Before & After: They Gave Their Fussy Hill Country Cabin a “Subtractive” Makeover

In Texas, where everything is bigger, a couple bring a 1908 home back to basics by paring away the decorative excess of past remodels.

John and Kelly Rainey had lived in Texas their whole lives before they moved to Chicago in 2011. "It took us one winter to decide we needed an escape," says Kelly with a laugh. It wasn’t just a knee-jerk reaction, though—they knew they eventually wanted to return to the Lone Star State to be close to their families, so the following year they bought a sprawling 92-acre ranch in Hill Country.

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Melissa Dalton
Dwell Contributor
Melissa Dalton is a freelance writer in Portland, Oregon, who has been writing for Dwell since 2017. Read more of her work about design and architecture at