Thomas Schoos Executes His Knack For Clever Design In An Austin Penthouse

Los Angeles-based interior designer and artist Thomas Schoos’ work beckons the words “energetic, eccentric, avant-garde.” Jolts of strong color – every interior door of his three-bedroom Austin penthouse is painted a different hue – act as exclamation points that signal the theme of each space.

In the dining room, for instance, a pair of exuberant orange wingbacks are the center of conversation, and in the main living space, two chairs the color of green leaves add a serene note.

Filled with artwork collected from around the country as well as custom pieces conjured by Schoos, the penthouse becomes a sculptural showpiece where everything, from the balls of the chandelier in the living room that are suspended by invisible fishing wire to the kitchen island whose bottom is illuminated, appears to be floating.

All is designed to foster the illusion. The hinges on the interior lacquered doors, for instance, are cleverly concealed, the wide-plank oak floors are honed to hush their presence and the caramel-color sofa in the living room is modular so sitters can see all the way around the space and embrace the concept of the house in the sky.

The primary suite, where the swing sways at the foot of the bed, is the focal point of the penthouse, the place where, much to Schoos’ surprise, everyone tends to gather.

And no wonder. In addition to the swing, there is a TV whose back doubles as a mirrored headboard for the bed and an elaborate Art Nouveau chandelier that Schoos turned into an illuminated ceiling sculpture. A trio of enormous sliding doors, adorned with larger-than-life photos of dancing women, separates it from the bath, which features a tub covered in linen fabric and an astounding view of downtown through a wall of glass.

The project, which took Schoos two and a half years to complete, is one of his favorites. “I don’t see it as daring at all,” he declares. “It is playful, but there’s a seriousness to it that makes it special, and it tells an adventurous story.”

Photography by Chase Daniel.

For more like this Austin penthouse, be sure to check out Jean-Charles de Castelbajac’s Paris apartment.

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