Designer Mark Cravotta creates a luxe Austin abode using the most humble of materials.
Cravotta paired modern architecture with warm details like vintage textiles to make it inviting. PHOTO COURTESY OF CRAVOTTA
In Austin’s hip Bouldin Creek neighborhood, distinguished by rolling hills and enormous live oak trees, sits a very modern home that designer Mark Cravotta (cravottainteriors.com) has infused with a palpable warmth. “I worked closely with architect David Webber of Webber + Studio, and the client is the owner of the IT company that services both of our firms,” says Cravotta about the unique project. “We’ve worked with him for close to 20 years now, and when he came to us and said, ‘I can’t possibly afford you guys, but I want you to design my house,’ we said, ‘Of course.’” And they made it work.
The stunning house is bathed in light with incredibly high ceilings that give it the illusion of being large scale PHOTO COURTESY OF CRAVOTTA
Starting with a very modern exterior, made of white metal cladding that features raised stripes—a micro trend suddenly gaining popularity across the country—Cravotta put a lot of thought into “pulling humble materials and putting them together in a thoughtful way.” He started with the interior envelope of the space, created predominantly with Baltic birch plywood coated in a clear glaze, which is what cabinetmakers use for the inside of cabinets. The floors are poured concrete, and together they evoke a relaxed, almost rustic warmth. “It is a concrete and glass house, which would tend to make it reflective sounding, acoustically, but because of all the wood—such a pleasant acoustic material—it feels and sounds nice.”
The modernized kitchen makes for the perfect entertaining spot. PHOTO COURTESY OF CRAVOTTA
“For the furnishings and light fixtures, we spent a fair amount of time sourcing things that were inexpensive but had quality that defied the price, then making a few splurges along the way,” says the designer. In the kitchen, where Cravotta utilized family-friendly and durable Formica throughout the cabinets and counters for the first time ever, pendants and wooden bar stools were inexpensive finds that flank and add warmth to an island. In the living room, a well-made and affordable sofa from West Elm and vintage chairs sit on one of the biggest splurges, a vintage rug, elevating the entire space. A reading nook and floor-to-ceiling windows that open into more outdoor seating and a garden create a serene feel fit for an Austin family with style.
The master bath offers the perfect respite PHOTO COURTESY OF CRAVOTTA
“The client has worked on so many of our projects, and has a real appreciation for good design and wanted that for [himself] and his family,” says Cravotta. “He wanted something minimal, stylish and modern, and we knew we could work with that.” Mission accomplished!