Tour The Hommeboys’ Playful, Ever-Changing Apartment

published Jun 1, 2018
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On first view, the Hommeboys didn’t love this Sonoma home, which was dated, dark and dingy when they found it. Now, it’s a gorgeous reflection of their impeccable taste and mad DIY skills. (Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

Name: Austin Carrier and Alex Mutter-Rottmayer
Location: Sonoma, CA
Size: 800 square feet
Years lived in: 3.5 years

If you follow Austin and Alex’s popular Instagram Hommeboys (and you should), then you know this duo makes a lot out of a little: Their apartment is small but mighty, with patterns, prints, textures, and colors for days—and they’ve never met a DIY they don’t love. There’s so much to see in every corner of their thoroughly thought-out space, and we jumped at the chance to see it all.

The couple are constantly experimenting and revamping: wallpapering over wallpaper, moving furniture, and adding new elements. “We’ve done so many ugly terrible things that we just switch up,” Austin says. “It’s super easy to change things around.” And, by the looks of it, a lot of fun, too.

(Image credit: Creative Studio)

Their home wasn’t originally dressed to impress, with its dark and dingy interior made even darker and dingier with rust-colored walls. “We didn’t like it at first,” Austin says. “It needed so much work that it was overwhelming, but we kept coming back. There was something about the property. And he knew that and kept pushing it.”

Austin and Alex are pros at seeing a home’s potential—they use their eclectic eyes for design to flip houses—but when it came time to move from Marin County, CA, to Sonoma, they enlisted a pro of their own. Their real estate agent and Realtor®, a member of the National Association of Realtors®, was a Sonoma native who knew exactly how to navigate the area’s tricky real estate market. “One spot can be cheap and one spot can be expensive and the home can be the same,” Austin says. “You have to know because you might not make the best investment in the long-term.”

They looked to their real estate agent to steer them in the right direction, whether that’s away from potential pitfalls or toward places that might have the best resale value. Their agent also helped them get an idea of what sort of remodeling projects tend to make good investments: “People fall into trends easily, and then in a year no one wants it because it’s been so overdone,” Austin says. “Real estate professionals understand what’s long-lived.”

Now, Austin and Alex’s apartment looks exactly the way they want it to—until their next brainstorm.

Thanks, Austin and Alex!

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our style: Our style is a constant rotating entity. Currently, it is very mid-century meets Palm Springs meets naturalist. We like to take from nature and put an edgy vibe on it.

Inspiration: Let’s just say our inspiration is a psychedelic trip in Palm Springs right after brunch. Maybe the ’80s are back, or maybe there was LSD in my mimosa. But that’s currently; otherwise, it’s always changing solely based on what we find, see and experience.

Favorite Element: Having windows on all sides—we get so much beautiful light in our apartment. Bright morning light, nicely filtered northern and east/west light all day and then bright setting sun.

Biggest Challenge: Drywall. Never again! Pay people for that. It’s a skill for sure, not to mention that we had knock-down so we had to sand it all first. NO. THANK. YOU.

What Friends Say: They often ooh and aww over the new little things we add to our place, but because of its ever-changing nature I think we have quite exhausted all their admiration and they have learned to adapt to our eccentric styling choices.

Biggest Embarrassment: After finishing the wiring of the whole apartment, we turned on the kitchen sink disposal and the lights turned off.

Proudest DIY: To be honest: the kitchen. We designed and built all the cabinetry and assembled the kitchen. It took the longest to completely pull together but we spend the most time in this space so it took time for us to fully appreciate it.

Biggest Indulgence: Double shower heads

Best advice:
For Construction: If you are new to renovating an apartment or house, as we were 3.5 years ago, it is extremely important to have an experienced right-hand man. In our case, it was Alex’s father, who has been designing and building houses for the last 30 years. He was a wealth of knowledge and an incredible problem solver.

For Design: Never second-guess yourself. Do it, redo it, and do it again. If you don’t like it, sleep on it, and when in doubt, put a plant on it. Also, stick with a theme and your own personal style. Don’t let trends or magazines or Instagram tell you what’s right or wrong.

Dream Sources: Some of our most favorite sources are from people we have created and nurtured relationships with. There are so many fantastic and amazing entrepreneurial designers out there and you will find most of our belongings are either from unique and small designers or vintage. And when in doubt, Craigslist.

(Image credit: Creative Studio)



  • Paint Color: Charcoal in Pearl Finish by Benjamin Moore
  • Wallpaper: Relativity Textiles
  • Bedding: Coyuchi
  • Pillows: Minzuu Collection
  • Curtains: Barn and Willow
  • Lamp: Rejuvenation x Cedar and Moss
  • Cabinet: Ikea
  • Mirror: Ikea
  • African Bust: Vintage
  • Burnt Wood Stool: Hommeboys
  • Frames: Framebridge
  • Tapestry: Dharma Door USA
  • Rug: Overstock
  • Closet Curtains: Urban Outfitters


  • Wall Color: Hague Blue by Farrow and Ball
  • Couch: URBN Furniture
  • Gold Velvet Pillows: Norwegian Wood Online
  • Kuba Cloth Pillows: St. Frank Textiles
  • Fringe Pillow: Kudd Krig Home x WKNDLA
  • Wallpaper: Relativity Textiles
  • Turkish Rug: Vintage
  • Table Lamp: Rejuvenation
  • Hanging Lamp: Vintage Macrame from 6th Street Detroit and lamp by West Elm
  • Ladder: Anthropologie
  • Large Print Lightbox: Vintage & Hommeboys
  • Pom Pom Blanket: Loom and Kiln
  • Mirror: Urban Outfitters
  • African Masks: Vintage
  • Bentwood Orb Floor Lamp: Hommeboys
  • Cowboy Print: Nicholas Scarpinato
  • Frame: Framebridge
  • Fur Blanket: West Elm
  • Concrete Table: Hommeboys


  • Color: White Opulence by Benjamin Moore
  • Table & Bench: All Modern
  • Chairs: Vintage
  • Planters: Urban Outfitters
  • Pillows: Minzuu Collection & Kudd Krig Home
  • Wall Lamp: World Market
  • Hanging Lamps: Juicy Trends
  • Bugs: Vintage
  • Decanters: CB2


  • Color: Charcoal in Pearl Finish by Benjamin Moore
  • Tile: Heath Ceramics
  • Ceramic Dishes: Year and Day
  • Ceramic Soap Dispenser: A Question of Eagles
  • Kitchen Hardware: Ikea
  • Tea Kettle: Le Creuset


  • Taxidermy Birds: Vintage
  • Pots: West Elm
  • Wall Color: Hague Blue by Farrow and Ball
  • Trim and Door Colors: Charcoal in Pearl Finish by Benjamin Moore


  • Color: White Opulence by Benjamin Moore
  • Vanity: Hommeboys
  • Towels: The Beach People
  • Medicine Cabinet: Ikea
  • Scoop with Plant: Vintage & Hommeboys
  • Rug: Urban Outfitters

Thanks, Austin & Alex!

This post is sponsored by the National Association of Realtors® and was created by Apartment Therapy’s Creative Studio. Realtors® are members of the National Association of Realtors®.
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