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Modern yet warm family dream home in Austin

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The Rollingwood Residence is a contemporary property designed by Chioco Design in Austin, Texas. This spectacular home thoroughly reflects the needs, habits and lifestyle of the homeowners, Kelly and Lino Mendiola and their two daughters as well as their beagle-mix. The family had originally planned to remodel, but instead decided to break ground on a total redesign with the primary goal of opening their living environment to its natural surroundings. The architect designed a home that created a beautiful dialogue between the outside elements and interior living space of this new family dream home. They wished to preserve as much of the unbuilt land as possible, taking advantage of the property’s existing Live Oak trees and sloping lawns. On approach to this incredible home is a study in interlocking linear volumes defined by right angles, vertical glazing and lush, elevated steel planters.

Just beyond the entry is a combination of stairway, reading nook, double-height bookshelves and library ladder, which are all visually dynamic in a space framed by natural light and warm, oak-paneled walls. The architects challenge was to achieve the contemporary look while accommodating the practical needs of the family with an intimate, yet comfortably spacious design. The owners themselves were not big fans of modern design, yet they wanted to create a house that was of its time and they had faith that the architect could make modern feel “homey”. The homeowners also wanted to have an adjacent guest room that operates as a functional small apartment with a kitchen, dining, bed and bath and living area for their aging parents. Both the primary den and side suite look out to the rear pool area and backyard. The landscape was designed to provide the family with numerous peaceful views from varies vantage points around the home.

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The transparent corridor connects the main house to the guest quarters and pool, creating a sense of continuity between the home’s diverse elements.

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The combination of rich woods with angular lines softens the modernist aesthetic that informs the architecture of the Mendiolas’ home.

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Once Chioco and the Mendiolas decided to design a tall bookcase, the idea of a cozy, yet functional reading nook was a natural next step.

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The floor-to-ceiling white oak cabinets continue the system of wood volumes that also influences the stairwell and office.

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The custom kitchen island is made entirely from a single slab of walnut that turns down on either side to support the top, featuring live edges and lending an organic feel to this central area of the home.

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Rather than building a large room, Chioco opened the Mendiolas’ bedroom to the courtyard, creating a bright and comfortable space.

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The materials used throughout the home continue into the bathroom, which Chioco notes, “was meant to be spa-like, with plenty of natural light.”

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“The house during the evening is more dramatic,” Chioco observes. “I think it lights up quite nicely.”

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Ultimately, the homeowners wanted their new home to reflect the modern sensibility of urban living while enjoying the benefits of suburban-sized space. The successful redesign offers a welcoming place for intimate family gatherings and casual get-togethers with the neighbors in a warm, light-filled home just minutes from downtown Austin.

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Photos: Casey Dunn

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