From stained glass to pottery to oil paintings, Victoria DeBerry’s sunny neighborhood home is filled with art, much of it created by herself and other family members — father, daughters and wellknown portrait artist Bronson Charles, a cousin.
“Almost all the people in my family are artists of one kind or another,” DeBerry says, “which is interesting — it makes for colorful conversations.”
Children Victoria Lee, Sarah Ann and Richard are “all grown and out of the nest,” and DeBerry has the place to herself these days …
well, almost. Sarah Ann’s girlhood cats remain in residence — TC (Trash Cat) and Pepé, offhandedly scratching the marvelous leathertop desk in the study. DeBerry’s personal sidekick is the more elegant Freddy, a German wire-haired pointer bred especially
for her. Together they make their home among
the rich, soft colors and the favorite antiques and belongings she chose to keep when downsizing from her former home near the Perots and other west Preston Hollow luminaries.
“I’ve been (in this neighborhood) for 20 years,” she says, adding that she likes the older homes, the large lots, and the great old oak trees.
“I think once people have lived in older neighborhoods, they tend to gravitate back to them.”
Downsizing also involved boarding all her quarter horses — her passion; an extensive assortment of saddles, bridles, ribbons and photos attest to her years of horsewomanship.
“That’s my show saddle,” says DeBerry, gesturing to a beautifully tooled specimen. “I had it made — the tree was fitted to my horse’s back before they started, and a silversmith did the engraving.”
This portion of her equestrian collection is displayed in the dining room near a unique fireplace faced with petrified wood.
“When I was shown the house,” DeBerry recalls, “they said: Oh, this fireplace is such an eyesore, you’ll have to get rid it.
“Well, it was one of two things that sold me (the half-acre lot being the other). They (the former owners) had little china figurines on it and ornate picture frames … I knew instantly what I was going to do with it,” she says, gesturing to the rustic arrangement that
includes a trophy her grandfather won for
“being the best marksman in Potter
DeBerry also added a fireplace to the formal living room before moving in, and next figured out where to place the first art/antique object she bought after moving to the neighborhood — a century-old teak and mahogany Oriental screen that greets visitors at the end of the entrance foyer.
“I read an ad in the newspaper and was dying to go antique hunting. So I headed out to McKinney and then had to come all the way home and borrow a neighbor’s station wagon to get it. The barbers in the shop next door loaded it for me.
“It was carved by three men — one would do all the animals and men, another would do the vegetation and a third would do the architecture.”
Other favorite belongings fell into place — the French camelback down and horsehair sofa fits gracefully under triple windows in the master bedroom; her own childhood bedroom furniture resides in the guest room. All in all, a most welcoming environment for its owner and company. Now, DeBerry says, if she can only figure out how to cook for her artistic
daughters when they visit — both are strict vegetarians.
“This (past holiday) I was so proud of myself because I had cooked all these (nonmeat) side dishes. One of them was a corn casserole, and one of the ingredients is Jiffy Cornbread mix. So one daughter gets the box and looks at the ingredients and says that they can’t eat it — it has lard in it.”
Oh well. How about her son? Is he also a veterinarian?
“No,” DeBerry says, laughing again. “He’s a lawyer.”
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