Custom Homes of Texas: Private Paradise in Austin
By: Megan Ann Oswald
Photographed by: Butch Ireland Photography
With the desire to find seclusion within the city, Pam Currie and her husband Kenneth looked at a neighborhood in Austin that held childhood memories for both of them. Tucked away at the end of a private road community, the Curries decided to build their four-bedroom, five-and-a-half-bathroom, 4,221-square-foot home on an existing lot. With building codes set in place to preserve the existing trees and landscape as much as possible, removing the old house and building within its footprint was a unique challenge.
Because the property is hidden in the trees and down in a natural hollow, Pam was concerned about the amount of sunlight that would reach the interior of the house. A major item of her home wish list was “a ton of windows,” so many that light would flood into the house wherever she looked! All of the trees and the little creek that runs beside the house were reasons that the Curries originally fell in love with the lot. Heritage and Spanish oaks define the boundaries of the home and the barriers the builders had to stay within while construction was underway. Another must-have was the large porch that flows naturally from the living room along the length of the house. “We wanted to be able to see the sunset.” Pam also wanted part of the porch to be screened in.
Working with Architect Rodney Palmer made possible their dream home designs. Palmer helped them decide on a modern style that would remain classic and avoid passing trends. Once he understood what the Curries liked and wanted to see in their home, coming up with a layout that fit into the existing footprint was much easier. Because they wanted natural light in as many rooms as possible, an open concept floor plan was the best choice, but Pam wanted to add some nooks throughout the house that would create areas of intimate privacy. “Soft and inviting furniture was a must” so that the house did not feel cold and unwelcoming.
A big surprise was the attic space that was transformed on a whim to be usable space instead of just a storage space. “By adding the accessible door from the hallway, it brought so many possibilities to that room.” A traditional closest access was planned for the attic, but Pam moved it to the hallway and created a whole new room. One small feature that the Curries love was the design idea for the mechanical equipment for the pool to be hidden from the driveway. The homeowners did not want the first views of incoming guests to be of the large, bulky equipment.
With a love for natural light and the outdoors, the Curries wanted to be able to wake up with the sun every morning. Because of the unique position that the bed needed to be in to face the windows, a floating wall was constructed and designed as an art piece for the room. The wall offers a privacy barrier for the bedroom, and the patterning in the wood stands out among the neutral colors found throughout the room.
The cabana sits at the end of the pool and doubles as a guest house whenever family or friends stay over. Offering a private place for retreating and relaxing, Pam wanted to make sure everything that guests could want was available. Although Pam did not want any through the main house, she “added shades and blinds to the windows for people who wanted to sleep in.”
At the end of the day, the homeowners love that guests congregate out on the porch and soak up the sunlight. “That is our favorite place to be.”