Deep in the Heart of Texas
The importance of adding personal touches to the space and making it work for multifamily use was part of the reason the Moormans declined to hire an architect when designing the home. With lots of project management experience between them, they were able to oversee it themselves and were better able to keep costs down and carefully curate a mix of high and low finishes, fixtures, and appliances. While the appliances qualify as splurges—their fridge and freezer are a white-paneled Sub-Zero model and the range and oven are Wolf—a little online research and digging in specialty shops yielded quirky, affordable treasures, including the vintage light fixtures that Lauren had rewired to hang over the island and the vibrant stools, which were made from Indian saris and cost about $100 each from overstock.com. "Nothing is too precious here," Lauren says. "Two-dollar tile can look amazing— it can be fun to make something out of nothing."
Have Fun with Flooring
The 10-inch Saltillo hexagon floor tile evokes the Texas Hill Country feel the Moormans wanted and provides contrast to the mostly white kitchen. "It feels billowy underfoot and warms things up, color-wise," Lauren says.
Look for Little Details
The Moormans were thrilled to find an interesting backsplash tile for $2 a square foot. "It's beveled, so it reflects the light and has a nice sheen," Lauren says. "You see a lot of subway tile, but the extra detail makes it feel special."
Shoot Before You Shop
Lauren snaps a photo of what's in the fridge and freezer before she leaves each weekend so she knows what they have on hand. "I do this instead of making a grocery list," she says. "It started after I realized one day that we had three half-empty bottles of anchovies in the fridge."
Rethink Food Waste
"We do a big grocery trip on the way out here, so it's inevitable that there will be something left over," Lauren says. "We try to repurpose what we can so it doesn't go to waste." Here, loaves of bread become croutons seasoned with leftover herbs, easily stored for future use in the freezer.
Mix Old and New
These vivid vintage fixtures were rewired by a factory in Seguin, Texas. "They're the original patina," Lauren says. "I found them about four years ago and was looking for the perfect place to put them."
Keep in Easy Reach
The Moormans devoted a low drawer to melamine cups and plates so the kids can help themselves. Bright area rugs add visual interest underfoot.
Budget for What Matters to Your Family
One splurge was the pellet-style ice maker. "We drink twice as much water by having this thing," Lauren says. Topo Chico, a fizzy mineral water that's a staple in most Texas homes, is always on the bar.
Anchor the Island
This stunning piece of Aventine quartz by Artisan Group is the centerpiece of the kitchen. "I love that the edges continue to the floor," Lauren says. "We thought it gave it a cleaner look. Plus it's easier to keep clean.