Steal This Look: A Minimalist Marfa Porch

When Houston-based designer Barbara Hill bought a former dance hall in Marfa, Texas, as a vacation house, the property was in a state of disrepair, and the landscaping was nonexistent (weeds had engulfed the entire yard). After tackling the interior, Hill moved outdoors, ripping out the scraggly undergrowth and installing drought-resistant native plantings like sage, yucca, and great white cactus. Using reclaimed materials, she created a series of paths and a fire pit focal point in the backyard; we pulled together a few ideas for recreating the look.

Above: Four Donald Judd-like concrete walls create a privacy screen. Photograph via Barbara Hill Design. Above: Hill used reclaimed bricks from El Paseo with concrete borders to create pathways throughout the property. Photograph by Misty Keasler. Above: In the open-air breezeway, a row of butterfly chairs.  The underside of the eaves is clad in aluminum/zinc Home Depot-sourced Galvalume panels. A simple polished-concrete slab serves as deck. Photograph courtesy of Barbara Hill Design. Above: Hill used reclaimed bricks to create a path leading to a circular fire pit with built-in seating and a gas-powered campfire sculpture made of salvaged pipes by artist George Sacaris. Photograph by Misty Keasler via Dwell.

The Elements

Above: Rejuvenation’s Galaxy Single Sconce comes in four finishes, including brushed aluminum and bronze tone; currently on sale, from $223 each.
Above: The classic French AA Butterfly Chair with black powder-coated metal frame and white canvas cover is £450 from Made in Design in the UK. In the US, Circa 50 offers a black powder-coated metal Butterfly Chair with white canvas cover for $400 (minimum order of 2). Above: Neutra House Numbers in Aluminum are $35 each from Herman Miller. Above: Gavin Historical Bricks, a family-owned company in Iowa, offers fired-clay brick salvaged from 100-year-old sidewalks; contact them directly for pricing and more information. Real Flame Riverside Propane Fire Bowl at Terrain Above: The Real Flame Riverside Propane Fire Bowl is made from durable fiber concrete; $1,298 at Terrain.

For more drought tolerant curb appeal, see:


Steal This Look: A Minimalist Marfa Porch