Interior designers’ own homes can be a way to experiment while still showcasing their signature look. Sarah Stacey believes in creating “spaces that feel special [so] home will be your favorite place to be.” The Texas designer recently finished a special space all her own! Located in East Austin, Sarah and her husband love being surrounded by some of the city’s best bars and restaurants and are a quick 5 minute bike ride to the heart of downtown. They were enjoying the area even before renovations were complete! Sarah says, “We lived in an Airstream that was parked in the back yard during the remodel so I could keep a close eye on everything.”
Living in an Airstream must have been an adventure. What were the major considerations when designing your home?
I live in the home with my husband and our Vizlsa, Red. The design of the home was definitely affected by this. My husband has over 3000 books, so I designed the large bookcase to house and display them. My husband rides bikes for a living, so bikes are always coming in and out of the house. Because of this and of the dog’s paws, we went with concrete floors since they are more durable than wood.
Pets can definitely affect the design of a space. Size was also a consideration, correct?
My goal for the build out was to focus on colors, materials and form. The house is only 1000 square feet so we can’t really use much furniture to fill the place. So I wanted to maximize storage and function of the built-ins and I wanted for them to be sculptural rather than just decorative. One thing I did to accomplish this in the living room was that I designed the bookcase to follow the lines of the pitched ceiling, they look really cool and grand in person, and I think that comes through in the photos as well. I also maximized space in the tiny kitchen by extending the cabinets along the back wall and adding a banquette, which saves so much room as compared to a table and a full set of chairs.
I am currently shying away from patterns in design, so instead of using them in fabrics and tiles I let the materials and the technique of color blocking add interest on their own. For example, I was very minimal in the kitchen and the bathrooms and designed the cabinets as inset slab, this helps to spotlight the veining of the soapstone and marble counters, and the aggregate in the diamond polished slab floor. My inspiration for the color palette was a tiger painting I found at Round Top Antiques Fair, which is a combination of gold, blues and greens. I was consistent with this palette in the joined spaces and used the method of color blocking as compared to pulling out colors in patterns to pull the space together.
You started your career when you moved to Texas. Tell us a little about your path.
As a teenager, I got my first taste of interior design when my parents hired a professional, and I got free reign over my bedroom. I’m formally trained in design and studio art, but I landed in advertising as my first career, learning the techniques of scale, weight and proportion, as well as cementing my love of graphic art. I worked in that field for about 7 years, but all I could think of was design. Interior design called me back when I built my first home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and I worked with an architect and designer to put materials together, visiting tile stores, and helping guide the overall composition. The experience only fueled my passion, so I moved to Texas a few years later, leaving advertising behind for design school. I then started my business a not too long afterwards.
See more of Sarah’s work here, and start the slideshow below for a closer look at her beautiful home!