Old West Austin

Project Notes

Every true cowboy wants to sit under a beautiful starry night sky!

The inspiration for this home office remodel in Old West Austin was derived from the clients themselves. It blends their love of West Texas, a background in foreign service–having lived in many different parts of the world while serving in the military–and their enduring connection to the Austin area where their family-owned and much loved business in Austin originally began as a lumber company, and has since grown.

They understood the potential the former garage apartment held and said yes to most of our ideas, and even pushed them further! It was a highly collaborative project. We started with wanting to create a gentleman’s library, but something more humble, and we landed on knotty pine paneling because of its beauty. It turns out that the family business started out in pine, so the connection to the family struck a chord.

For the kitchenette, we worked with our clients to select a stone slab for the countertop which felt organic and featured a lot of character and movement; creating the custom sink from the same stone further emphasized the craftsmanship throughout the space. The painted library wall that houses a secret storage area was painted a deep brown color to keep the space from feeling too overwhelming with wood.

Our client mentioned early on how much he loved the starry night sky at his ranch; the dramatically scaled Phillip Jeffries night sky wallpaper on the ceiling has a metallic sheen that reflects the light beautifully. We leaned into a rich color palette that hinted at the ranch influence, with the reading chair fabric as the more literal element and then unexpected more contemporary accents like the animal print Parsons chairs at the desk. The hat rack is sentimental to the client and features the family’s ranch brand.

By removing the closet where the chest now sits, we created a perfect alcove for wallpaper. Since our client was in the Navy and loves vintage maps we worked with him to identify places where he was stationed that were meaningful. We sourced vintage reproduction nautical maps, tea stained them for a more authentic look, and then had them applied like wallpaper. Our client loved it so much that we carried it into the adjacent bathroom. There we touched on his love of Mexico and folk art; the mirror is painted tin sourced from Mexico City and the pendant over the sink was made in Oaxaca.

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