History of Austin Texas Home Design

More and more home designers in Austin are paying homage to the city’s unique style and history, with renovation and new construction that are rooted in the local culture and the aesthetic. Let’s look at how history has shaped Austin home design and interior design in Texas.

A Brief History of Austin Home Design

The architectural history of Austin is rich and complex, informed by geography, climate, and local materials, and shaped by changes in fashion, immigration, and the local economy. All of these are important to consider when preparing to work with a designer. The history of interior design in Austin reflects the unique culture and aesthetics of this eclectic city. Some of the most iconic home designs in Austin include:

American Queen Anne

One of the earliest popular Austin home designs was the American Queen Anne. In the late 19th and early 20th century, Victorian style was in high fashion in Austin, specifically the American Queen Anne design. These homes typically feature:

  • asymmetrical facades
  • prominent towers
  • gables and cantilevered roofs
  • large covered porches which often wrap around the house
  • large bay windows

These houses often had a combination of different wall textures, and may have ornate features like spindles or leaded glass windows. Today, many examples of Austin’s Queen Anne homescan be found in Travis Heights.

American Craftsman Homes

In the early 20th century, the Craftsman style emerged as a more modern, American refinement of the Victorian style. The American middle class, with few or no domestic servants, wanted kitchens that were larger and more accessible, and Victorian design elements were enlarged, simplified, and streamlined. Craftsman homes are recognizable for their:

  • large gables
  • strong rooflines
  • deep porches
  • low-hanging eaves

Craftsman homes remain popular today, with a more open interior floor plan, and deep porches that remain cooler in summer and sheltered in winter.

Texas Hill Country Home Design

Texas Hill Country style is one of the few architectural styles that is utterly unique to the region, with a design specifically informed by local materials and Austin design aesthetics. Emerging from thebuilding principles of German settlers in the 1800s, Hill Country homes usually feature:

  • white Texas limestone exteriors and fireplaces
  • local timber interiors, with wood beams, pillars, rafters, and accents
  • gable rooflines made of metal
  • small windows
  • high ceilings

Found in the hills from Austin to San Antonio, the Hill Country house has small windows that provide greater control in extreme temperatures, resilient metal roofing with gables, dark wood flooring and accents that contrast with the light limestone and create warmth, and large, open interiors. It provides both beauty and practicality, using local materials and responding to the local climate, while creating interior spaces that are spacious and comfortable.

Contemporary Austin Homes

Contemporary Austin Texas home designers continue to be informed by some of the basic principles established in the past. The history of interior design in Austin has given rise to modern homes built with:

  • Respect for nature. Modern Austin homes are usually designed using eco-friendly materials and integrating nature into the home and landscape design
  • Understanding of the demands of the local climate. Austin summers can be hot and humid, while winters are wet with mild temperatures. Contemporary home design creates shade and ventilation to protect from summer sun, balanced by large windows that maximize light and views.
  • Incorporation of history. More and more Austin home design projects are focused on integrating the history of a building, while adding more space or features expected in a modern home. Austin homeowners prefer renovation or expansion instead of new construction. Exposed beams, old timbers, and local materials pay homage to the history of a home and complement contemporary designs.

Today’s best interior design Austin is familiar with the social and historical context of all these different home styles, and the unique needs of different kinds of spaces.

Interiors as Unique as the Exteriors

Good interior design creates balance and harmony between the design of the structure of a home, and the “design” of the lifestyle that is lived inside it. Austin Texas home designers pay attention to factors like proportion and scale, ensuring that furnishings and fixtures are proportionate and harmonious with the room they are in; rhythm and emphasis, where the eye is guided pleasantly around a space toward specific focal points; and detail, where the unique personality of a space and of the occupants really shine.

Interior design Austin celebrates the unique features of local home design. Important areas a good designer keeps in mind throughout the process aredesigning for wellness and creating a space thatreflects the home owner. Some of the unique features Austin homeowners want to see in their interiors are:

  • Inclusion of nature.Austin residents want their interiors to incorporate natural elements and showcase the beauty of nature. This often means showcasing natural light and views, lush houseplants, and use of natural materials like wood, rattan, and grasscloth.
  • Mixed finishes. Current Austin homes feature a wide range of finishes to add interest and detail to a home. Stainless steel, stone and tile, textured wallpaper, and natural wood can all combine harmoniously to create a look that is both timeless and contemporary.
  • Colorful and comfortable. Austin residents want homes that are unique and reflect their own personalities. This means living spaces that are comfortable and inviting, and often includes bold colors, vivid patterns, and dramatic accent pieces.

How Does J.Fisher Celebrate Austin Home Design?

J.Fisher has been repeatedly recognized as one of the best Austin Texas home designers, and the firm has comprehensive services for residential and commercial design projects. J.Fisher Interiors specializes in unique, eclectic interiors, designing homes that are comfortable, distinctive, and casually elegant. Contact usto find out how our interior design Austin creates an interior that elevates both your home and your lifestyle. 


J.Fisher Interiors’ studio is located in east Austin. To schedule your consultation appointment, please fill out the contact form or call us at 512.954.0904. We would love to hear from you!

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