Have you ever started drooling while you are watching HGTV when they show off their Smart Home of the year? Imagined yourself living in it and enjoying all of the beautiful furnishings and crazy technology that it holds? Entered the sweepstakes every day in hopes that it would one day be yours? Me, too.
So imagine my delight when I actually got to take a tour of the 2015 HGTV Smart Home. Y’all, I tried to hide in a closet so that I could just stay forever, but they found me.
This year’s smart home is in the Zilker Park neighborhood in Austin – a little bit of the new Austin nestled in between a lot of the old Austin. The style of the house and furnishings is considered “Modern Austin Farmhouse” (remember when I said to mesh three styles together for a good eclectic mix?).
Shaw Floors has been a HGTV Smart Home partner since the beginning, and they invited me to go on a tour of the home a few weeks ago. And so of course, I’m going to share some of the home with you! It was a dreary, rainy day (like every other day in Austin for the last month – what’s up with that?), so please excuse any of my pictures that seem dark!
And speaking of pictures, this post will be really picture heavy (and I even narrowed them down!), so get ready for that. You’ll also see some other tour participants in some of the shots; I got to tour the home with some of Shaw’s largest Texas retailers, so it was fun to see the house through their eyes, too.
Front of the Home
The front of the home is a funky mix of modern and farmhouse. As I mentioned, it was raining when I toured it, so a giant tent was set up over the entry and driveway so that we wouldn’t track water and mud into the house. I could only get a good shot of the front door and amazing neon street numbers.
But, here’s what the whole exterior looks like via professional shots from HGTV:
My favorite parts of the exterior are the neon house numbers and the walls of glass by the front door. I love the feel of floor to ceiling windows that meet in a corner like that.
There will eventually be other homes built all around it which will all share the same driveway, so it doesn’t take up as much land in this valuable part of Austin as it looks like it would.
When you walk into the front door, you are greeted by an open living room/dining room/kitchen floor plan. The living room definitely has a Texas vibe.
I love the black wall adorned with the window pane mirror. And do you notice the natural color wood trim? You’ll see that repeated throughout the house. I think its a great way to tie the exterior into the interior. Of course, the living room is styled beautifully, too.
To the right, you’ll see the open dining area.
Obviously, the table and chairs are killer. But, the thing that I obsessed the most about is the hardwood flooring. This is a Hickory floor from Shaw’s HGTV Home Collection (style: Winterset; color: Aspen). it’s an engineered hardwood but it has wide planks and a skip-sawn look of reclaimed wood. I generally prefer a darker hardwood, but this color is really gorgeous. I was worried about the floors with everyone coming through the house (hardwoods in model homes end up looking horrible because of the foot traffic), but this one has Shaw’s ScufResist Platinum finish, which is giving it a lot of resistance to scuffs. The home has been open for a while, but I didn’t see any issues with the flooring.
Off of the dining room, we find the kitchen. It’s a cook’s dream, with lots of cabinet space, a big island, and tons of natural light.
But, my favorite part is the stainless subway tile backsplash. I’m pretty sure I have an entire board on Pinterest dedicated to stainless subway tile. The cool thing about this tile is that it’s actually porcelain capped with copper and steel instead of a “press on” metal tile that I’ve seen in home improvement stores. This tile is by Shaw.
Down the hallway from the kitchen you will find the guest bedroom and bathroom. I am obsessed with both of these rooms!
The bedroom feels dark in the pictures due to the weather, but it didn’t feel this dark in person.
I really like the below vignette, but I can’t put my finger on exactly why. I like the stool in front of the dresser, but that’s not really practical in real life (maybe in a guest bedroom). Perhaps I like it because there is so much texture and variation of heights? I need to think about it some more, because it was one of my favorite spots in the home.
I also loved the way that the designer (Linda Woodrum) used a mix of carpet and hardwoods. As I mentioned, there is the same hardwood throughout the home, but each room has a bound rug instead of a traditional area rug. This is a budget-friendly way to have a giant rug cut to the exact size that you need to a room. Shaw offers many of their carpets in their Cut a Rug program, and I really love this idea. In fact, I’m planning on getting one for my home once I rip the gross carpets out of my living room.
Also? That chair and those curtain panels. YES.
I love the guest bathroom as much as I do the guest bedroom. I mean, look at it!
I love the wood-look tile on the walls. It’s a great way to plank a bathroom and not have to worry about wood warping from the bathroom humidity. This is Shaw’s Napa Plank Tile in Vintage.
Let’s talk about those shelves, shall we? I believe they were custom designed for this home, but this would be a good DIY project with wood, long double C hooks and eye bolts.
I’m a nerd, and I love to look at floor and wall transitions when there isn’t a baseboard or base tile. In this bathroom, the wall tile goes straight down to the floor tile. The tiles are both from the same collection, so they work together very nicely. Additionally, they are both grouted with the same color, so I think that helps with the transition as well.
I’ve talked a lot about the furnishings and flooring, but I haven’t mentioned much about the home’s “smart” features. This is a step dimmer, so you can have bright light in the mornings and dimmer light in the evenings when you are winding down. Love this feature!
Y’all, we’ve just covered the downstairs level of the home. We still have 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a family area to cover! I think I will break that out into another post next week so as not to overhelm you or your internet service.
What is your favorite thing about the first floor of the 2015 HGTV Smart Home?