This Homeowner Designed Her House With More Light, Less Stuff, and Lots of Room to Grow
You could say what brought Jules Acree and her 1,480-square-foot duplex together was kismet. While just taking a stroll through a favorite Austin, Texas, neighborhood, Jules and her husband, Andrew, stumbled upon a new home that checked all of their boxes. "The builder was outside and gave us a tour," she says. "We got really lucky with the timing." They scooped up the place before it was listed, and she eagerly proceeded to give it her signature spin. As a wellness writer and the founder of the blog Om & the City, Jules has adopted a new decorating mantra that revolves around mindfulness. "I like a modern, minimal look with lots of natural textures," she says. Here, she shares how she created her dream retreat.
Pare Down the Musts
"We had a list of nonnegotiables when we first started house hunting but quickly realized we couldn't be that picky since we had a budget to stick to. In the end, our top three requirements were plenty of natural light, an open layout, and a location that was bikeable, because we are a one-car family."
Have a Plan
"I worked with Decorist designer Erika Dale when designing our home and learned how important thinking ahead is. If you plan the room all at once instead of buying things as you see them, you'll have a better understanding of how everything will work together and won't accumulate things you don't need. People get hung up on getting rid of pieces that they've spent money on, but if you learn to let go, you'll create a more intentional space moving forward."
Jules is a firm believer in purely functional decor, but a love affair with a rattan chair in the living room convinced her to stray. "My husband said I'd never sit in it, but I didn't care," she says. "It's beautiful."
"When we bought our house, we wanted to move beyond decorating with Ikea everything because this is a place where we'll be living for years. But I still tried to save where we could and splurge only on pieces that were important to us. For me, that was in the office since that's a spot where I can really be creative and focused, so I decided to invest in a good desk and a comfortable chair [from Cost Plus World Market and Pottery Barn, respectively]."
Bring On the Greens
"I don't like decorative objects that collect dust, so I pretty much rely on plants to add pops of color and bring life into a space. The more the merrier, but I usually try to have one big statement plant in a room and then some smaller ones sprinkled throughout."
Build Over Buy
After seeing similar hexagon shelving units on Etsy, Jules' husband crafted a custom one to hold a handful of small potted plants. "If we're able to make something ourselves, we will," she says.
"Something that's different about our house is that it's really easy for us to put things back where they belong. I'm big on bins and baskets and make sure everything has a home," she says.
Design With Purpose
"Mindful decorating simply means being intentional about what you bring into your home and the way you set things up. Does it make sense for your lifestyle? I used to think every corner of my kitchen counters needed an appliance, but then I realized that just because you have an open spot, that does not mean you have to fill it. Living more in the calm areas of our houses and our lives is a good lesson for many of us."