Erin & Jeff’s Texas Cool

updated Feb 20, 2019
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(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

Name: Jeff and Erin Mooney, and Hank the dog
Location: Rice University Area, Houston, Texas
Size: 1,300 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years

Erin and Jeff’s apartment, which occupies the second floor of a duplex in a neighborhood not far from Rice University, has all the spaciousness you would expect from a much larger home. They’ve judiciously filled their home with just enough furniture to make things cozy, while still leaving the space room to breathe. The soothing, cool tones of the color palette enhance this feeling of spaciousness, making the apartment feel like a small, cool oasis in the middle of a hot Houston summer.

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

Erin trained as an architect, and has worked for interior designers, and her design background shows in the effortless way she mixes antiques and more contemporary pieces. It was while working for designer Sally Wheat that she snatched up those delicious blue velvet chairs in the living room. With the afternoon sun streaming in the windows they almost glow — even with all the other lovely things in the living room, it’s hard to look at anything else. They’re definitely the highlight of the space, and they fit perfectly into this home’s style: elegant without being a bit fussy.

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: That’s hard! I love everything! I lean towards spaces that are formal, but still comfortable to live in.

Inspiration: I draw a lot of my inspiration from living in Texas — there is a unique style that I love.

Favorite Element: I love our blue chairs — they sit so perfectly by those windows and I love their lines!

Biggest Challenge: Since we move a lot, it is hard to buy furniture cause you will never know if it is going to fit in the next place.

What Friends Say: Where is Hank, our dog’s, room?

Biggest Embarrassment: The kitchen floors are white linoleum and they have terrible stains but since we are renting there isn’t much we can do.

Proudest DIY: I am really fond of the petrified wood frames above the blue chairs. They were a trial and error that actually turned out okay! Normally I steer clear of DIY.

Biggest Indulgence: Our couch, but it isn’t that comfortable. Never buy a couch without sitting on it first!

Best Advice: Besides sitting on a couch first… if you are renting, just because you are renting doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy things that you love. If you love it, you will find a way to make it work in the next place.

Dream Sources: Wisteria, David Hicks, Peter Dunham Textiles, FOUND Houston.

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

Resources of Note:





  • Headboard: West Elm
  • bedside table: Crate and Barrel
  • elephant lamp: West Elm
  • oil painting (small fruit above lamp): Sarah Hazel


  • bed: Restoration Hardware
  • comforter: West Elm duvet, Pottery Barn quilt, Serena and Lily pillow cases
  • desk and chair: IKEA
(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

Thanks, Erin & Jeff!

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Re-edited from a tour originally published June 2014 — AB