Cheyenne Weaver's Gilded Simplicity

House Tour

Name: Cheyenne Weaver
Location: Austin, Texas
Size: 960 square feet
Years lived in: 5 months

Join us today for dinner and a house tour with Cheyenne Weaver and The Girls Guild. Cheyenne has only been living in the quaint 2-1 for a few months, but she's already managed to put her artistic touch on the overall aesthetic. I toured the home while she and her boyfriend prepare a kick-off dinner for The Girls Guild — a collaborative arts club for girls, by girls, in Austin.

In Cheyenne's 1930's home, the most dramatic element is the original wood-framed windows that line the exterior walls. They cast light in interesting, even mysterious, ways, affecting the mood and essence of the space as the light shifts. This element alone would make the space interesting, but the furniture finds (such as the refurbished nightstand with chevron stripes), DIY projects (like the kitchen table made from a barn door), and art (made by Cheyenne and her Girls Guild friends) turn it into something truly special.
Cheyenne grew up being surrounded by artists: her mother is a weaver, and her father a jeweler and woodsmith. He built the terrariums seen in the living and office areas, even carving the detailed visage of the cranes on the sides. It should then come as no surprise that her next venture involves building a community for girl artists in the area to build, educate, learn, collaborate, and share the passion of their crafts.

Cheyenne and her boyfriend hosted a dinner to kickoff this initiative, which they've called The Girls Guild. With a large guest count of 32, they served up a menu featuring grilled peach salad, vegetable lasagna, and homemade berries-with-cream popsicles. People dined on a pair of 10-foot long banquet style tables under a canopy of amber-lit lights strung from the trees. New friends were made, lots of laughter was shared, and ideas and inspiration were exchanged throughout the night. Like her home, the event was suffused with a communal feeling of collection and a unique sense of individuality.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: I don't think these styles are necessarily reflected in my home, but I love Depression era austerity, French country homes, and simple Shaker furniture. At the same time I love color, modern lines, and I have lots and lots of furniture I found on bulk trash day, so it's really all over the place.

Inspiration: My inspiration has been the many farms I've worked on in Northern California, Colorado, the Puget Sound, and the Virgin Islands. These places have all really informed my ethics around use and reuse of everything, as well as the elegance and quiet of simplicity. My heart feels grounded around these environments. For visual thinkers it's easy to feel overwhelmed by your environment. I think there's a quiet that happens with reused furniture; you're making the most of what you have and you can focus your energy on making that piece better. It's creative rather than consumptive. That's important to me.

Favorite Element: In my home? Hummm, that's tough. The reason I bought this house was the windows. I love feeling like I'm outside, and many of them have the old glass that ripples when you move. We can't open them up yet because they're so old, which is truly sad but we have big plans to refurbish them one at a time.

Biggest Challenge: Ha, well when we bought the house in December we decided to try and install a dishwasher in the kitchen. It turned out to mean re-doing the entire plumbing in the kitchen. It was really fun learning how to solder copper piping, but we had to tear apart the siding to get at the plumbing, and it's still a mess out there.

What Friends Say: Friends always comment on the light. I feel like I'm camping all the time. We're so lucky. My stepmother helped us buy the house, we're eternally grateful to her!

Biggest Embarrassment: We have this opening in the siding outside above my office where I can hear a rat coming and going from our attic. It sounds like that scene in a Western when the cowboy steps into a saloon and the double doors flap open and everyone stops and stares to see if all hell's gonna break loose. It's like that every day, and I'm sure it looks like a busted up saloon up there. Tiny broken bottles everywhere. We may need to look into that.

Proudest DIY: I built our dining room table using an old barn door, which I'm pretty proud of. I also found a nightstand on the curb a few months back that I picked up and re-furbished. I sanded and painted it and then cast a top for it in concrete. It feels good to do something creative with something someone else didn't see the potential in. I wish I had held out to do that with all of my furniture.

Biggest Indulgence: Our Elfa closet was really absurdly expensive. We would have loved to build it ourselves, but I was going to grad school and my woodshop was full of boxes, so we splurged. I don't regret it because it's sooo functional, but I hate driving to North Austin to drop a ton on money on stuff to organize other stuff. It always leaves me feeling a little hollow.

Best Advice: Wait on buying furniture until you find something that's amazing. Our bed is still sitting on the floor because we're planning on building a bed. We're in our thirties and our mattress is still on the floor. But who cares? I'd rather not buy a mediocre bed in the meantime. My other advice would be to deconstruct a chair and put it back together. It's a challenge. You may end up yelling at your boyfriend and crying, but it will teach you a lot about furniture fabrication and free you up to think more creatively about reconstruction.

Dream Sources: Oh I'd love to meet Mark and Sally Bailey. Their books are inspired. I also wish I had the time to do an antiques tour of Texas. BBQ and small-town antiques would be my dream vacation. Actually, maybe that's exactly what I'll do in June. I just have to convince Scott.

Resources of Note:

PAINT & COLORS

    • Sherwin Williams mostly (my grandfather designed their logo which now seems like a toxic nightmare to "Cover the Earth" in paint... aah the 60's)

LIVING ROOM

    • Coffee Table: Kaguya (this is a boutique furniture studio out of Los Angeles designed and fabricated by Ryan Taber and Yuki Ando)
    • Quilt: Folk Fibers. Designed and hand-stitched by a GirlsGuild artist Maura Ambrose who grows and forages for all of her own organic dyes
    • Leather Keychains: Natalie Davis (Natalie is involved in so many different crafts, from leather tooling to these fantastic lathe-turned wooden apples. Everything she makes is simple and masterfully crafted
    • Photograph: Amanda Mullee. Amanda is another GirlsGuild artist who does amazing documentary photography of small-town Texas
    • Photographs: Elizabeth Chiles. Elizabeth is another GirlsGuild artist who's work is incredible; both subtle and romantic
    • Weaving: Susan Brooks. My mother is a genius weaver. She hand dyed all the wool I have around here and drew the patterns I have framed all around the house for her weavings.
    • The rolling chair: I bought this at a Goodwill when I was in 7th grade and recently ripped off all the ugly upholstery fabric to expose a pretty cool structure. I kinda love it now.
    • Tube modular shelving: I can't remember who designed these, but they pretty much rule. I found them at Prototype on S. Congress

DINING ROOM

    • Watercolor digital prints: Callen Thompson. Callen translates her paintings into patterns that she prints on textiles. They're gorgeous and she has a brilliant sense of color and subtle detail
    • Dining Table: I made this table from a barn door and cedar posts.
    • Teak Chairs: These were my grandparents chairs. I re-glued and upholstered them recently.
    • Watercolor Paintings: Myself (Cheyenne Weaver)
    • Raindrop Painting: Stephanie Beard (Stephanie is another awesome local artist)
    • Eames knock-off chair: found on the curb (score!)

KITCHEN

    • O'Keef and Meritt oven: We found on Craigslist for a deal!

BEDROOM


OFFICE

    • Terrariums: Bob Weaver. My dad built these for my grandmother many years ago. My dad is a brilliant jeweler who teaches here in Austin. He's influenced so many awesome jewelers and helped me with almost everything I've ever made. Love you dad!
    • Antique kitchen table: My boyfriend Scott found this on Craigslist! Scott is amazing.
    • White cabinet: Reclaimed
    • File cabinet: Reclaimed
    • Bookshelves: All reclaimed
    • Map: Lee Webster. Lee is a GirlsGuild artist who has recently been making video and performative work on and about teenagers and the mall. She also teaches video production to teenagers through Public Access which is awesome!

OUTSIDE

    • All the chairs and tables are reclaimed

Thanks, Cheyenne and Scott!

Images: Chris Perez

Interested in learning more about The Girls Guild? Check them out here.

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