Tribeza Talk January 2017
An Insider’s Guide to Austin’s Hidden Gems
by Nicole Beckley
Just Add Rubber Duckie
Do you daydream about a luxurious soak in a hot bath on a cold winter’s day? Foster a fantasy of a mini-spa retreat in your own bathroom? Well, hardware and fixture retailer Alexander Marchant is drawing your kind of bath. They recently opened a bath-only showroom for sleek Italian brand Boffi and will be the exclusive Boffi carrier in Texas. So no need to skip across the pond in search of the quintessential tub for the penultimate soak; fill up in your Austin backyard.
Photography by Urban Oak Photography
Eat (and Drink) Your Veggies
While the words “gastropub” and “vegan” may seem mutually exclusive, husband and wife team (and long-time vegans) Ray and Sarah McMackin think it’s a union made in foodie-brew heaven. “We’re both just beerheads,” Sarah says, “and we envisioned marrying two of our loves, vegetables and beer.” The result is The Beer Plant, a Tarrytown gastropub with 40 beer taps and a full vegetable-based menu. The earthy concept doesn’t end at the food. The McMackin’s drew on their love of Marfa-style minimalism and Old World pubs for their interior aesthetic. Working with local custom builders, the McQueen Brothers, they utilized reclaimed wood for the bar and tables, as well as steel and Edison bulbs throughout the space. Old-time charm comes through the music selection too, which is typically blues, jazz and country. As Sarah says, “You walk in and it really does feel like a big party.”
Photography by Jessica Attie
Inside Johnson’s Oval Office
With the Presidential inauguration looming, the Contemporary Austin and LBJ Presidential Library are teaming up to present “What the Hell is the Presidency for?: LBJ’s Battle for Civil Rights.” The 2016 documentary looks inside the Lyndon B. Johnson White House, documenting Johnson’s collaboration with Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights acts that followed. Catch the film screening at the new Moody Rooftop at the Jones Center, January 11 at 7pm.
Small Scale, Great Cause
A grand staircase, chandeliers, beautiful inlaid parquet floors —if these sound like the features of a dream house, they are, though more specifically a Barbie-sized one. For the founders of the JAMES Showroom, Hunter and Meredith Ellis, creating a 1/12-scale version of Woodlawn, West Austin’s historic mansion, is a family project. Constructed by miniatures builder Candace Engen Parish Ellis (Hunter’s mother) and with interiors by Meredith Ellis Design, the replica will be on display at the JAMES Showroom at the end of the month, and auctioned off online. The auction provides a way to honor former soldier Chuck Parish (Hunter’s father), with proceeds going toward the Navy SEAL Foundation’s Gold Star family programs.
When Taylor Wilson and her mom, Aimee Laughlin, along with family friend Jess Pearce launched Austin Design House, they were focused on filling a void, starting with pillows. The online shop specializes in wallpaper, fabric, pillows and design consulting. Pillows, they believe, are an easy way folks can incorporate trends into a room without breaking the bank. “If leopard’s really in, you get a leopard pillow,” Wilson says, “and when you get sick of it you trade them out.”
While Austin Design House’s style tends toward the modern traditional, they do keep their eye on the new and noteworthy. What’s coming next? For wallpaper, metallics and rose gold; and for textiles, big floral prints and abstract patterns. 2017 is, it seems, the time to be bold.
Photography courtesy of Madeleine Landry