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Austin Project: Update of a Traditional Historic Home

Updated: Jun 30, 2023

The thing I enjoy most about my job is the unique nature of each project. Getting to know each client and the rhythms of their lives, the bones of their homes, and the chapters that unfold for both the inhabitants and the structures themselves is where it's at for me. The remodel of this historic home in Austin, Texas was an interior design project like no other for TATE studio.


TATE studio designer, Rachel Buxkamper, poses in Austin historical home that she remodeled and updated in an approachable, new traditional style.
TATE studio designer Rachel Buxkamper

Every home has some kind of history. But this one has HISTORY. Built almost 100 years ago and inhabited by an early manager of the famed Driskill Hotel, this home still has the original wrought iron gates that were opened for the horses and buggy to enter at the end of the day. Fast forward to 2023, and we had a home that had served its blended family of 7 quite well over the years, but it was time for a facelift.

We started with paint. Lots and lots of paint! The distinct coffered ceiling is illuminated with Benjamin Moore's White Dove, which is a popular warm shade of white. To create some variation and warmth, the walls are painted in Revere Pewter. The original crystal chandelier was relocated to the dining room, creating a more comfortable and relaxed atmosphere in the spacious living area. A simpler, yet larger iron chandelier was chosen to replace it in the large open living space.

Light blue velvet sofa with ikat and embroidered throw pillows, coffered ceiling, and blue leather ottomans.
Seating area in large open living space.

The distinct coffered ceiling is illuminated with Benjamin Moore's White Dove, which is a popular warm shade of white. To create some variation and warmth, the walls are painted in Revere Pewter. The original crystal chandelier was relocated to the dining room, creating a more comfortable and relaxed atmosphere in the spacious living area. A simpler, yet larger iron chandelier was chosen to replace it.


Cylindrical ottomans lend flexibility, serving as tables, seating, or side tables. We kept the color palette warm and traditional but still light and serene.

Cozy reading chair and ottoman, vintage cane chair, dark red lamp, traditional rug, textile art
Coziest seat in the house

In a sunny corner made for reading, we placed the most comfortable seat in the house, and we layered in a vintage cane chair that belonged to the owner's mother. A combination of drapery styles in ivory linen finish the windows. A cafe style curtain with black iron hardware allows the light on this side of the home to filter in through the window, and the large red lamp with a patterned shade lends depth to the space.


The original fireplace didn't need much more than that new coat of paint to highlight its beautiful moldings. We found the perfect carved black mirror above the fireplace in another room of the house. Many times things can just be used differently in a home to bring about a new look. A larger brass fireplace screen updated the hearth, and we chose woven baskets for the wall to layer in some dimension and to coordinate to the black detail of the mirror.

In the second seating area we created a nice spot to sit and watch television with two supportive but chic swivel chairs and an oversized ottoman. We have a "put your feet up" trend going on here - comfort was key to our design! Not far from our Austin project is one of our favorite places for unique finds. These vintage botanical prints from the Round Top Antiques Fair were a score! We love a good grouping, and this gallery wall with nine related pieces in black frames fit the bill.

The kitchen needed a little pattern to liven things up, and cafe curtains in a multi-colored paisley fabric were the perfect solution. Easy-to-clean chairs and a simple farmhouse table make this a spot the grandkids can eat, do crafts and generally be themselves. No fuss here.

Small moments are everything. We painted our client's charming little desk black and we love how it adds a pop against the original brick walls in the kitchen, while also providing a handy spot to drop keys and mail. Do you spy where we moved our client's original art piece from Texas artist Kathy Womack's "Women and Wine" series? And the ladies needed some bling, so guess where the formal chandelier is now?


Holiday-ready in the dining room - now painted a blue with grey undertones (Van Courtland from Benjamin Moore). The dentil molding and carving details in this room are befitting of the opulent crystal chandelier we took from the main living room. And some of the elegance here came straight from the Driskill Hotel! When the hotel was remodeled in 1930 the owner transplanted six Victorian fireplaces to the home along with with much of the exquisitely carved molding.

It really is incredible to work in a space with so much history! We can't help but think about the families who have each made this gracious home their own over the decades.The future is bright for this lovely Austin home.


1件のコメント


Rachel, you are so talented! I love what you have done in this home! Debbie Frankfurt

いいね!
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