June 16, 2024


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Home & Design Awards Readers’ Choice

The finalists for Austin Home’s inaugural Home & Design Awards, presented by Keller Williams, have been determined, and winners will be announced in the Spring 2021 issue of Austin Home—but there’s one winner left to be finalized: Readers’ Choice for Best Overall Home.

Below you’ll find photos and descriptions of the finalists in five categories: Architecture – Modern | Up to 3,500 square feet, Architecture – Modern | More than 3,500 square feet, Architecture – Traditional | More than 3,500 square feet, Interior Design – Modern, and Interior Design – Traditional. (Architecture – Traditional | Up to 3,500 square feet did not receive any submissions.)

Scroll through the houses and then vote for the one you think is the Best Overall Home. Good luck narrowing it down—the competition is fierce.

Voting will remain open through Dec. 31, and you’re eligible to vote only one time so make it count!

Have questions about the Home & Design Awards? Click here to learn more.


Belmont Park

Tim Cuppett Architects

Located on the bank of Shoal Creek, one of two primary waterways traveling through Austin to the Colorado River, Belmont Park consists of two weathered Douglas r clad volumes which rise above the creek from a flush limestone plinth. The wood volumes are connected by a transparent living room bridge which spans a cavern carved into the limestone plinth. From the motor court one chooses to enter the house across an elevated walk-way to the front door or descend by stair into the stone cavern to a covered porch and private entry below. Water captured from a natural uphill spring, mechanical condensate lines, and roof runoff flows through a runnel along-side the descending stair. The man-made canyon-scape and waterway celebrate the natural current of life to the creek below.

Interior volumes echo the simplicity of the house, scaled for intimate family gatherings, and focused into the tree canopy which shades the site. Interior finishes consist of a continuation of Douglas fir, distinguished from the weathered exterior by a lye finish, juxtaposed against blackened steel, hand-made ceramic tiles, and spare inserts of marble and brass.

The crisp rudimentary geometry of the house stripped of ornament, made of weathered natural exterior materials, and similar but finer interior finish reflects a marriage of the Owner’s tastes; his affection for a rustic ranch-like aesthetic and her affinity for a more polished, refined language.

Photo Credit: Whit Preston

Camelot New Build

BANDD Design

The clients were looking for help with selecting all of the material finishes in their new home, as well as furnishings throughout most of it. They really wanted a down-to-earth space that felt comfortable for entertaining but still special and unforgettable. They let us play with many textures, colors, and wallpapers to create a home that was really unique but still very true to who they were as a family. The homeowners wanted their space to have a modern farmhouse feel to it, so that theme greatly influenced my decision process for selecting materials.

Photo Credit: Molly Culver

Canopy House

A Parallel Architecture

The design employs a large canopy structure, economically constructed but carefully proportioned and detailed, to provide for a series of outdoor living spaces arranged around a large central courtyard. The home’s roof canopy and overhangs are configured to take advantage of optimal solar orientation and prevailing breezes, while the building footprint is carefully threaded between the towering oak and pecan trees to maximize beneficial seasonal shading. Opposing low slung sleeping wings run parallel with the north and south boundaries, providing sanctuary to a long series of terracing lawns, gardens, courtyards, and a glassy central living space. Wood clad bridges house kitchen and dining program while the thin, structurally expressive canopy structure oats over the lower roofs and offers deep cover to the front entry and western facing rear patio. A second canopy structure occupies the southwest corner of the property, its deep overhangs sheltering the pool and lawn from the intense setting sun. Given the hot Texas climate, these deep shaded patios with generous connections to the indoors are enjoyable year-round and nearly double the amount of living space in the home.

Photo Credit: Casey Dunn

Hemlock Avenue House

Chioco Design

The materials are kept simple and edited. The exterior facades are entirely of a warm beige modular brick with the exception of the Ipe screen walls that enclose the entry courtyard and the western red cedar on the storage room at the rear most part of the home. Ground concrete oors throughout help to blur the lines from inside to out. All the millwork and wall panels are of vertical grain White Oak. White marble was used for countertops, backsplashes and as a major element in the Master bathroom and walk-in shower. There are also some tile accents in the mix at the kitchen and bathrooms.

The home features four custom fabricated fourteen-foot-tall corner windows. These windows maximize the views out into the landscape and through the house. Adding to that and natural light levels are four sets of wood sliding doors made by Quantum. The plan is essentially two overlapping rectangles that meet and connect in the corners (ref. plan drawing). At this connection is the main entry through two sets of the sliding doors. Instead of entering at the front façade Chioco wanted to approach the entrance through a private courtyard. The “front” door is actually situated in the center of the home. Upon approach, the transparency of the sliding door systems reveals a layered eect through the house and into the backyard and pool area.

At just under 2000 square feet the home feels and lives much larger due to thoughtful planning. The entry courtyard and the covered patio and pool are perceived as extensions of the interior spaces, creating outdoor rooms. When the Austin weather permits, the entire home can open up making for a true unencumbered indoor-outdoor experience.

Photo Credit: Casey Dunn

House on Taylors Branch

Mark Ashby Design

This art filled, modernist home underwent a dramatic interior and exterior transformation opening up to Taylor’s Branch, a quiet inlet o of Lake Austin. The dining room doubles as an elegant conference space with a hidden stainless steel pull-out white board for meetings. Exquisite materials, furnishings, and art are revealed upon entry and are set in dialogue with the natural environment beyond. Much of the fabrics, rugs and cabinetry are custom, bespoke and handmade in such a way as to also stand as their own works of art. A Cabinet of Curiosities in the lower level den houses an assortment of natural and historical objects–special finds of an avid collector that extend beyond fine art.

Photo Credit: Douglas Friedman

Inglewood Residence

Mark Odom Studio

Inglewood Residence is a 2,400 square foot light-filled home designed with a circulation sequence centered around various courtyards. The existing trees were integral for design, both in terms of site preservation and heightening the relationship between the interior and exterior. The size of the house is subtle, staying sensitive to its residential location.

An abundance of floor to ceiling windows line each space. Terraced zones are created internally to strengthen the interior programming as well as maintain visual perspective. A continuous brick wall acts as a spine, showcasing the north-south axis of the house, while also connecting each space.

In response to the homeowner’s deep appreciation for mid-century architecture, quintessential design and construction elements were included such as vertical windows set deep into masonry walls, constant views into lush courtyards, exterior materials used on the interior, indoor planters, slatted screen walls, and custom terrazzo floors.

Photo Credit: Casey Dunn

Ladera Norte

Sarah Stacey Interior Design

This newly constructed home was designed by a local architect, who we had the pleasure working with to create a fully customized home for our clients. This family of five, with three young boys, had a very precise style in mind, but remained open-minded to complete this minimalistic modern scheme. We enhanced the limited pallet of white, black and oak by varying textures throughout the home. Materials were carefully considered to perfectly match the intended undertone, which was the biggest challenge since nature doesn’t predictably produce materials. The tones in both the limestone master bathroom and the natural looking stain for the cabinets took months to get just right. We went though countless batches of limestone to find just the right undertone.

Additionally, unique touches were added by creating a customized floating white oak vanity in the guest bathroom, custom wood pulls in the master bathroom/closet and black finger grooves in the kitchen cabinets. This modern house came together very sleek and chic.

Photo Credit: Molly Winters

Ledge Mountain Residence

Cornerstone Architects, LLP

Designed for family life and entertaining, this transitional home sits on a large sloped site with stunning northwest hills views and nature trails running along Bull Creek. Following the contours of the land, the home was designed to maximize natural lighting and take full advantage of the vistas beyond and features a beautiful indoor/outdoor living area that extends to the pool. While keeping privacy in mind, the recessed entry with steel and glass front doors leads into a light and airy two-story foyer highlighting views to the back. The home’s clean lines and simple forms with timeless aesthetics, combined with warm interiors and material selections give the home an aura of true approachable luxury.

Photo Credit: Shade Degges

Onion Creek Farmhouse

Geschke Group Architecture

This Farmhouse presented a unique challenge in that the primary views were from the front of the house. As such, we needed to design a house where both the entry and the primary outdoor living area faced the same side. The house perched on a slight hill that captured the views to a large eld in the distance and overlooked the pool in the front yard. We designed a large outdoor living area that turned a corner for maximum view exposure and defined seating & dining areas. Using natural stone with a light mortar smear, reclaimed wood columns and beams and exposed rafters, the outdoor living area creates a cozy “old world” feel. Tall sloping ceilings with exposed rafters emulate a “barn” feel that creates an organic and welcoming feel.

The interior spaces also emulate a barn with wide open spaces that ow into each other, creating seamless connections that mitigate wasted spaces and hallways. The use of reclaimed timbers on the inside dene spaces such as dining areas and entryways, and reinforce the look or a timeless authentic farmhouse. Windows that extend to the floor contributes to the “indoor-outdoor” connection that ties this farmhouse to the land.

Rosewood Residence

Cornerstone Architects, LLP

This project began with an existing dilapidated house in Central East Austin next to an empty lot and an old Baptist church. The City of Austin determined that the home was not historic and could, therefore, be removed. With a great location within walking distance to popular downtown restaurants and bars, it was imperative to capitalize on the site’s downtown views. The design also needed to respect the style of the neighboring historic homes. The resulting program created a “C” shaped hill country style house with a landscaped courtyard and pool in the middle. This allowed for views to the exterior backyard throughout the home with walls of glass windows and doors for easy access. A roof deck on the third level captures a stunning view of downtown. The design incorporates the use of a variety of natural materials. The living room and kitchen ceilings are sinker cypress, which is dug up from creek beds that have been known to lay on the floors of local creeks for hundreds of years. The ceiling in the master bedroom is made from old whiskey barrels, still with a hint of whiskey when installed, while a natural grass cloth covers the bedroom walls. Natural white oak wood cabinets compliment a black matte granite in the kitchen. The design team collaboration resulted in a comfortable, unique, and relaxing home near the heart of downtown.

Photo Credit: Ryann Ford


Dick Clark + Associates Architecture + Interiors

Initially, this speculative home began as a conversation about how the vast majority of its current market in Austin seemed forced and without real design thought. Coming from the custom residential mindset, our challenge in completing this home became raising the overall quality of the home, as well as the quality of life for a client whom we may never meet.

Using two simple and elegant forms, we added a sense of discovery from the moment you step on the property – from the entry sequence that envelopes you in a visual, tactile experience, through to the floor plan that opens up to engage the landscape. The material palette on both the exterior and interior of the home are warm, traditional materials, but used in a reductive and contemporary way – edited, but still luxurious. The result is a modern aesthetic, without being too cold.

On the exterior, the use of wood, brick and stucco relate the house to other traditional homes in the neighborhood, but the forms provide a radical departure. On the interior, thick slabs of quartzite, black woods, lacquer, and steel are offset by the exposed brick wrapping in from the exterior. Door and window locations have been strategically placed and given top priority on this infill lot – not only for bringing in comforting and dramatic natural light, but for framing perspective outward and elevating privacy from the neighboring homes.

This challenge of creating something above and beyond the norm was realized by taking those aspects that everyone appreciates in a true custom residential and then designing it into a more universal way, so that everyone and anyone can attach to it.

Photo Credit: Dror Baldinger

West Enfield Pattern Patina

Liz MacPhail Interiors

Our clients had recently moved into this brand-new, custom home with their existing furniture, collected over the years. The large room proportions made their furniture feel doll-sized and overwhelmed in the space – and the crisp white walls and “newness” left it feeling cold and sterile. In our first meeting, we discussed the need for “color, pattern and patina,” as well as properly scaled furniture. We replaced the dining room chandelier with a bigger, more visually arresting fixture and paired it with a bold, over-sized, custom-designed dining table. Both additions gave the pass-through dining room more of a presence between the open kitchen and living room. In the living room, we added bold art by an Austin artist, hung over large, antique, apothecary storage pieces flanking the massive replace for scale, patina and pattern. We drew our color palette from the clients’ existing vintage Heriz rug but again balanced the scale by layering it over a bigger sisal rug and added a second leather sofa and a pair of over-sized arm chairs to complete the seating arrangement. A giant, blue-velvet ottoman with removable tray serves as the coffee table. The bold blue-green family room, o the living area, was re-concepted as a multi-use, family- friendly space with a game table, built-in bench seating, comfortable sofa and practical storage. The couples’ primary en-suite bedroom is a calming respite with canopy bed, vintage bedside tables and rug and a comfortable reading spot by a brass embossed leather front credenza. In the entry, we hung art by another local artist and vintage pieces sourced on e-bay, paired with a vintage runner – all to set the stage for the pattern, color and patina to come. A bold wallpaper in the stairway hints at the fun, kid-focused areas upstairs and once-again tones down the expansive white-walls.

Photo Credit: Andrea Calo

Vale House

Furman + Keil Architects

Set in a family-friendly residential neighborhood on the west side of Austin, the exterior of this house presents a simple gabled stone volume. The stone mass forms a backdrop to the animated trunks of a stand of live oak trees. In contrast to the relatively closed and private stone exterior, the interior is open and flooded with light, with thin steel windows framing an interior courtyard anchored by another specimen oak.

Interior spaces are composed by the relationship of intersecting volumes, enlivened by the play of light on surfaces, and defined by crisply detailed millwork rendered in a restrained palette of blond woods, stone, and blackened steel.

The client’s ideal kitchen functions as the heart of both everyday life and social occasions. The freestanding limestone wall bisects the bedroom wing and the kitchen, creating a scene for entertaining while concealing the storage with carefully detailed white oak cubbies. Waxed steel binds the stone with the millwork to create a cohesive element. Beyond the kitchen is a courtyard space wrapped with glass to display the activity within.

A Hemlock wood ceiling oats over the kitchen, punctured by a large skylight that illuminates the quarter sawn white oak cabinets and quartzite honed countertop. Stained concrete floors reflect light into the space and brass fixtures accent the warm materials. The locally sourced limestone is a reminder of the exterior and that the home is sited in the heart of Texas.

Photo Credit: Dror Baldinger



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