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


Carla and Foy Royder, a husband and wife turnaround team, had a unique opportunity. Carla’s brother-in-law had inherited her parents’ house in Hollywood Park but did not want to live there.

“I kept telling him to let us reshape it for them,” Carla said. “But he thought it would be too weird to live there without his parents. Eventually (he and my sister) sold it to us.

The Royders had planned to return the house as they had so many others. Carla is an interior designer and Foy is under construction. “The turnaround is something we do to make some extra money,” Carla said.

After closing the three-bedroom, two-bath, one-story Colonial, built in the early 1960s, they spent around $ 30,000 in 2018 to prepare it for sale, removing several walls, expanding the kitchen, adding wallpaper and more. Carla moved her business, Carla Royder Designs & Co., into the house and listed it. But the original small master bedroom kept buyers away.

In 2019, Carla threw a Christmas party for her business in the house, and she and Foy spent the night there. By morning everything had changed.

The backyard of Carla and Foy Royder’s house in Hollywood Park.

Kin Man Hui / Personal photographer

“I woke up and realized that we necessary live here, ”Carla said. “The house has very good energy, and I’ve decided that’s where we’re going to retire eventually.”

They therefore embarked on a second larger renovation in 2020, right down to the foundations and the exterior envelope so that they could raise the ceilings, add a second floor and enlarge the master bedroom and the bathroom. The one-year renovation cost $ 250,000, but that’s with the discount for friends and family.

“If I had done this job for someone else, I would have charged around $ 370,000,” Foy said.

The works have added two more bedrooms and another bathroom. The most significant change was to increase the ceilings from 8 feet to 10 feet across most of the main floor.

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

This, along with the addition of the second story, completely changed the exterior of the house, giving it a Lowcountry farmhouse feel, with the addition of the second story centered above the extended wings of the main floor, where they kept the original brick.

“We didn’t want to take the brick apart because we wanted to keep the old look,” Carla said. “But we also didn’t want to extend the brick to the eaves because we wanted to show that the house had been renovated.”

They also replaced what had once been a simple concrete walkway and front porch with beautiful red herringbone bricks, a nod to the past.

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

Like many houses built in the 1960s, the interior of the house was originally cut into several smaller rooms, with many walls and hallways. All of this has been opened up to encompass a living and dining area with the kitchen open to one side.

The original fireplace was located in a corner, which made it difficult to design a room around it. So the couple toppled it and built a brand new fireplace as a focal point in the living room, facing the new functionality with porcelain tiles resembling marble and topped with a mantel made from a thick beam. of reclaimed wood.

Nearby, the dining room is centered on a Tilda chandelier from Arteriors. The light fixture has five wedding cake tiers of whitewashed wooden “candle holders” perched on U-shaped iron arms, drawing the eye from anywhere in the room.

Tilda chandelier by Arteriors has five tiers of whitewashed wood wedding cake

The Tilda chandelier from Arteriors has five wedding cake tiers of whitewashed wooden “candlesticks” perched on U-shaped iron arms. It’s a dramatic piece that catches the eye from anywhere in the world. the room.

Kin Man Hui / Personal photographer

An island topped with white leather marble – a less shiny finish – separates the kitchen from the rest of the living room and reflects Carla Royder’s 25-plus years as an interior designer.

“I wanted the kitchen to be timeless because I know how trendy things can be,” she said. “So I knew the white cabinets were what we needed to do. I love brass plumbing fixtures because brass has made a comeback. Finishes come and go, but for me brushed brass is timeless. I even brushed brass with some of the egg-shaped doorknobs in the hallway.

A door at one end of the kitchen leads to a pantry cleverly hidden under the staircase leading to the second floor. “I told the architect when he drew the plans that I like everything to have its place,” she said. “So we have a lot of storage space.”

Around the corner from the kitchen, and almost as large, is the butler’s pantry, which contains a sink, oven, microwave, wine cellar, and ice maker. There is also a bar area, washer and dryer, even a place where dogs sleep. The couple have started to entertain themselves again and the butler’s pantry serves them well.

“Our typical Friday night is grilling steaks and having friends to drink delicious wine and eat delicious food,” she explained. “We also use this oven because it prevents the kitchen from heating up. And with the bar, people can come in and make their own drinks.

For large groups, they have hired a bartender and caterers, who can work out of sight and come and go through the back entrance.

Then there’s the wallpaper in this pantry: a riot of color by Manuel Canovas depicting the wedding of Prince Dara of India.

“My mom is an artist and growing up she had wallpaper in the bathroom with Parisian men on horseback,” she said. “I just loved it. So when I came across this more modern version, it spoke to me.

The new second floor, which features two bedrooms and a full bathroom, feels like a playroom, with an open area used by their 12-year-old son to play video games with his friends. Their other son is at Texas A&M University.

The larger of the two bedrooms, both with 14-foot pointed ceilings, is filled with four beds. “We call it the bunk room even though it’s not a bunk bed,” she said. “This is where Reid’s guests or friends stay when he has sleepovers.”

The original master suite was very small, so they built an extension into the back yard, converting the space that had been the master bedroom and bathroom into walk-in closets for him and her.  They say they have tried to keep things practical and enjoyable.

The original master suite was very small, so they built an extension into the back yard, converting the space that had been the master bedroom and bathroom into walk-in closets for him and her. They say they have tried to keep things practical and enjoyable.

Matthew Niemann /

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

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

Carla deliberately designed the room with a lot less color than the rest of the house.

“I made very subtle, calming and soft materials like the felted wool rug,” she said. “The sheets are cotton, the wallpaper is seagrass and the headboard is cowhide. I wanted everything to be natural and organic.

The bathroom has two sinks, 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 said with a laugh. “It helps us stay married. “

An important consideration if this is going to be the house where they retire. | Twitter: @RichardMarini

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