Last summer I kept wondering who was going to buy this old hunting cottage that was on the market for longer than normal. I saw it sit for a while on the MLS and even tried to host an open house there before it sold. I loved learning that the Ramirez family bought it and will transform it into something incredible all while preserving the history of it. Let me introduce you to the old hunting cabins new owners… Jonathan and Lauren…
How did you get started in interior design?
L: I grew up watching my Dad with interest, who is an architect and interior designer, but it didn’t click as something I was passionate about until we moved to rural Africa and the concept of HOME meant so much more to me. I had the opportunity to design, with very limited resources, our own home and it was very important to me that it was a place of peace and beauty in those hard days in rural Sudan.
J: I spent the last decade working in software sales and management, but Lauren and I have toyed with the idea of me partnering with her when the timing seemed right. It seemed about right in the middle of 2021 so I jumped over.
Tell us more about living in rural Africa… What did life look like there and how were you able to make your home feel like a safe haven from the stresses of life?
J: Rural Africa was wonderful and challenging. There was never a dull or boring day. Life was very much like what you would imagine your great great grandparents’ lives to be like if they were on the frontier somewhere. Harsh, manual everything, and limited access to most everything you might want or think you need. It was also very peaceful and clarity inducing at times.
How would you describe your design style?
L: Modern organic. I love a good challenge so we take on projects in a variety of styles to fit homeowners needs and the landscape of the home, but my personal style is modern lines with lots of organic textures and shapes.
J: Usually incorrect.
How did your company accelerate into a sought after design firm?
After being featured in HGTV and Better Homes & Gardens, the phone just started ringing. Some of my design work was featured on the Austin Homes Tour and we’ve been blessed to have great clients willing to refer us to their friends. It’s been enough to keep us busy, and we’re always happy to get introduced into new circles.
What is your absolute favorite design you’ve ever done?
My own homes – four of them now in different locations – because I get to exercise my creative freedom fully!
Do you only decorate rooms or do you remodel homes also?
We do both and are happy to partner with local architects and builders.
Tell us about the old hunter’s cabin you bought off of Fitzhugh…
L: It was originally shared with me as a joke because it’s super rustic, which is not usually my style, but it has such character and interest due to the history of the property. Like I said, I love a good challenge and I knew we could update it and make it really cool with some modifications.
J: It was built in 1930, and we’re told by our neighbors that the home was originally used as a hunting cabin. All of the land behind it is now a small neighborhood with about a dozen houses. Before those homes were built, it was the hunting plot. What drew me was the location on Fitzhugh Rd, and the old charm with the 200+ year old oak trees and the log cabin feeling you get when inside.
What is your vision for your new home?
L: Bringing a unique blend of styles that make up the Central Texas history to life in our new home. Think Southwest or Spanish style tile meets Texas limestone meets clean line stained wood cabinetry. It’s all about creating that unique blend of textures and materials!
J: Lauren has an amazing plan that I’m excited to see become reality. I have a big family, so I want it to be the house that we can host Christmas at for years to come without having to worry if everyone will be able to fit. We also love hosting groups of our friends and want our daughters to feel like they can host their friends here too. It’s a big change from our smaller space in Austin.
Is it hard to live in a home under construction that you know will take a year to complete?
J: Somedays more than others, but we’ve most definitely lived in more stressful conditions and don’t mind the challenge once again.
What drew you to Dripping Springs?
L: It feels like the culture we both grew up in coming from small Texas towns. I love the sense of community we experience at school, sports, church, and we also love being closer to grandparents!
J: It’s beautiful. Things really are a bit slower here. People still wave when passing. It feels like the Texas I grew up in and want for my family.
What are some of your favorite places to go out as a family?
L: Well we have lots of good choices right here on Fitzhugh Road, but Abby Jane’s Bakeshop has quickly become a crowd pleaser with our family!
J: I feel like we’re still learning our favorites, but speaking of food spots, we live right next to Fitzhugh Brewery, so that’s an easy walk and we love the food. Always get the special! Treaty Oak is another favorite, and we recently discovered Beerburg – wow!
How do you recharge after a long day of helping clients?
L: I love coming home to our dog, Pancho and our daughters to hear about what they did all day! We have the perfect spot to sit outside under the giant oak trees with a glass of wine while we eat dinner and enjoy the view.
J: I like to practice archery in the yard, connect with friends over a drink, play piano for a bit or cook.
What are some ways that you’ve been able to create community in Dripping Springs after moving here last summer?
L: Definitely through other families we are meeting as our girls get involved in school and sports. I have a dear friend who is making a point to introduce me to her circle of people and we are also trying to get connected with other families we live close to.
J: We started attending a small church community that a friend introduced us to. I’m gone many weekends during hunting season, but we try to attend when we’re able. Our kids getting involved in DSES sports has also been great for getting to know other parents and folks in the area. Just discovered pickle ball at the Polo Club and seems to be a good group of guys that I wouldn’t mind spending more time with there.
Can you share a few of your favorite places to shop for unique furniture and décor in this area?
Hmmm, I’m still learning but it seems like Vintage Soul is a popular spot. I love going to Round Top twice a year for the antique market and of course, I source a ton of stuff through my business vendor relationships!
Looking for a local interior designer? Check out HouseMill Design on their website and instagram!
If you are looking to move into the Dripping Springs area then I would love to help you find your dream home! Just reach out to me by phone or email and we can get started! email@example.com or 512-569-8480