The Texas Farmhouse
By: Rita Heck
Built by early settlers in the 1700s, the farmhouse (also known as folk house) is not actually a style but rather refers to function and the community where it is located. Built in rural areas, farmhouses usually included one or more additional buildings to meet the owners’ needs.
Later, as railway systems developed, the available build-it-yourself mud, stone, or log materials were replaced by lumber, brick and quarried stone which became more easily accessible. Style was added as European influence brought more sophisticated choices…Greek Revival, Queen Anne and others. The building process became what is today called eclectic, a mix and match of all materials, even color. But the commonality of the farmhouse was always the same: unpretentious, straightforward and functional.
Made aware of this concept while working for a Houston architectural firm, Dale Dibello of Dibello Architects, PLLC, moved to New Braunfels and opened his own architectural firm. He discovered that people in the area were seeking to create their dream farmhouses on their rural land, each with unique personal input. Dibello took on the challenge to create their dreams. Big bonus! Dibello discovered he was a born artist and is now painting nature scenes, many showing the farmhouse complex.
The Ice House
After collecting ice house memorabilia for many years, one client craved a place where he could gather it all together that didn’t impose on his family’s living space. The answer popped up when the couple decided to build their forever home…a house with a separate place for the collection. They presented their ideas to Dibello who looked over their land in New Braunfels and designed a 3400 square foot three-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath main house combining all of their wishes: a children’s wing at one end and a master suite wing out from the public spaces connected by a family room. Other convenient features included a porte cochere at the side entrance to the mud room, a utility/sewing room near the kitchen and covered porches that wrap two sides of the pool terrace.
“We designed a separate icehouse which includes a guest suite and a comfortable porch overlooking the pool to showcase the owner’s unique collection. Reclaimed wood siding, brick, stone, tile, tin and timbers were paired with appropriate new materials to add a feeling of age,” Dibello said.
His and Hers Farmhouse
Like many HGTV home buying couples, this husband and wife team had conflicting ideas about their forever home to be built on their land in San Marcos.
“We designed this homestead to match the personalities of the husband and wife client. She dreamed of a simple, light-filled white farmhouse that fit in and complemented their beautiful land,” Dibello explained.
“For his horses, he needed a practical barn with enclosed storage and a central bay that he could pull his trailer through. We designed the 1,585 square foot barn with a drive-through bay on the long axis and a walk-through cross axis, a front porch, covered implement storage porch, tack room, feed room and lawn equipment storage room. We placed the barn adjacent and perpendicular to the house to create a welcoming front court,” he continued.
The final result: a stone and white painted board and batten house for her and a barn that pleased him.
Dibello Architects, PLLC
Although Dibello and his staff have designed all sorts of projects from traditional residential to retail and commercial, they have gained a reputation of including more than one building, or designing a home with multiple facades in the traditional farm/ranch manner, keeping the “past/present perfect.”