"Texas Tuscan” is a style of architecture—often in the Texas Hill Country such as west Austin—the attempts to resemble the Tuscan villas. “Texas Tuscan” may also apply to cuisine, such as at the Siena Ristorante Toscana in Austin.
The term “Texas Tuscan” has often been derided to mean the same as “McMansion” or “big hair house” or “Dallas palace,” but the term reflects the style of home as well as its large size and great cost. J. Long Builder has claimed to have trademarked “Texas Tuscan,” but this has not been listed yet on the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office’s website.
Anaqua Springs Ranch - Close to San Antonio, Far from the expected
Villa Toscana is the perfect name for this “Texas Tuscan” home designed by Gustavo Arredondo, one of the leading residential architects in the Hill Country and South Central Texas. “Texas Tuscan” is the trademarked name of J. Long Builder, which perfectly describes the combination of “simplicity” from the Texas Hill Country and the “Old World” flare of Tuscany. Simple pleasures luxurious feel; the perfect description of “Villa Toscana”.
Texas Home Plans
Welcome to the Gallery of Texas Mission Homes
also known as Texas Tuscan - a uniquely Old World style
The Texas Mission style is a romantic blend of Texas Ranch, Mexican Hacienda, and Spanish Mission. This style is often a rambling plan with an enclosed courtyard that features an attractive fountain. The walls of the courtyard serve to protect a small area from the local wildlife such as deer and armadillos. The materials used in this style are usually a combination of stone and stucco (plaster) walls with shake roofing. Many of these designs sport barrel tile roofs in earth tones other than the California reds or oranges. The roof pitch is generally at a slight 5/12 or 6/12 pitch, since the prospect of snow is not a problem. Wood or stone lintels enhance many of these designs. Casement windows are often used with or without dividers. Unique touches involve the use of architectural antiques such as oxcart wheel gates or chandeliers. Rustic finishes in both the interior and exterior are typical in this motif. Porches also play a vital role in the Texas Mission design as the hot, West Texas sun begs for shade.
McMansion is a slang architectural term which first came into use in the United States during the 1980s as a pejorative description. It describes a particular style of housing that—as its name suggests—is both large like a mansion and as generic and culturally ubiquitous as McDonald’s fast food restaurants.
In addition to ubiquity, almost every reason to poke fun at McDonald’s has been applied metaphorically to “McMansions”. These criticisms include the deviation from traditional local or regional architectural style; a gaudy, sterile, mass-produced appearance; and perceived negative effects on nature and neighborhoods.
The spread of the “McMansion”
As developments of large houses have spread, a number of similar, related terms have been coined, including “Beltway Baronial,” “Starter Castle,” “Monster Homes” (Canada),"Tract Mansions,” “Mini-Taj Mahals,” “Garage Mahals,” “Big Foot,” “Big Hair House” (Texas), “Texas Tuscan,” “Jumbo Abode,” “Gable-opolis” and “faux chateau.” The term “parachute home” refers to the perceived disregard for regional and immediate site considerations (as if the home had just been dropped from the sky). Closely related, but significantly different in both physical characteristics and social associations, are the “Persian palaces” of Los Angeles
14 February 1997, Forth Worth (TX) Star-Telegram, “What’s the big idea? In Dallas, its the new idea house,” pg. 1:
...he appraises the final assemblage as Texas Tuscan.
Originally Printed in “2002 SPEC BUILD” Magazine Published by Design Basics, Inc.
A TOUCH OF TUSCANY
Although J. Long Builder, Inc. builds 35-40 custom homes a year, owner Johnnie Long had never entered a parade of homes until October 2000. It wasn’t that he didn’t see the value in participating, but because he typically builds in areas outside the larger cities where the parades are traditionally held. Long, who’s been building since 1980, works in six counties north and west of San Antonio in an area known as Texas Hill Country. When Long learned a parade would be held in the New Braunfels area near San Antonio, he decided to enter the Tealwood Estate, #9162-.
“I was drawn to the design because of its simple beauty which blends well with the Greek revival style often done in the area,” he comments. “The formal dining room, study and downstairs master suite make it an ideal home for retired couples, who make up a large part of our market. There’s also a great area above the garage which could be finished into additional living space.”
Working with his decorator, Long a gave the home a vintage Tuscany look with mottled stucco and an innovative product called Chateau Cool Stone™. “The latter is actually a concrete product that was applied on the job by an artisan trained in Europe, where the technique was developed to refurbish old chateaus and castles,” Long explains.
Epitomizing the Texas motto of doing things bigger and better, Long has developed a marketing brochure using pictures of his “vintage” Tealwood Estate and is launching a development with his look of “Texas Tuscan™” homes.
HOMEOWNERS - Bethany and Dan Shine
COMPLETED - 2004 Showcase of Homes in Austin
HOME SITE - Lakeway Golf Community in Austin, Texas
STYLE - “Tuscan Texas”
LIVING SPACE - 4,370 square feet indoors and 1,900 square feet of outdoor living space
Now two years later, the Shines are delighted with their move to Austin and their casual, 4,300-square foot “Texas Tuscan” home, which is filled with unique elements drawn from Italian architecture: grand sandstone and brick archways, travertine flooring, hand paintings on walls and ceilings, a landscaped front courtyard and a large hand-carved stone fireplace. With all the customized and unique features it has to offer, it’s no wonder it was awarded several top honors in 2004 by the Texas Association of Builders (including Best Custom Home, Best Kitchen, and Best Overall Interior Design).
A Tuscan villa atmosphere begins as soon as guests approach the home. A pebbled stone courtyard with a three-tiered fountain leads to a cut glass and wrought iron front door. Once inside, four oversized columns delineate the foyer from the receiving area. Above the foyer, a vaulted ceiling is stenciled and faux finished in shapes reminiscent of the wrought iron on the front door. In an arched alcove, an original hand-painted mural depicts the rolling hills of a Tuscan vineyard at dusk. “I love this painting because it reminds me of two wonderful vacations we took in the Tuscan countryside,” says Bethany.
1 July 2005, Custom Home:
“Three out of four were only interested in a ‘Texas Tuscan,’” he recalls, referring to a local breed of trophy house.
The Congress of Residential Architecture
Posted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 9:30 am
I am designing a few homes in California and have seen some of the Tuscan product first hand. In Texas they have the same craze: ‘Texas Tuscan’. Why I have even named some of my concept houses such, and the California versions likewise!
D Home and Garden
October 26, 2005
TEXAS TUSCAN RIP?
If Peggy Levinson says India is the new Tuscany, does that mean Texas Tuscan is dead? Is it possible that everyone in Dallas might stop building theme park Tuscans? Including me??? Yes, the D Home Showhouse was Mediterranean-inspired and no it would not have been better as a cobbled together Taj Mahal, but the next time we do a showhouse (hey Peggy, where do you think you’re going?) I think we will have an examination of conscience about the architecture. That’s Catholic for no more Texas Tuscan.
Google Groups: alt.books.reviews
From: “Midwest Book Review”
Date: 4 Nov 2005 17:36:09 -0800
Local: Fri, Nov 4 2005 9:36 pm
Subject: MBR: The Interior Design Shelf
Inside The Not So Big House
Sarah Susanka & Marc Vassallo
The Taunton Press
63 South Main St., Newtown, CT 06470
1561586811 $34.95, 1-800-477-8727
Best-selling author of “The Not So Big House” Sarah Susanka teams up with architectural design writer Marc Vassallo to present Inside The Not So Big House, an interior decorating guide that explores both the tangible and intangible that add life, character, and aesthetic appeal to the inside of a home. From evoking the “Classic Cottage Simplicity” atmosphere to “Texas Tuscan”, and more, chapters cover a wide assortment of moods as well as more general tips such as how to define space with light and how to evoke a serene atmosphere on a budget.
I’ve hoped for some time that our generation will evolve away from the typical Baby Boomer dream of owning a giant pretentious house. If you ask me, there are too many suburban and exurban zones littered with McMansion “subdivisions.” These developments (a far cry from real neighborhoods) consist of rows upon rows of new, identical, treeless “Texas Tuscan"-style homes that manage to pull off the rather impressive feat of being simultaneously joyless and unsustainable.
Posted by H. C. Hodges on May 17, 2006 11:37 AM
Chowhound - Austin
Besides, without CA transplants, who would buy up all those ‘Texas Tuscan” homes on the westside?
Bababooey Apr 04, 2007 06:09AM
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (3) Comments • Sunday, September 16, 2007 • Permalink
hi i am mrs janoo and i want to build my dream house i live in seattle washington but i saw a tuscan style cement build home in 3056 215 pl berier 98036, i want to uild same house in a land pls help me call me at 425 771 9414
Been looking for this architecture info! Thanks for sharing
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