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Kitchen & Bath Design The Ultimate Craft Room Liz Lambert Properties

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6225 Burnet Road, Austin, TX 78757 9901 Broadway, Suites 104-105, San Antonio, TX 78217

From the Editors

The kitchen — where we prepare our meals and gather with family and friends. The bath — where we begin and end each day. Undoubtedly the two most used rooms in the house, our expectations are high, our visions are grand and our choices are limitless when it comes to creating the perfect kitchen and baths in our home. So if a new kitchen or bath is on your list of 2013 must-haves, begin with the Planning Guidelines set forth by the National Kitchen & Bath Association, and then read on to find inspiration from the many design styles in this issue. Wishing to recreate the grandeur of an incredible vacation, three master bath renovations reflect the experiences of the homeowners’ travels. One couple, desiring a serene, spa retreat, hired David Wilkes Builders and Cravotta Studios to design a master bath with high end finishes luxurious enough to rival even the most exclusive resorts. Upon returning home from a stay in one of Las Vegas’ fabulous hotels, a San Antonio couple called on Julie Bradshaw Designs to recreate a space with hotel-worthy marble finishes. And homeowners seeking a master bath reminiscent of a European hotel gave designer Michelle Williams the perfect perspective to transform a once masculine bath into a stunning space, complete with Old World charm. Our feature kitchens are all incredible recreations of spaces either outdated or in decline. Katie and Jeff Bullard of Avenue B Development renovated a kitchen in a once vacant circa 1910s home in the Judges Hill neighborhood of Austin, maintaining the architectural integrity of the time the house was built. A 70s era house no longer met the needs of a growing family. Enter Webber+Studio with an expertise for creating modern, livable spaces using locally sourced and sustainable materials. Laura Burton of Laura Burton Interiors and Lynley Serratt of Palmer Todd combined forces to create a kitchen high on function, traffic and gloss. The resulting space perfectly suits the homeowners’ entertaining lifestyle. And finally, our cover home, designed by Katheryn Lott Architects and built by Jeff Turner Homes, is overflowing with intricate details, hidden surprises and extravagant features, yet it’s abundance of natural materials allows it to still exude a warmth and comfortable livability. If travel and interesting locales are your thing, Liz Lambert’s boutique hotels — and teepees — are eclectic, stylish and deep in the heart of Texas. And while you’re hopping from one Liz Lambert property to the next, pay a visit to the restaurants of two culinary stars. Shawn Cirkiel of Austin and Andrew Weissman of San Antonio maintain a number of local restaurants sure to satisfy any culinary craving. Please share this issue with a friend and be encouraged to recycle.

Trisha Doucette & Leslie Woods, editors

P.S. Find us on Facebook at: If you have wonderful finds that our readers would enjoy, let us know on Facebook. On The Cover: On The Cover: At 10,000-square-feet, this sprawling Mediterranean-style residence, designed by Katheryn Lott Architects and built by Jeff Turner Homes, is warm, personal and inviting, with surprises around every corner. Page 22

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Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


Don’t Move,

with J Angelo Design Build

2012 | VOL. 8 | NO. 1 Publisher Louis Doucette Editors Trisha Doucette and Leslie Woods Contributing Editors Cathy Coneway – ABOR John Martin – Austin NARI Justin Bravo – NARI San Antonio Karen Matuszewski – By Design, Real Estate Services & Custom Home Consulting Contributing Writers Claudia Alarcon, Anne Marie Ashley, Sharla Bell, Jackie Benton, Mauri Elbel, Sue-Ella Mueller, Dana W. Todd, Leslie Woods Strategic Media Placement Diane Purcell Advertising Sales Sandy Weatherford Gerry Lair Photography Eric Anderson, Paul Bardagjy, Allison Cartwright/Twist Tours, Casey Dunn, Casey Fry, Coles Hairston, Melissa Hettie, Thomas McConnell, Kelton Morgan, Carrie Ryan, Allison V. Smith Design and Production Tim Shaw – The Shaw Creative Printing and Direct Mail SmithPrint Phone 512.385.4663, Austin - 210.410.0014, San Antonio Fax 830.981.8887 Business Office 4714 Cambridge / Sugar Land, Texas 77479 Sales Office 10036 Saxet Drive / Boerne, Texas 78006

2012 Coty Award-Winner • Contractor of the Year • Best Residential Exterior Specialty

2012 Tour of Remodeled Homes Award-Winner • Best Overall Remodel (Also won in 2011) • Best Outdoor • Best Addition 106 Lacey Oak San Antonio, Texas 78230 210.882.6263

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Email Website Urban Home Magazine Austin-San Antonio is published by Big City Magazines of Austin, 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 Urban Home Magazine. The information contained in this publication is deemed reliable from third party sources, but not guaranteed. Urban Home 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. Urban Home 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. Urban Home Magazine will not knowingly accept advertising for real estate that is a violation of the Fair Housing Act. All real estate advertising in Urban Home 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 2013 by Urban Home Magazine. All Rights Reserved.

February / March 2013

Contents cover 22 Mediterranean Manor Photography by Thomas McConnell

featured homes


30 Spa Sanctuary Photography by Paul Bardagjy 34 From Rustic Ranch to European Elegance Photography by Coles Hairston 38 Vegas-Inspired Luxury Photography by Melissa Hettie 42 Timeless Beauty Photography by Casey Fry 46 Details Make The Difference Photography by Paul Bardagjy 50 Living The High Life Photography by Casey Dunn



56 Design Kitchen & Bathroom Guidelines 66 Garden The Alternative Gardener 74 Food Balancing Acts

highlights 54 The Accent Chair 60 Personalizing Your Space with Monograms 68 Why This Space Works, Designer Spotlight: California Closets

departments fabulous finds 78 Destination: Liz Lambert Properties



essentials 64 New Products: Kitchen & Bath contributing editors 53 John Martin, Austin NARI & Justin Bravo, NARI San Antonio 62 Karen Matuszewski, By Design - Custom Home Consulting 81 Cathy Coneway, ABOR 82 Advertiser Index




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Mike and Tiffany Greenwood have remodeled, designed and built exclusive luxury and custom homes in San Antonio and the surrounding areas for nearly 10 years. Their homes are acclaimed by the Greater San Antonio Builders Association with awards at the 2008 Parade of Homes, the 2011 Parade of Homes in Champions Ridge and most recently at the 2012 Parade of Homes at The Dominion. Greenwood Custom Homes are renowned for attention to detail, architectural touches, and expansive spaces.

A premier builder of custom homes and construction for the distinguishing homeowner.


We’ve got great glass 512-388-9400 1609 Chisholm Trail #100, Round Rock

Dawn F. Hearn, ASID, NARI, CAPS Texas Registered Interior Designer #9501

New Construction Remodeling Space Planning Consultation Furnishings Accessories 512.930.0250

Mediterranean Manor By Dana W. Todd | Photography by Thomas McConnell

This grand home on the shores of Lake Travis is 10,000 square feet of heaven on earth. Some of the expansive home’s opulence may be obvious to those who step inside, but the house is keeping a few secrets. Within its sprawling Mediterraneanstyle arched walls, it lives large, but a few surprises tucked here and there make the home truly gracious and extra satisfying. 22

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


paring no expense, a couple who relocated from Houston worked with architect Katheryn Lott, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, and builder Jeff Turner of Jeff Turner Homes to design and bring to life their dream house. The house is situated in The Reserve at Lake Travis, a luxury subdivision that covers 300 Hill Country acres and possesses a multitude of amenities, such as an equestrian center, swimming park and private marina. It includes exterior features like a tiled roof and wrought iron railings, and interior archways that make it a Texas take on a Mediterranean manor. Despite its large size, the house is warm inside and out due to the homeowners’ color choices. Espresso colored concrete tiles cover the roof, coordinating with the Oklahoma flagstone enhanced with a stone sealer. The brown and taupe flagstone continues inside, serving as walls and cut to form open archways connecting all rooms on the main floor. Warm walnut enhances the coziness factor by serving as kitchen cabinets, 8-inch wide solid crown molding, and underfoot as 10-inch wide flooring planks. Decorative trusses in the great room are stained Douglas fir. The kitchen and great room showcase 8” x 36” Café Noir stone laid on the diagonal. The nearby indoor/outdoor entertainment area features Scabos chiseled-edge travertine tile floors inlaid with honed brown travertine. 24

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


The Main Floor The homeowners designed many of the grand features themselves. The walk-in 5,000-bottle wine room, with its own air conditioning unit and foam insulation, is one example. Other examples include light fixtures and furnishings, many of which the homeowners sourced themselves. Luxury details in the kitchen add to the enjoyment for this couple who love to cook. Carved lion posts adorn each corner of the island cabinetry, giving a high-end furniture feel to the room. Colorful hand-glazed tile, along with the Café Noir stone which flows in from the great room, lighten up the darker elements of the room. Multiple sinks for varied uses, including a hammered copper sink and vegetable sink, steamer, and pull-out spice racks with lion head pulls, add to the functionality. Overall, the kitchen radiates drama with a splash of liveliness. Bed and Bath Luxury details in the master bathroom are fit for a king (or queen). A doorless walk-in steam shower is accessible from either side of the bathroom and is set up with an aroma system to treat health issues such as allergies. Individual showerheads and temperature settings customize it further. Nearby, a freestanding tub surrounded by granite is flanked by marble columns, with more of the Café Noir stone on the floor. As in the kitchen, walnut cabinetry warms up the space. Some of the other seven bathrooms feature hammered copper sinks, pure copper faucets, and 3-D faux finishes meticulously fashioned by a German pastry chef using a pastry bag filled with a special blend of proprietary synthetic material. Tucked-away surprises continue inside the vast home, helping it feel more personal and inviting. Few visitors get a chance to view Lake Travis from the special lookout room accessible only via a spiral staircase in the master bedroom. “It’s a place where the owners can sit, sip wine, and have a spectacular view of the lake,” says architect Katheryn Lott. The view of the estate includes landscaped gardens, a kitchen herb garden, the pool and spa, a golf cart path down to the lakeside, and a boathouse. Extra Luxuries Some rooms are simply luxurious to have a few steps away under the same roof, including this manor’s workout room and stadium-style seating in a home movie theater. The theater showcases a dramatic recessed oval ceiling complete with LED lighting, which provides a halo effect. Walnut walls are featured in this room, too, along with silk cloth wainscoting. Another surprise lurks in the four-bay, air-conditioned garage. Although two bays are used in the traditional manner for storing cars, one bay is slated for housing a golf cart, and the other bay holds a golf simulator where the owners can while away some time practicing their swings. A video playback helps perfect their strokes. Outdoor Surprises In a home with as big of a floor plan as this one, you may expect a large number of bedrooms and bathrooms and plenty of open entertainment areas. This home has all of this, including a u-shaped indoor/outdoor area that has a bar with views of 26

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


the pool and lake, pizza oven, three-beer kegerator, wine refrigerator, stainless steel grill, flat screen television, ice maker, wok-ready cooktop, sink and dishwasher. Lounging under the roof while enjoying the outdoors, guests experience one of the house’s surprises — a misting system that cools the surrounding air. “Using this system drops the Texas heat by 10 to 15 degrees during the hot season,” builder Jeff Turner says. “The misting system was a house warming gift from me. It’s state of the art and uses its own compressor to compress the air and water mixture. You can stand under it and have it blow on you without getting wet.” “This house really does have a spectacular outdoor kitchen,” says Lott. “I have done numerous outdoor kitchens; in fact, my work was featured on the cover of the book “Ultimate Outdoor Kitchens.” This one is far superior to any others.” A few steps outside to the patio and pool area turns up another welcome surprise — a swim-up bar to perch wine glasses while relaxing in the cool pool water. A fire pit looking over the lake is situated close by a glass handrail. When guests are sitting and socializing, the see-through railing ensures a continuous view of Lake Travis. There’s one other secret outside — an outdoor tub and garden with views of the lake. It’s totally private and so secret the 28

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

Contemporary Design Modern Cabinetry Granite/Marble/Quartz Countertops architect and builder refuse to disclose its location. You can’t see it in the photos — so don’t squint too much! The most surprising part of the house, overall? Jeff Turner Homes built it in only 13 months, just in time for the wedding of the homeowners’ daughter. The fast turnaround belies the intricate detailing and planning that went into the house by the builder, architect and homeowners, all who had a hand in the design selections. A house can be luxurious, but it’s the personal touches — in this case, some hidden surprises — that make a home happy and inviting. v ARCHITECT Katheryn Lott Architects 512.263.8778 | BUILDER Jeff Turner Homes 512.238.0104 |

Porcelanosa Tile Our contemporary design is based on function, comfort, flow, organization and luxury. We strive to create spaces that are reflective of each individual client and how they live.



By Dana W. Todd | Photography by Paul Bardagjy

What makes a spa feel like a retreat? A spa-like room exudes comfort and relaxation in a cozy and inviting space by integrating luxe material finishes with warm colors and sleek finishes. It is the antithesis of our rush, rush world. A spa is a slow exhalation after a


harried day at work or out in the world.

n the spirit of relaxation and shrugging off the world’s weight, David and Catherine Wilkes of David Wilkes Builders, along with Mark Cravotta of Cravotta Studios, recently designed and built the quintessential bathroom retreat for one of their clients with a mother lode of high-end details to mimic the feel of a professional spa. They achieved the zen-like goal so well the renovation earned them a Room of the Year award from the National Association of Home Builders. As many of us know from living in our own homes, design tastes change and room functionality shifts as we move through life’s phases. In this project, an unused coffee bar/kitchenette separated the original master bathroom from the bedroom, all of which was designed when the home was custom built 11 years ago. The Wilkes were challenged to integrate disparate spaces into one room that is spacious yet cozy.


Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


Elegant Ranch Designs at Affordable Prices


Ranch Interiors

When Imagination Matters . . . With a new focus on creating a high-end spa retreat in the master bathroom, the Wilkes’ team incorporated the unused coffee bar space and chose custom tile and cabinetry materials to provide the homeowner’s requested aesthetic. On the floors, 16”x16” marble tiles lead the eye into the larger space, while artistic “New Revenna” horizontal tortoise shell glass tile — sourced through Architerra Studios and installed by Bruhn Tile — surrounds the bathtub and shower, and fills two walls ceiling to floor with warmth and shine. The brown shades of the custom wall tile and the marble flooring are not the only sources of warmth in the room. A walnut wall behind the vanity area, teak cabinets and teak benches all calm and cocoon the homeowner, and contribute to a visual feast. A chrome wall-mounted towel warmer is the coziest element of all. In true spa style, the operational parts of the bathroom are creatively hidden so the beauty shines through. Concealing the inner workings of a room as functional as a bathroom presents a deceptively simple appearance to the eye. The floating cantilevered teak vanity, for example, contains hidden storage in its top level, while remaining free of obtrusive drawer pulls. Underneath, an attached bar runs the length of the vanity and provides quick access to towels yet does not interrupt wall space with traditional mounted towel bars. Recessed medicine cabinets are concealed behind a set of frameless mirrors. A teak tower ensconces the custom chrome tub spout. All of these details lend the air of a professional spa retreat. Simplicity also is evident in the touches of white scattered throughout the space, mimicking a professional spa touch while lifting the space from darkness. White, square vessel sinks from Ronbow, white Delta® recessed fixtures, and white sconces combine with Artisan privacy glass to lend light to the room. 32

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

Other light-colored fixtures and accents liven up the design. In true spa fashion, a dramatic porcelain Axor Massaud® freestanding tub with thick edges is filled by a sleekly designed Axor Starck® faucet. Both are crafted by Hansgrohe International as part of the Axor Massaud® Collection, which focuses on nature and the harmony and tranquility it inspires in the home. Imagine the tub as a lake and the faucet as a gushing waterfall, and you get the picture. Surrounded by woods (walnut and teak), the design is the perfect analogy to Mother Nature. Harmonious bathroom elements do not operate solitarily but are integrated with the surrounding rooms. “When you walk up the stairs to the second floor, the lead-up to the master bathroom and bedroom is the first thing you see,” says builder David Wilkes about the hallway off the stairwell. “The hallway walls are walnut, with a view of the Artisan privacy glass in a corner.” The privacy glass corner works in tandem with other design elements such as oversized, colorful floor vases and artwork to lead the eye down the hallway and around the corner to the spa retreat. The hallway is a peaceful and serene transition to the harmony evident as you step into the new master bathroom. To achieve a serene and sophisticated room like this one takes precise planning and close attention to adding in the details that provide a top spa experience. The connection to natural elements and colors throughout the room comforts. It is a respite of tranquility away from an overstimulated world. v DESIGNER Cravotta Studios 512.499.0400 | BUILDER David Wilkes Builders 512.328.9888 |

If you can dream it, we can build it! 31300 IH-10 West (exit 543 across from Toyota) • Boerne, Texas 78006 830.755.6355 • 210.535.3070 •

From Rustic Ranch to

European Elegance Standing in the middle of this luxurious master bath suite, it’s hard to remember you are in Spicewood, Texas. Tucked within a sprawling Texas ranch home just outside of Austin, this space now exudes the kind of Old World charm that’s capable of transporting you to another place entirely: Europe. By Mauri Elbel | Photography by Coles Hairston


Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


rom the marble mosaic tile floral borders imported from Italy that line the ceilings and baseboards, down to the Swarovski crystal detailing adorning the hardware, a series of eye-catching finishes whisk the viewer away on a lavish European holiday — a far trip from where it all began. “Previously, this bathroom was very dark and masculine, and it looked as if it belonged in a cabin,” says principal designer Michelle Williams of Inside Story Interiors. “It was all dark slate and wood with a big Jacuzzi tub and tiny shower. It wasn’t at all my client’s taste.” But when the new owners of this spacious Mediterraneanstyle home wanted to reconfigure their master bath to better suit

their tastes, they knew exactly who to call. Having designed four other houses for the clients before, Williams was familiar with the couple’s preferred aesthetic and knew a dramatic makeover was in order. “Before, this bathroom was very rustic, but now it’s got an Old World European elegance,” Williams says of the remodel. “It is elegant and light and comfortable. And it makes you feel as if you are standing in an old European hotel.” After Williams sketched up a design capable of winning over her clients, the Houston-based designer called on Austin-based CG&S Design-Build to oversee the project. “I hadn’t worked with CG&S Design-Build before but knew what to look for in a company, and I knew they would do a great job,” says Williams, who sketched everything from the cabinets down to the tile. “We needed a skilled builder and architect because we took down everything, from the floors to the ceilings. They truly did a wonderful job.” To complete the look, the entire bathroom was gutted. Dark slate was replaced with unpolished travertine marble that now spans the floor and walls, creating a wet room area near the shower and tub. On surrounding walls, a Venetian plaster with a faux finish further the Old World feel. The once tiny and cramped shower was enlarged, and the oversized Jacuzzi tub was replaced with a freestanding tub that now serves as the focal point of the room. “I love this tub,” says Williams. “It’s an oval tub that looks a lot like a clawfoot tub, but it is a little more interesting and unique.” The pedestal tub, from Produits Neptune Canada, is surrounded by a custom apron adorned with glass tiles and topped with a honed marble slab. The roomy walk-in shower is finished in natural stone and accentuated with intricate mosaic tile detailing. The redesigned vanity area boasts cabinets built to resemble antique furniture that flawlessly coordinate with pieces the clients shipped from their home in Europe. To achieve the antiqued look, the custom dresser-like cabinets were painted, Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


sanded and glazed. A product containing crushed walnut shells creates a raised plaster design on the wooden doors, projecting a weathered charm. Two vessel sinks imported from Mexico rest gracefully on top, featuring mosaic marble squares. While many of the materials in this bathroom are new, nothing feels that way. In fact, the finishes in the room look as genuinely aged as the one-of-a-kind distressed columns Williams found in India. While the columns were too short for the space, CG&S resolved the issue by building bases that stretched them to ceiling height. “The columns in here give it that unique look, like they’ve always been there,” says Williams. “I love using something old in a different and unique way.” A thermostatically controlled sub-floor radiant heating system provides warmth to the shower and bath floors. Cabinet hardware and towel bars are Carpe Diem with Swarovski crystals and custom finishes. Faucets on the sinks, tub and shower are all from Santec, featuring Swarovski crystal handles. Lighting selections complete the look of luxury: Murray Feiss vanity lights mounted on the mirrors and an exquisite Schonbeck® chandelier that looms in the center of the room. “You don’t expect to see a chandelier in the bathroom, but it again just gives the space that look of elegance; that exquisite feeling,” says Williams. “And Schonbeck® makes the best crystal chandeliers.” Williams designed a makeup stool and curved bench, finished in a creamy velvet, to provide a pretty and plush addition to the vanity and dressing areas of the space. Williams even antiqued the mirrors which feature beveled edge pieces washed in acid to look older. “I wanted the mirrors to look old and antiqued with beautiful character,” says Williams. “On the mirrors, in the intersecting corners, are wood medallions that were aged and finished the same as the cabinet.” Despite the high degree of craftsmanship and detailing required for this project, it was completed within three months to accommodate the owners’ schedule. Credit for finishing the project in such a short time frame goes to the solid design/build team at CG&S who had deliveries coming 36

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

in during the last days leading up to the project’s completion. “My favorite part of this bathroom is the high-end finishes, but the more eye-catching a finish is, the closer attention to detail people will pay,” says Jon Strain, CG&S Design-Build’s senior project manager who oversaw the project from day to day. “From the top to the bottom, this bathroom is loaded with high-end finishes. And without our very talented team, that level of detailing wouldn’t have been completed in such a quick timeline.” The result: a cream-colored master bath suite that radiates luxury while remaining comfortable and elegant. “My clients absolutely love it,” says Williams. “The previous bathroom felt depressing, but this one is so light and elegant. Everything is so feminine and pretty. Being in there just makes you happy.” v ARCHITECT/BUILDER CG&S Design-Build 512.444.1580 |

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

DESIGNER Inside Story Interiors 281.358.8008 |


Vegas-inspired Luxury What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas. At least that was the case when designer Julie Bradshaw’s clients returned from America’s playground, bringing back with them a memorable souvenir: the inspiration to create a hotel-worthy master suite in their own home.


By Mauri Elbel | Photography by Melissa Hettie

y clients had recently returned from vacationing in Vegas where they stayed in a beautiful high-end hotel,” says Bradshaw. “They wanted their own master bath suite to have the same dramatic, wow-effect as their hotel bath.” While finding inspiration in Vegas isn’t hard to come by, recreating that moment of intrigue within the existing parameters of a home required a bit of ingenuity. But Bradshaw met the challenge at hand, transforming the previously dismal master bath of a 1950s Castle Hills home into an opulent salle de bains capable of wowing its homeowners to the same degree. “Before, this bathroom was dark and choppy,” says the San Antonio-based designer. “But now, when you walk in, it is very light and spacious with a dramatic feel.” The once confining master bath now drips of luxury and elegance with rich white Calacatta marble spanning its floors,

countertops, vanities and shower walls. Bradshaw created a more open feel to the space by choosing a light color palette that allows the natural lighting coming in from the windows and translucent doors to illuminate the entire room. The rich walnut twin vanities anchor the space and provide a striking contrast to the white Calacatta marble. Frosted glass, custom-made bathroom doors allow for privacy while letting in a generous amount of light. All in all, the master bath is a dramatic remake of what the clients found in Vegas, but one that hones more permanence. “I love the Calacatta marble because it is just so gorgeous and classic,” says Bradshaw. “This bathroom will be just as pretty 10 years from now as it is today.” Bradshaw’s clients couldn’t be more pleased with the finished project — a big testament of her ability to mesh different styles to create a balance that suits opposing tastes. Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


“He likes a traditional look and she likes a more modern style so we wanted to blend both of those aesthetics,” Bradshaw says. While marble is a traditional material, Bradshaw kept the design very streamlined and clean to maintain a modern vibe. The dark walnut, typically a traditional wood, framing the vanities has a clean-edged, modern look with cross detailing that harkens back to a more conventional feel. Wall-mounted Kohler® Purist faucets and lighting have a polished nickel finish, and although they lean toward the modern side, they create a feel both clients loved. “The natural materials of the walnut and marble are so pretty together,” says Bradshaw. “It’s nice to have that contrast of dark walnut against the white Calacatta marble.” But it was the existing long and narrow shape of the bathroom that really drove the design, according to Bradshaw. “We brought the back wall of the bathroom forward to make the proportions more visually pleasing,” she says. “Behind this wall we designated a spacious shower containing a tall, rectangular window which streams light into the room while beckoning one toward the inviting, brightly-lit space.” Kohler® body sprays are mounted on the wall and a nearby Myson towel warmer adds a bit of warmth to the area. Along the narrowest part of the room, Bradshaw set two parallel facing mirrors into the vanities to create an infinite regress, or continuing series of images, which provides a sense of width to the space. The oval-shaped freestanding tub, Antigua by MTI, is the main focal point of the room, adding a softness that brings balance to the otherwise angular shapes that surround. A Ralph Lauren® polished nickel circular chandelier with vintage bulbs, 40

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

specially chosen by lead designer Crystal Romero, looms above the tub for the finishing touch of drama. “I think, especially in boxy rooms, you need some round shapes to soften out the edges,” says Bradshaw. The blue/green/gray wall color, Gray Horse by Benjamin Moore®, coordinates flawlessly with the veining in the marble — an intentional design strategy that can be learned from when pairing paint with marble. “It’s important that you select a paint color that is darker than the white of your marble,” says Bradshaw. “If you choose a paint that is more white than the marble, your marble will look dirty.” The end result is a master bath that is dramatic yet comfortable; elegant yet functional; wow-worthy yet timeless. “They love their master bath as much as I do,” says Bradshaw. “And we’re now in the process of renovating their kitchen which promises to be just as spectacular.” v Bradshaw Designs 210.824.1535 | Cross Construction Company 210.826.7200 | Delta Granite and Marble 210.829.7171 | Ferguson Plumbing 210.344.3013 |



By Sue-Ella Mueller | Photography by Casey Fry

For most people looking to remodel their kitchens, little consideration is given to what the original owners of the home would’ve liked. It’s more about what the current trends are, the latest and greatest technology in appliances and their own tastes and style. But for Katie and Jeff Bullard, principals of Avenue B Development, LLC, renovating the kitchen in one historic Austin home required a trip back in time.


nce a jewel in the affluent Judges Hill neighborhood, the Brady House had sat empty for 20 years before it was finally put up for sale. “We put an offer on it the day it was listed,” says Katie Bullard. “Austin has a limited historic inventory where houses are concerned. And this one was one of the most spectacular houses we’ve seen.” Bullard and her husband, the driving forces behind Avenue B Development, have been working together for more than 10 years. While Jeff’s background is in construction and remodeling, Bullard holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in architecture as well as 42

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

a professional certification in historic preservation. Together, the duo has recreated livable masterpieces throughout Austin. The Brady House, a1910s Arts and Crafts style home, was yet another opportunity for the Avenue B team to tackle the challenges of paying homage to the past while employing the luxuries of today. And in no other room is it tougher to do than in the kitchen. While the rest of the house was stripped clean of most of its sheet rock and had remained in a state of reconstruction for two decades, the kitchen was the one room the previous

owners had tackled and completed. Unfortunately, it may have been better left alone. “It was relatively small and didn’t maximize the space. It was also the one area that didn’t have the original hardwood floors or the original windows,” says Bullard. But Bullard didn’t perceive the situation as a problem. Instead, her experience and historical knowledge kicked in to create the perfect kitchen. “I wanted a modern take on a turn of the century kitchen,” Bullard explains. Her goal was to have hints of a traditional kitchen of the era, but she also wanted it to be modern for

functional purposes. “We demolished the countertops and cabinets, then moved the peninsula to the opposite side and reoriented the cabinets,” she says. “By moving it, we gained 50% more in cabinet and counter space.” In addition, the Avenue B crew relocated the pantry into the breakfast room area. They also built a corner window seat in the breakfast room and introduced a wine refrigerator and wine cabinet on a previously unused wall. “We actually turned the whole backside of the house into the kitchen and breakfast room,” Bullard says. Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


Reclaimed oak that had to be remilled down to one and a quarter inches was brought in for the flooring in an effort to match the character of the floors in the other rooms. Wood window frames with wavy glass were also installed to recreate the original look of the home. Custom-made, birch wood, shakerstyle cabinets by Rivercity Cabinetry were mounted with openfaced, glass doors. And then the fun part could begin: choosing the colors, materials, lighting and appliances. Subdued colors with a more industrial look would have been the norm for a circa 1910 home. With that in mind, Bullard opted for a soft gray as her main color, along with white countertops. “We painted the cabinets a light gray and kept the uppers glass which created, I think, a great dynamic. Traditionally, there wouldn’t have been a decorative backsplash, maybe a white backsplash at most. However, we chose a great beveled arabesque tile by Mosaic Tile & Stone and then we used a gray grout so it would stand out,” says Bullard. “The countertops are honed Carrara marble that 44

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

would’ve been traditional during that time period.” Bullard says that while today’s standard countertops are usually granite, the marble is more porous, so it stays cool and is great for baking and rolling out dough. The Bertazzoni 36” gas range was also chosen with much thought. “The stove is a reproduction of a vintagestyle stove. The lines and feet are similar to what the Brady’s might have had, but this one still has all the modern amenities of today,” she says. With a hint of an industrial feel, stainless steel appliances, including a Frigidaire Pro® series refrigerator, were also employed in the kitchen. “We decided on a deep, single basin, farmhouse sink with a white apron front,” says Bullard. “And in the breakfast area, we wanted to bring in something industrial looking. From Barn Light Electric, our central lighting is made of galvanized steel. It plays off of the grays in the kitchen and is very interesting.” But perhaps the most interesting piece in the kitchen is something one would not normally focus on. “We wanted a custom-built vent hood,” Bullard shares. “We painted it the same color as the cabinets and installed white tile all the way up on either side. It turned out great. It does serve a purpose, but I also think of it as a piece of art more than anything else.” And Bullard is right; the beauty of the piece cannot be lost on those fortunate enough to visit the newly renovated Brady House. But then the entire kitchen speaks of beauty; a timeless beauty that would be just at home in the 1910s as it is in 2013. v

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ARCHITECT/DESIGN/BUILD TEAM Avenue B Development, LLC | 512.638.1519 |

Call Today for FREE Home Assessment 2004 Howard Lane, Austin, Texas 78728 512.251.2247 • 800.288.5582 • 512.251.3315 Fax

Details Make



By Jackie Benton | Photography by Paul Bardagjy

Cookie cutters are for cookies, not homes. It’s the details of a home that make it stand out and reflect the uniqueness of the lives lived there. So, when the owners of a tract home in northwest Austin’s Chimney Corners suburb approached David Webber about their home remodel, Webber was intrigued by the opportunity to update the nondescript Seventies-era home into a contemporary-style modern day beauty.


ur company, Webber + Studio, Architects, had several projects involving large additions and new construction, so when the owners came to us and asked us to remodel their home, with particular attention to the kitchen and living area, it was not our usual type of project,” explains Webber. “But we were excited from the get-go to take it on. We quickly realized we could really stretch our design muscles as we took this typical tract home and turned it into something wonderful. Like a lot of tract homes built in the Seventies, it had what we call

‘good bones.’ That particular era emphasized simple layouts and this modest home was very representative and appropriate to its time.” But just because the home had good bones that made it an excellent candidate for redesign, didn’t mean that it was an easy project. “It had that horrible wood paneling that was so prevalent at the time,” said Webber. “It also had cheesy trim and casing, bad tile, and the windows were all metal casement. The kitchen was a weird crossroads — you had to go through the breakfast area to get to the kids’ side of the house.”

The real challenge then, recalls Webber, was how to transform a boxy 2,700-square-foot tract home into a spacious, light-filled, contemporary beauty without adding additional square footage. He and his design team chose to go with a simple approach that leaned heavily on natural materials to create a light and airy atmosphere both within and outside the home. Using a simple, natural material palette of locally sourced limestone, as well as pecan and cypress, the additional outdoor terraces were allowed to seamlessly blend with the indoor living space. Locally sourced limestone tile was used for the

flooring, and the excess stone floor tile cuttings were put to good use in the living area and master bedroom as a stone wall veneer that continued outdoors so that nothing went to waste. He also updated the home’s energy efficiency by installing frameless, double-paned, low E insulated glass windows and installed a new Trane HVAC system with proper blown-in foam insulation. A new Miele cooktop and refrigerator not only adds to the look and function of the kitchen design, but also helps keep energy costs down. “We are regional minimalists, and can work with a lot of Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


Austin’s Best Granite Synergy Granite is the #1 supplier of granite in Austin.

different styles,” says Webber. “We will usually edit out things to bring the design to its minimalist roots, but we don’t want the design to feel cold, either, so we use natural materials that have a very clean and warm sensibility. We also like to have our home designs reflect the people who will live in the space.” The resulting light-filled, open plan is one that perfectly suits the family’s needs now and in the future. “This is a house that is going to work for them for all stages of their lives. It’s one story and not too big for them, and the open plan encourages family interaction. And with the flush thresholds, it’s also one that the homeowners can stay in and grow old in.” Webber selected natural materials that were strong and durable, with a low maintenance aspect that could stand up to family life. “We decided that keeping it local and sustainable was a great starting point for sourcing our materials. We worked with pecan for the interior, which is a regional wood and a favorite of mine because it is so hard. We used cypress for the exterior doors, because it’s another local favorite that is as strong as it is stunning. And why ship tile or stone from South America, when there’s beautiful limestone tile available from Liberty Hill just 30 miles away? We asked to have our limestone tile custom cut by them, which didn’t increase our costs. And when you source locally, you can reduce the carbon footprint.” Any remodeling project means making some tough design calls about what to keep, what to change, and what can be given new life with a bit of love. Webber made the decision to keep 48

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

the home’s original limestone and incorporate it into the new look. “We’re glad we kept it,” he explains. “The outdoor details are now crisper as a result of our renovation, but the original stonework helps it blend quietly into the neighborhood. If we had gone with new cut stone on the outside, it would have been beautiful but it would have made the home stand out too much from the other homes in the neighborhood. It’s much more stealthy and makes a much more powerful statement the way it is. You don’t know a lot of work has been done until you drive by slowly and realize the details.” v ARCHITECT Webber + Studio, Architects 512.236.1032 | BUILDER Melde Specialty Construction, Inc. 512.410.4710 |

Won BEST KITCHEN in 2012 HBA Parade of Homes in the PGM Design + Build home in The Overlook Estates

Granite | Caesarstone | Silestone | Zodiac Stone Call us today to schedule your free in home consultation & estimate 512-784-3213

Living the

High Life

By Sharla Bell | Photography by Casey Dunn

High Traffic. The reality of homeowners who love to entertain large numbers of people with great frequency.

High Function. The idea that with everything in its place, anything is possible.

High Gloss. The desire for all surfaces to be pristine, polished and clutter free.


hen Laura Burton, Allied ASID, of Laura Burton Interiors began the whole-house renovation project of a traditional home in need of a serious remodel, the homeowners listed these three “high” points as absolute essentials to be considered in the design of the new kitchen. Burton enlisted the expertise of Lynley Serratt, CKD, CBD, Allied ASID, of Palmer Todd to help meet these goals. The ever-entertaining homeowners wanted a space that allowed them to “be a part of the activity when entertaining guests and family members, so they sought a kitchen workspace that would allow for casual conversation,” explains Serratt. “They also needed the space to accommodate traffic flow for large groups, and plenty of surface area for serving,” adds Burton. Great care was required to ensure that the cook had easy access to everything she needed, regardless of where she might be cooking or baking in the new, supersized kitchen, and the appliances had to be high performance and well planned to optimize efficiency and make cleaning as painless as possible. Urban Home Austin – San Antonio



Open floor plans open your home to a new way of living

M Finally, the wife loves a tidy, clean-lined space: nothing out on the countertops, and nothing to see except the gorgeous, gleaming surfaces that beckon her to cook, bake, sip and enjoy. She wanted to add “contemporary flair to her traditional home,” says Burton. With this list of must-haves, Burton and Serratt set about to create an open, inviting, well-designed and streamlined kitchen for this family. “To address these needs, we first enlarged the space by expanding out into the backyard area. The squaring off of the angled windows visually opened up the space and reoriented the direction of the kitchen,” says Serratt. With square footage added, the designers now had room to enlarge the kitchen walkways. “The kitchen in this home functions as the social epicenter to adjacent rooms. To avoid bottle-necking when entertaining, we made sure to have adequate walkway clearance as well as separate work areas to accommodate different social activities,” continues Serratt. All high traffic walkways were expanded to a minimum of 50 inches; there would be no logjam in the future of this kitchen. Burton adds that they also enlarged the doorways between the kitchen and dining room, adding custom designed, frosted glass and wood sliding doors for optional separation that are as stunning as they are functional. With the “high traffic” demand well in hand, Serratt, whose firm Palmer Todd specializes in making spaces incredibly efficient while also devastatingly beautiful, began planning the functionality of the space. She shares that the “main challenge of this project was to space plan the activities so that the flow made sense. Because the space is very long, I wanted to make sure that the items the client needed were always close at hand.” Two islands were incorporated into the design. “The primary island, with integrated seating, allows for the cook to have casual conversation with family members and guests. A secondary island was added to serve as a baking area or a serving and bar area while entertaining.” Serratt created two work triangles in the kitchen by placing the refrigerator and ovens central to both islands. With the gas range located on the primary island and a large sink opposite facing the huge windows that open to the backyard, the cook has everything she would need there to prepare a meal. Near the secondary island, the beverage fridge 52

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

as well as a designated beverage center, a second sink and a separate icemaker serve to create the perfect beverage bar and serving area. High-end amenities such as a second dishwasher, a warming drawer and plenty of carefully designed cabinetry (spice pullouts, rollout trays) were added to create an easy-touse, handsomely planned space. With a thoughtful kitchen plan in place, the design team set about to add the “gloss” — the interior choices that would turn this outmoded kitchen into a modern aesthetic of clean lines and reflective beauty. Burton explains, “Achieving the contemporary style that the client desired while working within the framework of the traditional architecture of the house required awareness and a careful balance.” Beginning with hardwood floors throughout, Burton and the homeowner chose a chocolate brown granite for the main island countertop and “Amazon Grey” Silestone® quartz for the perimeter countertops and secondary island. The Silestone® was given a “Leather finish,” which according to Silestone®’s website is a “luxurious, exotic, textured finish” that makes their stone “soft” to the touch. “High Gloss” is quite literally found in the custom color gloss lacquer that was applied to the perimeter cabinetry and the custom gloss faux wood veneer found on the island cabinetry in “Ambassador Oak.” To break up the high shine elements, a custom travertine mosaic was applied to the backsplash. Finally, lighting plays a key role in the design of the space. “Large windows now optimize natural light and allow the outdoors to become a focal point in the space by day. In the evening, strategic LED lighting adds a subtle glow and elegance,” says Burton. A neutral color palette tempers the more contemporary, “high gloss” elements in the kitchen, making this modern, streamlined space feel like home. v

odern-day homeowners are prescribing to open first-floor living when they buy or remodel their homes to enhance the flow and functionality of their space. Open floor plans remove walls that divide common living areas such as kitchens and living rooms. The idea is that although these rooms have separate functions — one room is for lounging and the other is for cooking — they are not exclusive of each other. Take the kitchen, for example. This was john martin, an area that was considered a work space, President, Austin NARI only to prepare food. But those days are long gone as the kitchen is becoming a centrally located cooking and entertainment area for 21st century families. Many homes now include an office in the kitchen because of its high traffic. Living rooms, too, are being transformed into home entertainment areas with highdefinition televisions and games. When Justin Bravo, homeowners remodel today, they place a President, high priority on making their home more NARI San Antonio functional to entertain family and friends. Benefits associated with open floor plans: With minimal walls, open floor plans provide more open space, making your home appear larger. Open floor plans allow for more options when it comes to large-sized furniture or art in the home. Rooms tend to be more multi-functional. Entertaining large crowds is easier in an open floor plan as more people flow in an out of rooms and can eat, drink and sit down more freely. Open floor plans can be easier for special needs visitors or residents to navigate their way through a home as well.

KITCHEN SPECIALIST Palmer Todd 210.341.3396 |

Decorating tips for open floor plans: Map out how traffic flows through your space, and keep large or awkwardly shaped furniture out of the way. Strategically place large furniture to divide the rooms ever so slightly to keep them feeling intimate. Common colors and decorating styles should be consistent throughout. v

BUILDER Audino Construction, Inc. 512.258.6728 |

To find a professional remodeler in Austin or San Antonio, visit or

PROJECT DESIGNER Laura Burton Interiors 512.322.9888 |

The Accent


Missoni Home Nap Modular Dormeuse

Skyline Furniture Armless Slipper Chair Ikat

Global Views Mimi Lounge Chair


Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

More than just a statement piece, these accent chairs are high on function and comfort. Find inspiration at

Selamat Martinique Lounge Chair

Knoll® Suzanne Double Armless Lounge Chair

Artless, The Other Melinda Chair in Yves Klein Blue

Directions East Easy Rider Lounge Chair

Artifort F 978 Lounge Chair by Geoffrey Harcourt

Oggetti Showtime Lounge Chair

Bellini Modern Living Ariana Leather Lounge Chair

JLA Home Madison Park Arnau Arm Chair

Knoll® Cini Boeri Lounge Chair

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


Design n Trends




Planning Guidelines with Access Standards

By Dana W. TodD Illustrations courtesy of NKBA and John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

ave an idea of how you want your new kitchen or master bathroom to look but unsure how to make it functional for your needs? Interested in ensuring your remodeling project is based on universal design principles? The National Kitchen & Bath Association issues the “NKBA Kitchen & Bathroom Planning Guidelines with Access Standards” book that can help. With newly revised information that includes the latest International Residential Code (IRC) and Accessible & Usable Buildings and Facilities standards, it is a good investment before you demo the first wall. The Guide lists 31 kitchen planning guidelines and 27 bathroom planning guidelines. Don’t be overwhelmed. We talked to a couple of remodeling experts who work with the guidelines every day. Here are a few tips they wish to pass along to you. “These are guidelines, not building codes,” says Michele DeCorby, designer and owner of Swanx Fine Cabinetry and Interiors. “Rely on the practical field experience of your permit office or designer to use building codes to supplement the guidelines.” “The guidelines used to be called the 40 Rules,” says Skip Shingledecker of SA Home Designer. “But you can’t always follow the rules. “The guidelines are not requirements but are the science of anthropometry, or the study of the sizes and proportions of the human body. There is a technical reason the guidelines exist. They are about safety and functionality, and the final design should be totally dependent on the individual user.” Kitchen Planning Despite the long list of guidelines for planning a kitchen, DeCorby says the first nine provide a good overview of how to most effectively design a functional room. Following at least the first four guidelines, she says, enables a homeowner to meet most of the other 27 kitchen guidelines. For example, Guideline 1, which addresses door clearance and entry points into a kitchen, recommends a 32” to 34” wide doorway. DeCorby says she recommends a 36” door opening, which usually is the only major opening into a kitchen. Larger openings follow more closely with universal design, which is about creating a free flow of access throughout a home, suitable whether the inhabitants are able-bodied or have temporary or chronic disabilities. In Guideline 2, DeCorby stresses that appliance doors should not open into doorways or into each other. “A good rule of thumb is that someone should be able to open all appliance doors without them touching each other or 56

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

a doorway opening,” DeCorby says. Practical matters, such as denting of appliance doors that bump each other, are of concern. “A common error is placing the refrigerator beside built-in ovens and not allowing space so the refrigerator door won’t hit oven handles when opened,” she adds. DeCorby considers guidelines 3 and 4, which are focused on work centers, important when more than one person is cooking or cleaning in the kitchen. She stresses allowing ample work space on both sides of all work centers. “A landing space the size of a big serving plate is necessary near the fridge, and a landing space near the oven should be the size of your largest cookie sheet,” she says. Shingledecker says homeowners break guidelines 5 and 7 most frequently, so those items warrant extra attention. Most problematic, he says, is obtrusive walking patterns through the kitchen, corrected most efficiently with the design of an L-shaped layout. “Walkways need to be 44” for people to walk behind someone, which applies to dining rooms and other eating spaces,” he says. That increases to 60” for wheelchair access under universal design practices. Along with Guideline 12 detailing preparation work areas, Shingledecker says taking into account these three guides when remodeling add up to a functional kitchen. Overall, he says the work triangle is most important, encompassing the sink, refrigerator and cooktop, and recommends two sinks to separate food preparation and cleanup work centers whenever possible. Bathroom Planning When designing a bathroom, our experts advise paying attention to the guidelines on: door entry (1) and door interference (2), ceiling height (3), clear space (4), vanity height (7), grab bars (14), ventilation (26), and heat (27). The first two bathroom guidelines are similar to the first two kitchen guidelines outlining appropriate door and cabinet widths to ensure unencumbered access and movement. “Many of us grew up with a small bathroom containing a combination tub/shower, toilet and 36” vanity,” says DeCorby. “It all worked and shows it’s not hard to meet all the guidelines.” To Shingledecker, grab bars are the most important aspect of bathroom planning and make the room universally accessible. “It’s a big mistake to leave out grab bars,” he says. “Also in the spirit of universal design, homeowners should make sure there is a ‘transfer zone’ where those who are wheelchair-bound can move back and forth from chair to toilet.” Shingledecker reminds homeowners of the importance of heating and ventilation guidelines. “They are the keys to making a healthy, safe and comfortable bathroom,” he says. “Without proper ventilation, the resulting mold and mildew can negatively affect your health.” By following NKBA’s guidelines and securing the help of an experienced designer, you will end up with a functional and safe room. Now go decorate! v

KITCHEN Guidelines 1. Door/Entry The clear opening of a doorway should be at least 32” wide, requiring a minimum 2’ 10” door. 2. Door Interference No entry door should interfere with the safe operation of appliances, nor should appliance doors interfere with one another. 3. Distance Between Work Centers In a kitchen with three work centers, the sum of the distances should total no more than 26’, with no single leg of the work triangle measuring less than 4’ or more than 9’. Additionally, no work triangle leg should intersect an island or other obstacle by more than 12”.

4. Separating Work Centers A full-height, full-depth, tall obstacle should not separate two primary work centers. 5. Work Triangle Traffic No major traffic patterns should cross through the basic work triangle. 6. Work Aisle The width of a work aisle should be at least 42” for one cook and at least 48” for multiple cooks. 7. Walkway The width of a walkway should be at least 36”.

Swanx Fine Cabinetry and Interiors 512.809.6226 |

9. Seating Clearance 30” high tables/counters: allow a 24” wide x 18” deep knee space for each seated diner. 36” high counters: allow 24” wide x 15” deep. 42” high counters: allow 24” wide x 12” deep.

SA Home Designer 210.520.3100 |

8. Traffic Clearance at Seating In a seating area where no traffic passes behind a seated diner, allow 32” of clearance from the counter/table edge to any wall or other obstruction behind the seating area.

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


10. Cleanup/Prep Sink Placement If a kitchen has only one sink, locate it adjacent to or across from the cooking surface and refrigerator. 11. Cleanup/Prep Sink Landing Area Include at least a 24” wide landing area to one side of the sink and at least an 18” wide landing area on the other side. 12. Preparation Work Area Include a section of continuous countertop at least 36” wide x 24” deep immediately next to a sink. 13. Dishwasher Placement Locate the nearest edge of the dishwasher within 36” of the nearest edge of the sink. Provide at least 21” of standing space between the edge of the dishwasher and appliances/cabinets. 14. Waste Receptacles Include at least two waste receptacles, one near the sink and one for recycling. 15. Auxiliary Sink Include at least 3” of countertop on one side of the sink and 18” of countertop on the other side. 16. Refrigerator Landing Area Allow 15” of landing area on the handle side, or 15” on either side of a side-by-side refrigerator, or 15” no more than 48” across from the front of a refrigerator. 17. Cooking Surface Landing Area Include a minimum of 12” of landing area on one side of a cooking surface and 15” on the other side. 18. Cooking Surface Clearance Allow a 24” clearance between the cooking surface and a protected noncombustible surface above it. 19. Cooking Surface Ventilation Provide a correctly sized, ducted ventilation system for all cooking surface appliances. The recommended minimum is 150 cubic feet per minute. 20. Cooking Surface Safety Do not locate the cooking surface under an operable window or use flammable materials on window treatments. Locate a fire extinguisher near the exit of the kitchen, away from cooking equipment. Commercial cooking appliances should not be installed in residential kitchens. 21. Microwave Oven Placement The ideal location for the bottom of the microwave is 3” below the user’s shoulder, but no more than 54” or no less than 15” above the floor. 22. Microwave Landing Area Include at least 15” of landing area above, below or adjacent to the handle side. 23. Oven Landing Area Include at least 15” of landing area next to or above the oven. 24. Combining Landing Areas If two landing areas are adjacent to one another, determine a new minimum for the adjoining spaces by taking the longer of the two landing area requirements and adding 12”. 25. Countertop Space A total of 158” of countertop frontage, 24” deep, with at least 15” of clearance above, is needed to accommodate users, including landing area, work area and storage. 26. Countertop Edges Specify clipped or round corners rather than sharp edges. 58

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

27. Storage The total shelf/drawer frontage is 1400” for a small kitchen (less than 150sf ), 1700” for a medium kitchen (151-350sf ) and 2000” for a large kitchen (greater than 350sf ). 28. Storage at Cleanup/Prep Sink Of the total recommended wall, base, drawer and pantry shelf frontage, the following should be located within 72” of the centerline of the sink: At least 400” for a small kitchen, 480” for a medium kitchen and 560” for a large kitchen. 29. Corner Cabinet Storage At least one corner cabinet should include a functional storage device. 30. Electrical Receptacles Ground-fault circuit-interrupter (GFCI) protection is required on all receptacles servicing countertop surfaces within the kitchen. 31. Lighting In addition to general lighting required by code, every work surface should be well illuminated by appropriate task lighting. At least one wall switch-controlled light must be provided with the switch placed by kitchen entrance. Window/skylight area, equal to at least 8% of the total square footage of the kitchen or a total living space is required. BATHROOM 1. Door/Entry The clear opening of a doorway should be at least 32”, requiring a minimum 2’10” door. 2. Door Interference No entry of fixture doors should interfere with one another and /or the safe use of fixtures or cabinets. 3. Ceiling Height Bathrooms shall have a minimum floor to ceiling height of 80”. 4. Clear Space Plan a clear floor space at least 30” from the front edge of all fixtures (e.g. lavatory, toilet, tub and shower).

5. Single-Lavatory Placement The distance from the centerline of the lavatory to the wall should be at least 20”. The minimum distance for a freestanding or wall-hung lavatory is 15” from the centerline. 6. Double-Lavatory Placement The distance between the centerlines of the two lavatories should be at least 36”. The minimum distance between the edges of two freestanding or wall-hung lavatories is 4”. 7. Lavatory/Vanity Height The height varies between 32” and 43” to fit the user.

8. Counter Specify clipped or round corners rather than sharp edges. 9. Shower Size The interior shower size is at least 36” x 36”. 10. Tub/Shower Controls Shower controls should be accessible from both inside and outside the shower spray, and be located 38” to 48” above the floor, depending on user’s height. Tub controls should be accessible from both inside and outside the tub, and be located between the rim of the tub and 33” above the floor. 11. Water Temperature Safety Shower and tub control valves must be one of the following: pressure balanced, thermostatic mixing or a combination pressure balance/thermostatic mixing valve types. 12. Shower/Tub Seat Plan a seat within the shower that is 17”to 19” above the shower floor and 15” deep. The seat must not infringe on the minimum interior size of the shower (900 square inches). 13. Tub/Shower Surround The wall area above a tub or shower pan should be covered in a waterproof material extending at least 3” above the showerhead rough in. 14. Grab Bars Plan grab bars to facilitate access and maneuvering. Walls should be reinforced at the time of construction to support a static load of 250 pounds. 15. Glazing Glass used in tub or shower enclosures must be tempered. 16. Tub/Shower Door Hinged shower doors must open outward. Thresholds at the entry shall be no more than .5”. 17. Steps Steps should not be placed outside a shower. 18. Flooring Slip-resistant surfaces should be specified for the general bath flooring, shower floors and tub/shower bottoms.

19. Equipment Access All equipment, including access panels, must be installed as per manufacturer’s specifications. 20. Toilet/Bidet Placement The distance from the centerline of the toilet and /or bidet to any bath fixture, wall or obstacle should be at least 18”. 21. Toilet Compartment The size for a separate toilet compartment should be at least 36” x 66” with a swing-out or pocket door. 22. Storage Provide adequate, accessible storage for all toiletries, linens and bathroom supplies. 23. Accessories Place a mirror above or near the lavatory at a height that considers the user’s eye height. The toilet paper holder should be located 8” to 12” in front of the edge of the toilet bowl, centered at 26” above the floor. 24. Electrical Receptacles All Ground-fault circuit-interrupter (GFCI) receptacles should be located at electrical appliance points of use. 25. Lighting In addition to general lighting, task lighting should be provided for each functional area. At least one wall switchcontrolled light must be provided with the switch placed by the bathroom entrance. All fixtures installed within tub and shower spaces should be marked “suitable for damp/wet locations.” Hanging fixtures cannot be located within a zone of 3’ horizontally and 8’ vertically from the top of a bathtub rim or shower stall threshold. 26. Ventilation Minimal ventilation for a bathroom is to be a window of at least 3 square feet of which 50% is operable, or a mechanical ventilation system of at least 50 cubic feet per minute. 27. Heat A supplemental heat source such as a heat lamp, toe kick heater or floor heat should be considered.

These guidelines were developed under the guidance of the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) by a committee of professionals. A booklet detailing these guidelines, including illustrations, planning suggestions, code requirements and access standards, is available through the NKBA and can be can purchased at or, or Amazon and Barnes & Noble. They are also available as a convenient app through iTunes and Google Play. Copyright © 2012 National Kitchen & Bath Association Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio



Personalizing your space with



he monogram, which has been fashionable for centuries, is making a renaissance into home décor, and no longer just for the guest bathroom towels. Originally used by Greek and Roman rulers to mark currency, and later adopted by European aristocracy to designate ownership of any number of items from weaponry and armor to banners and coats of arms, today, furniture manufacturers and interior designers are incorporating monograms into rooms in new and fresh ways. Heather Harkovich of Heather Scott Home in Austin shared her thoughts on using monograms in her designs. “Monograms are a timeless and sophisticated way to introduce custom details into your home. While you may associate monograms with traditional design or an old-fashioned concept, monograms of today are very hip and modern. Monograms can be made with clean, crisp lettering as well as with bright, fun colors such as the one I am doing for a master bedroom in navy and wisteria on a bright white background in a casual, pique material.” Adding a custom monogram to upholstered furniture is the perfect way to create a statement piece in a room. Furniture manufacturers such as The Hickory Chair Furniture Company and Drexel Heritage® have several pieces that allow customization and the ability to incorporate a monogram on a chosen piece of furniture. Slipcovers are another perfect place to add some personalization and can be rotated seasonally, giving a homeowner the opportunity to change accent colors in a space throughout the year. Personalization isn’t limited to the realm of embroidery. Refinishing casegood pieces with decorative paint finishes and embellishing with a decorative monogram is another way to personalize a piece for your home. Harkovich adds, “With the variety of fonts and styles, monograms provide an affordable way to add an artistic flair to your space. Big letters can provide a big impact in a room for a small investment.” Catalogue and on-line home design sources like as Ballard Designs™ and Pottery Barn® are great resources for finding affordable monogrammed pieces such a pillows or even window treatments. It seems today that we are inundated with logos. Why not create one for yourself! With endless fonts, styles and colors available, adding a bit of personalization to your space has never been easier. v

P Courtesy of Drexel Heritage


“Monograms are

appropriate for all ages

and lifestyles. With the variety of fonts and styles, monograms

provide an affordable

way to add an artistic flair to your space. ”

Courtesy of The Hickory Chair Furniture Company

Heather Harkovich Heather Scott Home

Heather Scott Home 512.342.6899 | Ballard Designs | Drexel Heritage Furniture |

Courtesy of Ballard Designs


Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

Hickory Chair Furniture Company |

Specializing in residential design and renovations, M. Clare Design can help you bring your vision to life.

M. Clare Design


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Austin’s hottest call-in talk show, He Said – She Said Radio ‘Gettin’ It Done @ Home’ is now primetime Thursday night! Join us from 7 to 9pm every Thursday night on TALK Radio 96.3 FM & 1370 AM

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WEEK IN REVIEW – Current events were never this much fun in school! Hear He Said’s colorful commentary on Sports and Around the World. Take a look into the She Said mind for Entertainment, Lifestyle and the always Austin popular, Keepin’ It Weird! BISTROS & BARS – Have a favorite neighborhood restaurant you love? Submit your favorite restaurant, trailer, hole in the wall or bar happy hour, and if we have them on the show, you get a $25 gift certificate. Post your favorites on our Facebook page and tell us (1) what you love about them, and (2) why you think we should pick them to be on the show OR call the show and tell us live! “Which One Was No. 1” - Tune in each week and play along with our in-studio guests as we guess which song was the No. 1 song from the 1950’s to today - every year has it’s big hit. Test your music memory with

Call in numbers are

512.390.1370 or TOLL FREE


us! MARS vs. VENUS GAME SHOW – Alex Tribec move over! We’re gettin’ our game on with the fun, multiple choice game show where YOU call in and play with the host. If your side wins, you get a $25 gift certificate to the featured ‘Bistros & Bars’ restaurant. GETTIN’ IT DONE @ HOME – Have a product you want to know more about? A project that’s got you puzzled? Looking to create a Man Cave or She Den? Each week we invite guests who are knowledgeable in home-related subjects and anything else you tell us you want to hear about.


Think outside

the triangle! By Karen Matuszewski, By Design – Custom Home Consulting


e’ve all heard the basic rule about kitchen design — be sure your sink, cooktop and fridge are placed in a “triangle” pattern. While this is good advice, there is so much more to planning the most important room in the house. Whether your kitchen project is part of your new custom home or a remodel of your existing home, enlisting the help of a professional kitchen designer will be one of your best investments. Professional kitchen designers have specific training in the infrastructure necessary to create a functional, beautiful space. Just like using the services of a custom home consultant (yes, that was a shameless plug), working with a professional kitchen designer can save you time, money and frustration. Here are some important ideas not to be overlooked in the design planning stage. Simple planning ideas: 1. Hidden outlets. Are you tired of outlets breaking up your beautiful backsplashes? Under-cabinet outlets are a smart, simple plan-stage solution that prevent poorly placed outlets. 2. Hidden sponge storage in front of the sink. Use this often wasted space in front of the sink and banish the sink clutter — be sure to ask your cabinet maker to include this feature when you order. 3. Built-in dishtowel hamper. Today’s sleek kitchens have dedicated spots for dishtowels, both dirty and clean. More advanced kitchen ideas can include: 1. Two Dishwashers. For busy families or people who love to entertain, two dishwashers are in the “must have” category. 2. Two Kitchens. If your home has the popular “open kitchen” design, how nice would it be to have the “pretty kitchen” and then another “prep kitchen?” This room also serves as a laundry room, craft room and place to unload when you come home. 3. The Toys! Think beyond the “triangle” with appliances such as a wine fridge, steam oven, warming drawers and “Sonic®-style” ice maker, to name a few. Placement of these appliances is key. Kitchens are the “heart of the home.” We love to gather in them, eat in them, do homework in them, have heartfelt conversations in them and most of all, make memories in them. Want some great kitchen inspiration? Come out to the Southern Living Showcase Home from February 8-24. Located on the shores of Lake Travis, this home has great ideas for every room in the home. Get the details at v Until next time, have a question about the home building process? Call or email me, and you might find the next Custom Home Advice column written especially for you! 512.917.2653. Karen@


new products

Kitchen & Bath

2 1

1. Bradco Kitchens & Baths created its Slide N Hide — an expandable kitchen island with a hidden cook top. The Silestone quartz counter slides over to reveal the induction cook top and a pop-up downdraft vent. It’s a space-efficient solution for creating additional counter space. Bradco Kitchens & Baths. 323.937.6785, 2. Made in Japan with premium porcelain, Cuyana espresso cups are a combination of lightness and minimalism with just a splash of color. Cuyana.


3. Infinity Drain offers the only Site Sizeable linear drain, ideal for shower stalls, pools surrounds, patios, balconies, driveways and storm drainage. Made in USA. Infinity Drain. 516.767.6786,


4. Slim & Sage’s elegant European designs conceal the recommended proportions needed to build a sensible diet and reduce caloric intake by 59%: one-quarter of the 9-inch portioned plate is for lean protein, onequarter for whole grains and one-half is for vegetables. Slim and Sage. 5. The Emery metal-shaded fixture is an elegant nod to the past. The classic Americana styling adds a nostalgic flair to your home and provides ample lighting for all your daily tasks. Quoizel Lighting.



6. Daum is produced by the legendary, historic French art crystal atelier of the same name, and celebrated for its mastery of the pâte-de-verre technique. Using Old World techniques, crystal handles are hand made by artisans to display intricate detail, with no two alike and each piece signed. The pieces were inspired by classic hand carvings made from jade with popular Asian motifs. DAUM Collection. 7. The Seaweed Bath Co., based in Austin, Texas, is an innovative line of seaweed skin and hair care products created to fight dry, flaking and scaling skin naturally. Seaweed Bath Co. 877.317.3106, 8. Each Threshold canister includes a colored lid and comes equipped with a chalk palette for labeling. Target.


Urban Home Austin – San Antonio



Garden n Trends



gardener By Anne Marie Ashley

Wikipedia defines vertical gardening or a green wall as “a wall, either free-standing or part of a building, that is partially or completely covered with vegetation and, in some cases, soil or an inorganic growing medium.”


ertical gardening, green walls and living walls as they’re sometimes called, are structures that bring gardening “up.” It’s a space-saving strategy, often used in conjunction with urban gardening, that includes growing greenery, vines and sometimes plants up through supports and trellises on a fence or wall. The first green walls with integrated hydroponics were invented by Professor Stanley Hart White at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 1938. This concept was popularized by Dr. Patrick Blanc, a world-renowned French botanist and modern innovator of vertical gardening, who says that since more people are living in populated towns, they long for a connection with nature. Vertical gardening provides that connection. Many people opt for these types of gardens to save space or to beautify, but Melinda Myers, a nationally known gardening expert and author of over 30 gardening books, says that urban gardening can also impact a person’s health and environment. “Urban gardening can have a very positive impact on the individual and the community — individually by reducing stress and lowering blood pressure, environmentally by cleaning the air and storm water.” Myers also comments that edibles grown in vertical gardens are often found to be less disease-ridden because better light and air penetration means healthier plants, and green walls are showing energy savings as well. David Wilson of David Wilson Garden Design, Inc. in Austin often incorporates vertical gardens in his landscape designs, using his knowledge of plant materials that best suit our location. “When dealing with limited space or softening a blank wall, I first consider Creeping Fig Ivy as it typically would reach a density of three to six inches which I find to be very effective. Confederate Jasmine and Clematis are hearty evergreen options as well. Their small but fragrant blooms in late spring will tolerate full sun to low light. I have also had success with the lovely and highly fragrant Climbing Iceberg Rose (white).” 66

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

With tools and a variety of plants now readily available for urban and vertical gardening, it’s easy for beginning or avid gardeners to create a lush retreat in even the most limiting environments. v Dr. Patrick Blanc | Melinda Myers | David Wilson Garden Design, Inc. |

Courtesy of

A once white-walled, beige-carpeted upstairs bonus room dotted with folding tables piled high with craft supplies was transformed into a creative masterpiece when local artist Jaime Rubenstein called on California Closets to turn her colorful vision into functional reality. The result: an inspirational haven boasting bold colors and streamlined stations designed specifically for the artist’s various hobbies. California Closets’ designer Sue Bassett and owner/head instigator Daniel Siegel as well as Rubenstein, who played an integral role in the design, share what it took to convert a cluttered upstairs craft room into an imaginative and efficient art studio.

works WHY THIS


A look at this recreated space is inspiring in itself. Please describe what it looked like before so we can get an idea of how far this space has come. Sue Bassett: Before, this was an upstairs bonus room with plain white walls and beige carpet. The furniture was a mix of folding tables and rolling carts full of all her materials and equipment. She had pens and scissors and cutters and stamps and papers and brushes and paints and a computer and printer — this enormous amount of stuff spread out on these tables and filled inside of these rolling carts.


Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

What was the main goal of this project? Sue Bassett: The client, Jaime, wanted a super organized, very functional and beautiful space. It was really an attempt to have organized storage in an inviting space where she could work and spend her time.

Designer Spotlight: California Closets By Mauri Elbel | Photography by ALLISON CARTWRIGHT/TWIST TOURS

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


Tell us how you came up with the vision for your new space. Jaime Rubenstein: Growing up, my father owned a yarn store and my uncle owned a candy store and ice cream shop so I have always been inspired by color and texture. Between the two of them, I was bombarded by this world of color. But working with color, I also knew I wanted a basic theme because I would fill it with so many other colors from the ribbons and the bows and the knick-knacks. I just didn’t want the room to be overwhelming. I searched for and collected all those little bottles and jars and colorful fillings from places like Michaels, Archiver’s and I love using up every space; I hate to waste space. For example, I had these little jars with magnets on the back that hold all my little brads so we put magnetic stripping along the ledge of the desk. I love having all of them right there in front of me as I work. What was the biggest challenge of this project? Sue Bassett: Usually, a client has one or two or even three kinds of crafts. But Jaime has so many passions that the challenge was organizing the sheer volume of stuff she needed to accommodate so many various crafts. Jaime is an artist who works in so many different mediums — she paints, scrapbooks, sews, stamps, teaches art classes — there is such a variety of what she does and she’s often combining them together. My job was to sit down and talk with her to see what she wanted to accomplish and where she was willing to go to create the space. How did you accommodate all of her tools and supplies while maintaining such a clean look? Sue Bassett: We met the challenge of this project by creating stations and various sections for sewing, gift wrapping, painting, scrapbooking, card making, cutting and stamping. Basically, we

ended up designating different parts of the room to her various crafts. We made a traditional desk with cabinets and sliding shelves for her computer and printer. The island is positioned so she can see the television and it is also designed with an overhang so stools can be set up for students taking her art classes. She has ample area to store all of her paper and cutters for card making. She ended up using a nook with shelves where she can store all of her paints and brushes. We also created a dedicated area for storing jewelry making supplies next to the sewing area. There is a countertop area as you enter the room where she can set out refreshments during art classes. This space is such an obvious testament of the owner’s passions. How were you able to merge a creative vision with smart design? Sue Bassett: A couple of ways. One, from a functional standpoint, you need to categorize the different functions and plan spaces that keep those items together. That is the first step. Then, we really tried to make it visually pleasing. It is functionally efficient to be able to see and grab, but then it is also visually pleasing to have all those colors pop against the white background, which we did through a combination of open shelving and closed cabinets. Tell us about the color palette — a mainly white room with light floors, gray and black furniture, bold reds and vibrant artwork. Sue Bassett: Jaime is the artist and really had an eye for the color and the look she was going for. She chose bleached wood flooring. The high gloss white used on the countertops and surfaces gives the white space some pizzazz. The cabinets and shelving are white laminate. Jaime came up with the idea of the black and white on the island countertop which is a fun element. Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


I had shown her some of the Eco-resin cabinet doors and she chose the red Connection Passion design. From there, she chose to paint a red accent wall to bring that same color into the room. Having that pop of color in this space just makes the entire room so interesting and exciting; without it, I think it would be very bland and sterile. All the shelving holding jars filled with colorful embellishments also adds interest to the canvas of the white room, making it so fun and inviting. The space remains very streamlined and clean despite all the stuff. How did you achieve that? Sue Bassett: It’s about taking the time to really think through the different functions and try to create the spaces that will allow you to store and use those functions together. The reality is that not many people can devote this type of space to their crafts. But for someone who can dedicate a whole room, or even a corner of a room, the first step is organizing and grouping supplies and activities. As a designer, I always start with the functionality of a space. And only once I have the function resolved do I look at how we are going to make it pretty or dramatic or whatever your visual goal is. What can this project teach us about creating a dedicated space for your passions? Sue Bassett: This project teaches us not to be afraid to be bold. While going mainly white may seem super basic, you can make it really fun with just a few accents. The most fun thing about this project was Jaime’s creativity itself. She was really fun 72

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

to work with and had a vision. The advice I would give to people, besides ensuring the functionality of the space, is to not be afraid to put your own personality and stamp on it. This room is really Jaime’s room and it reflects her style and energy. What is the goal of this type of design? Daniel Siegel: Everything we do at California Closets is custom. It is so personal to each individual client and what they are trying to achieve. Whether it is this craft space for Jaime or a home office space or a pantry, everything is about harnessing a space’s true potential and designing those spaces to work to an incredibly high degree. We really help people bring their passions out through design. Compared to what it was before, how does this space function for you now? Jaime Rubenstein: I love the focal points of the room — especially having my desk in the middle. It is such a great nucleus because it allows me to move from project to project. For me, that is the best aspect of the room. I really enjoyed working with Sue and California Closets — she totally understood my vision, and California Closets was professional and went above and beyond to make sure I was a happy customer. I know when I walk into that room, I am always inspired. There is no comparison to what the old space was. I am so happy to have this new space. v California Closets 512.441.6061 |

Food n Design



By Claudia Alarcon

Austin and San Antonio boast several chefs of celebrity status who have chosen to suppor t and represent their respective cities with multiple restaurant concepts. Shawn Cirkiel of Austin and Andrew Weissman of San Antonio are two such chefs, whose creative drive and culinary talents can’t be tied down to a single cuisine. Delving in styles from Classic Italian and Bistro French to New American, oyster bars and upscale truckstop fare, their outstanding offerings have garnered them not only local, but national praise. But how can they keep on top of so many different endeavors? We talked to both chefs to find out their secrets on how they stay so busy while remaining productive, successful and happy.


Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


ndrew Weissman One of the most respected names in the San Antonio culinary scene, Chef Andrew Weissman has been a pioneer in introducing world-class cuisine to his native city. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, he cut his chops at famed restaurants in France and at the legendary Le Cirque 2000 in Manhattan before returning to start his culinary empire in the Alamo City. His first restaurant, Le Rêve, put San Antonio on the radar of nationally-renowned culinary publications and won the heart of food enthusiasts who still lament its closing. Weissman moved on to open two new projects, the upscale oyster bar The Sandbar and Il Sogno, featuring Italian osteria-style fare, and anchoring the development at the Pearl Brewery complex. He also owns Sip Coffee & Espresso Bar and is a partner in his family’s restaurant, Big’z Burger Joint. An average person would consider that a pretty busy schedule, but Weissman’s creative drive is strong. In early March, he plans to open Minnie’s Tavern at the historic building that formerly housed the popular Liberty Bar. He has stripped the building down to its original 1880s look, adding colors and decor elements from the era. He completely renovated the kitchen and bar, and added multiple taps for both beer and wine to match a traditional brasserie menu. Expect affordably priced casual French dishes like steak and frites, duck confit, house made pâtés, friseé salads, and the like. About a month later, once Minnie’s Tavern is up and running smoothly, he will finally open The Luxury, a project in which he has been working on for a couple of years and has been delayed by a number of logistical and permit issues. This unique concept, located on

hawn Cirkiel One of Austin’s most creative and established restaurateurs, Chef Shawn Cirkiel has been immersed in the business since childhood. His family owned a restaurant, and he became comfortable in the kitchen from an early age, holding a couple of entry-level positions around town. He went on to graduate with honors from the Culinary Institute of America, and then worked at the prestigious Cafe Boulud in New York and at the Napa Valley restaurant of vintner Domain Chandon. He returned to Texas to open his first business in 2000, purchasing downtown’s Jean Luc’s Bistro with his family’s backing. He has been feeding discerning diners since then, and continues to amass national accolades as he grows his gastronomic empire. After closing Jean-Luc’s, Cirkiel went on to open his widely acclaimed, casually sophisticated Parkside on Austin’s historic 6th Street, featuring his unique style of New American cuisine. He followed up with The Backspace, a tiny Neapolitanstyle pizzeria just around the corner, serving authentic artisan pizzas, draft local brews, and a small but carefully selected wine list. His latest venture, Olive & June, pays homage to family-style Southern Italian dining in a modern yet comfortable setting that is uniquely suited for al fresco dining. Despite overseeing three completely different restaurants, Chef Cirkiel finds time to share his knowledge and enthu74

siasm through community service. His passion for cooking local and seasonal led him to become a founding chef of the Sustainable Food Center’s Farmers’ Market Downtown, and his innovative style earned him an invitation to cook at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City. He’s also a member of the Nutrition and Health Board for the Austin Independent School District’s Highland Park Elementary, where he has helped build healthy-eating and gardening programs, as well as a board member and secretary for the Sixth Street Austin Association. “There are several challenges with overseeing multiple restaurants,” says the chef. “It can be difficult when it feels like I need to be in three places at once. However, I have a great team of people working for me who I trust and who help me balance it all. They help guarantee that my philosophy is met at each restaurant, even if I can’t be there. And that means that, no matter what, everyone should leave Parkside, The Backspace, and Olive & June happy.” As busy as his schedule is, Chef Cirkiel continues to find his work rewarding and exciting. Lunch service just started at The Backspace, and Olive & June hosts a weekly Sunday Dinner, with a changing menu served family-style. “Each of my three restaurants presents me with different experiences and joys. I get to cook for new people every day and work with diverse ingredients. No two days are the same, which is a very satisfying pace for me. It also helps that I love what I do, so that makes it easier to cope with whatever challenges may arise.”

the Museum Reach of the Riverwalk, is an outdoor restaurant consisting of four retro-fitted cargo containers. It will combine a relaxed, backyard atmosphere with a refined white tablecloth aesthetic, and feature a menu that focuses on what’s described as “high end cargo cuisine,” alongside fine beers, wines, champagnes and desserts. How, you may ask, is all this even possible? “The challenges are infinite,” says the ambitious chef, “from human resource issues like managing over 100 employees, to minutia like maintenance, to splitting up my time and finding balance in my daily life between work and family.” For Weissman, it’s all about taking an idea and running with it, from coming up with the concept to seeing it come to fruition. And he has done it, quite successfully, time and time again. “The satisfactions outweigh the challenges, by far,” says the chef. “At the end of the day, it’s the reason I do it.” If you have not had the chance to visit these fabulous restaurants, we urge you to do so at your earliest convenience. v Shawn Cirkiel Parkside / The Backspace/ Olive & June / Andrew Weissman Il Sogno / The Sandbar / Sip Coffee & Espresso Bar / Big’z Burger Joint / Minnie’s Tavern / 328 E. Josephine, San Antonio 78215 The Luxury / Coming soon! Top Left Photo: Fried Ravioli from Olive & June Courtesy of chefs Shawn Cirkiel and Steven Cak Photo by Carrie Ryan, Sweet Louise Photography Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


Combine almonds and flour in a food processor. Pulse until almonds are finely ground. In a large bowl, mix together almonds, flour, salt and sugar. Add the melted butter and mix until evenly distributed. Bake at 350 degrees for 16 minutes or until it starts to get golden in color.

Osso Buco

Courtesy of Chef Andrew Weissman Veal Shanks, cut 3” thick, 1 case Onions 4, small dice Carrots 4, small dice Celery 4, small dice Garlic 3/4 cup, sliced Canned Tomatoes 2 cups, hand-crushed 1 cup liquid from Canned Tomatoes White Wine 1 bottle Bay Leaves 3 Fresh Oregano, Salt, and Pepper Season veal and sear in large rondeaux. Remove from pan, and sweat sofrito in rondeaux. Return veal to pan, along with remaining ingredients. Add enough water or chicken stock to cover. Cover well and roast in a 325 degree oven for 2 1/2 hours.

Ricotta, Whipped Ricotta 1000g Sea Salt, fine 20g Simple Syrup 100g Heavy Cream 1 qt Gelatin Sheets, Bloomed 3 ea Bloom gelatin sheets in ice water. Combine ricotta, salt, simple syrup and half of the cream in a bowl and mix together until homogenous. Place the gelatin and the other half of cream in a bowl and put over a water bath. Gently heat the cream until the gelatin dissolves. Add your gelatin/cream mixture to the rest of the ingredients and mix until homogenous. Let the mixture chill in the cooler for two hours. For serving, whip the mixture by hand or in a mixer until you reach stiff peaks.

STRAWBERRIES AND RICOTTA Courtesy of Steven Cak, Pastry Chef for Parkside, The Backspace and Olive & June

Almond Cake Almond Paste 3750g Eggs 1875g Butter, softened 945g Flour, all purpose 225g Almond Flour 150g Vanilla Extract 2 tbsp Soften the butter or beat it in a mixer with a paddle and remove. Put the almond paste in the mixer with a paddle and mix until soft; no lumps! Slowly add eggs and vanilla extract; do not break batter. Add softened butter and mix until homogenous. Add both flours and mix until just incorporated. Use a piping bag to fill a set of 3 inch hemisphere non-stick molds. Fill approximately two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Make sure a cake tester comes out clean. Once the cake is cool, trim the bottom so the hemisphere rests flat on the plate. Almond Soil Almonds, whole 300g Sugar, granular 250g Flour, all purpose 175g Salt 15g Butter, melted 205g 76

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

Photo by Carrie Ryan, Sweet Louise Photography

Strawberry Puree There isn’t an exact recipe for this. It depends on the time of the season and the strawberry. The strawberries will always vary in sugar content, acidity, etc., so this is where your inner chef and palate will be put to the test. 1. Taste the strawberries to determine how much sugar to add. A little extra acid in the form of a lime, lemon or vinegar will really make the strawberry flavor come forward. 2. Dice the strawberries, sprinkle the desired amount of sugar over the top and let rest for 30 minutes. This will draw out the natural juices in the strawberries and dissolve your sugar. 3. Transfer strawberries and their juices to a blender. Process until you form a puree. Strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove any seeds. 4. Taste the puree. Adjust with sugar or acid.

Plating Cut fresh strawberries into desired shapes such as disks, melon balls, standing up, etc. Pick the small tips off of one bunch of basil for garnish. Place the almond cake offset from the center of a 12” round plate. Pipe the ricotta around part of the almond cake and continue a wavy line across the plate. Fill the spaces with almond crumble and strawberries. Place the basil leaves sporadically along the wavy ricotta line.


Courtesy of Chef Andrew Weissman

Embracing and Enhancing Tradition By Bonny Osterhage | Photography by Kelton Morgan

T Mascarpone 3 qts Egg Yolks 24 Sugar 27 oz Egg Whites 12 Heavy Cream 3 cups Espresso, chilled 2.5 qts Lady Fingers 10.5 bags Add ½ cup of the sugar to the espresso while it still is hot, to dissolve sugar. Divide the rest of the sugar into 3 parts. In a mixer, cream the yolks with one part sugar for 10 minutes, and then mix with mascarpone in a large bowl. Wash the mixer with soap and water, dry thoroughly, then whip egg whites with one part sugar, until stiff peaks form. Fold whites into mascarpone mixture. Wash mixer thoroughly, and whip the cream with the last portion of sugar, until stiff peaks form. Fold into mascarpone mixture. Assembly: Spread a thin layer of mascarpone on the bottom of three half-hotel-pans. Quickly dip lady fingers, two at a time, into espresso, and shake excess espresso off, then make one layer of lady fingers over the mascarpone. Make sure the lady fingers are close together, and go all the way to the edges of the pan. Cover with one layer of mascarpone, then repeat with one more layer of lady fingers. Cover with one more layer of mascarpone, and smooth out. This should use all of the mascarpone, and completely fill all three pans. Cover tightly and refrigerate immediately.

he year was 1958. Gas was 30 cents a gallon, the average cost of a new home was approximately $18,000, and, at a new Mexican eatery on Broadway called La Fonda, you could enjoy the “Ladies’ Special” plate for just $1.10. To celebrate their 55th birthday, on March 9, La Fonda Alamo Heights in San Antonio, under the direction of new owners Hans and Amy White, will recreate their original menu, complete with original pricing. So while you can no longer get that 30 cent gallon of gas, for one day only, you can still get a delicious “Ladies Special” for just $1.10 as well as all your La Fonda favorites for less than the cost of a gallon of milk! “We thought this would be a fun way to thank our loyal customers, without whom, we wouldn’t have stayed in business for more than five decades,” says White. “This is as much their day as it is ours.” What else is new? Well, healthy Mexican food may sound like an oxymoron, but at La Fonda Alamo Heights, lighter, and even gluten-free options, are showing up on a menu famous for gooey cheeses, rich sauces and fluffy flour tortillas. “Today’s customer is more health conscious,” states White. “We want to offer those customers options that allow them to enjoy all the great taste of Mexican food, but without all the calories or harmful ingredients.” Additionally, the Whites have created a menu of light bites and finger foods, rolled out some new cocktails, upgraded the wine, beer and liquor offerings and created new Happy Hour specials. In short, they have raised the bar at one of 09’s best loved eateries. “Our goal is for the bar to be a place to come for a drink and a snack either pre or post party, movie, Alamo Heights football game and other events,” says White. “We want it to be a place where people come to meet their friends and hang out a while.” v

La Fonda Alamo Heights 210.824.4231 | Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


Fabulous n Finds


Liz Lambert Properties

By Jackie Benton

Hotel San Jose

There’s no place like home — or your home state — especially when it comes to getting away from it all. Forget about creating a travel itinerary and shy away from those boring, cookie cutter hotels. Book a boutique hotel, and get ready for an experience tailored to your own particular tastes. Hotelier Liz Lambert of Bunkhouse has crafted her four unique Texas getaways to satisfy every whim and desire. Nestled in locales ranging from the high and lonesome to chic urbane cityscapes, all of Lambert’s creations offer experiences perfectly suited to scratch any travel itch. 78

Hotel Saint Cecilia

Hotel Havana

El Cosmico

AUSTIN Hotel San Jose 512.444.7322 Photography by Allison V. Smith Deep in the heart of Austin’s famous SoCo district, the San Jose serves up fierce Austintatious attitude like no other. Originally an ultra-modern motor court in 1939, the Hotel San Jose was popular with families visiting the capital city. As Austin changed over the years, so did the San Jose, as it slowly fell into a state of disrepair that saw the hotel being used at various times as a brothel, a bible school and a seedy “by the hour” flophouse. Enter Lambert, whose eye for design appreciated the hotel’s original Spanish Colonial architecture, and saw the possibilities. The Hotel San Jose became the first, and some would argue, her best known, property in her destination boutique hotel empire.

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

Together with the San Antonio architecture firm Lake/ Flato, Lambert was able to transform the San Jose from dumpy dive to star-quality destination. Fresh and fabulous, guests of the San Jose can step out of their room and walk the green gardens and granite pathways, or spend the afternoon relaxing in the garden or on the porch. Guests can choose from a variety of suite options from the

San Jose’s 40 rooms with their designer mid-century furniture, luxurious custom sheets and bathrobes and Malin + Goetz bath products. Many of the guest rooms have private balconies, and some feature bathtubs. Bike rentals are available to explore other Austin must-see attractions. Enjoy modern amenities such as iPod rental, flat screen TVs with DVD players and complimentary high speed WiFi,

or go old school by writing that novel Raymond Chandler would be proud of on a vintage typewriter while enjoying the San Jose’s signature Michelada. The San Jose’s well-stocked wine bar is a popular hangout for both hotel guests and Austinites alike, and during SXSW is a definite “see and be seen” locale. Equally popular is Jo’s Coffee that shares the parking lot with the San Jose, and serves up fresh homemade baked goods, sandwiches and coffee drinks. Hotel Saint Cecilia 512.852.2400 Photography by Allison V. Smith Just a stone’s throw from the Hotel San Jose, the Hotel Saint Cecilia is a smaller, more intimate space. If the San Jose is the colorful, bold sister that everyone knows, then the Hotel Saint Cecilia is the quiet, sensitive sister that everyone wants to know. Tucked away within the residential neighborhood Austin’s exclusive Travis Heights, the Saint Cecilia’s white quaint Victorian structure and its surrounding buildings belie the treasures within. But don’t be fooled by its quaint looks — the Saint Cecilia’s exclusive 14-room accommodations allow its staff to tailor their guests’ vacation experience into something fantastic. Lambert opened the hotel in 2008, and aptly named it for the patron saint of music, wisely choosing a location that is within a few minutes walking distance of bustling South Congress with its raucous clubs and restaurants, but itself is a secluded oasis of quietude. Guests can stay in one of the hotel’s five distinct suites, six poolside bungalows or three studios on the private wooded property. All accommodations are decorated in Lambert’s signature style: a finely selected pastiche of antique and modern furnishings inspired by the Sixties and Seventies, as well as original artwork. And, in honor of the hotel’s namesake, each room features a turntable, from which guests can spin any records of the hotel’s extensive vinyl collection. Small wonder, then, that the hotel named for the patron saint of music is a big favorite with those visiting Austin, the Live Music Capital of the World. Guest amenities include free WiFi, iPod sound system, flatscreen television and DVD players in each room such as you

might expect in a lavish property such as this. But the small surprises that delight the eye, mind and taste buds make the Saint Cecilia just that much more special: the library of films, books and vinyl, the free bicycles to help explore the capital city, the lap pool with its lounge furniture that invites you to curl up poolside with a good book after your swim, the hip’n’cool lounge with its cocktails that would make a mixologist swoon, and the in-room mini-bar that offers an international flair: assortments of cheeses, chocolates, cookies and caviar from around the world. Saint Cecilia even ups the ante by kicking the mini-bar experience up to a whole new level, inviting its patrons to indulge in more than just an appreciation for exquisite comestibles. Each room comes with its own spa mini-bar to create a personal in-room spa experience, using whatever high-end bath products to delight the senses, with payment made for any products used upon check out.

SAN ANTONIO Hotel Havana 210.222.2008 Photography by Allison V. Smith Evocative of the sultry Cuban city for which it was named, Hotel Havana originally opened its doors in 1914, and has the distinction of being listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The hotel enjoys a prime location on San Antonio’s famous Riverwalk. Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the more touristy areas, Havana is within easy walking distance of popular attractions such as the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, the Pearl Brewery area and other Riverwalk restaurants and bars. Renovated and reopened by Lambert in 2010, each of the hotel’s 16 queen rooms and 11 king guest suites possess a quiet, simple beauty. Distinct touches throughout the establishment, such as plantation shutters and wrought-iron bed frames, pay homage to the hotel’s Latin roots. Urban Home Austin – San Antonio



Small Budget,

Big Impact

By Cathy Coneway, Chairman, Austin Board of REALTORS®

As much as Hotel Havana invites patrons to take a step back in time, they are also free to enjoy modern amenities: wireless internet access as well as local and long distance phone calls are complimentary. In-room entertainment options include iPod connections. Other pampering features include Red Flower organic luxury bath products and each room features a mini-bar fully stocked with local foods and drinks. No description of the Hotel Havana would be complete without including a mention of the hotel’s recently restored bar and restaurant, Ocho, with two locations — a full restaurant and bar with indoor and outdoor seating along the river, one located in the Havana’s basement. Ocho offers a relaxed atmosphere that makes it the perfect place to escape for a romantic rendezvous, complete with candlelight, chaise lounge seating, and Pan-Latin-inspired dishes and drinks.

MARFA El Cosmico 432.729.1950 Photography by Eric Anderson Far from the beaten path in Marfa, Texas, El Cosmico celebrates life by tuning in to cosmic cowboy vibes and up-energy. Although it has only been open since fall 2009, Lambert’s venture has quickly built a solid group of devotees who fiercely love El Cosmico’s lonely setting in the 80

Urban Home Austin – San Antonio

middle of the Chihuahuan Desert. A vacation destination like no other, El Cosmico is an eclectic mashup that could best be described as a rodeo gypsy musician art caravan that stopped in the middle of the desert and became a community. But trying to describe this artistic and eclectic property only limits the possibilities, and as one might guess from its name, El Cosmico defies limits. Cosmic creatures visiting El Cosmico will have their choice of staying in a vintage trailer, safari tent or teepee — or for the truly adventurous, Lambert allows you to pitch your own tent on her campground. El Cosmico’s 18 acres were designed in a creative collaboration that saw Lambert’s vision combined with the Imagineering of architecture firm Lake/ Flato and Jack Sanders of Design Build Adventure, which employed green building practices to create a sustainable and environmentally conscious community: the property features solar heating tanks to provide warm water for showers and baths. Lambert’s vintage trailers all feature marine varnished birch interiors and highly eclectic artful furnishings from India, South America and the Middle East. All trailers feature private kitchens and baths, while several feature outdoor tubs or showers. An outdoor kitchen facility and bath house is provided for teepee and campground guests. Technology takes a back seat here — none of the rentals come with television, phone or WiFi, although free WiFi is available in El Cosmico’s lounge area. The result is a space that welcomes adventurers, artists and writers who want to embrace the wild beauty of West Texas. Those who love the arts will appreciate El Cosmico’s close-in location to Marfa, as it is within walking distance of the famous world-renown Chinati Foundation museums as well as art galleries. Additional events and creative workshop retreats crop up throughout the year. v


sk any REALTOR® and you’ll hear that the kitchen and bathroom are the two most important rooms for most prospective home buyers. Fortunately for home sellers, they’re also the two rooms in your home where a little truly goes a long way — no need to knock down cabinets, purchase pricey appliances or pull up floors to make a big difference. If you can’t afford a complete overhaul of your kitchen or bath, don’t worry! There are multiple cost-effective projects homeowners can do themselves to transform these key spaces in just a weekend. Upgrade Plumbing Fixtures – Nothing offers more “wow” for the dollar than installing a new faucet, showerhead or sink. Because your kitchen and bathrooms focus around these fixtures, upgrading them will make an entire room seem new. The same can be said for lighting fixtures. Update Accessories – Small changes such as replacing cabinet and door knobs, drawer pulls and outlet covers can give your room an entirely new style in an instant. They’re also cheap — according to the DIY Network, the average kitchen can be outfitted with new accessories for as little as $150. Recaulk, Regrout – Many times, it’s not the tub or sink that needs replacing — it’s the caulk and grout around them. A new caulk seal will make your bathroom seem bright, shiny and new, although tile grout can also be bleached or tinted in a variety of colors to bring a tile wall or floor back to life. Refinish Cabinets – It’s a little labor-intensive, but refinishing or repainting your cabinets makes a dramatic impact. If you don’t feel like putting in the work and have a little more budget, consider refacing your cabinets — replacing cabinet doors but leaving the actual cabinets intact. The average kitchen can have all-new cabinet doors installed for around $1,000, but can have the new look for much less if you do it yourself. Add a Backsplash – Once messy and time-intensive, tiling a backsplash is now an easy do-it-yourself project that adds function and glamour to a space. Sold attached to sheets of mesh to ensure correct spacing, small glass or ceramic tiles in elegant patterns can be applied quickly and without the stress or mess. Think you can’t make a big impact on your kitchen and bath with a small budget? Get ready to do a double-take. With just a weekend, a trip to a local home improvement store and a little elbow grease, you can make an enormous difference in your kitchen and bathrooms, not your wallet. v


Houston Antique Dealers Association


Austin NARI 512.997.NARI

NARI San Antonio 210.348.6274


Schroeder Flooring & Carpet Specialists 512.462.1551


California Closets of the Texas Hill Country Austin: 512.441.6061 San Antonio: 210.829.1991


Trim-A-Slab 512.943.7655


By Design Custom Home Consulting 512.917.2653


Christopher Voss – 4th Generation Craftsman, Inc. 210.843.4332


Catrina’s Ranch Interiors 830.755.6355 / 210.535.3070

Copenhagen Contemporary Furniture & Accessories San Antonio: 210.545.4366 Austin: 512.451.1233 Scott + Cooner Austin: 512.480.0436 Dallas: 214.748.9838


Austin Generator Service 512.251.2247 / 800.288.5582


Anchor Ventana 512.388.9400


Urban Home Austin – San Antonio


Granite Transformations Austin: 512-834-2500 San Antonio: 210-599-2500 QDI Stone 512.832.0500 Synergy Granite 512.784.3213


Foursquare Builders 512.944.4520 Greenwood Custom Homes 210.723.7233


Austin Countertops 512.835.5100 The Bath & Kitchen Showplace 512.454.4619 Countertop Valet 1.888.50.VALET Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery Austin: 512.445.5140 San Antonio: 210.344.3013 KIVA Kitchen & Bath Austin: 512.454.4526/800.856.4488 San Antonio: 210.826.9652/800.846.9652


Morrison Supply Company 512.928.1110

David Wilkes Builders 512.328.9888

Pearson Landscape Services 512.386.5900

CG&S Design-Build 512.444.1580

Dylan Martin Homes & Remodeling 512.692.9212 J Angelo Design Build 210.882.6263 N House Design & Build 210.650.3233 Realty Restoration 512.454.1661


Bella Villa Design 512.443.3200

Dawn Hearn Interior Design 512.930.0250 M. Clare Design 512.202.6659 Panache Interiors 512.452.7773



Lights Fantastic 512.452.9511


BBQ Outfitters 512.347.1988

Cozy Outdoor Escapes 210.276.0734

Dylan Martin H O M E S & R E M O DELI NG

At Dylan Martin Homes, quality construction doesn’t just refer to the finished product, but the process getting there. We pride ourselves on open communication and giving you, the homeowner, all the information and tools to bring you the end result you desire.

HomeField 830.626.1971


Austin Board of Realtors Phyllis Browning Company 210.824.7878

WINDOW COVERINGS & AWNINGS Texas Sun & Shade 512.402.0990


512.692.9212 O | 512.350.1088 C

Urban Home Austin-San Antonio  

February/March 2013

Urban Home Austin-San Antonio  

February/March 2013