Serene lakeside ranch house is perched high above Lake Austin, Texas


LaRue Architects in collaboration with Britt Design Group transformed this 1950’s lakeside cabin with a quirky hexagon shape into a serene lakeside ranch. This 4,100 square foot, one-story ‘Hill Country contemporary’ residence sits on a 1.2-acre site on the west bank of Austin, Texas.

Lou Ann and Don McLean purchased the lot in 2012 and reached out to LaRue Architects in early 2014 to design their lakeside dream home. The lot had an existing house – built in the 1950s as a vacation lake cabin – typical for the area. The original hexagon-shaped cabin was renovated with an addition added in the 1970s.

DESIGN DETAILS: ARCHITECT LaRue Architects INTERIOR DESIGNER Britt Design Group BUILDER Classic Constructors


When LaRue Architects and Britt Design Group began to look at the initial design concept they were intrigued by the construction of the hexagon building. “We knew immediately that we wanted to remove the 1970’s addition and keep the original hexagon-shaped main living area. The building was situated close to the lakefront and is elevated providing 180-degree views of the lake,” says architect James LaRue.


The design challenge was how to intergrade a modern home design concept into the hexagon geometry and have the final architecture become a cohesive building while also addressing the heavily treed, steeply sloping site (the lot slopes down 120’ from the back of the house to the shoreline). The initial design concept was to convert the hexagon living space into the primary bedroom suite with expansive views of Lake Austin.


Lighting plays an important role throughout this thoughtfully designed lakeside ranch and provides a sculptural counterbalance to the restrained modern architecture. The interior design is a sophisticated palette – reflecting the homeowners’ style – utilizing natural finishes to compliment the serene surroundings.


The entire design of this lakeside ranch is driven by the site constraints and the final result responds in a very beautiful way to those constraints and to its heritage. On the exterior facade, a rugged material palette consists of Texas limestone, exposed steel, and a standing-seam metal roof.


What We Love: This lakeside ranch house boasts idyllic views over Lake Austin, while providing a spectacular indoor-outdoor connection. Conceived of walls of glass, limestone, metal wall panels, and wood soffits and accents, the material palette reflects low-maintenance, easy lake living. Overall, we think this reimagined home offers its inhabitants a tranquil and relaxing place to call home.

Tell Us: What elements in the design of this home do you find most appealing and why in the Comments below!

Note: Take a look at a couple of other fabulous home tours that we have featured here on One Kindesign from the portfolio of the architects of this project,  LaRue Architects: Urban contemporary dream home connected with nature in Austin, Texas and Texas Hill Country home boasts inviting design and coveted views.


“The clients have a wonderful collection of art objects and furnishings they’ve collected from their travels around the world. Weaving their personal story into the fabric of the overall design was a fun challenge. One important element to their story is their involvement in winemaking,” says Laura Britt, Britt Design Group.


The McLean’s own a vineyard in Argentina, and personally select the blends, they even custom design the wine labels. The image of the entryway (above) captures their Steinway grand piano, their wine collection, and a custom Lariat light fixture from Apparatus Studio.


The custom walnut cabinetry throughout the kitchen was designed to feel more like beautifully detailed furnishings rather than a typical kitchen. Elevating the cabinets on wooden legs creates physical and visual space between the floor and cabinets.

A glass front refrigerator adds to the unique kitchen with a custom kitchen armoire storing coffee-making equipment. The steel-framed walls are finished with hand-burnished plaster.


In the kitchen, the Tassel 3 sconce is by Apparatus.



The pendant lights above the kitchen island are the Synapse pendants by Apparatus.


The dining room features a custom-built steel and wood table – using the wood from the original site.



“The owner’s suite remained on the site and the new building was built around it – it all feels like a new build – perfectly executed with high-quality construction, states Britt. The rocking chair is by Sam Maloof.


The owner’s bathroom has a serene ethereal feeling with the dappled lighting cascading across the large soaking tub and modern porcelain floor,” says Britt. The Barcelona tub was sourced from Victoria & Albert. Above the vanity, a Shape Up pendant by Ladies & Gentlemen Studio for Roll & Hill.



This covered porch features retractable screens, integrated heaters, a fireplace, and a TV to promote indoor-outdoor living.


There is a strong connection to the outdoors with large expanses of glass throughout. The outdoor living space is the connector – or dogtrot – between the main house and the guest suite. It has a generous roof overhead with a warm wood-clad ceiling which protects it from the sun and other elements.


There is also a two-level boat dock (part of the renovation) providing a perfect outdoor lounge space perched above the water. The dock offers an ipe storage locker for kayaks and a paddleboard, with a deck on top.  




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