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Family Home with Outdoor Living Room and Pool


The newlywed homeowners where excited to purchase their new Spanish Oaks Hill Country Contemporary home, designed by James D. LaRue and built by Matt Shoberg. The Austin, Texas residence suited their design aesthetic perfectly and they liked the idea of a continuum of the architectural style within the Interior Design as well. With this in mind they approached Paula Ables Interiors to create interior zones that reflected the home’s contemporary composition of neutral colours and natural materials. As newlyweds, the homeowners also wanted a family friendly decor to work with the young children they where planning on having. This meant finishes that where kid friendly and easy to clean. With a young family in the near future, this outdoor living room is the perfect place for family to spend time together after a dip in the pool and before the children’s bedtime.


The pool offers a refreshing place for both exercise and relaxation during the hot Texan summer months and the trees within the circular planter create the necessary shade. The tree also provides shade for the living and dining areas just beyond while the covered terrace provides shade for the shared office.


The dining area overlooks both the pool and a quiet corner within the terrace but the focal view is of the group of trees within the circular planter. Not only does the tree provide shade for the interior volume but it also creates vertical appeal through its twisted branches and green canopy. Plyaing off of the organic imagery is the visceral pendant over the dining table. It is as though it too is a canopy of organic matter. While the statement lighting is also a neutral, Paula brought in a few moments of yellow through the paintings on the wall.


The dining room also looks out to an intimate seating arrangement located just outside the homeowners Jack and Jill office, and here too, Paula Ables quietly introduced a few pops of colour via the red cushions within the seating.


The Jack and Jill office features a contemporary and classic Eames Lounger with its traditional Rosewood base and white leather seat. Juxtaposed against this “light” moment is the black leather sofa and the dark Partners desk. The Partners desk creates a “shared” work space between the two newly weds hence the “Jack and Jill” office space. Colour is once again introduced through artwork and a few accessories.

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The kitchen creates the corner to the “L” with the dining creating the short leg and the living creating the long arm of the “L”. The kitchen is large and spacious and incorporates a café style breakfast area within the island. Open and free flowing, the room features walnut stained cabinetry and LED lighting cans within a dropped ceiling. Traffic flow is easily directed away from the cooktop for a family safe cooking zone and the visual connection to the living room is unobstructed for easy communication back and forth.


The floor within the kitchen creates movement within its pattern that keeps the “boxiness” of the necessary cabinetry from defining the space. Additional details that keep the room visually interesting is the repeat pattern to the floor in the base of the bar stools and the use of stainless steel inlays within the outer panels of the island. The introduction of colour through the amber pendants above the bar also a repeating element to the yellow tones used in the dining room paintings.


Included in the homeowners brief was an emphasize on the latest technology. Their new home already was outfitted with a full Lutron Homeworks Systems of lighting scenes; touch screens, security and AV. The complete system was controlled via a central systems closet. Additional upgrades to the home included LED recessed cans and solar panels.


With the homeowners “fear” of colour, Paula chose to keep the living room within a neutral pallet already introduced through the bones of the home. Here, the neutral pallet is kept vibrant through the injection of the greens and blues created by the landscape beyond the glazings and through the small selection of sculptures positioned for visual flow.


The stonework in the living room used on the fireplace facade is the same stone used on the walls that cut from the entry way through the foyer and out into the backyard. This slicing through of material creates a false mirror effect from the front porch that is deceiving but oh so enticing.


A powder room off of the kitchen and not far from the foyer is rich with detail. A feature pencil tile is installed on the complete vanity wall with the pencil tiles running in a vertical rather then the usual horizontal pattern. A second linear moment is introduced through the graceful waterfall faucet and the linear lines of the tile and faucet are repeated in the brushed nickel cabinet handles. The splash of fuschia via the orchid is a beautiful and graceful addition to the powder room as is the polished concrete counter top.


The guest bathroom also features a vertically installed (glass) tile, however this time it only runs up to the underside of the mirror. Marble counters pick up the walnut stain used in the vanity and a whimsical red wall sculpture offers the colour pop.


The ensuite to the Master Bedroom features the same walnut shades used in the guest bath, but the marble counters are of a more subdued pattern. No dark veining here, just lots of white within the beige. Espresso tones are still introduced through the feature bands of min subway tiles used in both the shower stall and the tub facing.


The Master Bedroom continues the dark walnut used on the window and door trims within the the rest of the home as well as the ebony flooring, Paula chose, however, to go up one shade within the bedframe and night stands and opted instead for a standard walnut stain. She also chose to contrast the warm tones of the woods with silvery grey via the bed linens, chair upholstery and art.


The design of the Spanish Oaks Hill Residence is a contemporary study of warm tones and natural materials that has been emulated within the choice of interior finishes and furnishings to create a home of casual elegance perfect for a young couple planning to start a family.
James D. LaRue Architecture Design
Matt Shoberg Homes
Paula Ables Interiors
Photography by Coles Hairston


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