Warm and Comfortable Family Home
Builder Earns 10 of 15 Awards at Austin Tour of Homes.
Among seven entrants in a recent Austin tour of homes, one builder’s entry beat the odds by earning a surprising 10 out of 15 possible awards in a blind judging process, including Best of Show and the People’s Choice award, which recognizes the overall favorite among tour attendees.
The builder, Curt Sexton, owner of Laurel Haven Homes, said he was both surprised and humbled with the results of the 2015 Luxury Home Magazine Tour of Homes. «We were thrilled to have won so many awards, because there were many prestigious builders involved in the tour. We all started with a blank slate and a goal to create something special, and my vision was to bring forth an inviting lakeside lodge that created an experience in every room.»
Sexton’s vision worked well enough to impress both judges and attendees. To implement the Hill Country theme, he created a Texas-style lodge, incorporating big timbers, native stone and textures, warm colors, and several natural elements, including a nearly one-ton master tub carved out of a single block of granite.
«I think the result is a warm, comfortable, family home, and that seems to have made a big impact on the judges,» Sexton said. «But to me, the ultimate compliment was hearing people walk in and say, ‘Wow, this is what I was waiting for. I could live here.'»
Christina Martinez owns the Austin and San Antonio markets for Luxury Home Magazine, which hosted the tour, held at The Reserve at Lake Travis, 30 miles west of Austin. Martinez said, «It’s very unusual to see one builder sweep most of the awards, but apparently his home resonated most with the judges. The judging process was completely blind across the board.»
Regina Cotroneo, the designer for Laurel Haven Homes, said the home was conceived not only to showcase a Hill Country feel, but also something extra. «We designed this home to relate to the natural environment of The Reserve and the lake, but we also gave it a cutting-edge feel that Austinites want,» she said. «The attention to detail was rigorous, and we meticulously considered every decision to ensure a cohesive vision.»
Combinations of Hill Country stone, water, metal, and massive timbers are prevalent throughout the house. Entering the home, you immediately see the «swimming hole» pool and rock waterfall in the backyard, and you simultaneously hear an indoor waterfall feature in the foyer. The flex room upstairs is nestled among a canopy of trees, and the upstairs bunk beds were hand-made on site in the spirit of a treehouse. There are porcelain tiles that emulate leather, and the patina on metal panels in the kitchen has the appearance of animal hide. Even the cork flooring looks like tree bark.
«We did well because we had something different and our home fit what people were looking for in a lakeside setting,» Sexton said. «I chose a design that I thought was perfect for the neighborhood and the lot, and I think we made the people and the judges feel right at home.»