Creating architecture that is well-crafted, useful, and delightful.

(830) 643-1195

388 Comal Avenue New Braunfels, TX 78130


Where We Got Our Inspiration

We found our inspiration from simple stone farmhouses built by 19th Century German Settlers in the Texas Hill Country.

Project Story

Our clients wanted to build a house designed around the casual lifestyle they envisioned as they retired on their acreage property near Llano, Texas. They wanted the house to emphasize comfort and beauty and have a high level of detail.


At the start of the project Russell asked us to meet him in Fredericksburg, where he shared his fond memories of visiting family there when growing up. We walked around together and looked at the architecture of the German Sunday houses and other simple stone structures built in the second half of the nineteenth century.


From there, we drove out to his ranch, and he told us about his plan to restore the property to its pre-settlement ecology.


Russell’s respect for the land and admiration for the straightforward homes of the early German pioneers in the Texas Hill Country inspired us to design an understated home in the regional vernacular with a light footprint that fits carefully into the site.


The house is essentially one room deep, and each room has windows on at least two sides so that the effects of the changing sky are felt inside the house throughout the day.


The simple shapes of the house are grouped in such a way as to create a visual hierarchy when viewed from the exterior and experienced on the interior. That hierarchy helps organize the plan into public and private spaces and evokes the idea of a homestead that organically grew and changed over time.


One of the greatest complements Russell and Phylis received was when, after touring the home, a guest thought the house was a real 19th-century farmhouse they had found and renovated.

We designed a broad plaster arch in a thickened wall between the family room and the dining/living room to imply that an opening had been made in the existing exterior stone wall when the family room was added at some point in the history of the house. Likewise, the reclaimed oak timbers we used as posts and beams within the opening of the kitchen to the dining area give the appearance of supporting a wide opening in a load-bearing stone wall.

The wood beams in the living/dining room are milled from Longleaf pine timbers. We sized and spaced them to appear to be exposed floor joists supporting a second floor sleeping loft. The wood ceiling appears to the underside of the floor deck of the loft, and the windows in the attic seen from the front of the house carry out the illusion of the sleeping lofts typical of Sunday houses.

Photography: Andrea Calo Architectural Photographs