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Meredith Owen Interiors and Hatch + Ulland Owen Architects Partner on Friend’s Custom Home

An open-concept kitchen, U-shaped floor plan and high contrast color palette contribute to the family-friendly project

Taking on a big project for friends can be challenging for designers because there is more pressure, but at the same time, it can be more fun because you already know their personalities and feel more invested in the project. Meredith Owen from Meredith Owen Interiors — along with her husband’s firm Hatch + Ulland Owen Architects — took on such a project when friends, who were ready to downsize, chose them to create their new home. A family with two children, they wanted the home to be functional but also with an elevated design aesthetic.

A big reason why they were downsizing from a two-story home in Circle C to a one-story home in southwest Austin was in an effort to increase accessibility of spaces for all family members. Their last house had not been a custom home, and despite trying to adapt it for their needs, they were never able to get it to operate correctly for their family.

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This time they wanted a home that really flowed and connected the family together. There were not a lot of extra rooms in the new home, so designing each room thoughtfully and making the home feel open were critical.

“We really wanted to focus on the kitchen and dining and living rooms all being connected.” Meredith collaborated with Hatch + Ulland Owen Architects and Nalle Custom Homes on the floor plan development all the way through construction — and made all the finish selections, including the interior finish and furniture. The wife had pulled together inspiration images of homes she really liked, which informed the floor plan that met her desire for a U-shaped home. The pool is in the center, with a kid’s suite on one side and the primary suite on the other.

The parents love entertaining, so creating a space capable of hosting groups of people was another priority. The kitchen was set up as an open concept so that the large island is connected to the two dining areas (a breakfast nook and a dining table). This allows space for people to congregate in the kitchen — from the kids doing homework to the adults having a cocktail party. They added a butler’s pantry for doing things like making coffee and preparing school lunches while keeping messes out of sight.

They focused on earth tones throughout the house, with accent pillows and wallpaper that add some more color and texture. The high-contrast color pallet is broken up with white oak cabinets and accent tile in the kitchen with a crackle effect.

“Mixing something that doesn’t feel perfect in a new construction always makes it feel a lot more homey,” says Meredith. From working from home to hanging with the kids to enjoying a glass of wine with a friend, the home provides a comfortable space for all occasions. “Everything is very livable,” says Meredith. “All the material selections are kid-friendly, family-friendly, pet-friendly.”

The family was so pleased to finally have a home customized for their family. For Meredith, this project was especially satisfying in that she felt the details she added were catered to her friends’ unique style. Without a doubt, the space is perfect for both daily living and entertaining.

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