This recently renovated Austin home on the lake features a spectacular art collection and some fun and funky furnishing,  bringing the 1960’s ranch up to date while keeping its retro charm. Mark Ashby Design designed the home with unique furnishings, textiles, finishes to highlight the homeowners fabulous works of art. Architecture by Tobin Smith Architect.

Project Name: Lake Austin Ranch Home
Studio Name: Mark Ashby Design
Photography: Mark Ashby Design

Lake Austin Ranch Home by Mark Ashby Design - Sheet1
Bedroom ©Mark Ashby Design

The original home, built in 1968, underwent an architectural transformation that maintained the structure’s slab and shell but dramatically redefined the exterior presentation and interior experience.  The back of the house opens up to Taylor’s Branch, a quiet inlet off of Lake Austin.  Tucked in the treetops above this waterway, the house’s dramatic perch is concealed from the street behind an understated facade that provides little hint of the experience beyond.  Exquisite materials, furnishings, and art are revealed upon entry and are set in dialogue with the natural realm beyond.

Lake Austin Ranch Home by Mark Ashby Design - Sheet2
Poolside ©Mark Ashby Design

One of the interior highlights of this project is the world class art with works from Mapplethorpe, DeWitt, Cragg, Fischl, Hirst, Bourgeois, Ulrikk Dufosse  and many more.  With the exception of the vintage collection (original pieces from Alvar Alto, Edward Wormley, Roche Bobois, Karl Springer), much of the fabrics, rugs and cabinetry are custom, bespoke and handmade in such a way as to also stand as their own unique works of art — designed and or curated by interior designer, Christina Simon, Mark Ashby Design.  A ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ in the lower level den houses an assortment of natural and historical objects: special finds of an avid collector that extend beyond fine art.

Lake Austin Ranch Home by Mark Ashby Design - Sheet3
Kitchen ©Mark Ashby Design

While this 3,500 plus square foot home was designed to be a relaxed family lake house, it also serves as a hub for entertaining friends and hosting events.  In addition, the dining room pulls double duty as an elegant conference space with an enormous stainless steel pull-out white board wall to accommodate board meetings and presentations. The homeowners, Lanham Napier, former Rackspace CEO has launched a VC firm in Austin.  Lanham uses this Austin home as an office and private conference space for business. Dr. Dacia Napier is an art collector and historian – she believes giving art a unique way to be viewed outside a museum setting is important.

Mark Ashby Design

Mark Ashby Design began practice in the late 90s, specializing in high end interiors in Texas and nationally.  Ashby has been published most recently in Elle Décor for their design of a Ferris Bueller’s inspired luxury garage.  Christina Simon is a senior designer at the firm and was most recently honored to design the prestigious Neiman Marcus Fantasy Mine & Yours gift in 2018.  Originally from Lake Flato, Tobin Smith began his own firm in 2007 and is award winning and emerging as one of Texas’s key modern architects.


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