For many, 2020 sparked a shift in how we live. Cramped city apartments that once served as a launchpad to our favorite cities suddenly were a touch too small for functional family living. One San Francisco couple (and their active 2-year-old) set their sights on Austin, Texas—landing in the charming neighborhood of Balcones Woods. Working with interior designer Mackenzie Wood (of Mackenzie Wood Interiors) allowed them to create a space that felt true to their signature style—colorful, inspired by mid-century modern design, and detail-driven. Mackenzie tells us  more. 

First, tell us about this home! Where is it located? Did the neighborhood influence the design? 
The home is in North Central Austin, in a neighborhood called Balcones Woods. Most of the houses were built in the ‘70s and ‘80s, and a lot of them have repeated floor plans. Our clients have family in the neighborhood that have the exact same floor plan as their home. So, when it came to the remodel, we aimed for a similar layout by opening up a lot of walls. Knowing we were able to remove certain walls that weren’t load bearing ahead of time, made generating the floor plans a lot smoother in the beginning stages of the project.

We’d love to know a bit about the clients! Moving from California to Texas is likely no easy decision!
The clients are a young family who moved from the Bay Area to Austin in the height of Covid, itching to get out of their tiny apartment and into a single-family home with a yard. We wanted to make sure the space was polished and uniquely curated, while also kid and pet-friendly. It was a very enclosed layout, so opening up the living, kitchen, and dining spaces were super important to them. It was a real game changer for the feel of the space!

In a few words, how do you describe the style?
The scope of work started with the remodel then slowly grew into fully furnishing the home. 

When you walk up to the house, you’re greeted by a custom, fluted white oak front door. This was an investment piece, but completely transformed the Entry and Living Space and is one of my favorite details. 

After opening up the floor plan, we wanted a cohesive look that flowed throughout the entire home. Chunky textures, greens, ochre yellows and playful patterns really popped against crisp white walls and warm, white oak flooring. We mixed in timeless schoolhouse and MCM inspired pieces to create a base the Clients could build on as they lived in the home.

Did this project have any challenges? 
I think the biggest challenge for this project was the pandemic. We were still very much in the thick of it when we kicked off the remodel and saw a lot of delays due to supply chain issues. Also due to social distancing / workers getting sick, we had a revolving door of subcontractors which led to a handful of mistakes. Just like many in the industry, we scheduled regular FaceTime, Zoom and in-person, masked site visits to help curb these hiccups. I also really beefed up my architectural drawings, schedules, and renderings to make the design and implementation as clear as possible. The clients were absolute troopers during all the curveballs and in the end, I’m super thrilled with how the project turned out.

How long did the project take, and what did the client say when they saw the finished space?
In normal, non-pandemic circumstances I think we could have completed everything in 6-8 months, but it ended up taking about a year and a half. Sadly, we couldn’t have a “big reveal” as the clients’ rental house lease was up and they had to move into a still, very much under construction, home. When we were finally able to install furniture after months of it sitting in storage, the clients were over the moon! I think it was a huge relief to finally be in the home stretch of the remodel process. But I think what truly the most exciting part for the clients (and me!) was seeing the professional photos come back. It’s like an Instagram vs Reality moment, since the clients have a toddler and 99% of the time there’s toys all over the place. So, seeing the space styled and at its peak is always super special.