Whitney's Traditional Meets Glamour Austin Apartment

House Tour

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Name: Whitney Walker, who runs her online shop Farrington Lane and does design and marketing for Bay Hill Design, and her husband
Location: Deep Eddy Neighborhood, Austin, Texas
Size: 735 square feet
Years lived in: Rented 1 year

Whitney and her husband's apartment — one half of a tucked away duplex in an Austin neighborhood near downtown — is pretty small. But that didn't stop Whitney from filling it with her style, which meant bold colors, full and comfy furniture and fun art and DIY projects.

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This place is the perfect example of still decorating and filling a home with what you love even if it's a rental and you don't know how long you'll get to be here — in fact Whitney and her husband are actually moving soon to another state for her husband's job. (We suspect their new home will be just as lovely). Whitney also got to experience every design-loving renter's dream with this cute place — the landlord gave her permission to make upgrades to the space to update the look. Whitney used her classic style to choose materials for rooms like the kitchen and bathroom — even the exterior paint — to give the space a more fresh and modern look.

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Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Treasure hunt traditional meets sentimentality with pops of glamour. My style is constantly evolving (thank goodness), but I feel like that describes it at the moment. However, I’m not very trendy.

Inspiration: I find myself in awe most often outdoors. Nature’s beauty is without end or clichés, and is constantly changing. It is utterly fascinating. Secondly, I would say small businesses owners with employees inspire me. To grow a company that is profitable enough to provide livelihood for others – I mean wow, that’s hard work. Also Southern California, Miles Redd, Bunny Williams, historical architecture, Lake Austin, my dad and grandfather, black and white, interesting textures, mid-century Italian lighting and furniture, and maybe Princess Kate. So sue me.

Favorite Element: This is a really tough one…I think I would have to say the overall collectedness of it. Almost everything in it brings back layers of memories, and we have inherited pieces from family. Since I got to design the renovation before we moved in, our place also feels more “mine” than a rental usually does. It is my favorite place we have ever lived together (and also the only time we have lived together in our home town).

Biggest Challenge: The size!!!! Being a Texas girl, I always have to remind myself to think of all the chic New Yorkers out there hosting parties in their 400 square-foot studios. It helps me reign in my Texas-sized living space dreams.

What Friends Say: Friends usually say that our home is beautiful or fun, and then ask me about how I make everything work together. If you look closely at our accessories and art, some of them are a little unexpected. I have found that if you decorate with what you love, you will generally notice that a lot of elements work together or even have strong common themes. This creates a more organic look than a space that is very designed or directed.

Biggest Embarrassment: I am not a tidy person, and that might be a generous statement.

Proudest DIY: My living room curtains for sure. You can tell which panels I made first and which are the most recent – my sewing is improving! I would say sewing isn’t for the faint of heart, but can save you some serious money if you accidently fall in love with the most expensive fabrics in the studio like I do.

Biggest Indulgence: This year has been the year of textiles, which is why I had to learn to sew. Brunschwig gets me every time. Last year it was art.

Best Advice: Decorating is about making a home. If you can’t welcome people in spontaneously, it’s hard to use your house like a home and foster community. Try to tidy 15 minutes every day to keep your place visitor-ready. I’m still majorly working on this…

Also, if you ever have the opportunity to renovate a space and have a look in mind that you can’t do for whatever reason, don’t try to get as “close as you can”…it will never feel like the real thing. Just go a different direction with a look that you can fully complete.

Dream Sources: 1st Dibs, where my first purchase would be a Brutalist chandelier. Locally I’m partial to Jean Marc Frey.

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Resources of Note:

PAINT & COLORS

  • Kitchen walls: Sherwin Williams Greek Villa
  • Cabinets and trim: Sherwin Williams Super White, high gloss
  • Study: Sherwin Williams Pewter Cast
  • Living/Hall/Bedroom: Sherwin Williams Silverpointe
  • Doors: Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black, high gloss

ENTRY

  • IKEA Roman Shade covered in IKEA black and white fabric, DIY

LIVING ROOM

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KITCHEN

  • Basket light, Bay Hill Design
  • Backsplash, Home Depot
  • Seltzer bottle, vintage Buenos Aires San Telmo market find
  • God Bless Our Pad, wedding gift (thanks Scott!)
  • Sea fan, found in Grand Cayman and framed in LA
  • Hardware, Kennedy Hardware
  • Sisal rug, One Kings Lane
  • Roman Shade, IKEA covered in black and white fabric, DIY

BEDROOM

  • Pillows, Bay Hill Design
  • Painting, by Elaine Gleason , Bay Hill Design – a little tribute to the green parrots frolicking around Tarrytown
  • Bedding, Ralph Lauren
  • Dresser, inherited antique
  • Rug, vintage Turkish
  • Rattan chair, vintage
  • Lamps, Bay Hill Design

HALLWAY

  • Art, 1913 poster, Rose Bowl Flea Market
  • Photos, taken by me of places we love (Estes Park, Town Lake, Deep Eddy, Los Angeles), Michael’s frames

BATHROOM

STUDY

  • Lamps, vintage - perhaps my favorite items in the house
  • Curtains, IKEA
  • Chandelier, vintage; chandelier shades, Cruel Mountain
  • Mirror, inherited vintage
  • Desk, Target
  • Writing desk, West Hollywood garage sale find
  • Antelope bookends, vintage Farrington Lane
  • Original art by Stephanie Wheeler, Bay Hill Design
  • Peacock chair, vintage Farrington Lane

Thanks, Whitney!

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(Image credits: Adrienne Breaux)

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Adrienne photographs beautiful homes in and around her home base of Austin, Texas. She's a contributor to UPPERCASE Magazine and spends all her free time exploring small town Texas. She watches a lot of Star Trek.