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Lake Houses

When you build a home, you are not building a structure, you are narrating your life story. Your home tells the story of who you are, what you've done, and where you're going.

We're dedicated to helping you tell that story in the best way possible. That means creating a custom lake house that's not only beautiful but also fits your personality and lifestyle perfectly - no matter where it is.

We specialize in designing contemporary custom homes on one-of-a-kind sites, whether that be a lakeside, hillside, remote, or other distinguished sites. Our goal is to design a site-sensitive, integrated dwelling that complements the natural beauty of the surrounding landscapes whilst simultaneously creating a home that celebrates its occupants.

​We aspire to create unforgettable lake homes that are in harmony with their natural surroundings, conserve resources, and are ultimately efficient in use.

Not only do we design lakes houses...
We also spend a lot of time on the water too.


You should work with an architect
who knows

  • Lake Travis

  • Lake Austin

  • Lady Bird Lake

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disclaimer: we're not this geeky!

  • Canyon Lake

Endless views are for you, the work is for us.

Our team is experienced in working with challenging topography, setbacks, easements, utilities, and septic systems. When necessary, we work with other passionate specialists, such as boat dock professionals, to ensure our client's visions are brought to life.


Our comprehensive range of lake house design services and full-service approach will ensure that every detail of your vision is transformed into a reality. All you need to do is kick back and enjoy the scenic lake views while we do the difficult work.

Understanding your land is our first priority.

At Motif, we believe it is necessary to consider the whole location, context, and other site-specific attributes of each project to effortlessly integrate the structure and the environment together.


Our designs are fresh and imaginative, honoring the environments of the site – some of our favorite and more successful project types are on unique rural sites.  


We start each project with an architectural site analysis, looking at limitations such as site location, size, topography, zoning, soil conditions and climate. Having a deep comprehension of these details sets the foundations of our designs.


The analysis also will consider any future developments, or changes to the site’s surroundings, such as a change in road grading, changing drainage patterns, or other significant building developments within the area. Investigating these future plans will future-proof your building, allowing it to last the test of time, despite the ever-changing surroundings.


with the Topography

Let’s work with the land, not against it. 


Views of the


Separate Work from Living Spaces

During the evaluation of your site, we may create a 3D model of a particular aspect, or even the entire site itself. Our 3D model can often help our clients visualize the building interiors and exterior clearer than traditional drawings or surveys.


Building on a sloped site is not easy, but we love the challenge. During site evaluation, we will determine how the structure relates to the terrain, how the foundation can be designed to support the house, and even take into consideration if the construction crew can operate machinery around the site during the construction phase.


Land contours are incredibly important with lake houses as they influence our architectural designs and help our team integrate your needs into the land's characteristics, which are then used as a starting point in your schematic design.


Living Spaces

Direct Lake


Grand Entrance

Double Height Great Rooms

Designed for


We use 3d simulation and visualization to determine sensory views. 

Lakeside settings offer an almost infinite view of the natural world. When designing lake houses, providing an abundant amount of windows to frame breathtaking views of the surroundings is essential.


And while lake houses take advantage of sensational vistas, they are unfortunately subjected to unique challenges. Beyond the usual challenges such as regional climate and location, lake house designs must consider site-specific issues such as regulatory restrictions, accessibility, and transparency, and ensure the natural environments are respected. 


Our clients benefit from our combined skill set of architecture and interiors with our lake house designs. We know that intelligently selected interiors complement the building architecture – and it’s true, homes just ‘feel right’ when they are cohesive inside to out, flowing seamlessly throughout the site. In addition to interior design, we can also offer landscape design coordination with our talented team of forward-thinking collaborators.

As part of our pre-design process, we study selected views by incorporating drone photography. Our photography and 3D models simulate the final outcome of your dream lake house and even provide actual eye-level imagery of the final project, so you can peek into your future home and imagine the now possible. 

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Are you ready to get on the water? We are too.

We work with a specialized group of local consultants, who are familiar with code restrictions, design standards and the challenges that arise from developing a new home on or near a lake. 

Let our team handle the heavy lifting - you'll be on the water in no time.

Design elements for consideration.

At Motif, we design lake houses that encourage and facilitate both your active and relaxing lifestyle on the water.


Our lake house design process focuses on a smooth integration of all of the functional components that are included with everyday lakeside lifestyles. We do this by limiting any obstacles that may prevent you from fully immersing yourself in this remarkable landscape, and maximizing your connection to the surroundings. The end result is a home that blurs the lines of indoor and outdoor living, purposely built to elevate every second spent at the lake.

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 Views with Pool

A refreshing, luxurious private swimming pool is an ideal addition to combat the suffocating summer heat. While swimming pools were previously only available to those boasting large yards, thanks to the flexibility in shape and size, there are many swimming pool designs and plans that nestle perfectly within small lots. 


Best of all, today’s choices in modern patio and building materials allow your pool to easily complement the architecture and style of your house.

​At Motif, we collaborate with expert pool designers to integrate our visions and designs together. Like any other design element in your master plan, pools should be given the same attention to detail to ensure a balanced aesthetic in your overall home and property. With awe-inspiring lake views to capitalize on, we ensure that our focus is on waterfront locations and landscape features that will heighten the poolside experience.

Another specialized team of consultants that we collaborate with are dock and landscape designers. Meshing the architectural design with functional boardwalks and boathouses will weave the styles together.  

In addition to assisting with the design of boathouses and dock coverage areas, we also developed site plans to enhance the landscape’s character along the shoreline. Our team works with experienced landscape and civil designers to help orchestrate the surrounding landscape, including retaining walls, paths, lighting, plant sections, irrigation and tree preservation.

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Boat Dock

and Boardwalk Design

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Outdoor Living


The outdoor areas of your modern lake house are just as important as the interiors. After all, part of the lake experience is spending time outside. Whether it’s the outdoor entertaining season or a quiet family night in, an outdoor living space can enrich your lifestyle in an array of ways.


From hosting friends and family to outdoor dining and languishing in your swimming pool, the relaxation and entertainment opportunities afforded by a beautiful outdoor living space are practically endless. 


The difference between good design and great design is a vision that's supported by the right experts. At Motif, we collaborate with a landscape architect to discover the best features for an outdoor space. Together with our clients, we determine appropriate types of spaces and features and how best to integrate them into the property to bring the realization of our client’s inspirational lifestyles.


We love providing innovative solutions to difficult topography

In the current market, we are witnessing an increase in construction on sites with difficult topographic conditions. These sites include sloping areas and steep slopes causing design challenges. 

The topography and soil condition of a site is possibly the most important factor when planning an architecturally significant building. This is because the topography and soil condition can determine the placement and stability of the building, including its orientation to the sun, wind, and water.
love a challenge and enjoy problem-solving even the most difficult of sites; including flood plains, hillsides and bluffs.


Related Projects

Waterfront homes are our specialty - discover our recent lake house projects. We're ready to make a splash with your design.


Hill Country Homes

The Hill Country is a place of tradition and modernity.


The design here is marked by influences from both the past and present, and the resulting designs are elegant, bold, and unmistakably Texan.

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