Anthony Camargo and Nak Armstrong--jewelers to Austin's A-list crowd, the Bush twins chief among them--spend much of their waking lives surrounded by all things design. So in 2003, when Camargo and Armstrong, the founders of Anthony Nak, ditched their apartment to buy a home in downtown Austin, they went looking for an oasis--something simple, clean, and relatively unadorned. "We wanted to come home to a blank slate, a clean palate," says Camargo.
What they found was Twin Peaks: Two newly built, nearly identical 2,700-square-foot modern houses designed by local architect M.J. Neal. One house had a yellow color scheme, the other red. Having moved to Austin from New York City in 1996, Camargo and Armstrong were immediately drawn to the open floor plans of the two-bedroom homes. "Each had the feel of a loft," says Camargo. "That kind of New York sensibility appealed to us." The toughest decision, say the partners, was choosing between color schemes. In the end, they picked the red one. "It fit better with our aesthetic," says Camargo.
The Floor Plan
Anthony Camargo: "We thought about buying both houses and connecting them. But there's so much space in one. It's airy and open."
The Red Column
Camargo: "This is the focal point of the house. It goes through all three floors, and the stairway wraps around it. It's also a storage system with cabinets and a coat rack hidden inside."
"Everything in the kitchen--the refrigerator, the cabinets, the oven--is raised about two feet off the floor. Our Italian greyhounds, who love getting into things, can't get into anything."
"One of the coolest things about the house is the way all the cabinets and doors are flush. There are no handles. Everything is touch-to-open."
"The house has a great southern porch right off the living room. We really like that there are three big glass doors that open onto it, so it kind of flows from the rest of the house."
"Some of the house is wood composite in two-foot-wide slats. The rest is copper, which is really cool because, like all good things, it will just get more beautiful with time."
"People with modern homes typically buy extremely modern furniture. That can be very cold. We chose some more livable items--an old table from a junk store and some retro Biedermeier chairs."
The Home Office
"We use the third floor as an office. It just kind of floats on the red column. You can look down on all four sides and see the ground floor and still have a nice view out the windows."