Austin Insider’s Guide
by Nicole Beckley
NATURAL ELEMENTS AT GARDNER
When the design concept for Gardner, the latest restaurant from the team behind Contigo, was being discussed, there was one word that kept coming up: “elemental.” “Because it’s a vegetable restaurant, we wanted to build it using things that are from the earth,” explains co-owner Ben Edgerton. To help fulfill this mission, Edgerton brought on furniture designer Michael Yates whose work he “fell in love with,” when he first saw it at an East Side boutique. Working in white oak, Yates crafted 64 chairs and 19 tables for the Gardner dining room, and built four stools from ebonized ash for the bar. Anne Lowe Edgerton and Charyl Coleman oversaw the decoration design, adding in soft textures and colors. “We wanted the design to play a supporting role,” Edgerton says. “It kind of speaks even louder because of its simplicity.” For more information, visit gardneraustin.com.
DESIGN ON A BUDGET
For anyone hoping to stretch their design dollars, some savvy services are offering creative solutions. Looking for a better alternative to Craigslist and Etsy, Anita Erickson started Red Chair Market to bring together furniture buyers and sellers in the central Texas area. When determining what to invest in Erickson says, “Start with pieces that you feel passionate about and that you think you’ll want to have for 10 or 20 years.” If your heart loves vintage, even if your wallet doesn’t, check out Good Consignment for classic, custom, and one-of-a-kind pieces. Finally, Maggie Harshbarger’s Room Curated offers a suite of services; from answering quick design questions like what color to paint a front door to doing a full room redesign. She specializes in helping people work with what they already have. “Just having pictures hung at the right height can make a lot of difference with how a room feels,” Harshbarger says.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE PERFECT RUG
For 20 years Paul Davidson, the owner of David Alan Rugs has specialized in one of the elements that can make or break a space—finding the right rug. Davidson says it starts with determining the basics: size, budget, and style. Here are his tips for putting the right rug in your room:
- Bring in anything you can from your existing room, such as fabrics or paint colors. People try to do it from memory and more than likely they’re way off with remembering color.
- It’s all about coordinating colors and drawing in other colors and fabrics. Work with the rug as the foundation to any design.
- All of the furniture should be on the rug. Keep things more inclusive and tightly grouped where everything’s connected to the rug as a foundation.
DEEP EDDY DISTILLERY
What can make good design even better? Cocktails. At Deep Eddy Distillery (which opened in October) the local vodka brand gets shaken and stirred in the 5,000 square-foot space that boasts a retro feel. “If you ask me to give one word to describe it, it’s cool,” co-founder Chad Auler says. To capture this cool factor, the Deep Eddy team, along with designer Claire Zinnecker and restaurateur Larry McGuire, blended the industrial with the natural, selecting concrete floors and exposed steel beams in the ceiling indoors while emphasizing native Texas stone on the patio. “It feels like a hill country setting, and we’re 20 miles from downtown Austin,” Auler says. Toast to the new year with a Cranberry Fizz (Deep Eddy Cranberry Vodka and sparkling wine, garnished with dried cranberries).
January is often the time that we make a fresh start and clear the clutter of the previous year. We asked Jill Siegel of California Closets for her best advice for getting—and staying—organized.
- Step number one is to purge. As you are going through your wardrobe ask yourself if you really need something. If you hesitate, you don’t.
- For closets, our favorite place to start is to have all matching hangers. It makes a huge difference visually.
- Shelving is usually what’s missing in a typical closet. Just adding those can make organizing much easier.
- Keep a bag in your closet just for donations. When you fill it up you can take it to donate. Let things go and support a good cause!
Gardner photography by Tre Dunham
Deep Eddy Distillery photography by Brandon Cason