For Lyssa and Hank Seale, Hog Heaven Ranch is the realization of a dream many years in the making. The story begins in 2011 when the couple and their mixed family, which includes four teenage children from previous marriages, moved into the Dog-Run home at the edge of the property.
The home features separated indoor-and-outdoor spaces, a kid’s wing and master. It’s a country abode with unique pieces that give it an even stronger Southern feel. There’s a table made out of an old butter churn the family picked up in Dallas, while the pantry is adorned with an old screen door they bought in Johnson City. “They are a fun client,” designer Darwin Harrison says. “No idea is too crazy, and they love dreaming up new things.”
The real star of Hog Heaven Ranch are the four cabins: the bunkhouse, which can sleep up to 30, and the three cabins which were constructed in approximately three months with reclaimed materials. “They wanted them to have a fun, eclectic character and one of the ways to do that was find cheap reclaimed material,” he says. “Lyssa is a big fan of eBay and Craigslist and so we looked on there and their ranch manager and some of his men got materials from a house they were demolishing.” It was a very ad-hoc construction but it’s what makes it so unique. Harrison even received planks of wood that had old wallpaper on them and layers of paint. “It’s all part of the fun,” he says.
Harrison drew inspiration from Marfa’s Chinati Foundation as well in installing doors that allowed for easy ventilation. The result is a funky look that makes the cabins cozy and enjoyable to spend the night in. Each of the cabins are pretty similar in layout but are decorated with different family memorabilia. Both Lyssa and Hank have their own, while the last cabin is in honor of Hank’s parents.
“The Hank cabin has different items from his companies he’s created over the years; items back from his fraternity days,” he says, while Lyssa’s is the ultimate vacation spot for a diehard University of Texas fan. There are jerseys, team photos and calendars and an homage to Bevo, of course.
Overall, the family compound is an example of the Seale’s creative spirits, do-it-yourself attitudes and their ability to find the beauty in everyday materials, even those many of us may pass up at first glance.
DESIGNER Darwin Harrison