Mike Bates has long loved leisurely outdoor afternoons in the Texas countryside for a break from his busy life with alternative energy sources in Austin. For many years he has stored real estate in nearby Blanco and Lagrange, but his latest country crush pad in Wimberley brings a whole new meaning to backyard hideouts.
Built on Lockhart base Landfill space The butterfly structure, lovingly called “Bee Camp”, avoids walls and windows and takes an open approach to the elements. Cooking and entertainment take place on one side, and Mike sleeps in the festivities at the vintage Curtiss-Wright Airstream parked on the other side. There is a full bath in the middle, and family gatherings (which can be 50 people at a time!) Spread over the surrounding acres of shaded hammocks and seating areas.
The living space is very close to Mike and got their look from someone dear: his eldest daughter, the designer in Houston Mimi Mecham.. “He lives off-the-grid and is very enthusiastic about being self-sufficient,” says Mimi about her dad, who loves his new bargains very much. “He doesn’t want to do anything anymore. He just loves to be outside.”
The patina look of Bee Camp is completely authentic. The structure is entirely made of recycled wood and galvanized metal. “There were a lot of cool colors in it, but they were darker,” says Mimi. There she settled on a palette of poppy teal and bright bumblebee yellow (“brighter, fresher, more airy shades”), evoking a friendly and cozy atmosphere in the dining and entertainment areas.
One bee mural
The Bates family has nothing to do without devoting themselves to having fun and making memories. Before the daughters got married, Mike insisted that all the crew match the bumblebee tattoos “to show that we are all Bates first and always together.” (Her kids call Mike “Granby.”) What’s now like a family symbol is a custom mural by an Austin-based artist, celebrated by the name of the compound. Is Avery Orendorff..
Many of the decorations that decorate Bee Camp are sentimental items from Mike’s personal collection. Here, vintage pennants nod to his alma mater, Texas A & M, and horse watches are popular at garage sales. He received a toy tractor on a magazine subscription many years ago. It is a tactile reminder of his dream of running an independent farm one day.
Outdoor entertainment space
Seats of all sizes
Mike loves classical country music, so a dedicated place to store, play, and view his record collection was at the top of the essentials list. Mimi found a house right next to the kitchen that would otherwise be a storage closet. “I don’t know if I used the same space, but that was a good decision,” she says. “People spend so much time researching his collection and selecting records. There’s always fun music playing.”
Bee Camp is a multi-stage project. The second half of the structure will eventually be an enclosed bedroom, but for now Mike also serves as a parking lot for his beloved vintage 1947 Curtiss-Wright Airstream. The refurbished trailer, acquired in California between jobs, came with mint paint stripes that influenced the color palette of the rest of the compound.
Bringing the trailer to the road, Mike makes coffee and wash dishes in a small retro-style kitchenette. Outlaw Movie poster It came with a camper van, but is in perfect harmony with the aesthetics of Beecamp’s Texas Country.
In the bedroom, the bee theme follows Throw a pillow And coordinated rug. At Christmas, the family gave Mike a robe, slippers, and a heated blanket to help him relax in his camper van during the colder months.
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Landfill Hill Country Retreat-Airstream and Outdoor Movie Room
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