Llano couple turns family home into bed-and-breakfast

DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR

LLANO — When IdaNell Schuessler told her husband, Paul, about her idea to turn her grandparents’ Llano home into a bed-and-breakfast, let’s just say, he wasn’t as excited about it as she was.

But now, three months since the couple opened the Westerman House Bed & Breakfast, he’s come around quite a bit.

“Definitely, I was surprised at the response (from guests),” IdaNell said. “I haven’t had a weekend off except one. Neither of us expected this.”

The Westerman House Bed & Breakfast, 700 E. Sandstone St., makes for a nice weekend getaway — or longer — for a couple or even a small family. The craftsman-style bungalow features one bedroom, but the Schuesslers added a Murphy bed that pulls down in the back room for extra sleeping space.

IdaNell Schuessler opened the Westerman House Bed & Breakfast in April and hasn't had but one weekend off since.
IdaNell Schuessler opened the Westerman House Bed & Breakfast in April and hasn’t had but one weekend off since.

“A lot of people seem to like using the back room with the Murphy bed,” she noted.

During stays, IdaNell stocks the kitchen and leaves a nice quiche in the refrigerator for the guests. She admitted the home might not be what some consider an actual bed-and-breakfast since it doesn’t have several rooms for rent or a main dining area where guests can gather for meals at appointed times.

“But when I think of a bed-and-breakfast, this is what I think about: a place you come, have your own space and can eat when you want to,” she said. “When they come here, the house is all theirs.”

Guests can even bring their dogs. The Schuesslers own three Labrador retrievers, so they understand people’s attachment to their canine friends.

The back room of the Westerman House Bed & Breakfast features plenty of space and light as well as a Murphy bed that pulls down for additional sleeping space
The back room of the Westerman House Bed & Breakfast features plenty of space and light as well as a Murphy bed that pulls down for additional sleeping space

The Westerman House draws its name from her grandparents Finley and Nell Westerman. Though the family has deep ranching ties to the Valley Spring area of Llano County, over the years, members moved into the “city.” IdaNell’s parents owned and lived in the house next to where the Westerman House sits. But it was her father who actually moved the Westerman House to its current location from Ford Street.

“He was always moving things,” she said with a grin.

Her grandparents lived in the house for several years. And though her parents’ home is no longer in the family, the house her father moved next door is.

“I didn’t want to rent it, and I didn’t want to sell it,” IdaNell said about the Westerman House.

She recalled staying with her husband in a bed-and-breakfast on the Oregon coast and thinking the Sandstone Street house would make a nice one. But the real push came a few years ago when the house was part of a home tour with local businesses decorating the different rooms. As she stepped back and looked at the home with those added touches, IdaNell realized the bungalow definitely had a certain charm.

“That’s when I probably really thought, ‘This could be a bed-and-breakfast,'” she said.

Despite a little hem-hawing by her husband, the couple plunged in, revamped parts of the house and, by April, hung the sign outside. Along with the house, guests enjoy a backyard and a carport.

“The people have been so nice,” IdaNell said of her guests. “We just got our first return coming back in July.”

The weekends have been booking up, and she has already rented the house for the week of Christmas. The recent success of the Westerman House Bed & Breakfast also got her husband thinking about a piece of land the family has on the ranch in Valley Spring that sits adjacent to a spring-fed creek.

“He said, ‘Why don’t we build a cabin there and turn it into a bed-and-breakfast?'” IdaNell said. She then added with a laugh, “I’ve been saying that for years.”

Go to www.thewestermanhouse.com or call (325) 248-4107 for more information.

daniel@thepicayune.com