A Pretty Pink Austin Bungalow Is The Product of Resourcefulness and Neighborly Help

published May 28, 2019

A Pretty Pink Austin Bungalow Is The Product of Resourcefulness and Neighborly Help

published May 28, 2019
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Square feet
1115
Sq ft
1115
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Name: Adam Jones and Amenity Applewhite
Location: East Austin, Texas
Size: 1115 square feet
Years lived in: 16 years, owned

This small bungalow was built in the early 1930s and inhabited by a couple and their sister—a landscaper and two teachers—into the 1970s. According to the elders of the neighborhood, the house was then lived in by two brothers who were professional baseball players. Unfortunately, by the time Adam bought the house in 2003, it was fully in a state of disrepair. It took him several months of work to make the house habitable before he moved in with his son. When Amenity moved in six years later, they embarked on a round of renovations; completely tearing out and rebuilding the kitchen and bathroom while restoring the rest of the house.

It was a neighborhood affair: While Adam did the majority of the work himself—demo, drywall, plumbing, tile, window restoration, as well as meticulously finishing the shiplap walls and painting throughout—neighbors also took part. Susan Wallace, an artist who has lived in the historic house across the street for over 20 years, fabricated screen doors with a custom loquat design. Nick Tragus, whose workshop is a few blocks away, built the kitchen cabinets and bedroom closet, while the other half of 3D Build Fab, Angela White-Tragus welded the steel trellis. Finally Chris Wilhite, also working out of a nearby workshop, installed the countertops. Amenity, meanwhile, dedicated her energy into sourcing furniture, appliances—even the French doors and kitchen windows—secondhand, and reviving the once barren yard into a garden of native plants.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Reverent and resourceful. Our goal has been to expose and elevate the gorgeous historic core of this house through a mix of restoration, opening up, and introducing more light. And in terms of furnishings, we look first at what we already own and can alter, then what we can buy secondhand, or, finally, have made locally.

Inspiration: Georgia O’Keefe and Agnes Martin. Exquisite artwork aside, both women poured themselves into their spaces. Agnes Martin literally making adobe bricks with her own hands, Georgia O’Keefe known for her passionate dedication to her garden. They both composed bright austere homes in the high desert that anchored their artistic practice, physical well-being, and sense of self. Beyond aesthetics, the idea that you can fall in love with your space, cultivate it, and let it nourish you.

Favorite Element: The bungalow bones—tall ceilings, double-hung windows, pine floors, and shiplap walls. The floors and the walls both have these impossibly long pieces of wood. We would never be able to buy lumber like that today.

Biggest Challenge: Living in a construction zone for so many years. Installing geothermal heating and cooling and then doing the foundation work amounted to two rounds of decimating the yard. After that, we kind of rotated through inhabiting different corners of the house as we worked on others. We cooked on a camp stove, washed dishes in a plastic sink, and slept right next to the front door for a year.

What Friends Say: “What’s next?” (They know it never ends.)

Biggest Embarrassment: We have a high threshold for embarrassment. We had a giant hole in the dining room floor for years and just taped a pretty piece of Marmoleum on top of it, but even that was just more of a safety hazard than a point of shame.

Proudest DIY: Amenity: The kitchen. Previously, it was cramped and dark—just one tiny window, cabinets that managed to look gargantuan but held nothing and all the space-hulking upper cabinets. When I realized I couldn’t afford a professional kitchen designer I taught myself Sketchup, made a model of my house, and spent months working on the design. I ended up doing a lot of Tetris-ish reconfiguration so that I could maximize bedroom and kitchen storage while keeping all the lines as simple as possible. Now it’s a light, open space that we spend all our time in.

Adam: The hand-painted kitchen cabinets and bedroom walls. Restoring all the old windows.

Biggest Indulgence: Hiring skilled craftspeople to do whatever we couldn’t.

Best Advice: Take your time. Craigslist is your friend.

Dream Sources:

Resources:

PAINT (All painting done by Adam Jones)

  • Exterior — Benjamin Moore, custom
  • Interior — Benjamin Moore, Atrium White
  • Kitchen cabinets — Benjamin Moore, Wedgewood Gray

EXTERIOR

KITCHEN

DINING ROOM

  • Hutch cabinet — Vintage, Neatette
  • Spiral cord table lamp — Vintage
  • Table — Vintage
  • Chairs — Vintage, Emeco
  • Industrial cabinet — Vintage
  • Curtain rod — Restoration Hardware
  • Cirrus ceiling fan — Modern Fan Company
  • Floor lamp — Vintage, Laurel Lamp Company
  • Mirror — Vintage, Conant Ball
  • Glass feather — Colin Adrian Glass
  • Kilim rug — West Elm

LIVING ROOM

  • Mid-century settee — Vintage, upholstered by Clar Mapes in Designtex, Wire
  • Armchair — Vintage
  • Printed pillow — Blockshop
  • Harding Sofa — Room and Board (no longer available)
  • Art — Dave Bryant
  • Stairway bookcases — CB2
  • Coffee table — Vintage
  • Brass lamps — Vintage
  • “Eddie’s Mexican Divorce” drawing — Carl Johansen
  • Black planter and stand — Modernica
  • Walnut plant stand — Transmountain
  • Piano — Vintage, Marco Polo
  • “Defenestration Lace: Wayne’s World” artwork — Amelia Bauer
  • “Orgone” gouache — Cherie Weaver
  • Stairway desk — CB2
  • “o baby, it’s got me in it’s teeth again I can’t see a good way out” and “I looked behind ya” — Eva Claycomb
  • Rug — Margo Selby

HALLWAY

BATHROOM

GUEST BEDROOM

  • Vanity, triangular mirror, and floor sculptures — Transmountain
  • Vases — Vintage
  • “Worlds” screen print — Jaime Zuverza
  • Bedside table — vintage, Conant Ball
  • Bedspread — Joinery
  • Rug — CB2

BEDROOM

Thanks, Amenity and Adam!


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