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’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For design ideas and more delivered to your inbox daily, subscribe to StyleBlueprint!