Finding your space

Last year I was fortunate enough to have some talented friends over to help document our house and capture a few of my thoughts about what makes a good space. If you haven't already seen the gorgeous photos taken by Andrea Calo stop what you are doing right now and check them out here

Special thanks also goes out to Sisterwolf for getting me in front of a camera and picking my brain a bit about why I love architecture and the work I do. 

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Proxemics

Austin may be known as the live music capital of the world, but it has an equally robust art scene. If you've ever attended the East Austin Studio Tour you have an idea of just how immense the art community is here. You may also have noticed that it's hard to wade through the huge amount of art out there to find something that really speaks to you. For those looking to drill down to the good stuff I have two recommendations. First, Instagram is your friend. Some of my favorite artists in town I first discovered via Instagram. Second, keep an eye on well know galleries for rotating exhibitions. 

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2017 AIA Homes Tour

While there is no shortage of homes tours in Austin, the AIA Homes Tour is always my favorite. The quality of the homes is always amazing, and there is usually a little something for everyone. This year is no exception. In fact, I'm going to go out on a limb and say this may be the strongest group of houses in a long time. 

With that I have a confession to make. I just don't usually have it in me to go and look at a bunch of houses on my day off, so I whittle it down to two or three homes that can't be missed. This year however I may just need to suck it up. There are just two many good homes. So in no particular order here are a few that I'm excited about and why.

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Casa Marrakech

A house is never really done, and ours is still a long way from being finished, but we finally got to the point that we felt comfortable having photos taken of the space. Huge thanks to Andrea Calo for making a pretty good looking house look even better. Thanks also to Bercy Chen for the amazing house (architect and builder), Sasha our project manager, McCray & Co for the help with interior design, Westshop for help with landscaping, the Ankor boys and Clar for the custom couch, and all the other amazing people that helped out on the project. 

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Coming soon : Scout Island by Alterstudio

As good as these photos are, they just don't do justice to how good our newest listing at Skout really is. Alterstudio is one of my favorite architects in Austin and the level of detail on this project is next level. First off I'm a complete sucker for any house with a courtyard and the U shape of this layout does a perfect job of splitting the private and public spaces up and connecting the whole house to the outdoors.

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Starlight Village Homes

Hopefully by now you have already heard of Starlight Village. It's a new development of 30 affordable mid century modern inspired homes that is being built in Austin. Err, well, not exactly in Austin. The development is really 30 min from down town (if the traffic gods are being kind) in Leander. They've been on my radar for a long time now so I decided to make the trek north to see just how things are coming along. Here's the good news and the bad.

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2017 Austin Modern Home Tour

It's time for the 9th annual Austin Modern Home tour. It happens next weekend and it's one of my favorites (second to the AIA Home tour) because it focuses solely on modern homes. This year Bercy Chen Studio has not one, but two homes on the tour, their Tetra house pictured above and the home located on San Juan dr. There are some other great houses on the tour as well that are definitely worth checking out, but I'm especially excited about the Tetra house. You can get a sneak peek of it below...

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Barbecue confessionals

When it comes to barbecue Texas takes itself very seriously. Here barbecue is all about beef brisket and when it comes to brisket Franklins is king. I'm not here to dispute any of that, what I am here to do is to make a confession. I love ribs. Delicious, falling off the bone, smothered in barbecue sauce ribs. I'm not alone obviously and most of the well known barbecue places in town offer ribs as well, but if you are looking to avoid the lines and get some finger licking delicious smoked meats, there are some new kids in town to help you out. Meet J. Leonardi's Barbeque.

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Travel Report : Panama

2016 was a doozy of a year with plenty of ups and downs. Despite the bitter taste that certain political events had left in our mouths, my wife and I were intent on starting 2017 off on the right foot. When a few friends from Salt Lake City asked if we wanted to head to Panama for the new year we were all in. Beyond a few random facts about the Panama Canal, I knew almost nothing about the country. We ended up spending 7 days in Casco Viejo, the historic section of the city and 3 days drifting around the Pearl Islands. Here's a little recap for anyone curious or heading down that way.

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Building a house : Looking back

I know a lot of you have been patiently waiting for photos of my house finished. There are a few tiny projects I'm finishing up still and then I promised I'll share. In the meantime we are finally at a good stopping point were I think it would be fun to stop and look at how far we've come. The two biggest questions I get about my house are how long did it take, and how much did it cost. So let's start with the first. I've broken down a rough timeline below of major milestones and noted where we could have moved faster. Cliff notes: it takes a long time to build a house.

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ARTBASH

Tis the season of music festivals and art shows! Really this is one of my favorite times of year in Austin. East Austin Studio tour is always a highlight and I'm excited to check out all the great talent in this city. This year I'll be kicking things off attending ARTBASH. Never heard of it? We'll it's about time. This is the second annual event and it looks like it's going to be a good one. I'm particularly excited about the venue as well.

Keep your eye on my instagram for a chance to win two tickets or buy your own here.

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Pop Austin Giveaway!

Austin may be well known for its music scene, but it also has a flourishing art scene that deserves attention. Despite having lots of legitimate local talent I've always felt like the city has been lacking a bit in exhibitions with well known national and international artists. Don't get me wrong, The Contemporary does a decent job but I'm super excited about the good work that POP Austin has been doing in the contemporary art scene here in Austin. That's why I'm super excited to be giving away 10 weekend passes to this year's show. So let's get to the details:

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2016 AIA Austin Homes Tour

Every year some of the best of the best new homes are opened up for the public to appreciate, and every year I try and pick a few favorites to add to my "must see" list. It's a bit of an overwhelming challenge when there are so many good homes to pick from. I haven't been through any of these homes yet, but based on the fantastic photos by Leonard Furmansky below are my top picks for the 2016 AIA Austin Homes Tour in no particular order. 

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A Mid Century Masterpiece

Last week I gave a little teaser of my latest listing. The "Butterfly House" designed by A. D. Stenger is sincerely one of my favorite homes in Austin. and here's why. First off, I'm going to assume you are already familiar with Arthur Dallas Stenger. He was a bit of a radical and a visionary and he built a lot of beautiful homes in Austin in the 50's and 60's. This particular one stands out however thanks to its unique roof line. I've heard the inspiration came from a similar roof on the old Austin airport which was designed by another notable firm Fehr and Granger.  

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Have your cake and eat it too!

My latest listing on 2708 Pither Ln is pretty much a no brainer. You get all of the good parts of the condo life like a community pool, dog park and yard maintenance without any of the downsides like shared walls and noisy neighbors. It's a freestanding house with a garage at a entry price that is as close as you can get to affordable in Austin these days. Besides the aforementioned pool and dog park, there's a lot to love about the little Edgewick community that it's located in. East Riverside is definitely on the upswing and with all the new projects planned for the area it's only a matter of time before it catches up with it's neighbors in 78704 and East Austin. 

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Progress report

It's crazy to think the last update was all the way back in February. Since then a lot has changed. It's still not much to look at from the street, between the dumpster, the fence and all the scaffolding. We're just waiting for the rain to pass so we can do our last coat of stucco. It's a white stucco with integral color, when finished it almost looks just like white concrete. With that and some metal screens that we have planned over the windows it should be looking lots better soon. You can see now that thanks to it being set below grade it doesn't look too imposing, despite being two stories. I parked my classic Range Rover there to help you with scale. :)

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Home Tour: Austin's post war boom!

Ready for another home tour? Sure you are. This one is for all of you fans of everything mid century. This weekend Preservation Austin is exploring the post war boom and the neighborhoods of Crestview, Brentwood and Allandale. The huge demand for affordable housing in the late 40's was a big part of the success of modernist architects of the time.

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