Tasha’s Colorful & Comfy Austin Home (& Backyard “Beach Lodge” Studio)

published Apr 13, 2014
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(Image credit: Adrienne Breaux)

Name: Tasha Petty, Founder of Essential Oliver clothing company & Strategist at Sprinklr (plus Mya the dog and Winston the cat)
Location: East Austin, Texas
Size: 900 square feet (main house), 300 square feet (backyard studio)
Years lived in: 4 years; Owned

You know that perfect casual, laid-back look you wish your home had? Tasha’s East Austin house exudes it. From Southwestern-inspired textiles to bold paint color choices to overly comfortable furniture to two cute furry pets, every inch of her house and backyard beach-inspired studio beckons you to grab a beer and stay awhile.

(Image credit: Adrienne Breaux)

Tasha just launched her first line of clothing, inspired by vintage work wear with a hint of surf vibe (you can see more on Essential Oliver’s Instagram and Facebook). I had the pleasure of attending the show and seeing her clothing in person, and was excited to visit her home to see where it all began. Her home office is a working one — heavily-used vintage furniture meets busy inspiration boards surrounded by stacks of materials. But the rest of her home is play — fun accessory finds, cool wall paint colors, colorful art. But though the main house is fun, her backyard and studio beat it with hammocks for lounging, beach-inspired decor and even more relaxed vibes.

(Image credit: Adrienne Breaux)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Boho Rustic Eclectic with a hint of Beach Vibes.

Inspiration: Form and function! The beach! History! Entertaining! Anything creative – art installations, music, fashion, album covers, craft, design, nature, my fashionable friends – I “borrow” all their great ideas! Also The Eames and Bauhaus.

Favorite Element: The backyard studio that I call my “Beach Lodge.” When I bought the house it was a disaster. The previous owner had left a bunch of stuff in there. I cleaned it up and decorated it based on the Surf Lodge in Montauk aesthetic. Whenever I have guests over they love to stay there instead of the house and it’s great for photo shoots and after parties. Sometimes I pretend like it’s my vacation home, and I’ll take the animals in there and watch movies on the projector screen and “camp out” for the night with wine and popcorn.

Biggest Challenge: The back laundry room…all of my possessions collect in there and it gets a little unruly.

What Friends Say: “You could really use a maid.” I mean “cute place.”

Proudest DIY: The backyard…it was completely overgrown and uninviting. I put in xeriscaping, the stepping stones, the hammocks and lights. It’s great for entertaining. I even dug and cemented the post for the hammocks myself and rigged them up with climbing rope, knots and carabiner.

Biggest Indulgence: My bed. I love lounging in bed so I totally splurge on the mattress, Egyptian cotton sheets, quilts, pillows, and on and on.

Best Advice: Be eclectic but don’t go overboard. Too much can start to feel cluttered.

Dream Sources: Barn houses in the early 1900s

(Image credit: Adrienne Breaux)

Resources of Note:


  • Couch and lamps: Ikea
  • Vintage Edison bulbs and wooden crates: from a small vintage dealer in South Austin (no name, literally a random Craigslist search for “garage sale” turned them up)
  • “Get Lost” picture: local artist Sophie Roach
  • James Dean/Marfa design piece: local artist Jason Archer
  • Large design print: Kenzo
  • Vintage skateboard on the wall: ebay
  • Speakers and turntable: Craigslist
  • German lymph node anatomy school pull-down: Round Top, TX antique fair
  • Vintage moon print: Healdsburg, CA monthly vintage market
  • Marfa Film Fest wall hanging was a gift from the founder
  • Hand-dyed “flyers”: Marfa artist
  • Wool rug: garage sale
  • Antler candle holder and owl light switch: Anthropologie
  • Table by the door: Saint Jacobs thrift in South Austin (“The owner of all this furniture painted it white because she thought is warded away evil spirits”). The other photos on the wall are my own
  • Large black mirror hanging on the wall: Fredricksburg antique shop
  • Curtains: Crate and Barrel
  • Antlers on the wall: from a deer’s head
  • I found that crappy “coffee table” beside a dumpster – it’s the next thing I want to replace — bulk collection day is a gem (especially in NY)


  • Giant sailboat and vintage coffee grinder: from the Ivy Cottage in Wilmington, NC
  • Table in the kitchen: east Austin thrift shop that I refashioned with a $40 Ikea table top
  • Counter top: same material from Ikea
  • Stools: from Mexico
  • North Carolina BBQ embroidered piece: North Carolina artist Chandra Noyes
  • Blackboard paint is $20 from Home Depot
  • Country kitchen sink and faucet were a steal from Ikea
  • NY City subway print will be available on my website essentialoliver.com for $20


  • Bed frame and dresser: Ikea
  • Amazing sheets and pillow cases: HomeGoods
  • Topographic prints: ebay
  • Ccreen print play poster: an artist market in Cuba.
  • Bed quilt: Marshalls (they used to be my client at GSD&M…seriously addicted. I go there every other week)
  • Bed blanket: from a native American shop in Albuquerque
  • Map wall poster: from a National Geographic book from Goodwill
  • Deer antlers (aka ring holder) I painted myself and will be available on Essentialoliver.com
  • Beachwood with green thread that holds my necklaces and earrings on the wall is from an antique store in Santa Barbara, CA
(Image credit: Adrienne Breaux)

Thanks, Tasha!

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