Not just cool — custom cool. For Jennifer Greer Hartmann, owner and principal designer of GREER Interior Design in Austin, that meant starting from the ground up, literally. The concept for the five-bedroom, six-bath split level project began with the area rugs.
The rugs “set the palette and the general design direction in each area,” says Hartmann, who believes that rugs are “art on the floor, especially in a modern residence.” For the living area on the entry level, a large wool and silk rug by David Alan Rugs lent a “touch of a traditional feel, but it’s so simple, it complements all the modern pieces in the room really well.”
Those pieces include a stunning coffee table designed by Hartmann for GREER in black limba wood with a high gloss finish, which despite its name has golden caramel color variations with black streaks. “We wanted something really strong and simple that complemented all of the colors and tones in the room.” The richly hued A. Rudin sofa that Hartmann describes as a “modern take on a Chippendale sofa” is a focal point that anchors the light and airy space, covered in Big Dreams velvet fabric in Malibu by Great Plains.
Another striking piece is an A. Rudin chaise lounge upholstered in durable Wall to Wall fabric in Antique Silver by Great Plains. “It’s two-way seating,” explains Hartmann. Big enough for two, “you can either sit and look into the room, or sit on the other side and look out.” Either way, it’s a lovely view.
After a “cozy” Manhattan kitchen, the homeowners are “in seventh heaven,” says Hartmann, with a separate refrigerator and freezer, an island with a quartzite stone countertop and walnut wood base, and counter stools by Lawson Fenning with fabric in Mirage by Great Plains. The nearby terrace lures with an outdoor fireplace topped with a television, and lounge chairs and settee by Teak Warehouse in Sunbrella Outdoor fabric in Taupe, to enjoy the big game or take in the impressive views.
Custom-designed furniture can be found in the master bedroom, with a bed/headboard and lacquer nightstands by GREER; and in the man’s study off the foyer on the entry level. GREER Interior Design has access to artisans and work rooms that they use to create custom furniture from their designs so that each customer has a truly unique space. “We added the stained oak shelving and the millwork so that it’s a functional place to work. There’s a hidden printer and paper shredder.” The custom desk and metal side table is by Lawson Fenning, as is the lounge chair in Greener Pastures leather by Jerry Pair in Tomato. The area rug is 100 percent wool by Black Sheep Unique.
With no shortage of visitors to this hilltop home, the lower garden level serves as the ideal spot for house guests, with the media room right off the pool as the gathering place. The media room is also the showcase for a favorite work of art by Robert Dutesco from his famed The Wild Horses of Sable Island collection. “This is an important piece,” recalls Hartmann. “In our very first meeting we talked about where that photograph was going to go.” The sectional sofa by Minotti, in We Love Fabric by Pollack in Atmosphere, along with swivel lounge chairs by Holly Hunt in Masquerade fabric in Dark Shadow by Great Plains, sit atop a 100 percent Banana Silk rug by Black Sheep Unique that ties in perfectly with the exposed limestone wall. The high gloss stained media cabinet is a custom design by GREER. The game table is by McGuire Furniture. And a nearby mini-kitchenette saves trips to the upstairs kitchen for snacks and beverages.
The garden level also houses three guest bedrooms and a child’s room, and are the only rooms that are carpeted; the rest of the house has hickory floors (“stained darker to make it a little more classic and crisp to work with the stronger colors we were adding to the design,” says Hartmann).
One guest room is punctuated with a side chair by Bright Group, with Block by Kirby Design fabric in Pumpkin. With simple linen drapery, a clean-lined bed by Room and Board, cool lamps by Arteriors, and Herringbone wallpaper in Griege by Hermès, it has “a high-end Austin hotel vibe,” says Hartmann.
“This project was a pleasure,” says Hartmann, primarily because “the architecture was so clean, modern and minimal we were able to infuse the house with the family’s personality through the furnishings.” With so many looking for a modern, fuss-free lifestyle, says Hartmann, simple doesn’t necessarily mean stark. “Even when simply done, we try to make a home feel rich and interesting, and comfy and cozy all at the same time.” The homeowners, she adds, “love it. It’s very different from NYC. Here, they have lots of space and a gorgeous view.”
GREER Interior Design
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