If you love Austin, waterfront living, privacy, luxury, and a professional recording studio is on your wish list, this Tuscan-style farmhouse is the dream home.
Now that working remotely is the norm, I thought I’d see what’s on offer in their luxury market, because who doesn’t want to live in Austin? (Spoiler alert: Everybody wants to live in Austin. Just ask the people who already do.)
Always Home, Always Cool
Austin is a place that everyone is drawn to because it immediately feels like home and its always been cool — and I mean it was cool way before trendy food trucks, posh restaurants, hip hotels, and tech giants.
In my university days, cool meant a skinny dip at Hippie Hollow, a drive up to Mount Bonnell to enjoy the view (which is code for making out), grabbing a burger from Dirty Martins, and going to Armadillo World Headquarters to listen to some of the best music in America. Austin can’t help it. It’s forever cool.
The Best House in Austin
I’d lived all over the world by the time I went to The University of Texas, and Austin captured my heart and soul like no other place I’d been. If you can live there, you should. And if you have the money, honey, this is hands-down the best house I’ve seen in a month of Sundays.
As I scrolled through Realtor.com and saw the overview of this sprawling, Tuscan-style farmhouse, I was already smitten. When I got to the stone living room with that beautiful chandelier, I was in full-on swoon mode. I feel like someone got into my head and designed it just for me.
This home is the work of award-winning Cornerstone Architects and Vickers Custom Homes. You cannot find a better team. They were able to capture what so many cannot, and that’s authenticity. I swear you’d think you were in the Tuscan countryside and not 13 minutes from downtown Austin.
I was lucky enough to get in touch with Realty Austin agent Brenda Underwood who sold the land to the present owners and watched this incredible Tuscan-style farmhouse come to life.
“I can’t say enough about this house,” Underwood said. “ The park-like setting is amazing and private. Although the house is on Lake Austin and your views are wonderful, an island blocks people on the water from seeing the house. The authenticity is incredible, even down to the three layers of clay tile and visible mortar. They used reclaimed wood beams, a lot of antique light fixtures, and every room has something warm and inviting. It’s elegant, but casual and not at all intimidating.”
This Tuscan-style farmhouse was built to be a forever home, so every detail was considered, researched, and no expense was spared. Every custom element was created to look as if it had been around for centuries. But, of course, this is 2020. Every modern convenience, and then some, was also included in the design of the home.
One place this is abundantly evident is in the kitchen. If you are a serious cook, you’ll recognize that’s the jewel in the crown of La Cornue ranges. This is the Chateau 150 in carbon fiber. It has four gas burners, one French plaque, one power burner, a dual-fuel range, a grill, and accessories. These babies are made to order in the Saint-Ouen l’Aumône workshop outside Paris. Each one is made by hand, numbered by the craftsmen, and is a completely custom creation. If it sounds like a luxury car, you’re correct. This is the Maserati Ghilbi, of ranges.
I’m sure the headline caught your eye, and you’re wondering about the recording studio.
You expect a home of this stature to have all the bells and whistles, but this one really kicks it up a notch. Sure, there are plenty of homes with music studios in Austin, but I doubt you will find any of this caliber. This is serious stuff. If you have any knowledge of the music industry, the name Steven Durr is legendary. He is one of a handful of acoustic designers that musicians like Kid Rock and Lenny Kravitz turn to for their projects, and he’s responsible for this one.
“It’s a fully isolated floating room,” Underwood said. “It was designed to serve as a private commercial grade studio for music production with a tracking room to handle a full, live band.” (I told you this was a serious studio!)
There are 15 pages of details on this house, and the music studio takes up a full page, so you have to see it to appreciate it fully.
The Tuscan-style farmhouse sits on almost 1.42 acres with 110 feet of waterfront views. It has 8,769-square-feet, five bedrooms, five bathrooms, and three powder baths. In addition to the magnificent recording studio and theater, there is a cigar room, a wine room, an exercise room, a safe room, and of course, an elevator to all three floors.
Life Al Fresco
Outdoor life here is as spectacular as indoor. There are patios, balconies, courtyards, and lush green lawns that go on forever. The cantilevered pool was designed to allow for lap swimming and flows under the house into a grotto with a seating area, custom lighting, waterfalls, and a hot tub.
The owners had a dream, of course, but the land inspired that dream, and as far as perfect locations go, this is it.
“You walk to the water’s edge, with amazing majestic cypress trees and you can decompress out there,” Underwood said.
The owners’ dreams are taking them to a new destination now. So, it’s perfect timing for anyone that has been hankering for a home in Austin that checks every box on the wish list, and no, you don’t have to be a professional musician to appreciate it, but if you are, what are you waiting for?
Underwood has this Tuscan-style farmhouse at 3901 Island Knoll listed for $15.5 million.