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Couple on the hunt for a getaway they can renovate and share, find one on Lake Granbury

By Rebecca ChristophersonMarch 13, 2024March 15th, 2024No Comments

Lake Life on a Little Cove

By Scott Nishimura
Photography by Madeline Harper

Couple on the hunt for a getaway they can renovate and share, find one on Lake Granbury

Mary-Kevin Stuart and husband Patrick, transplants to Austin from California, were on the hunt for a Texas lakehouse that conjured up memories of Stuart’s childhood vacations in the West when they spotted an A-frame for sale in a cove at Lake Granbury.

The couple, who’d been searching for two years, bought the house in September 2022. After a makeover, they made it available for short-term rental in November. Five miles from Granbury’s historic downtown, the Stuarts and their guests enjoy those amenities — but also the quiet of being away from the bustle. “You feel kind of removed when you’re here,” Stuart said.

The couple extensively remodeled the four-bedroom, 2.5-bath, 1,600-square-foot home built in 1978, with an addition later. They took the bathrooms to the studs and put in an all-new kitchen with IKEA cabinets and Semihandmade fronts; shiplap interior walls over plywood previously covered by old wallpaper; and new durable engineered hardwood floors. With plenty of light coming in through the lake-facing A-frame glass walls, the couple used whites, grays and warm textures to offset the dark paneling they kept.

They also kept a spiral staircase to the loft and a wood-burning stove in the living room. They converted the loft to a trimmed-out four-bed bunk room and added a cozy kids’ reading area on the landing at the top of the stairs.

With the house 25 feet from the water, they refreshed the exterior deck, repainted the building and spruced up the landscape.

 The previous owners had kept the property in good condition, “but it was very aged,” Stuart said. “We basically touched everything.”

The family — the couple and their daughter — lives in Austin. Mary-Kevin Stuart recently sold a business, and her husband works for a technology company based in San Francisco. They’re able to make the drive to Lake Granbury about once a month and are making the house available as a short-term rental to help recoup their costs, Stuart said.

They’ve stocked the house — dubbed Little Cove, an A-Frame Getaway Lake Granbury — with the accoutrements of lake living, including a generously-equipped kitchen and pantry essentials like spices and cooking oils; board games; ample bedding and bath supplies; and even a turntable with record albums and Bluetooth speaker.

Outside, the couple set the house up with vignettes on the deck and waterfront lawn below, including a gas grill, fire pit, games, kayaks, paddle boards and life jackets. And for guests, Stuart offers a tray full of s’more fixings and skewer set for toasting over the fire. The place is available for about $400 per night this spring.

“I probably put too much effort into creating a brand,” says Stuart, laughing. Guests “want it to feel like a boutique hotel, and yet have the amenities.”


Kitchen cabinet boxes: ikea.com

Kitchen cabinet doors and drawer fronts: Semihandmade, Stone Quarterline, semihandmade.com

Kitchen countertops: Vicostone quartz, Misterio, us.vicostone.com

Bathroom floor tile, A-frame: Carrara White Marble 2-inch Hexagon Mosaic Tile Honed, stonecenteronline.com

Bathroom floor tile, jack-and-jill: Metro 2-inch Hex Matte Grey 11-1/8 inch x 12-5/8 inch. Porcelain Mosaic Tile, homedepot.com

Shower wall tile, both baths: Carrara White Marble 3×6 Subway Tile Honed, stonecenteronline.com

Engineered hardwoods: Stuga, Little Square, stugastudio.com

Shiplap: 1 inch x 6 inch, pine

Living room globe light fixture: Co-owner Mary-Kevin Stuart went to etsy.com, found Hangout Lighting’s hardwired White Cotton Modern Industrial Manila Rope Rustic Pendant, and paired it with the large round Rice Paper Shade she found at Design Within Reach. dwr.com

Wall art: Metamorphosis tapestry by vuzel.art. Undyed linen, recycled cotton, and oak. Stuart: “I loved the idea of incorporating rope into the interior design as a subtle nautical nod. This piece is definitely one of our favorite things inside the house.”


Little Cove, an A-Frame Getaway Lake Granbury

Location: On the lake, five miles from downtown Granbury
Bedroom: Four, with seven beds
Baths: 2.5
Rents: $400 per night this spring at littlecoveaframe.com and Airbnb