On a secluded patch of land in west-central Texas, amidst majestic rocks and the sprawling expanse of Hill Country, sits a working ranch and beef farm affectionately nicknamed Rockin’ 8 Ranch. Set on an impressive 350-acre estate, the property features a 2,700-square-foot main house with one master bedroom, a freestanding two-bedroom guest house, and sweeping views as far as the eye can see. Set on the side of a rocky hill overlooking the Jim Ned Valley, this contemporary yet rustic abode is simply spectacular.

In fact, the geographic area provides such a compelling backdrop that it’s easy to imagine the challenge homeowners faced when choosing a location for their residence. “With hundreds of acres to choose from for the site of the new home, our client was particularly drawn to an area of ​​lichen-covered sandstone boulders, dotted with post oaks and mesquites,” says Christopher Sanders, owner and Austin-based company architect. Sander Architecture. “The site, on the side (not the top) of a hill, offers views of the beautiful rugged landscape in the foreground and sweeping views north over the fertile fields of the alluvial plain of Jim Ned Creek.”

He got us to ‘views of the beautiful and rugged landscape’.

This ranch house in Brown County, Texas features locally sourced materials, impressive floor-to-ceiling windows, and memorable views. Looked!

Almost as eye-catching as the panorama itself, the house features floor-to-ceiling windows, showcasing the landscape. Only the office, laundry room and dining room do not have sweeping views of the Jim Ned Valley to the north. “When considering building on the property, the owners envisioned a home where they could take full advantage of the landscape,” says Christopher.

Christopher’s clients, a couple with adult children and young grandchildren, wanted to build a welcoming retreat where family and friends could feel comfortable and always welcome. Also, the land has belonged to their family for years, so it has sentimental value. “There were minimal accommodations existing where the husband and wife had stayed during their visit,” Christopher tells us, “but our clients had long dreamed of having a ranch house on the property where they could spend weekends. end to full-time retirement mode.”

The exterior of the house features machined local sandstone and painted steel, a tribute to the terrain of the region. Wooden elements also appear in sections of the facade that are less vulnerable to the sun, giving a warm and modern aesthetic. “When considering exterior material choices, clients wanted the building to reflect the local vernacular while still being able to stand the test of time, requiring minimal regular maintenance,” Christopher offers. “We selected local sandstone and painted steel to tolerate the harsh central Texas sun, while we limited the wooden elements to areas with less sun exposure. The use of random ashlar masonry with rubble filling is juxtaposed with bespoke metal panels used on the exterior of the buildings.

In front of a ranch house in Brown County, Texas.

The front entry of the house offers a glimpse of the colossal windows that define its personality.

House exterior at dusk

“The swimming pool is located in the space between the main house and the guest house,” explains architect Christopher Sanders. “It is positioned to maximize the cooling effect of southeastern summer breezes. But beyond this central space, clients have prioritized landscape restoration with plants and grasses native to the north -central Texas Hill Country.

Ranch guesthouse with open living room

This guest house offers friends and family a peaceful respite from city life. Their pup seems to like it too! “The two-bedroom dogtrot-style guest house is situated to create a courtyard space where the pool overlooks the valley,” Christopher tells us.

The interior of the abode is equally stunning, with interior design by Britt Design Group – they have outdone themselves when it comes to merging style and function. Additionally, many of the home’s design details are locally sourced, including the bar counter and dining room table, both constructed from mesquite wood harvested from the ranch property itself. Exposed trusses in the living room stand out against vaulted ceilings, and steel is strategically placed to create thresholds between rooms. Of course, the most notable interior feature are the windows – tall walls of glass that offer an unparalleled perspective of the valley beyond. Many of them even open up, like an awning, to let in the breezes, sounds and scents of Hill Country.

Rich earth tones, sporadic masculine elements and contemporary amenities create a space that belongs on the pages of Architectural Summary, and remarkable lighting abounds. “Many of the fixtures in the house were designed in collaboration with Britt Design Group,” explains Christopher. “We had a great working relationship with them. These light fixtures were a true testament to this collaboration: the Living Room pendant lights, the pendant light above the bar and the exterior steel light fixture at the entrance door.

Large kitchen angle overlooking the Rockin' 8 Ranch living room

An open floor plan and floor-to-ceiling windows create a light and airy aesthetic.

Wide angle view of the Rockin' 8 Ranch kitchen

The kitchen is sleek and modern, with clean lines and masculine touches such as handsome woven leather stools.

Close-up of kitchen stove with wooden cabinets and golden trim

A close-up of the built-in range showcases earthy colors and natural wood.

Exterior passage with patio table

A standout design feature, this walkway allows for easy functionality for outdoor dining.

Bar with island and stools

“The bar features a mesquite counter reclaimed from the ranch and a custom concrete fixture affixed with the ranch’s branding,” says Christopher.

Bar with open shelf and stone wall

A charming stone-flanked bar features open shelving with greenery vignettes, favorite books, and glassware.

Dining room with floor-to-ceiling windows

“The dining room gives a sense of connection to the outdoor courtyard space, acting as a lantern for arriving guests,” says Christopher.

Living room with floor to ceiling windows

From leather to stone and glass galore, a mix of materials creates a dramatic effect that offers nature-inspired complexity. “Steel was also used…to make a custom frame to hold the television in the living room,” says Christopher.

Floor-to-ceiling windows that open to enjoy the outdoors

A simple mechanical gear allows this awning style glass panel to open.

A view of the ranch house living room from the outside during twilight

“Guests generally enjoy ranch life and scenery,” says Christopher. Here, their living room windows open to reveal the twilight.

The main house at Rockin’ 8 Ranch has just one bedroom, but it’s a simple, quiet, and cozy oasis with plush bedding, a wall of woven baskets, and a bay window for the best view day or night. . Similarly, the master bathroom features a window that spans the full length of the freestanding tub, then curves around a corner to avoid breaking the line of sight. With the exterior landscape providing such a captivating integrated aesthetic, the Britt Design Group team opted to keep the interior design of the master suite simple. Neutral tones predominate, with pops of color here and there to accent.

Master bedroom with woven baskets on the wall

Simplicity reigns in this parental suite.

Bedroom with wall of woven baskets

Earthy woven baskets and neutral tones continue the nature theme in the master bedroom.

Freestanding bathtub in a bathroom with a giant bay window

The eye-catching exterior becomes the focus of this master bathroom.

Sinks for him and for her

Florals and linens provide a subtle accent for this his and hers sink.

Already dreaming of a ranch with a view? We certainly are. Between this home’s quaint setting, floor-to-ceiling windows, comfortable, modern decor, and a tub we’d never want to leave, we just might have a new dream home.

Special thanks to Ryann Ford for the beautiful photography.


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