French Architecture and Texas Tradition combine for an elegant result in Michele and Randy Cadwallader’s home.
The 5800 square-foot home is a testimony to what heritage and design skills can create. Michele was born in France and acquired a love of all things French nearly from birth. Randy’s family has been in Texas ranching for generations. The couple knew the home’s original residents, Tom and Charlotte Hogan, who built the home in 1974.
“The Hogans spent every summer in France. Tom fell in love with the country like I did,” Michele says. “He designed the home. Randy and I attended parties here and always loved it.” When the home went up for sale, the couple didn’t hesitate to buy it. Michele had several antiques that were true barn finds, stored in her family’s outbuilding. She found old barrels full of her mother’s wedding presents that had been lost for years. Those treasures now decorate this home.
The living room is full of natural light from floor length windows and French doors at the end of the room. An antique server is positioned in a corner, where a painting by Langford Monroe hangs. The painting is titled “Road to Sugar Creek” and reminds Michele of the family ranch in Dilly.
The fireplace was one of the few things in the home that Michele changed. She removed the old mantle and surround and worked with Texas Carved Stone of Florence, Texas on the design. The mantle and surround are carved from limestone.
At the end of the room are matching William and Mary chests made by Hugh Granger, a London cabinet maker. The chests date from 1690 and are rare and highly collectible. The leopard paintings hanging above the chests are by Lindsay Scott of Australia, whose paintings and drawings portray the Rhodesian countryside where she grew up.
The dining room contains its own share of treasures. The built-in cabinets flanking the kitchen door display Michele’s Italian creamware collection. The Murano glass chandelier over the table is a magnificent piece of intricate glasswork. Michele displays a Baccarat glass cross, the only one of its kind, on a bureau beside a painting of a crane by Lindsay Scott.
The kitchen is the heart of the home and the center of entertaining. The kitchen island is surfaced in moss green quartzite with a gas range beneath a bronze hood. The island serves as a buffet or staging area for family gatherings or holiday parties.
The master bedroom was originally a two-story library. Natural light cascades from sets of louvered windows on one wall, illuminating the painting of the Holy Spirit descending as a dove. “The painting was originally in an Italian monastery,” Michele says. She adds that the colorful pillow on the king-size bed was made from a tapestry remnant.
The huge armoire across the room is a French antique that holds a large screen television and bed linens. The crown at the top of the armoire was originally a bed crown, found atop an antique canopy bed. Upstairs are two guest rooms, a small den and Randy’s office. A deep balcony off the den and office provide seating with an excellent view of downtown San Antonio.
Items of particular interest upstairs include a painting Randy’s great-grandfather created called “Horsehair Trunk.” The den is home to a rare paper screen that was another “barn find.” The twin beds in the adjoining room are Biedermeier. The glass bowl displayed above the beds is the only thing that survived the destruction of the couple’s Key Allegro home by Hurricane Harvey. Michele stops for a moment to point out a low settee. “This came from my great- grandparents’ home, one of the first houses on Kings Highway,” she says. “It’s made of horsehair and is so heavy! The wooden frame inside the upholstery is solid wood. You can’t get furniture like this anymore.”
Randy and Michele’s favorite areas are outdoors. The centerpiece of the covered patio is the Portuguese blue and white tile tapestry overlooking the pool. The pool stretches along a tile walk to the outdoor kitchen at the back. The kitchen is a perfect center for a large barbecue, with a gas grill, refrigerator, sink, and prep space. Beside the kitchen is an open room furnished in cushioned wicker chairs and sofa. At first glance, the walls appear to be papered. Not so. “Leslie Morrison of Vigini Paint & Design and I designed this room,” Michele says. “She made the stencils and stenciled the walls.” The starburst over the sofa came from Round Top. At night the room is lit by the Barboglio standing candelabra lamps. “We know we are fortunate to live here and we love it,” Michele says. “It’s the perfect place to share our heirlooms and our heritage.”
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BY ROBYN BARNES
PHOTOGRAPHY BY AL RENDON