Text description provided by the architects
After living in their Lake Austin fronted condo for over 10 years, the homeowners wanted a dramatic departure from what they had – a traditional, segregated and enclosed plan with French country furniture and lots of color. Being prominent figures in the Austin community, they insisted that we helped to elevate their entertaining lifestyle and surround them in a clean, contemporary open space with high ceilings with an emphasis on maximizing their gorgeous lakefront views at every turn.
By reorganizing the floor plan and opening up the walls with glass, we have created an interior experience that is always connected to the outdoors. With exception to the art, everything in this residence has been hand-selected by our Interior Design team to compliment the home; from the rugs, to the millwork, to the furniture and the Venetian plaster fireplace. The final result is a successfully sleek, restrained palette that serves as a foil to their unique collection of traditional artwork.
What were the key challenges?
An overhaul was in store for the 3-bed, 3 1⁄2-bath residence. Initial requests included an additional bedroom and bathroom, maximizing the lake views and modernizing the ‘70s-era interiors. The renovation included cleaning up the existing cramped floor plan in favor of a cohesive space that showcased the lake.
Of most importance to the homeowners was their art and antiques—pieces inherited and acquired over the years. Blocker and the clients set to work editing down the pieces from their previous French-country-leaning interiors. The new layout involved balancing a completely open floor plan, while still maintaining key art walls.
What were the solutions?
The team removed walls to create “peekaboo” moments that allowed views of lake to show throughout the house. This was more about giving glimpses of the lake to a guest as they walk up to the front door. The entire back wall (downstairs and upstairs) was replaced with glazing to remove the barriers that were blocking the lake view from any perspective.
The key to the interior decor was in layering the new modern pieces with the clients’ existing collection. The family’s favorite antiques remained, including the wife’s aunt’s brass collection now on display in the entry; an antique desk from the Texas capitol in the study; an old chest under the stairs; and the work of artists such as Henriette Wyeth and René Alvarado and Peter Hurd.
Who are the clients and what’s interesting about them?
The homeowners are a longtime local lobbyist and a prominent real estate agent in Austin, TX. As they decided what life would look like as retirement approached, they considered a move to downtown, but ultimately chose to remain in their home on Lake Austin.