This newly constructed home in Austin, Texas was a collaboration between architect Tom Tornbjerg and the talented team at Sarah Stacey Interior Design. Built on top of a large, rocky hill, the property is nestled into a limestone rock cliff and offers beautiful views outside of the kitchen window. However, it’s the interior spaces we’re most curious about.

The homeowners are a young family of five and consider this their forever home. “They wanted a neutral palette of natural wood with black accents,” Sarah says, noting their wish list. “They had one request of things to avoid, which was not to use any marble anywhere.”

Fortunately, the designer was able to pull inspiration from the limestone rock wall for the materials, especially in the kitchen. “The wood tone was between walnut and oak in the beginning and settled on oak since it worked so well with the limestone and helped keep the overall palette light in color,” she says. In this room, the cabinet stain was given great thought. “I researched finish after finish to find something that would give the wood a natural look. Most finishes gave the oak a yellow tint. So we ended up getting about five stain samples, one was perfect. It was mostly clear with a little bit of white and a little bit of purple to tone down the warmth,” Sarah explains.

In the living space, a modular sectional is upholstered in durable fabrics for the kids. The vein-cut limestone slabs on the fireplace were tricky to find, Sarah admits. “Nature for sure does not produce consistent-looking materials. Finding all of the stones with a more neutral (and not orange) undertone that all worked with one another was a huge challenge.” Here, there’s also a custom wood slab coffee table which adds a natural element. “This connects the living to the wood in the adjacent kitchen as well,” the designer shares. The same concept was brought into the dining room with a wood table in a similar finish here as well.

The project stretched for over two years, beginning in August of 2016 and finished early 2019. Though the clients saw it progress over time, the big reveal brought them a lot of joy. Take a closer look at the details in the slideshow.