By Kylie Pool.
Photography by Daniel Nadelbach.
Construction by Grady Burnette Builders.
Wimberley-based architect captures the essence of resort-style living in this poolside home.
Nestled between beautiful oak trees on a grassy knoll is a breathtaking retreat that blends retro, contemporary and rustic styles. With a peaceful pool serving as the focal point, the entire house is oriented toward outdoor living. Homeowners J. Thomas and Nancy Payte sought the expertise of architect Rick Burleson, principal of Burleson Design Group, Inc., to transform their ideas into a home.
Sixteen acres comprise the property, which is found in the small town of Wimberley, Texas. The secluded location, with large trees and acres of native vegetation, provides a natural retreat for quiet and comfortable living. The empty nesters wanted to create a casual space. "One that you can throw the doors open and let the grandkids and dogs run through," Nancy Payte says. "Rick was fabulous from the start to finish! We brought some very vague ideas to him and he was able to capture exactly what we wanted."
Burleson provides a comprehensive approach to his projects, and the finished home was certainly a product of collaboration among the Paytes, Burleson and Grady Burnette, the builder. By taking time to ascertain the homeowners' inspirations and motivations, Burleson was able to design a blueprint that surpassed the clients' wish list and actualized their dreams.
The project gave Burleson the opportunity to push the boundaries of his experience and produce something different and innovative. "[The homeowners] were interested in designing something that was unique to them," he says. "We always learn from our clients. The value of a client is that you get pushed or inspired to do things you normally wouldn't do if left to your own devices."
One of the unique elements of this home is the swimming pool. There's no doubt that it is the central focal point. In the living room, a 16-foot glass wall overlooking the pool inspires a resort vibe that continues throughout the home. Windows in every room invite the outside in and offer spectacular views of the pool. Doors at every turn make the outdoor living space accessible from anywhere in the house.
Burleson says one of his design inspirations was the property's topography. "It sort of evok[es] rural, agrarian shapes," he says. To that end, the design is reminiscent of a rustic farmhouse, but with a refined taste and contemporary finishes. The board-and-batten siding suggests a historic country cottage, while the metal roof and bright colors are distinctly modern touches.
"[There is] a retro aspect where it looks like to could have been [built] in the 30s or 40s before midcentury modern, but also [there is] a contemporary aspect with clean lines," Burleson says.
The board-and-batten pattern is continued on the interior of the home, but with a whitewashed appearance. Because Payte didn't want the home to feel overly rustic, Burleson steered clear of car, exposed woods on the ceilings and used a special pigmented stain on the pine ceilings and walls, which produced a light, watered-down paint effect. A dark, red-hued sandstone fireplace in the main living area balances the bright colors and natural light. Polished concrete floors anchor the whole look with a contemporary touch while keeping maintenance low key.
To continue the idea of carefree living, Burleson paid special attention to the central Texas climate when designing the blueprint. The house is angled both to avoid harsh sunlight and to capture cool breezes. "With [Burleson]'s guidance, the house is placed in such a way to maximize comfort during the summers," says Grady Burnette, owner of Grady Burnette Builders.
All-day comfort is an important factor as the Paytes spend both the days and nights in their home. "We both work from home and having the outside pool area and summer kitchen so close at hand is great - it makes the workday go faster and offers a peaceful respite during stressful work periods," Payte says. His-and-her offices face the pool from one side wing.
The office wing also hosts a bunk-style guest suite, while the opposite wing harbors a luxurious master suite. The living room, kitchen and foyer centrally face the pool from the middle of the U-shaped floor plan, which surrounds the pool on three sides.
Every room is through fully designed to carry visitors to the outdoor living space. When guests enter the home, they are greeted in an open foyer featuring a baby grand piano. Immediately opposite the French-style front door is another set to welcome visitors to the pool area.
The open-concept kitchen, living and dining area is designed around a 16-foot glass wall, which offers unobstructed views of the outdoor space. High ceiling ensure the interior remains light and airy. The kitchen offers ample room for people to gather. Payte says she loves the huge center island. "Family and guests love gathering around the kitchen island and helping with meals or just hanging out," she says.
While the open cabinet shelves have a distinctly farmhouse feel, the subways tile backsplash and soapstone countertop keep the space contemporary. Completing the modern touches are appliances fit for a chef including: a Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer, a 60-inch Wolf gas range and double oven, a Sub-Zero wine cooler, a microwave drawer and a warming drawer.
Darker wood furniture continues the balance of the sandstone fireplace throughout the main living space to keep the white walls from becoming overpowering. Payte's favorite piece in the home is the 10-foot French draper's table that is used as the dining room table. Sparse art and accent pieces add interest with small pops of color, but are balanced by the neutral fabric colors of the couch and dining room chair covers.
White walls and neutral finishes continue into the master suite. "It's an extremely open room with a wall of windows and French doors that lead out to the pool area," Payte says. Two walk-in closets and a master bath complete the suite. "The cool thing about the master bath is that we opted to forgo the usual mirrors above the bathroom sinks and vanity for large windows that provide a beautiful view of the hillside," she continues.
The stunning views and sparkling pool are what pull this house together. Elegance is found in the simplicity of the decor and the scenery that surrounds the home. They combine to create the perfect poolside retreat.