Architect Elizabeth Haynes insists she doesn’t have a preferred style.
The founder and president of the San Antonio firm that bears her name says whether a historic bungalow redesign, a midcentury modern finish or a ranch-style build, every project shares the same basic goal.
“We create great spaces that have appropriate proportions and connection to the surrounding environment,” she says.
That was the objective with a remodel-turned-rebuild in the Northwood neighborhood of Alamo Heights that’s featured in the new book, Spectacular Modern Homes of Texas. When Haynes’ clients initially enlisted her firm, they were looking to add updates to an existing home that had been neglected. As the team began working, though, some major issues turned the refresh into a rebuild. Haynes, her clients, and the builder, Ironside Building Group, opted to use the existing footprint while adding a large primary bedroom, bathroom and closet and a second floor with bedrooms and bathrooms. A casita also was built on the property.
Both the casita and the living room of the main house feature glass walls outlined with dark steel frames that Haynes says form a “glass box” that looks out onto an oversized oak tree on the 2-acre property. Outside, a drainageway lined with steel was created to provide an intentional flow for the water that runs through the land whenever it rains.
“It’s in the middle of the city but you would never know it,” Haynes says. “Every time you turn around there is something beautiful in nature to see.”
The four-bedroom house features a gym and media room plus a modern swimming pool out back. The laundry room includes a tiled dog shower on one side and a kennel built into the cabinets on the other. Collected Design Studio completed the home’s interior design.
A glassed-in living space opens up into the kitchen, where large windows also are prominent. White cabinets are flush with the fridge and oven on one wall while white quartz provides an accent between the glass on the exterior wall. Walnut is used as the base for an oversized island that features a quartz countertop. Walnut is also on a banquette while architectural cedar covers the ceiling in the living room and spills out to the overhangs, bringing warmth throughout.
Positioned up a winding driveway, the home is set back from the street and utilizes straight, clean lines, stucco, glass and dark steel to achieve a contemporary look that is simple so as not to distract from the natural setting around it. “It was really about focusing on the natural beauty,” Haynes says.