Every Monday leading up to our 2016 Historic Homes Tour we’ll feature Q/A’s with two of our wonderful featured homeowners about why they love their neighborhoods and how they’ve updated their homes while keeping them authentic. Enjoy!


Nick Deaver, Architect transformed this Crestview cottage into an airy, open living space for its young family. Contemporary additions from 2014-2015 added natural light and key design elements while keeping the home’s historic appearance from the street.

When did you move into your home, and why did you choose this neighborhood?

We moved into our home in 2003.  We chose the neighborhood for its old houses (my husband said his main criteria was that the house had to be older than he is!), its big trees, and its walkability.

What do you love most about your home? About your neighborhood?

We love the fact that it is a beautiful marriage of old and new.  From the street, our house looks like it always has…an original 2/1 Crestview cottage.  But when you walk in, the architect designed an amazing modern space that is so functional for our lifestyle.

The neighborhood is a GEM!  We love everything about it.  The neighbors, most of all, are some of our closest friends.  Tons of kids, bikes, walkers.  We see some of the same faces of original Crestview residents and we see new people who want to be part of this great neighborhood.  The park is close, the IGA and Little Deli, Top Notch.  It’s all good!  We love Crestview and everything about it. 

Why did you choose to preserve and remodel your home instead of moving away or demolishing it for a larger house?

That didn’t even enter our minds.  We LOVE old houses and wouldn’t have entertained the thought of demolishing just to save money.  We also love our neighborhood, so close into Central Austin, so we knew we didn’t want to move.  We were very fortunate to find Nick Deaver, our architect, who also loves old houses and lives in a modestly sized home himself.  He was able to envision the possibilities for our home without adding a ton of square footage.  It truly lives and feels much larger than it is.


Romeria Transformation

This compact 1949 home was remodeled in two stages. The first, designed by Carey Dodson transformed the interior. The second, designed by Edward Frierson and built by Melde Construction, updated the building envelope and added contemporary accessory buildings. All exterior spaces were designed and built by B. Jane Gardens, the owner’s firm. (Photograph by Dave Mead Photography).

What are some of your home’s notable historic features?

The home has a beautiful, majestic live oak on the west side of the property, and the interior has original hardwood floors as well as a restored bath tub from the original construction. The original home also included windows spanning the entire front of the property; those windows were upgraded in their existing locations.

What do you love most about your home? About your neighborhood?

We love the open feel and natural light in the home, and we love the spaciousness and airiness that we have with a very small floor plan. This was accomplished by converting a 3-2 to a 2-2 so that the master suite is sizable and private. Obviously, we are also very proud of the multiple gardens and outdoor living spaces that B. designed and built with her company B. Jane Gardens which give a sense of change and openness to the experience of living here.

We love Brentwood and the entire Brentwood/Crestview area because it's very walkable, full of wonderful families, and is rapidly becoming a destination for restaurants and shops. We love walking to Thunderbird Coffee and biking to all the restaurants on Burnet Rd.

Why did you choose to preserve and remodel your home instead of moving away or demolishing it for a larger house?

To be frank, most of the teardowns in this neighborhood are either soulless, generic designs or square foot-maximizing monstrosities that push up against setbacks, eat up impervious coverage and loom over the older homes' backyards, destroying privacy and blighting the character of the neighborhood. However, we also recognize that most of these neighborhoods started as inexpensive, bland postwar developments and only gained charm through age and time. Character is in the eye of the beholder, and in our case we felt that we could preserve the spirit of the home while still adding features and design changes that made it more aesthetically appealing to us without tearing it down and starting from scratch.

We don't view a home as the patch of dirt it's built upon - there's some value to what's there, although it can take some hard work and creativity to get what you want out of it. At the same time, we also understand that this isn't the path for everyone, and that a teardown can be easier and less expensive than a big remodel. In our case, we're very happy with our decision to work with what we were given. We wish more folks would take this path, especially in older neighborhoods.