We all spend a lot of our lives online, but when you're in the tech sector, it can be especially hard to disconnect. That's why San Francisco-based couple Simone Buchwalter and Hung Nguyen decided to create a removed retreat in Marfa, Texas. (Simone manages a customer success team at LinkedIn and Hung is CEO of Ozmotik, a content analytics agency.) Every few months, the couple heads out to their modern-industrial home in the desert to decompress and take advantage of a community that brings the comfort of small-town life while still offering a creative arts and entertainment scene. The residence (which they rent out on Airbnb when they're not there) is a reflection of the city/country duality that Simone and Hung find so satisfying. "There's a mix of industrial with the minimalist aesthetic — we live in the city, and these spaces make us feel comfortable," says Hung. At the same time, an expansive patio encourages guests to sit and take in the quiet beauty of the desert.
The property features two structures — a main house and a smaller, detached casita. Both spaces embody the open, industrial-meets-desert aesthetic that's become a preferred vibe for the new wave of people buying properties in Marfa.
Says Hung: "We also connected with the modern, loft-like open floor plans in both spaces, which made the property feel large and airy. Large windows and glass doors in both structures make the spaces bright; but, we particularly appreciate the thoughtful window placement in the main structure, which is wide, and looks out on an open lot across the street. It's as if you were looking at a desert landscape painting."
The screened-in porch features a wood-burning stove, which is perfect for keeping warm during Marfa's chillier fall nights. In the summer, guests can gather around a vintage Herman Miller Eames table and sip margaritas while watching Marfa's iconic sunsets.
"We kept the interior decor and furnishings minimal to maintain the open space and highlight the natural flow from one functional area to another," says Hung.
It's not often so easy to have furniture delivered to the desert, so the couple made creative use of pieces and decor from Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn, and Ikea.
In the smaller structure, there's a large, original-release French poster of Hung's favorite film, Paris, Texas.
October is a popular time to visit Marfa: Donald Judd's Chinati Foundation hosts an annual open house.
"We love iconic (Italian) design, and shipped a Vespa out to cruise around town. For our wedding, which was hosted at the nearby Capri, we rode off on our Vespa during the send-off at the end of the night."
A previous renovation on the house was completed by local architect Kristin Bonkemeyer.
Leonora Epstein is Hunker's Senior Director of Content. She has previously served as Executive Editor at HelloGiggles and as BuzzFeed's Deputy Editorial Director. She is the co-author of "X vs. Y: A Culture War, a Love Story" (Abrams, 2014). Feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.