Every year Southern Living Magazine, the eighth largest subscribed to magazine publication in the U.S, with over 16 million subscribers, contracts a designer to design and build what they deem the ‘Idea House.’

This year Marcus Mohon, a native to Orange County and an LCM Alum, had the honor of being approached and contracted to head that team to create a home here in Texas.

“They approached us,” Mohon said by phone interview, “I have, in the past, thought of this as ‘my mom’s magazine,’ but I think they are taking a new approach in their magazine, a bit more modern. I had a working relationship with someone from Coastal Living magazine who now is with Southern Living, he is familiar with my work. I think that’s how they came to look my way.”

Mohon is referring to how the executives decided to speak with him about being over the eight month project.

“It’s quite a big deal. Some people start calling in January to find out where the house will be built and plan their vacations to come tour it.”

The home, Escondido, is built in Horseshoe Bay, Texas on a waterfront piece of property, is currently open for viewing until the beginning of October.

The Mediterranean style home boasts 5000 to 6000 square feet of indoor/outdoor living space and blends old-world charms and elegance with modern living and relaxed lifestyle for life on the water.

The design of interior furnishings includes fabrics that are wearable but easy up keep.
“We used sunbrella material on several pieces. The whole idea is that people coming in from skiing on the water and find they can live in a home that looks priceless,” Mohon explains. “The days of having that extra living room where no one sits on the furniture because it’s so expensive and elegant are gone. One should be able to surround themselves with the look they want but be able to use it as well.”

Mohon’s first plan was not that of designer. A graduate of LCM in 1988 he first went to Baylor and received his degree in Economics. His idea was to go on to law school and get his law degree.

Deciding he was sick of school for a time, he found himself working in Fredericksburg, Texas selling antiques. By the late 90s his interest in design had developed to the point he returned to get his post-grad credits in design at the University of Texas by 2001.

Since his graduation he has met his business partner, architect Michael A. Imber, and owns/operates two interior design businesses, one in San Antonio and one in Austin. He and his wife reside in Austin with their four young children.

As with the Idea House, their personal clients are looking for specific requirements. One of which is custom made pieces. Part of what Mohon specializes in is making those one-of-a-kind pieces a reality.

Though the Idea House is decorated and built largely through sponsors, there are some custom made pieces which of course includes millwork. They also chose to use recycled materials.
“It’s really more of an ‘Aspirational” house,” Mohon explains of Escondido.

It is his hope people will see elegance that is also livable. The Idea House is filled with hints of European touches, while staying within the southern ideals and Texas flavor.

On the shore of Lake Lyndon B. Johnson, it also has practical outdoor spaces that are useful for entertaining and water recreation. Its multi-level architecture is beautiful to the eyes as well quality design throughout, but the practicality is also evident in every room.

“The dining room is the hub of the house. Its where a family can eat or play games,” Mohon said. “There is no breakfast nook, the elaborate look doesn’t exclude livability.”

For those who cannot drive up to see it in person, or cannot wait for the Southern Living issue that will house its images, one can look at some of it online at: www.southernliving.com/home-garden/idea-houses.

To see some of Mohon’s other work or contact him in regards to design you can find him online as well at: www.Mohon-Imber.com.