Jesse Griffiths, the Chef and Owner of this one-of-a-kind establishment located in East Austin, is the original ambassador of farm-to-table dining within Texas. The restaurant is a physical representation of Jesse’s philosophy regarding food sourcing, prep and seasonal eating. The front of the space, with low ceilings and white-washed walls, is an homage to the small town country stores that are an essential part of historic American vernacular. It houses the butcher case and a custom 4'x10' pecan butcher block table where bakers prep pies while nearby the butcher breaks down daily protein. Eliminating the wall between front-of-house and prep/back-of-house created a truly transparent dining and butcher shop experience. The transition to the rear of the space ramps up to the main dining area with vaulted wood ceilings and dark blue accents of wood trim and button-tufted upholstery. Steel and brick create the perfect backdrop for the chef's line with a wood-burning grill and bar while the meat rail, installed by Design Hound, runs from the walk-in cooler along the cookline/under the hood and to the butcher area. Seating along the chef's counter and intimate bar are dominated by views of the open fire and various stages of meal preparation. Beyond the main dining room, the outdoor patio is enclosed by a trellis covered in native Texas mustang grapes providing shade from the Texas sun and a visual break from the adjacent parking lot. The patio’s outdoor kitchen can be utilized for daily service or booked for private events like wild hog roasts.
photography | Ryan Farnau and Molly Culver Photography
L'Oca D'Oro is a restaurant that evolved from a pop-up dinner series developed by front of house expert Adam Orman and self-taught chef Fiore Tedesco. Their focus on family, each being fathers, and their heritage, both from upstate New York, is apparent in their interactions and relaxed demeanor. They tasked Design Hound with developing a space that would create memories of great family meals and welcome gatherings that focused on food and interactions among guests. Taking on the challenge of creating a nostalgic restaurant in a corner retail space with existing 20' tall glass and aluminum storefront windows, the design team developed a sense of intimacy in a tall space by developing a “wallpaper billboard” at the bar perimeter drawing attention from the outside while maintaining visual warmth for the customers. Upon entry a long wooden bar creates a peninsula wrapping around the kitchen and focusing the guest’s attention on the wood-fired hearth centerpiece. The interior then transitions to the barrel-vaulted dining room backed by a hand-plastered Tuscan blue wall [installed by Fiore's mother] with different plantings lining a high shelf and hanging in front of the storefront windows. The park and trees across the street, which the vault directs patron's eyes to, combine with the interior plantings to eliminate the visual appearance of the existing storefront windows. Views to the kitchen and prep areas abound at the bar area and through windows from the dining room. A pasta making room, visible throughout the day from the dining room, transitions to a private dining space during evening hours.
landscape | Urban Patchwork
photography | Molly Culver Photography
Indian Trail Residence
The design of this home located in the Tarrytown area of Austin, Texas was tasked with being modern and sophisticated but also timeless. The Owners, concerned with the appearance of the house from the street and its relationship to their neighbors, did not wish to live in a glass and steel box, nor did they wish to live in a modern interpretation of a previous architectural style. Design Hound reduced their analysis of this house down to its base elements: the facade with its associated entry, the roof, and the interior experience of the Clients. By focusing on these as elements to be stripped down, examined and then re-formulated, an interesting roof form [containing the second floor bedrooms, bathrooms, and living area without it appearing as such from the street] and front facade began to develop. This formology and the associated materials of white stucco and charred wood Shou-Sugi-Ban siding were carried throughout the house. Though the front facade is an elegant composition, it restricts views to the interior of the house providing more privacy for the couple. The front yard views are limited by a large heritage tree outside the kitchen window box[which becomes a framed piece of living art from the interior}] and a white-lacquered wall behind the entry door. Once inside, the window placement consisting of large expanses of glass, hidden clerestories and windows along the lower portions of the rooms invites massive amounts of indirect light. Exterior views are directed to specimen plants around the perimeter of the house and mature oaks in the distance while shielding the neighbors. A large 10'x12', 3-panel sliding glass door opens up to a covered deck off of the living room into a secluded courtyard. Walnut, marble and white oak appear throughout the house and play off the accents of artwork personally curated by the Owners. The master wing with a study and private media lounge can be completely separated from the rest of the house during large family gatherings with a hidden pocket door in order to further the idea of home as sanctuary.
landscape | Linda Balagia Landscape Designs
general contractor | The Muskin Company
photography | Merrick Ales and Molly Culver Photography
TBD Post Production
Most Architectural firms focus on the technical/infrastructural requirements of a quality post production office. For this project however, Design Hound noted that in addition to the technical requirements, the process of editing involved long hours for both the editors and their clients in dark, quiet rooms. As such, the resulting new office for TBD Post Production focuses on creating comfortable editing suites and individual offices that facilitate client interaction and solve the technical issues invisibly. Additionally, the public break area and kitchen are combined into a hospitality driven gathering space equivalent to a private club. One of the glass and steel screen walls of the adjacent conference room slides open to expand the space for larger gatherings and community events. A large photographic panorama of the northern boundary waters [an homage to one of the Owner’s favorite places] combines with steel, glass, wood and leather to provide a connection to the materiality and spectacle of the natural world - which is a welcome respite from eight [plus] hours behind a computer screen in a dark room.
Contigo Ranch | Hotel + Event Center
After working with the Owners of the Contigo and Chicon brands in Austin, Design Hound was introduced to Frede Edgerton and his wife, the originators of the Contigo brand. They had recently relocated to a ranch north of Fredericksburg, Texas that had a replica Old West town including a row of old west buildings previously used as shooting ranges, a dining hall containing a commercial kitchen with hotel rooms above and a replica Alamo building tucked up against the caprock at the north end of their property. Believing the existing 'town' could be utilized as a boutique wedding event center with on-site lodging, a rarity in the picturesque limestone hills around Fredericksburg, the group brainstormed on how best to utilize the existing buildings to accommodate the needs of a wedding venue. The westernmost unit of the Old West buildings was transformed into overnight accommodations for the bride's parents with the remaining buildings becoming overnight suites for guests, each clad in white clapboard siding with accents of the same material inside, large patio windows overlook the hill behind them. The existing front deck and its multiple shed roofs that ran along the front of the Old West town was simplified into a single sloped roof providing shelter and areas of shady communal gathering in front of each suite. The private sheriff's office was converted into a groom's suite. The ‘Alamo’ building was converted into multi-purpose space that could accommodate covered outdoor brunches, cooking classes, or bridal space. The saloon building was cleaned up and expanded to combine the existing indoor space with a newly added covered outdoor area to ensure that any event would be exceptional, rain or shine.
interiors | Ann Edgerton
photography | Mark Menjivar
The industry veterans behind J. Black’s and the Golden Goose bar, Ashley and Sean Fric, realized that the options for them to have a night [or day] out with solid cocktails and even better food was becoming more and more difficult since starting a family. So they relocated away from the nightlife destination of downtown Austin to East Austin where the dearth of nearby options for family dining became too important to ignore, so they decided to use their expertise to create a solution. After many late-night discussions regarding the ‘feel’ of their new establishment, they kept arriving at memories of the wonderful times Ashley had spending time with her quirkily and amazing Aunt Colleen while growing up in Houston. Ashley, and subsequently Sean after meeting her, knew that she would not be the strong, fun, independent wife/mother/friend she had become without those hours spent amongst Colleen’s company and her collections of knick-knacks and ad-hoc in-home art installations. Therefore, this casual, family-friendly restaurant and bar was to be an homage to Aunt Colleen. After all, what is a great restaurant without fantastical inspiration? Ashley and Sean showed up at Design Hound with pages upon pages of photos of Colleen’s unique house, and we talked for hours about Colleen and their hopes for the restaurant that would soon be located in their neighborhood. Our office poured over the images with fascination, hoping to glean some design cues that would honor Colleen while giving Ashley and Sean a restaurant they would love. The resulting project, located on the corner site below the new Alamo Drafthouse in the Mueller Development of Austin, will utilize accents of green and brass and create a playful but elegant space for everyone to enjoy elevated comfort food and a drink or two. To achieve just enough privacy for a truly enjoyable meal or date-night, the open-concept dining area is broken into smaller spaces with millwork elements that display a curated assemblage of Colleen’s collections. A dramatic Cy Twombly inspired custom wallpaper adds depth to the space, and the glass enclosed private dining room and its wedding photo wall (another inspiration from Aunt Colleen) provide a place to enjoy a large group meal without pretension. Clerestory windows and a glass backbar, where shelves act as shutters, allow controlled sunlight to enter the space and minimize glare. Small design touches like a screen made of Colleen’s collection of teacups, slightly embellished ceiling medallions around flush-mounted lights, and inspirational quotes taken from Colleen’s pin-up board transcribed on the green steel columns further the personal touches that are so dear to Ashley and Sean. A large outdoor bar area just off the entry and visible to anyone heading into Mueller via the main entry, is anchored by painted planters and a picket-style fence. Lastly, a ‘To-Go’ window just off the outdoor bar will cater to pedestrians looking to grab a coffee or picnic lunch to enjoy in the park just to the south.
*construction scheduled for 2017
Emmer & Rye
Tasked with converting a new aluminum and glass enclosed storefront space into a Chef/Owner driven restaurant on a limited budget, Design Hound utilized a strategy of insertion. The space itself was broken into areas that would work together to accomplish a warm and inviting space that directs the patrons attention to the food from the time its creation begins in the open kitchen to the moment it arrives on their table. A wood-clad soffit levitates over large white tiles lining the walls of the kitchen and bar areas. The tile runs above the pass at the kitchen and terminates just as the private dining area begins, creating a visually clean transition from open kitchen to dining. A custom 12 foot steel and wood shelving unit separates the bar and large communal tables from the dining room. It's multi-purpose functionality provides an area for display of the Chef's personal cookbooks and inspirational items, provides storage for smallwares and subsequently offers glimpses between the adjacent spaces. Within the dining area, booths are clustered around towers of masonry with long-armed sconces hovering overhead. A turn-of-the-century tent manufacturer was tasked with creating the operable curtains that can enclose the private dining room, where the subsequent folds of shadow and light soften the space. Specifically curated for the space, massive natural-edge slabs of Cottownwood at the bar, communal tables and communal lavatory, bring a contrasting light-colored wood tone to the darker tones of the restaurant. A bi-level wooden deck with built-in seating abutting planters filled with herbs is accessible just off the entry. It's open-air feel under 100-year old oaks and adjacency to the small garden utilized by the Chef reminds patrons of the farm-to-table ethos that pervades the restaurants mission.
kitchen equipment | Tine Design
photography | Ryan Farnau
Though originally developed as a spec home for one a developer client, a passerby saw renderings of the Laurelwood home and purchased it prior to construction. Placed toward the front of the site to provide privacy for the backyard and its pool, the design is comprised of a main gabled structure containing the 'lived-in' spaces intersected by a low-slung stone mass containing the garage and utility spaces. The intersection of the two masses at the entry results in a two-story courtyard with ivy-covered walls, views of the sky and dappled light transmitted through the gapped, honed stone and the adjacent, slatted, pivot-gate. Though not similar in formology to its predecessors in Latin and African architecture, the entry courtyard is a design element that has long intrigued Design Hound. Utilized properly, it softens the physical transition from exterior to interior and imbues an inherent sense of privacy upon the occupants. Once inside, the prevailing white interior, with its shiplap textural elements and white oak millwork, are the perfect backdrop for accents of tile and furnishings. A floating wooden staircase offers a vertical transition steeped in the adjacent greenery via a two-story window wall. The open L-shaped floor plan wraps around an exterior patio and pool while providing views to the mature live oaks lining the property. An outdoor kitchen, fire-pit and expansive tree-covered lawn, allow the Owners to continually enjoy the entire property, not just the home, on a daily basis.
interiors | Christen Ales
photography | Merrick Ales
A repeat client, the chef and owner of The Peached Tortilla, approached Design Hound about reimagining a home he and his wife were considering purchasing in the Rosedale Neighborhood of Austin. Aside from a pleasant living area just off the entry, there was an overall lack of flow within the home that chopped up the living experience, cut off natural light, and made the home feel smaller than it was. The design team focused on opening up the house while maintaining the existing footprint. By connecting the living, dining, and kitchen areas, the livable area of the home increased dramatically. Additionally, the reconfigured layout provided a wonderful amount of natural light via a skylight in the kitchen and a large glass door to the backyard. A clean palette of white paint and tile along with wood floors throughout the home are balanced with navy painted millwork paired with accents of black and brass. The master suite was expanded to accommodate a larger bathroom and closet. The patterned black/white cement tile and black fixtures within the master bath add a touch of sophistication without overpowering the space.
photography | Molly Culver Photography
The last of three re-concepting projects for Cherry Pie Hospitality Group, Star Fish was a transformation from a casual dining to a seafood focused neighborhood restaurant. As is often the case with newer strip-centers, such as the one that this space is in, the interior lacked personality and the large expanses of storefront at the base of the building and high up clerestory windows presented a challenge. By looking at formology normally associated with the East Coast and Cape Cod specifically, Design Hound placed a gabled ‘roof’ within the front of the space. This element, in conjunction with exposed cross-bracing, created a residential feel for the patrons in the dining room below. Whitewashed wood siding, black-and-white patterned tiles and black accents including the button-tufted upholstery create the perfect backdrop for custom teal bentwood chairs and artwork with brass lights. White marble and brass-framed mirrors adjacent to a glossy green accent tile elevate the bar experience while the aquarium adds a bit of playfulness. A Private Dining Room is separated from the main dining room by frosted glass and steel sliding doors for a more intimate meal away from the energetic main dining area.