You could say that creativity's been in the center of Sam and Anne's relationship from the beginning, when one of their first conversations centered around their mutual love of design. It makes sense, then, that the home they built together in Austin two years ago would be a stunning collaboration between modern and vintage styles, fresh materials incorporated throughout—all creating a modern home that is warm, comfortable and accessible to all tastes.
We first spotted Sam and Anne's home on the 2010 AIA Austin Homes Tour, where we were bowled over by just how comfortable the place was. One of our personal complaints against modern design is that it sometimes feels a bit sterile, but not the modern style that Sam, who's from New York, and native Texan Anne have created. Taking great care in working with architect Kevin Alter of Alterstudio, materials—like that gorgeous wood floor in the entryway from reclaimed barns or the soapstone kitchen counters—were chosen that infused the space with personality and function. Though all the glass windows give great views and even greater light, you don't feel on display (great architectural orientation deals with that); quite the opposite: each room feels cozy (and a snuggly TV cave is perfect for those who need a dark nest.)
Another stunner, of course, is what they've filled the space with. Just like their high-end appliances, they made sure to save and invest in a few meaningful, high-end furniture pieces, all going toward a home that they'll be able to enjoy for a lifetime. Their home is a lesson in investing in high-quality, much-loved pieces, mixed in with always keeping your eye open for vintage antiques that you love, mixed with knowing that most art looks great framed well. The heart of their house is the upstairs office that spans the length of the structure with two big windows on either end. One corner is an office area and the other a burgeoning music instrument collection.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Modern, relaxed, comfortable and uncluttered. Our architects at Alterstudio said something that pretty much summed up our style. We love modern, but coupled with an aesthetic that prizes serendipity.
Inspiration: Traveling the world. Dutch designers, Australian and British magazines, music, the floral designer Lewis Miller, Van Halen, Scandanavian architecture.
Favorite Element: We have a ton of favorites but the glass in this house is so incredible. We never turn on lights until after dark. The north and south sides of the house are large storefront windows and we have a glass floor in the hall to allow light from a second story skylight down to the first floor. The glass floor is a fun architectural element but the function it performs is even better. Other things are the sonos music system, the pool and the TV cave.
Biggest Challenge: Making every last square inch count so there is no wasted space. And I am happy to say we nailed it.
What Friends Say: Um...pretty much "HOLY S***!"
Biggest Embarrassment: Not one thing.
Proudest DIY: The landscaping. The design plan credit goes to Mark Word but the execution was all ours. This property sits on limestone covered by an inch or two of soil. With the exception of the native live Oak trees, every last shrub, tree and flower required a hole dug in stone so it could thrive. And with help from my mom we built the planters by the pool. I have always enjoyed being outside and gardening. Sam on the other hand learned all about shovels and blisters yet he takes such pride in what we have created.
Biggest Indulgence: HA! It's not what you'd think. I am going to say Sam's guitars, amps and music gear! He is addicted to gear and it is taking over our office. The other thing is framing the art we buy. It's shocking how much framing costs.
Best Advice: DO YOUR HOMEWORK! Research Research and more Research. And save your money for quality pieces. You'll have a greater appreciation for the things you waited to afford versus the trendy, instant gratification pieces you'll replace in a year.
Dream Sources: Piet Hein Eek's private collection!
Resources of Note:
- • Ligne Roset
• Conran Shop
• Heywood Wakefield
• Crate & Barrel
• Inherited antiques
• Family made pieces
• Curb finds
PAINT & COLORS
- • It's pitiful but I cannot recall one color's name.
- • Hansgrohe
• Valli & Valli
- • Family antiques
• Found objects
• Ralli quilts from our trip to India
• Guatemalan huipils
- • Wolf range top and wall oven
• Miele dishwasher
• Liebherr refrigerator --- When our builder saw our appliance list he said "do you realize this list is for a house 5 times the cost of yours?" it took a lot of reassuring that we weren't crazy but in the end we knew what we wanted. We cook at home for just about every meal and we wanted all of our appliances to be around for the long haul.
- • Kartell, Droog
• Schoolhouse Electric
• A floor lamp Anne's mom made out of found objects
• A table lamp Anne's dad made from a brass candlestick he brought back from Mexico
RUGS & CARPETS
- • All the rugs are antique Oriental from Anne's paternal grandmother except for the one in the tv cave which is the Photon from DWR and the Chilewich in the office.
TILE & STONE
- • Mosaic House for the splurge in the master bathroom
• Merola white subway and penny tile for the rest of the bathrooms
• Leuders limestone for the hardscape and first stair tread
• Kitchen countertops are soapstone,
• Master bathroom countertop is granite
- • None. Well, I take that back. When my parents first visited us in Austin, Anne jumped on the sewing machine to whip out a little linen curtain for the downstairs bedroom because I wasn't sure they'd dig the exposure. Did we mention we live in a glass house? All the privacy is achieved in the layout of the home. You could check with our neighbors but I think we're covered.
- • CB2 Alpine King
• Queen platform from Crate and Barrel.
• 100-year-old twin beds from Anne's paternal grandmother
- • Hugo Guinness
• Jason Archer
• Matthew Rodriguez
• James Victore
• Jamie Cervantes
• Travis Lindquist
• Ancestral portraits from the Napoleonic era
• A ton of concert posters and music paraphernalia.
- • Polished concrete
• Reclaimed oak from a barn in Missouri
Thanks, Sam and Anne!!
Images: Adrienne Breaux; 19 & 42 Anne
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