There are plenty of reasons why Austin has earned the slogan “Keep Austin Weird.” From the Cathedral of Junk to chicken sh*t bingo, the capital of Texas has cultivated a sense of personality that’s uniquely Austin. But it doesn’t stop at the dive bars and outlandish attractions — it’s even in the design aesthetic of the homes that make up our fair city.
So what exactly is that look? Well, it’s a generous portion of laid-back south-meets-California vibes, a heavy helping of rock ’n’ roll, a heaping spoonful of eco-friendly practice, and a large dose of charming quirk. And whether you’re a newbie here or a longtime resident building a new home, we’ve compiled a list of the best design trends to make your house a true Austin home.
Coined by a famous psychoanalyst in the 1960s, the term “biophilia” describes the tendency of humans to seek connections with nature. When considered in the home design context, this means creating a relationship between your home and the outdoors by using natural, organic materials as much as possible. For Austin, a place with boundless sunshine, outdoor activities, and natural beauty, this method of home design makes perfect sense. Here are some of the best natural materials to choose over synthetic:
- Travertine for floors, countertops, backsplashes
- Bamboo for flooring or window treatments
- Wood of any variety, but especially FSC-approved to be used for furniture, flooring, and accessories
- Iron for furnishings
- Stone for interior and exterior walls, as well as outdoor paths
It’s no secret that, come August, native Texas grass is a bit sun-bleached from the scorching summer sun. That’s why you can drive around any Austin neighborhood (especially on the east side or south central) and notice quite a few yards with xeriscaping. This method of landscape design uses rocks, mulch, and drought-tolerant native plant species to replace grass, which reduces or eliminates the need for constant watering. The result? A seriously unique-looking lawn, very desert chic. Plus it saves water, which is just the kind of eco-friendly mind-set that we Austinites are known for.
It’s cool instead of flashy. It’s a little bit Western cowboy and a whole lot vintage quirky — in other words, perfectly Austin. With metal fabricators, welders, artists, and suppliers dominating the Austin home design space, rustic metal is a top material trend for any home in the capital of Texas. In custom furniture, doors, gates, lighting fixtures, or retaining walls, this weathered yet indestructible material will infuse your Austin home with a sense of good old-fashioned Texas charm.
A Room with a View
Whether it’s a field of bluebonnets, the stars at night (big and bright), or an exciting downtown cityscape, the view outside your Austin home is just as much a part of your daily experience as the inside. Removing the boundary between your home and the outdoors gives you picturesque views and maximizes your living space — you can accomplish this with glass walls, sliding glass doors, a sunroom, or skylights. Best of all, you can enjoy being up close and personal with nature regardless of the weather.
From travertine to porcelain to ceramic, there are plenty of different types of tile you can use for your home’s flooring. Tile floors are great for Austin homes because they’re long-lasting and both water- and stain-resistant. And they don’t trap dust, pollen, or other allergens (hello, cedar fever!). They’ll even keep your feet and home cool during the hottest of Austin summers.At Paradisa Homes, we’re custom home builders in Austin who want to help bring your vision of a one-of-a-kind space to life with a home that feels uniquely Austin through and through. Contact us today to learn how our architects and designers can help you build your new forever home.