The 2022 Austin
Outdoor Living Tour

April 23rd, 2022

Step outside and enjoy the springtime! Presented by the Modern Architecture + Design Society (MA+DS), we're back to show you the backyards, pools, pergolas and gardens that make Austin's outdoor spaces amazing!

See the spaces that make staying home fun!

Summertime is when fun happens, and at these special homes the vacation never ends! 

The Austin Outdoor Living Tour is your chance to visit fantastic private outdoor spaces, meet the builders and designers that made it happen -and maybe even ask a question or two about your own dream backyard project!

Left: Tour Home siteplan by Ecotopes

Tour Homes

Barley|Pfeiffer Architecture
Texas Tiny Pools (with Studio 8C + Hatch Works Design Build)
Texas Tiny Pools (With YardZen + Cutters Landscape)
Open Envelope Studio
Native Edge Landscape
Colectivo Creative
austin outdoor design
Let's Go Outside!

Together, we'll tour Austin's coolest backyards!

Let’s get together and tour some of Austin’s most cutting-edge private homes in some of the coolest neighborhoods around.

Meet the Landscape Designers

Talk with the minds behind these fantastic outdoor spaces!

Get Inspired!

Finally ready to embark on your own stunning modern project? You won't find better inspiration anywhere!

Ask All The Questions

The Tour is your chance to ask Austin's leading outdoor design pros what they think - right in the spaces they designed!

Learn About the 2022 Tour Homes

Contractor: Hudson Custom Homes 
Landscape Architect/Designer: Dunne by Design  
Photographer Credit: Oren Mitzner 

The Cottage Reimagined project is a home that is a “Contributing Structure” within one of Central Austin’s most historic neighborhoods. However, its charm disguised its need for a complete renovation of its outdated and inefficient systems. From the perspectives of health, energy efficiency, and long-term maintenance, there was much work to be done. The owner wanted an efficient, sustainable, and comfortable living environment. The biggest challenge was working with the original structure to provide the modern conveniences and high-performance expectations of today while adhering to the strict historic preservation requirements of the neighborhood and the City’s Historic Preservation Commission.  

Thanks to the design vision and engineering of the Barley|Pfeiffer Architecture team, the fine execution and contributions of Tommy Hudson with Hudson Custom Homes, and the commitment of the Owner, the outcome is a very comfortable, healthy, and nicely day-lit home. The 1600 square foot structure has yielded energy consumption bills 50% less than those before, despite the home being almost 190 square feet larger. 

The original floor plan was characterized by a series of smaller rooms clustered together. It offered little connection to the outdoors, except for the original wood windows and doors that leaked both air and water. The exterior brick, due to age, was very dirty and showed signs of deterioration. The foundation was in substantial need of shoring up. 

The home renovation includes all new windows, a new and more efficient mechanical system, and a superior spray polyurethane insulation system that encapsulates the attic yet provides for a ventilated radiant barrier proprietary “Shading Umbrella” roof system. This all makes for less infiltration of highway noise, humidity, molds, and pollens while eliminating the drafts and discomforts of an older home. A new kitchen was designed for better function and efficiency. A screened-in living area makes for a great outdoor space within a semi-private setting, and without the bugs! New interior fixtures, fittings, and finishes were chosen to honor the home’s original 1930s character while providing tasteful aesthetic upgrades.

Landscape Installation: Cutters Landscape
Landscape Architect/Design: YardZen
Photographer Credit: Twist Tours

An underutilized backyard lacking purposeful spaces was transformed by an awesome team consisting of Texas Tiny Pools, YardZen and Cutters Landscaping. Facing many of the famous Austin hurdles to accomplish a dream backyard, we navigated issues of tight impervious cover, electrical lines, a protected tree, and accessibility issues. But the result in the end was magazine worthy! 

Builder and Interior Design: Hatch Works Design Build 
Landscape Architect/Design: Studio 8C

A huge backyard, was upgraded with multiple usable spaces. Featuring a brandnew carport, two unit studio, stunning outdoor kitchen patio, a new Tiny Pool and still adequate yard space for games and entertaining. 

Photographer Credit: Sam Bryant, ecotopes   

This inviting modern landscape originally provided a tempting pool and luxury outdoor kitchen but needed a few smart enhancements to make the spaces even more perfect. Walking connections between outdoor amenities needed to be reconsidered, so ecotopes developed an imaginative approach using embedded pathway planks to link up the site. 

In addition to expanding the IPE deck that surrounds the pool, ecotopes conjured up an innovative gravel countertop and comfortable hardwood lounger which help to power-up this Zilker home’s poolside ambiance. 

Botanicals featuring native Texas plants were used to freshen up the poolside grounds, as well as within a variety of inventive steel planters.

This project was initially conceived and constructed for a family in South Austin in 2016. The clients moved from San Antonio and left behind a mature garden space. Post-construction, their new single-family spec home sat on a corner lot that was a sloping, heavily sodded blank slate. They wanted their entire property to be unified in one design language and to maximize the use of the three small outdoor spaces: a front, side, and backyard. The landscape design proposal we created for the 3,865 square-foot outdoor space focuses on function, resilience, and sustainability.  

The front yard includes a level terrace on the sloped site, providing the largest play area for the two young kids. In order to create a barrier from the street, the yard is edged with a planted bed. On the opposite side of the entry path, a raised planter with an ornamental tree provides a focal point for the kitchen window to create interest both inside and outside the home.  

The backyard generates a private space for relaxation in a lush garden oasis just off the main bedroom. A low site wall facilitates leveling the space and provides additional informal seating. A simple post and beam structure is a flexible framework to allows the use of a hammock or net swing for the children and an irregular pattern of limestone pavers provides unprogrammed hardscape for seating and barefoot play space. Since this outdoor space is shared with vehicles under a carport, a partition of hedge variety bamboo in a raised planter makes it feel less utilitarian and more comfortably surrounded by nature.  

In 2021, the clients reached back out to add a pool in the side courtyard as the heritage tree had to be removed due to its health. The family wanted a new fence to fully envelop the front and side yards for additional privacy and security for dogs and children. The clumping bamboo was installed on the exterior side, giving more room for the pool yet retaining the previous phase’s intention of privacy through vegetative screening above the fence line.  

The family enjoys the blending of the interior and exterior through the addition of level outdoor living spaces, and the surrounding natural screening add a framed view of a much-needed organic texture. This project represents a thoughtful design strategy applied across the site—over the course of multiple years—to make it more usable and private, while overlaying sustainable and resilient vegetation and materials.

Photographer Credit: Rowan Marney 

This mid-century ranch makeover was designed to create an exciting outdoor living space to compliment the homeowners’ in-ground pool and outdoor movie theatre. We wanted the unique style of the home to extend into their outdoor space. Architectural plants paired with the movement of softer flowers and grasses blend into a visually striking and relaxing space for this young family to entertain and enjoy! Texture was a big influence in this landscape with a mix of hardscape and foliage to fuse the space into a modern rustic charm. Windmill palms, cacti, and yuccas were paired with flowering perennials and ornamental grasses to provide seasonal bursts of color and amplify the southwestern ambiance. 

Cafe lights and hitching-post towel racks were selected for a cozy and eccentric Austin flare. Artificial Turf was installed to replace the pre-existing pea gravel to soften the landscape and create a more pet-friendly backyard for their dog to play in. An outdoor kitchen with a raised countertop for extra seating was built within access of two doors for hosting and cleaning convenience. With this backyard makeover, the hosting possibilities are endless! 

The backyard consisted of a sloping terrain that minimized the use of this space. Following a contemporary Mexican eclectic array of materials and textures were able to create different spaces. The main feature, the pool, is accessed by an IPE boardwalk that starts from the house and extends to hold a gathering area. From here, we go down to a stone seating area. This area follows the slope and goes down just enough to use the pool coping as seating. Both seating areas are completed by steel frames that hold outdoor fans to fight the Texas heat. This structure also helps to hold cafe lights. Small spaces always help to create the most creative spaces. 

Casa Vicente was inspired by the architecture of Luis Barragan and the bright personality of our client. An existing pool was updated with a combination water feature and fire pit that overlooks a beautiful vista in the Northwest Hills greenbelt. 

Adjacent to the pool is a cabana with ipe decking, standing seam metal roof, and privacy curtains, creating a luxurious lounge space for enjoying those majestic views. 

An ornate vintage Spanish style gate serves as the entrance to this space, accented by the newly refreshed stucco wall which was inspired by the colorful work of Luis Barragan. 

As you travel towards the greenbelt, a cozy fire pit area with custom cast in place concrete benches and creative lighting welcome you to enjoy a nightcap and the natural beauty of Austin. 

Attention to detail and styling is one of the hallmarks of this project, brimming with life and personality. It’s a perfect space for a large outdoor gathering but has so many intimate conversation spaces that it always feels warm, welcoming, and just like home.

What You'll See

A unique take on covered parking, and a cozy outdoor room by Barley | Pfeiffer
Amazing outdoor entertaining by Colectivo Creative
This contemporary outdoor dining area by Texas Tiny Pools (with Hatch Works Design Build + Studio 8C)
A backyard with everything by Native Edge
Lush, relaxing landscaping in the city by Open Envelope Studio
A sliding deck with hidden pool underneath by Texas Tiny Pools (with Cutters Landscape + YardZen)

How It Works

02 Watch For Your Tour Map

About 48 hours before Tour Day, watch your email for a printable PDF map, as well as links to a dynamic online map if you prefer to navigate that way.

03 Visit the Homes on Tour Day

Travel at your own pace as you visit the homes in any order you wish between 10 AM and 3 PM on Tour Day.

Over A Decade of Fun & Educational Home Tour Events!


Left: Tour Home by Native Edge  Image: Rowan Marney


Looking for more info on sponsorships, tickets, or just general questions about the event?  Drop us a line!

© 2022 Modern Home Tours, LLC


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