Ship-Inspired Custom House Honors Career of Oil Tanker Captain Homeowner

With a tall profile, porthole-inspired touches and deck-like balconies from which to view the nearby lake, this Austin retreat by Jenkins Custom Homes offers an oil tanker captain a "ship" to call home.

Contemporary Home Exterior Features Mixed Materials

Contemporary Home Exterior Features Mixed Materials

Outdoor lighting draws attention to the use of mixed materials on this contemporary home exterior, highlighting the home's dynamic combinations.

Photo by: Tre Dunham

Tre Dunham

Sitting three stories tall with bow-like decks overlooking a nearby lake, this Austin home nearly looks like a ship that's ready to sail. The design is befitting of its homeowner, a career oil tanker captain.

"Our architect made that structure with that butterfly roof and said we want it to look something like a ‘Star Trek’ type ship up in the sky," says Bethany Jenkins, vice president of Jenkins Custom Homes.

Contemporary Home Features Built-In Covered Patio

Contemporary Home Features Built-In Covered Patio

Sleek stone columns elevate this contemporary home above the ground, creating a built-in covered patio that houses an outdoor kitchen, a fire pit and a swimming pool. Ample lighting keeps the patio space fully illuminated at night.

Photo by: Tre Dunham

Tre Dunham

The firm's architect decided to begin the living space of the home 50 feet above the ground both to protect it from the surrounding floodplain and to amplify the look of a floating vessel. Sleek columns made of local, native stone lift the home high enough to create a sheltered outdoor living space on the first floor.

Railings and balconies -- both inside and out -- mimic the look of a ship's bulwark, and the home office boasts floor-to-ceiling windows, offering the homeowner the familiar feel of a bridge.

Contemporary Dining Area Boasts Wet Bar & Wine Storage

Contemporary Dining Area Boasts Wet Bar & Wine Storage

Situated just off the kitchen, this dining area features a wet bar and chic wine storage. The round dining table mimics the shape of the room for a unified look.

Photo by: Tre Dunham

Tre Dunham

The homeowner requested circular designs in the home, which can be seen in the details such as the modern chandeliers in the dining space, an oversized pendant light in the outdoor living area and in the circular wine room and table.

"We didn't at first put the two and two together, but then later we realized the circles represent portholes and she was seeing circles because she's got this career as a ship captain," Jenkins says. 

Contemporary Kitchen Features Dark Brown Cabinets

Contemporary Kitchen Features Dark Brown Cabinets

Dark brown cabinetry provides contrast against the light wood floors in this contemporary kitchen. Granite countertops, which pull hues from the cabinets and floors, tie the space together.

Photo by: Tre Dunham

Tre Dunham

And like the lay of a ship, the home was aligned vertically to capture views of the surroundings from each side. The master bedroom and the living room were given the best perspectives of the lake, and the rest of the rooms boast Hill Country vistas. 

Building for the viewport was not without its challenges, though. Because of the vertical nature of the home, laying out rooms like the kitchen became a challenge. To combat the long, angular outlook of the kitchen, the team installed two large islands with waterfall-edge granite, creating a showpiece out of a strange space. 

Contemporary Bathroom Provides Room for Two

Contemporary Bathroom Provides Room for Two

Two separate vanities, each with their own sink, countertop, mirror and cabinets, ensure space for two in this contemporary bathroom. Situated just past the vanities is a nook with a freestanding bathtub, offering a bit of privacy for bathing.

Photo by: Tre Dunham

Tre Dunham

The rest of the home was built to match the client's contemporary design taste with a neutral gray palette and open spaces. The Jenkins Custom Design team also added their own Hill Country style with small touches of reclaimed wood in the fireplace and master bathroom and contrasting it with plenty of glamour.

"We like to take two completely opposite materials or two completely opposite styles and marry them," Jenkins says. "The reason we do that is because quite often there's just a nice balance that you get whenever you take those two things, the opposites, and you bring them together."

In the end Jenkins marks the success of the project by the homeowner’s joy in the home, not on looks or atmosphere. 

"Whether or not it's beautiful, that's a subjective thing, but if you are just loving living there everyday, then it was a success," she said. 

See the Rest of This Ship-Inspired Home

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Ship Shape

Built for an oil tanker captain, this Austin home is designed vertically to mimic the look of a ship.

Tags: 
  1. outdoor spaces

Photo By: Tre Dunham

Vaulted Living

The living space of the home sits 50 feet above the ground both to protect it from the surrounding floodplain and to amplify the look of a floating vessel. 

Photo By: Tre Dunham

Going Vertical

The three-story home is designed to capture views of its surroundings from each side. 

Photo By: Tre Dunham

Ship in the Sky

"Our architect made that structure with that butterfly roof and said we want it to look something like a ‘Star Trek’ type ship up in the sky," says Bethany Jenkins, vice president of Jenkins Custom Homes.

Photo By: Tre Dunham

Sheltered Outdoor Room

Sleek columns made of local, native stone lift the home high enough to create a sheltered outdoor living space on the first floor.

Multi-Layered Living

A sunken seating area with built-in concrete benches is centered around a modern concrete fire pit. The seating area shares a wall with the hot tub, making the transition from one spot to the next a cinch.

Breezy Entertaining

An outdoor kitchen makes entertaining a breeze at this contemporary home. Guests can chat around the black and white island while the chef prepares a quick meal at the nearby grill.

Pool With a View

The infinity edge pool and spa enjoy views of the nearby lake.

Indoor-Outdoor Living

Large sliding glass doors open this living room up to a covered patio, creating indoor-outdoor functionality. A warm brown and beige color palette ties the spaces together.

Photo By: Tre Dunham

Clean and Spacious

A lengthy leather sectional fits this spacious living room well and provides plenty of seating for a crowd. Built-in cabinets coordinate with the hue of the sofa and offer concealed storage to keep the space clean and uncluttered.

Photo By: Tre Dunham

Easy Flow

The living room flows seamlessly into the dining area and kitchen in this contemporary home, creating an open concept design perfect for entertaining a crowd. Guests can simultaneously relax in the living room, dine in the dining area and mingle in the kitchen.

Stylish Dining

The dining area features a long dining table and sleek dining chairs. Three pendants provide stylish lighting, and a large window offers stunning views.

Circle Up

The homeowner requested circular designs in the home, which can be seen in the details such as the modern chandeliers in the dining space. The circular designs are meant to invoke the portholes seen on ships.

Defining the Look

The lights hanging help define the dining space in this open concept home.

Creating a Show Piece

To combat the long, angular outlook of the kitchen, the team installed two large islands with waterfall-edge granite, creating a show piece out of a strange space. 

Photo By: Tre Dunham

Plenty of Prep Space

Dual islands offer ample prep space and a spot for quick, effortless dining in this contemporary kitchen. The kitchen employs a neutral color palette to unite its use of varied materials.

Photo By: Tre Dunham

Design in the Round

Situated just off the kitchen, this entertainment area features a wet bar and chic wine storage. The round dining table mimics the shape of the room and is meant to evoke the look of a porthole.

Design in the Details

This wine room features a modern hand-blow​n​ glass chandelier suspend​ed​ from the ceiling to illuminate the circular space. Curved wine racks offer ample space to store wine, which is easily accessed with a rolling ladder. To give the ​room an organic look with a modern twist, stone is laid vertically instead of horizontally.

Stylish Staircase

A glass wall encloses this contemporary staircase, making the space safe without sacrificing style. Warm brown treads contrast with crisp white risers for a striking look.

Photo By: Tre Dunham

Room With a View

Clerestory windows and sliding glass doors work together to create a bright, fresh atmosphere in this contemporary bedroom. A soft, neutral color palette and minimal decor keep the space feeling casual and relaxed.

Spa-Like Bathroom

Two separate vanities, each with their own sink, countertop, mirror and cabinets, ensure space for two in this contemporary bathroom. Situated just past the vanities is a nook with a freestanding bathtub, offering a bit of privacy for bathing.

Photo By: Tre Dunham

Rustic Touches

The Jenkins Custom Design team added their own Hill Country style with small touches of reclaimed wood on the walls of the master bathroom and contrasting it with plenty of glamour.

Captain's Chair

The home office boats floor-to-ceiling windows, offering the homeowner the familiar feel of a bridge.

Standing at the Bow

This contemporary balcony features a glass railing for uninterrupted views of the picturesque lake. A sleek fire feature keeps the space warm on cool nights.

Inviting Approach

A paver driveway lined with trees creates a charming entry to this contemporary home. A sleek stone facade juts out in the front, catching your eye upon arrival.

Photo By: Tre Dunham

Highlighting the Architecture

Outdoor lighting draws attention to the use of mixed materials on this contemporary home exterior, highlighting the home's dynamic combinations.

Photo By: Tre Dunham

Set Sail

With bow-like decks overlooking a nearby lake, the home nearly looks like a ship that's ready to sail.

Photo By: Tre Dunham

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