San Antonio couple find dream retirement home when they fall in love with their Hollywood Park house flip

Carla and Foy Royder, a flipping team of married couples, were given a unique opportunity. Carla’s brother-in-law had inherited his parents’ Hollywood Park home but didn’t want to live there.

“I kept telling him that we would have it rebuilt for them,” said Carla. “But he thought it would be too strange to live there without his parents. Finally (he and my sister) they sold it to us. “

The Royders planned to turn the house over, as they had done with so many others. Carla is an interior designer and Foy is under construction. “Turning around is something we do to make extra money,” said Carla.

After the closure of the one-story, three-bedroom, two-bath Colonial built in the early 1960s, they spent about $ 30,000 in 2018 getting it ready for sale, removing multiple walls, expanding the kitchen, wallpapering and using it much more. Carla moved into the house and introduced her business, Carla Royder Designs & Co. But the small, original master suite kept buyers away.

But in 2019 Carla held a Christmas party for her company in the house, and she and Foy stayed there for the night. Everything had changed in the morning.

The back yard of Carla and Foy Royders house in Hollywood Park.

Kin Man Hui / Photographer

“I woke up and realized that we have to live here,” said Carla, 48. “The house has really good energy and I have decided that we will retire here at some point.”

So in 2020 they began a second, more extensive renovation that went back to the foundation and outer skin to raise the ceilings, add a second floor, and expand the master bedroom and bathroom. The one-year Reno was $ 250,000 – but that’s with the discount for friends and family.

“If I did this job for someone else, I would have calculated about $ 370,000,” said Foy, 54.

The work added two more bedrooms and another bathroom. The biggest change was to raise the ceilings from 2 feet to 10 feet in most of the first floor.

“We did it to bring in more light and make the home more comfortable and open,” said Carla.

This, along with the addition of the second floor, completely changed the exterior of the house, giving it a lowcountry farmhouse look, with the second floor addition centered over the extended wings of the first floor which retained the original brick.

“We didn’t want to tear the brick down because we wanted to keep the old look,” said Carla. “But we didn’t want to extend the brick to the eaves either, because we wanted to show that the house was being rebuilt.”

They also replaced a plain concrete walkway and front porch with pretty herringbone red bricks, a nod to the past.

“I’ve always loved this look,” she said. “Unless you’re in King William or one of the older parts of San Antonio, you don’t have homes with a lot of character. And that drove me crazy as an interior designer. “

As with many houses from the 1960s, the interior of the house was originally divided into several smaller rooms with lots of walls and hallways. All of this has been opened up to include a living and dining area with the open kitchen on one side.

The original fireplace was in a corner, which made it difficult to design a room around it. So they tore it down and rebuilt a completely new fireplace as the focal point in the living room, which was opposite the novelty with porcelain tiles in a marble look and a coat made of a thick beam made of reclaimed wood.

There is a Tilda chandelier by Arteriors in the dining room nearby. The lamp has five rows of wedding cakes made of whitewashed wooden candle holders, which sit on U-shaped iron arms and attract the eye from anywhere in the room.

The Tilda chandelier by Arteriors has five levels of the wedding cake made of whitewashed wood

The Tilda chandelier by Arteriors has five rows of wedding cakes made of whitewashed wooden “candle holders” that sit on U-shaped iron arms. It’s a dramatic piece that will grab attention from anywhere in the room.

Kin Man Hui / Photographer

An island of white leather-covered marble – a less shiny finish than usual – separates the kitchen from the rest of the living area and reflects Carla Royders as an interior designer for over 25 years.

“I wanted the kitchen to be timeless because I know how trendy things can be,” she says. “So I knew white cabinets were what we had to do. I love the brass plumbing fixtures because brass has found its way back. Surfaces come and go, but to me, brushed brass is timeless. I even put brushed brass on some of the egg-shaped door handles in the hallway. “

A door at one end of the kitchen leads to a pantry cleverly hidden under the stairs to the second floor. “When I was working out the plans, I told the architect that I would like everything to have its place,” she says. “So we have a lot of storage space.”

Around the corner from the kitchen and almost as big is the butler’s pantry, which contains a sink, oven, microwave, wine refrigerator, and ice maker. There is also a bar area, washer and dryer, even a place for the dogs to sleep. The couple has started entertaining again and the butler’s pantry serves them well.

“Our typical Friday night is grilling steaks and inviting friends over to sip delicious wine and eat delicious feet,” she explained. “We also use this oven because it protects the kitchen from heating up. And at the bar people can come in and prepare their own drinks. “

For larger parties, they have hired a bartender and caterer who work out of sight and can come and go through the back entrance.

Then there is the wallpaper in this pantry: a riot of color by Manuel Canovas, depicting the wedding of Prince Dara of India. “My mother is an artist and grew up, she had a bathroom wallpaper with Parisian men on horseback,” she said. “I just loved it. When I came across this more modern version, it spoke to me.”

The new second floor, which has two bedrooms and a full bath, has a Rumpus room feel, with an open area that is used by her 12 year old son to play video games with his friends. Her other son is at Texas A&M University.

The larger of the two bedrooms, which both have 4.50 m high pointed ceilings, is filled with four beds. “We call it the bunk bed, even though they aren’t bunk beds,” she said. “Guests or Reid’s friends stay here when he’s staying.

Downstairs, the original master suite was relatively small, so they built a modest annex in the back yard and turned what had been the master bedroom and bathroom into two walk-in closets.

The original master suite was very small so they added an annex in the back yard and turned what had been the master bedroom and bath into his and hers walk-in closets.  They say they tried to keep things practical and beautiful.

The original master suite was very small so they added an annex in the back yard and turned what had been the master bedroom and bath into his and hers walk-in closets. They say they tried to keep things practical and beautiful.

Matthew Niemann /

“We didn’t want to spend money on square footage,” she said. “This is our retirement home, so we tried to keep it practical and beautiful to give us the freedom to move it elsewhere.”

Carla deliberately used much less color in the room than in the rest of the house. “I made very subtle, soothing, soft materials, like the felted wool rug,” she said. “The bed linen is made of cotton, the wallpaper is made of seagrass and the headboard is made of cowhide. I wanted everything to be natural and organic. “

The bathroom has two vanities, a large shower and not one but two toilets. “We get up at the same time every morning, so we don’t have to take turns,” she says with a laugh. “It helps us stay married.”

An important consideration if this will be the home they will retire to.

[email protected] | Twitter: @RichardMarini

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