Lauren & Nick's Home Is Where The Heart Is

Lauren & Nick's Home Is Where The Heart Is

Chris Perez
Oct 4, 2012

Name: Lauren and Nick
Location: Austin, TX
Size: 1,100 square feet
Years lived in: less than 1 year

What does a southern Texas gal do with an industrial condo with "dungeon-like" gray cinder block walls? Well, if you're Lauren you take inspiration from the internet and transform the place. Armed with a knack for finding Craigslist treasures and a fearless enthusiasm to try new crafts and decor solutions from Pinterest, Lauren has managed to turn the hard-edged space into a pleasantly chic home.

Lauren, with the help of fiancé Nick and support from her adorable puppy, has managed to make a stark industrial space feel warm and bright. Living in a rented space, Lauren didn't try to do anything dramatic with the structure of the place, but instead added her personal touch of color and life against the concrete backdrop.

Her style is evident right when you walk through the door, and the space is so welcoming you almost want to invite yourself to a seat at the mint green bistro table and enjoy a cupcake. Lauren's love for design extends beyond home decor and into fashion as well. You can spot some of her favorite finds and accessories on display in a blue painted "china cabinet." This same blue color was also painted on the office desk her fiancé Nick uses for his engineering studies.

There is color and style all throughout this three-story living space, even a rooftop deck to enjoy the sunset under romantic string lights. The bird's nest of string looped around nails — hammered into the shape of Texas on a wood board — perhaps speaks best to the sense of the whole space. Home is where the heart is, and there's certainly a lot of heart behind the decor and style here.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Modern/Industrial, shabby chic

Inspiration: Austin is a super eclectic town full of amazing people and out of this world shopping. I LOVE thrift and vintage stores (and of course, craigslist) and doing my own "DIY" projects in order to make things my own. I'm part of the "pinterest" cult and love putting together boards of inspirational photos in hopes of creating my own unique space. I really wanted to express my love for Austin, TX in this home. I also have an extreme passion for fashion and all things girly, which I think is pretty evident in the pictures.

Favorite Element: Although the square footage is small, the open layout of this space makes the living area feel especially big. There are a ton of windows allowing natural sunlight to come in, and I especially love the private roof top patio! It's a great space to sip on a glass of wine while the sun sets. My favorite piece of furniture would be my grandmother's mid-century dresser we've doubled into a TV stand. You just don't see solid wood pieces like that anymore.

Biggest Challenge: As my mother has told me (on multiple occasions), the space appears very "dungeon-like" with the concrete floors and matching cinderblock walls, so I had to pick pieces with colors that really popped against the dark tones of the space. I think the mint green bistro table came out especially chic against the gray walls. Another challenge was the budget. It was important for me to be patient when purchasing items for the place and not buy everything I wanted all at once. It's a process. That's why I absolutely love "doing it yourself!"

What Friends Say: Friends love the space and have said things like "You should have your own TV show" and "your living room looks like a pinterest post of the cutest room ever". I've also been titled the "Craigslist Queen". As my fiancé finishes school we have decided to rent, so I think it's important to make every home your own no matter if you rent or own, because at the end of the day you want to be able to come home to a cool space that you can be proud of.

Biggest Embarrassment: The amount of time I spend looking through the furniture and antique forums on Craigslist is pretty embarrassing...but I've found some really great stuff on there! I bought a vintage Chanel jacket for $75 and took it to a designer consignment store and had it appraised for over $1000! If you're patient and know what you're looking for, you can find some really special items. This has become a hobby of mine.

Proudest DIY: Our proudest DIY project would definitely be the Texas String Art. We got the idea from a pinterest post and made a fun Saturday night date out of it. Nick bought a piece of wood from Home Depot and traced an outline of the state of Texas then individually nailed over 100 nails on top. Using some orange string we made a extraordinary piece of art work, with a heart where Austin is, the city we started our lives together. This project cost less than $30 to make, but looks like something expensive you would buy in a store.

Biggest Indulgence: Our biggest indulgence would be our brand new leather couch. We wanted something modern and buttery soft that we could take with us to our future homes. I spent months and months trying to find the perfect leather couch that would match my grandmothers beautiful retro dresser from the 1960's. The couch was originally $2800, so I waited till 4th of July weekend to get the 25% discount! Worth the wait and the price!

Best Advice: My best advice is to do research online and create a clear picture of what you want your space to look like. Be patient, don't buy everything at once. Buy items that you know you can take with you from home-to-home. I think it's important not to follow the norm, but make your space your own. Your home should be a reflection of your personality.

Dream Sources: Pinterest, Anthropologie, West Elm, the TV show "For Rent" on HGTV, my mom and soon to be mother-in-law also have impeccable taste. Aside from nursing, I think my dream job would be to decorate small spaces for couples, or dorm rooms for college girls! How fun would that be?!

Resources of Note:


    • Flower painting- Hobby Lobby
    • Carpet runner- Target
    • Yellow storage ottoman/seat- Home Goods


    • Leather Couch- Four Hands Furniture, also sold at Anthropologie
    • Purse and shoe "china cabinet" - Nadeau (furniture with a soul)
    • Striped Wool rug - West Elm
    • Hammered metal drum coffee table- World Market
    • "Cute as a button chair" accent chair- World Market
    • Retro 1960's dresser- My grandmothers
    • Knobs on dresser- Anthropologie


    • Mint green bistro table and chairs- Craigslist find!
    • Flower vases - Anthropologie
    • Modern bar stools - Crate and Barrel


    • Martha Stewart cake stand - Macy's
    • Cactus display- DIY
    • Chevron pattern painting- DIY- pinterest find
    • Orange Texas string art - DIY- pinterest find


    • Bedroom furniture - Big Lots
    • Yellow bedding- Anthropologie
    • Pillows - Anthropologie and TJ Maxx
    • Blue and white chevron rug- Craigslist find


    • Desk- local custom furniture store
    • Desk chair - Garden Ridge
    • Bookcase - Craigslist find

    Thanks, Lauren and Nick!

    (Images: Chris Perez)

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