Texas Two-Step: East Austin’s Heywood Hotel skillfully blends an arts-and-crafts bungalow and a new, mid century-style addition.
By Megan Krause
Creative, easygoing, thoughtful and cool—that’s how owners Kathy Setzer and George Reynolds describe the East Austin neighborhood where they converted a 1920s-era, 1,500-sq.-ft. bungalow into the Heywood Hotel. For the husband-and-wife team, the decision to weave that attitude into their hotel concept was a no-brainer. After all, it was that distinct local vibe that attracted them to the community in the first place.
They began by hiring Austin’s own KRDB architects to update and expand the building. Great care was taken not to alter the bungalow’s craftsman architecture or offend the neighbors. In fact, the owners executed a door-to-door public relations campaign to get the community on board with the structural changes, which include a raised roof and a 1,600-sq.-ft. addition, most of which is hidden behind the bungalow’s original frame.
Next they hired Kasey McCarty, an interior designer whose work includes the Milk+Honey galleria day spa and other salons throughout Austin, to give both the old and new spaces a lived-in look. McCarty says the design mixes modern and mid-century aesthetics to create a space that is “inviting, comfortable and not pretentious.”
The original bungalow now houses a two-story lobby and two ground-floor guest rooms. Inside, the team retained most of the space’s existing flooring and spiffed up the fireplace with a coat of paint and an adjoining basket of yarn balls. In addition, built-in custom casework was installed to provide some much-needed storage capacity in the compact space.
Up the stairs from the lobby, a small bridge connects the original bungalow to the second-floor terrace/green roof that leads to the hotel’s five additional guest rooms (with parking below).
To help create a cohesive design, long-leaf pine wood floors in the addition match those found in the original building. “We all loved the pine floors in the bungalow and really wanted to bring that warmth to the modern addition,” McCarty says. “The floors really make the spaces feel like they have been there for years.”
That vintage theme is also reflected in the hotel’s lighting and make-shift collection of wing-back chairs, which Setzer and Reynolds hand-picked from flea markets, thrift stores and Craigslist.
“The owners did an amazing job sourcing the pieces. The chair and ottoman in room five with the Maharam Kvadrat fabric turned out to be my favorite,” McCarty says. “I wasn’t a big fan of the chair when they purchased it for $40, but once I found the fabric I knew it would be great on that chair.”
Besides pitching in with sourcing, owner Reynolds also crafted the custom built-in furniture throughout the hotel, including beds, desks and bathroom vanities/cabinets that fit each room’s unique floor plan. The Heywood Hotel also incorporates local art and artisan crafts throughout its spaces.
Overall, a lot of legwork went into making this unique boutique a reality, but just like the Heywood, McCarty adopted an easygoing attitude for the project. “I couldn’t be happier with how the Heywood turned out,” she says. “It’s beautiful. It’s homey. It’s fresh.”
In other words, it’s East Austin personified.
Owners: Kathy Setzer and George Reynolds
Design: Kasey McCarty Interior Design Studio (KMIDS)
General Contractor: ION Constructors
Art: Alyson Fox
Accessories: Leah Duncan (pillows), BDJ Craftworks (wood vases), Traci Hutson (ceramics)
Custom Case Goods: Kasey McCarty (designer), KRDB (architect) and George Reynolds (owner)
Fabrics: Knoll, Maharam, Kvadrat, Interior Fabrics
Floor Coverings: Flor (room rugs)
Wall Coverings: Schumacher Wallpaper
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