Circa 1950, a cinder block, bare bones, weekend fishing shack was erected, presumably to facilitate the shelter necessary between lengthy fishing excursions on Lake Austin. In the mid-1990’s, a young couple seeking year-round residence, and seeing an amazing setting around which to build their lives, commissioned Peter Pfeiffer, FAIA, of Barley & Pfeiffer Architects, to remodel and update the cabin, “making it a wonderful setting to enjoy lake living and entertaining.” Pfeiffer did this job so well that the home was even
featured on a popular TV show at the time called “Street Appeal.”
A decade later, Pfeiffer was called back to the home to remodel it again, this time to make it more family and kid-friendly as well as more energy efficient. Rooms were added, and the interior updated to reflect current style. Now, several years later, another family, this one with older children, has bought this home and brought it full circle, once again returning it to a weekend vacation home, albeit one with considerably more flare than the original.
When the new homeowners came to Sharon Radovich, Principal of Panache Interiors,
they had one very important goal in mind: a super FUN house “that reflected Austin’s cool vibe. The home’s layout with two separate living areas appealed to them so their kids could have their own space to hang.” The previous renovations had already transformed
this lakeside house into a mecca for entertaining, with its multiple living areas, large decks and beautiful views.
Radovich and her clients added loads of color, great art and sleeping for 15 (!) to
make this the ultimate destination for lake relaxation. The previous owners had some to do with charting the course for this newest remodel: the neutral tones they had chosen, the black stone countertops, taupe wood floors, gray cabinets, and beige and gray tiles, made a great backdrop for the vivid colors Radovich introduced into the home.
The new homeowners also bought the home semi-furnished, “with the big treasure being the 79” round glass dining table with ten green leather chairs. I needed to bring the green
and black into the great room to balance the kitchen and breakfast.” And thus began a beautiful friendship between bright greens and aqua blues and the neutral finishes that
already lived there. Radovich found a fun, floral fabric that integrated the black and green in a playful manner at Collectic Home, which she paired with a black linen fabric for the base of the sofa to add a classic look. She knew “a zebra rug would be a voguish addition,” and she had the Great Rug Company “funk it up with edge strips of green shag and black carpet.” She sourced the green glass coffee table at NEST Modern and the Collectic American Leather black recliners round out the seating. Radovich chose to paint the long wall into three colors, “visually breaking it up to bring balance to the space.” She carried the stripe theme onto the window panels, unifying and adding interest to the great room. The fabulous art in the space comes from local artists. Rebecca Bennett paints serene abstracts in vivid colors, and Radovich commissions work from her for many of her projects. The homeowner found the oversized dice painting by Carlos Ortiz at Collectic Home.
Each space in the home began to take shape following this same formula: what was great about the space already + fun additions from Radovich and the homeowners that fuse the space into a new creation. In the entry way, the front door was already orange, so Radovich “painted the towering staircase wall to match and stacked metal-rimmed mirrors on it for an inviting entrance to the home.”
At Exteriors Designer Showroom, she found a colorful Company C striped rug that she placed on the floor “to unify the orange entry and the aqua media room.” The pale aqua ottoman, tufted with orange patterned buttons, was crafted by locally-based Iron Thread Design, and the comical bulldog art was brought from the homeowner’s previous lake house.
Radovich says she “cannot help but smile the minute she walks through the orange
entry door — the space energizes me.” In the media room, the black leather sectional came with the house, and Radovich contrasted the black with bright aqua wall paint for a sense of fun.
She also added a red enamel table from 5 Elements for a pop of color in thecenter of the room. The homeowner, a realtor who according to Radovich “has a great sense of style, found the nostalgic photographic art in Houston, and the vivid daisy rug and pillows at Crate and Barrel.” In this space, they clearly created the perfect hangout for the homeowners’ college-aged children.
But at some point, everyone needs to sleep. And there is no shortage of places
to lay one’s head in this remodel. With a perfect green hue already painted on the
walls of one guest room, Radovich was able “to find a trundle, a triple bunk bed
and a chair/chaise/bed to sleep 6 in this room. The client had the quilts and polka
dot bedding to add whimsy and a bit of nostalgia.” The ‘bunk’ room is lined with
four beds draped in leopard comforters from the homeowner’s previous lake
house. Radovich added the lake home’s signature aqua tones and the homeowner
found the playful Lifesavers art.
In the master bedroom, Radovich wanted to give the homeowners a restful
place to retreat. That first meant extending the wall between the sofa in the great
room and the master bedroom, which originally did not go all the way to the
ceiling. Rob Mall Construction raised this wall to the ceiling, eliminating the issue of
sound transfer from the great room. Then Radovich set about making the space
a haven for tranquility. She “specified a tall Nathan Anthony headboard and
upholstered it in textured linen with sketchy gray circles. The organic cotton
duvet from Restoration Hardware is accented with a rectangular Ankasa Ikat
linen pillow from Wildflower.” She used “the cobalt blue in the accent pillow to
anchor the bed, and finished the room with a neutral chair and window panels,
whitewashed end tables and a grey rug for a relaxed atmosphere. The crystals on the
lamps add a romantic tone.” The deeper hues evoke a sense of calm, successfully
giving the parents the respite they will most likely need from all of the young
people visiting each weekend.
The art in each space is certainly conversation-worthy, none more so than the absolutely fabulous longhorn painting in the hallway off of the great room. Radovich spotted the longhorn at Art City Austin for a Wimberley ranch project, and at the same event selected a colorful cow for this lake house. But when she showed the cow to the homeowner,
she “wasn’t enthusiastic, and said ‘if it were only a Longhorn, I might be interested.’” So Radovich showed her the image of the longhorn painting she had placed in the ranch project and the homeowner “was immediately enamored by it.” They commissioned the Atlanta artist, who uses a technique of applying paint and wax over photographs to give it a unique depth, to paint a slightly different longhorn for the lake house. And now said longhorn holds court amongst a bevy of beautifully-unique pieces of pop art in the home.
When asked what factors are key when designing a lake house vacation home, Radovich replies that one should always “keep it simple. Make it uncluttered and restful. Have amenities that make you feel pampered…whether that is luxury linens, the New York Times, or simply a cold beer.” She also adds that materials should be durable and easy to maintain, after all, a vacation home should be all about the vacation!
Barley & Pfeiffer Architects
Rob Mall Construction/Mall Custom Cabinets