A New Guest House and Pool Opens Up Entertaining Possibilities in a Central Austin House

FAB Architecture


To create an entertainment area separate from the main house that stylistically resembles the exterior architecture of the original house.


We worked with the client's architect to create a comprehensive design for backyard entertaining that would be attractive for adults but also child-friendly. A top priority was to make the first floor of the guest house as accessible to the pool as possible: To that end, we installed a La Cantina door system on the first floor that folds back on either side to allow the room to open almost entirely onto the pool. The concrete floor, which was ground down to reveal the aggregate, creates an inexpensive and virtually indestructible surface. Leuders limestone was used on the patio and pool surround, which creates a non-slip but elegant surface.

Other design strategies that add functionality to the first floor are cypress cabinets along the television wall for added games and DVD storage, but which also serve as additional seating. In the bathroom, the shower stall opens to a galvanized steel-clad outdoor shower for quick rinsing off after a swim.

Upstairs finish-out was economical, but not at the expense of attractiveness: The look of the hardwood floors in the original house are replicated in the guest house with a 2 x 6 tongue and groove sub-floor which has been sanded and finished to match the original’s warm wood tones. A vaulted ceiling and floor-to-ceiling bay windows give the space an airy feeling. The custom iron shelving for the small kitchenette has exposed storage underneath to create an intentionally casual and welcoming style.


The pool and two-story addition remain stylistically appropriate to the original house while adding extensively to the family’s ability to entertain family and friends in a practical yet sophisticated setting.

On Site