Great Views, Green Approach: Hill Country Residence by Cornerstone

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Tucked in Texas hill country, this spacious contemporary home is all about the views — both of the surrounding countryside and the downtown skyline — in an easy-living combination from Austin’s Cornerstone Architects. The owners’ goals? To put together a welcoming home with quality finishes and what the architects call “a warm setting for daily life,” while at the same time making it as “green” as possible with sustainable energy production and efficiency. The result is a spacious, homey spot with such pluses as geothermal heating/cooling, rainwater harvesting, and overhangs for shade from the heat: a perfect combination that enables the owners to have luxury without extravagance. Terraced levels include a terrific pool deck, reachable by exterior stairs from street level, and glass-walled “galleries” from which to view art both indoors and out.

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Seen from the street, the stone façade presents a solid impression of security, but there’s no closed-in feeling here. Vast windows that face the back of the property, as well as external terraces and corridors, allow the occupants a light, airy ambience with unfettered sightlines in all directions. The décor is neutral, employing concrete, native limestone, and timber; the kitchen is a wonder of white cabinetry with a handy island for quick snacks and stainless steel appliances that blend with abundant storage space. Graceful contemporary chandeliers grace the dining table and chairs, with plenty of room for a family supper, while the living room, mere steps away, features an inviting fireplace and segues into the outdoor deck. Sky, sun, and sustainable style: it’s all here in one package, courtesy of Cornerstone Architects.

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Written by Janet Butler

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Janet W. Butler is a freelance writer, editor, and editorial consultant by day and a “small soprano” by night. An RWA Golden Heart Winner, she is the author of the inspirational romance From the Ashes (“the best little book no one’s ever heard of”), published by SANDS Publishing in 2001; and a romantic suspense, Voice of Innocence, from Desert Breeze Publishing. She is a Chicago native transplanted to northeast Indiana, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and Cassandra “Trouble” Butler, S.R.C. (Spoiled Rotten Cat).