Exterior shot of a small building with brick limestone. The front porch has small white columns. Between two windows is a wood double front door. Tree branches and blue sky with a few wispy clouds are in the background of the shot.

The property of Sunday Haus dates back to the 19th century, when rural families had second homes closer to town. Photo courtesy of Sunday Haus.

Every year, the Texas Hill Country shows its true colors when the roadsides erupt with spring wildflowers. Like these prolific blooms, a growing number of vacation rental properties are popping up across the region, bringing their own color and flair to cities like Fredericksburg.

The latest on the scene, a striking three-unit complex called Sunday Haus, was developed by sisters Chelsea McCullough and Bethany McCullough Ross, along with popular food and lifestyle blogger Jane Ko of A Taste of Koko, and Kristy Owen, founder of 365 Things Austin.

Wanting a modern yet comfortable weekend escape that they and their friends could enjoy, the Austin-based foursome began scouring sites in Wimberly, Marble Falls, and Georgetown before finding a prime location—a 0.3-acre property dating back to the mid-19th century just one block from Fredericksburg’s historic Main Street

“What makes Fredericksburg special, in addition to the vineyards and tasting rooms, is the German history and Sunday houses,” Ko says. These timeless dwellings were the second residences of farming families needing a place to stay during their weekend trips to town. 

The group chose the name Sunday Haus in homage to the original Sunday house that’s stood on-site since 1861. “Even before the renovations, we were drawn in by the hand-chiseled limestone structure,” McCullough says. 

Today, the home’s historic character is evident throughout, from the Victorian brass doorbell and original wooden pie closet to the Dutch staircase, the backyard water well, and of course, the interior stone walls. Striking the right balance between old and new was part of the challenge for the founders.

“You get to experience the magic of a historic Fredericksburg Sunday house, yet when you walk inside, the kitchen, living spaces, and bedrooms are newly renovated with modern furnishings,” Ko says.

Interior of a bedroom, with a queen-size bed decorated with white and taupe bedding. There's a wooden bench at foot of bed, fan on the ceiling, standing mirror in the corner where the roof slopes, and white drapery at a window. The walls are exposed limestone bricks.

With three units, Sunday Haus has space to sleep up to 10 guests. Photo courtesy of Sunday Haus.

On a recent stay with friends, I felt this firsthand, thanks to the steaming hot tubs on arrival, and the light-filled rooms with their luxe sofas and books. 

In addition to this original dwelling, aptly called “Stone Haus,” the property encompasses two other buildings, including a 1960s structure named “Ranch Haus,” and a former garage-turned-studio space coined the “Cottage.” Today, both are one-bedroom units with their own private hot tubs and firepits, kitchenettes, and living rooms.

“We built it out so that both couples or larger groups could gather and appreciate the space independently or together,” McCullough Ross says.  

Each unit is available to book on its own or the entire complex can be rented as well. The property sleeps up to 10 people. The backyard, which stitches the three quarters together, is ideal for gathering friends and families, with its long dining table, lounge chairs, outdoor TV, and artificial turf for yard games and play. 

While Sunday Haus is undoubtedly elevated in feel, the spaces inside are void of pretension. Furthermore, each home has its own personality and design, like sage paint and tile in Stone Haus, earthy tones and textures in Ranch Haus, and a brighter, airier palette in the Cottage. “We wanted to create a cozy yet luxurious getaway,” says McCullough Ross, adding that the interiors mix organic textures like stone, wood, brass, and linen, with wabi-sabi (a Japanese aesthetic that celebrates the beauty in imperfection) and French countryside elements. 

Bringing this vision to fruition was a labor of love for the 30-something co-founders, who spent every weekend of 2022 working on the property. “We curated an incredible partner list for furnishings and design touches, including Casper bedding, Slow North soaps and linen sprays out of Austin, and Fredericksburg-based Local Natives for landscaping,” shares Owen. 

Since opening their doors in January, the Sunday Haus team has received inquiries for wedding parties, yoga retreats, birthday celebrations, and private dinner experiences with local chefs. And while the calming and comfortable interiors make it difficult to leave, the women hope the space will inspire all who visit to explore the area further. 

“From exploring Enchanted Rock, taking a trip to William Chris Vineyards, and two-stepping and live music at Hondo’s,” McCullough says, “we encourage our guests to experience how incredible Fredericksburg and the surrounding Hill Country is.”

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