Far back on a lot in Preston Hollow is a house that appears to levitate above the earth. It is at once light, even ethereal, while also being unquestionably natural, solid, and unmovable.
The Sunnybrook residence was designed for owners who requested a clean, uncluttered plan with warmth and texture as rich as their Texas history. Because of the deep site setback, the structure appears to be suspended in and above the gently sloping lawn, which glides under and through the house.
Massive windows create a light, open interior and allow the eye to flow through the residence from the exterior, while the stacked stone and cut Leuders anchor the residence to its natural environment. Careful placement of the fireplace and adjustable louvers allow the owners to screen the private portions of the house from the street, while the clerestories allow light to fill the living spaces.
Shadywood is first and foremost a celebration of natural light. The house is long, thin, and divided into wings, allowing visitors to stand at its front and see through to the backyard. A courtyard and gated entrance at the front ensure privacy, while still allowing for an incredible sunset glow to illuminate the interior toward the end of the day.
The interior uses traditional forms and materials as a canvas for modern décor, creating an overall transitional effect. A pool, tennis/basketball court, and pool house complete with a gym are featured in the back exterior.
The pristine setting of this single-family residence and the owners desire for a direct connection to the surrounding landscape was the primary consideration that drove design of the home.
Situated on a large lot in an established neighborhood, the entry sequence begins with public spaces gathered around a large entry courtyard. The home becomes more private toward the rear, with living spaces that spill out onto a deep covered loggia and garden overlooking a lush, tree-filled backdrop. Carefully placed expanses of floor-to-ceiling glass, flood the home with natural light – often from two sides in a room– and framed views connect the interior to the surrounding landscape.
The second level of the home capitalizes on the elongated nature of the design by giving the upper bedrooms daylight and views into mature tree canopies.
Naturally textured details including a board-formed concrete fireplace surround, douglas-fir ceiling accents, and cut lueders limestone surrounds give the home a sense of warmth and stability as it relates to the outdoors.
Native stone, reclaimed brick and subtle, quiet, yet refined masonry details are accentuated by the thin lines of some locally fabricated steel windows and doors and a mixture of modern, yet warm Italian wood windows. The mix of cut Leuders limestone and rough Leuders limestones (of the same quarry) define a casual yet refined palette. The variety of coursing in the field stone (intentionally saw-cut top and bottom) allowed the opportunity for an intentional connection between different materials and a precision more often seen in a more contemporary architectural style. A mixture of roof masses with two piece barrel tile and standing seam metal help to break down the scale of the house as if its construction had evolved over many years. Board-formed cast concrete headers contribute a richness that blends with the field stone.
The simplicity of the exterior materials are pulled into the interiors. Mud-set limestone floors pour out onto the covered loggia from the living room. Twenty-four-foot lift and slide doors pocket fully into the surrounding walls to even further blur the lines between the exterior and interior rooms. Wide plank, European white oak floors and reclaimed antique beams warm the neutral color scheme of the interiors and allow opportunity for a casualness that still compliments the more formal areas of the open plan. The interior spaces are visually connected to one another and the outdoors while retaining their own boundaries and character through cased openings and unique ceiling treatments – from the barrel vault ceiling of the dining and the antique brick vaults in the wine room to the reclaimed antique timbers in the kitchen and family rooms.
This home is warm, welcoming, and full of surprises. This home carefully invites natural light and always invites extended family and guests. This home is refined while casual, warm while clean-lined, traditional yet modern, and both formal and comfortable. This home is an appropriate contextual response to an older established neighborhood that fortunately transcends the word style.
The pristine setting of this residence and the owners desire for a direct connection to the surrounding landscape was the primary consideration that drove design of the home. Situated on a large lot, the public spaces at the front of the home are presented before a large entry motor court. As the home becomes more private toward the rear, the living spaces spill out onto a large terraced loggia and yard overlooking a beautiful, tree-filled backdrop.
By incorporating large expanses of floor-to-ceiling glass, the home is flooded with natural light and direct views to the surrounding landscape. The second level of the home capitalizes on the elongated nature of the design by allowing the bedrooms to be flooded with natural light and views into the trees on all sides.
The owners desired a large open floor plan ideal for a growing family in a house that blended with the surrounding residential context and featured a strong indoor-outdoor connection.
Our design solution presents traditional forms to the street with restrained detail. Combined with smooth plaster walls, the effect is an abstraction of the surrounding houses.
A direct view through the entry space reveals a welcoming outdoor living space and pool courtyard beyond. A majority of the ground floor is dedicated to communal gathering spaces functioning as a hub for the home.
An efficient and thoughtfully presented second floor provides the family with a sense of comfort and warmth. Playful accents and pops of color in the furnishings enhance the clean, contemporary interiors.
The Sunnybrook South residence is a modern, yet warm home, taking cues from the beautiful property it’s in partnership with. Vibrant splashes of jewel tones accent a predominantly neutral canvass, creating a light but colorful ambiance that is always conscious of its natural environment.
This natural environment—a wooded lot situated just above a creek—is almost always visible through the large windows across the back of the house, allowing sunlight to illuminate the interior and bring dwellers to nature’s doorstep. The layout, which is pulled apart into a campus of structures, helps to give shape to a variety of outdoor “rooms” appreciated from virtually every indoor space, and the “stretched out” and slender design of the home takes the greatest advantage of celebrating a natural dialogue with its surroundings.
Beverly Drive is a glamorous street, insofar as it possesses a mysterious charisma irresistible to passersby. In the winter months, Christmas-light lovers drive up and down the street to bask in the glow of lights emanating from both the interiors and exteriors of the homes; and in every season, the street invites traversers into a world of elegance and sophistication.
The Beverly Residence captures this same mysterious spirit. Its transitional style—which is accomplished by using traditional materials to create a contemporary feel, taking architectural cues from the likes of Alys Beach, Florida—makes it easy to identify with for virtually anyone. The entry is hidden by a surprise procession through a courtyard, while ten-foot high windows offer glimpses of what will fully reveal itself once inside.
These same windows, along with the home’s long thin layout, allow ample natural sunlight to be the home’s main source of light. This, combined with the Beverly Residence’s intentional straying from the center hall plan, creates a warm series of circular passageways. The finished effect is at once allusive and welcoming, much like the street with which it is engaged.
Robert Elliott Custom Homes, Builder
Marci Barnes, Interior Designer
Matthew Murrey, Landscape Architect
Nick Malinowski, Landscaper