodeling | Posted: September 26, 2014


Award-winning Bella Vita Custom Homes is thrilled to announce that it is expanding its luxury home construction, and establishing a new division: Bella Vita Custom Remodeling.

Bella Vita will be hosting an event to present this service to the public at its luxury show home at 6830 Waggoner Drive in Dallas on Saturday, September 27th and on Sunday, September 28th. Mimosas and gourmet pastries will be offered from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday and from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Sunday. Those who can attend later in the day will be treated to wine and cheese from 2:00 6:00 p.m. on both days.

At these events, Bella Vita‘s newly-named Director of Remodeling, Jason Bailey, will host an informal information session on the company’s full-service remodeling division, which includes two full time ASID accredited interior designers, two full time architects, two showcase model homes in Preston Hollow, and cutting-edge financing programs with rates as low as Prime +1% for a residential remodel. Bella Vita Architects will also be in attendance to provide the first ten potential customers free conceptual plans!

As the leading custom builder of Texas, this expansion into remodeling is a natural fit for Bella Vita. It has grown exponentially each year, while establishing a reputation for integrity, honesty, and superb quality. Because vendors and contractors compete to associate with them, Bella Vita receives the best prices on goods and services, and now this benefit can be passed on to clients who envision a remodel, but do not wish to move from their present home.

Bella Vita Custom Homes has become known for several trademark features in its luxury homes: luxuriously appointed master suites, awe-inspiring studies (often with a second-story library balcony), open-entertaining living areas ideal for entertaining, fully equipped outdoor living areas mirroring the indoor, and recreational suites containing a game room and home theatre. Now clients can acquire these and other features in their existing homes, via additions, attic finish-out, or even redesigning the entire present interior. All will be revealed at the Bella Vita event this weekend!

Come witness the beginning of Bella Vita Custom Home Remodeling‘s journey. For further information regarding Bella Vita Custom Homes Remodeling, call 214.750.8482 or visit

Live Beautifully,

Bella Vita Custom Homes

Bella Vita Custom Homes is Excited to Present Grand Opening of Lakeway Show Home!

Categories: Creating Value, Custom and Intelligent Design, New Home Efficiency and Performance, News, Recent Events | Posted: September 20, 2014

Bella Vita - Rough Hollow

For a truly custom, luxury home experience, you simply cannot miss this weekend’s spotlight Grand Opening for Bella Vita Custom Homes‘ newest masterpiece in Lakeway.

Guests will enjoy mimosas and pastries, wine and cheese while touring the breathtaking 5,700-square-foot sprawling Mediterranean throughout the event held on Saturday, September 20th from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday, September 21st. Renowned classical string quartet, Terra Vista Strings, will perform in the show home’s courtyard and complimentary valet service will be provided on both days.

This custom home, located at 409 Rough Hollow Cove in Lakeway, is built for entertaining, both inside and out. The grand foyer leads to a spacious living area with built-in, beautiful ceiling beams and an elegant wine cellar tucked to the side. Three sets of French doors move the flow from inside to out, where a rear courtyard houses a grilling area with raised hearth. Adding to the elegance, an infinity pool extends from the courtyard and blends in with the natural beauty of Lake Travis.

Only three family bedrooms (plus the casita) in a house of this size leaves a lot of room for luxury: a brilliantly illuminated circular stairway in the grand foyer; the expansive and elegantly detailed living area; a regal, groin-vaulted passageway to a well-appointed master suite that occupies an entire wing of the house; two-story study with a spiral stair to a wrap-around library balcony, a vast upstairs pool terrace connected to a roomy theatre, and through a hinged swinging bookcase-door to a fully appointed lounge with wet bar. And there’s even an elevator to a third-floor veranda that offers expansive views of the lake area.

“As Texas’ leading custom builder, Bella Vita is a pioneer in providing a team approach to custom home building. The team of skilled builders, seasoned sales professionals and a multifaceted management team have maintained a reputation of integrity, honesty and superb quality among the industry,” said Andy Clem, the company’s CEO. “Bella Vita Custom Homes is skilled in their efficient, green construction methods and are known for their fine subcontractors and quality materials.”

To attend the Grand Opening of the Lakeway Show Home, valued at $1,800,000, take RM 620 and exit on Lakeway Boulevard. Turn left onto World of Tennis Square and continue onto Highlands Boulevard. Turn right on Rough Hollow Drive and take the third left onto Rough Hollow Cove.

For more information about the Grand Opening and Bella Vita Custom Homes, call 512-988-9667 or visit

Bella Vita Custom Homes Presents 4136 Dunhaven!

Categories: Custom and Intelligent Design, News, Recent Events | Posted: September 5, 2014



dunhaven color elevation

This turreted château in Midway Hollow features the stone, stucco and half-timber front authentic to the French countryside. The kitchen-dining-family room combination creates a large entertainment complex that opens out to the covered terrace with an outdoor fireplace. Beyond the family room, the secluded master suite features a vast walk-in closet with twin bays for his and hers, a sumptuous bathroom with twin basins, and both shower and garden tub. Upstairs, three bedrooms share the space with a game room, full wet bar, media suite and homework loft to ensure schooling comes first! A perfect combination of traditional French countryside on the outside, and a dramatic and innovative traffic flow within. Listing for $1,090,000, this custom home is available now and will be move-in ready spring of 2015!

For more information regarding 4136 Dunhaven Road, please contact our exceptional Sales Professionals at 214-750-8482.

Live Beautifully,

Bella Vita Custom Homes

Bella Vita Custom Homes Presents 5235 Richard Avenue!

Categories: Custom and Intelligent Design, News | Posted: August 24, 2014

5235 Richard Color Elevation

Among the world of different architectural styles in which Americans choose to build their homes, few have been more popular over many years than the English half-timber. This style had its origins in the Middle Ages. Building stone was expensive, but English forests were full of massive, ancient oak trees. They were felled, and logs were “halved,” or squared off, and used to construct a wooden crib whose sides were filled in with wattle-and-daub–branches or reeds covered with clay or plaster. As the technique was mastered, smaller oak braces and other purely decorative members were added. By the 1600’s, they achieved fantastical designs.

In the cities, these half-timber homes often had narrow fronts on the street because people were taxed based on the width of their houses. Eventually, brick became plentiful and popular, giant oak trees became scarce, and what was left was needed to build ships. Today, few ancient oak trees remain; even Robin Hood’s Sherwood Forest is now mostly a golf course.

Half-timber construction was rediscovered by 19th century Victorians who imitated the style, which was appropriated by Americans–only now, the half-timbering itself was no longer structural, and became a decorative homage to the inventiveness of past centuries. Bella Vita Custom Homes embraces that tradition with this charming offering at 5235 Richard Avenue. The house is only 34 feet wide facing the street, with a winder staircase just inside the entry–both features authentic to the style–but from there modern functionality takes over. Just off the stairs one encounters a vast, 40-foot long open living area that terminates in a roomy kitchen with island/bar, and the stairs lead up to a game room next to an enclosed home theatre and media center–an ingenious upstairs-downstairs entertainment suite.

A private wing beyond the kitchen contains the restful master’s retreat, whose bath features dual basins, a sunken garden tub and separate shower, and a walk-in closet nearly as large as the bedchamber. A service corridor off the kitchen leads past an efficient enfilade of walk-in pantry, powder room, laundry room, and storage lockers to the 2-car garage, which is accessed from the alley. Upstairs, three family bedrooms each with private bath and walk-in closet are grouped about the game and media suite.
With incomparable curb appeal, this home features 4,010 square feet of luxurious, hearty living for only $862,150.

For more information regarding 5235 Richard, please contact our Sales Executives at 214-750-8482.

Live Beautifully,

Bella Vita Custom Homes

Luxurious Lake Living is Closer Than You Think

Categories: Custom and Intelligent Design, News, Recent Events | Posted: August 16, 2014

LBE Entrance Sign

As the population of Dallas-Fort Worth passes 6.7 million people, its busiest and most accomplished residents now ask the same question one hears in Houston and Austin: where can we move to have quiet and open space, but still be within easy reach of the city? Bella Vita Custom Homes, the award-winning luxury custom home builder of Dallas-Fort Worth and Central Texas, knows the answer and is excited to present Laguna Bay Estates: the ultimate lakefront custom home community. The exclusive 50-lot waterfront development is just 20 minutes northwest from downtown Fort Worth and one hour from downtown Dallas. This secluded waterfront development resides on the outskirts of Azle, on the shores of Eagle Mountain Lake. Laguna Bay Estates is ideal for the accomplished who crave the serenity of waterfront living while remaining close to the city.

In celebration of this spectacular development, Bella Vita is hosting an exclusive event and providing special lot pricing this weekend only! Bella Vita Custom Homes will unveil the conceptual rendering of their first Hill Country, Napa Farmhouse style Show Home, providing visitors an example of the quality Bella Vita envisions for the Laguna Bay Estates community.

Mimosas and pastries will be served from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Saturday, August 16th and from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM on Sunday, August 17th. Those who can attend later in the day will be treated to beer, wine, and cheese from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM on both days. Bella Vita‘s exceptional Sales Executives will be on hand to answer questions about the development and their distinguished building program. Guests are encouraged to take advantage of the special event lot price offerings as they enjoy Laguna Bays’ breathtaking lake views.

To attend the event & visit Laguna Bay Estates, from Dallas, take I-30 W to Jim Wright Fwy/NW Loop 820 in Fort Worth, exit 9 from I-820 N, follow Highway 199 in Azle, exit FM 730/Boyd. Turn right on Sandy Beach Road. Then turn right on Power Squadron Road. Follow Power Squadron to the entrance of Laguna Bay Estates located at 1504 Laguna Bay N, Azle, TX 76020.

For more information regarding the event and Laguna Bay Estates, contact Nick Avila at 682-808-3972 or visit

Bella Vita Custom Homes Presents 5726 Kenwood Avenue!

Categories: News, Recent Events | Posted: August 9, 2014

5726 Kenwood Ave Color Elevation

A full package of Bella Vita amenities awaits behind this gracious Mediterranean front. At 4,104 square feet, this home boasts 4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms, library/study, loft, game room, media room, covered terrace and 2 car garage. The floor plan emphasizes functional efficiency, with the downstairs entertainment combination of open kitchen, courtyard, dining and family rooms leading upstairs to the game and media suite. The luxurious master suite downstairs, and family bedrooms upstairs, are cleverly secluded from the festivities. Host in or dine out: this Mediterranean home is located in the M Streets and is walking distance from Dallas’ best boutique restaurants and vibrant night life! Available now and listing for $849,990!

For more information, please contact our exceptional Sales Executives at 214-750-8482.

Live Beautifully,

Bella Vita Custom Homes