Rachel's All Work All Playhouse

Rachel's All Work All Playhouse

Chris Perez
Nov 25, 2013
(Image credit: Chris Perez)

Name: Rachel Lavin of Pio Jewelry
Location: Bouldin Creek, Austin, Texas
Size: 700 square feet
Years lived in: 7 years

Sometimes you get to know someone the moment you walk into their home. That's the case wtih jewelry maker and former anthropology major Rachel Lavin. In her home, described in her own words as part "Pee-Wee's Playhouse," you'll notice a touch of whimsy and a colorful playfulness that brightens each corner of this artist's abode.

(Image credit: Chris Perez)

Rachel's a bit of a wanderer, traveling from her hometown in New York to the many places she's resided such as Boston, Portland, Austin and San Miguel, Mexico. It was during that trip to Mexico that Rachel first learned about metalworking — and you can tell by the details of her home that it also had a huge influence on her style.

The intricate patterns that appear throughout the space in fabrics and artwork give the one bedroom a bohemian vibe. And tucked behind a floral Marimekko print is Rachel's modest workshop — a cozy light-filled space that lets her focus on a timeless craft that still excites her creative powers.

(Image credit: Chris Perez)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Color + craft explosion with a nod towards tropical living and a deep love of leisure.

Inspiration: Pee Wee’s Playhouse, Remedios Varo, Leonora Carrington, my colorful friends, and travels around the world.

Favorite Element: The giant window in living room that looks out onto West Bouldin Creek Greenbelt, and the beautiful wood floors done by Fernando Flores of Green ArtWood Austin.

Biggest Challenge: No storage.

What Friends Say: The B-52s could live here!

Biggest Embarrassment: I have a major clutter issue and have to get help from a cleaning lady on the regular if it’s to look decent.

Proudest DIY: I took this IKEA lamp (in the main entrance) and spray painted the paper flowers different colors. This lamp is seen everywhere now, but my version still looks fresh to me!

Biggest Indulgence: A piece of Tord Boontje-designed fabric I bought to make a living room curtain, ordered from Maharam/Kvadrat — a beauty that will follow me around, hopefully, for many years to come. The email from the showroom in NY telling me that the fabric wasn’t in stock but could be made in Denmark and shipped to NY, then Austin, was a very pleasant one to receive. Back when I was 4, I apparently told my mother I didn’t want to wear the dress she had put on me, but rather ‘the one that’s a similar fabric but different style.’ Apparently my fabric obsession goes quite a few years back.

Best Advice: Just acquire some stuff you love, then figure out how to put it all together. Don’t worry so much.

(Image credit: Chris Perez)

Resources of Note:


• I buy a lot of OOPS paint at Home Depot and end up mixing paint colors together, so sorry — I can’t help much here.


• Shanna Murray decal

• Emma Jeffs’ Otto window film

• IKEA lamp (hacked)


• Vintage lamps, yellow chair, green chair from Room Service, Austin
• Off-white couch from Prototype, in Austin
• Embroidered pillow on green chair, gift from wonderful friend Kate Shapiro, purchased at Austin shop Wildflower organics
• Prints on wall, my own, in Ikea frames
• Drawing by César Aragón (above ‘Boing’ Mexican juice metal tray, from market in DF)


• Bird/heart print by Diana Sudyka


• Decal on fridge from Urban Outfitters
• Butcher block table purchased at yard sale, painted w/same stencil as kitchen floor — Skylar’s lace
• ’Breathe’ painting bought by artist on street when I first moved to Austin for $15 — now she’s well-known SF-based musician Jenny Gillespie

• Fabulous green and white breakfast bar and stools purchased at City-Wide Garage Sale in Austin


• Most of furniture is second-hand Ikea, can’t lie

• Embroidered art above bed on sale at Urban Outfitters many years ago — those continue to be some of my favorite earthly possessions!


• I got an amazing plant, called ‘mother of a thousand babies,’ on my way back from Houston to Austin once at a weird shop that’s a non-general general store — a bizarre and wonderful place to check out. The plant is indeed quite fruitful!
• Fabric curtain hanging to separate studio from living room — Marimekko
• Small mirrors from markets in Mexico
• I made the outdoor lamp in a class at Austin Community College on fold-forming
• My friend Alberto Martinez put together the jewelry holder in my bathroom as a display for me for a show and I love it!
• An architect friend, Scott Specht, recommended I make my curtain rods out of piping material from Home Depot and I love how they came out!
(Image credit: Chris Perez)

→ See more of Rachel's Jewelry at her site : Pio Playground

Thanks, Rachel!

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