A Home Filled with Treasures
Owner and Designer: Courtney Johnson Walker, Interior Designer
What is your design style?
Our design style is a hodgepodge of treasures collected over the generations that spark joy and interest. We have an eclectic mix ranging from things my mother collected during her travels around the world to items we picked up at neighborhood garage sales. We love pulling these great finds together – layered décor with magic, textures, and soul from all different time periods. We add a bit of mischief and elements of surprise along with nostalgia and nods to the past. Everything has a story out there, even our collections. There are about 125 Straffoshire dogs I have collected over 40 years, and there are fossils my family has collected during our time at the ranch that line the wall. We have even made a collection of vintage radiator ceramic bricks that we have installed as wall art.
What is the main inspiration for your designs?
I am inspired by the setting – the Texas hill country. The German influence and their wonderful use of field stone and cedar in their architectural design is so pure. I like to stay true to the roots of the place. We love reusing and repurposing. The stairwell balustrades are old windmill sucker rods, and the floor in the old smokehouse came from the late 1800s Botanical Garden’s Sullivan house. After moving over to the current location, the architect was not able to reuse the creosote-covered wooden bricks, so my mother bought them and moved them to the ranch. After about ten years, we finally found a place to install these beautiful pieces. My mother saved wonderful things that would have been sent to the landfill. Gratefully, we have been able to carry on the tradition of finding a home for these treasures, a tradition we are teaching the next generation.
What is your most special place at the ranch, and why?
The front porch is my favorite spot at the ranch. When I was a small child, I remember all our meals here. We would eat, gather and visit while watching the birds overlooking our yard and pasture.
Where does the name come from?
The name Poco a Poco happened when I took over the ranch about 35 years ago. I would often get overwhelmed by everything that needed to be done; there is always so much in keeping these precious places in good shape. There was a sweet man who worked there at the time, and when I was getting in one of these situations, he would say, “poco a poco, Courtney.” Meaning, of course, “little by little.” And that is still our mantra.
The ranch is also a VRBO. What do you do to make everyone feel “At Home”?
We embrace a “mi casa es su casa” policy and allow the guests to use all our accoutrements – nothing is off limits. We want our visitors to make their own special memories with their family and friends.