Cowboy Modern Cottage
A shop owner with deep Texas roots takes us on a tour of her home in Marathon's rugged high-desert landscape.
More than 100 years ago, a railroad company built a group of Sears kit houses for workers laying the tracks. Since buying her kit home in 2005, Carole Cardenhas had to do very little to it.
Old ranch houses are known for having large kitchens. Rather than using built-in cabinets, Carole has an old cupboard, rolling metal shelves, and a freestanding 1920s range.
"The metal chairs, polished wood table, and industrial shelving cart mix with the original wood floors, screened door, and 1920s range for a look I call 'cowboy modern,'" she says.
Almost every meal is eaten on the porch around the old Mennonite table. The vintage cafe chairs can stay out year-round.
Western-themed pictures by Texas artists hang in the living room.
"The cowboy modern theme infuses this room, with the sleek cowhide rug softening the original flooring," Carole says. "I don’t have TV or Internet in the house, so we amuse ourselves with great conversation, books, music, and the view."
Most evenings end at the fire pit—especially when friends such as Marathon artist Mary Baxter (right) and her husband, Neil Chavigny, visit.
"Night falls quickly onto the desert," Carole says. "We usually get the fire going in the outdoor pit and start the grill. As the food cooks, we keep an eye out for shooting stars that seem to span the horizon in this dark, clear sky."
Carole hung sheer curtains in the bedroom so she could see the stars and the sunrise.
Carole says: "I never painted the old beaded-board ceiling, opting to stick with the natural look of raw wood, but I did clean and stain the original flooring. I found the Mexican tin mirror at an antiques show."