House of Southold Farm + Cellar Owners Boasts Dazzling Hill Country Views
The picturesque dwelling includes giant windows, a cathedral ceiling and stunning architecture by Blair Austin Studio
By Darcie Duttweiler
Photos by Leonid Furmansky
It’s all in the details for architect Tim Brown.
When describing the home he created for Regan and Carey Meador, the owners of Southold Farm + Cellar, he geeks out a bit. Sure, there are the sweeping, picturesque hills seen from an 18-foot-tall window under the 23-foot-high cathedral ceiling within the 40-foot-long living/dining room. He could explain the home’s influences, including “Pennsylvania Dutch barn style,” in great detail. And he thinks the herringbone wall created out of wine corks is a fun wink-wink to the winemakers’ family business.
But the thing Brown loves discussing the most in regards to the 2,800-square-foot home is a quiet moment that happens before you’ve even stepped through the front door. It’s not quite a porch or a foyer, but the entry has a subtle nod to Federal style where a huge pendant light hangs off of a cedar tongue and groove upside-down pyramid. It’s a detail that is almost impossible to see from photos unless you’re beneath the entryway and looking straight up.
“You know,” Brown laughs when asked what the thought process was behind this element,” I don’t have any reasoning behind it. I just saw it and I was like, you know what? It’d be cool to have the light hanging off of that.”
Built in 2019, the home was first envisioned by Regan, who laid out the space in his head before the vines were even planted. Brown brought the abode to life after visiting the site, knowing he had to incorporate the 25-mile views from the hilltop spot. This, of course, led to the bright, airy living room space with its gigantic windows visible right from the entryway.
“The main driving factor for me was that north view. I wanted to walk in the front door and be introduced with that vast openness immediately,” Brown says.
While Brown says the Meadors’ home is the “most stunning site [they’ve] built on,” he admits that the homes he works on are quite “humble when you talk about luxury homes.”
“All of the homes are homes,” he says. “They’re not museum pieces. They’re working and living homes.”
Brown should know. As the man known for “bringing the California Modern farmhouse style to Austin,” Brown’s aesthetic has long been that of humble elegance. Although trying to get away from the now-ubiquitous modern West Coast-style Victorian homes dotting the city limits, Brown has a hard time pinpointing his current style. Because he grew up in New England, which is steeped with Colonial, Victorian, Georgian and Federal styles, he’s long been a student of historical styles, but he’s also a fan of clean lines and stripping away some of those styles’ ornateness. He also cites Scandinavia as a huge influence.
While Brown originally got his start in civil architecture after a stint in the military as a tank mechanic, he fell in love with residential architecture at Texas A&M.
“I love designing homes,” Brown explains. “When you’re designing for specific individuals you can pull in all of those desires that they want because it’s so individual and unique to them. It is so wonderful to see people enjoying those spaces you created specifically for them.”
While Brown had much success with his own company Tim Brown Architecture, he always enjoyed collaborating with others on projects, and in 2017 when a developer brought on interior designer Lindsay Todd to help on some of the details, the two really hit it off and started working together more consistently. In 2021 the duo made it official and created Blair Austin Studio in order to create a more integrated and holistic architecture and design practice.
“Being integrated from the start, from the initial conversation with the client, to that conversation of interiors and architecture going forward through the whole thing is so good, and my architecture is better for it. The design is fully formed from start to finish,” Brown says.
While Brown and Todd are still crafting residential homes, the duo has been doing a ton of work recently with developers all over the country on what Brown calls “place making.” The team will help with the concept of a whole development, including amenities, buildings and all the homes to make a cohesive community.
“It’s very exciting to be involved from the very start and have a hand in conceptualizing this whole community.”