Residential Role Model: A Custom Builder’s Dream Home in the Lone Star State

December 1, 2019

residential role model




Why settle for less in a domestic setting when fabulous and foolproof features can blend together seamlessly?

The proof is in the pudding at this regal Texas residence that’s earning plenty of accolades. Its “livable luxury” description fits the bill for the new build, according to interior designer Lori Caldwell of San Antonio, Texas–based Lori Caldwell Designs, who poured a whole lot of passion into this project. “Anyone can walk in the house and feel like they could live there. It’s comfortable and inviting,” says Caldwell. “We tried to use materials that could withstand entertaining and kids, like the quartzite in the kitchen that doesn’t stain or etch.”

Her goal for the highly customized home in nearby New Braunfels would be twofold. Keith Wing—a custom builder she often collaborates with—hired Caldwell to design his personal retreat in a coveted subdivision where the lots are fairly large. In addition to serving as a happy home base for the builder and his family, the stately residence also operates as a model home for new and potential clients.


At first glance, it’s easy to see why the bespoke abode won seven awards including the People’s Choice Award in the 2018 New Braunfels Parade of Homes. For starters, the 5,696-square-foot structure designed by MSA Architecture + Interiors and built by Keith Wing Custom Builders feels fresh and familiar at the same time. Caldwell explains, though Keith leans a little more masculine, he and his wife were on the same page with the modern farmhouse aesthetic that adds character and longevity throughout.

Though model homes tend to reveal the latest trends, like the outdoor kitchen and bar area, this one also highlights timeless touches, from the functional cubbies in the mudroom to the layout of the main rooms overlooking the pool. “It feels larger because most of it’s on one floor and the inside and outside have a great flow,” says Caldwell. “People are constantly in and out most of the time in South Texas.”

Residential Role Model

Handsome details influenced by Wing can be found in his workspace where a stained shiplap wall joins a stone fireplace. They also appear in the bar area that boasts a metallic, ceramic-tile backsplash and the game room with three TVs, a sizable sectional, and leather swivel chairs to watch the Spurs and other sports teams. “I’m a big fan of swivel chairs for conversation and comfort,” says Caldwell.

Handsome details prevail in this home. The slightly masculine game room features three TVs, a deluxe sectional, and leather swivel chairs. In the classic white kitchen, the clean palette fits the modern farmhouse aesthetic. Distinctive details in the mudroom that were designed to endure include storage cubbies, a sliding barn door, and a work space for the wife.

A classic palette of gray and white creates a soothing backdrop for the various textures found throughout. “Wood flooring warms a home up tremendously,” says Caldwell of the engineered wood from Provenza Floors. “The light [tone] is neutral and timeless.” Black accents work their magic around the house with just the right amount of the striking shade. “If you bring in too much, then it’s not special,” she says.

Repetition makes a statement, like the stone fireplace in the living room that mimics the home’s exterior. “I do that a lot, bring stone elements from outside and marry them to the inside,” adds Caldwell, who grew up in the industry with her builder stepfather.

Personal spaces include the boys’ rooms on the second floor that also has a shared area for them to watch TV and play video games. In the master bedroom, the furniture hails from the couple’s former home. “It has a little coffee bar; it really is their own little master suite,” says Caldwell. The master bath wows with thick laminated marble counters, porcelain-tile flooring, and a freestanding tub.

With so many distinctive details, it takes a village to complete a masterpiece of this magnitude. “I’m so glad I got to be a part of this project. It really takes a team to accomplish this, and we’re a very close-knit building community,” says Caldwell, who also knows how much a home impacts its inhabitants. “Creating someone’s dream and helping to bring that dream to reality as a place to live with their family and friends and be happy—there’s so much to be said for that.”

All the Right Ingredients

Follow the lead of this magnificent modern-farmhouse kitchen that combines classic colors like black and white—and even a dark blue island—with clean details like the flat-panel cabinetry.
Glass-front cabinet doors near the ceiling lighten the look, while matte-brass hardware adds a subtle touch. The timeless herringbone subway tile conveys a handcrafted feel that stands out against the black granite on the perimeter countertops.
Because you can always change a light fixture, Caldwell says you should have a little fun with lighting, like she did with the industrial glass pendants above the island, which is topped with quartzite.
Deluxe touches—from leather stools to stainless-steel appliances—are always welcome. Another element with longevity: the perfect work triangle with the sink across from the oven and cooktop. The farmhouse sink can easily handle cumbersome dishes and platters when entertaining.