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This Country Compound In Texas Gets A Ranch-Inspired Glow Up

“We’re both originally from Texas and have always considered Hill Country such a beautiful part of the state,” homeowner John David Rainey says. The family compound he created with his wife, Kelly, is a testament to their love of the region. While John David’s career has taken the couple everywhere from the Midwest to the West Coast and to the South, they wanted to keep some local roots. And so, several years ago, they purchased this getaway as a turnkey ranch with a historic home and two small, separate dwellings. “It was great, initially, because we could show up and it had everything we needed; however, we decided it was time to make it our own and be able to host our family more comfortably,” Kelly explains.

To consider how they might tie the existing buildings into a more functional compound, the couple called on architects Ada Corral and Camille Urban Jobe. Conversations began around creating a large, communal space on the site of a dilapidated barn. It would comprise only a kitchen along with living and dining areas, leaving the sleeping quarters to the original house and guest cottages. But as the clients contemplated their options, that plan soon grew to include a complete home and entertaining pavilion for what will one day become their full-time residence.

“We wanted a design that felt like it belonged on a ranch,” says Jobe, explaining that she and Corral found inspiration in the industriousness of ranchers. “Their straightforward way of building and living resulted in structures that are unapologetic in their character.” The home— which was constructed by builder Stacie Rychlik alongside coprincipal Shawn Brown and project manager Mike Nagy—runs on solar power. It also features a vaulted central axis and glassy cross gables with pivot doors and deep overhangs. “Our goal was to make the entire home beautiful and modern with fine craftsmanship but keep a casual nature that reveals the steel skeleton wrapped in white oak,” Jobe continues, noting the assistance of project manager Kevin Sidora. “The interior architectural palette’s white oak, hand-troweled plaster, exposed steel and concrete balance each other out, enforcing that ranch-like roughness paired with the comforting warmth of hand finishes,” Corral explains.

To furnish the home, the architects and their interior design project manager, Anna Manahan, prioritized custom pieces “crafted with intention, just like the house,” Corral says. The living area features central ottomans with an integrated wood table, “bringing nature and symmetry into the space,” Jobe notes. In the dining area, made more intimate by an overhead trellis, are steel-framed consoles that echo the dwelling’s structure. “The furniture brings it all together,” Kelly muses. “It was a treat to have our design team curate ideas and not overwhelm us with too many choices.” The architects also introduced the Raineys to art advisor Alicia Emr, who helped them develop their collection, and specialists from Studio Lumina to light the residence and further enhance the artworks.

This design narrative gracefully extends toward the heart of the home: the great room. At one end are the kitchen and den, with a wine cellar below. Off the kitchen springs a home office, designed as a bridge over a dry creek, that leads to the couple’s suite. Here, a cozy seating area joins the bedroom, where retractable glass walls open to a private courtyard. “This corner of the house has some of the best views,” adds Corral, noting that the roof’s perforated gable can be configured in different ways to control natural light. At the opposite end of the great room are the game lounge and sleeping loft. However, outside is truly where family time happens. The pavilion serves as an expansive outdoor gathering space with lounging and dining areas, a kitchen, fireplace and television—an ideal setting for making pizzas and watching football. All of this overlooks the pool, which was designed to look more like a swimming hole.

“It’s a big exhale when we drive through the front gate,” John David describes. The landscape, designed by David Mahler and project manager Sam Lutfy to be native and naturalistic, exudes an extraordinary serenity that permeates the residence. “This project is so specific to its place that you couldn’t have put it on any other site,” Corral explains. So alluring is the home that the architects even gave it a name, the Tarry House, playing on the word’s meaning: to linger. “It’s appropriate,” Kelly says. “That’s exactly what you want to do here.”

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