Austin Style Pick
by Abby Carney
Photography by Daniel Brock
Ding is Austin native Denise Roberts’ childhood nickname, shortened from “Baby Ding Ding,” and used by friends to pin down her distinct style. Her design shop, Love Ding, is both a salutation and a sentiment to all who enter, as every item she stocks and designs comes “with love, from Ding.”
Located in an unassuming South Austin warehouse on Manchaca Road, Love Ding is a product of Roberts’s eye for bright, retro modern home furniture, accessories, and vintage wares, coupled with her lifetime love of design and support of the makers movement.
Knick-knack items and cozily staged scenes throughout the warehouse are delightfully arrayed with care, yet they allow customers a feeling of happenstance and discovery as they peruse each unique corner of Love Ding. “I love that people who come in always say, ‘I’ve just gotta make another lap,’ because they want to be sure they’ve seen everything,” said Roberts.
After studying interior design at Texas State University and staging model homes for a living, Roberts’s passion for scouring estate sales and collecting and refurbishing old furniture became more than her personal garage could handle, so Love Ding was born and officially opened for business in October 2014.
From the cozy scenes set with bright pillows and furniture re-upholstered by Roberts herself, to the wooden pallets she and her father built together to diversify the space, everything about Love Ding coos, “Instagram me!” And yes, Roberts admits that most of her inspiration (and inspiring) happens via the photo sharing app. Instagram is where she finds goods by talented local makers like Leah Duncan’s textiles, stationery, and home goods, mid-century works by Petrified Design, as well as quirky goods like the small, friendly earthenware ghosts designed by Danish Studio Arhoj.
Roberts hopes that she herself can become a resource who can work on a variety of style and design projects for Love Ding customers. Some of Roberts’s pieces have been included in a luxury home tour, and in the spirit of collaboration, she’s welcomed other brands and businesses into her shop to use her beautiful backdrops and space to capture that perfect shot — or just to borrow a piece for a photo booth. There’s plenty of inspiration to go around, and Roberts says, “There’s a space for everyone here.”
There’s even an opportunity to test your own design skills at Love Ding, as Roberts organizes a quarterly workshop series taught by local makers and artists. Ever wanted to learn how to make your own terrarium? Or craft a gorgeous flower crown? Yeah, Love Ding’s got us covered.