Open and airy energy-efficient home in Austin cantilevers over a creek


A compact and energy-efficient home was designed for a couple of empty nesters by Matt Garcia Design, nestled hillside in Austin, Texas. The clients wished to have a home that reduced their carbon footprint and retain design details that are most important, such as a relaxing living environment without clutter, spacious kitchen and enough space for entertaining. Although the homeowners love modern architecture, they wanted their home to reflect warmth through the use of local and natural materials. In all, this home offers 2,700 square feet of living space with two bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms.

The goal was to design a home that effortlessly fits into its environment, with minimal, clean lines. The design takes advantage of the property’s dramatic hillside perch, which offers fabulous treetop and creekside views. The house seems like it is in the middle of nowhere, yet it is conveniently just five minutes for the downtown area. The front entryway is very inviting, situated at the rear of the home allowing guests to feel drawn into nature form the outdoor deck before entering the home.


A covered outdoor deck on the upper level seems to be carved into the house, offering a relaxing sanctuary for the homeowner’s to enjoy the beauty that surrounds. The end result is an architecturally pleasing cedar and glass box home that is very engaging with nature and the creek below.


A separate adjacent guesthouse keeps the home more compact, offering two guest bedrooms for family and friends. A canopy connects the two structures, forming a carport. Sustainable feats includes solar panels, double-paned glass and plenty of insulation. Above: A redwood deck cantilevers over a creek.


A fusion of indoor/outdoor spaces makes this home the perfect gathering spot to host family and friends.


What We Love: The project team was successful in designing a beautiful, energy-efficient home. They have a fantastic mix of  “cozy” and cool, achieved with their selection of materials and color. The books, too, add a layer of aesthetic warmth. The flooring selections — concrete in the main living spaces and the warmth of the wood in the master bedroom. We are also loving the use of blue cabinetry in the kitchen. Overall, an amazing blend of warm and cozy with clean and modern.

Tell Us: What do you think of the overall design of this energy-efficient home? Are there any details in the design that you would like to have seen done differently? Please share your thoughts in the Comments below!


The ground level living and dining areas as well as the upper level master bedroom were designed to be at the back of the home to take full advantage of the magnificent views. The exterior of the residence was clad in cedar, adding to the contemporary tree house feel of the property. Designer Fern Santini selected a neutral color palette for the interiors, which encompassed white walls and smooth concrete flooring. Vibrance is added with the selection of colorful furnishings and art.


Above: The kitchen island provides seating for four at the onyx waterfall countertop, which is supported by a steel plate. The cabinetry is from Poliform, while the backsplash is back-painted glass.


Above: An expansive Poliform bookcase showcases the homeowner’s extensive book collection, which also acts as part of the living room decor. The books helps to add warmth and personality to this space.


Above: When hosting parties, up to twelve guests can be squeezed around this dining table!


Above: The master bedroom retreat of this energy-efficient home features expansive windows giving the sensation of floating above the treetops. The flooring gives warmth to the space, comprised of rift-sawn white oak. A stunning teak canopy bed and custom silk and wool area rug completes the aesthetic, creating a private sanctuary. The highlight of this bedroom is that it cantilevers over a creek!



Above: In the master bathroom, the custom cabinetry is composed of rift-sawn white oak. The backsplash is Calacatta gold marble. To create waterproof surfaces, limestone floor tiles and white porcelain wall tiles were integrated into the design of this space.





Photos: Casey Dunn Photography


You are reading an article curated by: https://onekindesign.com/

Notify of

1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
no comment
4 years ago

i don’t care for the blue kitchen cabinets, but aside from that, this design is on point! i really like it.