Project Features

October 16, 2017

Vintage is vogue

The appeal for vintage and recovered materials is understandable: vintage materials give a new house instant character, an air of gravitas. It looks and feels more historically significant. But the focus isn’t just on provenance – the imperfections in reclaimed materials add depth and beauty not found in modern fabricated materials.

Unique historic features like exposed stone, custom pillars or timber floors evoke heritage in a home. The materials tell a story.

John Sebastian cites some recent trends. “Antique terracotta floors are very popular right now, along with antique wide plank floors. On slate roofs, the construction team is blending new slate with old slate to give it an aged patina.”

A recent Sebastian-built home reflects the desire for timeworn materials: Beverly residence, a home constructed with limestone recovered from a 2000-year-old aqueduct in Avignon, France.

Avignon meets Dallas

Building the Beverly residence, a classical beauty in the coveted Highland Park neighborhood of Dallas, was a labor of love for its owner, a design enthusiast. With a specific French limestone in mind, the owner worked with Dee Brown, Inc., a Texas-based stone and masonry contractor, to find it.

Rob Barnes, grandson of the founder and CEO of Dee Brown, Inc., (DBI) recognized the stone the owner described as emanating from southeastern France’s Provence region and tapped his European inspector to send samples. The sought-after stone was recovered from an aqueduct, a system built by Romans in the first century AD to carry water from a source to population centers.

DBI, which has a 7,700 square foot fabrication facility, trimmed some of the stones used in the Beverly residence’s two feet thick walls.

Want to know more about the rise of recovered materials in luxury construction? Be sure to head over to the Publications section of our website to see more beautiful homes, using recovered materials.

Project Features

October 9, 2017

Home on the Ranch

A refuge from the bustle.

A calming oasis.

Home, in the heart of nature.

At Sebastian, we’ve constructed castles in neighborhood enclaves and finished high-rise apartments atop city centers, but ranch homes continue to hold a special place in our hearts.

These quiet retreats, set amidst stunning vistas exude a sense of calm and tranquility. Natural materials harmonize with the environment.

Let’s take a closer look at three – different and beautiful – ranch projects built by Sebastian.

Aledo Ranch

Architecture by Turner-Boaz-Stocker, Architects (Dallas.)

This project featured a new residence, game pavilion and site development.

Aledo boasts stone walls and flooring, antique timber trusses, geo-thermal HVAC system, a standing seam copper roof, Texas limestone veneer, plus Hope Steel windows and doors.

Utopia Ranch

Utopia Texas Ranch built by Sebastian Construction Group

Architect: Backen, Gillam & Kroeger Architects
Interior Design: Backen, Gillam & Kroeger Architects
Landscape Architect: SWA

One of the most interesting features of the Utopia Ranch project, built by Sebastian, is its use of recovered and salvaged materials: a hay barn is made with wood from a dismantled Idaho lumber mill and horse troughs cut from one thousand year old logs.

Brazos Ranch

Brazos Ranch, by architect Ford, Powell & Carson of San Antonio, uses glass connecting galleries to tie together the various buildings of the hilltop ranch compound and to showcase the Brazos River valley views.

One of our premier San Antonio homes, Brazos Ranch bears the hallmarks of Ford Powell & Carson’s signature style: living in harmony with nature.

This spacious ranch house was carefully sited among century old live oak trees and overlooks the vast Brazos River Valley. The landscape architect is Thomas Bradley & Associates of San Antonio.

The exterior design, modeled to resemble a South American Hacienda, includes regional materials such as clay tile roofing, stucco and locally quarried stone, as well as custom fabricated wood windows.

In the News

October 2, 2017

ICAA John Staub Award

We got a bit of fun news last week when we learned that a Sebastian-built project Sebastian won a 2017 John Staub award from ICAA Texas.

The Spanish Colonial Cabana won the Addition/Renovation/Folly category. This delightful mini building, part of what we call the Beverly Residence, was designed by architects Larry E. Boerder and Daniel Heath.

Boerder commented via Instagram, “ICAA Texas Chapter 2017 John Staub Award. Quite proud to have won for one of our smallest projects ever.”

Even a petit bâtiment like the cabana deserves stylish interiors and Laura Lee Clark met the challenge beautifully.


The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art (ICAA) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the practice and appreciation of the classical tradition in architecture and the allied arts. The Texas chapter, the fastest growing in the US, organizes extensive public education programs, including lectures, exhibits, walking and travel tours, and conferences.

John Staub awards

In 2011, the Texas Chapter of ICAA launched the inaugural John Staub Awards, in honor of Houston architect, John Fanz Staub, known over his 40 year career for combining elements from historic styles to create homes that were unique and stately.

The John Staub Awards recognizes national and local practitioners who are committed to promoting excellence in both classical and vernacular traditions within Texas and beyond.

More 2017 John Staub award winners

Curtis & Windham scooped up two residential architecture awards, one for the 5000 – 10,000 feet category and another in the ‘more than 10,000 sf’ category.

It was no surprise to see Hull Historical named the winner in the Craftsmanship category for its Historic Millwork category – English & French.

Project Updates

September 25, 2017

High Tech Tools Preserve Nature for Future Estate

Deep in an exclusive Dallas neighborhood, on a quiet morning, a laser scanning crew gathered.

Their mission? To scan and map two tracts of land, including over 600 trees and two buildings, to make way for an estate home and private museum.

The land’s new owner had managed to gather something truly elusive in this part of Dallas: adjoining properties in a tony enclave, peppered with mature trees. Terra firma worthy of showcasing this art enthusiast’s future home and gallery.

Using 3-D laser scanning and a tree protection plan created by a board-certified master arborist, the project team

The architect for the project will use the 3D laser scans, not only to design the project remotely, but also to develop two unique features:

  • The buildings’ foundations will be on piers that can be moved in a 6-foot radius, should the preliminary design impact the roots of the tree.
  • Contractors will hang the outer foundation walls, to avoid destroying nearby trees.

Greg David, master arborist, commented on the unusual nature of the undertaking and his role, “It’s exciting to get in this early on the project and preserve these trees. The roots of these trees extend way way out. Typically, when a contractor wants to save trees, he will draw a circle around the tree, and excavate around that, which doesn’t work because it destroys about 90% of the roots.”

Be sure to head over to the Publications section of our website to read all about this one-of-a-kind project.