Limestone and travertine merge to create the perfect balance
Regional limestone — along with a variety of other material — was incorporated into the design of a private residence in Austin, TX, to create a home reminiscent of the Old World with a sophisticated feel
“[The design goal was] creating Old World elegance with a rustic flair,” said Hathaway. “The client was intimately involved in the design process, offering ideas and inspirations they wanted to incorporate into the design. There wasn’t an element of the project that they didn’t have input and ideas. They have a large family with three kids, so they were really looking to create something special for them all to enjoy during the important schooling years.”
An elegant and sophisticated look was achieved on the expansive residence’s exterior with Austin White limestone rubble combined with Old Chicago brick. The limestone, which was supplied by Parker Stone Specialists of Austin, TX, has a rough texture — giving character and depth to the exterior facade. The warm tones of the limestone also offer an inviting feel and blend well with the home’s natural surroundings. The random sizes of the stone pieces contribute to the rugged undertones of the design.
A highlight of the private residence is its backyard with a patio that extends almost the length of the house. Large rough-cut pieces of Austin White limestone form a wall with a cascading waterfall, which anchors the home to the land — further creating a sense of permanence and enhancing the rustic feel.
To construct the outdoor living area and covered patio, various sizes of Turkish Classic travertine with a chiseled Versailles finish, supplied by Interceramic of Lawrenceville, GA, were used. For the pool bathroom’s porch and the adjoining casita’s porch, the same material in 18- x 18-inch format was employed.
Inside the home, the front entry features 12- x 12-inch pieces of Turkish Classic travertine, while the floors of the mud room, kitchen, family room, entry, powder room and hall to the master bedroom are comprised of 24- x 24-inch pieces of Crema Imperial travertine from Mexico, which was also supplied by Interceramic. Additionally, 3- x 6-inch pieces of Crema Imperial travertine were cut from the larger pieces to create an ongoing border.
Private Residence — “Old World/Shore Vista”
Architect: John Hathaway, AIA, Vanguard Studio, Inc., Austin, TX
Stone Suppliers: Parker Stone Specialists, Austin, TX (Austin White limestone rubble); Interceramic, Lawrenceville, GA (Turkish and Mexican travertine)
Stone Contractor/Installer: Craig White, Taylor & White Custom Stone, Cedar Park, TX
Builder: Scott Walther, Sendero Homes, Austin, TX
A luxurious feel is created in the master bathroom with 18- x 18-inch Venice Cream marble floor pieces as well as a special feature — an open, outdoor shower constructed completely of natural stone that was strategically positioned to highlight the surrounding views. “The owners really wanted a special outdoor shower that had a view of the lake, which turned out to be very intimate and full of character,” said Hathaway. The shower, which is located right off of the master bathroom and connected with an all-glass door, is comprised of different-sized pieces of Austin White limestone rubble and Old Chicago brick, while the floor consists of 55 smaller pieces of stone in River Rock Top CU Roi Blend from Interceramic.
Because of their mechanical and aesthetical properties, the Austin White limestone rubble and Old Chicago brick were the ideal choices for the exterior of the home and various parts of the interior, according to Hathaway. “It had the look we wanted,” he said. “The clients were looking for a more rustic look overall, which is why they went with a more rubble look. But at the same time, they wanted to incorporate some more elegant, refined elements of stone. They were looking for the perfect blend of rustic elegance that has ties to the past but also looks to the future.
“We used 3D computer visualization throughout the project to help the clients visualize how things were looking,” Hathaway went on to say. “We were also able to show them different types and colors of stones applied to a model of their home. It was a great tool to help them select the final stone which gave it the right look.”
While designing and constructing the home, which took almost 1 ½ years to complete, Hathaway, Walther and Craig said they didn’t encounter any problems with the stonework. “All went smoothly,” said Hathaway.
“The master bathroom shower was more detailed, and those are always going to take a little longer,” said White. “[But] in general, it was a normal installation for us.”
White and his team of six to 10 installers used installation products from Custom Building Products — from thinset to grouts — to complete the installation, which took between two and three weeks. “I was there every day [to supervise the installation],” said White. “I would go for about two hours in the morning to make sure all of the guys were set up and then come back the next day.”
Since the home’s completion about two years ago, the architect and builders have heard nothing but positive feedback, both in regard to the home’s design and intricate stonework. “The reaction has been great,” said Hathaway. “The stonework was a big part of the finished look.”
“The house is incredible,” said Walther. “The design, the build — it’s a gorgeous house and it has received rave reviews. There’s nothing but positive remarks from everyone who walks in there. It’s really cool.”