Monique Lavie’s Minimal and Modern

published Sep 23, 2013
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(Image credit: Adrienne Breaux)

Name: Monique Lavie, her boyfriend Matt Woodward, and Elsa the Boxer
Location: Travis Heights; Austin, Texas
Size: 900 square feet
Years lived in: Owned; 6 months

It’s completely enviable when someone can successfully pull off a super simple, clean, minimal look without their place looking empty. There aren’t a lot of actual items in Monique Lavie’s house, but it’s the way she’s invested in rich, detailed furniture pieces, incorporated intentional pops of strong color, and carefully arranged it all that’s created a home full of style.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Adrienne Breaux)
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There’s just nothing in Monique’s recently renovated, Mid-Century Modern house that wasn’t thoughtfully added. From the Knoll couch she reupholstered in a teal Knoll fabric, to the artwork from local artists, to the master bedroom bed frame she had custom made — each item is intentional and something that’s going to last. Another benefit of going the minimal route? This small space could have seemed cluttered if Monique felt the need to fill every spot with furniture or art. With some help from the tall ceilings and big windows, the simple furnishings make this home feel much bigger than its actual square footage.

Having recently moved in, Monique’s not quite finished with her home — plans to clad the ceiling with wood planks will add a nice architectural feel — but she’ll always keep things well-curated, minimal and modern.

(Image credit: Adrienne Breaux)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Mid Century minimalism.

Inspiration: Marfa and Scandinavia. Domino Magazine.

Favorite Element: The large windows and natural lighting.

Biggest Challenge: No storage space whatsoever. When Matt moved in, he was only allowed to bring a duffle bag and his TV.

What Friends Say: How do you keep it so clean?! (It’s really not that clean, but the cement floors do help.)

Biggest Embarrassment: Probably my dirty windows. Elsa loves to bird and people watch, which means my windows are always covered in grime. Sometimes, Windex doesn’t even help. I have to get crafty and use a homemade vinegar mixture instead.

Proudest DIY: The installation of chrome top light bulb fixtures throughout the house, and spackling the crap out of our bathroom wall. Matt would probably be most proud of his trash and recycling pullout bin in the kitchen.

Biggest Indulgence: Probably my custom bed, which was designed by one of my favorite local furniture makers, Blake Dollahite.

Best Advice: I’m not a pillow person at all, but it’s funny how a couple accent pillows can make an impact. Now I’m a believer.

Dream Sources: Scandinavian antique shops.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Resources of Note:


  • It all came with the house. I’m so glad too, since I’m a white wall and dark wood kind of gal.


  • Surprisingly, Houston is where it’s at when it comes to mid-century furniture. I stock up at Reeves Antiques in Montrose. They found one of my favorite pieces, a super rare Knoll couch. I had it re-upholstered with new Knoll fabric in teal and now it’s better than new.
  • The photo in the living room is also one of my favorites and goes along with my Marfa aesthetic; it’s by photographer Matthew Genitempo.


  • My Dining room is my backyard. I had an eight-person farm table custom made so I can throw dinner parties outside 365 days a year.


  • I inherited most of my kitchen supplies during my seven-year stint in NYC. In this kitchen, my OCD works in my favor. With the open shelving concept, all my matching plates, glasses and mugs are the focal point. Since we’re also coffee fiends, a coffee making station was a must-have. For non-coffee drinkers, the vintage owl cookie jar houses all of our teas.


  • It contains a collection of rare vintage suitcases (Reeves Antiques)
  • a vintage fan (local yard sale)
  • and my favorite, a handmade driftwood whale sculpture (Reeves Antiques).


The master bedroom only has three pieces of furniture: my custom bed, a tufted mid-century bench (Reeves Antiques) and an Eames shell chair that once belonged to a record producer friend. Members of Modest Mouse to Will Oldham have all probably sat in that chair. The only art hanging on the wall is an original print by Ricky Powell (dubbed the fourth member of the Beastie Boys). The photo captures the grittiness of lower Manhattan back in the 80’s. It’s also of the same block I used to live on in the East Village, and a reminder of where I spent some of the best years of my life.

Thanks, Monique!

(Images: Adrienne Breaux)

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