5 Featured Architects: AIA Austin Homes Tour 2017

HEY! It’s time for some mid-week inspiration! So, this weekend I am so excited because I get to attend the 2017 AIA Austin Homes Tour and visit with all of the incredible architects who designed these beautiful and unique houses here in Austin. You, too, can be a guest at this year’s event and get exclusive access inside all of the astounding homes by purchasing a ticket here.

You may be wondering, what even is AIA? Well, AIA Austin stands for The Austin Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and it has more than 1,000 architect and associate members and over 180 companies working in fields related to design, architecture, and construction in Austin. Their goal is to advance the value of architecture and thus, improve the community as a whole.

Something you should know about me — I started my love for architecture way before I ever thought about pursuing a career in interior design. Ever since I was a little girl, I have been fascinated with watching homes be built from the ground up. I remember when my family was looking to move from our little cottage home in Dallas to one with more room, I became obsessed with touring houses for sale, and ended up finding our family’s forever home as an eight year old. Although I do not have the expertise or knowledge of all things architecture, I sure do have an appreciation for all the hard work and endless creating that architects put in to design one single home.

In order to get hyped for this weekend’s festivities, we chose five out of the thirteen talented architects from this year’s tour to feature in this post. I had to narrow them down for you all, but I encourage you to check out all of the remaining architects because their work is just as stunning. In addition to giving you a sneak peak at some of the projects that are part of the tour, we also asked a few of the architects a question about their latest designs — their responses were almost as encouraging and impressive as the homes themselves. Keep scrolling!

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////

1/ AlterStudio Architecture “Constant Springs Residence”

The home that is featured by AlterStudio in this years’ show is the Constant Springs Residence. I am absolutely amazed by the cedar ceilings that run throughout the home and continue outdoors. The coolest part about it is the cutout that allows a towering live oak tree to pass through. Floor to ceiling glass windows surround most of the home, exposing the interior spaces and giving it a very contemporary feel overall.

What was the biggest challenge for you when designing this home and how did you resolve it?

“The biggest challenge when designing this home was transforming the latent possibilities of the challenging site- comprised of amazing live oak trees- into something special. Our solution was to design an agile building that deftly engages the landscape, intertwining the life of the home with that of the oak trees to create a glass home that is nonetheless private in the midst of a relatively dense suburban condition.” – AlterStudio Architecture

alterstudio

Constant Springs Residence

2/ FAB Architecture “Retama House”

Retama House, designed by FAB Architecture, is composed of four levels that utilize the exclusive characteristics of its site, which include living and sleeping areas that open up to balconies nestled in the dense, old oak trees that surround it. This classic-modern home also emphasizes a roof deck that sits on top of the highest branches to view all of downtown Austin. How fun would star gazing be on top of this home!

What was the biggest challenge for you when designing this home and how did you resolve it?

“By far the most challenging aspect in designing this home was balancing the city’s requirements with our client’s needs and desires. In the end, we accomplished this with skill and grace, after much hard work and rumination.” – FAB Architecture

fab-arch

Retama House

3/ Tim Brown Architecture“Timberline Pass”

The single-family home represented by Tim Brown this year is named Timberline Pass. The architecture of this home uses classic structure and scale while incorporating contemporary fundamentals, as well. My personal favorite aspect of this house is that the central living space can be opened up to the pool patio by the stacking sliding doors. This element allows the main house to be connected to the beautiful outdoors during pool parties with family and friends.

tim-brown-1

Timberline Pass

tim-brown-2

Timberline Pass

4/ Matt Fajkus Architecture“Main Stay House”

Main Stay House, a minimalist, contemporary home, allows the inside and the outside to feel as one. The structure of this house entirely opens up the metropolitan living space to the backyard and pool area. This architect’s work is a perfect example of how a home can reflect a family’s flexible lifestyle.

What was the biggest challenge for you when designing this home and how did you resolve it?

“The design is intended for clients looking for a new home to raise a young family of four in an Austin neighborhood that is perhaps most “uniquely Austin.” The challenges were both cultural and site-specific. The residence needed to best represent the spirit of the neighborhood – artsy and eccentric, helped partly by its varied history and rapid evolution paced with the city’s growth, resulting in highly diverse architectural styles. The site itself is regulated by the City’s McMansion Ordinance with strict restrictions on zoning, controlling building envelope size and form, buildable area, setback, impervious cover, and so on. The large existing trees have already occupied the front portion of the property and a quarter of the area within the setback. Limited by square footage, the clients’ requirements included 5 bedrooms and a pool under budget constraints and a desire for a streamlined aesthetic. The proposal is simple and straightforward – an architectural experiment with clean forms, relatable materiality, and a flexible urban infill living space that blurs the lines between inside and outside, for both humans and nature.” – Matt Fajkus Architecture

matt-f

Main Stay House

5/ Stuart Sampley Architecture“Lakemoore Residence”

This one-story, dark grey modern farmhouse home by Stuart Sampley caught my eye because it is almost exactly how I picture my dream home. The traditional gable roof and six heritage live oak trees make this house feel like a cozy home nestled in the trees. Inside, the open living room connects to the dining room and kitchen, and proceeds out the back to the flat roof pool house and swimming pool.

sampley-1

Lakemoore Residence

sampley-2

Lakemoore Residence

//////////////////////////////////////////////

Well guys, I could go on and on forever about these unbelievable homes and the architects who constructed them. To say the least, every architect that is going to be featured in this year’s annual AIA Austin Homes Tour is well deserving of the honor. I encourage all of you to buy tickets for this exclusive experience–it will be worth your weekend! Thanks for reading!

xoxo,

Greta

Design Board to Reality: Downtown Austin Abode

Happy Tuesday everybody! These are some of my favorite posts to do because I think it is so much fun to see how a project can move from an idea on paper to reality. We named this cute project the “Downtown Austin Abode” project because it is located in the heart of downtown Austin in a high-rise right off of the notorious 6th Street. I hope that you love watching our ideas for this project come to life!

As you can see below, we started off this project by making a design board. Design boards are really helpful not only to the designer, but also for the clients to get an idea of what the finishing spaces will look like. Design boards are a rough replica of what we imagine the space to turn out like. Not all of the details in the design board will actually happen–some of the fun of it all is making things work as we go. As you continue to scroll down, you will notice that this design board is almost identical to what the space actually turned out to be. We LOVE it!

DESIGN BOARD

hey1

REALITY

before

When we visited the apartment for the first time, this is what we were working with. Going to see the empty space before any work has been done on it is always a good idea for an interior designer. It helps to get exact measurements of everything so that we can make sure all of the furniture and accessories will be the perfect fit. Below are photos we took of the master bedroom and the kitchen area.

before-1

Before – Bedroom + Kitchen Area

after

I am obsessed with how the bedroom and kitchen area turned out! The cactus wallpaper and green walls with gold accessories and art, as well as the dark wood side tables are to die for. My favorite part about the view from this master bedroom is the green, rolling hills that go on as far as the eye can see!

Lets talk about the breakfast table–we added the four chairs and marble lazy suzan for friends to drink coffee and for conversations to flow. The variety of framed vintage fabrics brightens up the white walls and adds even more of a unique, Austin feel to this apartment.

after-1a

Bedroom Wall Art

Bedroom Wall Art

untitled-2

before

The following pictures show more views of the empty kitchen and living room area. We were really excited to work with this spacious and open living room because that is where most of the hanging out would occur. Scroll down to see how our ideas from the design board were reflected in this space.

untitled-1

untitled-1

after

As you can see, this space turned out to be a pretty close replica of the design board. My favorite piece of furniture that we incorporated in the living room is definitely the woven peacock chair with the fur throw and fringed blue pillow. I also fell in love with the ombre blue and white fabric art and the leather vintage suitcases we used. The pops of color from the fringe pillow, geometric marbled coffee tables, and large wall art above the couch give this apartment such a positive aura.

2

Living Room

Living Room

Colorful Fringe Pillow

Colorful Fringe Pillow

This southwestern style apartment with its modern bohemian flair makes the perfect getaway weekend for couples or friends visiting downtown Austin. Watching projects like this one come to life is what makes working for an interior designer so rewarding and inspiring. I hope you all enjoyed reading about one of our most recent, finished projects and were able to gather some ideas for yourself! Have a great rest of your week and make sure to check the blog on Friday for some Fab Friday Finds!

xoxo,

Greta