Designed by Britt Design Group and Cornerstone Architects, this 4,575-square-foot, four-bedroom, four-and-a-half bath home in West Lake Hills sits atop a lush hillside with 360-degree canyon vistas, providing a remote environment just six miles from downtown Austin. The homeowners, an Austin tech executive couple, love to entertain and envisioned a home with a variety of large spaces to hold gatherings of all sizes.
First, they had to select the right architect. Since the home was built on a slope, certain key considerations had to be addressed during construction. “Sequencing of construction was very important,” said Adam Steiner with Cornerstone Architects. “There was minimal room on either side of the house to maneuver, and it was extremely steep. Bonterra Build | Design managed the construction in a way that is not typically done, for instance, the septic tank and field were installed before anything else started.
Steiner filled the home with sustainable features such as energy efficient appliances and HVAC systems, tankless water heaters, large overhangs to block direct solar heat gain, drop down solar shades, spray foam insulation with higher R-values than typical fiberglass insulation, a tightly sealed thermal envelope, Energy Star® rated windows and doors, energy efficient LED lighting, smart thermostats and xeriscape landscaping for minimal water use.
When it came to design, the homeowners desired a look and feel of calm respite, enhanced with custom touches derived from their travels and personal experiences. They are from different parts of the world, and with help from designer Laura Britt, they were able to blend their individual aesthetics into a shared vision for their home. Britt and her team used “super naturals” — a variety of neutral color tones and textures from wood, stone and metal as the backdrop for intentional bursts of color.
To enhance the surrounding views of nature, every room throughout the house boasts floor to ceiling windows. “We didn’t want to compete with any of the views, so we kept the design clean, modern and open,” said Laura. “The biggest factor in the design of this house was about connecting the interior design to the views. The home is comfortable and inviting — everything centers around outdoor living. We brought in colors from the surrounding landscape to achieve this — earthy greens, vibrant blues, dark browns. To create impact in the kitchen, we used contrasting colors, bright whites and dark rich browns with a large picture window taking center stage.”
A variety of flooring was used throughout the home, from porcelain tile inspired by the feel and shades of natural wood to neutral ceramics. And statement lighting in nearly every room provides a center of interest.
As you enter the home, the Bocci multi-pendant lighting in the stairwell is a stunning focal point as is the homeowners’ heirloom piano in the foyer. The built-in walnut shelves behind the piano are inlaid with a Phillip Jeffries arrowroot grasscloth wallcovering sourced through David Sutherland, which provides the look of raw silk using natural grass, and enhances rather than overshadows the piano.
The kitchen cabinets were designed to offer a clean aesthetic, with appliances carefully aligned in a similar fashion. The Sonneman® statement light fixture overhead offers interest as well as soft but sufficient lighting. The massive kitchen island counter provides a substantial workspace and room to seat six. The surrounding chairs by Caffrey & Co. follow suit with geometric simplicity.
Another stunning light fixture anchors the dining room. By Seth Parks Designs, the hand-blown glass floating fixture represents the natural movement of water and air. The dining chairs are made by Theodore Alexander and sourced through Cocoon. “We also created a custom hair-on-hide rug for the dining room in partnership with Kyle Bunting,” said Laura.
In the living room, furnishings by Caffrey & Co. include chairs, tables and sofa. The Persian woven wool and silk rug, in an abstract blue and gold colorway, was sourced through Black Sheep Unique. The fireplace is covered in white honed limestone, and the hearth is constructed from Silestone® in the Calypso finish with special attention given to the pencil round edge detail and mitered corners. Both upstairs and downstairs, the connected outdoor living spaces act as additional living rooms. “Whether out on the patio or in the indoor living room, we wanted it to feel like one complete space, not two separate areas,” said Laura.
The upper patio lounge chairs are by Verellen from Belgium, also sourced through Caffrey & Co. The ensemble is completed with a couch from Outback Patio and a rug from Jaipur. Directly below, the chairs on the lower patio are from Outdoor Living and unique, circular poolside loungers are by Dedon. The infinity pool was designed by Austintatious Pools in coordination with Cornerstone Architects.
Despite the unique challenges of building in such a location, a skilled team of architects, builders and designers managed to create a stunning home that takes advantage of its natural surroundings and provides the homeowners a place for rest or entertaining.
Britt Design Group
512-458-8963 | BrittDesignGroup.com
512-329-0007 | CornerstoneArchitectsLLP.com
Bonterra Build | Design
512-382-1234 | BonterraBD.com
512-832-0508 | AustintatiousPools.com