A Split-Level Gets a Sleek Modern Makeover

A Split-Level Gets a Sleek Modern Makeover

Nora Taylor
Oct 30, 2015
(Image credit: Photos by Whit Preston)

Project by: Jennifer Fisher
Location: Austin, Texas

My client had a very cool, but very dated, split level house in the Westlake neighborhood of Austin, Texas. He really liked what I did for another client (a friend of his) and we got to working modernizing his house.

(Image credit: Photos by Whit Preston)

We tore out the 12" x 12" tile with bamboo inlay floors, demolished the fireplace hearth, and the super 80s pony wall stairs and rails with glass inlay, as well as smoothed the textured walls throughout the house.

I selected custom 5" white oak select wood floors with a custom oil finish in the entry and living areas and used beautiful 12" x 24" vein cut stone tiles in the kitchen, fireplace surround, and under the bar in the living area. Additionally, I used the same vein cut stone tile in 4" x 10" on the vanity wall in the powder room bath wall to the ceiling.

(Image credit: Photos by Whit Preston)

The biggest problem I had to overcome was convincing the client to spend a big chunk of the budget on the stairs. They are the first thing you see as soon as you walk in the door and they really do an incredible job setting the tone in the rest of the house. I just LOVE the way they turned out!

After the walls were smoothed, I had them painted in Benjamin Moore's Decorator's White. It's really the perfect white! It doesn't go blue or pink, it's just a cool white that goes well everywhere I've used it.

(Image credit: Photos by Whit Preston)

We were able to reuse the existing fireplace box and just resurface the surround after demolishing the hearth. I designed built-in cabinets for either side and painted them in Benjamin Moore's Graystone with a semi gloss finish.

For the entry decor, I used the client's own vintage art deco wood and glass cabinet with a beautiful Elephant ear plant next to it. Above it is art by Houston, Texas artist Austin Allen James, found at PRIZE: An Urban Department Store in Austin's 2nd street district.

(Image credit: Photos by Whit Preston)

In the living room, I selected Blu Dot's Bank collection for the sofa and chairs, as well as their Cub coffee table and Minimalist console behind it. The art above the console and in the built-in cabinet are by the same artist, Austin Allen James, again found at PRIZE in Austin, TX which is also where I found rest of the accessories. The one-of-a-kind hand-tufted area carpet comes from Black Sheep Unique, Austin, TX and really makes the room.

In the kitchen/dining area, I utilized the client's own vintage armoire along with Blu Dot's Navy Strut table, Real Good Chairs and Barstools, as well as their white oak Amicable split bench.

Thanks, Jennifer Fisher !

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