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Tribeza Interiors Tour 2018

Tribeza Interiors Tour 2018

Tribeza Interiors Tour 2018

Get a sneak peek inside the stunning homes that will be on this year’s tour

Preview: Tribeza Interiors Tour

Tribeza Interiors Tour 2018

Get a sneak peek inside the stunning homes that will be on this year’s tour

We want to thank our 2018 Tour’s presenting sponsor, TreeHouse

Austin-based TreeHouse is the world’s first home upgrade company specializing in curated products and home project services that promote healthy and sustainable spaces with an emphasis on high performance and design. TreeHouse is regarded as one of the most innovative retail companies, creating positive change and a hub for everything tied to thoughtful building. Customers come to find progressive products, quality design, turnkey installation services and leading-edge technology, all under one roof. To join the conversation and get tips for making your home more sustainable, visit

Andrea Giles

Andrea Leigh Interiors

andrea leigh interiors austin

Having worked with the owners of this 5,500-square-foot home in the past, Andrea Giles describes the collaboration on the design of her clients’ new home—“They really gave me the reins on all design choices,” she explains, “but I like to think that my understanding of them is what allowed me to feel as though I was just projecting them into the house.”

Giles is a former attorney who has been in the design business for six years. Using both the right and left sides of her brain is especially appealing to Giles; she relishes the unique combination of creativity and management required to achieve a desired result.

For this nature-inspired home, the kitchen was designed in the first few meetings. Giles and her clients share a love for the terra-cotta tiles chosen for the kitchen floor and let that set the tone. In keeping with a theme of bringing the outdoors in, brick adds warmth to the entry.

Giles’ favorite design elements are many, and include a window seat created for one of the client’s sons, who chose his bedroom specifically for its superior sunset-watching location; the master suite’s his-and-hers closets, which give the mother of three boys an ultrafeminine space; and a piece of art commissioned from Erica Huddleston, which allows the living room’s television to be beautifully hidden, remain centered in the room, and, at the clients’ request, off the mantelpiece.

Interior Photographs by Buff Strickland
Portrait by Leonid Furmansky

Allison Crawford

Allison Crawford Design

allison crawford design austin interior

Allison Crawford’s career began on Wall Street. Once she realized that her creative impulses weren’t being met in the marketing field she had prepared for, her life and career took a turn, as she decided to study interior design at New York University. Since then, she has lived and worked in Austin, Dallas, and New York but finds Austin the best fit, enjoying the city’s supportive environment for both creatives and entrepreneurs.

With a keen appreciation for the aesthetics and culture of worlds very different from her own, Crawford says that travel is her primary source of inspiration. On her trips (which have included stops in all seven continents), Crawford seeks out artisans whose work she can incorporate into current projects. Her modus operandi for designing a home starts with art: “Art and lighting are typically selected first,” she explains, “and then everything else falls into place.”

In her own 1,600-square-foot Craftsman-inspired home, Crawford sourced the art from dreamy locales like Cuba, Paris, Montreal, and Isla Holbox. Most of the interior pieces are vintage, which reflects her desire that every space she creates, whether for clients or for herself, tells a story. A home, she says, is much more than an inhabitation, and this one beautifully illustrates Crawford’s point. “I surround myself with design elements that remind me of people I love, fond travel memories, and current trends I find inspiring.”

Crawford was drawn to the real hardwoods in this South Congress house, which was in good shape when she found it, she notes. She painted, added all new lighting and window treatments, and then brought in decor to create a space she describes as “modern eclectic.” For the front door, she says, “I had to paint it in a purplish-pink hue. Everyone loves a pastel door!”

Photographs by Leonid Furmansky

Merrilee McGehee

Merrilee McGehee Design

Merrilee McGehee design austin

Merrilee McGehee’s career in design is a direct result of a creative trajectory that led her from one artistic passion to the next, including work as an artist and actress in Los Angeles, New York, and her home for the past 18 years, Austin.

After remodeling a small house she’d purchased, a friend who loved the results asked for McGehee’s help. Diving in, McGehee discovered that interior design satisfied so many of her creative needs; requests for her help continued, and a design business was born. “I wholeheartedly believe that a home should not just be something pretty to look at but an extension of our best creative selves or, collectively, that of our family,” she says. “It’s where your personal creative truth should flourish and enrich your state of being. That’s when amazing things can happen.”

Her work on the remodeled 3,700-square-foot contemporary home encompasses modern and bold tones that complement an array of artistic patterns and eclectic pieces. McGehee and her client, a photographer who had worked under Annie Leibovitz and Bruce Weber, bonded over their love of bold colors and an out-of-the-box design approach. “This has been a collaboration of artistic minds searching for something true, comfortable, and fearless,” McGehee explains.

“I especially loved weaving in elements of her travels: African masks and colorful baskets juxtaposed with a high-gloss fuchsia bookcase in the library. In the media room, I married a large photo of a spiraling galaxy in space with a metallic flecked rug, and in a powder room, I blended strictly patterned, bold, neon-colored drapes with a modern chinoiserie wallpaper.”

Photographs by Leonid Furmansky

Katie Kime

Katie Kime, Inc.

katie kime inc austin interior design

Katie Kime is well-known for her product design, but by virtue of working in wallpaper, furniture, and materials like Lucite, she’s grown to love designing the spaces in which her pieces live. “I love creating something from nothing,” Kime says. “When a design in my head becomes a sketch, which then becomes an upholstered piece of furniture, it’s very rewarding. I feel the same way about transforming a space that’s outdated, or even draining to be in, and then renovating it into a space that inspires and brings life.”

The main house of Kime’s remodeled residence is 5,000-square-feet. The Southern-style columns on the traditional Texas limestone exterior reflect Kime’s Southern roots, as does the contrast between the light stone and black trim. “I’d call my interior styles ‘modern eclectic,’” she says. “I’ve always tended to mix things that seemingly wouldn’t go together, like very traditional furniture with bright, bold prints. In the main living areas of the house, there is color and pattern, with touches of my signature flair but less than my normal style, as I wanted those rooms to feel calm and peaceful for our family.”

Kime’s favorite elements in the home are two sets of custom doors she created with local woodworker Kenneth Atkisson. The one downstairs was designed as an homage to her favorite nook in the bar of the Bergdorf Restaurant, a spot Kime always visits alone during trips to New York City. The other is upstairs. “We used Fine Paints of Europe to create a finish that is so high-gloss that not only can you see your reflection, but it took almost two weeks to paint one wall and one door,” she says. “The places in the house where there’s true art and craftsmanship are my favorite and inspire me to look for more areas to do that.”

Interior Photographs by Molly Winters
Portrait by Leonid Furmansky

Robin Colton

Robin Colton Studio

robin colton studio austin interior design

After a successful 10-year career in fashion design, Robin Colton returned to school in the late ’90s for a degree in interior design. Since that transition, fashion continues to be a point of inspiration for Colton, who says she’s mindful of craftsmanship and details with each new project.

For the interiors of this remodeled two-story, 2,000-square-foot modern condominium in North Central Austin, Colton’s clients were a young couple who loved adventure. The space is clean and embraces the idea of open loft living. “Working with them throughout the design process,” Colton says, “was an enjoyable and boundary-stretching experience. They were very open to ideas that went beyond what might typically be done in a space like this.”

The home maintains a modern white-and-soft-gray palette throughout, while featuring moments of fun color. The first floor’s living-and-kitchen space was designed with the clients’ entertaining style in mind, one of whom had been a bartender. Having bar items at the ready but out of the way of the cook was important. This function was integrated into the living area’s cabinetry, within a stone’s throw of the kitchen island. Direct access to the backyard was also added for grilling and entertaining. In the utility area, details created not only more storage but thoughtful solutions for dog supplies.

Colton created the biggest changes to the home by reworking the space on the second floor. The spa experience the clients wanted in the bathroom was achieved by placing a large shower centered on the wide opening into the space, with a tub placed just in front of it. Large-scale tile from New Zealand sets the tone with a natural elegance that fits into the modern environment.

Photographs by Leonid Furmansky

Kimberly Renner

The Renner Project

kimberly renner project austin design

“Design runs in my family, so I guess you could say it’s in my DNA,” remarks Kimberly Renner. “I came into design via construction, having spent many years running a design-intensive remodeling company. That was the original iteration of The Renner Project.”

Renner has lived in Austin for more than 30 years and built her reputation on 20 years of historic-home restorations throughout the city. She sees The Renner Project as a constantly evolving source of inspiration for customers, offering them both one-of-a-kind pieces from all over the world as well as design services. Renner skillfully mixes iconic 20th-century pieces with high-style antiques for an end result that’s completely original.

In 2014, she and her husband purchased a deserted 16,000-square-foot 1960s-era office building in Central Austin. She adapted the multistory structure overlooking Shoal Creek into a unique store, interior design studio, warehouse, and 5,000-square-foot urban loft home.

“The best decision I made for the loft was to expose the ceiling trusses,” she explains. “It reveals the adapted reuse history of the property. But I’m an art historian at heart, so my favorite objects within our space are all pieces of art, especially the dark and moody ones. Our favorite room is the kitchen. It’s all concrete, brick, and steel, with a Belgian oak table that seats 12. Because the building sits within the canopy of a historic oak tree, it feels like a treehouse.

Renner says she loves guiding clients to develop collected interiors. “I specialize in the art of collecting,” she says, “and love clients who are open to personalizing their interiors with found objects, vintage pieces, and antiques.”

Photographs by Peter Vitale

Christen Ales

Christen Ales Interior Design

christen ales interior design austin

The courtyard homes common in Latin and African cultures inspired the architecture of this newly built modern farmhouse. Inside, Christen Ales infused the 3,788-square-foot home with natural elements and textures, using a mostly neutral palette of black and white throughout the first floor with pops of rust and green. “I wanted it to feel very livable and functional for a family, while still having a stylish appeal,” Ales says. “The overall space gives a feeling of tranquility and comfort.” Thirteen years into her career in design, with six as principal of her own firm, Ales loves using her creativity on a daily basis to help people achieve happiness in their home, promoting their overall well-being.

“I also really value the relationships I make with the homeowners and others involved in the creation of these beautiful spaces,” she says. This home started as a spec for one of Ales’ builder-developer clients and was quickly purchased by the current homeowners, who loved all the finishes and lighting Ales had selected and chose to continue working with her to furnish and decorate the interiors.

Ales’ clients were downsizing from a larger, traditional French country house in Barton Creek and wanted a more modern aesthetic in their new space. Only a few pieces of furniture and decor with sentimental value made the move with them. Ales brought Alicia Emr Art Advisory on board to assist with the curation of new artwork by some of Austin’s most established artists along with top emerging talent. Examples include a Court Lurie in the entryway, an Elizabeth McDonald Schwaiger in the living room, and a Lance Letscher collage in one of the daughters’ bedrooms.

“The daughters’ rooms are amazingly girlish but still have a timeless aesthetic to last through the teenage years. I especially adore the pink room. I just feel so happy when I walk in it.”

Interior Photographs by Merrick Ales
Portrait by Leonid Furmansky

John Allison

Nest Modern

john allison nest modern austin interior design

In the interior design of a newly built 3,000-square-foot home, John Allison lets simple, clean lines define the space. Allison describes the home as “urban modern,” designed to fit a narrow city lot. Dark oak floors and Italian furniture mix with midcentury modern pieces and an original art collection. To customize specific elements within the space, Allison collaborated with Dominique Levesque Construction.

Allison has lived in Austin since 2001. His 20 years of experience includes working for several showrooms at the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center before eventually starting his own residential design service. His decision to enter the business of design was influenced at a young age, he says, by an “overly stylish” grandmother and his father’s interest in architecture. “What I enjoy about what I do is the ability to utilize my passion for good design,” he says, “and connect with clients while I help them to reimagine their space.”

Perfect for entertaining, the home’s open kitchen features mahogany cabinets and concrete tile. Both the dining and living rooms flow into an outdoor entertainment area with a pool and spa. Allison cites designing an outdoor space that could accommodate numerous features in a small urban backyard as one of the biggest challenges. In the end, he says, it all came together beautifully, with a living, dining, kitchen, and lounge area, as well as a bit of grass to ensure the happiness of several dogs.

Interior Photographs by Andrea Calo
Portrait by Leonid Furmansky

Erin Williamson

Erin Williamson Design

erin williamson design austin interior

Erin Williamson, whose firm handles projects across the country, began her career as an architectural photographer. Over a decade ago, she began blogging about her own renovations at Design Crisis, which then evolved into work for clients and grew into a bustling, full-time operation. Recent work includes a sprawling beach house in Maine, and her team is currently working on a large historic house in the San Francisco Bay area. She says, “Our clients are interesting people, which translates into unique spaces that evoke big personalities. We rarely repeat design elements, so we never get bored!”

Williamson says the remodel of the four-unit 1950s A-frame luxury vacation rental on Lake Austin involved gutting the space, which she describes as “funky in a bad way.” Her challenge was to clean it up but leave some of the space’s original charm intact.

With a quirky bohemian vibe, each space is completely unique, with none taking itself too seriously. “The owners had a vision for the 4,000-square-foot property, which they named Okena. They wanted an old-school feel but with a modern touch. Both are endlessly creative, generous, and a pleasure to work with,” Williamson explains. “Their collaboration and interest in all the special details are what make this project extra-magical.”

The A-frame backsplash is an iconic moment that encapsulates the most recognizable feature of the property. “The poker table in the dude unit just feels like whiskey and cigars. There’s something about this place that feels like your childhood home,” she muses. “It tugs at a memory you’ve never had.”

Interior Photographs by Erin Williamson
Portrait by Leonid Furmansky

Melanie Clapp & Hugh Jefferson Randolph

Melanie Clapp Design | Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects

melanie clapp hugh jefferson randolph austin design architect

This 1,500-square-foot Travis Heights home is a collaboration between Melanie Clapp; her architect, Hugh Jefferson Randolph; and the team at Moontower Design Build. Clapp’s personal residence, which she refers to as a 1929 Texas antique house, has an urban modern interior style infused with bohemian flair.

“I love the process of creating a space that feels good and inspiring. I’ve been so lucky to get to work with Hugh a couple of times,” Clapp says. “He takes the project to an even better place than I could have imagined, and the team at Moontower brought everything together. Collaborating with such talented people is what I love about this work.”

In business for more than 20 years, Randolph knew he wanted to be an architect at the age of eight. Growing up next door to the “cool modern” house of one of the Apollo astronauts as well as photos, film, and television depictions of the craft (including the father on “The Brady Bunch”) influenced his career choice. Clapp, who has also worked in Los Angeles, purchased the home in 2007 and moved back to Austin full-time in 2014.

According to Randolph, Clapp’s interior designs complement his architecture, making their second collaboration a fun project. The spa-like bathroom in particular created the feeling of a boutique, a jewel-box antique home with urban modern elements. The room’s original wood floors transition to artisan cement tiles in the wet area, which features a large modern soaking tub and a rain head shower. Randolph calls the project a delicate mix of old and new and is proud of saving the home’s original wood elements and adding things like a large, modern glazed-glass window at the back of the house in the open kitchen.

Read more from the Interiors Issue | January 2018