Like all family heirlooms, this charming bed and breakfast is designed by the owners to be admired and shared with all; especially those who seek escape into the Victorian era without losing all their modern day comforts of home.
Drawn to The Murchison Honaker house while looking for a home closer to her mother, Allison and Dwain Mathers fell in love with both it and the quaint red brick paved main street of Farmersville, which made the National Register for Historic Places in 2017, the moment they saw it. The Mathers bought the northeast Texas home in 2018 from the Thain family who had purchased it from the Honaker family in 1968.
Turning the brass doorbell upon arrival is a must. The musical bells let you know that you are about to enter another day in time. When we arrived, we were warmly greeted by Allison, who had been working into the evening preparing for next day’s monthly Farmersville Market, with a champagne welcome (available in one of their generous whole house rental packages) and a tour of the home.
Branching off from the entrance is a luxurious ladies parlor with a record player and formal seating. (We listened to an Aretha Franklin album there after a busy day on the town square.) Next to it is the men’s smoking parlor, set with a pipe and cigars should someone choose to indulge; and on the other side is Bedroom 1. Beyond the foyer is a lovely formal dining room with a community room that leads out to the commercial kitchen, the back porch, and the lovely English-style gardens.
With three full baths, each having its own original clawfoot tub, dispersed throughout the home, the bedrooms are labeled 1-5. Each is unique and wonderfully decorated. Room 1, with a private bathroom, is downstairs and the other four bedrooms and two baths are upstairs—all light and airy with plenty of space. Incorporating furniture that came with the house, the Mathers have transformed the rooms in pleasing ways that make the house a bride’s or content creator’s dream.
The walls are decorated with various cushioned luxurious upholstered fabrics. Some are smooth with a bright and cheery single color or romantic floral prints, others are a cream-colored Jacquard. The original shiplap and other wooden accents add interest and textures which blend well with the perfectly-placed chandeliers, thick rugs, generous art prints and other antique and Victorian-style furnishings in velvet and wood.
We found our beds, both upstairs and downstairs, so (so!) comfortable. One thing I really loved is that, as an added and delightful detail, Allison Mathers personally irons the sheets, which beckon you to slip between them for a sweet night of rest. Sleeping in Bedroom 1 took me back to the long summer nights I spent at my different grandparents’ homes in southern Louisiana. It was like coming home.
The lush one-acre grounds contain gardens that are as special as the home they surround. I was enchanted with the beauty of its secret corners and grand natural arbors; a water feature that runs along the property fills the estate with the quiet, calming sounds of a babbling brook. In the arched arbors, enjoy finding a bench to snuggle with a love or have a glass of wine and reflect. Discover a gathering table with a grapevine ball of fairy lights leading to another arbor with a clear beaded chandelier for charming photo opps. Or, gather at one of the fire pits to catch up with your party over a steaming cup of hot chocolate, cup of tea or glass of wine.
A One of a Kind Experience
In my childhood, I spent so much time in the gardens of my Southern grandmothers’, whipping up ‘soups’ from herbs, making flower crowns, and having pretend tea parties. I dreamed of ballerinas while listening to classical music on record players in their formal living rooms and gathered in the kitchen with them, ever learning. Though they are all (I had four) long gone, during my too short stay at Honaker House, I felt so close to them. This is the type of unique experience that owner Allison wants you to have when you visit. Even if your experience isn’t reminiscent like mine, you will be delighted by this beautiful home that reaches across time and invites you into its special spaces for an intimate encounter with Victorian life in small town Texas.
COVID Protocols + More
In an abundance of caution, the Murchison Honaker House is doing only full house rentals until further notice, with cleaning protocols following CDC Guidelines to ensure the safety of guests.
In addition to routine cleanings before a guest arrives, sanitizing wipes are used to wipe down all door knobs and light switches, hard surfaces and high traffic areas. Every guest is provided with complimentary hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes.
Check in is no earlier than 4pm; Check out is no later than 11am.
A $200 reservation deposit (fully refundable) is required.
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Cover photo courtesy The Murchison Honaker House
Rhonda Jenkins is mom to two boys and loves spending time with them, her daughter-in-law and her cute-faced pit mix and two grands. A Cajun from Louisiana, Jenkins now lives in Georgetown, TX and creates content for the TLM team Insta.Follow her work for TLM at @texaslifestylemag and her personal account @atxlovelist