This 325-Square-Foot Tiny House in the Texas Desert Is Out of This World

published Mar 24, 2019
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(Image credit: Nick Simonite)

Amid the natural beauty of the Davis Mountains and Big Bend National Park, sits El Cosmico, an 21-acre camp in the Chihuahuan Desert, a mystical place where time seems to stop. It’s this spirit of “dolce far niente,” the sweetness of doing nothing, and the bohemian-inspired trailers, yurts, and teepees at the off-the-grid retreat that draws visitors each year to experience that feeling of blissful freedom in Marfa, Texas. But, even though there’s intentionally no Wi-Fi (except in El Cosmico’s lobby), there’s one place guests can stay that melds the allure of Southwest Texas culture in a high-tech smart home: The Cosmic Kasita.

(Image credit: Nick Simonite)

The glass-and-steel structure by Kasita, an award-winning micro home builder, is wrapped with an “I Love Texas” mural by artist Mishka Westell, depictions of desert creatures, and swirls of orange, hot pink, blue and green, making the 325-square-foot rental a bit less out-of-place among El Cosmico’s less modern accommodations. Liz Lambert, hotelier and founder of Bunkhouse Group, a Texas-based hospitality company, likes to think of the Cosmic Kasita “as a fancy sister to all the existing trailers on site, making it a nice respite for the West Texas traveler looking for a few more walls during their stay.”

The stylish tiny home, which was opened to the public during the Trans-Pecos Festival of Music + Love in September 2018, has 10-foot ceilings, a pull-out queen bed, an indoor bathroom, shower, and kitchen. And although small, Lambert and Kasita’s founder, Dr. Jeff Wilson have made the space feel quite airy with furniture basics and plenty of natural light.

“We’ve curated the furniture to have only what’s needed so the space isn’t crowded with stuff. For example, the queen bed pulls out from the couch and the glass box is equal parts window and living space,” Lambert tells Apartment Therapy.

(Image credit: Nick Simonite)

Inside, the team at Bunkhouse went with a “deity mythology meets West Texas ranch feel.” Brightly colored countertops and flooring from Forbo Marmoleum and Abet Laminati and custom birch veneer walls act as a base, while vintage furniture and items such as rugs and pillows made from repurposed Bolivian blankets and accent pillows from Ace & Jig for Schoolhouse give it that recognizable El Cosmico vibe. Multiple patterns envelop the small space, but it doesn’t feel forced or busy. A white hammock hangs in the large front-facing window letting in desert light from sunrise to sunset, while the bed transforms into a couch during the day and a small bench in the living room easily fits two or three. Carved-out bookshelves allow for creative afternoons getting lost in another world with the stunning Davis Mountains ahead.

While the home is precision engineered, Lambert believes the Kosmic Casita still promotes the “dolce far niente” lifestyle, which she describes as “the liberation from an obsession with productivity, a revolutionary act rather than a dereliction of duty.” It’s the perfect spot to rest after a day of visiting Marfa’s galleries—the town is now seen as an international art mecca—to talk with fellow El Cosmico campers or to enjoy an ice-cold beer on a hot Texas summer day.