A tight construction budget informed the choices Sean Guess made as he designed a house for a couple in Austin, Texas. Budget-minded materials, like the James Hardie fiber-cement siding, helped hold construction costs to $130 per square foot. Sherwin-Williams’s Cyberspace hue colors the exterior and Parakeet coats the custom kitchen cabinets by Austin Wood Works. The planter is made from Cor-Ten steel.
A tight construction budget informed the choices Sean Guess made as he designed a house for a couple in Austin, Texas. Budget-minded materials, like the James Hardie fiber-cement siding, helped hold construction costs to $130 per square foot. Sherwin-Williams’s Cyberspace hue colors the exterior and Parakeet coats the custom kitchen cabinets by Austin Wood Works. The planter is made from Cor-Ten steel.
The exterior features vertical, untreated cedar panels. “We tried to use materials that are beautiful in their natural state without excessive treatment or finishing,” Pavonetti says.
The exterior features vertical, untreated cedar panels. “We tried to use materials that are beautiful in their natural state without excessive treatment or finishing,” Pavonetti says.
Architect Tamira Sawatzky used Ikea components—one-inch Lagan butcher block countertops and inexpensive Ekby Lerberg brackets—when designing the bookshelves along the living room wall in the home/studio he designed for himself and his wife in Toronto.
Architect Tamira Sawatzky used Ikea components—one-inch Lagan butcher block countertops and inexpensive Ekby Lerberg brackets—when designing the bookshelves along the living room wall in the home/studio he designed for himself and his wife in Toronto.
On one side of the house, a white central staircase leads to a split-level landing the Robertsons call "the reading room." "We needed a place to hang out and for the kids to read," explains owner Vivi Nguyen-Robertson. Awaiting the birth of the couple's son, she relaxes in a built-in reading nook in the library.
On one side of the house, a white central staircase leads to a split-level landing the Robertsons call "the reading room." "We needed a place to hang out and for the kids to read," explains owner Vivi Nguyen-Robertson. Awaiting the birth of the couple's son, she relaxes in a built-in reading nook in the library.
The streamlined shape of the home kept slab, framing, and roofing costs down, Pavonetti explains. A barn red shade on the front door adds a touch of farmhouse whimsy to the modern structure.
The streamlined shape of the home kept slab, framing, and roofing costs down, Pavonetti explains. A barn red shade on the front door adds a touch of farmhouse whimsy to the modern structure.
Originally designed by locally renowned architect Arthur Dallas Stenger, this 1960s home featured an unusual awning that was maintained during a 21st-century upgrade by architects Rick and Cindy Black. The architects partially reconfigured the interior layout, updated the kitchen, and added new doors to the porch, all the while making sure the adjustments to the house honored its midcentury provenance while still avoiding creating a time capsule.
Originally designed by locally renowned architect Arthur Dallas Stenger, this 1960s home featured an unusual awning that was maintained during a 21st-century upgrade by architects Rick and Cindy Black. The architects partially reconfigured the interior layout, updated the kitchen, and added new doors to the porch, all the while making sure the adjustments to the house honored its midcentury provenance while still avoiding creating a time capsule.
The architects felt that a strong vertical addition would draw extra attention to the original house’s strong horizontal character. The tower itself is a reinterpretation of an A-frame from another Strenger house five doors down.
The architects felt that a strong vertical addition would draw extra attention to the original house’s strong horizontal character. The tower itself is a reinterpretation of an A-frame from another Strenger house five doors down.
Danny envisioned the space between the ADU and the house as an informal place to gather. "It creates a sort of courtyard sensibility, which works for our intergenerational family dynamics."
Danny envisioned the space between the ADU and the house as an informal place to gather. "It creates a sort of courtyard sensibility, which works for our intergenerational family dynamics."
“For me, an idea can come from anywhere,” says Tim, an artist who has an interest in product design, and often incorporates found items into his work. “I really enjoy the challenge of finding an object and responding to it.”
“For me, an idea can come from anywhere,” says Tim, an artist who has an interest in product design, and often incorporates found items into his work. “I really enjoy the challenge of finding an object and responding to it.”
Danny fitted the kitchen into an alcove outfitted with Ikea cabinets and Semihandmade fronts. The refrigerator is by LG. On the jute rug from Armadillo, chairs from Threshold join a table from Inside Weather.
Danny fitted the kitchen into an alcove outfitted with Ikea cabinets and Semihandmade fronts. The refrigerator is by LG. On the jute rug from Armadillo, chairs from Threshold join a table from Inside Weather.
Though this kitchen fits in with its period surroundings, a few tweaks keep it current. “It’s functional in a way that doesn’t feel like the kitchen is in the living room,” says architect Rick Black. He explains, “One of the goals was to make the islands more like furniture than like heavy objects that go all the way to the floor.”
Though this kitchen fits in with its period surroundings, a few tweaks keep it current. “It’s functional in a way that doesn’t feel like the kitchen is in the living room,” says architect Rick Black. He explains, “One of the goals was to make the islands more like furniture than like heavy objects that go all the way to the floor.”
The exterior of the new, two-story home in East Austin, Texas was designed with a minimal palette, bronze windows, and steel details in order to blend into the existing cityscape.
The exterior of the new, two-story home in East Austin, Texas was designed with a minimal palette, bronze windows, and steel details in order to blend into the existing cityscape.
The clients insisted that none of the trees on the property be disturbed, so Kevin Alter and his team at Alterstudio Architecture built a deck and an overhang around two of them.
The clients insisted that none of the trees on the property be disturbed, so Kevin Alter and his team at Alterstudio Architecture built a deck and an overhang around two of them.
In the new powder room, Jill Malek wallpaper adds graphic punch to custom cabinetry.
In the new powder room, Jill Malek wallpaper adds graphic punch to custom cabinetry.
Another view of the deck.
Another view of the deck.
A 1960s midcentury home in Austin was renovated by local practice Webber + Studio, with a second story added while preserving the home’s original character.
A 1960s midcentury home in Austin was renovated by local practice Webber + Studio, with a second story added while preserving the home’s original character.
Alterstudio Architecture of Austin designed this house in the Texas capital for a young family of four.
Alterstudio Architecture of Austin designed this house in the Texas capital for a young family of four.
The cooktop, refrigerator, and wall ovens are by Jenn-Air; the sink and faucet are by Kohler; and the countertops are from Caesarstone.
The cooktop, refrigerator, and wall ovens are by Jenn-Air; the sink and faucet are by Kohler; and the countertops are from Caesarstone.
In consultation with the clients, Alterstudio opted to clad the house in local cypress rather than imported, FSC-certified ipe.
In consultation with the clients, Alterstudio opted to clad the house in local cypress rather than imported, FSC-certified ipe.
“Life happens around architecture. And that’s fine: A lot of houses get more beautiful when they age.” 

—Architect Rick Black
“Life happens around architecture. And that’s fine: A lot of houses get more beautiful when they age.” —Architect Rick Black
Consider this lively bathroom that sits within a recently completed waterfront home in Bridgehampton, New York. Situated on two-and-a-half acres of land with 360-degree views of the nearby bay and ocean, it's covered with brightly colored floor-to-ceiling tiles that reflect the shades of the neighboring water. One step through the sliding glass doors and you’ll find yourself on an open terrace.
Consider this lively bathroom that sits within a recently completed waterfront home in Bridgehampton, New York. Situated on two-and-a-half acres of land with 360-degree views of the nearby bay and ocean, it's covered with brightly colored floor-to-ceiling tiles that reflect the shades of the neighboring water. One step through the sliding glass doors and you’ll find yourself on an open terrace.
The room also features built-in bookcases fabricated by Earthbound Industries and a vintage Sesann sofa by Gianfranco Frattini for Cassina.
The room also features built-in bookcases fabricated by Earthbound Industries and a vintage Sesann sofa by Gianfranco Frattini for Cassina.
Built-ins reduce the need for furniture.
Built-ins reduce the need for furniture.
A matching desk also folds up and away.
A matching desk also folds up and away.
The kitchen and adjoined dining space have a light, open feel, as does the rest of the home. Complementary design elements, like the low-slung steel bookcase next to the stairs, which Flournoy’s partner organized according to color, reappear throughout the house. Pops of color add an appealing break from the largely monochromatic palette, and reinforce the couple’s design aesthetic. The Bistro chairs are from Crate and Barrel.
The kitchen and adjoined dining space have a light, open feel, as does the rest of the home. Complementary design elements, like the low-slung steel bookcase next to the stairs, which Flournoy’s partner organized according to color, reappear throughout the house. Pops of color add an appealing break from the largely monochromatic palette, and reinforce the couple’s design aesthetic. The Bistro chairs are from Crate and Barrel.
Architect Cindy Black chose terrazzo tile flooring by Concrete Collaborative over higher-priced competitors because it’s a “little more polished looking”. Before installing the material, the builder had to completely re-level the concrete subfloor, which had settled over time leaving a two-inch gap on one side. The sofa is from Room & Board, and the custom walnut media wall was designed to match the kitchen built-ins.
Architect Cindy Black chose terrazzo tile flooring by Concrete Collaborative over higher-priced competitors because it’s a “little more polished looking”. Before installing the material, the builder had to completely re-level the concrete subfloor, which had settled over time leaving a two-inch gap on one side. The sofa is from Room & Board, and the custom walnut media wall was designed to match the kitchen built-ins.
Builder Jason Miars fabricated the walnut-paneled walls and kitchen cabinetry, which is accented by stainless-steel Linnea drawer pulls.
Builder Jason Miars fabricated the walnut-paneled walls and kitchen cabinetry, which is accented by stainless-steel Linnea drawer pulls.
As per the owner's request, the second floor’s open landing receives ample sunlight. The space is used as a study and the home's two bedrooms are situated to the right, their doors just outside the frame.
As per the owner's request, the second floor’s open landing receives ample sunlight. The space is used as a study and the home's two bedrooms are situated to the right, their doors just outside the frame.
Home Renovation Tip: Make a Realistic Budget
Home Renovation Tip: Make a Realistic Budget
Resident Ty Milford peruses a book by the George Nelson–inspired built-ins fabricated by Big Branch Woodworking
Resident Ty Milford peruses a book by the George Nelson–inspired built-ins fabricated by Big Branch Woodworking
Amy requested a quiet, sunny reading nook with a view; In Situ obliged with a built-in bench housing her collection of books.
Amy requested a quiet, sunny reading nook with a view; In Situ obliged with a built-in bench housing her collection of books.
Counterweights Drum pendant lamp by George Kovaks from Lumens hangs above a Docksta table from Ikea.
Counterweights Drum pendant lamp by George Kovaks from Lumens hangs above a Docksta table from Ikea.
Minimal interventions by architect Andrew Simpson allowed this former jam warehouse outside of Melbourne, Australia, to be turned into a family residence. "To draw light and ventilation into what was a poorly oriented and deep footprint, an extensive number of operable skylights were introduced on the north- and south-facing roof pitches, and a large void connecting the floors was strategically positioned to also take advantage of this amenity," Simpson says. American oak floorboards and Dulux paint were used throughout the property for continuity.
Minimal interventions by architect Andrew Simpson allowed this former jam warehouse outside of Melbourne, Australia, to be turned into a family residence. "To draw light and ventilation into what was a poorly oriented and deep footprint, an extensive number of operable skylights were introduced on the north- and south-facing roof pitches, and a large void connecting the floors was strategically positioned to also take advantage of this amenity," Simpson says. American oak floorboards and Dulux paint were used throughout the property for continuity.
“The owners envisioned a place that engaged with the outdoors while providing accommodating spaces for their off-season training for triathlons,” Flato notes. A 75-foot-long lap pool on the west end of the home comes in handy during practice.
“The owners envisioned a place that engaged with the outdoors while providing accommodating spaces for their off-season training for triathlons,” Flato notes. A 75-foot-long lap pool on the west end of the home comes in handy during practice.
Alex enjoys a sun-filled breakfast at the built-in dining table and bench, one of many space-saving designs.
Alex enjoys a sun-filled breakfast at the built-in dining table and bench, one of many space-saving designs.
Anne Suttles waters the bamboo muhly, palo verde, strawberry tree, and magic carpet thyme thriving in their Austin yard.
Anne Suttles waters the bamboo muhly, palo verde, strawberry tree, and magic carpet thyme thriving in their Austin yard.

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