This 853-square-foot Austin bungalow has colorful millwork in every room

After spending a long 2020 in New York, Emily Kerans, founder of Emily K Interiors, was craving a change. So the designer and her country walked southwest to Austin. Within a month, Emily’s mother, back in Connecticut, connected Emily with her first local client and soon-to-be friend Jacqueline Siegler.

Jacqueline planted herself in New York, and had just purchased an 853-square-foot bungalow on Austin’s up-and-coming East Side. The husband hit it off instantly. “She believed in me too much to understand her vision,” says Emily. “I went with whatever wild card I gave her.” Jacqueline wanted her new home to reflect the other places she’d lived in – London, New York and Connecticut – without going overboard. “Their taste is fairly minimal, so everything we choose is practical and intentional,” says Emily.

Show more

Noting that Jacqueline’s inspirational photos revealed a penchant for pale blue cabinetry, Emily began her design scheme by adding living rooms built in Benjamin Moore’s Normandy. “This is the blue moment in the house,” says Emily. “We had to get that color somewhere!” The floor-to-ceiling glossy millwork runs across an entire wall, providing storage and a backdrop for the TV. Today, the room feels relaxed and orderly while the color and decorative accents, like a piece of driftwood, allude to Jacqueline’s East Coast roots.

Though Jacqueline didn’t initially plan to touch up the kitchen, which already featured cottage wood countertops and a playful tile backsplash, the room’s navy blue cabinetry rivaled the room’s new powder blue unit. “We really wanted each room to have its own identity,” says Emily. the solution? To paint the kitchen cabinets and island in Sherwin-Williams Tricorn Black and replace the modern knobs with antique brass knobs. “Antique-themed handles tie in with today’s pot rods and endorse London style,” notes the designer. Plus, she loves the high-contrast pairing of glossy black millwork and matte maple worktops.

In the corner by the front window, Emily has created a multi-functional, airy dining area. She detailed the base with horizontal panels that play with the vertical wall panels of nickel, then topped it with a luscious, mustard-colored velvet pillow. “The local upholsterers had a 16-week deadline, so I tested my sewing skills by making two long pillows with brass zippers on the backs,” she says. “Pillows pull off warm golden tones in the corner.”

Jacqueline eats, reads and sometimes works in a bright and cozy corner. Mostly, though, she works at the desk in the second bedroom turned home office. It was her idea to place panels painted a Palm Beach-like coral on the wall behind her desk. “She wanted a killer Zoom wallpaper,” says Emily. A subtle shade with warm orange undertones, Pink Polka Dot from Benjamin Moore reads this girly side. “It makes the white walls glow, especially at sunset,” says Emily.

When it came to the bedroom, Jacqueline asked for serenity. “Everything is a different beige,” says Emily. Textile drapes contrast with lacquered Anthropologie tables and antique Lucite lamps clad in melted brass. Emily, who loves layering, couldn’t resist donning sparkly pieces in pleated pink lamp shades once Jacqueline agreed. “She said I could show her one pop!” says the designer.

The result is a functional, personal home that Jacqueline can evolve with over time. “I love creating a chart using existing pieces as placeholders so the client can layer meaningful layers over time,” explains Emily.

Leave a Reply