A DIY Interior Overhaul in Austin, TX

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“The biggest challenge with an older home is the unexpected discoveries that complicate and delay a project’s timeline,” explains homeowner Lauren Daniel, summing up the lessons learned from every renovation project ever. She would know, because along with husband Chase, she just finished a six-month renovation of their first home in Austin, TX — which was built in 1960 and not updated since. They purchased with the intention of doing a complete cosmetic overhaul, but ended up fixing much more. A cramped bathroom, awkward built-in garage, and inefficient 1,200-square-foot layout needed to go. Two layers of flooring under the carpet had to come up, some of the main bathroom’s studs were rotted through, and old wallpaper that had been painted over several years ago bubbled and flaked.

The Daniels both enjoy a modern minimalist look that still feels warm and inviting, but the original state of the home was anything but. Chase, an architectural project designer and freelance photographer specializing in travel, commercial, and architectural work has a strong aesthetic point of view. Lauren also works in the design field as a manager of marketing and graphic design at an ethical fashion brand in town, so she contributed to the look of the interiors as well. Within their new white space they incorporated lots of antique and homemade furniture, plus cozy hardwood flooring throughout.

Because they did the renovation themselves, the couple worked on the house after nine-hour days at the office and every single weekend. From the vintage clawfoot tub Chase restored, to the 100-year-old barnwood kitchen backsplash Lauren nailed into place, to the invasion of carpenter ants upon replacing a sliding glass door, “Every piece of our home has a story, which is all we could ask for.” The couple solved each piece of the puzzle themselves — along with some friends and family — and are most thankful for the hands that came out and helped. They scraped tile, taped and floated drywall, sanded wood finishes, painted walls, helped to lay floors, and installed fixtures. “I love that our house was put together with help from the people we love,” Lauren concludes. “It makes it a home.” —Annie

Photography by Chase Daniel

  1. Heidi says:

    Love everything- especially the barn wood backsplash. Would love to hear from the owner how they did this.
    Bravo!

    1. Chase says:

      Heidi,

      Thanks so much! For the backsplash we bought old barnwood, then ripped each piece to 3.5″ to have an even installation, then scraped the boards with a wire brush to clear with debris. Once that was done, all we used was liquid nails (can be found at lowes or home depot in a caulk tube) and a finish nail gun to secure to the wall. We applied it over the existing sheet rock.

  2. Fantastic renovation! I love that wood backsplash in the white kitchen. Just wonderful. Every room is amazing, but the kitchen probably wins for worst to best.

  3. Holland VanDieren says:

    Sublime makeover! Just spare enough to feel clean yet cozy. The live-edge tables made by the owner are gorgeous.

    Love this line from one caption, unintentional pun or not: “The 1970 Pioneer record player was also thrifted for a song.”

  4. What a great improvement! Although I did kind of like the all pink bathroom.. :)

  5. Vanessa says:

    I am so appreciative of stories about little houses because that is the kind of house I am always buying. It is great to get the long view from the living room to the dining room too. I might not have thought to open it up that much but it was certainly the way to go.

  6. Stefanie says:

    Wow,stunning renovation! Love every corner of it,especially the living room and bathroom!

  7. Aidel.K says:

    It’s so impressive that a professional didn’t do this reno! My favorite is that bathroom–gorgeous. I’m sure there were days you wanted to throw in the towel; it really paid off. You have a beautiful place.

  8. madlyn easley says:

    Great renovation!The new layout looks so livable.So inspirational!

  9. Kimberly says:

    Love it! The kitchen backsplash and the bathroom tub area are my favorites.

  10. Kate says:

    Chase and Lauren – love everything you’ve done here. I would love to know where you found the sectional sofa in your media room, if you wouldn’t mind sharing!

    1. Chase says:

      Kate,

      Thanks for the kind words! The sectional sofa we found on craigslist actually. I believe its an ikea sofa though, so I’m sure if you did a quick search you could find it. Hope that helps!

      1. Kate says:

        Thank you so much, Chase!

  11. Lizzy says:

    Looks great! SO much better!

  12. Elle says:

    I like the look of the tub in the bathroom with the shower head and faucet in the wall, but I wonder if the backsplash while showering makes a big mess along that wall and under the tub?

    1. Chase says:

      Elle,

      Great question. The curtain rod wraps around the entire tub with two supports from the ceiling. We used two standard shower curtains that wrap each side of the rod until they hit the ceiling support. So there is actually little to no gap in the curtain when showering, so all the water is contained :)

  13. christine says:

    It is stunning but this couple lives in a hot climate fans are a wonderful relief from humidity and heat. We just put in modern big fans saves on airconditioning.

  14. Erin says:

    Where is the dining table from? Love it! Thanks

    1. Lauren says:

      Erin, our dining room table is from West Elm! (We got it at an outlet in San Marcos, but I believe it is still also available full price through their website.

  15. RANDI BAYNE says:

    Incredible job! Everything looks so bright and inviting and I love the simple, yet beautiful aesthetic! Definitely a well deserved round of applause Chase and Lauren!!

  16. Zoe says:

    Love this! Definitely going to draw inspiration for my current renovation. Where did you source the double vanity for the bathroom. It’s the perfect size for a petite space :)

  17. Ali says:

    Love the coffee art — the right one looks like a Chemex. My hubby would love that. Where can I get one??

    1. Chase says:

      Ali,

      The prints are from an illustrator based in Austin. You can view them here:

      http://www.departmentofbrewology.com/store/

  18. Jean Smith says:

    Love the light fixtures in the kitchen – – the trio above the kitchen table as well as the one over the sink – where did you source those?

  19. Chase says:

    Jean,

    The dining room pendant is a piece from West Elm, and the sconce over the kitchen sink is from Illuminate Vintage, a maker based in Houston. You can find his stuff here:

    https://www.etsy.com/shop/IlluminateVintage

  20. Becky says:

    Such a great redo! Where did you get your bathtub hardware from? Love the brass!

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