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A Modern Austin Residence Mixes Antiques With New Furnishings

A Modern Austin Residence Mixes Antiques With New Furnishings

PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRYANT HILL

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When Glynis and Lee Wood bought a 1970s ranch-style home in Austin’s friendly Northwest Hills neighborhood, where Lee spent his boyhood, they weren’t the least bit daunted by its cavernous rooms and hallways. “The house felt closed-in and dark, and it wasn’t very welcoming,” Glynis says. “But I love older homes, so we bought it with the intention of preserving its character and history.”

The couple planned a remodel to bring the house more in line with their modern lifestyle, and—as a designer herself—Glynis had no shortage of ideas to share with their architect, Rodney Palmer. “At our first meeting, I had this gigantic notebook with thousands of things in it and I just plopped it on his desk,” she says, laughing. “We have two teenage girls and we’re a very relaxed family, so I wanted this house to feel as airy and stress-free as possible.”

Palmer drew up renovation plans, but he and his clients soon realized that it would be easier to tear down the old house and start fresh. Heeding the couple’s request for spaciousness and light, the new blueprints delivered heightened ceilings and generous rooms that seamlessly open up to one another. “The kitchen is wide-open to the living room and is defined by the wood treatments only,” Palmer says by way of example. “And the master suite looks onto the porch and into a small sitting area, so there are these great diagonal views that open up the space.”

Inside and out, Glynis worked closely with Palmer and builder Chris Shaffer to strike an ideal balance between modern and organic. “During the design, there were always discussions around, ‘Well, is this element going to be more contemporary or is it going to be one of the more rustic notes in the space,’ ” Palmer says. “We visually interspersed those so that they weave throughout the design.”

“We had a lot of meetings with the steel guys, the masons, everybody,” Shaffer adds. “You have to bring a lot of people together and get some synergy going to make a project like this work.” The living room’s fireplace, for example, was inspired by stonework Glynis spotted at a local Crate & Barrel store. “I sent my mason over to the store,” Shaffer says. “He took pictures and measurements, and then recreated the wall here by hand, using local limestone to get the look that she was going for.”

Much of the furniture came from the family’s previous home, although Glynis did bring in a few new pieces, such as the custom Lytle Pressley sectional and shagreen nesting tables in the living room. Throughout the home, she painted the walls white to better showcase the couple’s artwork and furnishings. “Antiques make a house cozy and inviting,” she explains. “There’s an armoire in the kitchen from the late 1800s that has an old flower bin in it that I love, and there’s a hutch that belonged to my husband’s grandparents in the dining room.”

Indeed, mixing antiques with new furniture, and rustic finishes with contemporary architecture, gave the family the comforting respite they envisioned. “I love the feeling of this house,” says Glynis. “It encourages people to relax and be at peace, and to look out and enjoy the view.”

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