WRITTEN BY Bek Mitchell-Kidd
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Clay Grier
INTERIOR DESIGN: Mark Ashby Design
LEAD DESIGNER: Christina Simon
DESIGN ASSITANT: Cori Pfaff
Mark Ashby Designs’ Christina Simon was thrilled at the opportunity to reimagine a spec house to meet the needs of the homeowners. The pied-à-terre, located just steps from Austin’s buzzing South Congress Avenue, was transformed into a beautiful custom space for entertaining.
The entrance to the home is tucked away, while the rest of the front yard opens up to a swimming pool and terraced outdoor living space. The design team had only four months to renovate. “Creating a highly custom look with one-of-a-kind furniture and fixtures in such a short timeframe is very difficult and high adrenaline but also rewarding and exciting,” says Christina.
The entire house was gutted, and a brand-new kitchen and bathrooms were installed. The former laundry room was turned into a bar, with the laundry area relocated to the back of the house.
“We added color and texture wherever we could while leaving the backdrop neutral,” explains Christina. “Wallpaper was used in both guest bedrooms and the powder bath. A beautiful tranquil blue was used in the primary bedroom, and the wildly colorful fabrics and brightly tiled laundry-room-turned-bar all make this original spec home much more custom and elevated, and most importantly…fun.”
The living room features a custom sofa and leather ottoman designed by Christina. She chose to reupholster two of the owners’ current living room chairs with vivid green Kelly Wearstler fabric, and placed them alongside vintage orange tables. Given that both of the homeowners are University of Texas alums, they wanted to incorporate a lot of orange (the university’s color).
The home features an incredible art collection curated by Alexis Armstrong of Armstrong Art Consulting. Austin artist Paul Villinski’s birds made of LP records is featured on the living room wall, and the fabulous diver photo in the living room was taken by Austin photographer Clay Grier.
British designer Ian Davenport’s bold stripes anchor the dining room. In the guest bedrooms are Colm Henry’s photo of U2 and an Anja Niemi cowgirl photograph. A Jennifer Bueno glass wall sculpture is seen in the primary bedroom above the wall-length bed custom designed by Christina.
At 2,400 square feet, it was a true head-to-toe makeover with new counters and cabinet surfaces, vibrant tile, bright paint choices, and custom hardware and furniture. The Mark Ashby team even had the pleasure of selecting all of the dishware and linens.
The result is a vibrant, colorful home, perfect for entertaining and watching Texas Longhorns football games with family and friends.
ABOUT MARK ASHBY DESIGN
The Mark Ashby Design approach is defined by a deep reverence for history and architectural context combined with a timeless aesthetic and meticulous attention to detail. With more than 70 years of combined professional experience, the award-winning team brings an exceptional depth of understanding to every project.
They take pride in a truly collaborative style, and they engage clients in a way that ensures that each project is a thoughtful expression of the client’s own style and sensibilities. Their broad range of services includes preliminary concept and vision, styling, decor, custom furniture design as well as consulting on property, art, and antiquities investment. The firm’s relentlessly organized approach to project management ensures a client experience that is seamless and well-orchestrated.
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