This incredible cliffside house by LaRue Architects and Fern Santini is perched above Lake Austin, Texas with endless views, eclectic art, and eye-popping color accents. This sprawling home was designed and built atop a steep hillside, 75 feet above Lake Austin. The homeowners, a young professional couple with three small children, wanted their home to be all about ‘lake life.’
To take advantage of the spectacular lake views and the surrounding heritage oak trees, LaRue Architects designed the structure with large expanses of glass making the home transparent from front to back upon entry providing incredible vistas throughout the home. Landscape designer Rick Scheen and landscape architect John Hall created modular steel planter boxes mirroring the home’s rectilinear frame.
The home’s lot is perched on a limestone bluff and covered with a thick canopy of live oak trees. Navigating its footprint around the majestic oak trees posed the first challenge as the city of Austin classified them as heritage trees. LaRue Architects designed a U-shaped layout that deftly cradles the ancient oaks.
What We Love: Surrounded by a breathtaking setting, this cliffside house provides a family with a unique and stylish atmosphere. Throughout this dwelling, pops of color, interesting artwork, and personalized details give this home character. We are loving so many details in this project, from the preservation of the majestic oak trees to the sweeping views of the lake to the attractive exterior facade presenting great curb appeal.
Tell Us: What details in this cliffside house do you find most inspiring and what would you change if this were your own home? Please share your thoughts in the Comments below!
Note: Be sure to check out a couple of other spectacular home tours that we have showcased here on One Kindesign from the architects of this home, La Rue Architects: Texas Hill Country home boasts inviting design and coveted views and Urban contemporary dream home connected with nature in Austin, Texas.
Clorful touches of whimsey in the interior design include the Lee Broom hanging chair in the living room that draws everyone into the home immediately. Throughout the house are elements that are playful and unexpected, but elegant as well.
Just off the main living is a two-sided negative edge pool – with one side spilling out toward the lake for an endless water effect. The pool is flanked by a spacious outdoor lounge. Due to the slope of the site, dynamic cantilevers were designed for the lake side of the home making a dramatic path down to the new boat house and private dock.
The home is modern in style using natural materials seen across the Texas Hill Country. The geographic details unfold through locally sourced limestone walls and oak ceilings – which flow seamlessly from the exterior to the interior. Accents of patinated copper paneling pick up the color of the oaks providing a ‘living finish’ that will get richer over time.
The house needed to be comfortable for the young, active family, “arty,” “witty,” and “lighthearted” were buzzwords used to describe the mood of the interior design. There were also special family touches that were important, as one of the homeowners is from Venezuela. A stunning art piece by revered Venezuelan artist Carlos Cruz-Diez holds a special place in the entry as a nod to her family heritage.
The vintage neon art piece by iconic Austin artist, Evan Voyles, aka “The Neon Jungle” is Evan’s interpretation of a 1950’s era sci-fi magazine. The piece hangs in the breakfast nook.
“The main challenge for us architecturally was to place the home in between two huge heritage oak trees. The trees are so beautiful and really set the tone for the home. The private primary suite and office are located in this quadrant, and the views out of these spaces are framed perfectly,” says James LaRue, LaRue Architects.
The wallpaper in the boys’ bedroom was selected for its color, playfulness, and slightly retro feel. The designer and homeowners wanted the room to grow with the two young boys, and not feel too juvenile in a few years.
Strong color accents trend nostalgic, such as the game room bar’s green hue selected in homage to Steve McQueen’s famed Jaguar, one of the homeowner’s favorite vintage cars.
PHOTOGRAPHER Casey Dunn