Chris Mendiola, Blue Bruin Photography
Cordillera Ranch residents Sherry and Bryan Rymer set out to build a home that could accommodate their family, friends and out-of-town visitors. In many ways, they designed a resort retreat perched on the bluffs in Cordillera Ranch that would make it difficult for any guest to leave!
Bryan Rymer spent more than 40 years in the construction industry and knew he had to find a builder team that would share his attention to detail and deliver a dream home that was up to his standards. Garner Homes, a Cordillera Ranch Preferred Builder, was a perfect match to bring this resort-style home to life. The Garner Homes team, led by owner Trey Garner, has won 15 statewide Star awards from the Texas Association of Builders, 16 Summit Awards from the Greater San Antonio Builders Association, one Best American Living Award from the National Association of Home Builders and other numerous accolades for their focus on building science and performance. If fact, Garner Homes’ work on the Rymer Residence was recognized last year with a Summit Award, given by the Greater San Antonio Builders Association — Best Product Design by a custom home builder.
Rymer has coined the term “Hill Country Villa” to describe the 8,300-square-foot home set in the center of a peaceful eight-and-a-half-acre lot. The property accommodates seven bedrooms, eight bathrooms, two half baths, a media room, a game room, a man cave, a wine room, a library, an open-concept kitchen and living room, as well as a fully equipped caterer’s kitchen. The Cordillera Ranch property provides access to horse stables, kayaking, golf, tennis, pickleball, shooting ranges and the neighborhood country club. In addition, the estate houses an expansive outdoor entertaining area overlooking the Guadalupe Valley, which includes a pool, spa, horseshoes, ping pong table and bocce ball court. While the home is expansive, it still feels welcoming and conducive to a laidback lifestyle. Rymer adds, “We wanted the home to feel like a destination in itself and make it a fun place to gather.”
The Rymers began their home-building journey back in 2015, considering a range of sites but ultimately deciding on Cordillera Ranch to build their dream home. “We decided on Cordillera Ranch because it is well-planned,” explains Rymer. “All of the homes go through an extensive architectural review to ensure value is being built into the community and that the neighborhood feels harmonious. While we could have built anywhere, we could not pass up the community amenities and views offered by this property.” The Garner Homes team broke ground in 2019 and finished the build in 2020.
“The design inspiration for this project was two-fold,” explains Trey Garner. “First, our clients wanted to build a comfortable environment for their family. The second guiding design principle was to build a home with a timeless design that struck a chord for those who love historic architecture and appreciate modern design.” The home features limestone, Carrara marble and exposed wood alongside sleeker modern finishes like restaurant-standard appliances, home technology and even an elevator. “Our favorite description about this house is that it looks like someone found an old Italian estate and remodeled it with modern finishes,” adds Garner.
A winding paver driveway leads to the center of the lot where the home sits. An old-growth oak tree anchors the front courtyard. The house itself features a limestone and stucco exterior, a clay tile roof and solid-cut limestone columns framing the entrance. Exposed Douglas Fir rafters and accents give the home its Tuscan Villa quality.
Inside, the home features timeless and effortlessly elegant finishes. The foyer opens up to 24-foot-tall ceilings and a dining room accommodating 16 guests. Seven-and-a-half-inch-wide plank wood floors in French White Oak with an oiled finish run throughout the main living areas of the home. The bathrooms feature white Carrara marble flooring, walls and counters. A 60-inch two-sided masonry fireplace grounds the living room, and an easily-accessible climate-controlled wine room is housed under the stairs.
The main kitchen includes custom black and white cabinets, marble counters and a Viking® appliance package, including a 60-inch vintage-inspired range in matte black and chrome. In addition, the caterer’s kitchen plays a supporting role in large parties and events. This secondary kitchen comprises custom cabinetry, granite countertops, a range top, two wall ovens, a full-sized 30-inch refrigerator, a 30-inch freezer, a dishwasher, a microwave and the Rymers’ beloved milkshake machine.
Up the stairs or by way of the elevator lies the primary suite. This suite is positioned to frame the home’s best views, allowing the couple to take in the sweeping Guadalupe Valley from the comfort of their private balcony. In addition, the suite houses a sitting area, a limestone fireplace, a workspace and an expansive attached bath clad in Carrara marble with a freestanding tub.
As a master of careful planning and meticulous detail, Rymer concludes, “There is no perfect house. However, I wouldn’t change anything about this design. This home affords us the lifestyle we love sharing with our friends and family.”