Erin’s Warm & Wood-Wrapped Austin Budget Bungalow

updated Feb 20, 2019
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(Image credit: Adrienne Breaux)

Name: Erin Curtis and Aaron Dubrow (and 4 part-time, indoor/outdoor kitties)
Location: East Side — Austin, Texas
Size: 1400 square feet
Years lived in: Owned 1 year

What would you get if you mixed a 1920s bungalow, the inside of a vintage boat and a lofty barn with clean lines? The unique look of an East Austin house that has completely won us over. Full of incredibly smart space and money saving ideas, we’re quite impressed with the path the look of this home has taken.

(Image credit: Adrienne Breaux)

Local artist Erin Curtis and Aaron Dubrow have certainly brought their style to this house, but it was the partnership between a creative, budget-friendly designer that allowed the house to take such smart, creative and money-saving turns. Erin and Aaron collaborated with Nicole Blair, of Studio 512, and they didn’t waste a bit of material.

The stairs are constructed from the wood panel doors that were removed when the floor plan was opened up. New stair treads were originally door panels; door stiles and rails became new risers. The amazing long leaf pine walls and ceilings, which are original to the house, were exposed, bringing a modern, clean warmth to the home. There was so much of the existing pine they were able to reuse it for new walls, ceilings, railings and a floor-to-ceiling (front door to back door) book shelf down the main hall.

Opening up the ceiling and connecting it to the loft adds natural light and ventilation to the house, making it feel a lot larger than it is. A repurposed gym floor in the loft was found by the homeowners on Craigslist, from a closing YMCA. They reused existing pendant lights and rehung them at various heights over the table in the dining room for a one-of-a-kind fixture. The sconces that highlight Erin’s art are old found desk lamps. In a brilliant break to all the wood, the bathroom, kitchen and sunroom are washed in white — creating a smooth respite for the eye and a perfect modern complement to the rest of the house. Lastly, adorable, painted storage niches can be found throughout the house, like the wine storage in the kitchen, the ones for collectables in the stairs and more.

Our very most favorite part of this house is the inspiring idea that any of us could partner with a fresh eye and a clever mind to think outside of the box to create a beautiful and highly personal home. What’s in your home you could uncover or re-think to make totally unique?

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Urban cabin/Lost and found

Inspiration: Materials with history and travels.

Favorite Elements: Original longleaf pine walls and floors. Afternoon light in the living room. Our O’Keefe and Merritt vintage stove. Hidden TV; hidden washer and dryer. Hallway/library. Loft office (mancave). Sunken soaking tub. WPA-style all white bathroom. Textile collections.

Biggest Challenge: 1920s plumbing and electrical.

What Friends Say: The house looks very lived-in.

Biggest Embarrassment: Our mud pit backyard.

Proudest DIY: Refinishing and staining the kitchen floor (which spent 50 years under linoleum) so it matches the rest of the house.

Biggest Indulgence: The custom-built staircase, made out of old doors.

Biggest Advice: Befriend an architect.

Dream Source: The expertise and advice of Nicole Blair at Studio 512, Habitat for Humanity Restore

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Resources of Note:




(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)




Erin Curtis

Thanks, Erin and Aaron!

Images: Adrienne Breaux

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Re-edited from a post previous published on 5.17.11 – AB