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Project of the Week

Willow House by Lauren Werner

Read time 4 minutes

  • Design House: Lauren Werner (founder of Willow House)
  • Project Name: Willow House
  • Location: Texas, USA
  • Area: 250 acres

In 250 acres of land, just outside the Big Bend National Park, Lauren Werner decided to set up a Texan desert retreat. Despite having no prior experience in interior design or architecture, Lauren master-minded every detail.

From the modernist architecture to the extensive curation of artwork, the hotelier succeeded in creating a place of natural and cultural beauty.

Take a quick tour of the project below.

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The resort, though expansive, has an incredibly warm, 'homely' heart. Central to the property is a snug living space that draws guests together. This living area (pictured above and below) mixes a modernist theme with a more homely feel, using a soft, natural palette to help evoke a feeling of comfort.

With an emphasis on organic tones and textures, the space encourages visitors to feel at home, whilst also provoking a connection with them and the Texan landscape.

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Making it even more personable, Lauren incorporated several elements she found in the neighbouring desert. Coral and amber stones work as incredibly apt accessories while her collection of local sand offers a powerful visual aesthetic.

I want it to respect the location and the colors of the natural landscape.
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When designing the property, Lauren also placed a specific emphasis on artwork. For her, it was essential to create a visual story that directly reflected the retreats landscape and cultural history.

Prints were chosen, almost exclusively, from several artists in the surrounding West Texas locality. Others are by those who have previously taken up residence at Willow House.

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Moving outside, guests witness the impressive architecture of the property. References to a modernist style are present across the whole building, but these features weren't chosen for their stylistic features alone.

As Lauren describes, these forms are 'completely in tune' with the landscape of the Big Bend, helping to continue Willow House's close interaction with its environment.

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Despite the bold architecture and dramatic landscape, Willow House clearly has a number of very soft, thoughtful undertones. With intrinsic references to local culture, environments, and a - somewhat surprisingly - homely feel, the retreat is the perfect destination for the modern-day explorer.

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