Stone in Architecture / Residential

A standout design with Texas limestone

June 4, 2012
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In what started as a small renovation project that grew into a year-and-a-half long overhaul of the entire home, this Austin, TX, residence has been completely updated with natural stone inside and out. With efforts from all — the homeowners, architect and construction company — the 5,000- square-foot home now features a clean, modern and functional design with a feeling of warmth that welcomes the residents home.

Dick Clark Architecture in Austin, TX, was responsible for the design of the home renovation. “The goal for the project was to upgrade the design aesthetic of the entire house, to customize the function as much as possible to the clients’ lifestyle, and to give the house a curb appeal that it previously lacked,” explained Kevin Gallaugher of Dick Clark Architecture. “In short, [we wanted] to make the house a more livable experience.”

To boost that curb appeal, the exterior of the house was completely revamped. It features a courtyard enclosure of the front yard and a facade that has been completely transformed with sawn gray honed Lueders limestone from the Salado Quarry in Salado, TX. At the decision-making stages, sandstone was also considered for the exterior. “The limestone was selected for beauty and warmth of aesthetic, the price range fit within the budget, and because it was readily available locally,” said Gallaugher.

In creating the design for the exterior, the architects sought to make the stonework seem like it was part of the original design of the residence. “The challenge was to incorporate exterior stone into the design and make it appear natural, as if stone had been conceived as inherent to the original house, even though obviously it wasn’t,” said Gallaugher. “We were able to do this because we basically demolished the entire front of the house, which allowed for a complete redesign from what originally existed. That made it a lot easier to incorporate stone into the exterior scheme of the project. There are even areas where we continued the exterior stone to the interior spaces of the house.”

The renovation work was completed by Texas Construction Co. of Austin, TX. “The exterior was a custom-stone pattern,” said Royce Flournoy of Texas Construction Co. “Stone was bought from the quarry and then sent to a manufacturing facility for shaping. It was very important to measure, a detail that was very management-intensive.”

Natural stone is not exclusive to the exterior of the residence. While the exterior has been renewed with limestone, the interior is cohesively designed with a variety of natural stone in applications throughout the house. In the kitchen, bathroom, living area and even the wine room, natural stone can be found on the floors, wall finishes, countertops, showers and other applications.

The countertops of the kitchen are made from 3-cm-thick Pietra Cardosa limestone. This was also used on the newly added cantilevered island that maximizes the function of the spaces and doubles as a dining area. Complementing this stone is the backsplash, with a glass subway tile from Reflections.

Private Residence

Austin, TX

Stone Installer: Texas Construction Co., Austin. TX

Exterior Stone Quarrier: Salado Quarry, Salado, TX

Stone and Tile Supplier: Architectural Tile & Stone, Austin, TX

Limestone Fireplace Fabricator: Berthold Hass


The living room features a view to the front courtyard that provides a continuous flow of design. With the limestone courtyard visible through the window, the custom Lueders limestone fireplace, built by Berthold Hass in Austin, is connected to the outside stonework.

The master bathroom is another showcase of natural stone for the home’s interior, but veers from the local limestone that is used throughout the house. The floors are Pietra Serena tile from Waterworks. Another stone that is brought into the design is White Carrara marble, which is used on the sink countertop and shower area. The walls of the shower are tiled floor-to-ceiling with 2- x 4-inch White Carrara marble tiles from Waterworks. The entrance to the shower area has custom 18- x 18-inch pieces of the same White Carrara marble, which posed a bit of a challenge for the installation. “There were large slabs for the entrance into the shower area. Navigating them up into the space was difficult, because there was very little tolerance so measurements had to be exact,” Flournoy said.

With its continuity in design, Gallaugher has achieved the design goal and brought local limestone to this Austin residence in a way that feels natural. The stone flows from the exterior to the interior without being overwhelming. The hard work of the architect and builder has paid off. “The reaction has been pleasantly and overwhelmingly positive, and the project was selected to be included in the 2011 Austin AIA Tour of Homes,” Gallaugher said.  

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