Relaxed Living in One Room

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Imagine having a second home in your dream getaway locale. For some, that would mean managing a mansion in the Hamptons. I tend to go for smaller and simpler, one room should do it for me; something like an artist’s garret in Paris sounds perfect. No matter where the destination or what the size of the space, to be the perfect retreat it should also be the ultimate in relaxed living. Architectural designer Barbara Hill’s second home—in a building that has been everything from a dance hall to a grocery store—in Marfa, Texas, is where she escapes to and lives life all in one room.

Barbara Hill's Dancehall/House in Marfa, Texas

Go With the Flow

Just because there are no internal walls doesn’t mean there aren’t defined spaces in this one-room wonder. Here the focus is on making natural divisions that effortlessly create spaces based on how each area is used. While there are clear distinctions between bedroom, living area, and kitchen, nothing breaks the overall informality and spontaneity of the single large space.

Barbara Hill's Dancehall/House in Marfa, Texas

The Sky’s the Limit

If you’re engaging in a remodel, like this home, and have control over ceiling height, you can use that to further reinforce the appearance of separate sections in the space. And if that’s not an option, use paint to create different ceiling colors to delineate areas for you. Don’t forget that furniture size and placement will be essential to creating your retreat – here a long sofa serves as a clear space definer. And doesn’t it look inviting?

Barbara Hill's Dancehall/House in Marfa, Texas

Breaking Bread

Placing the kitchen along one wall – this one with no upper cabinets – and providing an informal table with plenty of seating help this space feel part of the overall living area. Materials like concrete counters and high-grade plastic chairs make cleanups easy and keep the focus on having a great time. And isn’t that the point of a place where you can getaway?

Image Sources- Design: Barbara Hill Design; Photography: Misty Keasler; Source: Dwell.


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Dave Hime, founder/curator of, has been an interior design addict for as long as he can remember. In 2005, he bought a house-in-progress and missed several opportunities to have an influence on his own home decor–leaving him wanting more. With design heroes such as Blake Dollahite ( and Robert & Cortney Novogratz (, Dave began seeking out online resources that would exemplify the interior design practices he's most drawn to: using color, texture and simple materials well. Bringing all of this together, along with his specific focus on providing interior design inspiration from a man's point of view, is Dave's mission: masculine design.