Modern Home Connects with Nature

Felicia Foster creates the perfect escape from the city in an Austin, Texas, home that mixes modern design with natural elements
Modern Bachelor's Living & Dining Room With High Ceilings

Modern Bachelor's Living & Dining Room With High Ceilings

While designing this modern bachelor's country home, designer Felicia Foster wanted the elements themselves to be the focal point. "We minimized on the design side so the materials could speak for themselves."

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Looking for an escape from the tight living space of the city, Austin, Texas, bachelor Matt Short asked Felicia Foster to create him a roomy getaway in the country. Foster, the principle building designer at Barron Custom Design, shepherded him through the process of transforming five acres of empty land into the modern retreat Short craved.

Both designer and client had their own interpretation of what this house would be, with Short’s ideas centering on modern design and Foster’s focusing on inspiration from the nature surrounding it. Their visions came together in a minimalist style house inspired by the vast amount of land and breathtaking views of the Austin countryside.

 It was about being re-connected with nature – suburbia is so inwardly designed that you miss everything that’s on the outside.
Certified Professional Building Designer Felicia Foster

Short had a tight budget to fit, so Foster made sure to “make every inch count” – from floor to ceiling. The concrete floors she selected offer a modern industrial look while helping to keep the house cool, meaning utility savings for Short. Foster left ductwork exposed, which eliminated the need for an attic and encouraged better airflow throughout the home.

“Everything played on the next thing. There was nothing that we did in the house that was only for the look,” Foster says.

Green Home With Stone Accents

The exterior of this home was inspired by the color of a live oak leaf. The use of natural colors helps tie the home to its natural surroundings.

Modern Bachelor's Living & Dining Room With High Ceilings

While designing this modern bachelor's country home, designer Felicia Foster wanted the elements themselves to be the focal point. "We minimized on the design side so the materials could speak for themselves."

Bare Windows Provide Natural Light in Modern Livingroom

Minimally decorated walls provide the perfect canvas for this comfortable living room with beautiful views of the surrounding outdoors. The natural light which flows into the space enhances the warm wooden details in this minimalist space.

Open Modern Great Room with Vaulted Ceilings

The design of this modern great room keeps things simple by sticking with the basics and letting them stand on their own. The open floor allows the furnishings and outdoor views to be the visual focus.

Modern Kitchen and Dining Room with Natural Wood Table

After moving out of a cramped city apartment, the homeowner wanted a functional place to cook and eat. The kitchen island is a workhorse with its built-in storage for cookbooks and wine, while the industrial look of the wood and sleek waterfall countertop blend with the rustic dining table and surrounding outdoor views.

Island Provides Book Storage in Contemporary Kitchen

The island in this contemporary kitchen was created as a hub for people to gather around and was made to look like a cube that rose out of the concrete. Since the homeowner didn't want to use stools, it also provides ample storage space on both sides.

Small Modern Kitchen with Quartz Countertops

Because this home is all about simplicity and efficiency, designer Felicia Foster used open wood shelving for display and storage in the kitchen that matches the light-colored cabinets. The earth-toned walls, backsplash and quartz countertops contrast the cabinets and appliances and mirror the views outside.

Modern Multipurpose Room with Pinball Machine

Whether you want to play, work or relax this room has a spot for everything. Designer Felicia Foster this space to work as efficiently as possible, so she added a compact desk, a pinball machine and a comfortable sofa to make this a multipurpose area.

Modern Bachelor Bedroom with Gallery Wall

Clean style and sleek lines in this modern master bedroom let the rugged furniture showcase itself. "Everything played on the next thing. There was nothing that we did in the house that was only for the look," says designer Felicia Foster.

Modern Bathroom With Industrial Look

Wall-mounted sinks and frameless shower doors create an industrial look in this bathroom. Leaving pipes exposed adds another modern touch and offers more room than a traditional vanity.

Back Patio with Limestone Fireplace

The firebox in this outdoor fireplace was placed higher than normal for optimum warmth against the southern breezes coming across the field. The fireplace is clad in Texas limestone.

Modern Home with Country Accents

Because of the "soupy" soil conditions, the foundation of the house was built specifically to keep it afloat."The house had to be designed so that it was like a box so it would sit on top of the ground," designer Felicia Foster says. The gravel landscaping was also instrumental in preventing drainage areas from impacting the home.

Limiting visual clutter throughout the house allows the furniture to shine. Various colors, textures and materials clothe the furnishings to add visual interest. The kitchen includes display space for decorative dishes, books, magazines and wine. The look remains clean by using exposed shelving to display Short’s personal items and travel souvenirs.

The kitchen island, crowned with quartz countertops and packed with storage space, was built to look like a cube rising out of the concrete. Short wanted it to become the hub of the house where people could gather together.

The walls feature very little art to keep with the simple style and make the room seem even more open. Bare windows allow the outdoors to flow into the house with lots of natural light, limiting the need for overhead lighting and creating a connection to the outdoor living spaces.

Green Home with Country Accents

Green Home with Country Accents

The landscaping for the home was designed to blend seamlessly with the surroundings. The exterior paint color is inspired by the leaves from surrounding oak trees. The Texas limestone provides an earthy tone to the palette, incorporating more smoothly with the surrounding grounds than more common white limestone would.

The backyard quickly became Foster’s favorite part of the house. Foster located the firebox in the custom Texas limestone fireplace higher than normal in order to better heat the patio area on chilly country nights.  

“We would sit out there and catch the southern breezes coming across,” Foster says. “And the view out to the live oaks and across the property was just awesome.”

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