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Wimberly, Texas, is an easy jaunt from San Antonio, Austin and Houston; a charming and eclectic hill town with a diverse population of 3000. Houston residents Dana Foster and Storm Lippman approached the Burleson Design Group there with a dream: to build a weekend getaway that would one day serve as their retirement home.
The couple wanted a home that would incorporate green elements, suit the surrounding landscape, and, perhaps most challenging, they envisioned a setup that could “expand” with an influx of guests or allow husband and wife to cocoon and save energy and resources when it was just the two of them.
The four structures on the property are connected by breezeways (except for the most recent addition—the contemporary barn with its stylish silo) and each has an independent water heater and air conditioning, enabling flexibility of use while conserving precious resources. Reclaimed red barn wood lends nostalgic warmth to the main structure’s great room, kitchen and master bedroom.
The retro charm of corrugated metal siding, stained concrete floors and industrial lighting is offset by the rich, dignified patina of old cedar wood beam ceilings along with a mesquite mantel over the Texas limestone hearth. The Great Room’s expansive windows offer views of both the hill country and its abundant wildlife that includes wild turkeys, foxes and deer. The built-in media center was designed by architect Rick Burleson of Burleson Design Group in Wimberley, who spearheaded the design of the ranch with the help of David Costea. The richly patterned rug is from Hill Country Interiors in San Antonio; the leather hair-on-hide recliners were found at The Arrangement in Houston.
The warmth of the kitchen is enhanced by the reclaimed red barn wood and the sienna stain of the poured concrete floors. A turquoise trimmed screen door was found in an antique store in Waco and serves as the pantry door. The kitchen cabinets and drawers are topped with Silestone. Light fixtures were sourced from TriCity Electric in New Braunsfel, Texas. A farmhouse sink completes the ambience of the cozy, but efficient space.
The property benefits from stunning vistas in every direction. With respect for the natural surroundings, the exterior stonework and indoor hearths feature Texas limestone, anchoring the main house, guest suite, garage and barn to the land on which they were built.
The Master bedroom and deck look out over the forty three acres that make up the ranch. The wall behind the bed is tilted, creating a slant that allows the couple to enjoy the sunset without having to move an inch!
A burnout cowhide chaise is from The Arrangement. The bed’s sunset-hued coverlet is from the Crow’s Nest, an antique store in Houston. A print on canvas hangs over the fireplace, and it’s hearth is accented by turquoise vases from The Arbor Gate, Houston’s premier garden destination.
The hair-on-hide vanity and mirror were custom designed for the ranch.
The stylish barn was built to expand the family’s play space. It features a husband’s workshop for Storm and is home to his tractor—as well as a finished interior media room and game room, plus a full kitchen for entertaining. The silo was the ingenious invention of Architect Rick Burleson, who designed it in response to Dana’s need for a balcony off the sleeping loft.
The vibrant blue truck (whose bed actually serves as a guest bed) that takes center stage in the stylized barn once had its home in an Old Navy store. It now happily shares space with pool and ping pong tables. The industrial lighting is from TriCity Electric.
The owner’s son, Thomas Foster, contributed many design ideas for the interior of the barn, including the whimsical folded over quilts unique to each bed, which were custom made at High Fashion Home. The tufted headboards were sourced from West Elm Home Décor. The floors are pine, stained a white grey. The practical and pretty church pew came from a chapel in Mesquite.
The expert and imaginative use of natural building elements coupled with landscape architect Deborah Johnson’s intelligent vision for a drought tolerant and serene setting melded perfectly with Dana and Storm’s desire to use what was indigenous to the country around them.
(Originally published in the September/October 2012 issue of Cowgirl Magazine).