This might be a love-hate thing. Located in the Old Enfield subdistrict of the Old West Austin neighborhood, the almost 11,000-square-foot mansion is perhaps most delightful to people who spent their childhoods wandering through modern Middle American museums or European galleries in the 1970s.
The mix of barrel vaulting, Venetian plaster, and contemporary art that sometimes invades the traditional spaces structurally (see whimsical staircase with offset risers) can be jarring and seem a bit silly—which perhaps is the point.
According to the listing, the couple who built the home was inspired by a Florentine castle for its design. That in itself doesn’t mean much, since every other McMansion could claim some vague reference to same.
What makes it work is the jaunty melding of that with modern and contemporary styles, all out in the open for everyone to see.
Throughout the two-story home, which has five bedrooms, four bathrooms, and four half-baths, neutral tones create an informal, arty backdrop, while details like giant rounded windows read both old-timey and postmodern, and bright colors bring things back around, sort of, to a vaguely Venetian (or is it midcentury?) theme.
Even those who are aghast will find it hard not to appreciate the outdoor veranda, which even has its own sort of mini-piazza. Plus, there’s more than half an acre to putter around on if art’s not your thing.
• 1 Niles Road [Moreland Properties]