Caroline & Jose’s Remarkable Austin Nest

published Feb 20, 2013
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(Image credit: Chris Perez)

Name: Caroline and Jose Vasquez-Corbalan of Paloma’s Nest
Location: Austin Texas
Size: 1,000 square feet plus 600 square feet of studio/office space in the back.
Years lived in: 10 years

Caroline and Jose embody the true spirit of creativity. They spent their first date drawing furniture design ideas on the back of their dinner napkins — after realizing they both shared the same dream of wanting to make things for a living. Years later, Caroline and Jose are still creating, most recently building two incredible outdoor studio spaces for themselves and by themselves. Come take a look inside a home and workspace built by heart and hand.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Caroline and Jose are the owners of Paloma’s Nest — an heirloom ceramics and handmade furniture business they founded and named after their daughter. Caroline and Jose have been designing things together since they first met, and their home is filled with the peace and calm of their wares.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Years worth of their collaborative ingenuity is on display throughout the home — from crafted kitchen stools, to children’s chairs to custom cabinetry that hides (and silences) their washer and dryer. Design here is more than form and utility — it’s personal and cherished.

Paloma’s Nest has been a successful five year journey for the couple, and ventures that stem this close from the heart have a way of moving at the pace of life. With a growing family, Caroline and Jose felt the need to also expand their workspace. As with all their works, the studio build was done organically, and 100% by their own hands. Even the task lamps in the workshop and rollers for sliding cabinet doors are handmade from wood. The new spaces give them more freedom to create, not just for themselves but also for the sake of others — as they plan on holding Etsy educator workshops that teach others how to make a living from their craft. Caroline and Jose are setting the example that great things come when you love what you have and do what you love.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: A timeless blend of old and new, traditional and modern. Child-friendly and livable, but serious about good design.

Inspiration: Family heirlooms; classic construction methods and the quality of craftsmanship in old homes; colors and patterns borrowed from antique quilt collections.

Favorite Element: Stained glass windows throughout the house and studios; originally a few were added by previous owner to fill in space from old AC units- we have since added more. We love the pops of color, historical interest, and light they bring to the rooms.

Biggest Challenge: Creating storage areas and rooms that function for a family of four in a small space. We think we have been pretty successful in building custom storage solutions.

What Friends Say: “Wow! You expect this to be just another typical house- until you open the front door. And then you realize it is anything but typical!”

Biggest Embarrassment: The yard. We are not gardeners. We try, but we fail. Over and over again.

Proudest DIY: The openness we were able to achieve by removing walls/doorways between kitchen/dining and living room. We were able to change the flow of the house while leaving structure in place and avoiding costly/labor intensive changes to the floors and ceilings.

Biggest Indulgence: Building our studio spaces.

Best Advice: Always respect the time period, architecture and style of the home; preserve as much of the original when possible; letting a house tell the story of what it has been is what gives it a personality and a soul.

Dream Sources: Like our favorite place to shop? We would welcome a shopping spree at the Round Top or Brimfield antique show any day!

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Resources of Note:


    • Dining room/hallway Navy Blue is Behr Vintage Velvet
    • Living room and breakfast area Benjamin Moore Designer White


    • Silver Mexican Mirror: salvaged from the side of the road
    • Quilt wall hanging: antique, from Caroline’s childhood home in New England


    • Storage Ottoman: Ballard Designs
    • Pair of Turquoise Lamps (Living/Dining) :Thrifted
    • Sofa: Ikea
    • Quilt: antique


    • Dining table and bench: handcrafted by Jose
    • Portraits in gold frames by Allyson Smith


    • Sketches and pottery collection in glass cabinet: done by Caroline in art school
    • all cabinets and countertops original to 1969


    • Dresser/nightstands: Four Hands Furniture
    • Brass bedside lamps: Lamps Plus
    • Nude Sketches: one by Caroline, one by Jose
    • Headboard: Pottery Barn
    • Bedding: West Elm, Ralph Lauren, and gold-printed pillow by Leah Duncan


    • custom cabinetry by Jose
    • backsplash tiles : mexican imports
    • Shower Curtain- Urban Outfitters
    • Bird prints- Dutch Door Press


    • Laundry Closet cabinetry custom crafted by Jose
    • Table by Ikea, Chairs by World Market


    • Headboard: handmade by us
    • Bedding: West Elm, pillows custom made with fabrics from Cloud 9.
    • Giraffe chair by Paloma’s Nest
    • Polka Dot Curtains by Pottery Barn


    • brass bed from Wesley Allen
    • antique bird quilt
    • artwork by Amanda Blake of This Is All I Know


(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Thanks, Caroline & Jose!

(Images: Chris Perez)

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