Pushing open the wrought iron gates of Duffy Stone’s 1930s barn style bungalow feels like you are walking in to another world. The serene, overgrown gardens that surround the house on all sides are a contrast to the buzzing, vibrant East Austin neighborhood around them. Interior designer Duffy and her documentary filmmaker boyfriend, Ben Powell, have created a stylish retreat with their Viszla, Werner, that embodies her laid back, organic approach to design — “I’ll mix anything. If I love it and the color’s right… then it goes. I don’t like to overthink things,” she says in her charming Southern drawl. “Most importantly, the space has got to have some soul and occasionally a groovy side-serving of 1960s flare.”
photography by jessica pages
Austin designer Duffy Stone and her boyfriend found this inviting 1930s barn style house through Craigslist. Duffy says: “The archway has a mind of its own! Ivy waterfalls keep popping up everywhere. The porch is perfectly shaded so I sit out there lots when the weathers right.”
Duffy uses the entry table for work meetings with design clients and loves it for its natural lighting. How does she describe her house in three words? “Mixed, collected and interactive (encouraging to touch things, pick up books and objects and play with materials in the studio).”
Duffy’s number one tip for styling books on a table is to make them accessible. “Sometimes you can over style or over-stack. The point of a table book is to encourage reaching in, grabbing it and open it…without breaking a million tiny accessories in the process!”
Although Duffy wouldn’t have necessarily chosen a forest green wall color, she’s come to love the color the owner left her with. “It’s a good study for me to live with different colors I would not necessarily otherwise select…and now I recommend it to clients all the time,” she says. Toss pillows from Wildflower Organics, Art Prints from the Alamo Drafthouse 2011 Rolling Roadshow, Orange + White Glass Piece from East Austin Succulents
One of the images from Austin-based photographer Brent Humphreys’ Le Tour series hangs in the entry way. This photo captures fans camping waiting for the race to begin. “In the hours preceding the race’s pass, a carnival atmosphere prevails as people nap, picnic and socialize in wait to catch a fleeting glimpse of the colorful circus on wheels,” Humphreys says in his artist statement. To view the whole series, go here.
The cabinet above the stove is used as storage for spices and oils, as well as objects and figurines Duffy has picked up along the way on her travels.
The vintage cowboy that hangs on the wall behind the bar set up was found in a junk yard on a road trip to Mississippi. When it comes to dressing a bar set up, Duffy recommends mixing all types of glassware. “Whether it’s amethyst, smoked or clear glass, a nice collected assortment makes for such a stellar bar scene. Also, you can never have too many bottle openers,” she says. “Every good bar cart should have an artful bottle opener. I love old, antique ones, especially if they are shaped like an animal.”
Duffy’s collection of art, music, travel and cookbooks. “We always have a book open on top of the cart and flip the page every couple of days to learn and see something new when walking by,” she says.
Duffy’s office is one of her favorite rooms in the house. She has deemed it the “sunroom studio” because of its three walls of windows. This is where she puts together design boards and works up drawings on her computer. Her cat Gummo is usually always sitting on the desk. “It’s our thing,” she says.
An inspiration board for a retail store that is 1960s/70s beach wave inspired. This is a collection of wallpapers they are considering for the space. This “super groovy” project will use emerald green as the main color throughout the space.
The antique claw foot tub is where Duffy goes for zen time. The bathroom is runner is a Bolivian rug from Austin shop, JM Drygoods.
The bench that rests at the end of the bed is from Austin’s Wildflower Organics and the blanket on the bed was a souvenir from a family trip to Mexico last year.
Born and raised in Dallas, she went to the University of Texas and then on to graduate school to earn her Associate of Arts in Interior Design at the Brooks Institute in Long Beach, California. She started her career at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, but missed Texas and returned to start her own firm.
The mid-century fiberglass chairs are one of Lauren’s vintage finds and have created the perfect back porch seating area. Some of her favorite times in the house so far have been back patio chat sessions with her mom who brings wine and a cheese plate from their favorite cheese shop in Dallas.
Duffy’s Vizsla, Werner, loves the house and yard more than anyone. She says: “He’s got plenty of space to run and explore and a garden to eat all the food in when no one is looking.”