Designer Sara Malek Barney of BANDD DESIGN had her work cut out for her with this new-construction project in the hill country of central Texas. “This family was downsizing from a large, 10 acre ranch to a more suburbanized neighborhood so that their children could hop over and play with neighbors at any given time,” Sara shares. “Because of that, they wanted to pay homage to their rustic roots with what the owner called a ‘modern hill country ranch house.’ They brought us in while the house was still being built to make the space feel richer and fuller.” The owner wanted her 7 children to feel comfortable from day one, and enlisted Sara to achieve this while also making the otherwise basic builder home feel like something special. 

The project, which Sara calls a labor of love, took almost 18 months to complete. There were construction delays, which is to be expected with any new build. The designer continues, “Also, when you have 7 kids, you forget a lot of stuff so I think [the client] had a hard time keeping track of all the decision making that was going on. At the completion, I think everyone was thrilled with the end results.” 

In the slideshow, Sara takes us on a guided tour of the space, but not before sharing a crucial bit of wisdom when it comes to designing for a family: “Two words: Performance Fabrics,” she laughs. “There are many options for fabrics that can withstand pets and kids these days. Don’t be precious about it. Just take care of it and set boundaries.”