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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Other Design and Build Projects

Remodel addition in Pemberton Heights.

French-style home in Northwest Hills.

Custom new home in Pemberton Heights.

West Austin Estate: Garden Design

Bring a fresh and unique perspective to your landscape design with Houses & Gardens Designs. We can help you create, build and accessorize your landscape, whether it's an intimate space or a 12-acre estate.

Moroccan tile fountain from Santa Kilim in Santa Fe, NM. Our tile man Randy Schneider installed this beautiful fountain against the Austin Common Brick wall of the garage. We added some limestone steps and tucked it in to the English Ivy and ferns.

Contractor Thomas Koitzsch built the concrete block wall and plastered it in layers of colors and capped it in limestone with chiseled edges.

We planted palms from Barton Springs Nursery to create beautiful shadows on the wall and lend a tropical feel.

We designed an aqua-colored pool built by Cardinal Pools and had Thomas' men lay a basket weave pattern of the Austin Common bricks and a limestone coping around the pool.

Aqua umbrellas from Pottery Barn help shade the Mexican cast iron furniture painted blue.

An antique iron basin from the owner's Great Grandmother's house in the Bremond Block in Austin is planted with succulents. The shell pot was found at Cierras Interiors.

We hired Jacinto Cervantes and his crew to build a stone bridge arching over the creek.

We bought the chaises at Four Hands and had them slip covered for comfortable lounging around the pool.

The stone bird bath was acquired from El Alamo Pottery in Laredo, Texas and filled with sea shells from Port Aransas and a St. Francis statue. We surrounded the bird bath with shade-loving Aspidistras.

We built a burbling fountain from a pot we found at The Great Outdoors in Austin. The tile was purchased in Portugal. The fountain is the focal point of the courtyard just off the kitchen.

A Moroccan iron table and chairs from Mexico, painted aqua, paired together to create a charming poolside spot to sip a cool drink.

The cantera stone cross was found in a small village outside of Queretaro, Mexico.

The aqua tile splash around the pool was ordered from Architterra Handmade Tile Studio in Austin.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Our First Spec House

This was our first spec house, built in 1983, in the Mt Bonnell Shores subdivision. We selected a large corner lot with beautiful mature oak trees and fantastic views. The architectural design was inspired by the Baker Plantation House in Plantersville, Texas, a home we saw in the book "TEXAS HOMES of the 19th Century." Sabes Flores Architect worked with us to recreate many of the architectural details we admire and appreciate in historic homes.

In the rubble-style stonework of the facade, we used a pink tint in the mortar to emmulate the original method of building with pink sand mortar. We designed a hip style roof to accommodate the large widow's walk on the top of the house which to takes full advantage of the lovely 360-degree view of Lake Austin and the surrounding hills.

The house has four working fireplaces with custom wood mantles, real true divided light double-hung windows from Marvin Windows to help circulate the breeze. We employed traditional methods of keeping the home cool in summer and warm in winter, such as the home's southeast orientation, a double porch across the back of the house, and a single porch in front to take in the breezes and provide a shady respite from which to enjoy the outdoors.

We lovingly carried limestone from our ranch to build the driveway. The custom front doors are made of cypress because of its natural beauty, durability and resistance to rot. The house features double R hardwood floors throughout with an intricate pattern in the study and more traditional patterns through the rest of the house.

The gentleman who bought our house grew up in Independence, Texas. He was so delighted to find a home in Austin that embraced the historical character of the homes he grew up around that he put the house under contract while we it was still under construction. I was delighted to learn from him about the antique roses he asked us to plant in his garden from the Antique Rose Emporium in nearby Brennam, Texas.