PaperCity Magazine

March 2016 - Houston

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 79 of 83

RANCHO FABULOSO ROUND TOP'S RANCHO PILLOW IS AN OLD SOUL IN A NEW AGE, AND NOW, FOR THE FIRST TIME, IS WELCOMING GUESTS. BY REBECCA SHERMAN F or 10 years, Rancho Pillow was a private retreat for Austin-based Sheila Youngblood, her oil-and-gas executive husband, Ryan, and their two children. Located seven miles outside Round Top — where Youngblood began shopping the antiques fairs in high school — the property also became a sought-after hideout and recording studio for musicians across the globe seeking inspiration from the Hill Country's rolling topography and the ranch's unique creative energy. (Youngblood is a trained classical singer, and her husband is a songwriter on the side.) The 20-acre compound — then known as Rancho Milagro — is an assortment of eccentric buildings, including a restored 1896 house filled with art and vintage finds and an 18th-century barn relocated from upstate New York. KNOXY KNOX KNOXY KNOX KNOXY KNOX KAREN SACHAR KNOXY KNOX Sheila Youngblood outstanding in her field Over the decade, the ranch achieved an almost mystical underground status in the area — much heard about, but seldom seen. Youngblood occasionally hosted film-making camps for her children's friends, weddings and birthday celebrations for friends, but the public rarely caught a glimpse down the gravel drive. Now, newly rebranded as Rancho Pillow — after a 1940s neon motel sign Youngblood found years ago at Round Top — the compound's buildings are available to rent for the first time during the antiques fair, starting this spring. (Guests can also reserve the full property year-round.)"I had so many requests over the years from people to stop by or stay," Youngblood says. "The reinvention of the Rancho invites a larger world to experience the soul of the place." Things kick off Monday, March 28, with a chef- prepared Dinner on the Porch (tickets are limited; visit, followed by a tour of the property and dwellings the next day. Both days offer private shopping events in their field. With a chef's kitchen and retail space set to open this spring, Rancho Pillow aims to become as much a destination as a place to lay your head. Still, a good night's sleep is never overrated. Of the ranch's four main lodgings, one of the most intriguing is the aforementioned 18th-century Dutch barn, with its two downstairs bedrooms and a queen bedroom in the crow's nest. Framed in massive hand-hewn hemlock timbers, the three-story barn is also the ranch's gathering spot and mess hall, with a modern kitchen stocked with top-of-the- line appliances. For the more adventurous, there's also an air-conditioned teepee, exotically furnished with a king-size bed and velvet seating, and with hand- painted imagery of the Four Elements on its sheet-rocked walls. The ranch sleeps 28 inside its various buildings, but events for hundreds can be accommodated, with luxury tents lining the pasture, including Bedouin-style camel and goat-hair tents, Moroccan red and gold velvet and Indian orange silk-embroidered tents. "I've been obsessed with creating spaces forever," Youngblood says. From $450 per night during the antiques fairs. View of the Tower House and TeePee A vintage neon Best Western sign salvaged from Round Top Inside the Teepee Bedroom inside the Tower House M iss Ima Hogg, the patron saint of Texas preservation, may best be known for Bayou Bend, but she also owned a series of Texana and historic homes in the community of Winedale near Round Top, about an hour and a half west of Houston. In 1965, she donated the collection to the University of Texas for management and care, along with what was then a sizable endowment. With recent budget cuts and inflation, the endowment is not endowing quite enough for the university to properly maintain the collection of historic buildings, furnishings and gardens. Upon learning of this quandary, local lovers of the land formed Friends of Winedale to raise the needed funds, and The Soirée: Reawakening Miss Ima's Dream was born. Chairs Beverly Jacomini and Ginny Elverson Welch called for white attire and organized an alfresco cocktail hour beneath towering oaks hung with white paper lanterns. Henkel Hall, a new event space developed by the Massey family in Henkel Square in Round Top, was swathed in white linen for the seated dinner by Bistro 108 and a live auction. Old-school Houstonians, most with nearby farms, turned out for Miss Ima: Tommy Jacomini, Allison and Miller Crosswell, Philip and Tye Taft, Lauren Taft and Libby Cagle, Michael Dale, Richard Holley, Greg Fourticq Jr., Mariquita Masterson, Janie and Dick Deguerin, Mickey Rosmarin, Nancy Levicki, George O. Jackson, Mike Steinmann, Harry and Kathy Masterson, Libbie Masterson, and Joanie and Lafayette Herring. For more party coverage, visit ANNE LEE PHILLIPS RECAPS A PRESERVATION PARTY. PHOTOGRAPHY PAUL WENTZELL, BRISCOE CENTER FOR AMERICAN HISTORY. WHITE OUT FOR WINEDALE Chair Beverly Jacomini Philip Taft Kathy Jacomini Masterson Victor Crosswell Flora Crosswell Greg Fourticq Jr. Joanie Jacomini Herring David Searls Mark Crosswell Liz Crosswell Allison Crosswell Dick Deguerin Chair Ginny Elverson Welch Libby Cagle Tye Taft Ramona Davis Babette Hale Julie Crosswell Leon Hale Nancy Levicki Richard Holley Michael Dale Janie Deguerin Miller Crosswell Don Ervin Lauren Taft Harry Masterson

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of PaperCity Magazine - March 2016 - Houston