Laurel & Margot’s Celebration of Craft

published Jan 3, 2013
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(Image credit: Chris Perez)

Name: Laurel Kinney (& Margot Wolf)
Location: Austin, Texas
Size: 1700 square feet
Years lived in: 2.5 years

In a quaint home on the edge of East Austin reside two very talented women. Laurel Kinney, owner of her own personal styling business (Trophy Boutique), and roommate Margot Wolf, jewelry maker and designer (Margot Wolf Jewelry), are helping to shape the city’s style and individuality. As you may have imagined, the home which houses these creative talents is brimming with inspiration.

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From the hardwood lined ceilings to the sunlight filled patio, there’s a rustic appeal that reminds you of simpler times. Relax… breathe… and take a tour of this remodeled masterpiece.

Most people take on a small project or two upon moving into a new home — painting a bedroom, maybe even install some new flooring. Laurel Kinney takes on a whole home renovation! A willingness to tear down walls, resurface ceilings, and remodel everything from the kitchen to the bathroom requires vision and confidence. Those are two qualities Laurel has in spades, and she uses them every day to provide personal styling services to women and men of all backgrounds and budgets.

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The home she has crafted is open and inviting, with a clear sense of community. There’s a calm, peaceful energy, and while Laurel channels it to create beautiful oil paintings, her friend (and roommate) Margot Wolf crafts handmade jewelry. Margot sculpts her own custom molds and resins, and effortlessly wields a soldering torch, to create statement pieces cast in various metals such as sterling silver.

A variety of her wares and inspirations can be spotted on both the wooden jewelry shelf and antique dresser in her bedroom. Other accessories and decor found throughout the home — the ones not made by Laurel and Margot — were sourced from fellow creatives in the area. This makes the home both a synergy of skill and a celebration of craft, proving that sometimes a home is more than just a place. Sometimes a home is as alive as the people who live there.

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Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Colorful rustic/industrial, but veering closer to just kind of rustic.

Inspiration: The house I grew up in was built in 1720, so I’ve always been comfortable with exposed wood and antique elements that show the history of the house.

Favorite Element: The shiplap walls and ceilings FOR SURE. The house would not be half as warm and unique without them.

Biggest Challenge: Finding the time to decorate. I renovated the whole house with my ex, and we just ran out of steam after the first 5 months. It was hard to find the energy to style it all once it was finally painted and liveable.

What Friends Say: They say “can I come over?” 🙂 They think the place is very warm, comfortable, and love hanging out on the porch and in the kitchen.

Biggest Embarrassment: There are more than a few holes in the front bathroom, from when it was retiled, and we still haven’t figured out a solution to the lower corner cabinet in the kitchen — there’s supposed to be a lazy susan there but I’m too lazy to actually install it. Also, I HAD to paint my room, and I am not a very patient wall-painter. I did a lazy/messy job on taping the ceiling, and every morning I stare at all the mistakes.

Proudest DIY: Several of the paintings are mine, which I suppose could be considered DIY, but I’m also proud of some of the furniture I’ve found. The mirror in the front living room was found on the street in the East Village in New York — I think it’s actually an old headboard from a dismantled bed. I saw it on the sidewalk and lugged it home 2 avenues. It’s traveled with me to four different homes over the years.

Biggest Indulgence: Besides renovating the whole house, which was crazy… the couch in the front living room was my first grown up piece of furniture. I wanted custom upholstery, which turned out great because I only had to pay for half up front and the rest when it was finished — the only way I could afford it.

Best Advice: Go for bright color it it’s your thing, but use it sparingly to reduce the risk of getting sick of it. It was a risk to install a chartreuse kitchen counter, but since the rest of the kitchen was kept neutral it doesn’t fight so much for attention and blends in nicely with the rest of the house’s vibe.

Dream Sources: I would love to have custom drapery in every room from my dear friend Stephanie Moore of Cush Cush Design, as well as more original art.

(Image credit: Chris Perez)

Resources of Note:

• Architect for renovation: Craig Nasso


    • All Sherwin Williams throughout the house
    • Laurel’s bedroom: Benjamin Moore opal


    • Couch, rug: Crate and Barrel
    • Drapes: Smith & Noble
    • Coffee Table/School Desk: made/designed by my friend Gretchen Phillips
    • Lamp: vintage
    • Mirror: found
    • Art on mantle: Paul Ahern


    • Couch: IKEA
    • Table: hand-me-down vintage
    • Rug: Anthropologie
    • Curtains: Target
    • End Table, lamp: Vintage
    • Painting: Laurel Kinney


    • Island countertop: Ceasarstone “Apple Martini”
    • Wooden Countertop, pendant lamp: Ikea
    • Stools/Chairs (gifted–probably from Garden Ridge)
    • Table: Kmart
    • Animal Paintings: Gretchen Phillips / Ethan Azarian
    • Cutting Board: Edwood, Austin

Margot’s BEDROOM

Laurel’s BEDROOM

    • Bedframe, night tables, lamps: West Elm
    • Chair: vintage
    • Green Lamp: Crate and Barrel
    • Painting: Sam Sanford
    • Drawings: Filmore Sanford (Laurel’s grandfather)
    • Dresser: bought in Brooklyn (Trade Winds in Park Slope I think?)
    • Mirror (on dresser): vintage

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
Visit Laurel’s site Trophy Boutique
See more of Margot’s work Margot Wolf Jewelry

Thanks, Laurel and Margot!

(Images: Chris Perez)

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