Tuesday, October 6, 2009
WELCOME TO austin cottage & style!
Welcome!! I'm so thrilled to share my first blog about interesting homes , style & people within my vibrant city, Austin, Texas. A city rich with music, art, film & design. Whether your "cottage" is a loft downtown, a farmhouse out in the Austin hills or a charming house within the city..."austin cottage & style" will have something for you.....and then I'll occasionally throw in some Austin fashion to the mix. There's so much to share & I have loads to write about & only some many hours in a day , right??! So, let's get started & today you'll get the first "tidbit".
The first dwelling I want to share is a home for sale in Austin, nestled in an area called LONG CANYON. I love the style of this home because the interior is a fun mix of modern & shabby. I'm drawn to this style alot because I love hip, new modern interiors, yet I'm still attached to my shabby chic pieces! A mix of the two is a great eclectic look, if done right. The exterior of this style of home can be adapted to all types of interiors....making for a great street appeal to many different types of buyers.....the setting for this property is wonderful for someone wanting to be close to the vibrance of Austin, yet still have that quiet , starry night next to a peaceful greenbelt. Great property for the artist or musician needing the creative space.......
The exterior is a modernized ranch style home, built in the typical Austin way: on a sloping site.....so the front facade is a one story from the street, but then transitions to a 2 story in the back of the house. Austin has many beautiful hills and therefore alot of our homesites are built this way.
The exterior is a stone commonly used here because it's a classic : Austin chop block stone, quarried locally. The classic standing seam metal roof tops this cool house, creating a timeless look . Love the colors they chose for the exterior shutters & the beautiful & simple lined, leaded glass double entry doors. The brown and mossy green combination is very hip right now, but I've always thought they were a great combo classic that will endure.
If you like this color combo, I recommend:
Restoration Hardware's "flax" mixed with Valspar's "jalapeno jelly".
The landscaping is also very typical of Austin, a xeriscaped garden. Xeriscaping is a wonderful way to conserve our water resources, but also a great deer resistant garden. We have LOTS of deer in our town and unless you live in the downtown urban areas, you've got to use deer resistant plants or you'll lose your garden!
I love the plantings they chose for the style of this home and also the colored
pots are a great accent.
Imagine the sun setting in the distance....
Great pool area and design; simple & contemporary . The beautiful lawn runs up to the edge of the pool....I've always been fond of this design, similar to many poolscapes in Italy. The square stepping stones are a cool detail under the chaise lounges, and the aluminum chairs are like art surrounding the pool. There are miles of hiking trails & a creek behind the property , making this a very relaxing place to call home. I'm sure the deer come up to the fence, along with the beautiful fox or raccoon.....peaceful paradise!
I'm a huge fan of exterior curtains ( I have them myself)....they add a romantic frame around any porch & are lovely when billowing in the breeze. And I love the exterior texture added with the bamboo shades & the outdoor rug.
The kitchen is welcoming with a wood island that looks like it's probably mesquite wood. Mesquite is an excellent choice for islands because of it's strength and durability. Once or twice a month, rub it with mineral oil to bring out the beauty of the grain & to keep it nourished. I love the open, urban farmhouse feel....apron sink, glass cabinets , wood floors, painted cedar beams & the eclectic glass blown pendants. You can find similar pendant lighting at WILDFLOWER ORGANICS in Austin . Here's an example of a set you can order online from their website:
Alot of aesthetic details are addressed in this kitchen, as mentioned above. But I also love the painted pantry door. Or perhaps it's a great antique with an aged patina, from our famous Round Top antique fair in Texas? (see my other blog "jvw beach" for the scoop on Round Top week!)
Also, love how the homeowner varied the countertops....looks like concrete tops on all, then the mesquite on the island. The next buyer can easily change the entire look of the kitchen by changing the island base color, if they prefer a different kitchen color scheme. Love the romantic & stylish details of the master bedroom: stone fireplace, sumptuous linens, candles, zebra rug , white upholstered settee & Hollywood glam mirrored dresser.
The glass screen updates the master fireplace with a modern touch . Another great idea on this mantel (if the depth of the mantel allows) would be to take those great aqua urns, place them on the top of the mantel, tops off, then put the wheat stalks in them. Remove the white urns, perhaps to the master bedside tables with miniature dried boxwood plants. Find a great mirror and place above the mantel. I love the windwill photograph, but feel a mirror would be a great choice for the focal point of the fireplace. Your eye would be more drawn to the serene art on the left of the fireplace, because right now the two pieces of art fight with each other.
GREAT cozy reading room off the master bedroom....all the hip & trendy details are here. Classic style , yet sexy. Great choice of brown wall paint, cool cane mirrors, modern lamp, nice texture with the zebra pillows and of course, my personal fave, white slipcovered furniture!! A seagrass rug would be a nice accent to layer the room with texture, or a white ,solid calf rug thrown on the bias, OR seagrass wall to wall carpeting! Now this is only a recommendation b/c it looks great as is.....hey, i've got old 1800's hardwood floors that look great in my bedroom as they are ..... But I still would love seagrass over them! It's only money right?!
Another idea here is to add aqua or white silk curtains, made with fullness, to flank the doors & hang close to the ceiling. Bamboo shades on the door, under the silk curtains could add more texture also. The room is lovely & simple as it is.....these are only recommendations if you prefer to layer and add more texture. My goal is to give readers more decorating ideas & options within rooms...............
You will learn also, as you read my blogs, I have a few top faves in design:
white slipcovered furniture
great updated lighting & dimmers where possible!
sumptuous linens, such as Bella Notte
seasonal pillows (meaning switch out the color of your room with the colors of the season!)
(can't think of my MANY other top faves, but we'll get to those on another day!)
Ok, now we're viewing the cozy sitting area off the kitchen....charming spot to have your coffee or hang with the family. Unfortunately we can't see the entire chandelier....but I think the chandy is an Italian antique wood chandelier, a beautiful treasure. While in Italy one summer , we went to a charming , outdoor antique market in Arezzo. We spotted many beautiful chandeliers , and some like this one in the photo. Arezzo is a sweet little town, southeast of Florence with loads of history and culture. Saturday and Sunday of each summer month, they have this GREAT antique market running through the brick lined streets. Vendors at the Arezzo market sell antique furniture , beautiful old water urns , pots, art and jewelry. Jewelry at the market ranges from beautiful antiques to reproduction pieces, crafted with beautiful, romantic details. One of my fave treasures from the Arezzo market is this bracelet. The artisan crafted this bracelet with a mix of vintage stones and new materials. I love the romantic details and especially the turquoise color!!
A trip to Arezzo is a must , for it's charm , history & the sweet people there.
Schedule your vacation around this wonderful outdoor market and spend the weekend there.
Ok, back to Long Canyon in Austin(never know when I may stray off the subject) ! :
I love the homeowner's choice for using the shabby chic china cabinet, in between the 2 rooms, kitchen and sitting area. If the china cabinet conveys with the sale of the property, then the new owners could use this cabinet for various displays : white stoneware, heirloom silver pieces,or use for a bar area by adding wine glasses and a vintage bar set up, such as decanters on silver trays, etc., and place a silver lamp in the cabinet too. The farmhouse cupboard has great patina & is a wonderful piece.
Looks like there's a happy canine camper enjoying this space!
Last but not least, is the cool dining room. Looks like the homeowner found a great antique sign, perhaps in Round Top? Oh yes, another one of my faves: antique signs .....love the placement of this one, because it's unexpected. The lantern is a great updated choice for a dining room, with great scale. Large lanterns also work great in kitchens.....when you have a large island or open countertop, 2 of them look great and sometimes even 3 are best , depending on your island /countertop size. Arezzo also has italian antique versions of this style of lantern at the antique market too. TIPLERS , in Austin, though has MANY incredible antique chandeliers/lamps, down on 5th street. Neil Tipler is the charismatic, sweet owner. Neil can find any style of lighting you need if he doesn't already have it in his store, or he'll help you create any custom lighting.
LONG CANYON, a serene setting, interesting interior and beautiful, inviting outdoor spaces. Hope you enjoyed your visit to a special Austin home. Cool design like this doesn't last long on the market....Austin homes still move fast in this price range.
Coming up soon, I'll feature a home in the TRAVIS HEIGHTS area of Austin and I also have some fun furniture finds for the week from Austin!
"KEEP AUSTIN IN STYLE"