Helen Thompson
Helen Thompson
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CLAYTON MORGAN RETURNS

Austin interior designer Clayton Morgan has managed to be both sought-after and elusive, mostly working privately for very special clients. But, things are changing in Morgan’s glamorous world and he has joined with his daughter Lillie Clark (formerly with Mark Ashby Design) and Chloe Gatewood (also an Austin native as well as the daughter of Jeffrey’s Restaurant founders Ron and Peggy Weiss) to form a new design firm they are calling The Lane House. Just to refresh your memories, here are shots of Morgan’s penthouse I posted five years ago. Stay tuned for new images of this fabulous residence now that he has redone it. To be continued!……

Clayton Morgan’s two-story, all-glass penthouse is clearly an adventure in Tinseltown chichi. The 2,700-square-foot aerie had been used by the Brown School—a special education school outside Austin—-for a treatment center and looked pretty dismal when Morgan discovered it. Because the space is spectacular and offers incomparable up-close views of the downtown skyline, Morgan bought it, gutted it, and began rehabilitating it.

Now the penthouse is chic, crisply elegant, and stylishly intelligent, just like Morgan himself, a design consultant with intuitive talents in interior and structural invention.A mannequin wearing a glittering early-20th-century matador’s outfit is stationed in the low-ceilinged entry hall. “I wanted to come home and feel like I had entered a Hollywood movie,” says Morgan.

A 12-foot-tall six-paneled mirrored screen is a practical backdrop (it hides a fire escape) but is also a fearless statement about the power of reflection.

“This is a great party house,” Morgan notes. He’s created intimate areas for tête-à-têtes (such as his dining area just off the living room) and left other areas open, where guests can congregate.

Morgan’s collection of florist ceramics and an optometrist’s head for displaying glasses is arranged on a console in the living room.

On the west side of the penthouse, Morgan has created a glamorous all-black kitchen that’s anchored by an island—an ideal spot for caterers to station themselves.

Morgan began collecting early: “I bought my first lamp when I was sixteen, a bronze art deco horse head that’s the base of a tabletop lamp.” It now sits on the Milo Baughman desk in his office. “The lamp was $100 and not in my budget,” he says, “so I had to put in on layaway.”

The guest bedroom where the view is the state capitol dome.

The master bath.

Detail in the master bath.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY RYANN FORD

INTERIOR DESIGN BY CLAYTON MORGAN

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