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
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.
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
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
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
East Austin Hotel
This approachable boutique hotel will be located off of East Cesar on a site that currently houses a disparate collection of three buildings consisting of a derelict hair salon, retail space and apartments [the 2nd floor corner unit was the on-screen residence of East Dillon quarterback Vince Howard, played by Michael B. Jordan on Friday Night Lights]. The main challenge for Design Hound lay in incorporating the program [12 hotel rooms, restaurant, bar/lounge, pool, and back-of-house spaces] within the existing buildings with a unifying aesthetic. By taking advantage of the site's existing 'courtyard' style layout, the pool and bar/lounge take center stage with remaining elements shielding this inner sanctum from pedestrian and vehicular passersby. The material choices favor natural elements: wood, raw stucco, steel and glass create a neutral palette that fades into the background as attention is focused on the central courtyard as gathering space. Landscape elements bring nature to the forefront, reinforcing the idea of pool as oasis. Smaller, more intimate, gathering spaces are scattered throughout the courtyard and within the restaurant. Large operable windows behind a painted steel screen wall, allow glimpses within but maintain a level of privacy expected by the clientele.
*construction scheduled for 2017
Design Hound was contacted to spearhead the re-branding efforts of a local restaurant to assist in bringing it more in-line with their other, more approachable restaurant Contigo. The Owners had determined that even though the existing award-winning space was consistently recognized as one of the most stunning restaurant designs in the nation, it was failing to connect with patrons. After analyzing the layout, the extremely limited time-frame (the construction work needed to be completed within the two weeks of SXSW) and the minimal budget, Design Hound consulted with the Owners, the interior decorator and key personnel that would be responsible for executing the final vision. A strategy of maximizing impact through minimal effort was developed and utilized as mission statement to guide all decisions as the start of construction approached. Built-in elements were removed along with portions of walls to create a more casual dining experience. Views into the restaurant, previously limited, were established to create a link between the more relaxed, neighborhood-friendly concept and its community. This same process of selective demolition was used to remove a wall separating the bar from the dining area, allowing the energy of the bar to flow into the dining area. The existing back-bar shelving was painted, turned on its end and relocated to the adjacent kitchen entry. Cedar accents, an aesthetic element from the Owner's other restaurant, were introduced at the bar shelving, bar face, tabletops and a long-built-in banquette along the back wall. With the final touches of replacing the existing austere pendant lights with exposed-filament style bulbs with cords swagged to the ceiling, adding splashes of color via blue-grey painted wainscoting, pillows made from Mexican blankets, new planters and furniture, the transformation into Chicon was complete.
interiors | Ann Edgerton
photography | Molly Culver Photography
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
The Brewer's Table
After multiple visits, the potential of the site off of East 5th Street in Austin and the beauty in the bones of an abandoned 5,000 square foot Quonset hut were realizes. Design Hound took advantage of the multiple elements of the complicated program [micro-brewery, giant climate-controlled oak foeders for aging beer, an open-kitchen revolving around an 8' custom wood-fired grill, and an 'elevated' Brewer's Table for special events]. Though contradictory at first, these elements began playing off one another and gave shape to the restaurant within its extruded semi-circular housing. As the functional aspects of the design were further resolved, opportunities to modify the building in accordance with its new identity arose. Elements of wood and exposed steel became the visual breaks the space needed in conctrast to the texture associated with the existing building. Large expanses of glass disappear at the threshold between the bar. The covered outdoor dining area connects the dining room to massive wood foeders that age beer for blending into proprietary, limited-release beers. Simple decorative elements of festoon lights and aging barrels provide a nod to beer halls. If lucky enough to be invited, patrons ascend a bent-steel plate staircase and look out over the action below while dining at the actual 'Brewer's Table.'