Inside a Cherished East Texas Farmhouse by Designer Cathy Kincaid


The setting is bucolic, with winding roads, bridges, a small lake for fishing, stables, a shooting range, and pastures with grazing horses, cows, and donkeys. The couple are empty nesters now, so it’s become a quiet place to recharge after a busy week or for the family to gather on holidays. “We get there and just exhale,” she says. “It’s a magical place.”

In the main living area, a door is framed by natural-edge oak, repurposed from an old barn. Furnishings include a mix of English antiques and vintage Round Top finds. Artwork by Damian Loeb from Acquavella Galleries, New York. (Photo by Tria Giovan)

The farm also has a fascinating backstory. The house was built in the late ’70s for members of the von Erich wrestling family; According to a local legend, they practiced in a wrestling ring set up in a shed on the property. In the early ’90s, a Dallas billionaire and his wife purchased the house and land and made extensive changes. Tyler, Texas architect Mike Butler oversaw the renovations and additions, which included a rustic staircase crafted by carpenters from felled cedar trees and branches on the property. An artisan from East Texas was listed to carve woodland animals here and there throughout the house, including a delightful bird’s nest and squirrel face on the stairs’ newel post. Cedar trees were also used for the porches and to build several bridges near the house. Oak trees were harvested from the land, and the sturdy lumber was used for millwork, ceiling beams, and floors.

Rose Cottage, a guest house overlooking the lake, was designed by Butler with most of the interior finishes made from wood salvaged from old barns in the area, including exquisitely carved millwork around the doors. Clad in wood with a pitched metal roof and a screened-in sleeping porch, the cottage’s architecture is reminiscent of early East Texas farmhouses. “The idea was to make it look like it had been in the family for generations,” Butler says.

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A bedroom in the main house with a bird theme, including a collection of avian prints. Monogrammed Leontine Linens. (Photo by Tria Giovan)

Kincaid’s clients first fell in love with the house and land after the husband attended a corporate event there almost two decades ago. “The farm reminded [the husband] of where he grew up in Virginia, with all the trees and red dirt, so when it came up for sale, they purchased it,” Kincaid says.

The designer had previously decorated the couple’s Highland Park house and was enlisted by the husband to redecorate their new Edom farmhouse and cottage. “It was his baby from him, and it was the first time I’d ever presented a design plan to a husband. He was so lovely and enthusiastic — he embraced his feminine side of him, because we definitely had a lot of florals and prints.

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Tyler architect Mike Butler designed Rose Cottage to feel like it had been added to over the years, reminiscent of early East Texas farmhouses that were clad in wood with a pitched metal roof and screened-in sleeping porch. (Photo by Tria Giovan)