Helen Thompson
Helen Thompson
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This transformational renovation of a 1983 tract home on the lake in Austin was a project of architects Gary Furman and Philip Keil, interior designer Fern Santini, and landscape architect Mark Word. The house belongs to a couple who had lived near the ocean in California and wanted to continue to live near water. All involved—homeowners as well as design professionals—wanted to capitalize on the beautiful vistas, but also to create a sense of privacy from nearby neighbors on the delightful little peninsula.

Furman and Keil’s big challenge was to deal with the building’s awkward shapes, some of which they clad in stucco so as not to be conspicuous. The architects added a copper roof, downspouts, and windows and used steel for the carport, boat dock, and brise soleil. Minimal finishes and a neutral palette were Santini’s choice for giving the house an uplifting airiness. The creamy whites and atmospheric greys allow the views to dominate. For the landscape, Mark Word anticipated the drama of the lake with casual low plantings that frame the view and suggest that this lakeside estate is a place for relaxation.

The custom inlaid panels by Joseph Zambarano separate the dining room from the kitchen and also provide storage. The custom table is from Fern Santini; handcrafted buffet is by local artist Michael Wilson; Meridiani’s Taylor Tre chairs are from Scott+Cooner; the peace symbol (made from toy soldiers) is by Austin artist Karen Hawkins.

The living room seating area is anchored by a Holly Hunt sofa, Berman Rosetti armchairs, and a Turkish Oushak rug; the Hive chandelier is composed of tiny figures holding hands.

The home office occupies a raised part of the living area; a Stilnovo double pendant hangs over Dessin Fournier’s Wilson desk. The rug is Moroccan; cabinetry is by Joseph Zambarano. Steel beams are load-bearing and replace walls that were removed to open up the downstairs spaces.

Kartell’s “Bloom” pendant is a delicate contrast to the stove’s steel back splash and hood.

The kitchen cabinetry is custom by Joseph Zambarano; the Stefan Diez stools are from Scott+Cooner.

In the breakfast area a Malou Flato painting hangs above Gervasoni’s Otto 123 chairs and an antique Portuguese convent table from Jean-Marc Fray. The orange vases are from Wendow Fine Living.

Glass mosaic tiles add a dramatic backdrop in the powder room.

The Joyce Howell painting is a colorful counterpoint to the master bedroom’s neutral palette; bedding is from Wildflower Organics; the Minotti rug is from Scott+Cooner. The Pollack curtains are custom through Fern Santini.

The master bedroom’s sitting area offers comfortable seating by David Sutherland; the artwork is made from corn husks by a South American co-op represented in Austin by Shabby Slips. The lamps are by Giorgetti.

The glittering floor tiles are from Alkusari Stone; the Napoli tub is by Victoria + Albert; the sheepskin rug is from Wildflower Organics; two-tiered brass table is from Antique Swan. Alison Berger pendants hang above; the leopard chair is custom through Fern Santini.

A shagreen dressing table finds a humorous companion in the sheepskin-upholstered chair.

The screened porch opens off the living room and, thanks to the fireplace, can be used year round.

Another view of the porch.

Courtesy of floor-to-ceiling doors that open on to the screened porch, the living space easily doubles in size.

TK Collections bistro chairs accompany the Restoration Hardware table. Two Maia chairs by Patricia Urquiola for Kettal are from Urbanspace Interiors.

The powder room in the pool area.

The Maia chairs offer maximum relaxation for enjoying the fire pit.


Photography by Nick Johnson

ARCHITECTURE: Furman + Keil Architects


BUILDER: Dalgleish Construction Company


Styling by Helen Thompson


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