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Dance Dance Renovation

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The first time Houston-based architectural designer Barbara Hill set foot inside what would become her future second house, a 100-year-old adobe in Marfa, Texas, she found a cramped warren of rooms filled to the brim with trash. The structure, originally built as a private dance hall, had lived through many incarnations, from a grocery and candy store to, more recently, a haven for detritus. Undaunted, Hill purchased the property and spent the next year and a half transforming the derelict building into a sophisticated and slightly rough-around-the-edges retreat. Here she shares the story of a true West Texas revival.

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  Designer Barbara Hill, in front of her recently renovated weekend house in Marfa, Texas. A series of Galvalume roofing panels clad the underside of the eaves.  Photo by: Misty Keasler
    Designer Barbara Hill, in front of her recently renovated weekend house in Marfa, Texas. A series of Galvalume roofing panels clad the underside of the eaves.

    Photo by: Misty Keasler

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  The seating area includes an extra-long sofa by Piero Lissoni, and a leather armchair designed by Alfredo Häberli for Moroso. The Twiggy lamp is from West Elm.  Photo by: Misty Keasler
    The seating area includes an extra-long sofa by Piero Lissoni, and a leather armchair designed by Alfredo Häberli for Moroso. The Twiggy lamp is from West Elm.

    Photo by: Misty Keasler

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  In the bedroom, an improbably placed tub is situated in front of two closets that can easily be maneuvered thanks to skateboard wheels affixed to the underside.  Photo by: Misty Keasler
    In the bedroom, an improbably placed tub is situated in front of two closets that can easily be maneuvered thanks to skateboard wheels affixed to the underside.

    Photo by: Misty Keasler

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  Lacquered chairs from Holland cut a low profile next to the dining table, a French antique found at Installations Antiques in Houston. "I don't like anything to match too much," says Hill.  Photo by: Misty Keasler
    Lacquered chairs from Holland cut a low profile next to the dining table, a French antique found at Installations Antiques in Houston. "I don't like anything to match too much," says Hill.

    Photo by: Misty Keasler

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  A voracious reader, Hill kicks back in a Hans Wegner chair topped with a shaggy throw made from the wool of a longhair sheep.  Photo by: Misty Keasler
    A voracious reader, Hill kicks back in a Hans Wegner chair topped with a shaggy throw made from the wool of a longhair sheep.

    Photo by: Misty Keasler

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  In the kitchen, Make Tacos Not War, by San Antonio-based artist Alejandro Diaz, is mounted over a putty-colored sink Hill Salvaged from a demolition yard.  Photo by: Misty Keasler
    In the kitchen, Make Tacos Not War, by San Antonio-based artist Alejandro Diaz, is mounted over a putty-colored sink Hill Salvaged from a demolition yard.

    Photo by: Misty Keasler

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  Hill worked with metal artist and designer George Sacaris to create a sculptural gas fire pit in her backyard. Using repurposed pipes uncovered during the renovation, Sacaris welded them together in a vertical formation. When the fire is flickering, it engulfs the sculpture and adds another note of drama to the outdoor area.  Photo by: Misty Keasler
    Hill worked with metal artist and designer George Sacaris to create a sculptural gas fire pit in her backyard. Using repurposed pipes uncovered during the renovation, Sacaris welded them together in a vertical formation. When the fire is flickering, it engulfs the sculpture and adds another note of drama to the outdoor area.

    Photo by: Misty Keasler

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  Hill, a vocal proponent of "distressed" surfaces, had a large slab of gray marble installed in her bathroom as a vanity countertop. Once it was in place, though, she found it too slick for her liking. Rather than return it, she flipped the piece upside down to display the underside, warts and all.  Photo by: Misty Keasler
    Hill, a vocal proponent of "distressed" surfaces, had a large slab of gray marble installed in her bathroom as a vanity countertop. Once it was in place, though, she found it too slick for her liking. Rather than return it, she flipped the piece upside down to display the underside, warts and all.

    Photo by: Misty Keasler

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  Seeking a large-scale artwork that could also act as a privacy screen for her bedroom, Hill hung the vintage hotel sign she scored at Installations Antiques in Houston on a sliding track. When she wants to block the view from the backyard, she simply slides the sign along its blackened-steel track into place in front of her doorway.  Photo by: Misty Keasler
    Seeking a large-scale artwork that could also act as a privacy screen for her bedroom, Hill hung the vintage hotel sign she scored at Installations Antiques in Houston on a sliding track. When she wants to block the view from the backyard, she simply slides the sign along its blackened-steel track into place in front of her doorway.

    Photo by: Misty Keasler

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  Hill's custom closets do double duty as both clothing receptacles and movable partitions, thanks to skateboard wheels affixed to their bases. Substantial enough to create a visual barrier but translucent to allow light through. the closets are backed by panels of formerly glossy white Plexiglas that Hill asked Sacaris to rough up with a piece of sandpaper.  Photo by: Misty Keasler
    Hill's custom closets do double duty as both clothing receptacles and movable partitions, thanks to skateboard wheels affixed to their bases. Substantial enough to create a visual barrier but translucent to allow light through. the closets are backed by panels of formerly glossy white Plexiglas that Hill asked Sacaris to rough up with a piece of sandpaper.

    Photo by: Misty Keasler

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