Having looked at dozens of Dallas addresses while house-hunting four years ago, the current resident knew she’d found a home before she got beyond the entry foyer. Indeed, the visually engaging split stairway, the leaded-glass bay window, the period light fixture, and the original pocket doors of that front room are all to be admired.

A sense of whimsy is evident in the dining room, where the original beamed ceiling is set off by a metal-chained chandelier, teal walls, and comically high-backed dining chairs. Beyond the dining room, the den – which was not in the original floorplan – looks out onto an inviting deck and garden. Also out back, what was once a single-story garage now has guest quarters stacked on top; this addition probably came about in the 1940s.

The house was built in 1911 for Susan and Graham Stearns; he was expert in road-building and eventually owned an explosives company downtown on Jackson Street. Ms. Stearns outlived him by some 17 years and upon her death in 1955 the house was advertised “to settle estate – $11,500.” The home underwent its most significant renovation in the 1980s – there’s a photo album of the work – and the next undertaking is a remodel of the kitchen.