Austin-based designer Claire Brody and I were introduced a few years ago, and I’ve closely followed her work ever since. Claire’s innate sense of curiosity and creativity is evidenced in all her projects—most recently, an Austin, Texas mid-century home renovation that’s now on the market. I had the pleasure of touring this four-bedroom, two-bathroom home, and it’s an absolute masterclass in color theory, pattern play, and texture variance.
The renovation of this 1970s ranch involved an overhaul of the home’s bones and cosmetic features while maintaining its mid-century authenticity. Claire achieved a level of livable luxury that’s well-suited for any family, and I cannot wait to see who’s lucky enough to call this home. Austin locals: here’s the official listing.
Project: Mid-Century Renovation by Claire Brody
Location: Austin, Texas
Architecture: 1970s Ranch-Style Home
Scope of Work: Installed new electric panel and wiring, windows, ductwork, plumbing, hot water heater, and serviced HVAC. Cosmetic updates included opening the kitchen to the living area, adding square footage to the main bath, gutting the kitchen and two baths, adding new flooring throughout (except original terrazzo), new wall treatments, custom builds with the dining table/bench and entry shelving. Exterior work included new trim/door paint, garage doors, landscaping, and custom breeze block partition walls.
Will you share about your home and what first drew you to the property?
The home features ranch-style architecture and was built in 1971. I always look for homes that have character to preserve. I loved that the house sits on a quiet cul-de-sac and is located in an up-and-coming area in Austin. The house was in overall solid condition but had not been touched, so was ready to be brought back to its original glory!
Tell us about the overall project and the scope of work involved.
Before we planned for cosmetic renovations, we opted to replace the electric panel and wiring, added new windows, serviced the HVAC, added new ductwork, updated the plumbing, and added a new hot water heater. Once the bones were restored, we moved on to the cosmetic changes.
In this phase of the project, we opened the kitchen to the living, added square footage to the main bath, completed gut jobs on the kitchen and two bathroom, laid new flooring throughout (except the original terrazzo), added new wall treatments, added custom builds with the dining table/bench and entry shelving.
The project also included exterior work. On the home’s exterior we added new trim, door paint, garage doors, landscaping, and custom breeze block partition walls. After the home’s renovation was complete, I fully decorated and styled the home. No surprise, final styling is my personal favorite phase of the project.
Talk to us about the initial inspiration and the process of honing your vision?
I wanted to design with elements that felt true to the mid-century era and maintain the home’s authenticity. Some features that helped us accomplish that are the terracotta-style tile in the living and kitchen, glass shower blocks in the main bath, small format tile in the bathrooms, mid-century style shelving, wood slat wall treatments, slab style doors, concrete accents, and the home’s overall color story. We also chose to preserve elements like terrazzo and the rock partition wall to honor some of the home’s original features.
More to Read: 25 Colors Designers Love
What were some of the major pain points, and how did you problem-solve?
The house truly had no pain points. It was a very straightforward renovation with no surprises, thankfully. The pain points came from our end as we overspent on the renovation by about $50,000. It was a lesson learned on planning and budgeting, for sure.
Any favorite features to share?
I really love the entry rock partition wall that we edited. The wall was originally 7 feet, so we knocked it down to four feet and had custom shelving extending to the ceiling. I love that the partition wall creates separation between the entry and living, but also feels open with the shelves.
How does this house work for a family? How did you make the design family friendly?
We increased the kitchen size by 2-3 times, which I think will be appreciated by any buyer. We also opened up the living and kitchen, which isn’t a feature that’s true to the home’s origin, but it was necessary to increase the kitchen size. Another family friendly feature that already existed is the 4 bedrooms all located on one side of the house—a common ranch-style layout.
What do you like about the neighborhood?
I love that the neighborhood is quiet and untouched. There are no tear-downs or confusing new builds that don’t honor the neighborhood.
Top 5 favorite spots to source vintage in Austin?
Front Door: Brinijal by Farrow & Ball
Entry/Living Room: Alabaster by Sherwin-Williams
Kitchen: Highland by Portola Paints
Dining: Sirene by Portola Paints
Hall Bath: Birdie by Portola Paints
Study: Meritage by Portola Paints
Kid Bedroom: Costes by Portola Paints
Guest Bedroom: Mare Island by Portola Paints
Main Bedroom: Highland by Portola Paints
Main Bathroom: Sirene by Portola Paints
Living Room Furniture/Accessories/Rug – Vintage/Thrifted
Kitchen Counterstools – Vintage
Kitchen Accessories – Vintage/Thrifted
Dining Chandelier – Vintage
Dining Chairs – Vintage; Chair Fabric
Dining Dresser/Accessories – Vintage
Study Furniture, Accessories, Rug – Vintage
Hall Bath Vanity – Vintage
Kid Bedroom Furniture & Accessories – Vintage
Main Bedroom Table Lamps, Nightstand, Dresser & Accessories- Vintage
Main Bed Chair – Vintage; Fabric (Grape)
Main Bed Drapes – Vintage
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