Do you love a good challenge? Try building not just a home, but a “dream home” - from the ground up - in the middle of the most devastating pandemic in a century and complete the job in just four months.
Would there be any product and transit delays, any material costs shifting weekly and constant shortages of skilled labor? As the German settlers of Fredericksburg, Texas, where this charming home sits, would say:
Ja natürlich (yes, of course)!
However, with the help of many partners, including Acme Brick, that’s exactly what House Beautiful magazine did!
As the House Beautiful magazine editor noted, “The rolling hills surrounding Fredericksburg, Texas—an emerging design and culinary destination known for bustling shops, boutique hotels and growing viticultural region—set the perfect all-American backdrop as House Beautiful celebrates its 125th anniversary.”
The result is nothing short of stunning.
Want to take a virtual tour of this year’s “Whole Home?” Click here.
Fredericksburg, Texas - The Perfect Spot
In referencing the unique times in which we live, House Beautiful magazine editor said, “Like so many families filing construction permits and navigating skyrocketing material prices, this year we kept reality in mind: It’s never been more important to have a peaceful, productive, and restorative refuge to call ‘home.’”
The Texas Hill Country, one of the fastest growing areas referenced in the 2020 Census, proved to be the perfect spot for this year’s Whole Home. House Beautiful magazine editor said, “There are countless factors that go into selecting a market for this program each year. House Beautiful seeks out locations where design is an established – or growing – industry, where general population growth and home values are moving in an upward trend. We also keep a close eye on where our clients and industry friends are headquartered and where they may be relocating to.
“The location was a seamless fit for House Beautiful – as our brand celebrated its 125th anniversary, Fredericksburg was celebrating its 175th. And with its unique location outside of the rapidly growing Austin and San Antonio areas, it is a destination that is getting and will continue to get added national attention.”
So, off the planners went to Fredericksburg, Texas, a German settlement with 175-year-old historic roots in the heart of Hill Country. They found a 750-acre “agrihood” community called “Hidden Springs,” and teamed with Tyler O’Brien of Agave Custom Homes, who set out to prove that building a dream home in a pandemic is possible.
According to House Beautiful magazine, “O’Brien’s plan was to build a single-story, Craftsman-inspired farmhouse with two separate wings and an expansive outdoor area. The design is meant to be connected to the landscape, where livestock roam freely on a 30-acre nature preserve. It has four bedrooms, seven bathrooms (some outdoors!), three fireplaces, and a sprawling party patio.”
Photo sourced from House Beautiful
Home Design Inspiration
True to form, the “House Beautiful” team that managed the “Whole Home” project stated at the outset that it “understood that design is as much about humanity as it is about vanity.”
Accordingly, they reached-out to eight Next Wave design alumni from across the country to help define and refine what today’s ideal home should be.
“Each designer brought a distinct point of view to their assigned space,” House Beautiful magazine editor said. “From a sunrise-inspired living room that sets an uplifting tone for the whole house, to a cozy kitchen for long, lingering conversations, to a massive party patio fully equipped to go from candlelight to cornhole, every inch has a purpose. During a year in which our homes had to be offices, classrooms, and still (somehow) personal sanctuaries, this one is tailor-made to foster work, play, and pressing pause.”
Acme Brick - Right at Home
With a history that spans more than 130 years, Acme Brick is right at home in both the 2021 celebration of House Beautiful and the old world look and feel of Fredericksburg. The company’s participation in this year’s build presented an opportunity to show how its product mix has evolved.
“We are thrilled to be a part of this year’s Whole Home, especially since it is constructed in our home state of Texas,” Britt Stokes of Acme Brick said. “It allows us to celebrate our proud history of manufacturing brick and show off some of our innovative, sustainable home improvement products.”
The Wow Factor
Each year, the designers and builders of the Whole Home try to outdo the homes that have come before them. This year is no exception. The “wow” factor of the Fredericksburg residence is evident from the moment a visitor walks in.
“This home is built with an entertainer/host in mind,” House Beautiful spokesperson noted. “The floorplan, which spans two separate structures connected by a breezeway, gives you privacy when you need it, and communal space for hosting gatherings of family and friends. The oversized lot and rolling Hill Country views are a huge selling point and noticeable from the moment you walk through the front door.”
Acme Brick contributed several cutting-edge products to the Whole Home. Stokes notes “The large doors which open to the beautifully maintained Texas Hill Country yard space are manufactured by Exclusive Iron Door, and they ensure that the transition from inside to outside is seamless.
“That beautiful hardwood floor that visitors will see in the Whole Home is Positano Cascina and it is one of the most luxurious flooring we offer to builders and homeowners.
“In the amazing outside entertainment area, one of our most popular, grills - the Renaissance Cooking Systems (RCS) grill combines comprehensive technology with ease-of-use, making it the state-of-the-grilling art.
“Finally, the thin brick found in the interior and the full bed depth brick in the outdoor kitchen is Mosstown Brick from our friends at Cherokee.”
For all its beautiful, clean lines, Hill Country views and “must have” features, this year’s Whole Home has at its foundation sustainability and energy conservation. This aligns closely with the products manufactured and those re-sold by Acme Brick. For thousands of years, brick has proven to be the most sustainable building material, and combined with its rich beauty, it is an important part of the Whole Home.
If you need a little inspiration for either your existing home remodel or for building your own dream home, tour the House Beautiful Whole Home here.