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contents august/september 2020






aia austin

14 18 22 24 26


Preserving A City’s History Hill Country Gem Holds Historic Treasures Navigating Antique Week Tiki Time Making The (Up)Grade

contributing editors 65

Kayvon Leath, Austin NARI Angela Parks, NARI San Antonio

features 30 38 44 52 60

Homes Tour 2020

Past To Present Kitchen Magic Rising From The Earth Mix Master

Home Improvement Projects: Do-It-Yourself or Hire A Professional?

spotlights 10 64

From The Editor Spotlight

What Will Schools Of The Future Look Like?



I nteri or Design

Luxury Remo del i ng


New Co ns t ruc t i on

(210) 996-9494

From the editor

Still Standing


hen I was little, I remember a conversation between adults where someone said, “You better do something to it now before they slap a historical marker on it and then you are stuck.” They were referring to an old house that I was not familiar with. How times have changed. Nowadays, it’s the homeowners driving the designation, understanding full well the importance of preserving their homes and neighborhood. Shanon Shea Miller, San Antonio’s Historic Preservation Director, calls it a shared goal of economic, environmental and cultural sustainability. It’s impossible to imagine cities without historic districts and beautiful old homes that have been respectfully restored, and thanks to city departments, non-profits and individual homeowners in our area, we don’t have to. In Austin, homeowners rescued a 100-year-old home left as a construction site and called Tim Cuppett Architects for the lengthy restoration of the historical property. For CG&S Design-Build, their project was not that old, but a first for Austin. They renovated the city’s first concrete earth dwelling built in 1984, taking it from bunker to bright and beautiful. In San Antonio, Haven Design & Construction recreated the kitchen of a 1902 home with period-specific designs, colors and some repurposed antiques. As a mom of school-aged kids, I’ve watched the change in school design over the years. I asked McKinney York Architects and LPA, Inc, both experienced in education design, to explain how new instructional methods are driving school architecture. In the mood for fall antiquing? Antique Week continues in October and Leah Ashley of ABC’s Fablife provides tips on what to wear, eat and drink and, especially, where to find those perfect treasures. Over in Comfort, any weekend is a great day for antiquing but don’t miss out on the town’s collection of Alfred Giles-designed buildings. The famed architect worked in Comfort around the turn of the century and left incredible landmarks within a square block – perfect for a walking tour and still in use today. As we transition into fall, I wish everyone health and happiness.

Trisha Doucette

On The Cover: Though the stately, century-old home had been vacant for years, with renovations prior to that, many of the original doors, windows and other historic elements were left in the basement in what architect Tim Cuppett refers to as a treasure trove of items to sort through. Page 30. Photo by Whit Preston. 10 HOME DESIGN & DECOR AUSTIN-SAN ANTONIO |


Austin-San Antonio



VOL. 15 | NO. 3


Louis Doucette


Trisha Doucette

Contributing Editors

Kayvon Leath – Austin NARI Angela Parks - NARI San Antonio


Claudia Alarcón, Julie Catalano, James Frierson, Cheryl Van Tuyl Jividen, Lauren Jones


Andrea Calo, Costea Photography, Inc., Matthew Niemann, Whit Preston, Erin Williamson

Architectural Publicist

Diane Purcell – Dianepurcell.com

Advertising Sales

Sandy Weatherford, Gerry Lair, Madeleine Justice

Business Manager Vicki Schroder

Design and Production

Tim Shaw – The Shaw Creative – theshawcreative.com


512.385.4663, Austin - 210.410.0014, San Antonio


10036 Saxet Drive / Boerne, Texas 78006


Mark Herrmann Urban Home Publishing Email: louisd@homedesigndecormag.com Website: www.homedesigndecormag.com Home Design & Decor Magazine Austin-San Antonio is published by Big City Publications, LLC. Advertising rates available upon request. All rights reserved by copyright. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written consent from publisher. Every effort is made to assure accuracy of the information contained herein. However, the publisher cannot guarantee such accuracy. Advertising is subject to errors, omissions and or other changes without notice. Mention of any product or service does not constitute endorsement from Home Design & Decor Magazine. The information contained in this publication is deemed reliable from third party sources, but not guaranteed. Home Design & Decor Magazine does not act as an agent for any of the advertisers in this publication. It is recommended that you choose a qualified remodeling, home furnishings or home improvement firm based on your own selection criteria. Home Design & Decor Magazine, does not act as an agent for any of the realtors or builders in this publication. It is recommended that you choose a qualified realtor to assist you in your new home purchase. Home Design & Decor Magazine will not knowingly accept advertising for real estate that is a violation of the Fair Housing Act. All real estate advertising in Home Design & Decor Magazine, is subject to the Fair Housing Act that states “We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin.”

© Copyright 2020 by Home Design & Decor Magazine. All Rights Reserved.

dwell The people, places and things that elevate your home and living.

Edward Steves Homestead Photo courtesy of San Antonio Conservation Society Foundation This elegant three-story mansion, located in the King William District on the bank of the San Antonio River, was built for Edward Steves and designed by prominent San Antonio architect Alfred Giles in 1876. The ashlar limestone structure features a concave mansard roof with decorative iron cresting, characteristic of the French Second Empire and the Italian Villa styles. The property was donated to the Conservation Society of San Antonio in 1952 by Mr. and Mrs. Curtis Vaughan in memory of her grandparents and parents. The home opened as a museum in 1954 and has remained in operation since. The Conservation Society was founded in 1924 as one of the first in the country. Early efforts to preserve the city’s Spanish Colonial missions expanded to include many historic attractions.

Architecture Preserving A City’s History

Fab Finds Hill Country Gem Holds Historic Treasures



Road Trip Navigating Antique Week

Outdoor Tiki Time




Market Making The (Up) Grade

26 |



architecture | historic preservation


Historic properties and districts are essential for maintaining the history of a city, defining it as unique and reflecting its soul. When people understand the history of their neighborhood

By Claudia Alarcón

and city, historic preservation becomes a source of pride in their community, which may be the most important reason for preserving historic buildings.

Historic residential construction in Central Texas reflects many architectural styles, each with their own significance. According to Steve Sadowsky, Historic Preservation Officer for the City of Austin, the city’s residential properties reflect 19th century high styles like Queen Anne, early 20th century period revivals such as Colonial Revival, Spanish Colonial Revival and Italian Renaissance Revival, and bungalows of the 1920s and 1930s, among others. “There were many prominent architects working in Austin during the historic period, but many of our historic landmarks also reflect vernacular building trends,” Sadowsky explains. “These include wing-and-gable Victorian cottages, transitional houses of the turn of the 20th century, bungalows, 1930s and 1940s cottages, and minimal traditional houses. We are blessed with an abundance of mid-century modern residential designs as well.” For designation as a historic landmark in Austin, a property must meet criteria detailed in the Land Development Code. For instance, the council may designate a structure or site as a historic landmark if the property is at least 50 years old and represents a period of significance of at least 50 years ago, and retains a high degree of integrity as defined by the National Register of Historic Places that clearly

Preservation Austin Preservation Austin has been the city’s leading nonprofit voice for historic preservation since 1953. The annual Homes Tour is Preservation Austin’s marquee educational and outreach event. All proceeds support the nonprofit’s advocacy efforts and educational programming year-round and sustains efforts to protect Austin’s historic places for generations to come. The themes and homes featured change each year — “Downtown Doorsteps” in 2020 — so visit preservationaustin.org for information. 14 HOME DESIGN & DECOR AUSTIN-SAN ANTONIO |

San Antonio Street — 1890 Photography by Leonid Furmansky Austin’s newly appointed internal revenue collector, Major Joseph W. Burke, built this home just west of the Texas State Capitol for his young family. The Pennsylvania native and Union Army veteran was a leading member of Austin’s Republican Party, while wife Nellie came from Texas pioneers. After Nellie’s death in 1925, the home was sold and converted into apartments. The current owner purchased the building in 2002 and peeled back these alterations to reveal beautiful wood finishes and return the space into apartment units. This was the first residential remodel awarded 4 stars by the City of Austin’s Green Building Program.


conveys its historical significance. It must not include an addition or alteration which has significantly compromised its integrity. In San Antonio, a property must be at least 25 years old to qualify for landmark designation and needs to meet three criteria from a list of sixteen in the city’s Unified Development Code, which are broadly based on the National Register criteria as viewed through the lens of San Antonio’s history. What makes a place significant is unique to each property — it could be an association with an important person or event, its architectural style or construction method, its reflection of cultural traditions or the presence of archaeological resources. “San Antonio’s local landmarks represent the stories of our community. The architectural history is diverse, reflecting the cultural influences of the people who’ve made the city their home,” says Shanon Shea Miller, Historic Preservation Director for the city. “Since many of our legacy neighborhoods were developed between the late 1880s and 1930, the architectural styles of that time span are prevalent in our historic districts.” Popular in the Victorian era, Queen Anne and Folk Victorian style homes are found in the King William and Dignowity Hill Historic Districts. Streetcar suburbs like Highland Park and Beacon Hill have dense collections of Craftsman Bungalows, while styles such as Tudor Revival and Spanish Eclectic abound in the Monticello Park and Greenlawn Estates Historic Districts. “Our landmarks also include vernacular structures, built with locally sourced materials including wood, stone and caliche block using traditional construction methods,” says Miller. “The historic buildings of Austin tell the story of our past and continue to be significant in framing the ideals of permanence and recognition,” says Sadowsky, who believes historic preservation is first and foremost an educational

Rio Grande Street — 1905 Photography by Leonid Furmansky Joseph D. Sayers commissioned this gracious home by Page Brothers Architects soon after finishing his second term as governor of Texas. Sayers led the state through numerous tragedies during his tenure, including the Galveston hurricane in 1900. Wife Orline Walton Sayers lived here until her death in 1943. A painter and renowned hostess, she was known as the “Dolly Madison of Texas” for turning the Governor’s Mansion into the “center of the state’s social and cultural life.” The current owner has lived here since 1994.

tool. “People learn the history of a place through the buildings that reflect the stories of the community. We take modern conveniences like air-conditioning for granted now, but historic buildings were built to address the specific needs of the Texas climate, with elements like broad porches, transoms, and other means of keeping cool and circulating air through a house.” According to Sadowsky, preservation comes down to recognizing and respecting history and architecture. “Historic houses may be modified to suit modern tastes and needs, but modifications must be done sensitively so that the modern changes do not overwhelm the historic character of the structure,” he says. “We encourage rehabilitation and adaptive re-use of historic buildings rather than demolition and encourage repair of deteriorated architectural elements over replacement whenever possible and feasible.” Respecting the history and architecture of a building means that you should not change it in ways that are not historically appropriate or accurate, he adds. In Austin, exterior changes to historic landmarks and to contributing proper-





ties in local and National Register historic districts must be reviewed by the City Historic Landmark Commission. In San Antonio, big changes to the exterior of designated structures require a public hearing by the Historic and Design Review Commission. This group of local experts listens to community feedback and makes recommendations guided by the Historic Design Guidelines. Austin homeowners participate in creating neighborhood historic districts by gathering support and participating in workshops to develop the set of design standards that the Historic Preservation Office and the Historic Landmark Commission will use to evaluate proposals for modifications to contributing buildings, and for new construction within the district. Once designated, the owners of contributing buildings must coordinate with the city for any exterior or site changes to their properties. “We have been surveying San Antonio for over 40 years looking for significant historic resources, but those resources get preserved because the community decides to speak up and act,” says Miller, adding that historic districts often start in

Monte Vista Neighborhood — 1890 Photo courtesy of San Antonio Office of Historic Preservation San Antonio’s Monte Vista dates to 1890 and was the most prominent neighborhood during the city’s “Gilded Age” of expansion. Architectural styles ranging from Queen Anne, Hollywood Bungalow and Georgian to Tudor, Moorish and Victorian mix within the neighborhood and were homes to notable citizens in the oil and cattle businesses. The Office of Historic Preservation sponsors workshops throughout the year, hosting individuals and college students in partnership with OHP and UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning where they gain real-world experience in preservation. 16 HOME DESIGN & DECOR AUSTIN-SAN ANTONIO |

S. Pinto — c. 1894 Photo courtesy of San Antonio Office of Historic Preservation Located in San Antonio’s Historic Westside neighborhood, Alfred and Nannie Dieckmann built the turreted home with a wraparound porch that is a textbook example of the Queen Anne style, popular nationwide from 1880 to 1910. A rounded window with a stained-glass border, spindle work in the gables and a fixed pane of blue glass above a prominent window are some characteristics of this landmark.

living rooms where neighbors have conversations about the future they want to see for their community. “Districts can reflect many years of effort by residents and property owners to save what matters most in their neighborhoods. Homeowners are our partners in preservation, so we proactively provide training and educational opportunities, as well as financial incentives, to help us reach our shared goals of economic, environmental and cultural sustainability.” One of programs that embodies that proactive approach is the Rehabber Club, which provides training, networking, certification and support of sustaining preservation trades in the community. “Our hands-on workshops, which teach anyone how to restore wood windows, porches and other important features of historic houses, have started multiple new businesses that are providing residents with secure, well-paying jobs,” says Miller. “And perhaps, even more importantly, cultural heritage promotes a people-centered approach to building and sustaining community resilience.” Historic preservation is inherently sustainable, and now more than ever we need to act to address climate change. “Valuing and maintaining historic buildings mean preserving their embodied carbon, which puts us on the road to net zero, a long-term goal of the San Antonio Climate Ready plan,” Miller concludes. “Historic preservation will play a key role in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions through reduced construction waste and adaptations that are grounded in knowledge of traditional building practices.” u


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fab finds | architecture


Hill Country Gem Holds


Comfort is a small town with a big history, plus a cherished connection to architectural icon Alfred Giles. By Julia Catalano Photography courtesy of Comfort Chamber of Commerce Less than an hour northwest of San Antonio near several scenic drives around Boerne, Fredericksburg and Kerrville, Comfort (pop. 2363) is a popular spot for visitors seeking small town allure with lively outdoor activities along the Guadalupe River, antique shopping, local wineries, parks and preserve, a heritage foundation and Treue der Union historic monument. With one of best-preserved business districts in Texas, the town’s commitment to historic preservation is renowned, says Shirley Solis, executive director, Comfort Chamber of 18 HOME DESIGN & DECOR AUSTIN-SAN ANTONIO |

Commerce. “The downtown district is very much a blend of old and new,” she says of the area on the National Register of Historic Places with about 100 historic buildings. The chamber offers free self-guided walking tour maps to visitors. “It’s very popular,” says Solis. History and architecture buffs can delight in six structures on the tour designed by famed British architect Alfred Giles (1853-1920) who emigrated to the United States as a 20-yearold and made Texas his home until his death at 67.


The Giles-designed buildings below are within one square downtown block: • August Faltin Building, 402 Seventh Street. The two-story limestone building with a Victorian Italian edifice was originally built in 1879 as a general store, with a substantial expansion in 1907. • Hotel Faust, 717 High Street. Local businessman Paul Ingenhuett contracted with Giles to design the original Ingenhuett-Faust Hotel in 1880 and again in 1894 to expand the two-story limestone hotel. The jig-cut brackets and balustrade exist from the 1880 construction. • The Ingenhuett on High, 731 High Street. What began as the Ingenhuett Store in 1883, suffered extensive fire damage in 2006, and is now restored as a special events venue. • Paul Ingenhuett Home, 421 Eighth Street. Built in 1897 as his personal home, it was designated a Recorded Texas Landmark in 1979 and remains a private residence. • The Elephant Story, 723 High Street. Originally the Ingenhuett-Karger Saloon built in 1913, then grocery store and ice cream parlor during Prohibition, the two-story commercial building features large limestone block construction, arched windows with keystones and a pressed metal cornice with the year of construction and original owner’s name in the pediment. It is now a retail store dedicated to elephant conservation. • Old Comfort Post Office, 713 High Street. Built in 1910, the small one-story Renaissance Revival-style structure exhibits Giles’ talent for blending red brick and limestone. It remained in use as a U.S. Post Office until 1952, then housed a variety of retail shops and restaurants.


In San Antonio, Giles worked first for contractor John H. Kampmann, and then opened his own firm in 1876. He gained fame for his designs in the city, most notably the Edward Steves Homestead, a three-story French Renaissance Revival-style mansion in 1876, and the 1880 Italian-style villa Carl Wilhelm August Groos House, both in the King William Historic District. Giles is also known for his county courthouses all over Texas, including Guadalupe and Kerr, and the original Gillespie County Courthouse in Fredericksburg, now the Pioneer Memorial Library. At the turn of the twentieth century, Giles expanded his business to Mexico with an office in the city of Monterrey, designing residential and commercial buildings in Saltillo, Durango and other locations. “He loved Mexico and loved the people, and so did my father,” says Robin Giles, grandson of Alfred Giles and son of Ernest Palmer Giles, one of eight children of Alfred and wife Annie Laura Giles, daughter of a Bexar County surveyor whom the architect married in 1881. Around 1887, the couple bought 13,000 acres near Comfort and named it Hillingdon Ranch after Alfred’s hometown near London. Today, the private working ranch has remained in the family through six generations and counting. Grandson Robin, 77, AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2020






works the ranch with his wife, son and daughter-in-law, and remembers his father’s tales about his legendary grandfather — especially when the celebrated architect traveled the 44 miles between the ranch and his San Antonio office. Robin recalls: “If Grandpa wanted to make it in one day they would start out at 3 a.m. and would get to San Antonio at 9 p.m.” The ride, by horse or carriage, was long and hard. Later, when the railroad came, “he would use the train,” says Robin, “but it wasn’t much faster.” Grandpa raised homing pigeons, he continues, “and would take them from the ranch to town. He would release one on the way back to let them know at the ranch that he was on his way home.” Of the house he lives in — that was first his famous grandparents, his parents, and now his — he knows of no record of its origins. “There’s a central room that might have been built by a kit, like a schoolhouse.” Alfred added on to it “as he needed to,” says Robin. “This house has seven gables because he kept adding stuff to it.” He chuckles, “Horse breakers ride the worst horses, mechanics drive the worst vehicles, and my grandfather lived in the worst house, because it really wasn’t one of his works.” Still, he adds, “You can see his flair. You look around, you know somebody with taste or talent made their mark on it.” 20 HOME DESIGN & DECOR AUSTIN-SAN ANTONIO |

Most of Alfred Giles’s sketches and drawings have been distributed among the large extended family and donated to museums and conservation societies, but Robin treasures his grandfather’s diaries from 1888 to 1920, then taken over by his father and now passed down to him and used to this day. They contain primarily ranch stats and notes, such as which cattle were moved to which pasture. But one entry stands out: the day grandpa Alfred died, penned by Robin’s father Ernest. “Papa took his last breaths today and we were all there with him.” That, says Robin, gives you “lots of foundation.” Both his grandfather and father passed away in the house. Robin needs no more reminders of his family’s legacy than to look around. “Grandpa started a herd of Aberdeen Angus from three cows he bought in San Antonio, and every one of the cows on this place goes back to that. It’s an unbroken line.” Indoors and out, he says, “We are surrounded by history.” u For more information, Comfort Chamber of Commerce, www.comfortchamber.com or Comfort Heritage Foundation, www.comfortheritagefoundation.com.



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road trip | antiques



HOW TO GET THERE: The fair actually extends over 26 miles and through a few tiny towns on Hwy 237 between Austin and Houston. And Round Top is the hub of it all. This sleepy little town is about an hourand-a-half outside of Austin and about two hours from San Antonio, and the drive there is breathtaking — peppered with bluebonnets in the spring and longhorn cattle in the fall.

WHAT TO BRING: COMFY SHOES. The most important thing to remember is that this event takes place in cow pastures. I like to throw on my most worn-in pair of cowboy boots because I know they will be the most comfortable for a day of exploring the fields. HANDS-FREE SHOPPING. I like to wear a crossbody bag but you can also bring a backpack or even a fanny pack. As long as your hands are free to dig and haul, then you are good to go!

If you love antiques, flea markets, junk, garage sales, estate sales or any kind of treasure hunting whatsoever, and you haven’t been to Round Top, Texas during Antique Week, then you just. haven’t. lived. It’s by far my happy place. When I die, spread my ashes in the junk fields. But until then, I’ve got the ultimate guide to

WATER AND SUNSCREEN. It is Texas and the elements can be brutal in both spring and fall. I always bring a water bottle, the highest SPF possible and usually wear a hat for added protection. DISINFECTING WIPES. You are dealing with other people’s junk. With that in mind, things are dirty, dusty and downright germ-y. I always bring some kind of disinfecting gel or wipes because water and soap aren’t readily available out in the fields. Also, port-o-potties are the only bathrooms. Glamorous, I know.

navigating The Round Top Antiques Fair.

CASH. It’s hard to haggle on prices when you are willing to accept a CC transaction fee. With that being said, most vendors do take credit cards these days.



The Round Top Antiques Fair is one of the nation’s biggest and best antique shows. From very high-end European antiques to what looks like the world’s largest garage sale, there really is something for everyone and at every price point. It happens twice a year — once in the spring and once in the fall. If you like old stuff, this is the most fun you will ever have!

The one word that best describes The Round Top Antique Fair is overwhelming. Covering over 26 miles, 64 venues and thousands of vendors, it is impossible to do and see it all.


START AT THE TOP. I like to start by visiting the most expensive booths first. Drive a little past downtown Round Top and


taking a pit stop for some pie over at Royers Round Top Cafe. You drive right past it so you kind of have to stop. Grab a slice of the Junk Berry Pie or the Texas Trash Pie. You can’t go wrong. Fun fact... Royers catered my wedding! LET THE HUNTING BEGIN. After Royers, head over to Ex.cess I and Ex.cess II. The barn stalls here are filled with vendors that have a little bit of everything. They are reasonably priced and you really can find some killer deals. One year I found a gorgeous and inexpensive Navajo Rug, and had at least four people try to buy it off of me as I was walking around!


you will come across The Big Red Barn and Marburger Farm. The Big Red Barn is where the fair got its start 50 years ago. Inside you will find gorgeous antiques from all over the world, and inspiration for days. I love coming here first to see what the trends are and to learn more from real experts in the antiquities field. CURATED COLLECTIONS. Armed with my new knowledge, I head over to The Compound. This has got to be one of my favorite stops in Round Top. It is a giant barn filled to the brim of perfectly curated antiques and some beautiful junk. It’s showstopping-ly gorgeous inside. The prices can be high, but I have scored two stunning papier mâché vessels that were on sale. If you look and you ask, you can come away with unique treasures at a reasonable price. PIE BREAK. Now that you are fully inspired, it’s time to visit the more moderately priced vendors. But not before

LUNCH WITH THE GYPSIES. Who has time for lunch when there is so much shopping to do!? Well lucky for us, the Junk Gypsies have it covered. Stop in to their flagship store for more shopping and then pop by one of the food trucks set up outside to enjoy lunch and live music out on their lawn. *PRO TIP* Don’t leave without getting a Nitro Float (Iced Coffee & Blue Bell® Ice Cream). It will keep you going for the rest of the day! HIT THE FIELDS. The time has come to roll up your sleeves. Walking the fields in Warrenton is like exploring the largest


garage sale in the world. It’s tent upon tent for miles of fun, crazy, cool and totally weird stuff. I LOVE this part of the day. By this time, I have a pretty good idea of what I am looking for and who has the best price. Vendors here are always open to haggle so bring your cash and your best poker face.

GIVE THOSE BOOTS A BREAK: After a full day of shopping, hunting and digging, cool down with a cold one at the famous Zapp Hall. Often, they will have a great band and even serve burgers outside. It’s a great place to end the day and recap all the fabulous treasures you found.

HAPPY HUNTING! Antique Week is currently scheduled for October 26-31, 2020. For more information, visit www.antiqueweekend.com. u Leah Ashley is an interior stylist and vintage enthusiast who gained national attention for her role as a co-host on the ABC Daytime talk show, Fablife, alongside Tyra Banks, Chrissy Teigen, Joe Zee and Lauren Makk. Currently residing in her hometown of Austin, Texas, Leah shares her authentic and genuine style daily on her Instagram @LivingWithLeah, providing inspiration to an audience aspiring to live honestly and smartly, from parenting and relationships to decorating homes on a budget.





outdoor | tiki bar



By James Frierson Photography by Andrea Calo

One of the most unique home fixtures in Austin, the Moai Ice House brings South Pacific flavor to Central Texas with a fun, impeccably-designed entertainment space of colored lights, authentic touches and plenty of spirits to create unforgettable experiences. 24 HOME DESIGN & DECOR AUSTIN-SAN ANTONIO |

The project was designed by Studio Steinbomer, who previously worked with the homeowners on a Lockhart property where the Moai Ice House was originally going to be built. “We had no design ordinances to contend with and plenty of space to build upon,” says architect Jennifer Vrazel, but a move to Austin meant the project was under new “city ordinances governing design, as well as an active HOA with design standards.” With a little creative flexibility, such as substituting stone veneer for the structure that was originally going to be all wood, Studio Steinbomer accomplished a miraculous slice of island life right in their clients’ back yard. The Moai Ice House coalesces from hundreds of little details into a cohesive spectacle. Caroline, one of the homeowners, describes the inspiration for the ice house as a logical evolution of their fascination with all things tiki, including their “collection of art, tiki mugs, booze,” and other odds and ends that began to outgrow their space. “We decided to look for a home that we could build on to have our dream space for all of our tiki treasures,” says Caroline. With Studio Steinbomer’s guidance,


Caroline was able to achieve her vision. “We collaborated with her on the interior architecture,” says Jennifer, “but the interior design and aesthetic was all hers.” The beauty of the building comes from a careful eye that hones the image while maintaining a lively chaos like one would expect to find in a beach-side hut full of travelers. For example, one of the musthave features for the homeowners were the many light boxes suspended from the ceiling. “There are 40 lights, to be specific,” says Caroline, “some from closed down tiki bars from around the country… [and] others made new in a tiki style.” The structure was always built with expansion in mind because, as Caroline puts it, “with tiki you are always adding things that you collect along the way.” It’s this genuine “enthusiasm,” says Jennifer, for the tiki aesthetic that initially drew them to the project for she and the team found it “intoxicating and contagious.” By the end of production, Jennifer says Studio Steinbomer “really learned a great deal about tiki culture both in the past and as a continued passion today.” Caroline gifted everyone comprehensive books on the history of tiki, which were absorbed happily, while “she herself was an amazing resource for design solutions.” Caroline echoes this sentiment, calling the entire experience fantastic. The team “immersed themselves in tiki…[everyone] brought great ideas and details to the design that really brought it all together.” Now, Caroline says the best part of having company over “is when they walk in for the first time, as most people cannot quite conceive what it is until they see it.” She loves to observe the “wonder and wow” on friends’ faces as they take in the details before stopping on the “Elvis bathroom to bring it all home.” Caroline uses the space to “hang out with friends, enjoy some tasty cocktails, have lots of laughs and make new memories. That’s really what it’s about,” she concludes, “and why it exists at all.” u STUDIO STEINBOMER 512-479-0022 | www.steinbomer.com AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2020




market | countertops


( UP ) GRADE Spending more time at home means ample opportunities to look around and think, “This place needs a new…something.” One Texas-born company has the answer — sleek, custom surfaces that combine beauty and practicality to bring new life to our favorite spaces.

At Empire Countertops, a world of options awaits homeowners ready for next-level countertop surfaces — think immaculate new tabletops for outdoor dining or a snazzy desktop for working from home. Founded in 1989, Empire Countertops has three customerfriendly showrooms in Texas. Each location offers skilled industry staff to educate the buyer on the many countertop options available. Locations include Austin, San Antonio, and a sparkly new Flower Mound location serving the DFW Metroplex slated for an August opening. 26 HOME DESIGN & DECOR AUSTIN-SAN ANTONIO |

By Julie Catalano Photography courtesy of Currey Builders From large commercial installations to custom residential projects, Empire does it all. With a philosophy of impeccable customer service and industry knowledge, Empire partners with builders, architects, contractors and discerning homeowners across the state. “It has been busier than ever,” says Austin showroom manager Morgan Monroe, “Customers will often provide their design and inspiration ideas. Our job is to help guide them towards the perfect product for their project. We are here to help turn that inspiration into reality, all the while keeping the budget in mind and project timeline on track.” With constantly changing design trends and new products emerging, the amount of countertop choices can be overwhelming. Monroe is highly knowledgeable and walks us through Countertop 101 — something you can expect from any Empire team member: GRANITE. “If you’re going for a more traditional look, granite is your tried and true. Like marble, it’s a natural stone quarried from the earth; no two slabs will be the same. We offer granites to fit any budget. Granite offers simple elegance and sets your project apart from the crowd.”


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NATURAL MARBLE. “Elegant, timeless, beautiful. Everybody loves the look of marble. Like all beautiful things, marble requires a little extra loving care. Marble’s charm lies in the character that everyday wear and tear brings. In addition to the classic whites and grays, marble can be found in black, yellow, green, pink and gold for a stunning dramatic look. Marble is softer than other natural stone options and may not be the ideal choice for buyers concerned with imperfections that appear over time.” QUARTZ. “If you’re looking for the marble look without the marble maintenance, engineered stone is the right choice. Made from one of the hardest minerals on earth, quartz is ideal for kitchens, bathrooms and other high traffic areas. The material consists of 93-97% ground quartz compressed with pigments, polymers and resins to make a nonporous surface. Stain-resistant, antimicrobial and kid-friendly, quartz products require very little maintenance. Design-friendly quartz comes in an eye-catching array of brands and colors.” SOLID SURFACE. “Corian is the most commonly known brand of Solid Surface. People often remember this clean and seamless look as something they grew up with. It’s antimicrobial and easy to clean. Scratches can be buffed out for easy repair. Solid Surface is making a comeback in commercial settings that require a sterile environment or as alternative option for bathroom settings.” SPECIALTY SURFACES: “Dekton® and Neolith® are name brand examples of a new generation of materials known as ultracompact surfaces. These products started the trend of ‘It’s not quartz, it’s not granite, what is it?’ These products are made using natural materials cured at extremely high temperatures. Specialty surfaces are a great option for indoor

and outdoor applications, full-height backsplashes, fireplaces, countertops, outdoor kitchens and wall cladding.” PORCELAIN. “One of the hottest trends going right now — large format porcelain slabs have made their way into the countertop world. Nonporous, easy to clean, light weight and an affordable price point make this product an amazing choice for full-height backsplashes, shower walls or fireplace surrounds. It comes in glossy, matte and textured options. The sky’s the limit for colors.” Monroe says, “No project is too big or too small. We handle it all. Whether it’s a countertop for your powder bath or a new construction 10,000-square-foot home.” Empire fabricates and installs material to ensure a smooth process from project start to finish, and sources material from multiple vendors spanning the globe. “We offer multiple brands from multiple vendors and will procure material for you if you find something not currently in our lineup. For smaller projects, we offer a wide range of remnants to choose from. Remnants are a great way to save money without compromising on style,” she says. Pricing includes fabrication and installation of your favorite product. Empire can remove old countertops and offers a wide variety of sinks and faucets to complement any project. To learn more, please call or fill out the contact form at www. empirefab.com. Empire showrooms are always open online. Inperson visits are currently limited to appointment only due to COVID-19 safety guidelines. Enjoy your time at home by having Empire freshen your space! u EMPIRE COUNTERTOPS, LLC Austin: 512-637-5240 | San Antonio: 210-651-3281 DFW Metroplex: 940-686-0000 www.empirefab.com







Past To Present

Kitchen Magic

Rising From The Earth




Mix Master


What Will Schools of the Future Look Like?





By Lauren Jones Photography by Whit Preston


PRESENT For Tim Cuppett Architects,

renovating this century-old family residence meant taking a gutted interior and elevating it to, and beyond, its former glory. By Lauren Jones Photography by Whit Preston At nearly 100 years old, this traditional home just north of the University of Texas campus has seen its fair share of construction. In fact, when architect Tim Cuppett was hired by the new homeowners in the summer of 2013, it had been left abandoned as a construction site for many years. “We pulled off the drywall to look for ghosts of the old framing,� he recalls.


he house clearly had good bones but needed a lot of TLC. Partitions had been relocated and the original windows and doors had been left in the basement. “We had a treasure trove of items to go through,” says the architect. But one couple could see all the potential it had and were willing to go through a lengthy renovation process to restore the historical elements. “My husband drove past the house every day on his way home from work and he was the one who originally got me interested,” says the homeowner. It would require a total interior renovation and partial addition to make it function like a modern home. Located on half an acre on a corner lot, the home was built on a former creek bed, thus the basement, which Cuppett


calls a glorified crawl space, could be prone to flooding. Luckily there were no structural issues upon first inspection. The property includes old stone walls, pecan trees, has views of neighboring Hemphill Park and enjoys cross breezes throughout the day. “They definitely loved the lot and the husband likes to garden,” Cuppett says. “The house was also an appealing size for a family of four. They didn’t need more space.” The home is approximately 3,000 square feet, and Cuppett and his team added on 200 square feet of conditioned living space inside, plus 500 square feet of screened porch. The original back door is where the screened porch is today — a position which allows the family to take full advantage of the yard. On the exterior, the stucco was repaired and new windows were installed in the original placements. The front porch


was restored by removing the previously installed addition, plus a modern steel awning and front steps were placed to complete the façade. Inside, one of the main goals was to improve the internal flow of the home. Homes in the early 20th century certainly weren’t built with the modern homeowner in mind so the architect designed an interior layout that “retained the character and intimate size of the rooms but with a better flow,” he says. The first floor was reimagined so the layout centers on

the dining room with the living room and kitchen pivoting on either axis. He restored the double-spill landing on the staircase to flow toward the front door and new mud room, enlarged the kitchen and added a powder bathroom. There’s also a sunroom, which the family uses to read and work, and they can often be found doing various arts and crafts projects at a large table, which is a family heirloom. An apple green couch — a reupholstered piece that the family already owned — and side chairs provide a shock of color and reflect the lawn and trees just outside.







The living room and kitchen — by far are the biggest transformations — included opening up the living space, resurfacing the fireplace and adding bright, funky mid-century pieces, many of which the homeowners had collected over the years. The painting over the fireplace is by artist Honora Jacob who shows work regularly at Austin’s Wally Workman Gallery. The kitchen renovation played on nostalgia with green linoleum flooring, black granite countertops, classic butter yellow vintage-looking tile, a custom island and colorful flatware. “We knew we wanted to find an interesting material for the flooring that was durable and felt comfortable in the context of an old home,” he says. A Patrick Puckett painting, also sourced through Wally Workman Gallery, complements the historic green shades in the flooring and the couple’s vintage dinnerware collection. The 200-square-foot addition accommodated a larger kitchen layout and new pantry. The kitchen also includes a small casement window next to the range, so food can be passed back and forth to the screened porch whenever the family dines al fresco. While from the adjoining dining room, a single leaf glass door disappears into a wall pocket, allowing flow to the screened porch to be unimpeded.

One of the most special elements in this project is the fact that all of the wood is original — an old-growth long leaf pine that isn’t available anymore. In the bedrooms and entries, nail heads and fragments of old muslin cloth can still be seen. Before the days of sheetrock, wallpaper was actually installed over muslin, which was then nailed to the wood. And while walls of windows provide substantial daylight in the upstairs bedrooms, Cuppett wanted to brighten up the staircase and chose to add a skylight. “We like to avoid relying upon artificial light during the day,” he says. One of the final edits to the layout was the children’s bathroom. A converted bedroom, Cuppett kept the two window placements so the vanity and mirror now float off of the wall. “It was a way of creating a bathroom that ended up being a really pretty solution,” he says. Overall, the home’s interior blends modernized finishes with historic quirks. The furnishings vary from vintage to brand new, and many of the items were from the family’s collection — Cuppett’s colleague, Interior Designer, Adriana Chetty, helped the family refurbish and reupholster pieces to fit. There’s the white Saarinen coffee table the couple received





from a “cool college roommate who was really into mid-century furniture,” the pieces passed down through family and the unusual, like the Parcheesi board the couple found while enjoying a day out at the Austin Antique Market. Today, the Hemphill Park home is a beautifully restored example of early 20th century architecture. “This house very much retains its original mass and scale, which was gracious for its time period; and therefore, fits well within the context of the neighborhood,” says Cuppett, adding, “On the exterior only new crisp and modern details distinguish the house from its former life.” u TIM CUPPETT ARCHITECTURE + INTERIORS 512-450-0820 www.cuppettarchitects.com 36 HOME DESIGN & DECOR AUSTIN-SAN ANTONIO |



(210) 467-5995 San Antonio

(512) 803-7364 Austin



KITCHEN M AG I C By Julie Catalano Photography by Matthew Niemann For one San Antonio couple, their 1902 Alamo Heights home was everything they dreamed of — except for the divided and dark “too-small” kitchen. Its complete transformation from dated to mind-blowing is nothing less than historic.


he objective was to create a kitchen that functions for modern-day living, but that also looked period-appropriate for this 1902 home,” says Jana Valdez, Allied ASID, principal interior designer of San Antonio firm Haven Design & Construction. Valdez worked with her husband, custom homebuilder and remodeler Armando Valdez, on the project that she describes as “among the most challenging projects that our team has ever encountered.”





In a house where the other rooms are large and exquisite, the kitchen stood out, and not in a good way. The original floor plan split the space into separate kitchen and breakfast areas divided by a wall, making both rooms feel tiny. A long-ago remodeling effort had demolished original architectural details now lost forever. Valdez concentrated her goals on salvaging what remained — stately wide window and door trim and the original hardwood flooring. She also had the homeowner’s wish list in mind to remind her of just how much work was ahead. The wish list included opening up the kitchen into one large room, adding a kitchen island and a walk-in pantry that did not exist, incorporating a built-in refrigerator and finding space for a large gas range. The first order of business was removing the dividing wall to open up the space, along with moving several doors and windows, including removing original French doors in the breakfast area to make room for the new range and banquette seating. Daunting to be sure, but Armando and the construction team were determined to make it happen. The colossal project was fraught with surprises. The exterior foot-thick walls turned out to be two layers of solid brick covered with stucco on the outside and plaster on the inside. “The original windows in the breakfast area were not cen40 HOME DESIGN & DECOR AUSTIN-SAN ANTONIO |


tered,” adds Valdez. “So, we took them out and re-centered them on the new banquette.” When tearing down the interior dividing wall, the team discovered a large cast iron sewer pipe, two water lines, a vent pipe and a gas line inside. “All of these had to be re-routed,” says Valdez. “We dropped the ceiling six inches to create a plumbing chase, redirecting the pipes through a cavity behind the refrigerator and down through the basement.” Mindful of the home’s era, the designer chose beadboard for the ceiling, painted in pale blue “Sky High” by Sherwin-Williams®. A small screened-in porch off the kitchen area was renovated into a gem of a walk-in pantry, once its sloped floor was raised and leveled. Initially Valdez planned to continue the hardwood flooring into this space, but eye-catching blue and white tile by Stone Impressions at Materials Market-

another challenge. “We combed through antique door stores looking for a pair of antique doors with glass at the top that we wanted for the design,” says Valdez. She finally found suitable doors, but they were solid with no glass. Armando laboriously stripped them and converted the top part to glass. “These are antique doors but they are not original to the house, although no one would ever know it,” says Valdez. Custom transom windows feature Valdez’s own mullion design inspired by inspiration pictures that the homeowner supplied. “I designed a custom pattern for the transoms,” says Valdez, “and we repeated the shape again on the butler’s cabinet doors.” The walls behind the range and the sink are Bianco Carrara beveled marble subway tile. Rare white soapstone tops a part of the split-level island and it also covers the backsplash and counters in the walk-in pantry.

ing in San Antonio changed her mind. “The hand-painted marble tiles looked as though they could be original to the house,” she says, “I really wanted to incorporate them into the design.” The butler’s pantry with an antique glass and mirrored-door and built in china cabinet reside in a small hallway between the kitchen and the formal dining room. Valdez custom designed these antique mirrored doors and the china cabinet to tie in with the kitchen design. With the dividing wall gone, the kitchen area took on a whole new life with a completely refigured floor plan. A 48inch Wolf® serves as the kitchen’s new focal point with newly-installed antique doors on either side, which presented

The island almost didn’t happen, says Valdez, as the kitchen is long and somewhat narrow and “walk-around space needs to be at least 36 inches around an island.” The solution to create enough space for an island was to recess the builtin refrigerator into the wall under an adjacent staircase. “Armando came up with the ingenious idea to recess the refrigerator under the stairs,” she says. “That gave enough clearance for the island. Then we applied cabinetry panels to the refrigerator.” Barstools from Ballard Designs were reupholstered in dark blue with a nailhead design that echoes the transoms. The undisputed star of the kitchen is the stunning customdesigned, custom-built banquette. “Really, the only way we





could keep the eat-in kitchen was to push the seating against the wall,” says Valdez. “I thought this was the perfect opportunity to design a banquette that I’ve always wanted to incorporate into a project.” The custom-built walnut table ties in with the walnut accent on the kitchen island “so that it all flows together,” says Valdez. The designer mixed blue and white custom pillows to complement dark blue custom window shades. Built-in bookcases show off the homeowner’s blue and white transferware collection, which inspired the color palette of the kitchen. A Gabby Home wooden beaded chandelier illuminates the cozy space. Two existing Klismos chairs in light wood and light pink fabric were repurposed by reupholstering and painting them. The homeowners were delighted with the result, ideal for grandchildren to gather for a family meal in the newly designed breakfast area. 42 HOME DESIGN & DECOR AUSTIN-SAN ANTONIO |

The superb 322-square-foot space won several awards, including the 2020 American Society of Interior Designers Pinnacle of Design Awards (ASID) First Place Residential Traditional/Transitional Kitchen; and National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) Regional Winner of the 2020 Contractor of the Year Award for Residential Historical Renovation. Says Valdez, “This was truly a team effort, and I couldn’t do it without my talented contractor husband, Armando. He’s always up for any challenge.” Best of all, what became of that original wish list from the homeowner — the walk-in pantry, new range, big refrigerator and kitchen island? Done, done, done and done. Like magic — only harder. u HAVEN DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION 210-996-9494 | www.havendesignandconstruction.com


RISING from the


Built in 1984, the bunker-esque home was completely transformed by Sara Hadden of CG&S Design-Build. By Lauren Jones Photography by Andrea Calo


hen hiking on the Hill of Life trail on the Barton Creek Greenbelt, there’s one sight that stands out amid the brush, a structure that’s been a mystery to many for the last 36 years. It’s the city’s first concrete earth dwelling, a spot which drums up memories of its eccentric original owners, the Fosters, both former professors at the University of Texas, who were survivalists and yet avid party hosts. They built the home with safety in mind and even had steel gates constructed to lock up the home in an emergency, as much of the land at the time was uninhabited. “They were ahead of their time, a different breed,” remarks current owner Tom Snead. “They went through a lot of trouble in how it was laid out with geothermal and solar, which back in 1984, no one did that.” The home’s interesting past was certainly a draw for Snead, who purchased it in 2008, along with its unique architecture, great school district and location. “It had good bones and a lot of potential,” he says. “While it was a bunker in the beginning, once opened to the light it would be extraordinary.” Coincidentally, he ran past the property on many occasions for a decade, and when it came on the market, he jumped on making an offer and the sale was finalized in less than one week. But after eight years in the home, Snead knew it was time to call on an architecture firm to transform his bunker in the hills, ultimately hiring Sara Hadden of CG&S Design-Build. “The property was a time capsule of 1984,” she says. “Small penetrations in the home’s foot-thick concrete walls and dropped ceilings made the interior dark and cave-like.” CG&S Design-Build and Hadden were brought in to completely brighten up the home with an open-concept layout, a modern aesthetic and room for Snead’s museum-worthy art collection. But the remodel would be a challenge due to the thick, concrete roof and walls, and encapsulated wiring. All 44 HOME DESIGN & DECOR AUSTIN-SAN ANTONIO |






new wiring had to be run between the new sheetrock and the existing concrete roof, plus all of the rooms were negatively pressurized to make sure the HVAC system worked properly. Additionally, the green roof, consisting of five feet of earth, proved to be another challenge. Originally designed as the home’s septic field, the field was never activated when city water became available. However, roof penetrations necessary during the remodel required removal of some earth and proper waterproofing of the small disturbed areas. Ultimately, the green roof remained as excellent insulation for the home; the grapevines planted there by the previous owner still flourish. Today, the home is remarkably different than it was in the 80s but was remodeled in a way that respected its original purpose and design. Parts of the original security structure were repurposed into a trellis, while another is a stand-alone art feature in the driveway. “It’s a connection to the history,” Snead says. “The idea is to let the jasmine that exists between the house and the outdoor cabana space grow along the trellis for shade, creating yet another outdoor ‘room’ for guests to enjoy,” Hadden adds. 46 HOME DESIGN & DECOR AUSTIN-SAN ANTONIO |


The kitchen, which was relocated from the back of the house, is now in line with the dining and living rooms, and the move “enabled the old kitchen area to be repurposed as a home office, wine room and mudroom,” Hadden says. Interior designer Gregory Grammar, owner of Shorelines Interiors, worked on the finishes, which included custom-built Arete cabinetry, fabricated in Europe and built on-site with raw wood veneers and white glass, plus an Ann Sacks® tile backsplash in a beehive pattern that paid homage to the large beehive found on the property when Snead moved in. He loves to cook and entertain, much like the Fosters, and has made use of the built-in wine cellar. Throughout the home there was near-perfect terrazzo flooring — a beautiful mid-century detail that the CG&S design team and Grammar decided to keep in place. Grammar went with an Ann Sacks Italian porcelain tile for the kitchen floor, master ensuite, powder bath and media room. Other details include the beautiful crushed pearl ceiling detail in the foyer and powder bath from the Belgian company, Omexco, which adds dimensions to the space and an illustrious sparkle, a product Grammar happened across at the Art Deco Show in Paris in January 2018.

In the living room, CG&S Design-Build re-designed the existing fireplace wall, replacing the original fireplace and 80s style brass-trimmed cubbies with a double-sided fireplace. Now, the fireplace is surrounded by a floating stone hearth and mantel with four different colors of Oceanside Glass tile, all selected by Grammar. The tile is likewise used in the pool to connect it with the indoor living spaces. “Onsite during construction, the CG&S craftsmen built a steel frame not only to support the weight of the stone but to enable the floating hearth to double as additional seating,” says Hadden. In the dining room, Snead had a custom-made dining table with room for 10 by designer Mark Jupiter, one of the highest end custom furniture makers in the industry. “The table is made from a piece of solid maple from a tree just five miles away from where I grew up in Eastern Pennsylvania in the Allegheny Mountains,” he says. The master suite, which Hadden believes to be a true gem of the home, was updated thanks to the removal of dated built-in storage and the expansion of a windowless master bath. By incorporating a storage room along the exterior wall of the home, it allowed a large picture window to flood the new bath









with natural light. An adjacent office became the new walkin closet. The freestanding tub, which is carved from a single block of travertine, sits alongside the new picture window. But, as the home is 10-15 feet above the Hill of Life trail next door, it’s impossible for anyone to compromise Snead’s privacy. Grammar also chose Robert Kuo for Ann Sacks tile for the dual nature-inspired look. This is the first home renovation Snead has gone through, and he believes it was all worth it. Not only is the home an 50 HOME DESIGN & DECOR AUSTIN-SAN ANTONIO |

important part of the city’s architectural history but it’s now filled with light, a big departure from its somewhat apocalyptic origins, and offers some of the best views in town. u CG&S DESIGN-BUILD 512-444-1580 | www.cgsdb.com SHORELINES INTERIORS 512-589-8847 | www.shorelinesinteriors.com




Austin designer takes collected and new to the max. By Cheryl Van Tuyl Jividen Photography by Erin Williamson

Scheer & Co. Interior Design has a consistent goal for client projects, says Killy Scheer, designer and proprietor, “Everything working together to make the end result feel timeless. We don’t want our work to be trendy or confined to a specific era; we take pieces out of their timeline.” It is a process she also applies at home.








hen the native New Yorker with a Master of Science in Interior Design from the Pratt Institute relocated to Austin, she found an 850-square-foot home built in the 1950s in the North Central Skyview neighborhood. Having lived in space-challenged apartments in Manhattan and Brooklyn, the bungalow was a new experi-

ence, she says, “By comparison it felt palatial, with a yard, laundry closet and garage!” The starting place however was rough. “Most of the house was painted a sad, paper bag brown. While someone had attempted to wipe it up, a pink stain remained from an apparent dropped can of red paint that had splashed onto the ceiling,” she says. As a rental there were limitations on what could be done. “We didn’t change the structure — we simply worked within the framework of the existing architecture and house style.” Calling it “collected maximalist,” every design choice was made with intention, drawing from a mix of family pieces with history, thrifted, vintage and new purchases, says Scheer, “It’s elevated and feels collected, contemporary and familiar. The combination along with collections, books and art created an approachable and cohesive home.” An image of a floral bouquet in a vase was the source of the home’s color palette. “It included a range of colors: An ethereal, romantic bouquet with dark greys, purples to almost-pinks in a dark bronze vase — it captured a ton of anal-





ogous colors,” she says. Each room was given its own color serving as a backdrop for the décor. “It all worked in concert beautifully and cheerfully.” The soft French gray living room and dining room are a perfect example of her mastery of mixing. A Craig’s List sofa was recovered locally by Undercover Upholstery in a fresh print and three seat cushions were swapped out for a single bench cushion. A pair of rattan chairs with leather seat cushions from Four Hands pairs nicely, bringing in warm browns to contrast with the black and white fabric. The wood floor sports a new fawn brindle cowhide rug from Joss & Main topped with a 1970’s chrome and glass coffee table. A copper counterweight sconce Scheer salvaged from a New Jersey house slated for demolition was rewired at Tipler’s Lamp Shop and hangs overhead. Nearby, an exotic leather and dark wood chair from Room Service Vintage and a side table from Bungalow 5 offers display space beneath a collection 56 HOME DESIGN & DECOR AUSTIN-SAN ANTONIO |

of grasscloth matted, botanical watercolor prints Scheer’s grandfather brought home from Japan after serving in the Korean War. Underneath a custom Sputnik-inspired brass chandelier, a West Elm dining room table is surrounded by woven cane and silver chairs that Scheer grew up using at family meals, accented with soft sheepskin throws. Her mother’s leather binocular case is but one of the family references; the gallery wall includes art pieces by friends and family members and one of several antique gold leaf mirrors in the home, handed down from relatives. “Heritage pieces are a great way to honor family,” says Scheer. The home had limited storage throughout so clever solutions were employed to add space and avoid adding clutter. Creatively in the slate blue kitchen, a wall-mounted pegboard artistically showcases her Le Creuset® cookware. “When you have wall space, use it!” advises Scheer. “The pegboard pro-


vided accessible and aesthetically pleasing storage space.” A tall table with stools provides a small breakfast area that does double duty as additional work surface. Gilded in a bronze metallic Martha Stewart paint, the hallway leads to the other rooms. Creating the illusion of a taller space, the den’s walls were painted in Cerulean matte and gloss vertical stripes, a backdrop for another gallery wall of work by friends and family. Seating is provided by a Chesterfield sofa from Restoration Hardware and a chair covered in a Suzani fabric from Stockton Hicks Laffey in Austin. A trio of brass drums serve collectively as a coffee table that can accommodate flexible seating or individual drink tables. “They add a modular element and are lightweight and easy to move around,” says Scheer. A light shade of aubergine colors the walls of the master bedroom, contrasting the pale gold velvet chair Scheer found at a yard sale and carried home following a neighborhood

run. The brass bed outfitted in white linens has pops of orange with a decorative pillow and throw — a color drawn from the centerpiece landscape painting above. Punctuated with wood furnishings and emerald green and chinoiserie lamps from Gracious Home in New York, the room evokes a pleasant serenity. Of all the rooms, it was the small bathroom that saw the boldest changes, Scheer says. To overcome a 90’s redo and make the space more useable took ingenuity. “Wallpaper wasn’t an option over the thickly textured wall so I created a pattern and had it painted on the wall which toned the texture down,” she says of the white and fuchsia design. An oversized light fixture elongates the space and a wide shadow framed mirror is big enough to accommodate double use. Just like the floral image that inspired the design of her home, Scheer makes flowers a part of her everyday décor. “Flowers add life and freshness,” she says. For everyday bou-





quets she favors easy to find and affordable grocery store sets either separated out into single types of flowers or combining mixed bunches. The organic detail adds another layer to the home’s collective look. “It has depth and unexpected moments at every turn. An interplay of patterns, textures and styles,” says Scheer. “It’s a fun mix.”

SCHEER’S SMALL SPACE TIPS Killy Scheer shares décor and design ideas that make the most of limited space without adding clutter. • Consider furniture with extra storage, such as side tables or coffee tables with drawers or shelves—every piece should serve two purposes • Use walls for organizing everyday items like cookware and spices to save space on surfaces • Mount curtains well above windows to create the illusion of more ceiling height • Use standing or wall-mounted open-sided bookcases • Employ flexible, modular furnishings • Use vertical elements or paint techniques to visually expand space u SCHEER & CO. INTERIOR DESIGN 512-270-9322 | www.scheer.co IG: @scheerandco 58 HOME DESIGN & DECOR AUSTIN-SAN ANTONIO |


AWARD-WINNING INTERIOR DESIGN custom homes • lofts spec homes • commercial Stephanie J. Villavicencio, ASID Texas Registered Interior Designer

512.443.3200 www.bellavillads.com


What Will Schools of the Future

LO O K L I K E ?

Architects from LPA and McKinney York are helping change the landscape when it comes to education design.


By Lauren Jones Van Raub Elementary photos courtesy of Costea Photography, Inc. and LPA, Inc. Sánchez Elementary renderings courtesy of McKinney York Architects

ollaborative spaces, plenty of light and opportunities for indoor/outdoor learning are some of the major additions coming to classrooms throughout Texas. Over the last five years, school design has drastically evolved as more studies are conducted on the relationship between school architecture and student learning. 60 HOME DESIGN & DECOR AUSTIN-SAN ANTONIO |

“There was a study we helped establish at UT that said when students learn in the context of their local community and with the peers of differing ages, they become more empathetic to those around them,” says LPA’s Kate Mraw, Design Director, RID, LEED AP BD+C, ALEP. Elementary schools are getting a reboot to prepare students to be leaders, active explorers of their environment, and to develop a respect for those of varying cultures and



backgrounds. “The most successful spaces are those than can accommodate flexible learning, even learning that has taken place outside of the classroom setting — a theme in higher education design for quite some time,” says McKinney York Project Architect Navvab Taylor, AIA, RID, LEED AP BD+C. LPA, an architecture firm based in San Antonio, has had a 26-year relationship with Boerne ISD, contributing to the design of 14 of the 16 schools in the district, and working to create a new way of designing that supports academic changes. From the beginning, their role has been to understand teaching methods, how those drive spacial design, and how both teachers and students interact within the space. “Rather than falling back on traditional methods, we thought about how to build community and support the needs of elementary students and early learners,” says Mraw. LPA looked to community surveys, teacher needs and the latest data to design Van Raub Elementary, which opened in August 2018. They found a call for design that supports student agency and the ability to make choices and take actions needed to reach their goals. With a focus on flexibility, collaboration, visibility, connectedness and wellness, LPA created “neighborhoods” broken up by grade level, open areas, team rooms, spaces to be messy, spaces to work outdoors AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2020








and digital tech which assists as kids work in small groups. Activities that focus on the four C’s: collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity are ideal for such settings, including project-based learning and labs with or without additional technology. “It’s important for kids to develop a sense of belonging at an early age, to find their sense of self and community, so when you offer that at a physical level you can encourage it from an educational standpoint,” Mraw says. Those at Austin firm McKinney York have likewise found a call for more collaborative spaces and sustainability in school design. Sánchez Elementary, which is right on I-35, was built in the late 70s and was in need of modernization. With its proximity so close to downtown, the neighborhood has become more diverse, drawing students from outside the community as well. “The school is 45 years old but has really good bones,” says Taylor. “There are a lot of memories there and we wanted to incorporate them into a new design.” For the firm, who has a depth of experience in residential, commercial and institutional work, building an elementary school was a first and unlike other projects with a singular owner or small group of owners. Building a school included numerous voices like the Campus Architectural Team with principals, parents and community stakeholders whom they met with for a full year, and tours of local schools so they could get a feel for what Sánchez could look like. They also had three public meetings where the design was presented to


the community. Construction began on the new and improved Sánchez Elementary in March 2020 and it’s set to welcome students in the fall of 2021. Like in Boerne ISD schools, there will be breakout rooms for small groups, plus a learning stair that will act as a central gathering space for class demonstrations and performances and an outdoor learning studio. In addition to more community spaces, McKinney York transformed the dated classrooms with plenty of windows as daylight has been found to improve student performance. “We are excited to be educating the next generation and the environment in which this is done is critical to its success,” says McKinney York’s Michelle Rossomando, Project Manager, AIA, RID. But how is improved school design affecting students and teachers in real time? Tanya Tate, principal of the brand-new Dr. Ferdinand L. Herff Elementary in Boerne ISD, says it’s “changed practices and has provided more opportunities for kids to work together, think collaboratively, problem solve and be more creative,” she says. “It reminds me of working at Google but for elementary schoolers.” Tate explains, “The days of a ‘one-size-fits-all’ curriculum are over. Today’s curriculum requires teachers to customize the content for each student and meet them at their ability level. Traditionally, classrooms were more ‘sit-and-get,’ with direct teaching. Today’s classrooms are student-centered, hands-on, minds-on, and the teacher facilitates learning in small groups, flexible groups — where open learning spaces are more effective.” With that said, both students and teachers have had to adapt and learn how to interact within their new spaces, but positive outcomes have already been seen. “You can tell our students are really engaged,” says Tate. As learning has become more about student collaboration and communication, “shy students are more comfortable opening up in small settings instead of lecture-type settings involving the whole class,” she adds. So, how will education architecture hold up and how will it continue to develop over the years? Curriculum and early childhood education research will continue to influence the directionality of design, and architects, teachers and those in the community have already come to value the importance of school design and how it can be inspiring. Building for the future means building for flexibility, adaptability and resiliency. u





LPA, INC. 210-829-1737 | www.lpadesignstudios.com MCKINNEY YORK ARCHITECTS 512-476-0201 | www.mckinneyyork.com







Gourdgeous Glass Returns To Wimberley Glassworks

September 5 & 6, 12 & 13, 19 & 20, 25 & 26 Fall festivities are abound at Wimberley Glassworks! Hundreds of glass pumpkins and gourds are on display and ready for picking, now through October. Treat yourself to our annual Gourdgeous Glass Pumpkin Patch on weekends in September. Relax out on the patio and under the oaks with plenty of space to enjoy complimentary fall cocktails, goodies and photo ops, while our team of artisans create pumpkins with their twisty stems in a glass blowing demonstration. More at www.wgw.com.

Women in Remodeling

Maya Blu Ceramics

Lisa Doris and Kristy Cloud created a new remodeling and construction company like few others in this industry. Both come to their joint venture with a background in the custom home building industry. They are firm believers in not only building dream homes, but focusing on building strong relationships with their clients and the team of professionals involved in bringing a project to reality. Their unique style of managing projects begins with detailed pre-construction planning, and throughout construction, their clients experience an open communication system with strong budget and timeline controls. The result is projects consistently finishing on time, on budget and with happy clients. www.besbuilder.com

Megan Leihgeber was always inspired by other ceramicists around Austin, as their personal journeys evolved into becoming fulltime artists. Wanting the same thing, she watched, learned, and when she landed her first large wholesale order two years ago, built her own back yard studio and took the leap from part-time ceramicist with a day job to following her dream. Named after her beloved Weimaraner’s blue eyes, her collection of kitchenware and home accessories can be found at www.wearefoster.co, www.esbyapparel.com, www. lootrentals and her own website. www.mayablu.com

Ironwood Connection Expands Having received remarkable growth in the Central Texas market for their trademark custom stairs and iron fabrication, Ironwood Connection is moving to a larger showroom in September where they will offer an expanded selection of products and services. As a resource for builders or working directly with homeowners, their portfolio includes staircases, balconies, iron doors and gates for interior and exterior applications. Their new address is 481 Texas Ave. in Round Rock, Texas 78664. www.ironwoodusa.com


Architect Heather McKinney Awarded Lifetime Achievement After four decades in practice and leadership, Heather McKinney, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C, RID, was honored by the Texas Society of Architects with the 2020 Medal for Lifetime Achievement Award. With numerous other awards and more than 900 completed projects, McKinney founded the team that is now McKinney York Architects. Throughout her career, she has promoted female leadership, mentored at collegiate and professional levels, and served the arts community and other charitable groups, including CASA as an advocate for children’s wellbeing. Together with her partners at McKinney York, she set up a scholarship at The University of Texas at Austin Architecture School for a young woman. Proud and humbled by the honor, McKinney says, “The past recipients are people who have mentored, influenced and inspired me and I am dazed to be counted among them.” www.mckinneyyork.com



DO-IT-YOURSELF OR HIRE A PROFESSIONAL? Do-it-yourself (DIY) jobs are a popular trend in the home improvement industry; however, before you grab a hammer and start swinging, you should know that the wrong decision could bring forth a few potential problems. Before you decide to do-it-yourself, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) recommends taking this DIY quiz. • Do you enjoy physical work? • Do you have reliable work habits? • Do you have all the tools needed and the skills required to do the job? KAYVON LEATH, • Will it matter if the project remains Executive Director, unfinished for a period of time? Austin NARI • Are you prepared to handle the stress this project will create in your family? • Have you received the installation instructions from the manufacturer to determine whether this is a project you still want to undertake? • Is this a job you can do completely by yourself or will you need assistance? ANGELA PARKS, • Are you familiar with your local Executive Director, NARI San Antonio building codes and permits? • What will you do if the project goes awry? • Is it safe for you to do this project? (e.g., familiarity with electricity) • Will you be able to obtain the materials you need? Will your supply source deliver? • Are you attempting to do-it-yourself for financial reasons? If so, have you looked at all of your costs, including the cost of materials, your time and the tools you need to purchase? • If you are trying DIY for the satisfaction of a job well done — can you ensure that the job will be well done? Will you be able to afford to redo any unsatisfactory work? If you answered yes to eight or more of these questions, a DIY project may be something you entertain. But before you run for the nearest hardware store, revisit those questions you marked “No,” and carefully consider the potential problems you will face in those areas if you proceed with the project. Hiring a professional might be your best choice. NARI recommends that you take your time in selecting a home improvement partner and reminds consumers that such a project can be one of the most important investments that a homeowner can make. u To find a professional remodeler in Austin or San Antonio, visit www.austinnari.org and www.remodelsanantonio.org.


RDR Remodeling and Construction has been family owned and operated for the last 20 years. RDR designers are NKBA Certified and always provide FREE estimates for whole-home remodels, kitchens and baths, and in-stock cabinets. We are members of the Georgetown Chamber and NKBA. 601 Quail Valley Drive | Georgetown, TX 78626 | 512.843.7719 | rdrremodeling.com





Homes Tour 2020 The AIA Austin Homes Tour is an annual event that showcases the work of local Austin architects on a variety of homes and project types in and around Austin. For 33 years, the tour has been a destination event that


brings together over 5,000 design enthusiasts from Austin and beyond. For its 34th year, the Homes Tour will shift to a virtual format to ensure the safety of its guests during the current pandemic, allowing people around the world to tune in to the four-day event featuring an inside look at nine beautiful Austin homes. Join the Tour October 16-19 for access to videos, 360-degree walkthroughs, live sessions with architects and collaborators, and more self-guided features. Architects featured include Alterstudio Architecture and Mell Lawrence Architects (combined project), baldridgeARCHITECTS, Tim Cuppett Architects, Charles Di Piazza Architecture, Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects, Jobe Corral Architects, Mark Odom Studio, Studio 512 and Thoughtbarn.

For tickets, visit aiaaustinhomestour.com.





Alterstudio Architecture


Project Name: West Campus Builder: Green Places, Inc., Alex Ferdman Neighborhood: West Campus Square feet: 1,922 Project type: New construction Bed/Bath: 4 beds / 2.5 baths

Mell Lawrence Architects

Starting with an 80-foot-wide lot, the architect/owners and their neighbors obtained a variance to subdivide the property into two thin lots. The resulting north lot had the dual benefit and limitation of being surrounded by mature live oaks which, in combination with parking requirements and setbacks, constrained the building’s footprint. The resulting net-zero home for a family of five is expressed as a vertically clad wood box over a more agile first floor of mill-finished steel panels. On the ground level, the steel panels wrap interior elements and, in combination with frameless glazing, extend the indoors out. A series of oak screens visually connect the public realm of the home while providing spatial intimacy and material texture. Second floor windows extend above and below the ceiling and floor line to fully engage the tree canopy at every bedroom. IKEA cabinets with custom steel bulkheads and air grills provide efficient storage. These expanses of white millwork in combination with smooth, finished walls provide a counterpoint to the more tactile material expressions.




The Barton Hills Brickhouse is for a couple, both involved in the music festival business, along with their three beagles. The owners sought a modern house with low-maintenance, durable materials and a true sense of indoor/outdoor living coupled with something of a Palm Desert vibe. While the house takes its inspiration from masonry highmodernist works, the project was designed to accept eclectic furnishings and the couple’s music-oriented, casual lifestyle. The

Project Name: Barton Hills Brickhouse Builder: Arrowhead Construction Neighborhood: Barton Hills Square feet: 4,141 Project type: New construction Bed/Bath: 4 beds / 3.5 baths

house is clad in patterned white brick accentuated by Ipe siding to reinforce the California modern feel of the house. Desert-modern landscaping is set within stepped terraces made of board-formed concrete and weathered steel. These terraces negotiate the difficult grades across the quarter-acre lot, creating outdoor ‘‘rooms’’ for swimming, grilling, dining, entertaining and controlled areas for their beloved beagles to play.





Tim Cuppett Architects

A multi-family compound rises from a remote, grassy valley on the bank of the Frio River deep in the Texas Hill Country. The goal for this project was to create shelters with an environmental experience unique to its place where summer madness gives way to winter stillness; where city life and digital stimulation are replaced by the experience of feeling a cool breeze or snuggling up to a warm fire.

Project Name: Camp Frio Builder: Dalgleish Construction Company Neighborhood: Texas Hill Country Square feet: Main house - 1,980 Cottages - 990 Art Studio/Meditation Room/ Garage - 650 Project type: New construction Bed/Bath: 5 beds / 5.5 baths


Structures consist of a main house, meditation room over art studio/garage, and two guest studio cottages. The main house and cottages are linked by a slightly elevated walkway which enables barefoot kids to run back and forth over the tall grass. A “breezeway” bookended by concealed multi-slide doors bisects the main house, enabling alfresco dining most of the year; alternatively, the space is zoned and can be enclosed for heating. Screened porches, front and back, envelop cozy living chambers. Secondary sleeping spaces occupy an attic that spans the rear porch of the main house while cottages feature open “kids’” lofts. Structures were detailed for simplicity of construction with readily available, local materials and fashioned by local tradesmen.


Charles Di Piazza Architects Project Name: Dogtrot House Builder: 22 Construction, LLC Neighborhood: Central Austin Square feet: 1,400 Project type: Renovation Bed/Bath: 2 beds / 2 baths

The Dogtrot House is a remodeled residence from 1926. Surveys indicate it was originally a two-unit “dog trot,” and the goal was to reinterpret this configuration. The concept articulates four independent “cabins” sitting between a deck and a roof. The idea of multiple units is reinforced by using breezeways, or “trots,” to separate functions and bring exterior features to the interior. Each cabin is singularly tasked: “Living,” “Cooking,” or “Sleeping.” One trot accommodates floating tasks such as “Dining” or “Study” and the second serves as an axis between the front and back doors. Movement between cabins requires passage through either trot via thresholds that are identically detailed on both interior and exterior. To reinforce the independence of these cabins, traditional clapboard siding and overlaid trim are contrasted with contemporary full glazing at the end of each trot, creating the illusion of a void between each unit, and allowing the passage of light and breeze.



Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects A renovation and addition to a 1939 Page Southerland & Page designed home displays the changes as a series of collages rather than a historical period piece or an overtly modern contrast. The semi-detached bedroom wing, large porch, kitchen and master suite are the project’s focus. A prominent feature of the boy’s wing is a cupola which allows for a loft above a shared bathroom. Throughout the home, color and architectural decorations are utilized for a sense of whimsy. Key to sustainability, many materials were salvaged from homes

Project Name: Windsor Road Farm Builder: Mend Services Neighborhood: Tarrytown Square feet: 3,377 Project type: Historical restoration, renovation and addition Bed/Bath: 3 beds / 2.5 baths

and buildings in Austin. Another important aspect of this family home is that it is also a small urban farm with a sustainable vegetable garden and animal pen. This home showcases a continuance of history and an expression that the architecture is but one element that creates a larger sense of home.





Jobe Corral Architects Project Name: Solarium Builder: Woodeye Construction, Garland Turner Neighborhood: Clarksville Square feet: 1,500 Project type: Renovation / Addition Bed/Bath: 3 beds / 3 baths

The Solarium is a modern addition to a historic Craftsman house. This light-filled structure transforms the existing bungalow while complementing its origin. Built of steel, glass and board-formed concrete, the family room opens up entirely, with landscape serving as a backdrop to the glass walls. The design showcases the handmade craft details, including a custom pulley for the fireplace screen. The Solarium’s companion structure is a small restroom under the stairway to a guest apartment consisting of glowing frosted glass, steel and walnut wood details. The modern structures are distinct from the Craftsman home while following the same rules of attention to detail and understanding of the craftsmanship required to build it. As an engineer, the homeowner has a passion for detailing and functionality, and how materials can work together to create something artful. The house now demonstrates this philosophy as expressed in two different centuries.



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Mark Odom Studio

Project Name: Inglewood Builder: ESS Design+Build, Doug Cameron Neighborhood: Riverside Square feet: 2,400 Project type: New Construction Bed/Bath: 3 beds / 2 baths

Inglewood Residence is a light-filled home designed with a circulation sequence centered around various courtyards. The existing trees were integral to the design, both in terms of site preservation and heightening the relationship between the interior and exterior. An abundance of floor-to-ceiling windows line each space. Terraced zones are created internally to strengthen the interior layout as well as maintain visual perspective. A continuous brick wall acts as a spine, showcasing the north-south axis of the house, while also connecting each space. In response to the homeowner’s appreciation for mid-century architecture, quintessential design and construction elements were included, such as vertical windows set deep into masonry walls, views into lush courtyards, exterior materials used on the interior, indoor planters, slatted screen walls and custom terrazzo floors.



Studio 512 Project Name: The Hive Builder: Studio 512 Neighborhood: Chestnut Neighborhood, Central East Austin Square feet: 550 Project type: New construction Bed/Bath: 1 bed / 1 bath The Hive’s unique design draws inspiration from Dutch and Japanese precedents that find creative solutions when faced with spatial constraints. Walls tilt from the slab, hugging building setback planes along with an angled utility easement to add volume where needed while adhering to the City of Austin’s impervious cover requirements which limited the footprint to 320 square feet. By carefully tailoring the space in three dimensions, rooms are cut down and expanded to suit the program. Kitchen walls lean out for increased counter space. A desk with cantilevered bookshelves occupies a low spot in the ceiling at the top of the stairs and doubles as a railing. The bedroom has only 22 square feet of floor space, yet feels expansive with large windows and a built-in queensize bed. Also contained within the compact structure is a bath with walk-in shower and floating bench, a closet with stackable laundry, a covered side entry with private outdoor shower, built-in cabinets and shelves throughout, and an exterior closet that allows for bike storage beneath the stair. 80 HOME DESIGN & DECOR AUSTIN-SAN ANTONIO |



This Barton Hills home is nestled in a grove of heritage oaks on a large urban lot. A distinctive angular roof form and black vertical siding simultaneously camouflage and contrast the house with its leafy surroundings. The siding is a common fiber-cement “board and batten.” Painted black, with battens multiplied in a dense, vertical pattern, the house takes on artful, forest-like qualities. The floor plan is organized with a public wing, a private wing and a living room bridging between. Initially a renovation project,

Project Name: The Ridge Builder: R Builders, Mark Rehberg Neighborhood: Barton Hills Square feet: 2,585 Project type: Renovation Bed/Bath: 3 beds / 3 baths

the footprint retains vestiges of the original, which allowed certain “grandfathered” areas of the trees’ root zones to be built over. Inside, the client’s distinctive tastes are reflected in an eclectic palette of walnut millwork, patterned tile and colorful textiles. Buried at the center of the house is a bathroom bathed in light from overhead, a sanctum-like retreat from the exuberant embrace of the outdoors elsewhere in the house.






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12918 Shops Parkway, Suite 700 Bee Caves, TX 78738 | 512.608.0302 austintatiousblinds.com

Profile for Trisha Doucette

Home Design & Decor Austin-San Antonio: August/September 2020  


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