Erin's Modern and Bright Austin Home

Erin's Modern and Bright Austin Home

Adrienne Breaux
Jul 5, 2010

Name: Erin Franklin, owner of Agence Talent, and Hendrix the dog
Location: Austin, Texas
Size: 1,400 square foot studio
Years lived in: Rented for 5 years

We weren't quite sure what to expect when we heard Erin Franklin's home was a large building behind a house, which was intended to be an artist's studio but that had been transformed into an apartment. Blown away by interesting construction elements, Erin's modern style and the big and bright windows, we think you'll love all the inspiring details of this home in the University Hills neighborhood of Northeast Austin.

When you first enter Erin's home, you are faced with the stairwell, creating a sort of alcove/entry way. This makes stepping into her large, open and bright living space all the more exciting. Soaring ceilings give the large space a wide-open feel, but Erin has carefully and wisely made a comfortable home by creating great seating areas and vignettes out of her amazing collection of Mid-Century furniture, contemporary furnishings and vintage finds. Local art adorns the walls and adds bright punches of color to an otherwise subdued color palette. The star of the interior (besides adorable Hendrix) has to be the huge windows overlooking the backyard and the double doors across from the windows that open up. This creates an amazing stream of light and air that flows throughout the space.

Erin's done a great job adapting this rented space into her own place, but there are definitely a few unique elements to her home that stand out as something the owner implemented. Namely, the interesting treatments to the stairwell and the loft wall upstairs. The stairwell features a number of industrial materials combined to create varied rail types. Upstairs in the bedroom, construction materials meld with natural materials like bamboo to create a semi-translucent wall. Erin's done an amazing job blending the existing space's treatments and her own style. Full of fun details, we loved how the entire home had that cool, minimal, Mid-Century Modern look, but still felt comfortable and feminine.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My style: Eclectic and evolving, with a consistent mid-century sensibility.

Inspiration: I soak up inspiration everywhere around me, especially when I travel, which proves a bit of a problem. A recent trip to Tulum, Mexico made me want to empty my space and replace everything with south of the border imports. Eating at a French restaurant in New York caused me to seriously reconsider my studio's entire color scheme. I'm especially stimulated by restaurants, hip hotels, museums, films, nature, and just about any Taschen book ever published.

Favorite Element: Primarily, its unique contrast to typical cookie-cutter apartment rentals. I love that the space has such incredible light, large windows and lofty ceilings, as well as a big backyard for growing a garden and allowing the puppy to play. Also, outside the front door stands one of Austin's last remaining air raid sirens from the 50s — a cool piece of history from the Cold War era at my doorstep.

Biggest Challenge: How much of the space to fill with furniture, versus simply leaving it alone. It's the sort of space that works well with just a few pieces, but needs to be functional as well.

What friends say: "When are you having another party?"

Biggest Embarrassment: The owner's use of bamboo and horse panel as building materials, which is a small price to pay for the many other perks.

Proudest DIY: While it's not inside the home, the garden outside is something I take great pride in--especially when the vegetables are thriving!

Biggest Indulgence: I don't have much restraint for fine furniture, and I've often purchased pieces impulsively that were well above the price of rent. If I lust over an expensive mid-century bookcase, I'll buy it and save my bargain shopping for shoes instead.

Best advice: Surround yourself with objects and people you love. Additionally, don't set a full cup of coffee on a light colored couch.

Dream source: This would be at the top of the list: VANDM



    • Gus Modern Carter Sectional sofa
    • Bertoia side chair
    • Paul McCobb Walnut and Brass Shelf Unit
    • Wood frame bed by West Elm
    • Pine kitchen table handmade with love by my dad
    • Anonymous fiberglass shell chair from local thrift store
    • Sideboard, credenzas, dresser, chairs, coffee and end tables from local favorites Uptown Modern and Room Service Vintage
    • Various other thrift store finds


    • Custom nightstand table tops by Newbold Stone
    • Lamps from Room Service Vintage
    • Various thrift and antique mall vases and bowls
    • Kyocera turntable
    • Vintage Yamaha receiver
    • Vintage KLH speakers
    • Wall clock handcrafted from old clock parts and broken RCA Selectavision disc


    • Behr Flat White
    • Behr Winterborn
    • Behr Silverware


    • Cowhide rug by IKEA
    • Antique Oriental rug handed down from my mother


    • Paintings by local artists William Hundley, Alyson Fox and former six-year-old neighbor, Ana
    • "L-Bomb" wood and steel sculpture by Mark Meyer of designSTUDIO
    • Framed photographs by local photographers Dennis Fagan and Tomas Pantin
    • Framed cowboy print from Goodwill


    • Stained concrete

Thanks, Erin!

Images: Adrienne Breaux

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