A Winning Combination

An active family relocating from Chicago to Texas was looking for a fresh change for their custom new build in the capital city. With an emphasis on light and space, their two-story contemporary home a few miles outside of Austin was a real winner — thanks to a beautifully coordinated team effort.

“From a design perspective, they wanted open, organic and minimalist features, with large windows and a seamless flow from outside to inside,” says Laura Burton, Allied Member ASID, owner of Laura Burton Interiors in Austin. “A highly functional kitchen was also important to them.”

Working with very involved homeowners was a plus, says John Hathaway, registered architect and owner of Vanguard Studio, Inc. in Austin. “They provided different pictures of general looks and styles that they liked, which helped. Natural light was important. That’s why there is floor-to-ceiling glass with some very large corner windows,” says John. “In fact, in some places you see more glass than wall and that was by design.” Hathaway oriented the 6,000-square-foot, six-bedroom, six-bath home on a 1.14-acre lot, mindful of environmental concerns such as working with engineers on the drainage plan, designing around existing trees and ensuring minimal impact to vegetation. “It was very much a specific site-designed house to fully take advantage of the lot.” Clean, native, cream-colored Texas limestone was used as accents to the white integral stucco exterior veneer.

There is a juxtaposition of sleekness yet warmth in this home that is exemplified in the kitchen. Natural Quartzite counters with full Quartzite backsplashes in Mont Blanc are set off by sequence matched rift white oak European frameless kitchen cabinets from River City Cabinets. Flooring is rift and quarter sawn site-finished white oak from Kristynik Hardwood Flooring, Inc. in Austin. “We introduced texture but not a lot of color,” says Laura, plus a touch of drama to focus on ceiling height with an eye-catching LED light fixture from Lightology along with a plaster vent hood with insert. The effect is timeless and elegant. (This kitchen earned Laura Burton Interiors a 2018 ASID Design Excellence First Place Award in the kitchen category from the Austin Chapter of American Society Interior Designers.)

Gaggenau appliances from Harway Appliances in Austin include an in-counter pasta steamer, plumbed steam oven and induction cooktop, which has controls built into the cabinetry. “Gaggenau’s goal is to provide maximum function flowing seamlessly within the kitchen without calling attention to the appliances,” says Laura. Wall and ceiling paint in the kitchen and one of the main colors throughout the house is Benjamin Moore Ballet White, part of their Off-White collection.

The breakfast nook and beverage center to the right of the kitchen look out to the outdoor kitchen in an example of seamless indoor-outdoor elements. Builders David Burton and Joe Finley of Enve Builders used mixed vertical grain Douglas fir in the roof overhangs of the porch and patio ceilings and carried the same material inside into the kitchen nook and dining room. “It doesn’t have a lot of knots so it reads as a nice contemporary wood element,” says David. Another stunning light fixture from Lightology hangs over the table and chairs.

“Interesting light fixtures and tile were must-haves for the homeowners,” says Laura. Those worked their way into the master bath with a patterned porcelain tile from Architectural Tile and Stone and a beautifully simple fixture from Lightology over the tub. An automated shade next to the tub provides privacy and is part of the home’s Lutron Electronics lighting control and window shade systems. A steam shower with body spray provides a luxurious bath experience. All plumbing is from Moore Supply. The home features on-demand water heating, hot water circulation and Water-Sense fixtures.

A barn door conceals huge his and her closets, custom designed and organized by More Space Place. Countertops are natural Quartzite in White Macaubas and, like the kitchen, white oak custom cabinetry is from River City Cabinets. Wall paint is Benjamin Moore Pewter.

Outside, part of the yard features a high performance ultra-realistic synthetic turf from Magnolia Turf Company in Austin which has “zero maintenance,” according to David. The pool has a half-bath with an outdoor shower.

The homeowners were thrilled with the result of the project team — a spectacular hilltop home with equally spectacular views that they had already seen from the second story before there actually was one.

“Very early in the design phase, we rented a scissor lift so that the homeowners and architect were able to see the actual views from the second story,” says David. Adds John, “We figured out very early that there would be a nice view but not sure how good it was.” The house was designed to be predominantly single story but a second story with a guestroom and his and hers offices (the homeowners both work from home) was added. The thought of working upstairs with incredible views of downtown Austin sold the homeowners on the second story idea. “Nothing replaces getting on a lift and seeing the views firsthand,” says David.

 ARCHITECT   Vanguard Studio, Inc.

512-918-8312  |  www.vanguardstudio.com

 BUILDER   Enve Builders

512-431-8005  |  www.enveofaustin.com

 DESIGNER   Laura Burton Interiors

512-322-9888  |  www.lauraburtoninteriors.com