This is one of my favorite renovations of a historic site and it is right here in Austin. May I present, Bouldin Castle.
This site was originally home to San Jose Catholic Church from 1925 until the 1970s when it changed hands to another church. The property was eventually bought by Urban Nature Inc. in 2008. Ivan Spaller and Priscilla Glover teamed up to redesign the existing church and I must say they did a brilliant job.
The designers reconstructed the existing spaces with a modern yet old world design while staying true to the original mission style. The overall feel of the castle is open and creates a sense of ease and escape. The natural building materials and natural light connect the interior and exterior spaces. This is one design element that I especially love about this castle.
There are small gothic details throughout the castle. The original flagstone floors and wood beams in the great hall were incorporated in the redesign. The chandeliers that grace the hall are originals from the church as well. The space in the great hall is vast and many different layouts could be used. I can get a bit stir-crazy from time to time and to have the ablility to easily rearrange a large space would definitely be beneficial. This space would also be ideal for the many parties I would love to host. My Thanksgiving Feast would consist of an extra-long dining table that could fit 20 of my favorite people right down the center of the hall. My Christmas Gala would center on a huge, decorated tree with my friends and family all around. The Halloween Ball would be frightfully scary and spooky. Seriously a freakin’ amazing space to share with friends and family!
The master bedroom is your sanctuary for escape. There needs to be natural light, preferably with windows strategically placed to allowed breezes and the morning sun through. A clean color palette and a BIG, FLUFFY bed help make the bedroom a place where you can unwind! The master bedroom in this castle takes up the entire second floor. I am usually not a fan of the master bedroom being on any floor other than the ground floor but I will make an exception for this master suite! It has an amazing patterned, reclaimed wood floor accompanied by lovely, white walls. The bathroom is fully equipped with modern day amenities and is oh so tranquil. There is an elegant claw-foot tub and is also equipped with a private shower room and a huge walk-in closet! This is one master suite I would certainly seek refuge in after a long day!
I am a sucker for a lovely, well-designed kitchen. A poorly designed kitchen can break the design of a home. That is quite the opposite of the kitchen that resides in this castle! The kitchen is stocked with two steel fridges, a gas range with a vented hood and two original street lamps from 1900s Bordeaux, France that hang over the kitchen sinks that are set in Italian marble. With such awesome appliances, ample natural light and high quality materials, this kitchen serves its purpose above and beyond.
There is a saline lap pool on the grounds along with two outdoor dining areas. I would spend spring evenings dining al fresco in the courtyard and be all bundled up inside during the winter months! There would be something almost primal about living on this property. If the funds were available, I would grab this castle up in a heartbeat. It would definitely be a relaxing change to come home to after a hectic day at the office. Your mind would be able to open up and retreat back to a simpler time while utilizing all of today’s modern advances. Ah, the life of a king!