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Purple Paradise in Rosedale: TRIBEZA’s 2024 Curb Appeal Winner

This whimsical early 1940's cottage with bold color choices and a gorgeous garden is the epitome of charm

Purple House in Rosedale
2024 Curb Appeal Winner (photo by Weston Carls)

In February, we put out a call for submissions for our first annual Curb Appeal Awards, presented by SWBC Mortgage – The Breed Team, to highlight some of Austin’s most beautiful homes, and we were thrilled with the entries! Our top finalists showcase the varied architecture and personal stylings of homes in neighborhoods across the city. As for the winning home, it all came down to colorful, quirky Austin charm.

Charming curb appeal

Stella Masterston, local design aficionado and curator of the website, Instagram account, and YouTube channel, Charming Austin, Texas shares, “This whimsical early 1940’s cottage in the beautiful Rosedale neighborhood is the epitome of charm! From the unique exterior detailing, the fantastic, bold color choices, and the gorgeous spring flowers blanketing the yard – this home truly has it all!” 

2024 Curb Appeal Winner (photo by Weston Carls)

La Morada

Homeowner Lucinda Hutson shares that her casita, aptly named “La Morada” (the little purple House), was painted this vibrant hue as an homage to her grandmother who loved all shades of purple. 

“My casita is inspired by my love and travels to Mexico and the art of many local artisans over the years,” Hutson said. 

She transformed her cottage into a “Texican” paradise. She notes that her home “is surrounded by lush gardens brimming with a wild array of fragrant herbs, colorful flowers, native and exotic plants, and tropical vines.” Hutson describes her property’s exterior to include outside “rooms”. These areas feature a mermaid grotto, a Mexican courtyard, a tequila cantina and a precious outdoor artisan cabin. Each are has a theme with its own landscape.

2024 Curb Appeal Winner (photo by Weston Carls)

Our Conversation with Homeowner Lucinda Hutson

We were thrilled with the opportunity to sit down with Lucinda Hutson to hear about her unique vision and inspiration behind her charming curb appeal-winning home!

Paradise backyard - Curb Appeal 2024
Entering the backyard of Lucinda Hutson’s home (photo by Cassie Butterfield)

TRIBEZA: Your home is so full of whimsy, sparkle and charm. What was your original inspiration for creating such a dreamy casita?

Hutson: This tribute is more touching than you know as it validates my nearly 50 years of designing my home and gardens. Speaking Spanish fluently, I traveled around Mexico by myself since my early 20’s, welcomed into villager’s homes for humble meals and camaraderie. Their simple, colorful homes with tiny gardens inspired my own. Chairs hung on walls to save space, little altars set up, bright colors!

Returning  to Austin with folk art and memories and my nostalgia for that unforgettable country encouraged me to create Mexico in my own backyard! The purple casita resembles those found in Mexican barrios (neighborhoods), and the gardens are inspired by those found there. As years have passed and I am not often traveling to Mexico, I can embrace my beloved Mexico without crossing the border, and share that joy with others.

Backyard of Lucinda Hutson’s home (photo by Cassie Butterfield)

TRIBEZA: Not only is the exterior of your house so striking and unique, the interior is much like a folk art museum, telling stories of your travels with works of beauty in every nook. Do you have a favorite art piece or a collection that you wish you could display to the public?

Hutson: I do live in a folk art museum and every piece tells a story. I know the artists. I’ve been to their homes. I display them in “collections” and never want them separated. My biggest fear today is what will become of  them?!  I need an endowment to preserve them!  

My favorite piece? That’s like asking a mother which is her favorite child! Ayayay! I love a two-foot tall brightly glazed clay virgin surrounded by little angel’s faces from the town of Capula, Michoacán. Her story? The truck of my now deceased sister broke down in a small town on a Sunday. Nothing was open and we had no cash. The villagers took us in and some went to the next village for a mechanic, while we were fed and cared for. When they returned, the totally blind mechanic climbed into the hood of the truck with his wife guiding his hands with hers… with the villagers all around. He fixed the alternator in a flash! Angels all around us! The next day we returned with cash and brought the family the twin clay virgin from nearby Capula as a gift. Somehow I carried mine home on an airplane!

Lucinda Hutson’s home may be small in size, but big in character (photo by Weston Carls)

TRIBEZA: While your home’s interior is cozy, you’ve created so many wonderful outdoor living spaces. Do you have a favorite outdoor space?

Hutson: Because my home is so small and so filled with folk art (as well of many of my grandmother’s  antiques and mostly purple dishes, and all the lovely pieces crafted by my local artisan friends),  I had to create “outdoor rooms” so there is one for every occasion: a traditional cottage garden in front; a mermaid grotto; a Mexican courtyard with lime trees watched over by “Our Lady of LaTina” (play on words as La Tina means the bathtub in Spanish), a mosaic virgin in a bathtub niche;  a fiesta deck that has had its wild fiestas; and a tequila cantina. An artisan wooden cabin I designed in the backyard resembles the little wooden cabins called trojes, found in the Mexican state of Michoacán. 

“Our Lady of LaTina” art at Curb Appeal Winner's Home
“Our Lady of LaTina” (photo by Cassie Butterfield)

I entertain most in the mermaid grotto surrounded by fish and mermaid folk art with the sound of water from a small pond. I guess in Austin I feel like a fish out of water, a misplaced mermaid, my nostalgia for the Sea of Cortez in Baja where I often fished with my father. 

Backyard at Lucinda Hutson’s home (photo by Cassie Butterfield)

TRIBEZA: You have such a bountiful and beautiful garden. What is your favorite flower, fruit, or vegetable that you grow and incorporate into your delicious recipes?

Hutson: I think garnish and presentation and lots of flavor best describe the food and libations I serve. I like food to look as good as it tastes. I’m surrounded by herbs in my garden — I wrote The Herb Garden Cookbook, which stayed in print for 27 years! I also wrote ¡Viva Tequila! Cocktails, Cooking, and Other Agave Adventures. Sadly both are now out of print but can still be found.

Paradise backyard - Curb Appeal 2024
La Lucinda Cantina (photo by Cassie Butterfield)

In the springtime I love purple pansies.  So many new and colorful varieties!!!!!  I freeze them in ice cube for festive drinks, sprinkle them on salads and press them into cakes and lemon tarts.  

Lucinda’s Purple Passion is famous around here: gin, lemon juice and Creme de Violette (violet flavored liqueur), which gives the tangy cocktail a purple hue.  But the, it’s almost margarita season, and I have some other festive specialties.

Lucinda’s Purple Passion cocktail with flowers
Lucinda’s Purple Passion (photo by Cassie Butterfield)

Learn more about Lucinda Hutson on her website,, where you can find plentiful recipes, as well as more info about her gardens and her books.