About the project
Originally the home of Edgar and Lutie Perry, this 10-acre estate was designed by architect Henry Bowers Thompson between 1917 and 1928 as a transported oasis in the middle of Austin. Inspired by the owners’ extensive European travels, a series of formal gardens and a large Italian style mansion and carriage house were built along Waller Creek, with a stone wall enclosing the entire compound. The 10,800-square-foot Italian Renaissance Revival mansion is surrounded by terraces, parterres and fountains, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Inside, intricately carved wood and plaster molding, hand-wrought ironwork, and limestone details combine with Mexican-style tile work for an overall ornate effect.
The estate’s current owners teamed with Auberge Resorts to set about transforming the venerable estate, reimagining the property through a modern interpretation of its residential past: relaxed European elegance with true gracious Texas hospitality. The redesign, which involved a combination of renovation and new construction, was a collaboration between architects Clayton Korte and Moule & Polyzoides, interior designer Ken Fulk Inc., and Ten Eyck Landscape Architects. The design team returned the historic components of the property to their former glory and built a new restaurant to serve as a backdrop to the magnificent historic gardens, thus creating a new destination resort and private club, The Commodore Perry Estate.
The mansion’s entrance exudes a sense of a the stately home of an old family friend. Throughout the property, every space has been furnished with a mix of custom and heirloom vintage pieces for an atmosphere that feels collected over time. The entry features the estate’s original curving wrought-iron staircase, with a new hand-painted ceiling fresco overhead. The five original bedrooms have been transformed into charmingly distinctive hotel suites. The Edgar Perry’s Suite, with its safari-inspired play of patterns, reflects a love of world travel and high culture, while Lutie Perry’s Suite presents a softer side in a palette of pink velvet, faux fur and muted leopard carpet. The redesigned en suite baths were clad in ceramic tile inspired by the residence’s existing Deco era bathrooms.
Downstairs, the entrance leads to the main hall with a loggia, terrace and the gardens beyond, which serve collectively as a lobby and gathering space. The living room is furnished with a new service bar and deep Chesterfield sofas for gathering fireside with a cocktail, the oval book-lined Library is set up for reading or quiet conversation with overstuffed chairs and a game table, and the sunny solarium with its original tile floors is perfect for small bites or cocktails. The dining and breakfast rooms are dedicated to informal dining experiences throughout the day. Across from the mansion is a newly built three-story inn with guest rooms and terrace suites surrounding a central courtyard designed by Moule & Polyzoides, and features an elegant colonnade. Inside, the guest rooms, custom millwork built-ins, rounded plaster archways, furnishings based on Italianate and Spanish revival antiques, and bathrooms tiled in a classic star-and-cross pattern were all chosen to inspire visitors. A collection of vintage rugs and framed artworks feature throughout.
The estate’s destination restaurant, Lutie’s, announces its old-fashioned hospitality within a refined garden setting. Designed by Clayton Korte, the new structure provides guests with vistas overlooking the historic gardens. Ken Fulk added a sophisticated floral pattern throughout the interior matched by a classic country club style striped awning on the patio. To create a true sense of place, the latticework ceiling is hung with plants and on the far wall, the estate’s original stone perimeter wall peeks through above the scalloped banquette.