D Home | January/February 2020
Take a Tour of Jan Showers’ Elegant Estate in Hillsboro
BY RHONDA REINHART
PHOTOGRAPHY BY NATHAN SCHRODER, PORTAIT BY ELIZABETH LAVIN
Growing up in Hillsboro, Texas, Jan Showers always admired the three-story Colonial Revival that sat just down the street from her childhood home. With its lush tree canopy, stately facade, and classic interiors, it’s easy to see why the 1938 stunner designed by Dallas architecture firm Goodwin & Tatum enamored the future interior designer. “It’s a beautiful piece of property,” she says of the 3-acre estate. “I would come here because we were friends of the family, and I always thought it was a lovely home.”
After high school, Showers moved to Fort Worth for college at Texas Christian University, then to Austin, where her husband, Jim, attended law school at the University of Texas. She never forgot about that Hillsboro house, though, and when Jim announced that he wanted to practice law in her hometown after graduation, she had an announcement of her own: “I said, ‘Well, I only want to go back there if I can live in [that] house.’”
Unfortunately, the property wasn’t for sale, but the couple moved to Hillsboro in the late 1960s anyway and set up house on the same street where Showers grew up and where the home of her dreams sat just out of reach. In 1970, however, the real estate gods looked kindly upon the young couple. “Jim and I went on a trip to Europe, and when we got back, the house was for sale,” says Showers. “We were very lucky to get it, and we’ve lived in it ever since.”
Although Showers wouldn’t start designing professionally until 1977—and wouldn’t design her first furniture and lighting collection until 1999—by 1970, she’d been helping friends decorate their houses for years, and she relished the opportunity to tackle her own home. “We entertained all the time in those days,” she says. “I wanted the house to look like a comfortable home that you’d love to come to.” Other than painting the walls, redoing the floors, and restoring and modernizing the kitchen, Showers left the interiors mostly as they’d been since 1938. Outside, she added a large terrace, a swimming pool, and a tennis court. “The architects knew what they were doing,” she says. “We have never done anything to this house that was not cosmetic.”
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