By now we’ve all heard about Austin—the once under-the-radar capital of Texas that went from sleepy to show-stopping during the course of the pandemic. Blessed with an idyllic riverfront setting and megawatt cultural events such as the annual South by Southwest conference, Austin has boomed in the wake of Covid—and the city’s surge doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon.
Much of Austin’s moment centers around real estate, the price rise that accompanied the many thousands of former New Yorkers and Californians who made Austin home during the pandemic. Elon Musk and his whole SpaceX crew relocated from the San Francisco Bay Area to Austin at the end of 2021. Other notable Austin newcomers include actor James Van der Beek along with indie star Parker Posey.
Much of Austin’s appeal lies in its real estate, which has seen average prices rise by some 30 percent over the past year—and virtually 100 percent over the past five years. Despite the spike, homes are still far less costly—and often far larger—than on the coasts. And this includes this recently renovated mid-century gem at 5500 Shoal Creek Blvd that has quietly hit the market for $5.5 million.
The property spans nearly 4,700 square feet and includes five beds and four bathrooms laid out on a single level—along with a separate guest house. The property, says listing agent Michael Reisor of Douglas Elliman in Austin, “is immaculately restored… on a large lot, almost an acre in size, which is extremely rare for central Austin,” he says. “This allows the owner to have ultimate privacy in a park-like setting with only one neighbor adjoining on one side of the property.”
The property has been a labor of love for owner Rebekah Gainsley, a celebrated local interior designer who put her inimitable aesthetic imprint across nearly every element of the home. Set on a nearly acre lot, the home’s most notable neighbor is actually the Shoal Creek, an 11-mile long slender body of water that snakes and curls literally through the center of town which sits at the home’s back door.
Unsurprisingly, Gainsley factored in the Creek when devising her design for the estate. The primary bath, for instance, is clad with dark Venetian plaster and custom tilework, while the tub and dual shower, says Reisor, ”overlook Shoal Creek and the treetops; it’s a rare sight to behold.”
With its lateral layout, the home has been conceived as a natural showplace for art and design. Lighting is key, and the home’s design team has created the perfect balance between natural light and precisely-positioned art lighting—all accented by neutral wooden floors. Beyond art, the home also affords plenty of nature, from the Shoal Creek and beyond. “There are oversized Fleetwood sliding glass doors on all sides of the home,” says Reisor, ”which showcase the property’s enormous heritage trees and make it feel like a home in the forest.”
At the heart of the home is its kitchen, envisioned as the estate’s center point for cooking, gathering and casual enjoyment. Light-filled and lively, the kitchen includes a six-burner Bertazzoni range, double oven large stone island with bar seating—all overlooking a stunning rear wood deck area just outside. Perched high above it all is the primary bathroom—which is clad with dark Venetian plaster and custom tile work. It’s extremely private and feels as if it almost floats among the clouds. There are a pair of additional bedrooms, all with en-suite baths and one with its own wet-bar, as well as a custom-designed audio system and a large swimming pool.
The home also includes a supremely kid-friendly in-ground trampoline as well as a two-car garage with a full bath along with separate guest suite, which also includes a bathroom.
Reisor sees the home’s buyer “as perhaps a family or empty nesters who is ready to entertain their friends and family and are looking for additional quarters to accommodate guests.” While many Austin buyers are locals looking to “trade up,” Reisor says “people are continuing to relocate to Austin which has kept the housing market strong. Additionally, Samsung, Apple, Google, and Meta each have recently announced additional expansions to the Austin area.”
Along with design by Gainsley, the home’s exteriors have been thoughtfully enhanced by local landscape team Studio Balcones. Buyers also have the option of purchasing the home fully-furnished, with additional pricing details provide upon request. “Austin still has a very robust housing market at all price points, but especially so in luxury,” Reisor enthuses.
Check out more photos of the property below: