Ann Edgerton has been a Jane of all trades in Austin’s creative scene for as long as I can remember. Her styling talents run the gamut from food to interiors, she’s a total wiz in the kitchen, and when it comes to design, Ann’s spaces can be spotted from a mile away:
Clean lines, minimalism, and lots of inspiration from nature, that’s the Edgerton treatment.
I visited Ann’s home a couple years ago and instantly fell in love. The rooms were filled with the same laid back simplicity I’d come to associate with the designer, plus, all the personal touches one only finds in a well loved home. Two years later, I found myself curious to know how Ann’s minimalist style had stood the test of young children — she and husband Ben have two now, Sage and Wiley. To my amazement, the home has evolved, no doubt, but its style has remained uncompromized. For any home decorator, Ann serves up an important lesson in only living with what you love, but for parents in particular, a tour through this space proves especially inspiring.
You have one of our favorite mid-century houses in Austin. Tell us about it!
Ben and I bought our house about 5 years ago directly from my mom’s cousin. We were in the middle of getting married and opening a restaurant and were totally not in the market for a house, but the neighborhood, house and location were so perfect for us we had to grab it. We were lucky enough to buy from a family member so we missed out on the crazy house hunt and bidding wars people get into these days. The house was built in 1955 and we were the second owners. It was what they call a ‘virgin home’, hadn’t been touched since the 50’s: Pink carpet, teal walls, wacky drapery everywhere. It is in the Wilshire Wood neighborhood and sits on a creek. My mom always talks about her memories hunting for crawdads in the back yard and playing football in the cul de sac. Most of the homes in Wilshire Wood still have that old Texas ranch style look which seems to be less common in central Austin these days.
That’s incredible! Sounds like it was meant to be. Do you have a favorite spot in the house?
I love sitting in the chairs in the room off the kitchen. The room has three walls full of windows that look out into our backyard and the creek. Even though we are in the middle of the city, the view from that room feels like you could be far out in the country.
How do you and Ben like to spend time at home?
My husband and I both love to cook and host so we spend most of our time in the kitchen and we love to enjoy our food and company in the backyard.
Dreamy. Did you have any big design challenges while working on the space?
The kitchen in the original house needed a ton of work. It was super dark and had some weird cabinetry issues. When we started the remodel process we realized the walls had asbestos so we couldn’t move any walls or cabinetry. We had to majorly adjust our plans. We decided to just reface all the cabinets and add a few cabinets where we could, paint, new appliances, new countertops, and tile and call it a day. I would not say it is my dream kitchen of all time, but it is a massive improvement from what we had and we were able to stay within our budget.
You were certainly able to make something special while working within those constraints! What color did you paint your kitchen cabinets?
Benjamin Moore Creekside Green, cut by 50%
Onto the den: tell us about this amazing built-in sofa.
I love built in stuff! After visiting Georgia O’keefe’s home a few years ago I was inspired to go that direction somewhere in our house. Before we were about to have our second child I knew we needed to update our lounge furniture. I also knew I didn’t want to spend a small fortune on a massive sofa that would be hard to keep clean with two kids. So I designed something for the space that had some bonus storage and the cushions can all be washed AND it cost way less than a sofa that size would have been. We had the contractor who remodeled our kitchen make the base, and Briley’s Upholstery made the cushions. No regrets!
We love this clever hidden solution for toy storage. Do you have any tips for achieving great design when living with children?
Don’t let them take over. It is super hard to do this because they are so cute and you want to buy them all the cute toys (or their grandparents do,) but if you don’t have a plan for where to hide everything, all of a sudden everything is everywhere. It is unrealistic to think your home won’t change at all, but in order to protect your sanity, make good use of the closets and get some smart closed off storage pieces.
You seem so disciplined in the items you own and display. How to you maintain a clutter-free home?
Yes, I suggest being careful and purposeful with what you buy. I love a lot of things, and I love collecting, but before I buy something I like to pause and think, “Ok do i love love love this deep down?” (Marie Kondo would say “spark joy”)
The things you buy stay around for a while, and it can weigh you down shuffling around a bunch of stuff you don’t truly love or have a need for.
I love that. When you are in the mood to shop, where do you go?
For vintage online: Chairish and 1st Dibs. For Austin vintage: Room Service and Uptown Modern. I also always go to Round Top. For new: Nannie Inez, Design Within Reach, Danish Design Store, Matter Matters.
Where do you turn to for daily design inspiration?
I am a huge Remodelista fan and also love to look into the homes of artists. I love vintage interior design books because it is far more interesting than what Pinterest is sending you.
You have such a way with neutrals. How would you describe your interiors style?
I grew up in West Texas and have always loved the colors and openness of the desert. I think that is an underlying theme of spaces I design.
How did that play into your design inspiration for this house?
I cannot say there was one design inspiration since it has all come together over the span of 5 years. It is unlike a design project I might take on for a client who wants to get things done pretty quickly. I would say I just let things come my way and then put them where they felt right. Seems kinda cheesy, but it was just a natural slow process.
Not cheesy at all. I think most people who have decorated their own homes would agree with that!
How does Austin, and Texas as a whole, play into the design of your personal spaces?
I love shopping for furniture at vintage stores around town, so naturally the things I find have a Texas root. I love traveling to new places in the US and seeing how different their flea markets are. The world sometimes seems so small and like everything is the same everywhere so I find pleasure in finding unique things that speak to a place. I also love the laid back natural culture that Austin has. There is not a rush to make your house ‘perfect’ , thank goodness.
We have to ask: What color white are your walls painted?
Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace
Who are your dream house guests?
This is a very very boring answer, but I would say our family. We live 5 minutes from almost our entire extended family and feel so lucky to get to share in our day to day life with them. Anyone famous I would probably just be awkward around.
Ha! Same tho. If you had to pick just one, what’s your top interior design tip?
I think a lot of times people get in a rush to fill in a space. Then, they end up with stuff they don’t truly love or that doesn’t actually work. I would say don’t buy anything unless you A) deeply deeply love it or B) it is neutral enough to say nothing and let other things around it speak.
Some things in a home are building blocks and some things are statements, you need both.
Fill in the blank: A well-designed home should _______.
Stir a positive emotion in you.
Describe your home in 5 words or less:
calming, comfortable, full of light