The Stand-Alone Primary Bedroom

How Do You Add On to the Perfect Small House? You Don’t.

When Terry Mowers initial encountered the dry, dusty landscape of Marfa, Texas, in 2006, he sensed his everyday living was about to modify.

“It was just a pretty, really unique area,” said Mr. Mowers, 66, a textile-design expert who was awe-struck by the vast desert, the significant sky and the legacy of the artist Donald Judd. “And I fell in adore.”

Within days, he made a decision he needed a household there, a distant getaway from his most important residence in Manhattan. He contacted a real estate agent and, ahead of he returned to New York, identified a house he preferred to obtain: a partially built modernist box of adobe brick created by the architecture firm Rael San Fratello.

A number of months afterwards, soon after closing on the 1,500-square-foot, just one-bed room home for $279,000, Mr. Mowers labored with the architects to comprehensive it. At to start with, the area appeared best. It was a loft-like, open up-idea residence with a concrete flooring and lots of room for displaying art, with small in the way of storage — great for someone who was applying it only a couple of months a 12 months.

In the close, they arrived at a stand-alone most important suite produced from compressed earth-and-cement blocks that are related to adobe but can stand up to the things without having a coating of mud or plaster. Within, the place is carved up into a bed room, a generous lavatory and a lounge that features a lengthy desk at a window as an inspirational area to function from home.

The new creating opens up to two patios by way of sliding-glass doorways: a person off the lounge, with a perspective to the Davis Mountains the other off the bedroom, around a vegetable backyard.

“It’s this huge quantity with lots of glass,” Mr. Mowers mentioned. “You’re framing the skyscape, and the landscape.”

The few had invested many years coaxing Chihuahuan Desert grasses, agave, yucca and cactuses to improve on their four-acre home, so they gave their builder, Eric Martinez, a tightly managed location to function in. “We experienced just a 10-foot perimeter that could be disrupted” around the new building, Mr. Mowers explained. “Because after you degrade the all-natural desert right here, it just will take a very, pretty lengthy time for the purely natural grasses to arrive back and prosper.”

Within, they saved the substance palette to a least — uncovered block walls, concrete floors, white-oak doors and crafted-ins — and included choose items of midcentury-modern home furniture and art, along with vintage Navajo rugs from Ms. Thorsen’s collections.

Soon after more than two a long time of development, the job was finished in July 2020 at a charge of about $595,000. Now the pair relish having two distinctly unique areas to inhabit, as well as the open-air changeover concerning them.

“Lindy and I, if we want to go to do the job in privacy, it’s just so various than a independent place in the exact constructing,” Mr. Mowers stated.

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