The Shepherds’ Sunny & Simple Remodel

updated Dec 19, 2019
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Name: Trent and Carly Shepherd, our 4.5 month-old baby, Gray, our 14-year-old golden retriever, Levi and our 8-year-old cat, Phoenix. Not listed in order of preference.
Location: Zilker Neighborhood — Austin, Texas
Size: Original: 1150 square feet; After addition: 1800 square feet
Years lived in: Owned 5 years

If you get as invigorated by good-looking homes as we do, you’ll no doubt get energized by the South Austin home of creative couple Trent and Carly Shepherd, a graphic designer and landscape designer, respectively. It’s not always easy creating an uncluttered, modern home that’s also bursting with personality, but they’ve done it, and in a simple, sophisticated and charming way. There’s another emotion the Shepherds’ house might elicit: envy!

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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

It’s not just how great their house looks that made us a little envious of their space; we scheduled the house tour shoot extremely last minute — less than a day — and when we got there the place was immaculate. With a four-month-old at home, we were impressed! A product of Carly’s talented organizational skills, for sure, but also a product of creating a home where everything has a place. The furnishings are kept sparse, but incredibly meaningful. Also jealous-inducing are the hip, stylish families these two came from; nearly every piece we pointed to asking for the origin came back with the answer of “passed on through the family.” It nearly became a running joke while we were there!

The home itself didn’t always look this way; the house has changed in big ways twice in the five years they’ve owned the home. When they bought the house in the summer of 2006, Trent and Carly did a kitchen remodel with new cabinets and appliances from Lowe’s, oak countertops and suspended shelving from IKEA. Seagrass carpet was added to all the bedrooms. New white vinyl windows were added throughout the house from Lowe’s to help with lighting, as were can lights. Ceiling fans were brought in to help tame the Texas heat. They re-painted and re-textured walls with a modern, texture-less, flat finish for a smooth, streamlined appearance.

Recently completed in April of this year was a collaborative project with architect Stuart Sampley, who was brought on to add a little more space to the house of a growing family. Stuart’s contributions included a carport enclosure to double the living room size, a new master bedroom, bath and walk-in closet addition and a beautiful mudroom addition. He suggested strand-woven bamboo throughout house (except for the bedrooms which still sport the seagrass). Instead of leaving the whole house open, he pushed for a white oak shiplap partition between the living room and kitchen/mudroom that really creates cozy spaces and interesting views. The whole exterior of the house got painted to match the new modern interior and still fit in nicely with the neighborhood. Finally, Stuart also suggested a lovely George Nelson pendant bubble lamp for above the dining table.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Our style is mid-century modern(ish) with an emphasis on clean, simple and functional spaces. We have a mixture of old and new furniture that seems to work together and tells a story of our families. Wood and natural light are dominant themes throughout the house.We really like to feel that the inside and outside spaces work well together.

Inspiration: We’re big fans of Mid-Century Modern architecture, and there are several homes in our neighborhood that were designed by A.D. Stenger. While our house doesn’t really resemble a Stenger, we definitely like and relate to his style and design ideas. Carly also has piles of landscape architecture books, we read Dwell magazine and Carly keeps up with several blogs that keep her inspired.

Favorite Elements: Natural light (it is 8pm in July and we don’t have/need any lights on in the house).

Biggest Challenge: Transforming what was a cookie-cutter ranch home into a functional and unique family home 50 years later. Kudos to Stuart Sampley for his vision on the addition and JGB Construction did a great job with the execution. We hope that the improvements we made will stand the test of time, both structurally and aesthetically.

Biggest Embarrassment: Our guest room closet is about to explode.

Proudest DIY: The landscaping.

Biggest Indulgence: We are lucky to have lots of great family furniture, but our Rowe couch in our living room was a splurge.

Biggest Advice: As far as architecture and living spaces goes: explore, research and get inspired.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Resources of Note:


    • Solar hot water heater from Lighthouse Solar
    • Ferguson’s Home and Bath
    • Lowe’s
    • Best Buy


    • Ferguson’s Home and Bath


    • Rowe Couch from Collectic Home
    • Craigslist
    • Carly’s grandparents
    • Vintage stores
    • Oeuf crib from GaGa


    • Spartan
    • Barton Springs Nursery
    • Fiddler’s Green music shop


    • Two Hills Studio
    • Y Lighting
    • Lights Fantastic


    • Flor tiles from Nest
    • EcoTimber bamboo floors from House and Earth
    • Seagrass carpet from CDC
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)


    • Cork mosaic tile from Habitus/ House and Earth
    • Bathroom floor tile is Glo tile (galaxy color) from Flohr





    • Sherwin Williams harmony (low VOC)
    • White oak shiplap stained with OSMO Polyx hard wax oil from House + Earth.

Thanks, Alison!

Images: All by Adrienne Breaux save for 26 and 37, by Patrick Y. Wong

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