by Jodi Peters
on Saturday, October 27th, 2018 at 4:03pm.
When Austin Architect Jim Kissling was thinking about the floor plan for La Ola, a newly listed property at Cinnamon Shore, he thought about the way most people use their vacation homes. “Especially on vacation, people always gather around the dinner and living spaces. They aren’t going to sit in a room by themselves,” he says.
That’s how he came up with the terrific floor plan that allows plenty of privacy and lots of places to gather and visit in this three-story beach cottage, ringed with porches. He combined a state-of-the-art kitchen and living room to create a stunning place where the families and friends who spend time here will naturally want to congregate.
There are other lessons this house plan teaches. Take a closer look and get ideas to consider as you’re looking to build or buy. Kissling’s Austin firm, Kissling Architecture, and Butter Lutz Interiors, also of Austin, collaborated to give La Ola it’s one-of-kind design. Tuck away these design idea take-away tips—and let us know if you’re interested in scheduling a walk-through of La Ola.
The gorgeous, three-story cottage has a classic beach cottage exterior, but Kissling says it also boasts one of Cinnamon Shore’s more contemporary designs on the interior. “The exterior is definitely traditional-looking, but it has more contemporary flair inside than some of the other homes [at Cinnamon Shore],” he says.
La Ola proves that it works to blend classic and contemporary. The home’s cottage vernacular opens to interior architectural elements such as modern interior fixtures, linear angles, and an expansive look that feels modern. Bold light fixtures make a statement in the kitchen and living room. Sleek, white subway tile for the kitchen backsplash and white wall coverings in various textures contrast with handsome, dark hardwood flooring.
This minimalist backdrop showcases the furnishing groups selected by Butter Lutz Interiors in the living room. Soothing brown-and-blue accent pillows rest against sand white upholstery on sofas and a chaise and against sea blue upholstery on arm chairs. The blend of cottage and contemporary styles may appeal to 21-century beachgoers and buyers coming from urban settings.
Take-away Tip: Don’t be afraid to freshen classic architectural styles with your 21st-century sensibility.
Thoughtful Use of Every Floor
Kissling and his firm gave La Ola a fantastic, workable floor plan that ensures multiple families can enjoy a stay here.
1. First Floor Ingenuity
The fabulous first floor features a darling bunk room and second guest room and baths, along with a den where kids could congregate or another couple could retreat from the crowd. It’s suited for a whole family to inhabit the space, and Butter Lutz Interiors gave this downstairs den a stunning coral-and-aqua color scheme.
The coastal color scheme continues in the first-floor bunk room and other guest room on this level.
Situated as guests come in from the rear parking space, the laundry room and storage space add out-of-the-way convenience.
2. Second-Floor Gathering Space
The main living space on the second floor takes advantage of mid-level views. It also combines a spacious, state-of-the-art kitchen with the living room and dining room, creating interactive common areas. “We made it so that the kitchen was more of an entertainment, focal point,” Kissling says. Again, it’s that natural gathering place in the home, with plenty of bar-height seating at the island.
A second-floor bedroom with king-size bed accommodates another couple, as well. And a stylish, sliding, barn door closes off the sleeping quarters from the gathering spaces to keep laughter and late-night conversations at bay.
3. Third-Floor Master Retreat
When it’s time for evening rest or retreat, the third-floor master suite offers a private getaway for the homeowners. With its own, open-air porch and spacious bathroom, the suite offers secluded luxury.
Take-away Tip: Look at floor plans with an eye toward how they’ll really function.
Extending the Living Space
The charming wrap-around porches on the first and second floors add character and room to relax and visit. “Wrap-around porches are one of my favorite things to [design],” Kissling says. “It expands the living space but also provides shade and another place to retreat.”
On the third floor, the master suite’s porch opens to the sky. “It’s good for star-gazing,” Kissling says. “It affords you privacy, making that suite more of a romantic spot.” His team was able to “sneak views of the Gulf in between some of the other existing structures” from this top-level porch, adding more romance.
Take-away Tip: Porches and decks, in general, can help a home feel larger. “Any time you can open up a room to the outdoors, psychologically it will make the home feel more expansive,” Kissling says.
Kissling notes that all the homes at Cinnamon Shore have their own character and charms because most are built to take advantage of their individual sites or the preferences of the original families who built them. He advises buyers to think about the livability of the home. “How are you going to feel sitting in that spot on the porch, or in that master bedroom?” he asks. Envisioning how you’ll use a home will help you decide what features are must-haves and nice-to-haves, or whether your looking to buy or build.
Part of that process involves thinking about where people will gather. Kissling has observed that women, men, and kids tend to congregate in certain areas of a home. “It’s funny how they pick a space and gravitate toward that,” he says, whether men gather to watch a football game or women pick the breezy porch or teens play games in the downstairs den.
Take-away Tip: Whether building or buying an existing home, think about the gathering spaces your home will have.
La Ola was designed to give family and friends multiple options. “It really is a true vacation home,” Kissling says. “It lends itself for entertaining.”