I love the idea of this house in Texas–
from Country Living September 2008.
Fantasy: this for my vacation house.
By a lake of course.
Love the philosophy they followed in the restoration.
Built in the 1880s by the Eckert family, among the early settlers of Fredericksburg, the house sits on eight and a half acres of the original 600-acre Eckert ranch (much of which is still home to descendants). The house reminded the couple of ones they’d seen on trips to Provence — in spite of previous owners’ efforts to modernize it by covering hardwood floors with linoleum and 18-inch-thick limestone walls with Sheetrock.
Their goal was to recapture its essence. To that end, they basically undid what had been done over the years and allowed the place to show its age. Which wasn’t as easy as it sounds. “We went into it naively,” the wife says of the seven-year project. “We kept asking ourselves, ‘What have we gotten into?'” Now the answer is simple: A house loaded with as much charm as the town itself.
Inside, layers of Sheetrock installed by previous owners were removed, revealing pleasingly distressed 18-inch-thick limestone walls.
In the dining room, everything was restored to the way it might have looked 125 years ago, including limestone walls, longleaf pine floors, the pressed-tin ceiling, and the door with its transom (to help with ventilation in a house without central heat and air). A mix of chairs — antique finds from the Warrenton, Tex., flea market interspersed with new oxidized-iron chairs — surround the long table.
In the course of peeling away the layers of previous renovations, the couple decided to leave the home’s mottled surfaces “as is.” In doing so, they recaptured its personality. “Our first instinct was to make it like new, but as we uncovered things we gained an appreciation for the beauty of what was there.”