Broadway producer Allen Becker was a city dweller through and through, until a no-fuss farmhouse got him singing a different tune.
An acclaimed entertainment manager and Broadway producer,
Allen Becker never planned to buy a farm. But after an especially inspiring Sunday drive in central Texas farmland, Allen decided to go in with his niece, Susan Mccauley, on a scenic 79-acre property just outside the small town of Round Top. “With its beautiful pastures and towering oaks, it felt like a place the entire extended family could go to escape—myself included,” Allen says.
Finding himself with a farm, Allen then found himself in need of a farmhouse. But for this aficionado of all things contemporary and clean-lined (his full-time residence is a Houston high-rise filled with modern art), the farmhouse aesthetic didn’t exactly come naturally.
Enter interior designer Stacy Graubart, who teamed up with Allen to craft a brand-new home in keeping with its surroundings and its owner’s aesthetic. “Rustic minimalism. That was our design credo for this house,” Graubart says. She turned to farmhouse hallmarks such as shiplap walls and wide-plank floors, as well as industrial finishes like metal, concrete, and aluminum. She kept the palette neutral—mostly white with bits of black, gray, and blue—and avoided frilly details. Which isn’t to say the house is devoid of personality. Throughout the home, Graubart added rough-hewn, timeworn touches, nearly all of them purchased at Round Top’s famed antiques fair. “Every time Allen saw me dragging in some shutters with flaking paint or Longhorn artwork, he’d gripe, ‘I thought it was going to be contemporary!’” Graubart recalls. “But when things were in place, he saw they felt right at home.” It’s a sentiment that now also applies to Allen himself, who spends most weekends at his country retreat. “I love the simplicity of both the home’s design and time spent at the farm,” he says. Sounds like he’s singing a whole new song.
left: Though contemporary at first glance, the living room features plenty of weathered treasures, including an antique recliner, distressed shutters-turned-closetdoors, and one pair of impressively large deer antlers. below: Designer Stacy Graubart repurposed a marble-topped cabinet into a handsome bar. Topping the striking vignette is a Texas longhorn oil painting that pays homage to the local terrain.