One of our developer clients came to us with the hope of turning a slightly dilapidated mid-century house in the Northwest hills of Austin into a home for him and his wife. Entering the 'empty-nester' stage of their lives, the Owners wanted to focus on a home for their needs: a large kitchen, open living room, home office, well-suited master suite and a large dining room to accommodate their growing family dinners. The existing home is nestled into a grove of mature live oaks, and the Owners loved the idea of the house 'spilling' out into the shade of their generous backyard. To accommodate their program, Design Hound demolished the existing fireplace and pushed the rear of the house further back. By doing so, the kitchen and living room could be extended and a master bath could be added to the existing rear bedroom. The roofline was offset and raised five feet to peak above the 20 seat dining room, maximizing views of the tree canopies through large framed windows from the living room and kitchen. Salvaged planks of roof sheathing were reused to clad the vaulted ceiling that runs continuously from inside to the large cantilevered back patio supported by back-to-back steel angle columns. The natural grain and knots of the ceiling offer a contrast to the sleek colored lines of the mid-century modern inspired, painted millwork pieces set against reclaimed brick. An outdoor living area with a cast-in-place concrete lounge and adjacent outdoor kitchen settle in just below the trees while grass works its way through the gapped paver pattern. The koi pond, a life-long dream of the Owners, extends from the back of the living room and provides dappled reflections and subtle sounds that never fail to relax.
interiors | Christen Ales
landscape | Greig-Percy Collaborative
photography | Merrick Ales
Round Top | Phase I
This project is the first phase of a Master Plan that was created for the Clients in 2015. After purchasing the first portion of their property which contained a modern one-story home, pool and two simple guest cabins approximately 200 yards away, the Owners were able to acquire the adjacent parcel which was separated by a creek prone to flooding. As they used the property more and more, the family realized they wanted a compound where their entire extended family would be able to come together for weekends, holidays and celebrations. However they needed more room for sleeping and, more specifically, a place for the younger crowd to stay up a bit later and enjoy the rural setting. A large 2-bedroom guest home with a kitchen and living area was proposed adjacent to the existing guest cabins. This guest home, with all of its modern conveniences, is the anchor serving both the resulting courtyard created from the 'L-shaped' assemblage of buildings and the existing guest cabins. It will no longer be necessary to trek over to the main house to refresh a drink or grab a snack. Additionally, the reverse trek back to the cabins with campfire-light dancing off of the white stucco in the distance will now be seen as the beginning of the evening in lieu of good night.
At the Main House, Design Hound had to contend with the Texas sun. An existing rear porch and pool just off the southwest face of the main house proved to be entirely too hot for most of the year. By extending the wooden deck to encapsulate the existing pool and installing a wood and steel trellis with varying spacing between its shading members overhead, the design team was able to accommodate multiple users throughout the day. Solar analysis was utilized to provide shade/comfort both in the pool and on the deck for those more prone to sun-sensitivity while simultaneously catering to the sun worshippers.
*construction scheduled for 2017
This collection of single-family homes on a steeply sloping site in the Travis Heights neighborhood of Austin, Texas combines dense urban infill housing with a level of privacy normally associated with single-family homes. Each unit, completely detached from the others, contains a two-car garage [plus an adjacent covered parking space for guests], living area, kitchen, dining room, powder room, a bedroom with its own bath, a master suite, a mezzanine opening out to a private roof deck and an elevator connecting all floors. The City of Austin’s compatibility setback along the north end of the site ensures that each owner will have visual and physical access to green-space as it spills into the living room via large floor-to-ceiling windows. A stair of patterned tile risers and a vertical slat wood screen/guardrail connects to the second floor before rising further to the mezzanine and roof deck. The second floor, which cantilevers out to shelter the front door and adjacent guest parking space, contains strategically placed rooms and windows that balance views out while minimizing views in. The materials associated with the exterior façade, warm wood tones, bright stucco and yellow steel window-boxes, take on the task of being artistic compositions for the occupants to enjoy as they come-and-go from the development. Design Hound arranged the spaces for efficiency yet certain opportunities inherent in the design, like reimagining the staircase as a lightwell cascading daylight onto the lower levels from the roof-mounted skylight, create an understated elegance.
*construction scheduled for 2017
The clients for this modern farm home just outside downtown Athens, Texas requested privacy from the street and neighboring church, an internal connectivity between the occupants and public spaces of the house, and a modern courtyard. Rather than developing a conventional front façade with private back yard and side yards, Design Hound took advantage of the elevated hilltop and grouping of trees towards the street and rotated a typical house plan 180 degrees, locating the courtyard and pool at the front entrance. Flanked by a simple gable shaped garage and carport to the right and the children's' bedrooms to the left, the courtyard with central pool and outdoor kitchen flows into the interior common spaces of the kitchen and dining room. Thus the space between the two masses becomes the control center of the home where the watchful eyes of the adults maintain a visual connection to every element of their home as their kids move about freely. Carefully located windows throughout the house provide view corridors between the control center and elements beyond. The master suite [where the entire family ultimately converges at night to read books together] is reached via passing by ceiling-height bookcases and intimate reading nooks. A private courtyard for the parents is accessed through the master hallway where strategically placed walls block the hot Texas summer sun and offer views to the trees beyond.
*construction scheduled for 2017
Hyde Park Addition + Remodel
Some historic neighborhoods in Austin have a stringent set of design guidelines - such is the case for Hyde Park where Design Hound was asked to design a first and second floor addition to a historic home. Locating the first floor living and dining rooms and second floor bedrooms at the rear of the house, allowed the owners to maintain the original design of the front façade while growing the footprint to accommodate a more modern floorplan. The north and east sides of the addition mimic the regular window spacing of the surrounding historic homes while the west side has minimal windows providing privacy from the close neighboring apartment house and balcony. A simple but elongated gable continues the language of neighboring historic roof slopes and provides double height space within the living room that is accented with a skylight, dormer and carefully placed mirrors that capture sunlight within the space. A pop-out in the dining room cantilevers over the side yard, while a second pop-out porch from the living room provides additional privacy from the apartment building next door and shelter for the family’s dog. The existing master bedroom with an entry from the kitchen was reconfigured with a more secluded entry and hallway off the living room and a privacy wall that extends upward highlighting a new skylight.
A long-time developer/general contractor client brought Design Hound two side-by-side lots in the Crestview neighborhood of Austin that he had recently subdivided from a single larger lot. Instead of going vertically to maximize square footage on the narrow-but-deep properties, he hoped to develop single story, 3 bedroom, 3 ½ bathroom homes with single-car garages. The north-facing lots are interspersed with heritage trees so the design team began by threading the program through and around the lot with more trees while always considering the front elevation of both units as a merged composition. Traditional gabled and hipped roof forms were modified for visual interest while blending with the neighboring properties. The resulting front elevation of each house has its own recognizable identity while sharing common themes of material and form, thus avoiding the ‘cookie-cutter’ approach of similar developments. For the more limiting lot of the two with multiple heritage trees restricting the length of the front façade available for entry, a side entry courtyard beneath a trellis was created to provide the main access point for the house. Rather than entering at a pinch-point in the front with the rest of the house continuing down a long corridor running alongside the garage, one enters under the shade of a beautiful oak and into the heart of the house. Beneath a vaulted ceiling, the open kitchen, dining and living areas lead either to the right for the garage and office [with its own entrance accessible from the front of the house] or to the sleeping quarters to the left. In the second home, the layout is similar, but the house could expand more along the front so visitors enter just off of the dining room with kitchen and living areas visible beyond. The mainly white stucco homes have been ‘carved out’ to reveal cedar siding at the front around the garages and off of the living room where an additional cantilevered steel trellis provides shade in hot summer months.
interiors | Christen Ales
photography | Merrick Ales
Deerfoot Trail | Remodel + Pool House
A longtime client on Deerfoot Trail approached Design Hound to execute a multiphase addition and remodel project at their home. The scope included adding a pool, guest house, landscape improvements, outdoor kitchen and remodeling their kitchen and children’s bathrooms. The sloping site upon which the existing mid-century modern home sits is covered in live oaks which the client wanted to maintain. After a careful review of the tree and topographical survey, the design team developed a schematic design that would allow for storm water to wash around the ‘L-shaped’ house instead of get trapped by it, and provide a pool anchored by a corner guest house. The roof of the existing home was extended to the rear to increase coverage over a deck and outdoor kitchen. The kitchen within was refreshed with cabinets, appliances and countertops, and wood flooring was installed throughout the entire home. The children’s bathrooms were updated with clean lined yet playful finishes to suit each child. Though the exterior work was designed to match the materials and colors of the existing home, a few high-design touches like flocked blue wallpaper were dispersed within the house to bring forth a sense of the Client’s ‘rock-and-roll’ preferences.
exterior photography | Ryan Farnau
interior photography | Jessica Pages
This 19 unit multi-family development consisting of townhomes and duplexes abuts the southwest corner of Mueller in East Austin. The Dutch-inspired gable roofs of Avion Parktie into the residential feel of the adjacent neighborhood and satisfy the strict height limitations imposed by the City of Austin’s Capital View Corridor regulation. Additionally, the visually strong aesthetic chosen by Design Hound allows for added volume within the 2nd floor spaces due to resulting vaulted ceilings. A simple, natural palette of white stucco, wood and dark bronze roofs and windows tie each building together creating a cohesive and subdued aesthetic which carries over to the interior. Concrete and wood floors, dark wood cabinets, white tiled bathrooms and light-colored solid-surface countertops create residences that are spa-like and secluded while large expanses of glass connect each unit to the surrounding trees and greenery.
landscape | Greig-Percy Collaborative
exterior photography | Merrick Ales
interior photography | Brian Cole
Having met Kevin when she was Chef de Cuisine at the first restaurant he designed back in 2003, the Owner of this Tarrytown home hoped that he could aid in remedying some spatial issues in her family's home while updating the master suite. After analyzing the existing layout, Design Hound determined the floorplan could be maximized by shifting one wall associated with the master bedroom’s underutilized sitting area and allowing the master bath to absorb an adjacent hallway bathroom used by their young son while creating a dedicated bathroom off of his bedroom. The sitting area was repurposed as a new bathroom off of their son’s bedroom and as an individual closet for the husband. This solution took advantage of unused space, solved storage issues for the husband and gave their son a more convenient bathroom location. With some minor shifting in the master suite and the wife's closet, the master bath became more spacious with room for a 2-sink lavatory, make-up counter adjacent to natural light and large walk-in shower. Carrara marble countertops cap the walnut built-in cabinets and the shower bench. Grey and white patterned concrete tiles run from under the lavatory and into the shower providing a touch of visual interest. Meanwhile, their son’s bathroom contains a light-colored palette of textured white tile walls, playful penny round tile floors and light-gray millwork.
photography | Molly Culver Photography
52 Waller | Duplex
Located in the heart of Central East Austin, Design Hound was hired to aid a developer and his interiors firm in designing a two-unit rental that would appeal to high-end clientele. The simple double-gabled form serves as a powerful identity and allowed for a focus on design-elements and details that are usually missing from similar projects. A gabled roof form cantilevers over the first floor brick mass creating a covered front entry and back porch. The second floor contains sleeping quarters with large windows and elegant baths. The skylight lit staircase leads to an attic loft that extends from the front of the building to the back and includes a subway tile lined bathroom tucked into an adjacent side-gable. An extensive knowledge of the City of Austin's stringent McMansion Ordinance and its associated exemptions was required in order to maximize the square footage of the project and subsequently, the Client's return on investment. Each three bedroom, 4 1/2 bath unit sleeps up to ten guests and is often rented for weeks at a time by corporations wishing to have a home base during many of Austin's conferences and festivals such as SXSW, Austin City Limits, and Formula 1. While this was designed with high-end in mind, it was specified and constructed in a cost effective manner allowing the Client to begin generating a profit within a year of use.