When you were a kid, drawing on the walls with markers was a big no-no, but if you’re Austin, Texas-based designer Sara Barney of
BANDD Design, it’s highly encouraged — sort of. The star of this new-build family home is a large hand-painted mural by their in-house artist Hillary Cumberworth. Wall tattoos are all the rage right now, so we asked Sara the inspiration behind the artwork, plus got the lowdown on the rest of the home’s fabulous and functional design.
House & Home: What was your vision for the home?
Sara Barney: “The clients really wanted a space that ‘wowed.’ They wanted to have pieces that were soft and comfortable, while also being unique and different. The vision really came together when we designed the dining room to be a community space that still felt homey. The homeowners came across photos of Lenny Kravitz’s Brazilian home and fell in love with the design elements in his space, especially the mural that looks like it’s almost climbing up the walls. So, we were able to gain a lot of inspiration for their home from that.”
H&H: The main floor is fairly neutral in color (aside from the pops of blue), so how did you create visual interest with different textures, materials and patterns?
SB: “We layered materials that are full of texture and pattern on top of the neutral pieces. We also played with natural materials to bring in more texture, such as the raw edge dining table and the fireplace mantle.”
H&H: What are some tips for balancing function and style in a family home?
SB: “The most important thing to think about is storage. We added bench seating in both the dining room and living room, giving the clients an easy place to tuck their belongings away. This family loves to work on puzzles, and now they keep them in the dining room bench seating. They wanted to emphasize comfort in all areas of their home. Banquette seating in the kitchen feels cozier than standard counter stools.”
H&H: Tell us more about the hand-painted artwork in the dining room! “Wall tattoos” are so big right now, we just did a story about them!
SB: “The dining room mural is where the Lenny Kravitz’s Brazilian home inspiration really came in! I knew that we would be working with this giant, blank wall, and it really needed something interesting and eye-catching. So, we used inspiration from Lenny’s home, as well as a hand-sketched powder bathroom wall I saw once. Thanks to Hillary, we were able to make it come to life. She spent weeks sketching and hand-painting, but all of her hard work paid off!”
H&H: What challenges did you face during the redesign process?
SB: “We faced a lot of issues with finishing details with the builder, such as things needing to be corrected and fixed in order for us to continue our design work. Since the house was a new construction, some of the measurements were changed from the original floor plans, so we had to adjust the sizing of a lot of the custom pieces at the last minute.”
H&H: Are there any budget-friendly elements in the space?
SB: “The entire home is a pretty well-balanced mix of high- and low-priced pieces. Both of the daughter’s bedrooms are budget-friendly because we wanted them to be able to transition as they grow up.”
H&H: What was your favourite thing about working on this home?
SB: “This project is unique in the sense that we were working with a family who was moving across the country with literally no furnishings or anything. We helped them make selections for everything from hardware to dishware, which is usually not the case.”
Author: Victoria Christie
Sara Barney, BANDD Design