A 1970s Home Reborn

Luke Riley Luke Riley
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Suspended on a narrow limestone ridge, halfway down a cliff that overlooks Lake Austin in Texas is this delightful modern sanctuary. It may appear to be a brand new build but, amazingly, the home has been built using the frame of an existing 1970s-era home! 

Specht Architects have completely re-imagined the existing home to suit the elderly owner's changing needs while also re-engaging the home with the dramatic site. Inside, the modern but homely décor incorporates elements that have personal importance to the owners. Having been collected over the years, many of the items are antique or saved from the tip and, just like the existing home, have been given a new lease on life. 

Enter via a rooftop garden

Cliff Dwelling:  Terrace by Specht Architects
Specht Architects

Cliff Dwelling

Specht Architects

Before the renovation works the original entry was via a dangerous exterior ramp that ran from street level down a significant drop to a front door below. One now enters via a light-filled pavilion that overlooks the lake and opens onto a large rooftop herb garden.  

A sequence of stairs, supplemented by an elevator, descends through the three levels of the house, revealing views of both the lake and the limestone cliffs. 

Minimalist inspiration

Cliff Dwelling: modern Houses by Specht Architects
Specht Architects

Cliff Dwelling

Specht Architects

A simple sequence of stairs makes life a whole lot easier for the couple to enter the home from the driveway. The new entrance point, formed of a white render, transparent glass and timber panels marks a certain minimalist inspired architecture style. 

Following the building works the home is now engaged to its stunning location, with the building's mass protruding and extruding to suit the topography. 

Large and luxurious lounging

Cliff Dwelling: eclectic Living room by Specht Architects
Specht Architects

Cliff Dwelling

Specht Architects

Focusing our attention inside the lounge is the red feature wall. The red shade brings a sense of vibrancy and a hint of drama to the space, while also providing a backdrop for the incredible floating stairs. Then there is the dramatic wall of glass that exposes panoramic views of the lake in the distance. 

A wonderful aspect of this lounge is the sheer scale of the setting. Taking advantage of the expansive floor space, the couches are certainly large and, by keeping them low, they appear to match the coffee table. 

Intimate dining

Cliff Dwelling: eclectic Dining room by Specht Architects
Specht Architects

Cliff Dwelling

Specht Architects

In contrast to the previous image, the ceiling here is lower compared to the lounge but this effectively adds to the sense of intimacy for those dining. The dining table and chair combination brings a ravishing and stylish presence to the space thanks to its exclusive design. 

The kitchen shows that a moderate space can play home to countless luxurious installations, including all the best in electronics and appliances. However, the centrepiece of the kitchen is the industrial style bench that was hand-crafted using salvaged materials. 

Storage has clearly been well resolved, with the majority of the wall space used to keep the essential kitchen wares and ingredients looking neat and in their place. 

Resalvaged gems

Cliff Dwelling: eclectic Bedroom by Specht Architects
Specht Architects

Cliff Dwelling

Specht Architects

The decorating inside the entire home is very personal to the elderly couple owners. Materials incorporated into the décor include flooring that the owners salvaged and saved, furniture made from a collection of industrial parts and stone from a quarry they frequented during vacations.

The master bedroom hosts many fabulous antique and re-worked pieces. We love the way the green timber box has been used as a platform onto the bed. The bed itself is worthy of your attention, with its peculiar wheeled design that really drives the décor style of the room. 

Sophistication and fun

Cliff Dwelling: eclectic Nursery/kid’s room by Specht Architects
Specht Architects

Cliff Dwelling

Specht Architects

There is a bedroom that is always prepared for when the grandchildren come to visit. This children's bedroom has a sophisticated look thanks to its clean and simple layout but there are playful touches here and there that bring a sense of youthfulness to the space. 

A cool design, and clever use of space, is the storage located underneath the stairs, which can be filled with spare blankets and any of the toys that only come out a few times a year.  

A similar home to be found here on homify is this wonderful new build: A Beautiful Home for Every Season.

Which antique piece caught your eye? Was it the leather couches or the bed on wheels? Let us know in the comments!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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