An Austin Couple Turn a Ranch Home Into a Refreshing Live/Work Space

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By Jenny Xie
Architects Frank and Megan Lin revitalize an uninspiring 1960s ranch home, forging a connection to the outdoors and creating a space for their design practice.

When the husband-and-wife team behind Austin-based Co(X)ist Studio set out to remodel their 1962 ranch-style house, they wanted to update it to suit their modern lifestyles—as well as demonstrate the design sensibilities of their young firm. Tucked in South Austin’s Sherwood Oaks neighborhood, the original home was dim, compartmentalized, and disconnected from the outdoors. Architects Frank and Megan Lin opened up the floor plan, created an addition, and built an expansive back porch, using several reclaimed materials in the process.

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In the new, unobstructed living area, a sliding glass wall allows the dining room to flow onto the back porch, which also has access to the guest room and master bedroom. A cut-out in the canopy accommodates the branches of a crepe myrtle tree, whose presence provides extra shade in the Texas heat. The design encourages the cross-ventilation of air and draws in daylight, reducing the electrical load of the house.

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The architects split the addition, creating a Y shape that separates the master bedroom from the other bedrooms for privacy. The split also creates a corridor that brings in more light and elevates a previously lackluster space. They also converted the garage into the studio office—the perfect place to meet with clients and immediately invite them into a space that embodies their architectural practice.

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