Stella Masterson Tells Us Where to Find the Most Charming Homes in Austin
A conversation with the curator of Austin's most adorable abodes
What started as an Instagram account that showcases attractive Austin homes with an abundance of adorable curb appeal, Charming Austin Texas’ following grew quickly, giving momentum to expand into a brand that features real estate listings and offers a peek at the interiors of lovely local homes. We were excited to chat with Stella Masterson, the creator of Charming Austin Texas, to hear more about what makes Austin so charming.
Tell us about the inspiration for Charming Austin Texas.
I started Charming Austin Texas in June of 2020 during the height of the pandemic when my main activity was taking my two young daughters on walks throughout the city. I had always loved architecture and had recently started following Instagram accounts showcasing interesting homes from around the world. I quickly made the connection that Austin had a multitude of beautiful homes and basically no representation of this on the internet. Once I realized this, I soon created Charming Austin Texas to showcase the unique architecture in our ever-changing city. It’s truly been such a fun adventure featuring these homes and through that, learning about the history of Austin.
Do you have a background in design or architecture? We’d love to learn a bit more about your interest in home design.
I actually don’t! I am a therapist and have my own private practice here in Austin. However, I’ve always had an immense love and appreciation for architecture that began in early childhood and has grown tremendously throughout the years. I am self-taught (lots of reading!) and have found tons of enjoyment in learning about the different styles and histories of architectural design. I have always loved interior design, as well, and completely swoon over the stunning work of so many Austin designers.
How do you select homes to be featured on your Instagram account, website, or YouTube channel? What makes a home “charming” in your opinion?
The main criteria for a feature on the site is that the home is intriguing and unique in some way. Charming Austin Texas began with a focus on historic architecture, and while I will forever have a passion for old homes and preservation, I also just love great design. A charming home is one that offers a certain warmth, beauty, and uniqueness. Like most great things, it’s hard to put your finger on, but you know it when you see it!
What is your personal favorite style of architecture?
I appreciate all architecture so this is a hard one. I can equally daydream about a 1920’s bungalow with a sweet front porch, a funky mid-century with the decor to match, or a modern home with tons of natural light and a good amount of charming touches. I love it all!
What styles or trends set Austin apart from other cities in terms of exterior home design?
Austin has so many examples of great exterior home design and varying architectural styles. It is a mecca for beautiful design. While we may not have the level of historic homes that areas like the northeastern U.S. possess, we do have a variety of styles dating back to as early as the mid-1800’s. Austin has many neighborhoods that showcase the history and development of this city — from Austin’s first streetcar suburb of Hyde Park, to the historic larger homes of Old Enfield, to the mid-century design lover’s dream that is Northwest Hills — this city has a neighborhood to suit everyone’s tastes.
Do you think there is a “most charming” neighborhood of Austin?
I think there are MANY “most charming” neighborhoods of Austin, but I tend to personally favor the older neighborhoods such as Hyde Park, Rosedale, Travis Heights, Bouldin Creek, Zilker — and many more. The tree-lined streets of Tarrytown always get me, as do the funky, quirky vibes of Eastside neighborhoods such as Cherrywood, Chestnut, and Govalle. Mid-Century design-filled neighborhoods like Allandale, Barton Hills, and Rollingwood are always a treat, and the beautiful larger homes that define Old West Austin will forever be timeless and oh so swoonworthy. It’s impossible to extensively list out the plethora of charming neighborhoods in Austin but we do feature many on our Instagram, website, and YouTube.
Do you ever get to peek inside these homes for a look at the interior design?
Yes, we have recently launched our Charming Austin Texas YouTube Channel where we get the opportunity to take a peek inside some of our favorite Austin homes. The channel already has over 100K views and is growing every day. We feature the homes of local interior designers and Austinites with great style, as we take our viewers on tours where homeowners share design inspiration, most-treasured items, and best tips & tricks for great design and home renovation. We’re just getting started and we’d love for the readers of Tribeza to like and subscribe to our channel, as we add more content weekly!
Now that Charming Austin Texas is growing, what are your goals for the near future?
We currently have a lot of things in the works at Charming Austin Texas! We will definitely continue to feature the most unique and charming real estate listings in Austin, as well as showcase beautiful interior & exterior design, but we also have a lot more on the horizon that we can’t wait to announce soon. I’m so thankful for all things Charming Austin Texas and for the support of our followers on social media. It makes me so happy to know that others enjoy these homes as much as I do!
Lastly, which local designers inspire you? We’d love to hear your recommendations for more charming Austin things.
There are SO many local designers that are an inspiration for this account and the work I do with Charming Austin Texas. We’ve featured home tours from some of my favorite interior designers on our YouTube Channel (Lindsay Wasserman of LMW Decor; Audrey Scheck of Audrey Scheck Design; Liz MacPhail of Liz MacPhail Interiors) and hope to feature many more! I’m also forever inspired by the work that Preservation Austin does in our city and am always thrilled to partner with them in any way possible. We’ve collaborated with some phenomenal local businesses such as Pluck Architecture, Making Modern Home, and B3eCreative, among others. So many Austinites inspire us and we have a never-ending list of designers, architects, business owners, real estate agents, and amazing Austinties that we hope to feature in the future. The fact that this list is seemingly endless speaks volumes and is a direct reflection of the talent in this beautiful city. And for that, we are thankful.