Christina Dandar of ‘The Potted Boxwood’ is Putting a Spotlight on Dallas Architecture
After graduating from Southern Methodist University in 2010, Christina Dandar had a choice to make. Would she pursue her childhood dream of becoming a teacher? Or would she chase her creative endeavors in design school? 10 years later, Dandar has largely achieved both, thanks in part to Instagram.
Initially, Dandar chose the educational path – currently she works as a third grade teacher at the West Dallas Community School. While studying for her Masters in Primary Education at SMU, she took a stroll through the park towns with some friends. “I noticed the landscaping and the lush, chic factor around Dallas,” she said. “The city just has this beautifully curated aesthetic.” She started her blog “The Potted Boxwood” and the following Instagram page to highlight eye-catching, traditional facades, bright doors and timeless interiors in the city. “Dallas has so many beautiful houses, but I feel like it’s being overshadowed a bit,” she says.
“The Potted Boxwood” definitely shines a light. Since her blog started in 2014, her lively doors and ivy-covered outsides have garnered nearly 90,000 Instagram followers, including Southern Living, Town & Country, and private label Serena & Lily.
What makes an insta-worthy appearance? Though Dandar most often captures doors (she considers them “eyes into the soul of the house”), she also wants to highlight the little things: a paint, a window with shutters, a potted box on the step.
Dandar doesn’t want The Potted Boxwood to be a cookie cutter lifestyle blog. Rather, she wants to appeal to her online audience with authenticity, charm and posts that celebrate the beauty of architecture. “I’m not in a position to judge houses,” she says. “I try to keep it positive because my job is to inspire, not to criticize.”
She started a hashtag, #ChicInDallas, to keep an eye on her local finds. How she discovers her motives is all pretty organic. “I could walk past a house a million times and one day I’ll find that the light hits it differently, or that it has a new landscape that makes it look more open, and I need to take a picture,” says Dandar.
And although she has since added new cities to her feed (there are now #ChicInFlorida and #ChicInNantucket), the St. Petersburg native admits she prefers the local Dallas architecture. “I came up with the hashtag because I don’t think people appreciate it [the architecture in] Dallas, ”she said. “I think we have to do more to share the beauty here.”