Lighting, Relaxation, and Beautiful Views are the Central Motifs to this Luxurious Outdoor Living Space in Austin
Mexican architect/engineer Luis Barragan (1902-1988) and the warm, bright personality of a fabulous client provided the outdoor living inspiration for Austin Outdoor Design’s Casa Vicente backyard project in Austin’s Northwest Hills neighborhood.
The original space was already filled with a wonderful patio and inground pool, but it wasn’t very inviting, did little to take advantage of the stunning views of the Northwest Hills greenbelt, and – quite frankly – it needed a serious update! Austin Outdoor Design went to work and the result is an amazing Austin-inspired take on modern Mexican architecture and outdoor living.
To start, the existing pool was updated and reconfigured. The familiar, old wooden deck was removed, and a combination water and fire feature wall was added to create a boundary between the upper pool area and new lower lawn space. Also added, something that should be a feature in everyone’s pool, a lounge shelf that provides relief on days when you want to cool down, but not plunge entirely into the water. While the pool has underwater lighting to illuminate a nighttime swim, the lounge shelf sports a water-light feature for relaxing and reading in the pool after dark.
Adjacent to and slightly overhanging the pool is a cabana made of Ipe decking and a standing seam metal roof. The space includes a hanging egg chair, warmly glowing cube lights, and privacy curtains to create a luxurious space for enjoying those majestic views.
A previously existing Spanish-style gate has been moved from its original position and now provides a unique contrast of antique, ornate feel next to the new, sleek modern elements. The vintage gate serves as an entrance to the outdoor space and is accented by the neighboring stucco wall, which has been refreshed and updated to include lighting; the new color palate of these older fixtures were inspired by the colorful work of Luis Barragan.
Once you have cooled off, and especially as the sun sets, make your way out on the new lawn (previously covered by the pool’s wrap-around wooden deck) to a cozy fire pit area to further take in the picturesque view. This separate oasis at the edge of the property is by itself enough to make anyone jealous. A 200 sq. ft. patch lies a half-step down from the lawn and is covered with large Mexican Beach Pebbles. Two custom cast-in-place concrete benches feature reveal lighting underneath and custom-made cushions to make you feel as if you are in an outdoor living room. Creative lighting from above helps illuminate the area, while the concrete fire pit will keep things warm on those chilly nights.
And as for the already established patio? Austin Outdoor Design decided to keep it as is. The extra-large Saltillo tiles accented with hand-painted Talevera tiles were just too nice to replace, not to mention they fit perfectly with the theme. The designers did add custom made table and benches (Ipe and steel) and simple string lights to shed new light on the old portion of the reconstructed outdoor living space.
Attention to detail, lighting, and custom style touches from an exceptional landscape design firm and fantastic homeowner are the hallmarks of this project that brims with life and personality. This refreshed outdoor living space is perfect for large outdoor gatherings (once they are safe to be held again), but has so many intimate conversation spaces that it always feels warm and welcoming… just like home. This is Casa Vicente.
Project neighborhood: Northwest Hills
Year completed: 2020
Approximate Square Footage: 3,000
Pool: Hines Pools (Rob Scott)
Cube lights: Cube Bluetooth LED
by Smart & Green
Fire Pit: Moderno 4 concrete firepit
Custom cushions: Outdoorfabrics.com
Lights above firepit: Gregg Pendant
Lights by Foscarini
Dining furniture, water feature and fire wall, concrete benches, stucco wall, cabana, and pergola all custom designed by Austin Outdoor Design!