Pictures of our home

5702 Puccoon Cove, Austin Texas

Our house was custom designed by Dr. and Mrs. James Payne, as their dream retirement home, built in 1990. Although Dr. Payne is a retired surgeon, we think he should have been an architect! They wanted something with modest appearance (not attractive to solicitors or burglars), designed for one couple (everything we need is on the main floor, and unobtrusively, it is also handicapped accessible), but with good guest facilities for friends and relatives (a separate 2 bedroom, sitting room, deck, and bath suite is on the lower floor, with separate heating and cooling). Sounds neat, and it is. But it is almost impossible to show the character of the house in a picture or two. And nobody can understand how the house can be twice as large upstairs as it is downstairs, with no basement.

5702 Puccoon Cove, from the Street Despite the "5702" house number, Puccoon Cove is a little 6-house cul-de-sac in the Great Hills area of Northwest Austin, near the Arboretum. As you approach the house, the primary view is of the garage. We sometimes joke that we live in the quarters behind the garage.

As you come down the driveway, past the magnolia tree (a non-native "architectural feature"), you can finally see the entrance. (Since this picture was taken we have added a gate to keep the deer off the front porch.) You can see one window between the garage and entry, but there are actually three windows in a bay-window configuration, looking out from the office/study.

Entry, viewed from the driveway

As you come in the front door, to the right of the entrance, is the dining room, and behind it, the kitchen. We have the cherry hardwood ready to install in this room - the carpet will soon be gone!

From the dining room you can see the entry hall - entrance door at the left, and the living room down the hall to the right. The brown door straight ahead is the study - Jenny and Charlie's nest of desks and computers (too messy to show). The 1960s style plywood paneling has been removed leaving the room with wainscoting, plaster walls, and built in bookcases. The carpeting has been replaced with walnut flooring.


Continuing into the living room, the fireplace and bar can be seen. To the left of the bar is the hallway to the master bedroom, and the stairs to the guest room (but that part of the tour comes later). The blue carpeting under the oriental rug has been replaced with solid oak hardwood flooring, matching the entry foyer and kitchen.

Looking across the living room from the bar, you can see the kitchen with the breakfast area. The deck is out the windows to the left. The front of the house is to the right.


The breakfast area of the kitchen, like the living room, looks out on the deck. Remember that we entered at ground level, and haven't taken any steps up, but at this corner of the house, we are over 25 feet above the ground. Yes, those are office chairs at the breakfast table, that we finally threw out. Jenny and Charlie sit there routinely, side by side, so they can watch the big TV on the kitchen desk while they eat. The hardwood flooring we added in the living room and hallway matches the oak flooring in the kitchen and entry way.

From the breakfast area, facing the front of the house, you can see the rest of the kitchen, with the dining room through the door. There is no wall in front of the sink - it has a view of .... the living room! The arrangement was a shock when we bought the house, but we love it. The part you can't see to the left has a large pantry, an ordinary refrigerator, a counter under the greenhouse window, and a cabinet with storage, microwave, and conventional ovens. And that is our mug collection on top of the cabinets.


If you go down the small hallway past the bar in the living room, past the half bath and utility room (and the door to the garage), you come to the master bedroom. This is the view standing at the window in the far corner (next picture) - the bookcases are on the wall aligned with the front of the house. The ground is at "normal" level outside these two bedroom windows - these and the study have the only ground level windows in the house.

Switching places, from the far side of the bedroom under the TV, you can see the window to the deck, with the fireplace almost out of the picture on the right. The bedroom is over 300 square feet, and includes a recliner to "get away" for reading!


Through the master bedroom is the master bath - two rooms. This picture is facing the bedroom through the white door. Don't be confused by the mirror on the right, that is reflecting the left side of the bathroom. And the wall on the left is at an angle (like the front of the left sink) since the master closet isn't square. Confusing, but the total space for the several parts of the master bath and walk-in closet are about 275 square feet.

The other room of the master bath has an ordinary tub, shower, and toilet. At the left side, outside of the picture, is the walk-in closet (behind the triangular sink in the other part of the bathroom). Behind the camera is an outside door to the deck. Great if you come in dripping from the hot tub that used to be on the deck, and a good emergency exit to the deck.


This is the view of the large (525 square foot) deck, from outside the breakfast room windows. The hot tub is now gone. To the left of the hot tub is the living room. Behind the hot tub is the master bedroom. The cabinet to the right of the hot tub is Charlie's greenhouse - protects the summer plants from the winter weather. And beyond the cabinet, the white door is the outside entrance to the master bathroom. About 180 square feet of the deck is covered - a big help in the summer heat.

Near the bar in the living room is a set of stairs leading to the guest rooms - but this house is upside down - the guest rooms are downstairs rather than upstairs. You arrive downstairs in a sitting room with wet bar (stocked for our guests), and our exercise equipment. A full bath with separate powder room is behind the bar. To the right of the bar are the stairs we just came down. Behind the camera is an outside door to a smaller (144 square foot) deck for the guests, and stairs from the deck down to the ground.

To drive insurance folks crazy, the downstairs (723 square feet) is smaller than the upstairs (2030 square feet). The downstairs is all on a concrete slab. About 1300 square feet of the upstairs is on a concrete slab on the ground, but about 723 square feet of the upstairs are on a "normal" wood beam floor. None of the check boxes that insurance appraisers have allow for the "upper floor" to be on a slab, or for the lower floor to be smaller than the upper with no basement under any of the house.


The "guest room" is at the corner of the house, under the breakfast room. The floor at this corner is well over 10 feet above the ground (as you will see from the outside pictures below), but it is still on a concrete slab!

The other guest room, known as Mark's room, is the other side of the sitting room, under the living room. His window looks out under the upstairs deck and hot tub.

Front of the house, from the neighbor's driveway

Back outside, if you continued clockwise around the cul-de-sac, to the neighbor's driveway, you would get the only "picturesque" view of the house, and would start to see the kind of hill we are on.

The window on the front, and two side windows, are the dining room on the front corner of the house. Further back, with the "greenhouse" window sticking out, is the kitchen and breakfast area. Remember from the tour above, as you entered the house, the dining room was on the right, the office was on the left, and down the hall, straight ahead, was the living room and deck. The large kitchen and breakfast room are at the back right of the house, next to the living room.

The dining room
Side view of kitchen and Decks From here you can see our upper deck - outside the living room and breakfast area, and the smaller lower deck, outside the guest room (the lower two windows). The upper windows are the kitchen and breakfast room. None of the pictures show the master bedroom wing, that extends back from the garage and utility room, making the upper deck "L" shaped. The wooden fence in the picture just hides the propane tank, to keep the neighborhood pretty!
This is our house from the neighbor's driveway. When the picture was taken, we had just trimmed the shrubs under the dining room windows (the two upstairs windows on the left), as well as under the guest room window (the two downstairs windows on the right). You should have seen Jenny pray, when a ladder was at this level, and Charlie was all the way at the top painting the trim! (We do have a very large and sturdy ladder.) Side of the house, looking up
House from across the valley We finally found a place across the valley where you can see our house (the privacy is unbelievable). Note the trees across the back of the deck - but you can see the roof of the kitchen/breakfast room and the larger roof of the living room. Barely visible to the right is a smaller roof, of the master bedroom wing, which also looks out on the "L" shaped upper deck.
With all the woods below the house, there is a lot of wildlife. These deer were photographed from our front door. They had just wandered out of the woods, across the neighbor's driveway (where I took most of the pictures), and were in the woods in front of their house. Deer, from our front door
Fall fog from the deck The Deck is our favorite place with the changing seasons. This picture, with the fall leaves and fog in the valley, was taken Saturday morning, December 16, 2000. Yes, December and the leaves are just changing.

Ice Storm, December 13, 2000

Ice on the branches off the back deck Yes, we know ice storms are not noteworthy for many of our friends. But freezing weather is rare in Texas, and storms like this are even more rare (perhaps only once every 4-5 years). Charlie was on the road, but Jenny proved that she really is a good photographer, despite her modesty. These are the trees behind our house, taken from the deck.
Looking farther down the valley, below our house, the trees were pretty when seen from above. Ice on trees in the valley below our house
Jenny's Basil and Mint plants became artwork The plants on the deck were coated with ice also. This was Jenny's Basil and Mint.
Our Crape Myrtle bushes, next to the neighbor's driveway, were a work of art. Crape Myrtle by the neighbor's driveway

Snow Storm February 14, 2004


Yes, I know, our Yankee friends are allowed to laugh at us. But this was the only significant snow of 2004. Actually it was the second snowfall (only the second) - the previous day we had enough to see, even though it didn't cover the ground, and wasn't enough to measure.

As one of our friends wrote, "we hope you stocked up on food, water, candles, and flashlight batteries. Actually there were some pretty impressive snowmen in the neighborhood, but it was all melted by afternoon.


Our Neighborhood

Our neighborhood is neat, but the sunset is from the street, not the deck (turns out that facing a sunset in Texas often heats the house too much). That doesn't make it less pretty! The Sky in front of our house
Giraffe Metal SculptureOne of our neighbors is a metal sculptor. We love this Giraffe. And these vultures, on another neighbor's chimney, are real. Vultures on the Chimney

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