How A Sprawling Texas Retreat Speaks The Language Of Place


portrait of Liz Lambert on her Marfa, Texas ranch

“I strongly believe that a home should feel of a place,” Liz Lambert explains of her Marfa, Texas, abode, which is a true reflection of the surrounding area’s distinct culture. For the Austin-based hotelier, who made her mark designing some of the country’s top hospitality destinations, far west Texas inspires everything from materiality and building techniques, to the items she uses for decorating and entertaining.

white open-air bathtub in white building with plant

The open-air bathtub behind the bunkhouse becomes essential during dusty, dry summers on the ranch. Hanging is a striped robe used at El Cosmico, Lambert’s hotel at the southern edge of the city.

outdoor pool with three beach chairs and striped runners

sunny porch with a striped runner and dog bed

With a view that stretches for miles across far west Texas, the porch features a Playa Stripe runner along with a dog bed upholstered in Baja Stripe and pillows in Campo Stripe.

screened-in porch with dining table, cushions and chairs

At Liz Lambert’s home in Marfa, the screened-in porch acts as a gathering spot for relaxing and entertaining. On the table are terra-cotta plates collected in Mexico and textiles from Lambert’s collection, Perennials by Far West, including pillows in Serape Stripe and placemats in Baja Stripe.

full kitchen sink with multiple photographs on wall

Lambert’s residence is situated on her family’s sprawling cattle ranch located between the Chinati and Davis Mountains. When she returned home to Texas after a stint in New York City, Lambert set out to find a home near where she grew up. Fortunately, she didn’t have to search far after realizing an existing bunkhouse structure on the property could be transformed with a few tweaks. Soon, a screened-in porch and section of the kitchen were built using traditional adobe masonry and outfitted with regionally sourced furniture. “A lot of friends helped me put this house together,” Lambert explains. “Most of what you see in here is local and really speaks to where we are.”

Whether guests prefer lounging by the water tank or escaping the Texas heat with a dip in the alfresco bathtub, the ranch celebrates life outdoors and the natural beauty found in this corner of the country. When it comes to the interiors, there is an honest purity to the space that allows for an easy, laid-back lifestyle in which friends come and go with ease. Most meals are served family style by Lambert’s brother, acclaimed chef Lou Lambert, who uses the Wolf Range for pinto beans as much as he does the campfire for grilling dinner.

For the table, Lambert gathers pared down native flora and fauna along with objects collected from the land. Place settings feature beautiful terra-cotta plates and bowls made in neighboring Mexico. “I think simplicity is beautiful,” Lambert notes.“I gravitate towards places where things fall away; the simpler a place is, the more you feel at home.”

One motif the aesthete does collect in abundance, though, is stripes. The classic print was the starting point for her new textile collection, Perennials by Far West, made in collaboration with the performance fabric and rug company. “I’ve had a history with stripes,” Lambert explains. “From using them in projects to collecting hand-woven Peruvian textiles and Nepalese saddle blankets. So we began by examining each of these patterns.” And what evolved was a colorful, bohemian-inspired line comprising five fabric and three rug designs that work just as well indoors as they do outside.

Lambert, a partner at MML Hospitality, and her team at Lambert McGuire Design, put their heads together with Ann Sutherland at Perennials—bonding over Texas and tequila—to dream up patterns fitting in any number of applications while still evoking the place for which they were inspired: far west Texas. “The idea was to start with stripes and put together a collection where each pattern could live on its own while also complementing one another,” she says.

The line is already right at home on the ranch: Lambert’s used it for upholstering vibrant throw pillows, dog beds and even a camper van. At home indeed.