Chances are that you have been hearing a lot about Texas interior designer, Meredith Ellis lately and for good reason. She recently designed the Southern Living 2018 Idea House and it is beyond gorgeous. It is traditional yet fresh and colorful, with just the right amount of Texas style. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can see more pictures and watch the video of a brief tour here. Meredith Ellis studied under Bunny Williams before creating her own business and is known for her tremendous ability to layer. She loves blue and green and never shys away from some major pattern play, yet the rooms she designs never seem stuffy or crammed. Her editing is superb and allows her to create living spaces with rich texture and depth that are still simple and inviting at their core.
One of my favorite projects of hers is a home in Austin where the client’s primary request was for the decor of the house to be family friendly and able to stand up to sticky fingers and toddler spills. I don’t know who her client was, but I like her already. If you are going to have a house professionally decorated, especially by a designer of Ellis’ caliber, this would be my main objective too! So let’s get started…
The family room is a perfect example of how layering pieces looks fantastic and also protects the space. All of the pillow cases are washable and the blanket is the perfect way to cover and protect the back of the sofa. The symmetry is calming and subtle and her use of a variety of textures and objects lends a softer, more relaxed feel to the space.
And you guys- this foyer, I’m dying! It took me a second to realize that the walls are a light pink. For those who are interested in the color it is “Fondant” by Benjamin Moore. The linen trim softens the pink and doesn’t make it look gender specific like a bright white would. Ellis’ use of artwork with gilt frames and a tailored table skirt lends a maturity to the space, but the runner is durable and will hide any sippy cup stains and dirt tracks. Side note- After looking at quite a few of Meredith Ellis’ projects, I have decided that I need a custom table skirt in my life. I think that might be my next project…stay tuned for more.
Okay, before we delve into the living room, lets talk about the elephant in the room, or should I say the buffalo? In my opinion this room is pretty much perfect with the exception of the large buffalo mount. If Meredith Ellis ever reads this (which I doubt she will), I am sorry! Put a gold bamboo mirror or really any large textured mirror in this room and I’d be on cloud nine. However, the client’s husband is a fifth generation Texan and the mount has huge family significance, so on these grounds I actually do love that she not only used it but made it the focal point of the room. Utilizing family heirlooms and designing homes around pieces of family history is another trademark of hers and is a good reminder of how important it is not to worry about what other people might think of your decorating style. Use the things you love and the rest will fall into place.
Up next is the breakfast nook. Where do I start in explaining how much I love this space!? The shape of the banquette is large enough for kids to easily slide in and out and the Sunbrella fabric is virtually stain proof. The slipcovers can be taken off and washed and the pattern of the fabric creates a sense of fluidity, keeping your eye traveling from one beautiful detail to another. The Audubon print offers a timeless elegance and I love how she uses the print to help tie together the colors of the roman shades and pendant light. This nook has a casual chic feel without going rustic and I am all about it.
Off the breakfast nook area is this gorgeous built in that allows the owners to store and display their china and serving ware in one place. I think of it like a butters pantry on a wall! Such a smart idea and economical use of space.
Ellis mixes of variety of blues and greens in this dining room. The global prints on the chairs and table skirt paired with the white chippendale chairs lend a lightness that balances the dark hardwood floors and Regency style dining table. What is most refreshing to me about this dining room is that it is clearly designed to be used. It gracious, but not so formal that it becomes one of those dining room you wait all year until Thanksgiving to use.
Last but not least, the master bedroom. Her use of mixed wood and patterns gives the room a classic but cozy feel. There are some bedrooms that I look at forever but would be afraid to ever even sit on the bed. This one just beckons you to eat breakfast in bed on a lazy Sunday morning.
If you want to see more of this gorgeous Austin home, you can read the Traditional Home article here. I hope you enjoyed it!