30th Annual Hill Country Home Tour - 2017

There's always something happening in Wimberley!


30th Annual WCCC Home Tour

Owners of five unique homes in Wimberley will open their doors Nov. 10th and 11th for the 30th Annual Hill Country Home Tour hosted by the Wimberley Community Civic Club (WCCC). The homes can be seen from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day of the tour.
Tickets for the home tour are $20 and may be purchased at  the Visitor's Center and at any of the homes on the Tour.
You can also  purchase your tickets on line by clicking here. The site accepts Discover, Visa, and MasterCard credit and debit cards.

Be sure to mark your calendars for this event and help the Civic Club raise money to give to the Wimberley community. Remember that while enjoying the tour you will be helping many community organizations. 

The Home Tour in the fall and Spring Event in the spring are the two fund-raising events the Civic Club sponsors to raise money for agencies and organizations in the community each year.

In May of 2017 the Civic Club gave $60,000 to 25 community organizations and $31,000 in scholarships to 10 graduating high school seniors. 
Founded in 1979, the Wimberley Community Civic Club is one of the oldest charitable organizations in the greater Wimberley area and includes a membership of nearly 200 individuals. 

The Civic Club is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose main purpose is to nurture community spirit through service and financial support.
To see homes on the 2016 tour and information about any of the Home Tours from the last 16 years, click here and select a year from the menu on the left side of the newly displayed page. 

Friday Nov 10th 10 am - 5 pm
Saturday Nov 11th 10 am - 5 pm
14068 Ranch Road 12
Wimberley, TX 78676
Map to Wimberley Community Visitors Center

The Tree House

The Treehouse, one of the five homes featured in this year's tour was spared from floodwaters inside the home although the river rose to alarming levels just at the outdoor steps. All is back to normal, with those same steps leading to eight-foot deep swimming holes that remain even during drought periods.
The home was completed in 2001 after two years of design and planning. It is an impressive home in an even more impressive setting that exemplifies the unique landscape of the Texas Hill Country. Mary Lou and David Welp worked with O'Neill Conrad Oppelt Architects to build their dream home on 20 acres that include over 400 feet of Blanco River frontage, abundant ancient oaks, and magnificent views of the surrounding valleys.

The result is a two-story, approximately 6,500 square-foot home, with a third floor sanctuary loft and balcony all easily accessible by elevator. The exterior of the home is constructed of steel and stone from a quarry in Lometa, Texas, chosen for colors that would blend into the landscape. The same stone was used inside the house for a dramatic great room wall, circular staircase and two fireplaces. The fireplaces, located in the great room and the kitchen, are "Rumford" fireplaces, whose distinctive design dates to the 1700s. They are tall and shallow to reflect more heat.
Architect and owners carefully selected building materials including Tennessee flagstone for the downstairs floors and the distinctive – and nearly extinct – longleaf pine used for the walls in the great room, office, entryway, second and third level floors and much of the cabinetry and trim. Welp noted that longleaf pine has long been known for its quality and beauty and was abundant and widely used for ships, railroads and buildings in the late 1800s. It was over-harvested and by the 1920s, it was extremely scarce. Much of the stock used in The Treehouse was reclaimed and remilled from the demolition of an old schoolhouse in nearby Gonzales.
The entry opens onto a stunning living area with soaring ceilings accented with walnut beams, custom-made light fixtures and huge windows to highlight the views. The focal point of the room is the massive wall of stone and stone fireplace, with a full bar tucked behind. Two guest bedrooms are separated from the living areas by a glass hallway for quiet and privacy. Adjacent to the living area is the study, which features a carefully crafted Murphy bed for extra guest sleeping. A theater-style media room with overhead projector and a bunkroom for grandchildren round out the first floor.
The kitchen is truly a gathering place that includes one of the two Rumford fireplaces, a spacious sitting room, and all the amenities of a gourmet kitchen. The dining room has seen many large family dinners and has the added and practical bonus, of a walk-in china closet.

La Vista

After a successful career in Houston, the owner made good on her plan to build a home from scratch on a wooded, creek-side lot next door to her sister in Woodcreek. La Vista, or "The View" is a true sanctuary for the owner, Suzanne Gordon, who started planning for the perfect retirement and saving special treasures several years ago.

Suzanne says, "I always had this home in mind. Each time I moved or redecorated, I would set aside special keepsakes and furniture pieces." Handmade family quilts, personal childhood photos, and unique antique finds are artfully arranged throughout her home. She said she wanted it to be uncluttered and comfortable and that feeling is clearly the result.

The entire house is just under 1800 square feet and includes three bedrooms and 2 ½ baths. The two guest bedrooms and full guest bath are easily closed off for the owner's daughter and family to have privacy during their visits. One of the secondary bedrooms opens to the back porch.

On the opposite side of the great room is the master, which also opens to the back porch. The main living/dining space boasts high ceilings and a wall of glass doors to the back porch that creates an airy feel. The television is hidden behind clever barn doors, made from shutters. The oval dining table was purchased at Round Top Antique Fair and is complemented with chairs purchased unfinished online and finished beautifully by Suzanne. The master bedroom is clearly the owner's retreat, decorated in neutral fabrics it includes a spacious walk in closet and private bathroom.

Gordon's love of gardening starts at the front walkway, which is lined with native Hill Country plants and succulents that are thriving under her care. Stepping into the front door, sight lines go straight through to the back porch, which is a popular, almost-daily hang-out spot for friends and family. With its comfortable seating, and accents including a real captain's chest now used as a coffee table, "the view" sets the stage for relaxing.

On Memorial Day
in 2015, the waters of the Blanco River rose well past its historic flooding level, over 40 feet. More than 700 homes were lost in Wimberley and, more than two years later, the riverfront continues to recover.

"Steel Heron"

is the result of the owners' commitment to the community and to building an extraordinary home that was designed to withstand any future floods.Substantially damaged in the flood, Steel Heron has been rebuilt as a sleek contemporary residence that takes full advantage of its unparalleled view of the confluence of Cypress Creek and the Blanco River.

Longtime residents of Wimberley, the owners lived on this beautiful stretch of waterfront even before the street was named by their artist neighbor, the late Bob Fowler. Fowler went through the process to have the street officially named Blue Heron Run because herons fly up and down the creek, stopping to fish along the way.

The owners, Pamela and Donn Lamoureux, reimagined the home to not only showcase their passions, but to inspire them every day. Pamela is a Real Estate broker and artist, and Donn owns a commercial architecture firm. "This piece of land is where we belong; it is our spot," said Donn, "We wanted to rebuild so that our home could be our forever home and survive anything."

The process has taken over two years and it has been full of challenges. The couple navigated numerous financial and design challenges to re-establish its roots here. "Rebuilding in your original location requires a lot of tenacity," said Donn. "There are so many considerations from building requirements and codes; to insurance coverage to finding and securing the assistance a homeowner needs in this kind of situation."

Engineered to withstand any future flooding event, Steel Heron is built on two levels. The first is where the couple's first home was built over 37 years ago and where they raised their two sons. Because of insurance and adjusted flood plain building regulations, living areas can no longer be at that elevation. Now, that floor consists of several open spaces that will be used for entertaining, Pam's art studio, storage and garage, all created from the remains of the original home. The outlines of the former walls in the foundation of the original home are still visible in the polished concrete floors on that level.
The new living space is approximately 2,200 square feet, with three bedrooms, two baths and an office. Donn has carried his background in commercial design into his personal home, with touches including Reglet reveal trim, a smooth baseboard treatment with a subtle notch and other finishes normally used in commercial buildings. On the side of the home facing the creek and river, walls of windows look out onto the waterfront through massive trees. The large main space includes open kitchen/living/dining space and a unique movable wall to separate the living and master sleeping area.
To ensure full accessibility and convenience for the owners and their guests, an elevator was installed at the downstairs entry to the home. Two outdoor stairways, one at the front of the home and one at the back, provide multiple ways to access the living space upstairs. The front gate is a piece of art in itself. Primarily steel and wood, the door pivots into the first-floor space under the home. A substantial piece of a Cypress tree trunk reclaimed from the flood is the focal point of the gate and the front of the home itself.
While steel is used as a design accent, including the backsplash in the kitchen, Cypress trees downed in the flood provide dramatic focal points. The Sell Design Group of Wimberley designed and built the kitchen cabinetry as well as the hall light treatment: a horizontal slice of Cypress salvaged from the flood, backlit and with directional art lighting below. The final touch is embedded in the wood flooring below: another slice of the same Cypress trunk.

Angels' Wings...

   one of the homes featured in the 2017 Home Tour, was one of the many homes affected by the 2015 Memorial Day Flood. The main structure survived the historic flood although it was surrounded by the rising waters which destroyed the areas underneath the home.
The home has been in the family since 1965, then an 800 square foot getaway cabin with no central air conditioning and a screened porch. In 2010, owners Alyson and Jerry Waldron remodeled the house to make it "the best they could dream" given building restrictions and site limitations. They added a much-needed bedroom with a view, a bath and energy-efficient windows and insulation, transforming the tiny cabin into a full-time oasis.
The transformation was engineered by David Price P.E., designed and decorated by Alyson, and built by Evans Construction. The engineer required the Waldrons to include hurricane straps on the existing foundation as the structure was not attached to the foundation piers. "I was upset because this was not a budgeted expense. I actually ended throwing a little fit about it," says Alyson. She adds: "Of course, after the flood, I called the engineer and thanked him profusely because we wouldn't have a home otherwise. The power of the water would have moved everything and probably forced our home off the piers."
Floodwaters ravaged the areas underneath the house including the garage, laundry room, insulation, air conditioning, the home's septic system and septic field. Those repairs have been completed and now, in their restored spaces, the Waldrons continue to enjoy their compact nest and the design touches that reflect Alyson's art and design sense. The house is filled with antique lighting details and paintings inspired by her family and scenes of the Wimberley landscape and lifestyle. Alyson started oil painting in 2013 and her art work, primarily portraits, is displayed throughout the house.
After the flood, Alyson said the downed trees looked like angels wings on each side of the house. The owners feel their family and friends have been angels that protected them during and after the flood. "Our daughter, Shelby, woke me up, and when I saw how high the water was rising, we left," Alyson noted. "I give her the credit for keeping me safe and perhaps saving my life." After the flood many individuals and groups have supported the Waldrons through the recovery and rebuilding phase. Alyson said: "The outpouring of support after the floods to help us get back on our feet was overwhelming."
On Memorial Day in 2015, the waters of the Blanco River rose well past its historic flooding level, over 40 feet. More than 700 homes were lost in Wimberley and the flood dramatically changed the riverfront. This year's Civic Club Home Tour, November 10 and 11, highlights four homes that suffered the ravages of the rising water and have been restored or rebuilt. "Rio de los Suenos," translated River of Dreams is one of these homes; rebuilt from the studs. The flood waters flooded the first floor and went beyond to the very top steps leading to the second floor.

"Rio de los Suenos"

provides a true retreat for a large family. Four bedrooms plus a loft and four bathrooms in the main house give the family plenty of room to spread, and relax, in its open spaces and cozy nooks. To achieve this restful environment, the owner chose a neutral color palette and scoured the Hill Country for one-of-a-kind furniture and décor that are perfectly suited to the riverfront location.
Entertaining is easy at Rio de los Suenos: an amazingly equipped wet bar greets visitors at the front door. Ice maker, beverage storage, a variety of glasses for all kinds of libations are ready for guests and family. The open floor plan flows directly into the kitchen, anchored by a massive marble island that is a natural gathering place. Gourmet meals are prepared here, courtesy of the Wolf range, and on one of the many beautiful days we enjoy in this Valley, the meals can be enjoyed on the expansive deck overlooking the Blanco River.
The downstairs master suite is the epitome of luxury, and the master bath includes a relaxing steam shower and claw foot tub. Upstairs, the white and neutral palette continues in three bedrooms and a loft. The loft reminds us of Colonial homes in India featuring a fringed Indian shade umbrella and a white washed carved room screen. For large reunions, the spacious guest house over the garage offers two bedrooms, a large updated bathroom, and a fully-equipped kitchen. The guest house has a more rustic feel, providing contrast to the style of the main house.
Though the river wreaked so much destruction, it is once again tranquil and relaxing at Rio de los Suenos. Right on the river's edge with its own river island across a concrete bridge, it is worth your visit during Home Tour.

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