Quantcast
Courtesy of DH Photography, Compass

A treehouse-like home near Austin's Lake Travis that’s been featured on HGTV can now be yours for $1.2 million.

The 1,653-square-foot house, at 2803 Manitou Dr., offers two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and plenty of rugged yet modern charm. The home is in the Apace Shores neighborhood.

Highlights of the contemporary home, situated on a half-acre wooded lot, include 30-foot-high glass walls and 11 sets of sliding glass doors. The two-story house, built in 2003 as architect John Allen’s own residence, is one of the few homes in the vicinity that provide private access to the Indian Creek hiking trail.

Allen “believed that the rugged and what many called ‘unbuildable’ lot was the perfect spot to accomplish his vision of living one with nature due to the greenery of the adjacent hiking trail, along with the sun, moon, stars, and thunderstorms as seen through glass walls and balconies,” says the listing agent, Monica Fabbio of Compass.

Aside from being featured in 2007 on the HGTV series Look What I Did, the house recently served as the main shooting location for an upcoming movie. Viewers of the movie will notice that decks and patios grace all four sides of the hillside home, which is set back from a cul-de-sac. Nearby waterfalls and a spring-fed creek add to the ambiance.

“A dramatic rock wall and bridge entrance to the home make for amazing settings,” the listing says.

An adjacent second lot, which is undeveloped, is included in the sale.

Allen, who originally designed the glass-and-steel home as his “bachelor pad” before eventually getting hitched, sold the house in 2007 to the current owner.

“We heard the word ‘impossible’ more than once when it came to building our house,” says Suzanne Allen, the architect’s wife. “It’s a word that would discourage many people, but for John and me, the word invigorates, motivates, and inspires. In the process of building our house, we proved that with imagination, persistence, and resolution, the impossible idea becomes an achievable reality.”

Many called the lot at 2803 Manitou Dr "unbuildable," but architect John Allen saw its true potential.

Courtesy of DH Photography, Compass
Many called the lot at 2803 Manitou Dr "unbuildable," but architect John Allen saw its true potential.
Photo courtesy of Magnolia

7 spectacular surprises inside Chip and Joanna Gaines' new Fixer Upper castle in Waco

Royal revelation

“Are you ready to see your fixer upper?” the enthusiastic tour guide asked, channeling Chip and Joanna Gaines and their famous “big reveal” line from TV’s Fixer Upper. This time, it wasn't the home owners waiting outside a first glimpse at their home makeover; it was a small group of tourists gathered on the porch, ready to step inside the Gaineses’ most ambitious renovation project yet — a century-old castle in Waco.

For the first time ever, Texas’ king and queen of renovation have unlocked the doors and let the public into one of their famed fixer-uppers before it’s featured on their Magnolia Network show.

Known as the historic Cottonland Castle, this three-story, 6,700-square-foot residence was started in 1890 and finished in 1913. The Gaineses purchased the dilapidated structure in 2019 and designed and executed a regal flip that will be featured on an eight-episode special called Fixer Upper: Welcome Home – The Castle, beginning October 14.

They plan to sell it in the fall. But before a home sale comes an open house, and for three months only — through October 29 — the castle is open six days a week for guided tours.

Hour-long castle expeditions take visitors through every room, nook, and cranny — from turret to toilettes. Knowledgeable guides dispense history, impart design information, and reveal behind-the-scenes stories from Chip and Jo that may or may not make it on TV.

For Fixer Upper fans, Magnolia maniacs, and Gaines gangs in Fort Worth, it’s worth the 90-minute drive down I-35 to experience the castle transformation in real life before it hits the small screen. A tour offers the very rare chance to walk through the door (in this case, a 10-foot-tall, 400-pound, solid-oak door) into the world of a Chip-and-Jo reno.

Without revealing too much, here are seven fun surprises you’ll find behind the castle walls.

1. History meets homey. A castle museum, this is not.

“Chip and Joanna’s vision was that they really wanted to honor it with historical pieces but also make it more practical for the modern family that’s going to live here in the future,” guide Megan Shuler said at the beginning of the tour.

While many original features — including seven fireplaces — were restored, the castle has been fixed up as a home for the future, not a shrine to the past. One-of-a-kind and collected antiques (such as the kingly dining room table from Round Top, Texas) blend with pieces from the Gaineses’ own Magnolia Home collection. A 17-page “Castle Sourcebook” lists design elements and products and where to buy them. And in the ultimate modern touch — a branding tie-in — a forthcoming “Colors of the Castle” paint collection will be available through Magnolia this fall.

2. Sweet nods to the castle’s past. Posted on the wall in the foyer is a poem written by Alfred Abeel, the owner who completed construction in 1913. It talks of making the castle “‘home sweet home’ all seasons of the year.”

On the center of the dining room fireplace mantel is Abeel’s family crest, along with the phrase (in Latin), “God’s providence saves me.” Next to it, children’s heights are recorded from the 1930s to the early 2000s, the last time a family lived here.

3. A cozy nook in the turret. The original design was modeled after a small castle on the Rhine River in Germany, and there is one tower turret. A space historically used (in “real” castles) for military defense has, here, been turned into one of the coziest corners of the house. Tucked into a corner next to the winding staircase, two comfy chairs sit under an antique-y light fixture from Austria. It's the perfect place to curl up with a book from the library upstairs.

4. Rooms with storylines. “One of the challenges Chip and Joanna had when they bought the castle was, there was no one, really, they were designing it for,” Shuler explained. “So they would create storylines for each room to help tell their story.”

Two of the four bedrooms, for example, are the “boy’s bedroom,” and “girl’s bedroom.” The storylines are that the future homeowner’s son would come back from college and stay in his childhood bedroom, and that the future homeowner’s granddaughters would stay in the room while hanging out at the grandparents’ house.

The boy’s room contains more masculine furnishings and decor, including a watercolor portrait of Roy Lane, the famous architect who helped complete the castle. The girl’s room is painted in “Rose Pink,” a color named after Joanna’s grandmother.

5. Bodacious bathrooms. There are three-and-a-half “throne rooms” in the castle, and they’re some of the prettiest spaces, mixing metals, woods, and tiles; even original radiators look like works of art. One of the most spectacular rooms in the house, in fact, is a grand, gleaming bathroom — which (tease!) will be fully revealed on the show.

6. Party in the basement. “Gathering spaces” are a hallmark of Chip and Jo’s homes, and in the castle, they take place in the dungeon — er, basement. A “card room” for poker games or family game nights sits next to the family room, which houses the only TV in the castle. The guest bedroom’s also in the basement, along with a laundry room and a former wine cellar now left “blank” for the new owners to reimagine.

7. Behind-the-scenes tales and tidbits. Fixer Upper devotees will devour the charming and quirky tidbits about the Gaineses shared throughout the tour. There are a few design elements and furnishings originally meant for their own home, including an item banished to the castle by their daughters. There’s a fun story about what Chip did when they found bones — yes, bones — in the basement. And, the prime selfie spot for Fixer Upper fans is a large mirror that, the tour guides say, Joanna used to touch up her makeup during the filming of the show.

Castle tour tickets, $50, are available through the website, with 20 percent of proceeds benefiting The Cove nonprofit organization. (Note that the home does not have an elevator and requires guests’ ability to access three staircases.)

Tips for a Magnolia pilgrimage in Waco:
Shop: No castle jaunt would be complete without a stop at the Magnolia Silos complex. A new 8:15 am tour, offered Monday through Saturday, takes visitors behind the scenes and on the roof before the crowds (and the heat) arrive. Hint: August is a “slower” month at the Silos, and Tuesday through Thursday are less crowded. Tour tickets are $25 and come with a free coffee from Magnolia Press.

Eat: Chip and Joanna’s Magnolia Table cafe stays busy all day, every day. If you don’t have time to wait for a table, visit the takeaway market next door. Grab to-go items like pimiento cheese and crackers, a butter flight, banana pudding, and chicken salad sandwiches, and enjoy them on a table outside (if it's not too hot).

Stay: Availability at Magnolia’s four vacation rentals can be hard to come by, but watch the website for nights to pop open. Make it a girls’ getaway with a stay at the grand Hillcrest Estate (which sleeps 12), or go solo and book the darling Hillcrest Cottage, the Gaineses’ newest and smallest lodging, which opened in fall 2021. A forthcoming Magnolia boutique hotel, in the historic Grand Karem Shrine building downtown, is slated to open in 2024.

The castle will be on tour only through the end of October, before it's featured on a special season of Fixer Upper - Wecome Home.

Photo courtesy of Magnolia
The castle will be on tour only through the end of October, before it's featured on a special season of Fixer Upper - Wecome Home.
Photo by Charro Photography

Texas builder unveils sleek prefabricated luxury homes starting at $600,000

High-end housing

A Texas homebuilder has brought a high-end approach to a type of housing that has often been lumped into the low-end category.

Escobedo Group, based in Buda, a suburb of Austin, has introduced a “panelized” construction system that enables a luxury home to be prefabricated and then installed on a homesite within roughly five months. So far, more than 70 of the company’s DARIO Villas homes have been built.

Over the years, prefab construction has frequently been associated with cheap, mass-produced housing. Following World War II, the British embraced prefab construction to address a severe housing shortage. Amid the 19th century’s California Gold Rush, prospectors relied on prefab homes to quickly provide shelter.

In recent years, prefab homes have gained fans as construction techniques have grown more sophisticated.

“DARIO is a better way to build. The construction method we have designed is more efficient and dramatically reduces construction waste while saving the client the most precious commodity — their time,” David Escobedo, co-owner of Escobedo Group, tells CultureMap.

Escobedo Group, founded in 1987, official launched the DARIO brand in June.

DARIO touts the ability to construct and assemble a home in a matter of months rather than, in some cases, a few years.

A buyer can choose from among three floor plans with one, two, or three bedrooms, and then select an interior package. A one-bedroom DARIO home starts at $600,000. Larger options go for $1 million or more.

A DARIO home measures anywhere from 800 to 20,000 square feet.

Escobedo constructs the home panels at its 60,000-square-foot facility, then delivers them to a homesite and puts together the new home within hours. The panels include all of the components needed for a home, such as the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems. Each home features steel framing and a pier-and-beam foundation.

Optional add-ons include:

  • Roof-mounted solar power
  • Battery storage to supply electricity during power outages
  • Eco-friendly water collection, storage, and filtration

The end product is sleek and modern, like any built-from-the-ground-up luxury home.

Escobedo’s DARIO homes are currently available in Texas, Colorado, and Oklahoma. The company says they can be placed in pretty much any residential setting, from a rural ranch to a cliffside locale.

“Whether you need a new guest house, vacation retreat, or expanded living space, this is truly revolutionizing the way building is done. The complications and mess of construction are a thing of the past,” the homebuilder says.

Escobedo Group uses a “panelized” construction system to prefabricate luxury homes and install within roughly five months.

Photo by Charro Photography
Escobedo Group uses a “panelized” construction system to prefabricate luxury homes and install within roughly five months.
Jonathan Morris/Instagram

Chip and Joanna Gaines' Magnolia Network premieres with Fort Worth's favorite show TBA

Holy Shiplap

Y'all ready to see a lot of Fixer Upper? Cruise on over to Chip and Joanna Gaines' new Magnolia Network, which finally premiered on cable TV Wednesday, January 5, taking over the old DIY Network. But it debuted without one very important show — read on.

The new station, which the Gaineses announced way back in 2018, stealthily jumped from streaming platform (Discovery+) to cable world overnight January 5, then aired an entire day's worth of Fixer Upper reruns before officially making its official launch official at 8 pm ... with Fixer Upper: Welcome Home.

The Waco TV stars had promised more than themselves, though. And they made good on it. By Day 2, viewers got a marathon of Maine Cabin Masters and the introduction of The Lost Kitchen, one of Magnolia's new original shows. Then more Fixer Upper.

As reported by People magazine, in addition to five seasons' worth of Fixer Upper, the Gaineses are launching the network with "a huge slate of original programming throughout the month of January," including Magnolia Table with Joanna Gaines, Restoration Road with Clint Harp, Home Work, Family Dinner, The Johnnyswim Show, Mind for Design, and Zoë Bakes.

Next month, two more original series will premiere, the magazine says — Super Dad and The Lost Kitchen — as well as Season 2 of Magnolia Table. In March, Season 3 of Magnolia Table will drop, they say, along with three more series: Ranch to Table, Inn the Works, and Homegrown.

Missing from that three-month planner is Self Employed, the Magnolia original series starring Fort Worth entrepreneur Jonathan Morris.

In the show, Morris travels around the country meeting inspiring small-business owners, who share stories of success, challenge, and resilience — along with lessons and best practices to inspire other entrepreneurs. The series debuted last summer, with all eight episodes now available to subscribers of the Magnolia App and Discovery+.

In the first season, Morris travels around Dallas-Fort Worth, to Atlanta and Detroit, showcasing a cheesecake guru, skincare queen, recycling pioneers, Fort Worth's best-known ice cream maker, and more. He's an affable, empathetic, and naturally curious host who makes trimming leather, tossing plastic bottles, and scooping ice cream in the heat look fun. (Each episode also shines a tiny spotlight back on Fort Worth, too.)

Given the grave omission of Self Employed from the Magnolia lineup, CultureMap reached out to a network spokesperson to find out when the show might make its TV debut, and if another season was coming.

"We do not have a cable premiere date for Self Employed yet, as our original shows will premiere throughout the year," spokesperson Taylor Griffin said by email January 6. "No news yet on a season 2 either, but will keep you posted."

In a December news release, the Gaineses said, "We've been amazed by the stories and storytellers we've found, people whose lives are living proof that our world is full of beauty, hope, courage, and curiosity. We can't wait to see these stories brought to life on cable this January, and we're hopeful about the impact it might have — to help reclaim the best of what television can be."

Given that Morris posted happy Instagram snaps of himself with Chip and Joanna on November 17, 2021, we'll cross our fingers he's one storyteller who's still part of their grand TV plan.

Magnolia Network is available now for cable subscribers who previously had DIY Network. Providers differ; on AT&T Uverse in Dallas-Fort Worth, it's channel 1454 in HD.

Facebook/Magnolia Network

Texas' Chip and Joanna Gaines reveal long-awaited launch date of new Magnolia Network

TV news

Fans of Chip and Joanna Gaines have been ready to see their Fixer Upper reboot — and the rest of their Magnolia Network content — since they announced their new cable network in 2018.

After a couple of coronavirus-related delays, they've finally revealed a launch date. Two launch dates, actually.

  • On July 15, 2021, Magnolia Network will debut on a new Magnolia app and the streaming platform Discovery+.
  • In January 2022, the new Magnolia Network will debut on cable TV.

“In what has been the most unconventional of years, our plan and timing for the network launch has evolved, but our original vision for this network has remained the same," the Waco-based reality TV-entrepreneurs said in a statement February 11.

That vision, they say, is still to "tell good stories — stories that unite instead of divide; stories that serve to inspire and uphold beauty; stories that entertain and draw out curiosities; stories that feel like home in all the ways a home should feel," they say on the network's website.

Notably, the Magnolia Network will feature their Fixer Upper reboot, as well as Joanna Gaines' cooking show called (what else?) Magnolia Table with Joanna Gaines, and Self Employed, a series about entrepreneurs hosted by Fort Worth resident Jonathan Morris.

The first 10 Magnolia Network shows were unveiled in a TV special last spring. Content focuses on people who are living life passionately and authentically, the Gaineses say, and covers topics the couple themselves are passionate about: home design, restoration, and renovation, gardening, cooking, wellness, business, family, and traditions.

According to Deadline, Magnolia Network was supposed to take over DIY Network in October 2020, followed by a direct-to-consumer product at a later date. COVID-19 shut down Hollywood production, which pushed everything back.

"Meanwhile, Discovery launched their SVOD platform Discovery+ last month as the pandemic accelerated traditional media companies’ shift to streaming as a leading distribution method," Deadline says. "The Magnolia brand has been a key — and growing — part of the Discovery+ lineup with previews of many of its original series, led by the new season of the Gaines’ hit Fixer Upper."

While Fixer Upper: Welcome Home can be seen now on Discovery+, starting July 15, the platform will stream an expanded lineup of Magnolia shows. The Gaines' Magnolia app is expected to stream their original series and over 150 hours of unscripted content.

Discovery+ currently costs $4.99 per month, with a free trail available here.

Those who don’t want to stream yet another service will have to wait patiently for about another year until Magnolia Network launches as a rebranded DIY Network on their cable or satellite provider. In January 2022, the new TV network will carry not only Magnolia originals but new seasons of favorite DIY shows, they say.

Photo courtesy of HGTV

Chip and Joanna Gaines star in this week's 5 hottest Fort Worth headlines

This Week's Hot Headlines

Editor's note: A lot happened this week, so here's your chance to get caught up. Read on for the week's most popular headlines.

1. Chip and Joanna Gaines reboot Fixer Upper and debut new show with Fort Worth star. Are y'all ready to see more Fixer Upper? Apparently Chip and Joanna Gaines were, too, as the HGTV home renovation show that made them stars is getting a new season on their forthcoming Magnolia Network. And along with the announcement of their show's reboot comes news of a new Magnolia Network show starring a Fort Worth entrepreneur.

2. Fort Worth's prettiest wine bar pours its final glass after 7 years. One of Fort Worth’s first boutique wine bars will not reopen once the COVID-19 shutdown ends. WineHaus, the cozy Park Place Avenue neighborhood retreat for small batch wines and several wines on tap, will close its doors for good at the end of the month, says owner Lindsey Kohn.

3. These are the 5 best things to do in Fort Worth this weekend. While the majority of events around Fort Worth have been postponed or canceled, there are a few that have popped up to offer the masses some entertainment while still adhering to the social distancing necessary during the coronavirus pandemic. Here are the best ways to spend your free time this weekend.

4. Dreamy new riverfront condos spring up in historic Hill Country town. Fort Worth fans of "floating the river" who've ever dreamed of owning a place on the Guadalupe are in luck. Construction is underway next to the Gruene Historic District in New Braunfels on a 15-unit luxury condo project — the city’s first waterfront condo development in more than 10 years.

5. 'World's best' peanut butter from New Zealand spreads to Fort Worth. A pitch that includes the phrase "world's best peanut butter" is a bold enough claim to merit a closer look. Fix & Fogg’s high-end peanut butters have been a hit in their native New Zealand and attracted a cult following on Amazon, where they've earned a solid 4-star rating despite their $13.99 per jar online price tag. They've finally made their way to Fort Worth.

Chip and JoJo are back on TV.

Photo courtesy of HGTV
Chip and JoJo are back on TV.
Ad Placement 300x100
Ad Placement 300x600

CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Giant sea creatures made of recycled beach trash wash onto Galveston Island in must-see new exhibit

inspiring sea change

A giant great white shark, massive bald eagle, oversized octopus, and more enormous sea life have invaded Galveston Island.

"Washed Ashore," a compelling traveling art exhibit of giant sea animal sculptures made of trash collected from beaches, is now on display across 19 locations in Galveston.

The clever showcase features more than 20 pieces — most more than six feet tall and as much as 17 feet wide — such as coral reefs, jellyfish, penguins, sunfish, and more.

Sculptures can be found at museums, hotels, parks, attractions, and popular outdoor spaces. Thanks to a partnership between Oregon-based non-profit Washed Ashore and the Galveston Park Board, the exhibit, which is open though March 5, is free.

This innovative, powerful exhibit is designed to educate the public about the hazards of plastic pollution in the world’s waterways and comes at a touchstone environmental moment. Some 35 million metric tons of plastic entered the global aquatic ecosystems in 2020, according to the Ocean Conservancy’s research partners.

Similar "Washed Ashore" exhibits have been displayed at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, as well as zoos, aquariums, and botanical gardens across the nation. Notably, this Galveston debut marks the first time the exhibit will not be behind a paid gate, per press materials.

“The sculptures are impressive,” Visit Galveston Chief Tourism Officer Michael Woody says. “But they’re even more impressive when you look at them closely. The artists at Washed Ashore placed recognizable objects – like buckets and shovels – at a child’s eye view. This way, hopefully, they will learn to take with them what they bring to the beach.”

For more information on the exhibit, visit the official site.

Photo courtesy of Visit Galveston

Meet Greta the great white shark.

These are the 5 best food and drink events in Fort Worth this week

This week in gluttony

It’s a frigid start to February this week, but tasty events bring opportunities to warm up once the coldest weather passes. Get cozy with hand-made pasta and wine, a dim sum cooking class, two new Sunday brunch launches, and a complimentary educational class to watch online from the warmth of your own home.

Thursday, February 2

An Evening with Batasiolo Wine Dinner
Only 11 lucky individuals get to partake in this four-course dinner set to take place in il Modo’s intimate pasta-making room. Wines from Beni Di Batasiolo Winery will be paired with each course. Reservations are $199, plus tax and gratuity, and include valet parking. Dinner begins at 6 pm.

Saturday, February 4

Who Eats Cornbread? Who Eats Biscuits? Baking and Texas Identity Webinar by the TCU Center for Texas Studies
Curl up at home with hot biscuits or cornbread while watching this tasty and educational webinar led by Rebecca Sharpless, professor of history at TCU. She’ll talk through the history of baking in Texas and the American South, speaking from research conducted for her latest book, Grain and Fire. Learn who used white cornmeal, who used yellow, who used sugar, who didn’t, flour to fat ratios, and why it all matters. The free webinar begins at 10:30 am.

Jazz Brunch Launch at The Fitzgerald
The Camp Bowie Boulevard restaurant will channel New Orleans vibes with the launch of its new jazz brunch. The live jazz pianist will provide tunes on Fitzgerald’s heated patio both Saturday and Sundays from 11 am-2 pm. Plan for brunch dishes like crab cake Benedict, shrimp and grits, crawfish omelets, and bananas Foster banana pudding.

Dim Sum Time at Indulge Cooking Studio
The downtown cooking studio located inside Third Street Market hosts an array of classes regularly. This one will feature dim sum, the traditional Chinese meal made up of small plates featuring various dumplings and snacks. The menu will include chicken shumai, Chinese greens, spring rolls, and an egg custard tart. The class is $89 and will begin at 11 am.

Sunday, February 5

New Sunday Brunch at Craft & Vine
The Roanoke restaurant, wine bar, and craft cocktail lounge will launch Sunday brunch with new buffet-style stations. Enjoy eggs Benedict, a carving station, waffle bar, and more, as well as champagne flights, a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar, and even a bar cart for crafting Old Fashioneds. The price is $39 per person and $15 for kids 12 and under. Brunch service begins at 10 am and the live music starts at 11 am.

Luke Bryan trucks to Dallas-Fort Worth for 2 tour stops, including Dickies Arena

Country on

Luke Bryan fans, clear your calendars in late September 2023. The five-time Entertainer of the Year and American Idol judge is making not one but two stops in North Texas on his "Country On Tour."

He'll play Dallas' Dos Equis Pavilion on September 28, then scoot over to Fort Worth for a show at Dickies Arena on September 29. The only other Texas stop on his 36-city tour will be in Lubbock, on July 27. (So sorry, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio.)

Special guests throughout the tour will include up-and-coming country artists Chayce Beckham, Tyler Braden, Ashley Cooke, Jackson Dean, Jon Langston, Conner Smith, Alana Springsteen, Hailey Whitters, and DJ Rock.

According to the tour site, Beckham, Dean, Whitters, and DJ Rock will play the Dallas-Fort Worth shows.

Bryan has a history of investing in new artists by inviting them to join him on tour, a press release reminds.

“Artists get into the business to make music and perform it for the fans,” Bryan says in the release. “Leaving it all out on that stage is what it’s all about for me. I’m excited to support and have so many talented new artists along for the ride this year. It’s one of the most rewarding parts of our job.

The tour is named for Bryan's 30th No. 1 single, “Country On” - a celebration of farmers, truckers, military, first responders, and all of Americana that hit the top of the country singles charts around Christmas 2022. He has amassed a career tally of 56 total weeks at #1.

Bryan launches his 2023 headline dates at Resorts World Theatre in Las Vegas on February 1. He's also returning as a judge on ABC's American Idol this spring.

Bryan's "Country On Tour" kicks off June 15 in Syracuse, New York.

Tickets go on sale on at 10 am Friday, February 3 at Lukebryan.com.

Presale for Bryan's fan club members will run 8 am Tuesday, January 31 through 5 pm Thursday, February 2. For details, go HERE.

Citi cardmembers will have access to presale tickets from 10 am Wednesday, February 1 to 10 pm Thursday, Feb 2 through the Citi Entertainment program. For complete presale details visit www.citientertainment.com.