Cactus Moon: The Perfect Hill Country Retreat

Local interior designer Shelby Carr uses the winning combination of color and tile


Less than an hour outside the Austin city limits in the gorgeous Texas Hill Country lies Cactus Moon Lodge. Started by an artistic group of siblings, this hilly oasis in the countryside provides beautiful scenery inside and out. Cactus Moon recently expanded their existing accommodations with two new casitas designed by prolific Austin interior designer Shelby Carr. We had the pleasure of speaking with Shelby about her work with Cactus Moon.

Bathroom walk in shower with red tile wall clay imports

Walk in shower with subway tile in ‘dolores dust’ color

The Build

Shelby Carr was approached for the job after Cactus Moon owners stumbled upon Clay Imports tile that Shelby had designed. After seeing the tile, they felt she deeply understood the style of the lodge and what they were looking to accomplish.

Bathroom walk in shower knob with pink tile wall clay imports

Walk in shower with subway tile in ‘straw’ color


The result is two colorful bathrooms made using Clay Imports subway tile in straw and dolores dust. Shelby brilliantly uses the warm earthy red tone of the subway tile to highlight a luxurious walk-in shower. The color of the subway tiles mix with the concrete texture on the sink to create an organic feel. The handmade look adds a sense of serenity to the entire bathroom.

Bathroom sink with red tile and pink sink clay imports

Bathroom sink with subway tile in ‘dolores dust’ color

The Inspiration

Shelby found inspiration in the existing personality of Cactus Moon Lodge. The owners are a talented and artistic group of siblings, born and raised in Texas. With a lot of love, they transformed the lodge into a beautiful Hill Country retreat with a unique, desert flair.

Cactus Moon lodge Spanish plaza


Liz Berry (a local branding designer for food companies and restaurants) runs Cactus Moon. She and her sister Cindy Ollig (owner of The Perfect Petal in Denver) wanted Cactus Moon to be curated with art and thoughtfully chosen design pieces throughout.

Stone building with pool in front cactus moon

Cactus Moon features stunning views of the hilly Texas countryside


“I extended this style into the new casitas, adding a touch of sleek modernity. Our goal was to introduce more sophisticated design elements, while keeping the charm of the current property.”— Shelby

Grey building with large windows and door with wood roof cactus moon

Cactus Moon casitas feature a modern look combined with handmade charm

The Tile

Cactus Moon Lodge has always been a strong supporter of local businesses. “Clay Imports being a well-known Austin company, it was an obvious choice. Cactus Moon fell in love with the matte field tiles in authentic Texas colors. They could visualize the impact the tiles could make when used with the correct color grout.”

When asked for her favorite Clay Imports tile, Shelby says she “nearly died, in a good way, when I first saw Rohin’s Oaxaca Series”. However, she surprised us by ultimately picking the matte neutral Oval Chalk. “Doesn’t make a lot of sense considering how much I like color, but I installed this on my mother’s fireplace a few years ago, and I love it now as much as I did then. And it works in almost any style of home.”

Bathroom walk in shower seat with red tile wall clay imports

Walk in shower seat with subway tile in ‘dolores dust’ color

Shelby’s Style

When asked to narrow down her style Shelby says “I don’t really have one!” She has worked on a diverse style of projects throughout her career. From a Warehouse Conversion, to a Mid-Century Usonian, to a Scandinavian Modern, to a Classic Farmhouse. Shelby enjoys moving from one style to another and adapting to her client’s’ personalities and needs. However, there is a constant theme: “in my work there is a large amount of color.” Shelby highlights her expert use of color in her tile choices for Cactus Moon. “The first thing I do when approaching a project is determining what the color palette will be. Everything else just falls into place!”

Bathroom shower with silver shower head and pink tile wall clay imports

Walk in shower with subway tile in ‘straw’ color


“My job is not only about finding “pretty” things, but making sure the project runs smoothly and efficiently. And hopefully relieving some of the stress that clients might feel when undertaking a new construction or remodel. If my client is relaxed and confident with the choices being made, that makes me happy.”— Shelby

We hope you enjoyed reading this blog, if you have any questions feel free to email us at or chat with us here.