Kimber's Modern Home Elegance

Kimber's Modern Home Elegance

Chris Perez
Aug 16, 2012

Name: Kimber Cavendish, co-owner of the Kimber Modern Hotel
Location: South Congress, Austin, Texas
Size: 3,000 square feet
Years lived in: 13 years, remodeled twice

As part owner of Kimber Modern, a modern boutique hotel in Austin, Kimber knows how to make a space feel like an escape. We tour her remodeled residence, where one house was turned into two separate properties to create the elegant multi-level space that serves as her daily retreat.

Before taking a chance on opening her own hotel, Kimber operated a physical therapy practice out of her home. The space that is now the kitchen and dining areas was once a lobby and waiting area, and the bathroom and living space behind them used to serve as patient rooms and offices. A lover of art and travel, Kimber dreamed of founding a hotel that married the modern aesthetic she loved with the comfort and tranquility of a private escape. When that dream was realized, she used her experience and design principles to take on the role of general contractor to create that feeling with her own home's remodel — showing up on site every day to make sure things were done, with the quality and standards she envisioned.

The sprawling space used to be one unified residence with an outdoor breezeway that connected one part of the home to the next. To help finance the remodel and to make the space more intimate the property was divided into two, and the other half of the home sold. That breezeway is now a formal living room whose back wall serves as the dividing line between the two residences.

The finished space is a beautiful peaceful retreat, complete with a rooftop terrace that provides an unbelievable view of the city. Daughters Kenna and Abbey enjoy the space, and you can tell mom's eye for design has rubbed off on each of them, with Abbey having a passion for photography, and Kenna picking out all the furnishings and decor for her bedroom. One of my favorite touches was the large-format tile in the bathrooms. Kimber mentioned that they were put together with very narrow gaps between them to minimize mold and grout issues. The type used in daughter's Kenna's bathroom features an intricate floral pattern that on first glance could be mistaken for wallpaper. I also enjoyed how Kimber was resourceful in using those spare tiles as shelves in the living area and as sofa trays. Kimber's gorgeous selection of art and furnishings makes this remodel a modern masterpiece that is most definitely a dream come true.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Minimal and modern.

Inspiration: My mom.

Favorite Element: Ceiling to floor windows, open spaces, yellow Italian glass kitchen, great lines.

Biggest Challenge: Modern homes must be finished out perfectly, as they show every imperfection. Everything has to line up perfectly. Finding highly skilled craftspeople is challenging at best, and we did it.

What Friends Say: "Wow, this house is a work of art." "So clean, open and light filled." "I thought it was going to be cold and sterile but it's so warm and inviting."

Biggest Embarrassment: Getting caught showering outside by my pool cleaner.

Proudest DIY: Being the general contractor on our remodel.

Biggest Indulgence: All glass Scavolini Kitchen with hand made tile backsplash.

Best Advice: When your home is being built or remodeled, be on site every day and watch everything that is being done. Ask a lot of questions, and don't compromise your standards.

Dream Sources: Modern design furniture stores and local Austin shops.

Resources of Note:


    • Pittsburg Paint - Downstairs is Fortune Cookie
    • Benjamin Moore - Upstairs is Chantilly Lace


    • Eames Hang It All coat racks
    • Shoe racks from DWR
    • Custom bench cushion from Iron Thread Designs
    • Scavolini Glass shelves


    • 16 x 16 slate floors
    • Modern Fan Company ball fans
    • Flex Form Italian sofa + womb chair
    • Italina round coffee table from Scott + Cooner
    • Schimmel baby grand piano
    • Twiggy floor lamp
    • Nani Marquina area rug


    • Saarinen oval dining table with 6 Tulip chairs from Shelton Keller


    • Scavolini Crystal series yellow glass kitchen
    • Miele appliances
    • Sub Zero refrigerator
    • Bertoia bar stools from Shelton Keller
    • Rug from Kush Portland, Oregon


    • Caresse Italian bed from Scott + Cooner
    • Eames rocking chair from DWR
    • Two Saarinen bed side tables from Shelton Keller
    • Italian credenze/ media center from Scott + Cooner
    • Nu loom wool rug from Gilt


    • Duravit toilets from Ferguson plumbing
    • Hansgrohe fixtures, Starck shower fixtures
    • Spanish tile from Tile Works of Austin
    • Tub Ferguson Plumbing


    • headboard by Iron Thread designs Austin
    • Pink sofa and black ottomans from Nest
    • Bed frame DWR


    • Pool by Bayside Pools
    • Outdoor furniture Modern Outdoor and Caluco
    • Fleetwood sliders

Thanks, Kimber, Kenna, and Abbey!

(Tour Images: Chris Perez Last image: Kimber Modern)

And check out Kimber Modern if you're interested in learning more about the boutique hotel Kimber started.

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