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Driving up to the home of Warren and Cheryl Williams on 106 Boardwalk in the Watermark development of Rockport feels like stepping out of a black and white movie into a world full of color. The landscape, covered in colorful plants and flowers, and the row of pastel rocking chairs across the front porch are just the first signs of a home that is colorful from the inside out. Beautiful paintings full of bright yellows, oranges, greens, and reds cover the walls of the Williams’ home. The furniture is even hand painted, making this home a perfect addition to this year’s Rockport Tour of Homes. The Williams’ love of color was actually born in Rockport around the time Warren began losing his vision.
The Williams family loved making trips to Rockport from their home in New Braunfels. They decided it would be a good investment to purchase a second home Rockport. They loved the shopping, local art galleries and both the grandchildren and great-grandchildren loved trips to the beach. They purchased their first home in Heron’s Nest. Shortly after their first participation in the Rockport Tour of Homes, they put the home up for sale and and it sold in only a day or two, along with their furniture and paintings. “We thought why do we need all of our furniture if we aren’t living on the coast. So we eliminated all of our artwork, all of our furniture,” he says.
They were without a home in Rockport for nearly four years when the itch to have a home on the coast returned. In 2014, they started looking and found the small subdivision of Waterside, composed of only 16 houses on one street all built by local builder Jim Nelson. The home and the yard were both a blank slate when they moved in, so they decided to start from scratch. Most of the furniture in the home is made by David Marsh out of Houston. “Judy Barclay from Comforts of Home helped on the design and linen choices,” she says.
The Williams made a trip to Santa Fe looking for David Marsh furniture and found a lady named Ann Winkler who hand paints furniture. They saw a bed style that worked for the upstairs bed. “We liked it and decided it worked for all the beds. So we had all the beds made by them. We sent the linens for each bed to the artist, so you can see the flowers,” she says.
An assortment of local works of art collaborates wonderfully together to make the home’s interior pop with color. Its almost like walking through a private Rockport art gallery. Their daughter-in-law likes to call this their alter ego home, because it’s totally different from their home in New Braunfels.
When Warren Williams walks in the front door of his home, he can hardly see anything. His eyes are slow to adjust to the light. “I have eye problems that have caused some loss of vision, but I can see the color, the reds and yellows and oranges,” he says, “When you’re on the coast, you got to have a lot of color.”
Many of the paintings are by Lisa Baer Frederick, a local artist, and Brother Cletus, who often traveled to the Coastal Bend to paint. However, that is only scratching the surface. Along with the many beautiful paintings is a collection of pottery figures above kitchen cabinets by Betty Shamel and two driftwood fish carvings by Dale Bunting hanging in the living room. “We like to buy the local art. It makes it more fun,” she says.
The colorful landscape is full of beautiful plants, talavera animals, and a handcrafted stone bench from Terlingua, Texas. A stone path wraps all the way around the house accompanied by arrangements of colorful hibiscus, hawthorn, schefflera, and plumeria.
The home features a downstairs master with two guest rooms upstairs and a play area. “We can live totally downstairs and never go upstairs,” she says. “But upstairs we have two rooms, a bath and a play area for the kids and grandkids.”
Branching off from the living room is a comfortable sun porch. A large Brother Cletus painting hangs on the wall opposite the glass, sliding door looking out into the landscape. Also, hanging in the sun porch is a mirror made from old boats and painted Basura (or garbage) furniture by David Marsh. Better stated, Basura is furniture made from scrap slates either painted or stained.
The home will be decked with an Alice in Wonderland “Mad Hatter” theme in this year’s home tour. The Williams family decided to make it fun, starting outside with croquet in the yard and inside with a kitchen table scape full of crumpets and freshly cut flowers. The Williams are excited to be a part of the Rockport Tour of Home again, but this time, they don’t plan on selling their colorful home anytime soon.
- Living room: Bird house painting by front door and dock painting on staircase by Lisa Baer Frederick, 2 floral paintings by Brother Cletus, 2 driftwood fish by Dale Bunting Cat plate by Janis Joplin. Collection of pottery figures above kitchen cabinets by Betty Shamel
- Master Bedroom: Large Abstract by Brother Cletus. Rose painting by artist named Brown (from Kate Jones store) Sea Life prints from Bay Window.
- Master Bath: Not to be missed is stunning artwork by Sage Gibson and reclaimed wood angel by Salty (Magnolia's)
- Sun Porch: Large painting by Brother Cletus. Mirror made from old boats. (Comforts of Home) Pottery fish by Ross de la Garda and painted furniture by David Marsh.
- Loft area: The Fulton Mansion by Ed Boyd is actually made from stickers.
- Front Bedroom: Chair painting by Brother Cletus
- Back Bedroom: Bed and TV table custom made by Anne Winkler of Westwink furniture in Santa Fe (These linens from Comforts of Home were used as inspiration for painting designs) End tables, bench and mirror from David Marsh.
- Upstairs Bath: Painting by Salty. (Magnolia's) Ceramic Fish by Patrizia Warren.
- Front Porch:Rockers by David Marsh