The clients loved the idea of a modern house with spaces flowing into each other. Maximizing the view was important, too, so the architects at Alterstudio oriented the kitchen to overlook a wildlife preserve filled with big old oaks, the land sloping down to the banks of Austin’s Colorado River. Mitered corner windows appear to make the junctures in the panes almost melt away, giving the room even more of an expansive feel. (For a thermal layer on the corner pieces, laminated panes, rather than double ones, were used.) Natural light flows through the room, thanks to an uninterrupted ceiling plane. And due to its generous sense of openness, there’s not usually much need to turn on the lights during the day.

But with two young kids, the homeowners craved a sense of warmth and coziness, too. It’s a concept that seems contrary to expansiveness, but Alterstudio’s design team was able to marry the two. First, says Kevin Alter, a sense of grounding was achieved through materials. Mahogany cabinets and longleaf pine floors offer warmth and richness. Countertop edges are of double thickness, adding a sense of heft to this airy kitchen. A limestone partition “offers enclosure to offset expanse,” says Alter, making the eating nook feel cozy while making it the perfect place to relax and watch the sunset after a long day.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Austin, TX.