29th Annual ASID DEX Awards

The 29th ASID Design Excellence Awards ceremony was hosted on Wednesday, November 12th at the Lady Bird Wildflower Center. The annual awards competition recognizes interior design achievements within the Austin design community. 

We were grateful to be recognized once again for our Via Media project accepting an award of merit in the category Residence-Contemporary. 

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AIA Homes Tour 2014 Review

The other weekend, I toured the homes on the 2014 AIA Homes Tour. If you have never been on a homes tour, I highly recommend it to home owners looking to remodel or update their home. It comes as a great source of inspiration and the opportunity to see what local architects and contractors are building in the various neighborhoods throughout Austin.

Due to time constrains, I made it to 8 of the 11 homes on the tour, pretty good being that they were spread out across Austin. Each home offered a sampling of what home owners had created with their architects. Although the homes are contemporary in nature and at the end of the tour became a little blurry, I still thought it was a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon. 

My favorite indoor space was the master bathroom in the Stuart Sampley home. Unfortunately, there is no photo to show but for a very understated reason this bathroom stood out from the rest. 

My second favorite space was the outdoor pool area from Jay Hargrave Architecture. The pool takes center stage in this home. Just imagine taking a dip in this pool while looking up at the stars.

And last, was the home designed by Specht Harpman where the house was literally carved into the rock and nestled high above the waters of Lake Austin.

The home was a contemporary structure but the kitchen and other living areas had soft industrial nods like exposed pipes and shelving and I liked that they used chicken mesh for door panels on the cabinetry.

Did you go on the AIA Home Tour as well? I’d love to know what your favorite home or space was, post your response here

Copper Love Continued

Copper is my most favorite trend I have seen in the eight plus years that I have been designing. While scrolling through a social media news feed, I stumbled upon this bathroom published by Luxe Magazine and feel head over heals in love. It was definitely the warmth and use of copper and brass accents in the room that I gravitated to. 

Although a number clients are opting to remove their jet tubs altogether, I also have some clients who are installing free-standing tubs in their place. Although not exact, Penhaglion sells a similar model as seen in the photo above.

With the popularity of copper follows the trend of exposed shower faucets and more shockingly the finish, antique brass. Yes, I said it, BRASS is back! Both the finish and exposure of plumbing guts is very reminiscent of the turn of the century, where pipes and plumbing values were outside of the wall cavity. The industrial nature of this plumbing viewed here is a great example.


Being familiar with limestone, I can guarantee vein cut brown limestone adorns the these walls. I love that the tile is installed at full height. To offset the rich color of the wall, a lighter stone was installed on the floors of the shower and main bathroom floors for added contrast. 

50 Shades of Grey: Sherwin William 7000s

I know what you’re thinking but the 50 shades I’m referring to are colors not the character. For the past few years I have really enjoyed using all shades of a grey for back drops in my client’s homes. My most favorite grey shades can be found in the Sherwin William 7000 Series. Below are some of my top picks. 

A couple tips when selecting and sampling paint color. Paint looks different at different times of the day. Sun can have a big impact on how the paint shows up on a wall. I like to sample paint on a white piece of cardboard, preferably 12″ x 12″ in size. You can easily move the cardboard piece around without having to paint directly on your walls. Be mindful when sampling paint. Most manufacturers only sell sample sizes in a satin or eggshell finish. So if you are aiming for a flat finish know that the sample may have a little more sheen than what you specify in the end. 

Inspired: Vertical Garden

In a matter of months, cooler temps will be on our doorstep so why not bring your garden outside in. My client and I are developing and designing a vertical garden wall in her living room with the help of a landscape architect. After doing some research, this is no small undertaking but I am looking forward to the end result.

If your working with a black thumb or need a hassle free indoor garden try playing around with succulents. Succulents are resilient, low maintenance and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Grouping succulents together can create a fun aesthetic to any home environment. Need something to house your plants in, then look no further than West Elm glass bowls to hold your newly purchased succulents.


On Trend: Heavy Metals


Not sure about you but my affinity for all things metallic is growing everyday. We have become accustom to brushed nickel, stainless steel, chrome and oil rubbed bronze but brass and gold are making a strong and not to be ignored debut.

Don’t worry, its not the brass and gold of yesteryear. The reinvented finishes finishes of today have a contemporary spin making it suitable for all types of uses from pillows and accessories to faucets and lighting.


Featured Project: Gibson Dining Room

Last year in May we put the finishing touches on a fun new construction project we designed in ’04 (a namesake given to one of the most sought out neighborhoods in Austin). This home was a blast to work on with the client who let their easy-going and fun-loving personality shine with the selection of each piece of furniture.

The main focal point of the dining room is the dining table that converts into a pool table from a German company called Fusion Tables. Above the dining table is your not so standard pool light fixture. TheSchonbek chandelier adds that touch of elegance without feeling to over the top and can been seen sparking above when viewing the house from the outside. Pops of lime green are seen throughout the house starting with the front door and onto the pool table felt. Mixing in the color red was just one of the many ways this space is so unexpectedly AWESOME!

When not being used a pool table, a mix of upholstered chairs and a bench flank the dining table. If you look closely, the fabric is embossed with famous New York City landmarks.

See more photos of the living room here and view the complete project!

Featured Project: Rainbow Ranch Master Bathroom

A recent residential project consisted of contemporary new construction. See how the design of the handcrafted cabinetry of the kitchen, stairwell, and master bathroom make this a retreat for the couple who live here in Central Texas. Emphasis on the use of natural materials in a clean way allow for a space that is warm, inviting, and completely livable. View more project photos.

Cabinetry by Flat Creek Cabinet Company

Colorways: Freish Paint Ideas

This month, AJID attended Sherwin-Williams Colormix 2013 event where next year’s color forecast was revealed.  As designers, we realize all the potential a color possesses to transform a space.  Check out these colors recently used in a project.

SW6222 Riverway
Deep, reflective, a chance to decompress. This color is true to its name, relaxing and cool.
SW6913 Funky Yellow
Bright, cheerful, but not over zealous. This yellow is a warm color, but perfectly toned as to not being offensive. And when used well, provides some much needed cheerfulness during those overcast days.
SW6227 Meditative
Clean and clear, like the sky in the early morning light. This blue lets you meditate on the day to come, providing a feeling of serenity and calm.

Featured Project: Paisano Kitchen Remodel

AJID had a lot of fun re-designing this kitchen! Click to view MORE before and after photos!

Below are some kitchen remodel highlights: 

Cabinetry: Warm, dark-stained shaker-style Walnut cabinetry. Storage is now concentrated in a larger island and anchored by a large bank of cabinets along cooktop wall.

Countertops: Clean, bright white quartz adds a lighter quality to space.

Lighting: Bright, modern orb pendant light fixtures give the kitchen a touch of whimsy.

Appliances: Although the fridge stayed in its original place the window above existing sink was closed off to accommodate cooktop and vent hood. A wall oven unit now moved to former pantry, and sink moved to island to create the perfect work triangle

Flooring and Tile: Light colored porcelain in 12 x 24s are used to offset the walnut cabinetry. A simple wall of 2 x 2 blue glass tile backsplash gives serenity to the space.

Allison Jaffe

Award-winning ATX Interior Designer|Social Shaker|Community Pathfinder|Girl on a Mission

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