The San Saba Garden Club will hold its annual Christmas Tour of Homes on Sunday, December 13, 2009 from 1 to 5 pm. There are three homes and a guesthouse featured on this tour of homes focusing on the Bend area. Tickets are available from any garden club member, or from Sugarbaker’s (325) 372-3484, or Arrowhead Bank (325) 372-5183, or from any stop along the tour. Pre-purchased tickets are $9, or purchased on the tour they are $10. No food or beverages should be brought into the homes on the tour, but Garden Club members will be serving refreshments at Alamosa Wine Cellars. Look for signs and red and green balloons that mark each stop on the tour.
Burgess home, on FM 501, 1 mile south of FM 580:
Bill and Becky Burgess have lived at the Bend since 1992 raising Brangus cattle. The Burgess ranch home, built in 2007, is a sprawling 3 bedroom, 2 bath compound with an enormous craft room and separate office connected by breezeways, plus a spectacular greenhouse. The home features thick stone walls with numerous archways and high beamed ceilings. The interiors are decorated in a charming blend of French country and ranch style. Katie, Morgan and Jessie (a Border collie and two Labrador retrievers) will be brushed and ready to serve as greeters for the occasion.
McHenry home, 1353 CR 432:
When they retired in the late 1990s, Lynn and Mike McHenry wanted to live in the Texas Hill Country. Mike discovered their beautiful 115-acre property on Cherokee Creek with its 1940 vintage German/Texas rock cottage while on a business trip through the area. You will find the house buffered from the road by a winding stucco and sandstone wall. The original home exterior is finished in multicolored local sandstone stonework, which is predominantly still intact after the McHenrys made a few additions and expansions. On mild days, the McHenry’s enjoy spending time entertaining on their sprawling patio under the shade of a cluster of live oak trees, enjoying the refreshing breezes, or tending their magnificent side gardens beside the rustic old 1870s barn, and grilling from their custom-built outdoor kitchen — accented with reclaimed wood cabinets, colorful Mexican tiles, and concrete countertops. The patio, which overlooks a pasture and an old smokehouse, has a delightful garden ramp reminiscent of Lombard Lane leading to the guest quarters below.
The interiors of the McHenry’s home reflect the flavor of their favorite destinations: shades of pink and blue, artwork from their travels, a chandelier from San Miguel de Allende, Venetian-style plaster walls, reclaimed wooden beams and doors from a wharf in Galveston, an 1880s cotton gin, and a rustic dining room table from Guadalajara. The long kitchen with high counter opens into the living room under a high vaulted ceiling, and the picture windows bring the beautiful countryside inside. The pale granite countertops and muted colors of the rustic wooden cabinets let the lively wall colors and artwork stand out. The modest country home features two guest rooms, a quaint sitting room, and a charming Provencal-style blue and yellow guest bath. All of the bedrooms and bathrooms face west overlooking one of the vineyards on the property, and the pergola-covered side veranda painted bright blue that opens onto the vineyard. Mike grows several grape varietals to supply Alamosa Wine Cellars, and also consults for other vineyards and winemakers around the Hill Country. The McHenry’s home was featured in Texas Home & Living, September/October 2009 issue.
Toby and Vicky McWilliams, 12392 East FM 501:
Toby and Vicky McWilliams, formerly from Midland and Marble Falls, had been looking at ranches for two years when they bought the Randolph family ranch in 2005. They had fallen in love with the beauty of Cherokee Creek with its gorgeous red and live oak trees, and the thought of living in such a small community where they have been welcomed with open arms. While they renovated a small ranch house at the front of the property, Toby began drawing the plans for a home along Cherokee Creek. The little house made a comfortable home for them for almost 3 years while they built the new house, and now it makes the perfect guesthouse. "During that time we adopted Cooper (who just turned four)." said Mrs McWilliams. "It was not hard for us to fit a little boy’s room into our plans! He is such a blessing and keeps us young!"
The McWilliams moved into the 3600 square foot home only four months ago. You will find this home as charming and delightful as the owners, and Vicky will dazzle you with her decorating touches. The floors are of polished concrete, making stark contrast with the antique woods and beams. "They make for an indestructible environment. You can’t hurt anything!" said Vicky laughing. Their home is a blend of rustic ranch with traditional decorating – a mix of inherited and collected antiques that they love. Vicky says she would rather have something old and well loved than something new. Wanting to create an environment with a sense of warmth and hominess, they worked hard to select soothing colors, to find reclaimed beams and ceiling wood, antique doors, and set it all on a diamond polish finished concrete floors. (Vicky loves the contrast of the concrete floors and the richly colored rugs.) Vicky explains "Everyone gathers in the kitchen no matter what the time of day, so to increase the comfort of the home – we put the kitchen in the middle of the house! With tall wooden ceilings and old beams, the room seems to have an almost magnetic quality. We are always sitting at the island drinking coffee or just visiting." One of the most delightful rooms in the home is the sleeping porch. When they first drew up plans for this room it was very small, but it finally evolved into the livable room it is now, with built in bunk beds and an antique bead board ceiling that Vicky calls "ice cream" colors. The sleeping porch is off the master bedroom suite and both rooms feature a view of the outside porch and fireplace – a great place to sit and relax where the views are fantastic, and the creek makes for a soothing focal point. "Our next project is the landscaping, which we have just started." said Vicky. "We have stayed as green as possible. We have created a rainwater harvesting system that is almost finished. Our plans include a vegetable and herb garden, garden for cut flowers, and fruit trees (as I love to make preserves), and a pool and Jacuzzi for the backyard. Finally, after all the trucks are through, we will complete the paving of our driveway. And we’ll have plenty of concrete for a basketball court or skateboards. We currently have 4 grandchildren with more to come, and we want the ranch to be their favorite place to visit!"