Following 20 years of developing his family and social circle, lawyer Lanny Vickery felt the pressing need for a more elastic house than the one he’d lived in for so long. But the house was close to excellent restaurants, vibrant downtown Austin and the University of Texas, so leaving did not feel right. Instead Vickery maintained the overall floor plan nearly the same but enlarged the downstairs back wall 3 feet outward, which added around 90 square feet. “Not much area,” he says, “but a huge difference in livability.” Now, thanks also to a big sliding door on the rear addition, the house can reshape itself need to adapt a date night to your Vickerys — or even a party for 100.
in a Glance
Who lives here: Lanny and Kim Vickery and their 2 young children
Location: French Location area of Austin, Texas
Size: 2,000 square feet; 3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths
Remodel price: Around $300,000
Structural steel and glass designed and built by East Austin artist Todd Campbell forms the geometrical front doorway. “The doorway was a standard door flanked by two cheap-looking sidelights,” says the homeowner. “We wanted something newer and much more enjoyable.”
The Vickerys painted the exterior Tupelo Tree green and added a metal roof in 2009.
With the help of architect Francois Levy and contractor Terry Stewart, they concentrated on the ground floor, first stripping it down into its skeleton. “We actually moved into a tiny village in Spain for two months,” Vickery says.
The upstairs was minimally affected throughout the home improvement remodel. “We eliminated walls, floors and ceilings down to the studs,” he says. “There was no subfloor, so the floor was open into the ground below. We took out the stairs.”
Anywhere the homeowners’ feet land now, there is a good chance it touches down on hot and rich tigerwood, a Brazilian hardwood.
The wall is adorned by the family art collection. “We now have a personal connection with nearly all our artwork and have been blessed to have great personal encounters with such artists like Fernando Casas, Dan Allison, Sue Mayer and Bert Long,” says Vickery.
Torso artwork: Craig LaRotunda, Revelation Studios, Brooklyn, New York
The metal staircase beam turned into a creative spot for displaying family photos with magnets. The backs of the floating stair treads are intended to resemble zebra stripes.
A painting by Sue Mayer titled “The Catch” in their downstairs space serves as a daily reminder to think outside the box. “It depicts the bounty of bass the disciples captured when encouraged to cast their net on the other side of the ship,” clarifies Vickery.
Table, chairs: Four Hands
Vickery worked with Chuck Wheelock to redesign and redesign kitchen. “As it turned out, Chuck was my college roommate, but we’d lost touch for nearly three years. When we were considering remodeling our kitchen two years ago, Chuck contacted me from the blue. He spent a weekend in our house, seeing us how we used the distance,” Vickery says.
This round cherrywood drum with a butcher block top in the corner of this island is Vickery’s favorite spot in the house. The remaining cabinets are walnut frames with bird’s eye walnut insets.
Cabinets: Bill Johnson Cabinets; pendant lights: Lights Fantastic
The fireplace was a group effort. Wheelock did the design, contractor Terry Stewart built the cement board and metal frame construction, and Sloan Montgomery plastered the surface. John Rodriguez then rebuilt the whole chimney, firebox and hearth from the brick.
Fire grate and screen: built by Todd Campbell; bar stools: Rustic Bar Stool, West Elm; mantel: Southwest Trading Post
Wheelock’s unique design let room for four stools. “Kim desired eight, because everyone always hangs out in the kitchen, but we compromised about six and it has worked out beautifully,” Vickery says.
The couple worked with local designer Ed Martens to select out the downstairs light fixtures the granite in the kitchen along with the ceiling and wall colours, as well as the purple painted cupboard under the bar.
Wall dish rack: Johnny Grey; cupboards: Bill Johnson Cabinets; stainless steel counter tops and sink: Dave’s Metal Works
The living area includes a glass NanaWall that opens entirely to fuse the distance into your backyard. “When it’s open, this gives the feeling of one big space, part of that just happens to be outside,” Vickery says.
Chair: Louis Shank; purple built-in cabinets: made and designed by Bill Johnson Cabinets
Vickery had the backyard altitude raised so the living area flooring and outside space were on one seamless level.
Paint: Tupelo Tree, Sherwin-Williams
“Sunny, vibrant and yellowish” refers to the upstairs master bedroom. Artist Suzanne Kfoury painted the off-the-floor Levitz mattress. “She took that old mattress and made it seem like something from an Egyptian pharaoh’s palace. It was pretty incredible,” says Vickery.
Nicknamed the “shower tower,” the master bathroom shower features handmade glass tiles out of Architerra studios in Austin, set up by Fausto Hernandez. “The first mix did not have the blue tiles so we requested them to mix from the blues with their existing design. We love how it turned out,” Vickery says.
Todd Campbell made and built the stone sink, metal counter tops and bedside table. “He poured the concrete sink counter on site, which allowed us to embed things inside as it dried,” Vickery notes.
A cherry and vegetable garden resides in the conclusion of this shady backyard.
Vickery stands in his newly remodeled kitchen.
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