Contemporary Hill Country Hacienda by Melisa Clement

Located just outside of Austin, Texas, this contemporary single family house was designed by Melisa Clement.

Description by Melisa Clement

Set in the Central Texas Hill country just outside of Austin, this home was built to incorporate the gorgeous 360 degree views from every window and from each of its 7 patios. With that in mind, I really wanted the interior to reflect all the beauty of the exterior views and the pool, much like a timeless California hacienda with rich white walls and organic wood accents. One of the architectural elements I loved was the ability for the full stacking glass doors at the back of the house to let in light and air, while also enjoying the same from the wall of glass doors at the front of the house. With both doorways open on either side of the gathering room, there is a natural breeze and refreshing quality that reminded me of a beachfront home. The ceiling in the gathering room was 24′ tall, and what to do with that space (especially the very tall fireplace wall), and how to light the room effectively, became top priority from the beginning. After several designs, and fabricators looking at us like we were crazy when we said “14′ X 14′ handmade light fixture”, I found Moonshine Shades out of south Austin, who was willing to help us with our creation. What we came up with is an incredible moving mobile chandelier, with 8′ shades, reminiscent of clouds floating past.

To bring in more of that clean, earthy, vibe, I drew out plans for walnut panels with discreet detail work to be placed throughout the house. This would also be my solution for the extremely tall fireplace wall, where I wanted a warm textural element to balance the airiness of the mobile light fixture. I chose more contemporary lighting throughout most of the house, to highlight the warm, deep comfort of the walnut and to give contrast. Mixing wood tones, we matched white oak cabinets with a gray wash next to sold walnut countertops and a gorgeous custom vent hood for even more of that real-life forest feeling, where trees of different varieties grow side by side.

For the kitchen backsplash, I knew I wanted a bookmatched marble, but couldn’t find anything with the colors I wanted that had a perfect bookmatch that I could also use on the island without the builder worrying about warranty issues. Neolith was the perfect solution. With its impenetrable and heat resistant qualities, combined with its gorgeous patterns and ability to bookmatch in several directions, it spoke exactly to our needs, and we ordered enough for all the kitchen backsplash wall, the full island with waterfall edge, and all the counters in the prep kitchen as well.

Our accent colors were aqua blues and green, to continue the “outdoors – in” motif. I found a beautiful cork wallpaper by Candice Olsen that we used in the office, and others that are used sparingly throughout powder bathrooms, each with a texture and pop of color of its own. Bright cement tiles were also used in several bathrooms to continue the hacienda feel, and to add rich, vibrant hues to our otherwise neutral color palate. Overall, we wanted this home to be inviting and family friendly – a place of peace and rest. I think we achieved that.

Photography by Allison Cartwright

- by Matt Watts

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