This past weekend I attended the 2015 Austin Modern Home Tour. The weather couldn’t have been better for early February and I toured many of the available houses with family and some enthusiastic friends. Note – if you’re going to go on a home tour and haven’t done so before, allow me to give you a few important pointers.
1 Someone may live in the house you’re viewing (some may be vacant and for sale) and it’s generally nice to be respectful of the owner’s privacy. It pains me to no end to see another tour visitor open a closed door or play with a kitchen drawer or something similar.
2 Know you’ll usually have to cover your shoes or take them off to go inside, so the flooring is less likely to get damaged. Wear slip-on shoes so getting into each house is easy.
3 Be patient when trying to find a parking spot. I applaud the homeowners and more-so their neighbors with putting up with our cars and traffic on otherwise quiet streets. And recognize the added traffic may be inconvenient to the locals so do what you can to not impact them, nor ruin the possibility of having future tours come back to the neighborhood.
(Just some advice. I will say just about everyone I saw in Austin was enjoying the architecture and the afternoon – I didn’t see much in the way of occurrences that would hurt future tours’ chances.)
This little house north of Austin’s downtown was the winner in my book. Not that the modern home tour is a competition! I found it thoughtfully designed by Austin’s North Arrow Studio. The house was probably the one I’d want to spend a few nights in if I were needing a home to crash in on a short trip. Many other homes on the tour that I saw were much larger – this one was about 2,400sf if I recall correctly – and some of the bigger houses appeared to be a little too big with some strange spaces devoid of evidence that someone actually used the room/space.
This larger home in the West Lake Hills area had some cool features going for it as well, but the view (not pictured) toward downtown was stunning. The topography in western Austin is very hilly, thanks to the Balcones fault that runs up and down I-35, and the hills afford Austinites design opportunities I would love to play around with.
So if you went on the 2015 modern home tour and “need” a new house in Austin, let me know! I’ll jump at the chance to design a home in Austin’s awesome surroundings.
I always try to compare the home tour experiences with others I’ve attended in Dallas or say Houston in recent years. I’ll give Austin’s tour a solid B+. I still feel the AIA Dallas Home Tour has been the best I’ve been on – a nice handful of great projects to tour. Austin had a whopping 15 projects you could tour and I had no way of seeing them all in one day (unless I skipped lunch and blew through them at lightning speed, which I wasn’t going to do). But was my drive down to Austin and time spent visiting with friends worth it? You bet!
This post was originally written before re-branding as Eckxstudio for Modern Architecture at the end of 2017.
At Eckxstudio for Modern Architecture, we design unique and stunning projects, individually crafted for our clients’ lives. We’re passionate about listening to your needs, wants and desires as inspiration to design the dream home you’ll never want to leave.