Bold and Beautiful

When a busy professional couple chose a prestigious development in southwest Austin near Barton Creek Country Club, most of its sprawling architecture was traditional with décor to match. The vivacious homeowners wanted something more their style — a contemporary mix of comfort and flair in a signature look both approachable and audacious.

Registered interior designer Kate Blocker, an associate at Austin-based full-service architecture and interior design firm Dick Clark + Associates, was tasked with creating just the right mix for the young family in the two-story 6,000-square-foot dwelling with four bedrooms and four-and-a-half baths. “They love to travel and entertain,” says Blocker. “The wife in particular is glamourous and fashion forward, and with that comes a bit of an edgy, daring spirit.”

The dining room’s large expanse of glass and soaring popup ceiling are warmed by custom Sapele mahogany built-ins that house Sub-Zero® wine storage and flank a marble-topped serving buffet. Dining chairs by Baker® Furniture sit atop a wool and silk rug from ABC Carpet & Home in New York City in vibrant reds echoed in the wine-themed artwork. The stunning 21-globe chandelier is from

Roll & Hill.

On the other side of the native Lueders limestone wall, facing the living area, is a fireplace with a custom floating hearth also in Lueders. A hide rug by Yerra anchors both sofas by Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, one slipcovered in blue cotton velvet and the other in white tweed. Accent pillows are in fabrics from Holly Hunt and Zoffany.

French white oak flooring with an oil finish grounds the palette of primarily blues, teals, black and navy in most of the home, complemented by walls and trim in Benjamin Moore® White Dove throughout. 

The kitchen is a “very large space with very tall cabinetry,” says Blocker, “so we mixed materials in order to break it up and lend interest.” She added glass door accents to the top of the cabinets painted in Sherwin-Williams® Black Fox and used a striking Brazilian marble called Black Panda — harder than Italian marble, she says — for countertops on the island and the range wall and its backsplash. Glass and brass pendants from NYC-based design studio L’Aviva Home hang on custom chains from a 25-foot popup ceiling. Norman Cherner walnut barstools provide a classic mid-century touch.

Blocker also designed the steel and glass doors by Durango Doors of Austin that open to the game room off the kitchen, for a “buffer from the sound of the kids’ video games and television while still letting the light flow through.” Pendants by Tom Dixon hang over the game room bar painted in Benjamin Moore Hale Navy. Glass shelving from Urban Archaeology features unlacquered brass posts anchored by a soapstone countertop and the ceiling. Considering that the game room is directly off the outdoor living area, pool and grill, Blocker explains that upholstery fabrics in the home’s living spaces were selected for “durability and family friendliness.”

In contrast, the nearby powder bath is pure glam, with metallic moire wallpaper from Osborne & Little in Tagus pattern, bronze sink by Bates & Bates, classic glass orb pendants by Bocci, and a touch of drama in the geometric floor pattern in Clé Tile in black and white and a splash of Black Panda marble atop the Sapele mahogany vanity.

The study is a serene and stylish space with a Noguchi coffee table taking center stage in front of a plush black velvet sofa from Anthropologie. Navy grasscloth textured wall covering by Phillip Jeffries provides a backdrop to airy brass and glass etageres. A mid-century style walnut desk and chair from Dwell Studio sit window-side to make the most of natural light.

As master bedroom retreats go, this one has everything and then some. At first glance, the fireplace surround wall in venetian plaster, minimalist bed by Baker with Bella Notte bedding from Wildflower Organics in Austin, and vintage Moroccan silk rug would be more than enough to tick every box for comfort and luxury.

But look closer at the stair railing peeking out from impressive mid-century linen draperies in batiked linen; there is another one on the opposite side of the floating headboard wall with chocolate-hued textured grasscloth wall covering by Phillip Jeffries. Take the few steps up to the small exercise room, and then on to the master bath and master closets.

The focal point of the huge master bath is the gorgeous black and white floor, a combination of Carrara and Nero Maquina marbles in a custom cut layout. Yet another popup ceiling allows for transom windows that stream in natural light from on high. Cabinetry and millwork painted in Benjamin Moore Black Fox with brass hardware, Carrara marble countertops, brass sconces and chandelier by Visual Comfort, and freestanding tub by Victoria + Albert® add up to a grand yet exquisitely intimate space. All plumbing fixtures are by Kohler® in Satin Nickel.

Daring and elegant are two words not often used together, but for Blocker they perfectly sum up the project’s result and the personality of the homeowners. 

“The generous use of black is a component that not everyone is comfortable with,” says Blocker, “but these clients were unafraid to make bold decisions.” The palette may have been dramatic, but not the process. “Sometimes it’s good to just go for it,” she adds, “and they were great fun.”


DESIGN   Dick Clark + Associates

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