A Rustic, Barn-Style Retreat in Texas Hill Country


Country Limestone and Reclaimed Wood Exterior Landscape

Architect Chris Davenport designed a striking exterior for the home, which includes Texas Lueders limestone and reclaimed wood that fit perfectly into their natural surroundings.

Country Neutral Front Porch

With a touch of authenticity, the rustic fence offsets the clean lines of the house. The owners enjoy sitting outside so the over 1,400-square- foot porch was designed to entertain large groups of people while providing shade from either the hot Texas sun or a rainstorm.

Country Limestone and Reclaimed Wood Exterior Landscape

Architect Chris Davenport designed a striking exterior for the home, which includes Texas Lueders limestone and reclaimed wood that fit perfectly into their natural surroundings.

Country Wood Paneled Great Room

For the great room of this Texas Hill Country home, designer Charlotte Carothers incorporated a variety of materials, including custom leather- and-chenille sofas by The Joseph Company and a reclaimed-wood-and-hand-forged-steel coffee table by Macek Furniture Company.

Country Neutral Hallway

A hallway with a rug from Schroeder Carpet leads to guest bedrooms, while a window opens up to the front courtyard. At the end of the hallway, a custom-made piece features the same reclaimed material used throughout the home. A fixture from Brown hangs from above.

Country Neutral Dining Area

In the dining room, ladderback side chairs from Objets, Ltd. sport linen seats from Stockton Hicks Laffey and surround an antique Belgian table from The Original Round Top Antiques Fair. Kitchen cabinets were fabricated by Austin Wood Works with material from Montana Reclaimed Lumber Co. The hood is from Texas Lightsmith.

Country Neutral Covered Porch

The house includes a series of interconnected barn-like structures. Far right, what appears to be an old barn actually houses the master suite. In the foreground, an outdoor porch is partially framed with log beams. Chairs from Restoration Hardware are clad in Perennials fabric from David Sutherland.

Country Neutral Terrace Landscape

Large terraces allow for outdoor relaxation, while a kitchen and bar provide a place for entertaining.

Country Barn-Style Exterior Landscape

Davenport took the owners’ vision of a home with a Western ranch feel seriously, incorporating a series of structures that each has its own purpose. Here, the basketball court and game room on the northwest side of the property features wood siding and a typical peaked roof. The space is completely isolated via a breezeway.

Country Neutral Hallway Console

A console from Objets, Ltd. stands opposite the great room.

Country Reclaimed Wood Office

Designed to feel like an authentic log home interior, the office boasts cowhide-and-leather chairs from Stockton Hicks Laffey and a carpet from Matt Camron Rugs & Tapestries. The desk—a reclaimed-walnut barn door—is from Primitives Furniture.

Country Neutral Master Suite Sitting Area

Occupying a wing to itself, the master retreat is slightly canted to take advantage of the views. A sitting area includes a pair of swivel chairs by Hickory Chair covered in a Lee Jofa textile and an antique Oushak patchwork rug from Nomadic Trading Company in Durham, North Carolina.

I was overjoyed to be working on a property with such great history and for a family that truly wanted to maintain the spirit of that tradition,” says architect Chris Davenport of the retreat he designed for a couple with three sons near Llano in Texas Hill Country. Set on 2,000 acres, the property, named Glensprings Ranch, holds historical significance: In Roy Willbern’s book, The Old Man of the Glen: Ferdinand Columbus Willbern, 1827-1903, an entire chapter is dedicated to the beauty of this land and its identity as a place of community. The grounds originally featured a little red three-bedroom home that the owners had used for getaways from their main residence in Houston. Clearly outgrowing the smaller abode, the couple decided it was time to build a house that would be large enough to accommodate their extended family—as well as friends and guests—while at the same time feel comfortable and inviting.

The vision came from the owners, who had researched Western ranches around Montana. “I had a picture in my mind of how I wanted it to look: rustic and ranch-like in nature, as if it had been there a long time and fit into the historic countryside,” says the husband. His wife had ideas of her own. “My husband was showing me pictures of homes that were amazing, but there was so much wood. I was afraid that the house would be heavy and dark, and I wanted it to be homey and warm with plenty of light.”

Respectful of their wishes, Davenport came up with a plan. “Old Texas architecture speaks to me in terms of typical ranch structures that are utilitarian,” he says. “I thought if we could get something similar in the vernacular of this home, we could create a feeling of age and belonging.” As a result, he broke up the massing of the space into a series of interconnected barn-like structures housing the main living, kitchen and dining areas; a master suite; and a large game room and basketball court, respectively. An added bonus was a covered outdoor living space with two seating areas, an outdoor fireplace, a dining area, and a kitchen and bar.

Davenport used materials that gave a sense of history to the project, such as native Texas Lueders limestone and handpicked reclaimed Douglas fir, each with its own challenges. “The stone had to be stacked just right to look rustic and raked so that no mortar would show,” explains builder and project manager Tory Jones, who worked with Don Thomas of Don Thomas Builders on the construction management aspect of the job. “We had samples stacked 12 different times to get it right,” Jones says. “Loads of lumber had to be transferred onto trucks that were able to drive on ranch roads. It was tricky.”

Both stone and lumber were used extensively for the interiors as well— a concept that Davenport says blurs the lines between inside and out. Steel-and-glass windows open up the structure and provide natural light. Within this framework, the task of creating cozy living spaces fell to designer Charlotte Carothers. Regularly scouring The Original Round Top Antiques Fair, Carothers and the wife picked up several key pieces, including an antique window casing for above the master bed and a large Belgian table for the dining room. “Charlotte was amazing,” says the wife. “She thought everything out and selected just the right pieces.” Using textured fabrics, such as chenille upholstery for the great room sofa seats and a serape-covered bench in the master bedroom, softened and balanced the interior wood. “We had to choose certain elements to highlight,” Carothers says. “If you make everything a focal point, it can overpower the space.”

Reflecting on the project, Davenport says: “What really excites me about architecture is getting to do things that respond to someone’s particular needs. This house is modern living in a rustic way yet it doesn’t look campy or themed. It’s a family property that will be used for generations.”

—Linda Hayes