Margaret's Mix of Modern and Materials

Margaret's Mix of Modern and Materials

Adrienne Breaux
Sep 21, 2011

Name: Margaret Udell of Form & Fabric and Joe Udell, dogs Olive and Mojo and cat Coffee
Location: Hyde Park — Austin, Texas
Size: 3300 square feet
Years lived in: Owned 3 years

You know that "ahhh" feeling you get when you walk into a modern hotel lobby? That's the feeling you get when you walk into Margaret and Joe's house in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Austin. Open, airy, subtle and sleek, it's their mix of materials and the way they made this home theirs that we admire so much.

Margaret jokes that she and her husband knew they just weren't the type of couple that could withstand a remodel, so when they found this house that had been lovingly fixed up, they moved right in. But that's not to say they didn't want to put their mark on this place. To add their own personality they did some light remodeling; moving the powder room door access from the dining room to the hallway, adding some great exterior colors, backyard landscaping and a beautiful kitchen back splash. You can see, in the public spaces as well as the bedroom that we photographed for the tour, that the color palette is modern but warm — the entire house is very inviting.

Another neat element Margaret and her husband added was a built-in dresser in the master bedroom wall, built by a local craftsman. Because of storage space underneath a staircase, the end result was an interesting triangle shape! And we love that even though the space looks expensive, the previous homeowner actually just made smart material and appliance choices like two side-by-side, less-expensive stoves instead of one big one, IKEA cabinetry as well as interesting materials choices like corrugated metal. The end result is a happy connection between the original home's finishes and what Margaret and Joe were able to add to the mix with their own tastes and style.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Casual contemporary

Inspiration: Open public spaces -- we tend to lean toward a commercial design style. We like the openness of art galleries or modern hotel lobbies. Italian furniture designers/

Favorite Elements: We have a very functional home that is great for entertaining. The main room, living, dining, kitchen is all about comfortable living. Whether you're cooking, watching television or just sitting for down to read or have a conversation there's plenty of room and it's a very comfortable space to be in. There's also a separation between public and private space.

Biggest Challenge: There aren't enough empty walls to hang all our art.

What Friends Say: That it's a great house -- very comfortable and livable.

Biggest Embarrassment: Chewed up carpet where the dog had a snack.

Biggest Indulgence: Art. Art. Art.

Biggest Advice: Don't wait to improve your house or yard until you're ready to move out. Pick a project or two every year, make the investment and get the enjoyment out of it while you're still living there.

Dream Source: Dwell magazine & Design Within Reach

Resources of Note:


    • Living Divani
    • Herman Miller


    • Ligne Roset


    • Flor

Thanks, Margaret!

Images: Adrienne Breaux

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