Parade of Homes events provide opportunities for builders and architects to showcase their talents, and to have some fun with a home that doesn’t rely on homeowner input. It’s an opportunity to present innovative ideas not only to their peers but also to their potential clients. Terry Polston, owner of New Austin Homes based in Austin, Texas, did exactly this and more when he participated in the Parade of Homes event in the Lake Travis area outside of Austin.
The style of this house is a change from the standard Mediterranean-styled homes found around Lake Travis; Polston describes it as Cuban hacienda. “It’s a fresh and new look that is inviting. But you don’t want it to be too different because people don’t like stuff that is way outside the norm,” he adds. “This is a stucco home and can fit in with the Tuscan and Mediterranean homes around Lake Travis.”
To create the Cuban hacienda feel, different design characteristics were added to the home’s exterior. “The designer used a tea-stained stucco finish, and the starter row on the roof has concrete underneath the tiles to bump them up. Five percent of the rest of the roof also features this concrete application. All of this adds to the Cuban appearance,” Polston says.
As guests walk up to the house, they are not directly introduced to the front door. Rather, they walk through a covered entry designed to invite visitors into the home. “The covered entry brings guests into a courtyard with a water feature and landscaping. You can see the study and different parts of the home through the windows. Then you walk around a curved wall where you see the guest casita — or guest room — on the right. This takes you to the entry foyer where you see the lake through double doors,” Polston says.
All the homes on Lake Travis are situated to take advantage of the lake. This home was no exception with living areas — outdoor and indoor — designed to focus on the lake, Polston adds. “The outdoor area consists of a 3,300-sq.-ft. terrace. It includes an infinity-edge swimming pool, an outdoor kitchen and a fireplace,” he says. “The library features a double balcony that is cantilevered out over the swimming pool.”
A unique feature in the home is a koi pond that starts in the outdoor living area, continues under the house and into the wine room. “The floor in the wine room is acrylic with the koi pond underneath it. We wanted to do something that was unique,” he says. The homeowners who ended up buying the house loved the koi pond so much they bought additional fish.
When asked to name his favorite part of the house, Polston says the outdoor living area catches the eye, but his favorite is the master suite. “It has a very nice spa feeling to it. The way it was designed and put together is appealing. The house was actually nicknamed the Spa House because of the master suite,” he says.
Beyond the Standard
It quickly becomes obvious when discussing the features of this house with Polston that he and his team went to great lengths to add extra touches wherever possible. The kitchen includes all hand-carved cabinetry and won the Best Kitchen award in the Parade of Homes event. All the flooring in the house is pecan flooring with no carpeting. To top this off, all the bedrooms feature their own themes. One bedroom has a French theme with blue and black colors throughout. Even the garage has a custom touch including a special epoxy finish on the floor and cabinetry.
“The success [of this project] is due to the thorough process that was put into this home as well as the quality of the design and trade teams,” Polston says. “We sat down with both a designer and architect to come up with something that was unique, looks good and works well.”
New Austin Homes
Residential new construction: 100 percent
Average annual revenue: $2 million
Doors: Lincoln Wood Products
Garage doors: The Door Co.
HVAC: Tempstar Heating and Cooling
Doors: Sun Mountain
Tile: Materials Marketing
Flooring: Ace Hardwood
Fireplaces: Materials Marketing
Decking: Materials Marketing
Fireplaces: Materials Marketing
Grill: Wolf Appliance
Warming drawer: KitchenAid
Refrigerator: Sub-Zero Inc.
Sinks: Kohler Co.
Range: La Cornue
Exhaust hood: Best by Broan
Ovens: Miele Inc.
Warming/cooling drawers: KitchenAid
Refrigerators: Sub-Zero Inc.
Dishwashers: Asko Appliance
Washer/dryer: Whirlpool Corp.
Microwave oven: Sharp Electronics
Tubs: Acryline USA
Toilets: Kohler Co.
Shower faucets: Santec
Home control system: Crestron
Automatic shades: Texas Sun and Shade