Little House, Big Bang: Mid-Century Marfa (Austin, Texas)

Designer Kim Lewis merged two trailers to create a bright, flowing space that oozes style.

Having previously worked on ABC’s ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’ and with celebrity clients like singer Jewel, interior designer Kim Lewis was used to having ample space to work with. So, when her Austin,Texas-based company took on the task of creating a functional living space in only 380 square feet, the designer embraced the challenge. Sent on her mission by a couple moving from Colorado to Texas who wanted a space that made up for its lack of size with charisma, Lewis drew up a floor plan that connected two gooseneck trailers with a spacious deck and breezeway. Relying on her creativity throughout the professional test led to a colorful, functional result that has ESTATENVY modifying the dimensions of our dream house.

Featured in an episode of FYI's ‘Tiny House Nation,’ Lewis’ impressive design frees up a compact space by relying on texture and lively details. Extra-wide steps with inviting pops of color lead to the raised, removable deck that connects the converted 1960s trailers, keeping the home totally mobile to give the owners the flexibility they desired. Deck features include a bar area outside the kitchen windows and a built-in hammock hung between two planters. A breezeway, screened in by perforated copper panels with a ceiling fan and sitting area, sits between the trailers to provide an open-air lounge space for the owners and their two dogs. The copper panels are a signature design element of the home, appearing here and on the base of the porch, over windows, in the bedroom and the bathroom doors.

Sliding glass doors open into the kitchen and living space in one of the trailers. After making the decision to add black tile to the wall of the kitchen for texture and contrast, Lewis painted the ceiling the same color which effectively elongated the trailer. All-white open shelving and quartz countertop sharpen the space. The space avoids bulky appliances by opting for a small stainless-steel oven and refrigerator drawers against the wall and under the custom mobile island. The bright blue base atop casters provides a splash of color. Lewis used light wood for the island's surface, which has a two-burner stovetop and flip-top end so it can be used as a dining space indoors and outdoors.

The kitchen seamlessly transitions into the living space, characterized by stark white wood-paneled walls and mid-century-style furniture like a dark brown leather sofa and surfboard table. Additionally, the flooring in the trailer is made of reclaimed dark wood taken from a 1960s-era Austin home. The sliding doors and other small windows let in light and give the illusion of a larger space.

This same effect is achieved in the other trailer that houses the bathroom and sleeping quarters. Lewis again maximized the space she was limited to by creating a corner bathroom enclosed by sliding doors made of the same perforated copper used elsewhere in the home, a cute and creative way of connecting the physically separated spaces. Our favorite detail is the message in the black-and-white tiling on the bathroom floor, which reads, “You Look Good.”

Next to the bathroom, part of the ceiling was repurposed to create a slatted wood storage area for the couple. The bedroom is rounded out by a small laundry nook that is tucked into a bedside platform over the trailer’s gooseneck. The space is accessed by a two-step ladder and serves as a pseudo-walk-in closet.

To deliver on her client’s ambitious vision required a lot of effort, though the resulting space feels effortless. Lewis was able to tap into her experience and creativity to design an entertaining space that takes tiny home design to the next level.