Project Features

June 12, 2017

10 unique doors and entrances

An entrance. A transition.

Doors and doorways separate the interior and exterior of a building, creating a literal and a figurative passage point. Architecture enthusiast website, calls the door, “that pivotal point where architecture first greets the user.”

Say hello to 10 doorways, all from Sebastian projects. These transition points can create a visual invitation to enter, while others blend tranquilly into the surrounding structure.

Westwick residence. Architect: Overland Partners Architects, San Antonio, TX

The design of Westwick, a modern home for art was based on Overland’s belief that “art is integral to the human experience helped the team bring intimate and gallery spaces together into one harmonious design.”

St. Johns Residence. Architect: Larry E Boerder Architects, Dallas, TX

St. Ives residence. Architect: LM Studio, Los Angeles, CA
Oaks residence, another classical beauty by Larry E Boerder Architects.

Aledo Ranch. Architect: Turner Boaz Architecture, Dallas, TX.

Holloway residence by Peter Marino Architect, New York, NY.

Desert Residence II. Architect: Hablinski-Manion Architects, Los Angeles

Brazos Ranch. Architect: Ford Powell & Carson.

Another spectacular entryway at Aledo Ranch. Architect: Turner Boaz Architecture.

Massive double doors frame the courtyard. Desert Residence I by Hablinski-Manion Architects, Los Angeles.



Recent Stories

June 5, 2017

3 keys to successful luxury estate projects

Sebastian team members have been on a speaking tour recently, presenting our 40 Misconceptions in the Planning of High End Residences to audiences of architects, designers and subconsultants.

The presentation breaks down 40 of the most common misconceptions in the luxury residential building industry. Sebastian’s been in the business of building luxury homes for nearly 70 years. During that time, John Sebastian and his team of professionals have honed the process of building premier estates. Along the way, they’ve noticed some assumptions and common practices that slow projects and negatively impact the results.

Here’s a sneak peek at one of the misconceptions, how it impacts the construction process and what to do instead.

Client/Owner Relations


“You just can’t manage the client. They are simply going to do what they are going to do.”

Our 70 years experience begs to differ. Clients actually want and need firm direction from their architect. The best architects are not just design geniuses, they also know how to develop trust with the client.

In 2015, the Royal Institute of British Architects published a report, “Client and Architect, developing the essential relationship.” Based on the findings of a two-year analysis of the relationship between clients and their architects, the report contains insights gleaned from interviews with 500 clients.

A couple of the key findings:

“Good communication skills breed trust, reduce perceived risk and boost repeat business.”

“Good communication involves keeping the client ahead of the game.”

We definitely agree. From our decades of experience, here are three practices that make projects successful:

1. Keep the client focused on what is critical, not what is fun.

Gazing at renderings and discussing innovative design touches feeds your creative drive and excites the client, but certain decisions are critical path items.

No decision, no progress.

A client wants and needs firm direction from their architect.  They expect the architect to “keep the wheels on the track”.

2.  Tell the truth and bring up issues, even when it’s uncomfortable.

Be honest in setting expectations, saying “no” when necessary and pushing for decisions. While it may feel awkward at first, the client will appreciate directness and straight talk.

3. Practice good meetings and project management with the client, too. 

A  clear agenda with high priority/scheduling-sensitive items should guide every meeting, whether it’s with contractors, subs or the client. While it can be tempting to spend client meetings brainstorming fun design details, it’s important to review the decisions made, and determine action items and responsible persons.

At Sebastian, we use a very structured meeting agenda and process, called Level 10 meetings. The meeting process is part of a larger management system we use called Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS).

Using the structured process keeps the meetings short and productive and the project running smoothly. Project team members spend most of their time discussing potential issues and resolving them.

Project Features

May 31, 2017

Featured: Peter Marino Architect

It’s every residential architect’s dream to have your work featured in Architectural Digest. Starchitect Peter Marino has not only had his work featured, he’s been elevated to the first ever AD100 Hall of Fame, the magazine’s curated list of the top influencers in the world of design.

Few architects are featured in both Vogue and on 60 Minutes. Marino, a tastemaker in architecture, art and high fashion, has been feted by both. Here’s a still from Marino’s sit down with 60 Minutes’ Steve Kroft. (Image, CBS News.)

Memorable in his sartorial choices (Marino’s leather biker gear shows off his tattoos and skull jewelry), he’s also known as the go-to architect for the most exclusive fashion brands. Christian Dior, Bulgari, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Hublot, Zegna – Marino’s firm has designed boutiques for all of them.

But Marino doesn’t just look like a biker. He actually is a biker. (Marino often commutes between New York and his home on Long Island via motorcycle.)

His residential architectural clients reportedly include billionaires as well as some of the most recognizable celebrities in the world, but he’s the model of discretion and won’t discuss his private clients.

Sebastian had the opportunity to partner with Peter Marino Architect on the renovations of the Crespi Hicks estate in Dallas (seen in the photos above and below.)

In a CBS 60 Minutes interview, Marino shares why he’s the top choice for the people who can have anything:

“It’s the old question, “Oh, why do they all go to you? …would you go to a knee doctor who had done two knee operations if you need an operation or one who had done 300 successfully? Who would you go to? That’s why they come to me.”

In the News

May 22, 2017

Sebastian in the media

Building the amazing homes we get to construct is extremely fulfilling. And when those homes are featured in the leading architecture and design publications in the world, it’s an extra, unexpected thrill.

From the pages of Architectural Digest to Art Auction, Sebastian homes have been garnering coverage for decades.

Sebastian magazine features

Here’s a roundup of just three of the Sebastian-built homes found in the pages of these prestigious publications:

Athens Farm

Gracing the cover of Luxe magazine, Athens Farm was named one of the Top Ten most popular projects by Luxe in 2015 and has been pinned over 5000 times on Pinterest. Designed by Sebastian president, John Sebastian, Athens Farms was also featured on a Houzz tour, with interior designer Marci Barnes.

Malone Cliff

FD House and Oak Cliff Advocate both dedicated covers to this modern marvel, designed by Booziotis & Company Architects. With a concrete structure, sleek design and LEED Silver certification, Malone Cliff makes a strong visual and environmental statement.

Oak Court

Featured by Architectural Digest as one of “The Most Magnificent Texas Homes,” the Oak Court residence has graced the pages (and websites) of a wide array of publications, thanks to architect Russell Buchanan’s inspired renovation of the E.D. Stone home.

For more Oak Court, view a slideshow on

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