How an Austin-Based Designer Approached an Open-Plan Dining and Living Room

At first glance, you'd be forgiven for thinking this home belonged on the shores of Malibu, but this chic, neutral home is nowhere near the sandy coastline of California. However, that's exactly the feeling interior designer Maureen Stevens Design wanted to evoke for her clients in their Austin, Texas, home.

Stevens explains to me that the couple wanted to transform their modern storybook cottage bungalow, built in 9141, into a light and airy home that was minimal and calming. "They made it clear that they are not big fans of clutter and that maximalism is definitely out for this space," she says. The challenge was ensuring the open-plan living and dining room felt warm and cozy despite the minimal styling. 

To do this, Stevens incorporated organic materials and reclaimed wood into the neutral space to create a minimalistic and chic yet functional home for the young family. A few subtle pops of color via pattern and artwork also help break up the monochromatic palette and bring that California cool to the South.