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Interior designer Kimberely Renner purchased a pair of run-down duplexes in Austin, Texas, then set about renovating and painting to turn the space into a light, bright, unified home for her family.
Renner made the light installation at the top of the stairwell, opposite, out of fishing line, ceiling-mounted lights, and vintage postcards, which she collects. "I only used ones that were stamped and postmarked, with a message," Renner says. "To me, the messages are the important part."
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The Laundry Room
As part of the renovation, Renner built a laundry room on the first floor, which is handy for a family with two young boys. The 1950s cabinets were salvaged from another renovation project Renner had been working on; the bright-orange doorway adds zing.
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As in the rest of the house, Renner covered the walls in the stairwell with shiplap, for a contemporary yet homey feel. Here she poses with her husband, Dan, and their children, Pace (on the right) and Thompson. "They visited the job site often," Renner says. "So by the time we moved in, the house was very familiar to them."
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The Breakfast Room
In the breakfast-bar area, above, dishes and cocktail essentials are within easy reach on an industrial cart. A custom-built sink makes mixing drinks a cinch. The Thonet chairs and the school light are vintage finds. Four colorful woodcut prints by artist Ann Conner pop against the slick gray walls.
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The Living Room
For the living room, Renner reupholstered a pair of wing chairs in a striped fabric. "I couldn't find any fabric with a wide enough stripe, so I pieced together my own using strips of black and white Sunbrella," she says. The outdoor fabric is particularly durable.
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Living Room Details
The wing chairs pair with other stately looking pieces, such as a brown leather Chesterfield sofa and a brass Crate & Barrel table lamp. Lighthearted accents, such as the pillow with a pointing hand and the bird sculpture, keep the room from appearing too formal.
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The Dining Room
A low wall between the sitting and dining areas, above, partitions the spaces without making them feel closed in. In the dining area, Renner decorated with a mix of vintage (a table by Milo Baughman), new (a brass Circa Lighting chandelier), and DIY pieces (bookcases constructed out of cinderblocks, dorm room-style).
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A 25-foot-long counter stretches across the galley kitchen, right. "It's efficient for cooking, but also long enough to serve as a buffet," Renner says. Reproduction library-style lights illuminate the counter; the steel cabinets and shelving were custom-made by Renner's brother, Cole Thompson.
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The master bath has a sense of whimsy, thanks to an orange steel vanity custom-made by local craftsman Frank Scaglione and a print by Austin artist Tom Druecker.
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For her sons' bathroom, Renner designed a red cross from tiles above the tub ("It's their first-aid station," she says) and covered the floors in black rubber, which is virtually indestructible.
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Renner repurposed vintage roll-up maps as wallpaper on one side of her sons' room, opposite. Other walls are covered in cork so Thompson and Pace can pin up whatever they want. "They have lots of artwork, awards, and memorabilia they like to display," Renner says. The desk came from an office-supply salvage sale.