Archives For austin design

In trendy restaurants, cafés, bars, and even barbershops in major cities all over the world the industrial chic aesthetic has become commonplace. Industrial chic has become so popular, in fact, that it’s practically expected that a new brunch spot, craft cocktail bar, or the new Peruvian-fusion gastronomic experience that just opened downtown, would also come with dangling steel lights, thick rope around metal pipes, weathered oak tables, exposed brick and heating ducts, subway tile walls, and raw concrete floors. We feel comfortable in these places, amongst all the raw, exposed materials, for some reason.

Perhaps it feels warm to us—getting closer to the natural world through raw materials. And interior designers know we long for this, so in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s when American factories were dug out and made anew into residences, the Andy Warhol “loft” lifestyle was born, and also, consumers’ return to nature.

We seek out nature in our dining, so it makes sense now that the industrial chic aesthetic has entered home interiors. A current listing that embodies this urban design phenomenon beautifully is 2301 South 5th Street #25 in Austin, represented by TVOA.


We see it in open co-working spaces and “factory style” design, and now it’s here in modern homes with the open floor plan. The open floor plan of 2301 South 5th creates an open life. Not to mention the openness of the outdoor patio with panoramic views of the Austin skyline.


What separates this property from other modern homes is the absolute devotion to the most precise materials needed to create comfort. 2301 South 5th features polished concrete floors, structural steel on the banisters, white subway tiles in the bathroom, stainless steel appliances, the exposed metal vent in the kitchen. Industrial chic is all about making the materials—metal, wood, concrete, tile—work in a natural way, and this property infuses that philosophy beautifully.In an elegant twist of fate abandoned factories have created a design movement. From the influential Dia:Beacon, all the way here, to South 5th Street in Austin, Texas.

By: David Plick

1280px-SoCoAustin is the progressive food capital of America. From the great food trucks, like Micklethwait Craft Meats and Torchy’s, to the intelligent & diverse food culture, the Tex-Mex, barbeque, fresh local produce, and farm-to-table restaurants, Austin has emerged as a gastronomic destination. So of course along with the great eats, Austin restaurant design is also cutting edge. There’s so much gorgeous design here in fact that it’s difficult to choose amongst the many design-focused and also naturally charming places (our most sincere apologies to Magnolia Café and the Bouldin Creek Café in all its wonderful quirkiness) but we broke it down to these five.

Top Five Austin Restaurant Design:

Javelina, 69 Rainey Street



Style: Texas Chic
Ambiance: College bar for the non-bro
Designer: Adam Young
Cuisine: Thoughtful bar food, including burgers and green chile pork cheese fries, but also a hummus plate, and grilled watermelon salad

Easy Tiger, 709 E. 6th Street

Easy Tiger no credit

Style: Industrial Modern
Ambiance: College party for thirty-somethings with good jobs.
Designer: Veronica Koltuniak
Cuisine: German pretzel shop & Parisian style bakery

Justine’s Brasserie, 4710 E. 5th St



Style: Old-timer saloon meets Montmartre cabaret.
Ambiance: Elegant, sexy dining with warm and inviting outside space.
Cuisine: Classic French.

Jeffrey’s, 1204 West Lynn Street

Source: Clayton & Little Architects

Source: Clayton & Little Architects

Style: Modern Aristocratic
Ambiance: Elegant dining that you should dress up for even though it’s Austin
Designer: Clayton & Little Architects
Cuisine: French-American fine dining

Yellow Jacket Social Club, 1704 E 5th St



Style: Rustic
Ambiance: Rockabilly
Designer: Adam Young
Cuisine: Picnic food that deserves a Michelin Star

By: David Plick

summer-sun-blue-sky-palmI will always remember the first day I moved to Austin: June 20th, 2012. The temperature was 116 degrees. I walked (yes, walked!) around the city all week, and it was always sunny, and I don’t recall ever seeing a single cloud. I was looking for an apartment, and people drove by staring at me—shocked, appalled, like I had a hostage with me. I don’t think I have ever been so hot and dehydrated in my life.

But that’s Austin summer—hot! Some regions in this country have their wet and dank, unbearable humidity, but in Austin it’s just sun, and there’s a lot of it.

Today is June 10th, and another Austin summer is upon us. Of course, we’ll all cool off at Barton Springs and our pools (or our friends’ pools . . . ?), but there are also design choices in Austin architecture that can mitigate the brutal, and sometimes punishing Texas sun.



It blocks the sun from the windows, but you can also make unique finishes with it and add design value to your home.

Go Adobe


It keeps the home cool. It’s sleek and minimal. It’s the southwest and adds regional ambiance.

Add Plantlife


Plants make us happier and make designs more natural (I mean, it worked pretty well for Roche’s Ford Foundation Building); plus, they block the sun by absorbing its rays, as opposed to them heating the earth that the house sits on.

Make It Bigger


If the house has thick concrete and masonry, it’ll absorb the heat before it gets to your living space.

It’s fascinating to observe a region’s environment affect its design choices. Because, whether we like it all the time or not, we must co-exist and work with our natural world.

Any other climate sensitive Austin architecture and design ideas? Please write us and let us know!

By: David Plick