{introducing} | urban matters : a design firm

Drum roll please!! I'm super excited about this introduction. Introducing....Urban Matters Design Lab! A design firm who defines themselves as creative change agents, dedicated to improving the social fabric of cities. WHAT THEY DO : empower communities. WHY THEY DO IT : to build communities.


Meet: Stephanie Houston. Smarty pants, graphic designer, and an uber talented, in-training architect (currently sitting for exams) with a passion in life: building communities. This introduction is special not only because she is my talented twin sister, but because since we were kids, she's aspired to making a change in our world, and she's doing it, in San Francisco. Founder and creative director of Urban Matters Design Lab and Nomad Gardens, Stephanie brings passion to an entirely new level. She truly is an inspiration. Those looking for a designer or looking to be a part Nomad Gardens via the garden, events, creatives or workshop, you should meet. I'm so proud of you sis. I knew you would do it some day. Here's to my biggest fan, dreaming big, and keeping passion alive. Keep rockin' it!

{home sweet home} | austin, tx

It has been awhile since I've visited my blog. As most everyone knows, we relocated to Austin, Texas. Wow, what a transition it was, but things are finally settling down, and we are finally in our new home! We decided to wait a year to do the major remodel, but negotiated an exterior paint job with the seller. In the meantime, we decided to do a bit of foundation repair. One side of the house had sunk 3", so we fixed this and replaced the concrete stairs with wooden ones. Much easier on falls with the kids, but also creates a much more grand appearance to the front doors. We lost our miniature palms, which means new landscaping needs, but we'll be waiting until spring to get started. It's killing me not to have it completed, but the drought Texas is having, limits our water usage, not an ideal situation for new plants!

Check out the new house color! I'm in LOVE with it. The door is green, and once the plants go in, as well as some pots, the door mat, and maybe a green swing, it won't stand out so much...but I'm really liking it. Thoughts? The treads of the stairs will be painted eventually to match the existing porch. Next year, we will have IPE on the deck! Can't wait! 

I am on the hunt for some modern exterior fixtures: light posts and sconces. Any thoughts, suggestions? We will also be getting a nice new fence. I want to bring in a modern element, but classic. Guess I need to hit Pinterest! :)

In case anyone is interested in the paint colors I used, I've listed them below!

Body: Benjamin Moore: Gargoyle 1546 - Finish: Matte

Trim: Benjamin Moore: Cloud Cover OC-25 - Finish: Eggshell

Windows/Screens & Non Front Doors: Benjamin Moore: Black Tar 2126-10 - Finish: Eggshell

Porch Ceiling: Benjamin Moore: Gossamer Blue 2123-40 - Finish: Eggshell

Front Door: Benjamin Moore: Basil Green 2029-10 - Finish: High-Gloss (soon to be a Hollandlac paint) via Fine Paints of Europe. Thanks Remodelista!


{malm fireplace} | in LOVE | SF remodel

I'm thrilled to anounce RBD was hired for a mid-century remodel here in the city. It's been a whirl wind of a project thus far, but also one of the most exciting projects I've worked on since I started my business 4 years ago. My client, also a mother, has just about the same style as me: Rustic, Modern and Retro. Cisco Brothers meets DWR meets Jonathon Adler and Robbert Abbey, which might be a tad bit why I'm so thrilled! We are currently working on all architectural finish selections, plumbing and lighting selections and layouts, island design and fireplace design for the home. I can't wait to show you progess! 

Images above courtesy of Heath Ceramics, Waterworks, Zinc Details & Elle Decoration South Africa

Above are inspirational images I've presented to help the client understand the overall vision RBD has for her home. I'm also collaborating with an amazing architect, Mason B. Miller. Check out his work. I'm sure you'll agree he's amazing! He's done a remarkable job on the design the home. Stay tuned for more progress images!

PS: I'm drooling, heart palpiting, over the Malm Zircon Fireplace pictured above. I just got confirmation my client wants pricing for installation! Yippee! Crossing fingers for a good bid! And the Henry pendant was just specified for over the island! 

Until next time...have a marvelous week!



Sarah Wert, owner of modern kids photography, (who happens to be our family photographer) introduced me to STABLE CAFE today. What a great place! The architect, Malcom Davis of Malcom Davis Architecture, did a wonderful job. I love his use of different materials and the patio to the right of the space was adorned with rustic wheel shaped tables and metal cafe chairs. The cafe was the perfect setting for our lunch today and our discussions on how to collaborate. The weather couldn't have been more perfect. My kind of place. It's now a go to place for visitors to SF. Thanks Sarah!