Today’s home tour is gorgeous. There are soft warm wood tones, and unique pieces of furniture, and the feeling that this house has been curated and collected over time. Plus there’s a dreamy yard — the kind made for lounging and watching the sunset. All of this beauty comes from the home of Sarah Freemont, a part-time writer and former teacher, who now home schools her four kids in this stunning home outside of Austin, Texas. Welcome, Sarah! We’re so glad you’re sharing your home with us.
You should probably know, the purchase of this home was largely inspired by Gabrielle’s Treehouse. I have been following Design Mom since she lived in Colorado and then moved to France. Her home in France was so magical, and I remember reading how it changed her. When they began looking for a home in the U.S. they were really picky and wanted to find an extraordinary house. I was completely smitten by that idea. I wanted to find a magical, extraordinary home for my family!
When we first moved to Texas, we thought it would be temporary, so we rented a very tragic, sad house. Our souls were basically dying. After two years had passed, and we were still in Texas, it was looking like it would be permanent. I created a vision board of the magical home I wanted if we were going to stay here. I cut and pasted pictures on a large piece of cardboard and presented the ideas to my family. The board included images of land, gardens, trees, goats, chickens, and compost piles. Creating the vision board got us all very excited and inspired as we started searching for our extraordinary home.
When we first saw our current home, it was the property that captured our hearts. Six acres on a hill, filled with native grasses, wildflowers, and paths through the forest. It was so peaceful and quiet, just the sound of the wind in the trees. It was magical! The house was a definite fixer-upper though, and we have been working through a list of renovations and projects since we bought the house a couple years ago. We’ve done most of the work ourselves, and have had friends help us on the weekends.
I’ve always thought we were hardy folks, but during much of the renovation, when we were all sleeping together in the playroom, surrounded by dust and debris, and cooking off a hotplate, it just about did us in!
We live in the dreamiest neighborhood in the Hill Country of Texas, just west of Austin. It was originally established as a horse community and many folks do have horses. On Fridays, my children walk through the forest to the neighbors, who have become like grandparents to them, and take horse riding lessons. All the residents have at least one acre and our piano teacher, that lives down the street, has twenty. It is a very friendly community and we get together for annual chili cook-offs and Oktoberfests.
For Halloween we all meet together to jump on hay wagons for trick or treating rides through the neighborhood! Surprisingly, homes do not sell quickly as many are fixer-uppers like ours was. I think people like the idea of a fixer-upper, but not the reality!
My husband, John, is a former model and actor who now runs his own AI company. He’s a secret introvert who enjoys carpentry and reading math books. He blames me for the modeling and acting. HA! I guess I can be fairly persuasive, but I really wanted to live in NYC and figured male modeling was the way to go. While he was modeling in NYC, I was working at a non-profit. When he traveled to the Bahamas to shoot his fake honeymoon for BRIDES magazine, I was leading a Habitat for Humanity group to Guatemala. It’s like we are the same person.
After that, we lived in Los Angeles for several years. John was acting and I was a public school science teacher for LAUSD. After our second child was born, we felt the need for a career shift to save our marriage and family from the Hollywood industry, so when a friend invited us out to Austin for new work opportunities, we thought we’d try it out.
We’ve been in Texas for seven years now. We raise chickens and dairy goats, and I homeschool our four children. I’m obsessed with gardening, love running, write for a few publications, and enjoy reading books by Elizabeth Goudge, George Eliot, and Gene Stratton Porter.
My oldest, Asher, is ten and a complete Renaissance man. He will get up early to milk the goat, then prepare us a breakfast of over-easy eggs. After our school time, he will play piano, knit, and then spend the day outside climbing trees and fashioning bows and arrows. My eight-year-old, Elinor, is a creative spirit and three-dimensional artist. She will use any scrap or bits out of the recycling bin to create something imaginative. Ari, six, is our great lover and warrior. He wrestles and hugs with gusto. Our three-year-old, Evy, is enormously passionate and very vocal about asserting her opinions.
I absolutely love homeschooling. I love the time we have to be together, to have slow-mornings breakfasting, to spend time in nature, to read all the good books. My gift is definitely in creating peaceful home rhythms and keeping things simple. Especially now that we have land, it is incredibly easy to stay home all day abiding. We have so much good work to do here!
I wish someone had told me how much I would love being a mama. The idea of motherhood being good and beautiful work was certainly not communicated to me as a child. I am always so in awe of young women that seem to know this intuitively. We got a late start in having babies, and then our journey was delayed three more years due to infertility. But when I finally became a mom, I knew that I had found something that would really make me happy.
I hope my children remember the lit candles during dinner, the after-dinner chats, the evening walks with the animals, John reading aloud to them before bed, and all the uniquely Fremont traditions to celebrate the holidays and special days. We feel so lucky to live this special life, and I really want my children to cherish it.
Thank you, Sarah! It really does paint an idyllic portrait of country living. I love the beautiful garden and the chicken and the goats. And there is something really appealing about the idea that because of how much space they’ve got there’s plenty of room for the kids to run around so that you can feel like you’ve “got out of the house” without ever really going anywhere. Sarah described it with the word “abiding” and I love that idea. Abiding at home.
I also really appreciated Sarah’s honesty about being a bit of a reluctant mother, at least at first. That she didn’t grow up with the notion that motherhood was something she wanted so she stumbled into it a bit later in life, but now seems to really be thriving. We all have so many different and unique life paths. It’s wonderful to see that so many roads can lead to happiness, whether it is modeling and acting in New York and LA or raising kids on bit of average in Texas. Or sometimes, like in Sarah’s case, both!
Would you like to share your home in our Living With Kids series? It’s lots of fun, I promise! (And we are always looking for more diversity in the families we feature here. Single parents, non-traditional parents, families of color, LGBT parents, multi-generational families. Reach out! We’d love to hear your stories!!) Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.