Liquid Asset: A Rejuvenated Austin Home
January 23, 2014
PHOTOGRAPHY BY NICK JOHNSON
Though the phrase “location, location, location” is generally attributed to British real estate tycoon Lord Harold Samuel, its earliest usage appeared in a 1926 Chicago Tribune classified ad. Yet what was true in 1926, as well as in Lord Samuel’s time, remains an incontrovertible fact today. Proof positive of the adage is this idyllic tree-shaded property in Austin, which is bordered on three sides by a postcard-perfect lake.
Unfortunately for the couple who transferred from California to Texas for work, the existing 1983 house that sat on the land had a few quirks. “The house needed a lot of work,” says designer Fern Santini. “It was red and black, with a lot of gold sponge painting.” And so, Santini—along with architects Gary Furman and Philip Keil, home builder David Dalgleish and landscape designer Mark Word—was hired to turn the house into one more conducive to the homeowners’ lifestyle.
“Having lived in such close proximity to the ocean, I liked the look of Malibu-style homes,” says the wife. For Santini, that translated to lots of big windows, natural light and materials like limestone and rift-sawn white oak flooring. “The owner didn’t want the home to be formal,” the designer says, “and if something was formal, it had to be juxtaposed with something informal.”
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