1960’s Lake Austin ranch home gets update with spectacular art collection


This renovated home on Lake Austin by architect Tobin Smith features a spectacular art collection and some fun and funky furnishings, bringing the 1960’s ranch up to date while keeping its retro charm. Mark Ashby Design designed this Austin, Texas home with unique furnishings, textiles, finishes to highlight the homeowners fabulous works of art. 

The original home, built in 1968, underwent an architectural transformation that maintained the structure’s slab and shell but dramatically redefined the exterior presentation and interior experience.  The back of the house opens up to Taylor’s Branch, a quiet inlet off of Lake Austin.

DESIGN DETAILS: INTERIOR DESIGNER Mark Ashby Design CONTRACTOR Dalgleish Construction ARCHITECT Tobin Smith Architect ART CURATION Armstrong Art Consulting


Tucked in the treetops above this waterway, this modernist home’s dramatic perch is concealed from the street behind an understated facade that provides little hint of the experience beyond.  Exquisite materials, furnishings, and art are revealed upon entry and are set in dialogue with the natural realm beyond.


While this 3,500 plus square foot home was designed to be a relaxed family lake house, it also serves as a hub for entertaining friends and hosting events.


One of the interior highlights of this project is the world class art with works from Mapplethorpe, DeWitt, Cragg, Fischl, Hirst, Bourgeois, Ulrikk Dufosse  and many more. With the exception of the vintage collection (original pieces from Alvar Alto, Edward Wormley, Roche Bobois, Karl Springer), much of the fabrics, rugs and cabinetry are custom, bespoke and handmade in such a way as to also stand as their own unique works of art — designed and or curated by interior designer, Christina Simon, Mark Ashby Design.


The dining room pulls double duty as an elegant conference space with an enormous stainless steel pull-out white board wall to accommodate board meetings and presentations. The homeowners, Lanham Napier, former Rackspace CEO has launched a VC firm in Austin. Lanham uses this Austin home as an office and private conference space for business. Dr. Dacia Napier is an art collector and historian – she believes giving art a unique way to be viewed outside a museum setting is important.


What We Love: This Lake Austin home offers an attractive renovation with newly refreshed living spaces both indoors and out. Stylish furnishings and a carefully curated art collection creates a fabulous live/work space for this home’s inhabitants. Outdoors, the landscape architects created beautiful curb appeal while providing this family with a wonderful backyard space for family living and entertaining.

Tell Us: What details do you find most appealing in the architectural renovation and interior decoration of this Lake Austin home? Let us know in the Comments below!













A ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ in the lower level den houses an assortment of natural and historical objects: special finds of an avid collector that extend beyond fine art. 





About Mark Ashby Design:
Mark Ashby Design began practice in the late 90s, specializing in high end interiors in Texas and nationally. Ashby has been published most recently in Elle Décor for their design of a Ferris Bueller’s inspired luxury garage. Christina Simon is a senior designer at the firm and was most recently honored to design the prestigious Neiman Marcus Fantasy Mine & Yours gift in 2018. Originally from Lake Flato, Tobin Smith began his own firm in 2007 and is award winning and emerging as one of Texas’s key modern architects.



EXTERIOR Joel Shapiro ENTRY Do Ho Suh LIVING ROOM Ruud van Empel | Ed Ruscha | Tony Cragg DINING ROOM Ulrikk Dufosse | Sol LeWitt | David Wiseman HALL TO POWDER Peter Alexander | Liza Lou | Rick Owens HALL TO MASTER Damien Hirst MASTER BEDROOM Shirazeh Houshiary | Eric Fischl | Tomás Sareceno MASTER BEDROOM Kiki Smith GUEST BEDROOM Ross Bleckner | Fred Tomaselli STAIRWELL Roxy Paine DEN Roni Horn | Gisela Colon HALL Ellsworth Kelly
Ron Gorchov IN THE COLLECTION NOT PHOTOGRAPHED Zhu Jinshi (Entry) | Robert Mapplethorpe (Hall) | Jeff Zimmerman (Hall) | Jiri Dokoupil (Hall) | Mark Schlesinger (Guest) | Laurent Grasso (bath) | Louise Bourgeois (Girl’s Bed)


Photos: Douglas Friedman

One Kindesign has received this project from our submissions page. If you have a project you would like to submit, please visit our submit your work  page for consideration! 

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Michael D Keenoy
3 years ago

This photo array is showing artwork and doesn’t give the viewer much insight into the architecture of the house…disappointing to say the least. The kitchen and dining rooms make me interested into the living/family room areas but they aren’t shown except for a cozy area on a lower level. There is no way to envision the floorplan given the photos included. Why all the hesitancy to share?