Tour Stay Bungalow, a Modern Residential Showroom

The concept of a bungalow is amplified with bold geometry and modern trappings that are right at home in Austin, Texas.

August 22, 2022
Stay Bungalow is a first-of-its-kind modern residential showroom—located in the high-energy city of Austin, Texas. Designed by LaRue Architects, the home incorporates products from many different partners, from lighting and appliances to windows and doors, to offer the ultimate showroom experience for trade professionals and other exclusive guests. The Marvin Modern product line shines in this modern bungalow, harnessing abundant light from the ever-present Texas sun and filling the 1,940-square-foot home with natural light.

To create Stay Bungalow, the existing bungalow on the lot was demolished so LaRue Architects would have the freedom to design without the constraints of existing elements.

“We wanted to keep the bungalow concept, only we kicked it up to make it really dynamic,” said Emily Haydon, project manager at LaRue Architects.

To reflect and pay tribute to the original 1940s homes that lined Live Oak Street in Austin, Stay Bungalow kept a small footprint and embraced a monochromatic color palette.

“We wanted bold geometry,” said James LaRue, principal and founder at LaRue Architects. “And we wanted to lift the house so it would have a presence. It’s this little white building in the bright Texas sun—hard to miss.”
The contrast between the white standing seam metal and the black “ribs” of the canopy—as well as the black exterior of the Modern Direct Glaze windows—offers a pleasing dichotomy and delivers on the geometric aesthetic. 

"We went with a 9-inch wall roof pitch and metal roofing panels,” Haydon said. “When you look at it, it’s almost like the wall folded back onto the roof to become one element. From the street, the home looks quaint.”
What you don’t see from the street is that Stay Bungalow is actually quite spacious inside, and it’s far from quaint. On the contrary—it's very luxurious. Inside, there’s a 17-foot-high pitched roof to make the interior feel open and airy and a 12-foot-tall, motorized Modern Multi-Slide door that opens into the backyard to enable indoor/outdoor living. So, although the home is only 40 feet wide, its design is all about efficiency, which makes the living space feel much bigger than it is.
Where traditionally bungalows have a front porch, Stay Bungalow pivots slightly with a covered carport on the side. The carport substitutes for a garage and can double as outdoor living space, giving access to the bustling activity that characterizes Live Oak Street, located just off Congress Avenue near the state capital.

The metal fins that hover over the carport serve as a something of a through line: “They are the same 18-inch-on-center as the metal panels,” Haydon said. “Those metal ‘ribs’ that are supporting that canopy are on the same dimension that drove the entire house, setting dimensions throughout, including the windows.”
“Windows are always a huge part of what we do," LaRue said. “There’s a fine line between too much glass and not enough glass. This house has more glass in the back, but just enough glass in the front, too, so that in the evening the house glows like a little lantern.”

When you walk into Stay Bungalow, you are immersed in the open living room and kitchen spaces. The living room has a modern take on a fireplace with visuals to the outside and is outfitted with undulating contemporary furniture. Meanwhile, the kitchen includes opulent marble countertops and the latest in culinary appliances. Light bounces off the white walls and creamy colors throughout to make the interior feel like a brighter, more generous space.

“The foyer is also the dining room, which is also the living room—it's all one,” Haydon said. “It’s a well-purposed space, and you can see directly out beyond to that pocketed multi-slide glass door. When the sliding door is open, you can just flow back and forth between indoors and outdoors. That indoor entertaining space increases dramatically.”
“Outdoor living is very important to our culture in Austin,” LaRue said. “This was a big part of our design.”

Another point of interest in the primary living space is the corner where two Marvin Modern Direct Glaze windows meet. “We have two pieces of glass setting up to each other by a corner post, and we feel like that would draw somebody over to it,” Haydon said.

Beyond these public spaces in the home, Stay Bungalow has a primary bedroom on the main floor as well as a second bedroom upstairs, where Modern Casement windows open to let in fresh air. The bathroom has large irregular-shaped tiles, a lavish shower, and a modern soaking tub.
Marvin Modern Direct Glaze window in a modern bathroom at Stay Bungalow in Austin, Texas.
When asked what makes Stay Bungalow such a remarkable home, LaRue Architects emphasizes that it was the freedom to create whatever they wanted in the first place.

“Considering the purpose of Stay Bungalow, we had imaginary clients from all over the country. What a rare opportunity,” LaRue said. “We designed for a broad segment, yet we wanted it to really be a simple house. Every kid’s sketch of a house is just a little thing with four walls and roof, and that’s what Stay Bungalow is. It’s just a house in its true essence, boiled down to the simplest thing you can do.”

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