Urban contemporary dream home connected with nature in Austin, Texas


This urban contemporary dream home was designed by James D. LaRue Architects in collaboration with builder Reynolds Custom Homes, located in Austin, Texas. At 6,504 square feet, the home is generous in size, yet special care was taken to create a design that worked in conjunction with the size. The house includes a timeless, rectangular pool, several comfortable outdoor living areas, and five bedrooms, all situated in a residential area.

The sloping of the property required that the home be spread out over two levels, but cutting into the earth allowed the second level of the house to appear less massive from the street elevation. Sustainable elements includes large overhangs and low-E glass (low thermal emissivity glass that keeps radiant heat on the same side of the glass from which it originated, yet enables visible light to pass through) to reduce sun exposure, while allowing expansive pieces of glass to be used in the design.


Above: The entire exterior of this residence is an Austin White Limestone. All stone was purchased from Rock Solid Quarry located in Florence, Texas. The roof is from Berridge Metal in Zinc. The front door is from Portella Custom Steel Doors in Austin, Texas. The floor entry material outside of this residence is a Lueders stone. The windows are Weathershield and on this residence were done in the Weathershield color called Obsidian.


An open floor plan on the first level invites entertaining, with only ceiling transitions visually delineating the living, dining kitchen and breakfast rooms. Expansive walls of glass throughout these living spaces helps to create a seamless connection between indoors and out.

Above: The wood on the wall is a walnut plywood paneling with taped edges.


What We Love: This urban contemporary dream home has been built with great attention to detail. The white walls contrast with natural wood flooring and provides a fantastic backdrop for a colorful, private art collection. A strong connection to the surrounding exterior environment has been achieved successfully thanks to expansive walls of glass. The overall feel of this home is contemporary, personalized and private.

Readers, please share with us your overall thoughts on the design of this home. Would this be your idea of a dream home, tell us why or why not in the Comments below!


Above: The kitchen countertops are Quartzite from Decorum Stone located in Austin, Texas. The backsplash is a Calcutta Gold marble. The sink faucet is from Dornbracht. The dimensions of the drop ceiling are roughly 13-0 x 8-6. The flooring is mesquite, a beautiful and warm accent to this home.




Above: The stone wall is the same material that was used on the exterior of the home. The stone is an Austin White Limestone purchased through Rock Solid Quarry located in Florence, Texas.


Above: The suspended chandelier was purchased from Lights Fantastic located in Austin, Texas. The handrail components are from Portella Custom Steel Doors and Windows.


Above: In the home office, the white stone is an Austin White Limestone purchased from a local quarry. The same stone is used on the exterior of the home. The sliding barn door is a custom door from BMC West. The office desk is the IDS Lido desk, sourced from IDS Evolutions.


Above: This front door unit is from Portella Custom Steel Doors & Windows based in Texas.



Above: The bedroom ceiling is 12′ high with a drop down to 10′ 6″. The windows are from Weathershield. They are wood windows clad with aluminum on the exterior. Using wood on the interior adds warmth, while the aluminum cladding helps with the longevity of the windows.

There is a sense of privacy and a seamless connection to green outdoor spaces through the master bathroom and bedroom, with their close proximity to the outdoor living area. Three additional bedrooms and a media room are all located upstairs.


Above: In the master bathroom, countertop material is Crema Marfil. Calcutta Gold is the material used on the walls.


Above: The window color is called Obsidian by Weathershield Windows. The windows are wood with aluminum clad on the exterior. Austin white limestone was used on the exterior facade, while the upper level is a stucco in an integral color masonry finish in grey. The roof material is from Berridge and the color is Zinc, while the gutter is replace with a rain chain. The flooring material used for the patio is a lueders limestone, chosen in a grey-toned lueder. It’s a great stone to use around pool surfaces! This pool is approximately 16’x33′.


Photos: Coles Hairston

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valeriel townsend
5 years ago

Unlike many open designs, this one achieves real cosiness, no doubt in large part to the warm wood used in the flooring and extending up the walls, as well as the ingenious overall design. Love the way the house demurely ‘turns its back’ to the street, and the way the main door masquerades as a window to render the facade seamless. It’s a home one can easily see a family living in: intriguing, elegant architecture, yet friendly and livable, not ostentatious. The artwork doesn’t scream at you, but enhances the warmth of the design. The rear view is a winner!!… Read more »