Heidi & Lauren's Brilliant Austin Bungalow

Heidi & Lauren's Brilliant Austin Bungalow

Janel Laban
May 14, 2010

Name: Heidi Schmalbach and Lauren Oholendt
Location: Austin, Texas, Eastside
Size: 1,000 square feet
Years lived in: 10 months

For anyone who thinks that you cannot use all of the colors and possess many collections without living in a home that is messy and chaotic, we would like to submit the home of Heidi and Lauren. They are the last to argue that they have a lot of "stuff" and that they have readily embraced all of the colors of the rainbow. They have managed, however, to create an absolutely stunning and endlessly interesting home while still capturing a calm, bright coziness.

Taking their own advice and buying what they love, Heidi and Lauren have managed to orchestrate their belongings into a symphony of color and shape. It seems that everywhere you look there is something interesting that has a story and provenance that is just waiting to be discovered. Femininity and soft touches are abound, as are bold hues and a broad spectrum of artwork. We are smitten with the brilliant integration of color, texture, pattern, form, and detail. Quite simply, we'd like to move in!

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our style: Cozy, Warm, and Inviting. Whimsical, Feminine and Colorful.

Inspiration: French and English country cottages. Creating a place where people like to gather and linger. Making spaces to highlight our many collections!

Favorite Element: The high wooden ceilings and all of the light we get. The colors in the kitchen and bathroom and the original glass front cabinets.

Biggest Challenge: It's a rental! We would love to paint more but we're restricted to a couple of accent walls. The kitchen can also be challenging when we have dinner guests…it's small and everyone loves to congregate there.

What Friends Say: That they feel like they are in a magazine and that everything is so "fancy."

Biggest Embarrassment: The laundry room. It has no hope. We just keep the door closed.

Proudest DIY: Creating a space that's uniquely ours, fun to live in and to visit, and with absolutely NO budget! Oh, and the JFK pillow.

Biggest Indulgence: Weekly trips to thrift stores and garage sales in search of the next treasure.

Best advice: Don't think too much. Buy what you love and then worry about finding a place for it.

Dream source: A Parisian flea market


Almost everything comes from local thrift and vintage shops! Corner Collections, Goodwill, Savers, Blue Hanger, and Top Drawer are some of our favorites. The side of the road works well too.

(Thanks, Heidi and Lauren!)

Images and Story: Jessica Blake Tata

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