Custom Homes of Texas
By: Megan Ann Oswald
Having lived in their Austin neighborhood for 20 years, Frank and Tara West jumped at the opportunity to build their custom home in a new development within the same area. A realtor by trade, Tara knew exactly how she wanted to have her four bedroom, four-and-a-half bathroom, 4,100-square-foot home laid out and what would make it function in the best possible way. With the help of Interior Designer Annie Downing, Tara and Frank pulled together a modern look without a feeling of cold disconnect.
Large picture windows and tall ceiling heights contribute to the overall impact of the open floor plan, encouraging easy entertaining and hosting of family and friends. The kitchen and dining room open up to the living room with plenty of space for people to gather around the large soapstone island. Tara knew that she wanted to have the dark soapstone countertops in the kitchen and waited a long time in the building process to make a final selection, so that she could find just the right piece. Unlike most, she did not put wax on the counters, which gives the stone an appealing matte finish. The ceiling in the kitchen and dining room is made of reclaimed wood from a barn in Tennessee. Varying between browns and greys, the wood offers a nice contrast to the white cabinetry and neutral wall colors.
The dining room overlooks the patio and pool through a picture window and industrial style glass door, and features a custom concrete table at the center of the room. Made in Pennsylvania, the table required eight people for installation and is not going anywhere anytime soon. Tara did not want a glass top that would lead to a cold and uninviting look, and there was already enough wood present on the ceiling, so she turned to the fireplace in the living room for inspiration.
Originally intended to be stone, the fireplace got a last minute makeover with integral stucco, made to look like smooth cement. Stretching the 18 feet to the ceiling, the fireplace shows off the angle of the living room ceiling and stands out against the soft wall color. Another one of the floor plan specific details was the flat ceilings found in every room. Tara went back and looked at all of the pitches in the roof and economized on the space that would have been lost to bring a tall and unique look to each room. She wanted every space to be able to stand alone in its design and yet have a cohesive look throughout the house.
The master bedroom keeps the simple and comfortable style found in the main rooms of the house and is free of clutter and distraction. A wooden beam runs the length of the ceiling and carries the wood look from the kitchen into the bedroom. The master bathroom features a custom cast iron pedestal tub that was painted to match the grey found in the utility and media rooms. With plenty of built-ins in the closest, the space is left free for decoration.
The homeowners designed their teens’ rooms to flow with the style of the house, but also reflect each of their personalities. Their son’s room takes inspiration from their ranch house with touches of farmhouse décor. A charcoal accent wall highlights the custom wooden bed that Tara had made in Dallas, echoing the barn wood found in the rest of the house. Their daughter’s room has a beautiful feminine design, highlighted in the crystal chandelier and the mirrored dresser and side table. A window seat was added for a comfortable place to read and hang out with friends.
Frank and Tara love that their home has become the hangout place for their children’s friends and the pool and patio is one of their favorite places. A Bahama edge takes up the end by the elevated hot tub and showcases the overflow waterfalls from the tub. The patio and pool deck feature large cut stone that tie the whole space together.