Alison & Brendan's Creative, Colorful, Craft-Filled Home

Alison & Brendan's Creative, Colorful, Craft-Filled Home

Adrienne Breaux
Jul 21, 2011

Name: Alison Headley, boyfriend Brendan and their two Chihuahuas, Maude and Moki
Location: Old West Austin — Austin, Texas
Size: 1000 square feet
Years lived in: Rent — 1 year

If you imagine that someone who runs an awesome DIY craft project website with lots of followers would have a good-looking, warm, comfortable home filled with inspiring crafty projects, you'd be right. Uncluttered, full of personality and bursting with color, the home of designer Alison Headley showcases great ideas (and two very cute chihuahuas).

The feeling from the apartment Alison shares with her boyfriend Brendan and their two completely adorable pups, Moki and Maude, is one of fun. Certainly Alison loves design and home decor, but she also enjoys having a house that is comfortable, welcoming and full of the things they love the most. Housed in a older apartment complex with lots of architectural charm, the place feels bright and spacious. Though it's filled with plenty of enjoyable things to look at, it really doesn't feel cluttered at all, and you can definitely tell everything has its place. Smart storage ideas like the great wall of shelves in the tiny, narrow kitchen ensure that your attention goes to the wonderful collection of art, accessories and craft projects in the space.

Alison, who wears many creative hats, also runs the blog I Could Make That, which is a great resource for home and fashion DIY projects that both look good and are functional. She pointed out some of her favorite projects she's done as we walked around the house: her sofa cushions, the bedroom wardrobe makeover, an over-sized pin cushion, a hat rack, jewelry storage, wall art and more. The whole place is a great example of taking your decor a step farther, really personalizing everything that comes into your space and enjoying where you live.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Eclectic, vintage, crafty, and very very colorful

Inspiration: Photos of other apartments I find on the web. In 2007, when I decided I was tired of all the old furniture I'd had since college, I was very inspired by pics I saw of artist Lisa Congdon's apartment in San Francisco. I admire the way she manages to fill her space with all the things she loves without making it feel too cramped or crowded. I love going to all the vintage stores and estate sales around Austin just to see what might strike my fancy. There are some great ones around here!

Favorite Elements: I really love all the stuff we've hung on the walls. I never saw the point of keeping my favorite things in drawers or closets, so we've made sure to display the things that make us us. Brendan's vintage cameras and radios, his sci-fi books, my craft supplies and hats and scarves--it's all out for us to enjoy.

Biggest Challenge: The lack of storage space! The bedroom closet holds my clothes and shoes, the office closet holds our games and tools, and outside of a few bathroom and kitchen cabinets, that's it! We've had to store all the rest of our stuff in open shelves and wardrobes. It really makes us evaluate what we buy, since most of it will have to be out there for everyone to see.

What Friends Say: Most of them call it organized! One person said it looked put-together yet lived-in and homey. The other day a friend who had come to visit picked up a piece of fabric that was on the coffee table. "What's this?" she said.
"It's a dinner napkin," I said.
"Oh," she said. "Every time I pick something up in here I expect it to be something awesome."

Proudest DIY: The sofa cushions, by far. I bought the two teak sofa frames on eBay, and then sewed the cushions myself! It was definitely a learning experience, and I couldn't be happier with how they turned out. I'm also really happy with the wardrobes in the bedroom. The leafy pattern on the front is made from pieces of wood-grain contact paper that I cut out by hand and stuck on.

Biggest Indulgence: The most expensive, nicest thing we own is the big teak credenza in the living room. I got into an eBay bidding war and spent more than I usually would. But now I'm glad I did; it's so beautiful and useful! I'd be buried in it if I could.

Biggest Advice: Living with Brendan has taught me that it's really best not to sacrifice comfort for style. Every time I try to buy something that's not 100% comfortable, he reminds me to keep looking until I find something better. That's actually good advice even if you're not worried about comfort: don't settle for anything you're not in love with. Keep looking and you'll find something better!

Dream Source: Room Service Vintage in Austin. I love almost everything they have for sale, and I try to go there at least once a month when I've got a little extra money.

Resources of Note:


    • Shelves and drawers: IKEA


    • Orange desk and bookshelf: CB2
    • Brown vintage desk: Hog Wild Vintage in Austin
    • Dress form and bench under the window: Room Service Vintage
    • Wardrobes and bed frame: IKEA
    • Button-tufted wall hanging: self-made (it used to be our headboard)
    • Dressers: Room Service and City-Wide Garage Sale
    • Right-hand nightstand: Uptown Modern in Austin
    • Left-hand nightstand: old metal office shelves, sanded and painted
    • Red hat stand: City-Wide Garage Sale
    Flowered hat rack: self-made
    • Shower curtain, rug and towels: CB2
    Jewelry rack: self-made
    • Rolling nightstand next to sink: estate-sale purchase, refinished and painted
    • Window curtain and wooden towel rack: IKEA
    • Green storage unit: old Target bookshelf, painted and legs added
Thanks, Alison!

Images: Adrienne Breaux

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