Two Architects Share a Jungle-Inspired Home in Wine Country
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Name: Austin Carrier, Alex Mutter-Rottmayer, and their dog Ziggy
Location: Sonoma, California
Size: 800 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years, owned
Austin and Alex say their apartment is like the scene in Alice in Wonderland in which the Mad Hatter is calling for people to change seats. It’s very likely that the couple’s wine country apartment is already styled completely different than how it looked during this house tour. In fact, they’ve since bought a new rug, a bunch of throw pillows, and countless new plants. “Furniture and art is constantly moving from place to place, often finding new purpose and use along the way,” Austin says. What was once a dresser may now be a bar station, a new art collection might find a new home on their walls, and plants frequently move as the seasons change.
Austin and Alex are both architects, so aside from having a great eye for design, they tackled the project of renovating the space themselves. The space was previously…well, drab. They gutted the whole thing and rebuilt it themselves, opening it up and truly brightening it. They added vibrant wallpaper by Justina Blakeney, installed a modern kitchen, and added a ton of plants in every nook.
Two years after the remodel, they’re excited with the bohemian jungle vibes their space exudes, but they’ll both admit it’ll never quite be 100% done. “This constant change often produces some unexpected awesome looks,” Austin adds. “And if you don’t like it, you can always move it again.”
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Bohemian, Modern, Vintage, Mid-Century, “Jungalow”
Inspiration: Our families! We come from two very different and interesting families when it comes to design. They have collected and surrounded themselves with interesting and unique objects and are bursting at the seams with creativity. We have had many of those possessions passed down to us, in which we covet and design our spaces around.
Favorite Element: Having windows on all sides; we get so much beautiful light in our apartment. Bright morning light, nicely filtered northern and east/west light all day and then bright setting sun.
Biggest Challenge: Drywall — all of it!
What Friends Say: One friend said this when we asked: “Austin and Alex have a very fresh and welcoming aesthetic, offering inspiration that pairs well with any Sonoma Pinot they’re serving”
Biggest Embarrassment: After finishing the wiring of the whole apartment, we turned on the kitchen sink disposal and the lights turned off.
Proudest DIY: Building the cabinetry and assembling the kitchen, but to be honest, the whole apartment renovation!
Biggest Indulgence: Double shower heads
Best Advice: Construction Advice: If you are new to renovating an apartment or house, as we were, it is extremely important to have an experienced right hand man. In our case it was Alex’s father, who has been designing and building houses for the last 30 years.
Design Advice: Never second-guess yourself. Do it, redo it, and do it again. If you don’t like it, sleep on it, and when in doubt, put a plant on it. Also, stick with a theme and your own personal style.
Dream Sources: My go-to place for plants is Cactus Jungle in Berkeley (and, on the hush hush, Home Depot is the place to buy Fiddle Leaf Figs). When we are looking for something really unique and interesting we usually hit up our local antique and vintage stores: Artefact Design and Salvage, Sonoma Country Antiques and the Lonesome Cowboy Ranch (all in Sonoma, CA)
Ladder — Anthropologie
Mudcloth — Morrisey Fabric
Mongolian fur bench — Custom-made by us
Pillow — Urban Outfitters
Moroccan pom pom blanket — Rug and Weave
Sectional — Lucas Sectional by URBN
Rug — Vintage Beni Ourain via Mouscarpet Shop
1938 Tobacco Leather Butterfly Chair — CB2
Coffee Table — Custom made by us
Fur wingback — Vintage
Marble/wood side table- Custom made by us
Painting — Travis Carrier
Vintage Mexican masks — Found
Rope lamp — Custom made by us
Leather-topped side table — Custom made by us
Vintage taxidermy — Carousel Vintage in San Francisco
Brass hammered side table — Vintage/Found
Bentwood floor lamp — Custom made by us (Pendant from West Elm)
Photograph — Luke Austin
Wallpaper — Justina Blakeney via Hygge & West
Geometric terrarium — Paxton Gate
Framed bugs — Vintage/Found/Paxton Gate
Dinging table — CB2
Cherner arm chair — Cherner Chair Company
Vintage Eames plycraft chair — Found
Vintage Danish chair — Found
Rustic wood pedi stools — Custom made by us
Moroccan side table — Found/Morocco
Table lamp — Urban Outfitters
Vintage macrame plant holder — CK Designs
Kilim dog bed — Custom made by us
Photograph — Luke Austin
Zen tea kettle — Le Crueset
Magical Thinking woven wall mirror — Urban Outfitters
Sun rattan wall mirror — Urban Outfitters
NuLoom jute rug — Overstock
Walnut bed frame — Custom made by us
Silver leaf mirror- IKEA
Blue indigo tassel — WKNDA
Small white sheep pelts — IKEA
Antique Turkish rug — Found
Closet curtains — Urban Outfitters
Curtain tiebacks — Anthropologie
Long 60″ lumbar pillow — Custom made by us
Aldalora 30″ Lumbar Pillow — Anthropologie
Mid-century dresser — Found
JuJu Hat — The Blooming Loom
Bed sheets/duvet — West Elm
Ceramic wind chimes — McCarthy Pottery
Mini peacock chair — TresorCru
Towel hooks — Food52
Mirror cabinet — IKEA
Bath mat — Anthropologie
Photographs — Austin Young
Thanks, Austin and Alex!
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