MH-20150224-38Candice here, and if you’ve been following the living column, you know that I’ve been planning a few home and space tours. And today, I’m launching the first original home tour with Emily Waldmann!  Emily is the special events director at the most gorgeous Hotel St. Cecilia, and though she hails from the Pacific Northwest, she’s called herself an Austinite for a few years now.

I met Emily through business, and from the beginning she was so warm but also focused on her work.  I love that balance in someone, especially in this field where insecurity and pride are rampant yet almost always out-of-place.  Emily is always that refreshing change – confident but so, so real.  Over the past year, we’ve become friends and one lucky day last summer, she invited me over for a clothing swap.  From the minute I stepped into her home, I was mesmerized by her magic interior design capabilities and killer aesthetic.  Equal parts bohemian and modern, found and new, Emily’s home is a place you can totally stop in for a drink or just chill and put your feet up.

She invited me over one morning last week to take some photos over breakfast and coffee and I was inspired by every moment.  To be honest, I couldn’t launch this series without someone as hospitable, fun to be around, and so so keen on design.

Enjoy the amazing house tour, with Emily’s candid interview mixed in.


entryway details

MH-20150224-17living room details

{She transformed what could have been an awkward space or foyer, into the perfect chatting and reading nook.  Don’t you love how her gallery wall progresses horizontally to bring the space together?}



kitchen detials



{The flow of her home moves straight into the kitchen, where she created a jaw dropping centerpiece with her dining area as well as her bright, clean kitchen design.  I love how Emily mixes in thrifted metal pieces with her personal bottles and books.}



{Sweet Lu (short for Cholula!) was excited to have guests.}



{The guest bath and another furry friend.}




MH-20150224-114 {Emily’s simply gorgeous bedroom (isn’t that light stunning?) and her genius bathroom design.}

nook detailsTell us a little bit about your home. 

It was built in 1967, and I am still learning a lot about it.  This is the first home I’ve owned, and it is such an adventure. Before I bought, I was renting an amazing place in the same neighborhood; so, I was comfortable with the area and really liked living here. After about two weeks of house hunting, I saw this house driving home from a friend’s. I probably drove by it four more times before I could get inside to see it. I had seen so many houses in such a short time span that when I walked in I was just excited about it. Terrified, but excited. It had a LOT of work to be done to it immediately. Some structural changes with beams, knocking down walls, ripping out cabinets etc. I never took a “before” photo, because I was too nervous that I would never get to an “after”! Realizing that there is no landlord…that you are in fact the landlord…is both empowering and terrifying.

MH-20150224-60What’s your favorite part of the house?

Definitely the kitchen and dining room. I loved an open kitchen and growing up; that’s where everyone always hangs out. I just hosted our Family Christmas here for the first time and it was so relaxing spending time together in my own place. Very adult-like!  That’s why it was so important to me to open the house up and make it feel spacious, especially since it is a galley kitchen.

The kitchen was also my first major project when tackling everything in the house, and I made a lot of decisions that I was unsure of but ended up being really happy with, like the open shelving. I love cooking and entertaining, having people over to relax and enjoy themselves–which I think is also why I love my job! It was also a really big lesson on where to source furniture and decor. I spent a lot of time collecting images, and then figuring out what the common elements were. The dining room is a perfect example of my favorite things—the dining table was made by my good friend Jaime Lovell, and having the OH! Fox rug there – it brought the space together, and I love that it came from a friend. Then there is the Tom Dixon light which some of my friends had very strong opinions about, and I always love a good “I told you so” moment.

MH-20150224-95It can be so overwhelming to remodel.  How did you make selections and remain to true to one vision?

YES! A thousand times yes it can be overwhelming.  I don’t think I had a concise vision when I started, but I think a recurring element of the whole process was trusting my  gut and finding common themes. Honestly, when my roommate Amber moved in, she helped so much.  She really gave the house the life it has today. In fact, I had just finished the bathroom remodel during the last SXSW festival in order to get the house ready for her April 1st move in, and I was completely exhausted by the entire process and felt defeated. She definitely carried the house the last 10 yards to make it a home. Our styles are distinctly different but super complimentary.

metal detailsWhat are you still unsatisfied with?

It’s always a work in progress, and I am so curious to see what the next chapter will be. If I were to do it again, I definitely would’ve made some different calls in the master bath. So many of those choices were time sensitive and coming home after putting on SXSW events at the hotel and then tracking down 3 boxes of penny tile didn’t put me in the best head space to make calm decisions.

My next goal is to really tackle the landscaping. I love hanging out outside and there is so much space out there to do so many interesting things.

MH-20150224-107Give us your top entertaining tip. 

Give people food and drinks and they are usually happy. Don’t be scared of something going “wrong.” If you are inviting people into your home, you’re inviting them to get to know a little part of you, so be comfortable. The worst case scenarios are usually never that bad, and if they are, it is a great story to tell at your NEXT party (just kidding I am a horrible storyteller).

MH-20150224-31Thank you again, Emily, for sharing your space and journey with us!

Gorgeous photos by Minette Hand.

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