An Artist’s Bold and Colorful House in Austin

by hookedonhouses on September 22, 2011

After seeing countless gray and white rooms in magazines and around the blogosphere this year, artist Elizabeth Chapin’s colorful house in Austin really woke me up. You can tell that a bold and creative person lives here, and that she treats her rooms like an extension of her art.

She lives here with her husband Nathaniel and two children. I imagine she’s a fun mom.

You don’t see a pink and orange kitchen very often!

She describes her style to Apartment Therapy as “Ramshackle granny farmhouse goes to the beach with Kelly Wearstler.” Ha. Love that.

If the color of this bathroom didn’t wake you up in the morning, I don’t know what would:

My daughter Lily loved this house, but she really flipped when she saw this pink bedroom with the canopy bed and the big doll house in front of it:

Could you handle this much color in your house? I couldn’t, but I think Chapin’s sense of creative fun is inspiring. I could use a little more of that spirit of adventure in my decorating.

Read the interview for more details and see many more photos of her house at Apartment Therapy. Visit Elizabeth Chapin’s website for more information about her artwork. Thanks to Gayle at Vintage Farmhouse for bringing it to my attention.

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Luciane at September 22, 2011 at 8:09 am

You know what? I’d love to meet this woman! I saw her house and I smiled! I don’t have the guts to have this much of color in my house, but this is fun! It’s summer all year round!

By the way, that settee is just so beautiful!

Have a bright day! :-)


Luciane at

Lisa~A Cottage To Me September 22, 2011 at 8:30 am

I like color, but more toned down. Looks good the way she put it together. I like some of her decorative touches more then the rooms themselves. Interesting for sure, but I would tire of it quickly!

Ellen September 22, 2011 at 8:34 am

It looks like a fun place to visit! And you can tell she really loves her house … and in the end, that’s all that matters! :-)

Autumn Van Weir September 22, 2011 at 8:43 am

So funky and welcoming! I love all the bold colors!

Janelle September 22, 2011 at 8:46 am

I don’t like it for me at all — far too stimulating — but somehow it all works together, especially when you understand that it’s an artist’s home. It’s very bohemian. For some reason, it reminds me a little of Jennifer Lopez’s character’s place in Monster-in-Law.

Susan September 22, 2011 at 8:48 am

I visit often and rarely comment but this moved me to do so. I love this house! I’m so everlasting tired of white/beige/gray/greige and this house is the perfect antidote. C’mon – who’s gonna see the dust bunnies with so much to admire.

Melinda September 22, 2011 at 8:49 am

Love it! The settee, the bathroom floor, wow!
This home is exuberant and fun!
I liked the pale gray and taupe for the first 500 homes but now, yawn.

Karena September 22, 2011 at 8:49 am

Wow! Very fun I love the lime green bath!! I love color, some is a bit much, however it is great to see!

Art by Karena

Mary September 22, 2011 at 8:52 am

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this house – did you notice (yes, I’m sure you did!) the Keep Calm and Carry On poster in the wonderful kitchen? – LOVE it!

mary September 22, 2011 at 8:54 am

I live in an old house (in the Deep South), very similar to what I can see of hers–board walls, ceilings, and floors. I have a room which was added to the back, the original exterior wall being a wall of the room; there are windows in that wall with two big cabinets in front of them. I don’t think I am brave enough for all that color, but I love it, and my “decorating” is kind of like hers, more accumulation than selecting. I liked this post.

jennie w. September 22, 2011 at 9:12 am

Wonderful! I’m here in Austin; I wonder if she ever gives people tours.

Trish @TheOldPostRoad September 22, 2011 at 9:31 am

Love that home! How fun! Not sure if my family could handle it, though. Maybe for that beach house I don’t have, yet.

Valerie September 22, 2011 at 9:43 am

Was that a doll chandelier in the pink bedroom??? Hmm…
Lots of fun colors!

T. September 22, 2011 at 9:44 am

Fun to look at, wouldn’t want to live there! Tell Lily I am jealous of that doll house (and I’m 44 years old!)

Patience September 22, 2011 at 9:52 am

I love this house! All white, or careful, neutral rooms can be beautiful, but they’re often boring. I am always drawn to colorful decor.

Amanda @ Serenity Now September 22, 2011 at 9:55 am

This house makes me smile (in a good way). It’s a little too much for me, but I think the pink and orange kitchen is so cool. And the dollhouse? Get. Out!

christina September 22, 2011 at 10:03 am

so authentic and fun. alive. happy. love it.

Teacup Lane September 22, 2011 at 10:18 am

I have to say “I love her home”. All the colors just sing to me and make me happy. And I wouldn’t believe that I would ever say I like a pink and orange kitchen…but I like hers. And I love the two colorful crocheted spreads on the bed…especially the ripple one. I think she has a wonderful color sense…i.e., what goes together…without being too wild. Lovely home thanks so much for sharing with us!

Ann September 22, 2011 at 10:59 am

I love the colors, just not so much all the “stuff.” But it’s her house, not mine!

Josanne September 22, 2011 at 11:19 am

Not my taste, but she has some unique pieces that I like! I am not one for all white/beige/cream walls and decor either, but I do find this a bit more than I would care to do.
BTW, I like your new profile picture, Julia!

kathy September 22, 2011 at 11:30 am

I love it! No I couldn’t live in it but I wish I had a friend that’s home was like this. What a FUN, interesting place to visit. I hope this means we’ll get back to a splash more color and a more artsy fartsy decor. People have been taking things way too seriously for me when it comes to home decor.


Lindab September 22, 2011 at 11:51 am

Cute for a couple of college roomies. I love the fact that there is peeling paint on the front porch and door ways. My face expression is Perfectly Imperfect and this house proves it.

Arie September 22, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Looks like a fun place. And if it makes her happy, than that’s all that matters.
Personally, I need a more calm atmosphere, and I think all that bright color would make me nervous feeling inside.

Marymg September 22, 2011 at 12:20 pm

LOVE IT!!! I am SO tired of beige, white, and gray. I use color all over my house, but it is a Craftsman bungalow so my colors are muted. And my woodwork is all natural; if it was painted white I would paint the walls bright colors and have a rainbow in my house!!!

Kelly D September 22, 2011 at 12:44 pm

It’s not something I’d do for my own home, but I love it! I only wish I could pull together colors so well.

The Tiny Homestead September 22, 2011 at 12:46 pm

I love it. I would be happy to live there. I love too how all the fun, vibrant color distracts you from the old house imperfections that would probably annoy me if it were all in white and neutrals.

Becky @ Farmgirl Paints September 22, 2011 at 1:02 pm

WOW! So funky and fun. You should do a whole series on various designers and artist’s houses. LOVE her funky crazy style. No fear there;)

Kim September 22, 2011 at 1:27 pm

I love those bright colors, but all of the patterns and stuff she has going on is too much for me and I couldn’t live here.

Maggie [The Freckled Citizen] September 22, 2011 at 2:08 pm

love love LOVE

lindsay September 22, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Wow. That is really, really fun and awesome. But you know how people want their homes to “rise up and greet them”? This one rises up and smacks you around a bit!!

Miss Charming September 22, 2011 at 3:06 pm

She made a chandelier out of Barbie dolls in her girl’s room. My children would have loved living in a house like this when they were younger. So bright and colorful.

APA September 22, 2011 at 4:53 pm

I wonder if this is the Elizabeth Chapin whose sister-in-law is Laurie Smith of Trading Spaces? If so, wonder what Laurie thinks of this space – definitely not her aesthetic!

hookedonhouses September 22, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Interesting! I had no idea Laurie Smith had a sister named Elizabeth Chapin, so I’m not sure. I used to love Laurie’s rooms on Trading Spaces!

Pat September 22, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Too much color for me, but it still makes me happy when I see it. I envy people who are so comfortable with lots of bright colors and paterns, the ones I know who like that sort of decorating are all very creative.
Me on the other hand…I just painted my bathroom greyeige..sort or a grey/beige. Shows how colorful I am!

Nathan September 22, 2011 at 7:29 pm

WOW! You do not need a light in that bathroom! Holy lime green!

Jane September 22, 2011 at 7:38 pm

It’s very interesting and you have a great idea.I can also say that it hast oo much color for me, but it still makes me happy when I see it. I envy people who are so comfortable with lots of bright colors and paterns, the ones I know who like that sort of decorating are all very creative.

LeAnn September 22, 2011 at 9:28 pm

Hi Julia,

Hey thanks for the shout 0ut on NO WHITE rooms!! I still love my kitchen. I have started a new blog about color and my love of 60′s and 70′s decor. Please come on over for a visit.

Donna September 23, 2011 at 2:19 am

I love this house! It feels bold, warm, fun, chic and as though it wraps you up in its owner’s personality.

Ms Chapin makes her color scheme look easy, but this look is terribly difficult to get right. The bold colors are beautifully balanced by the neutral timber floors and white cabinets. It’s gorgeous and I could live with that!

Gayle September 23, 2011 at 6:54 am

Thank you for the mention, glad so many people love this home as much as I do.

Ricki Jill Treleaven September 23, 2011 at 7:33 am

I could handle this much color in my home, but not on the walls. I like gallery white walls so I can change out art. I could easily (and in some rooms do) have this much color in bedding, accessories, art, and frames. I love her house!

Juju at Tales of Whimsy... September 23, 2011 at 8:27 am

Not my style but what fun!

HollyM September 23, 2011 at 9:20 am

This house is the epitome of the well-known phrase (and marketing strategy): Keep Austin Weird!

While it isn’t where I’d personally want to hang my hat ( it’s anything but calming), I’d enjoy visiting!

And, yes, I’m bored with gray . And Ballard Beige. And white and black with apple green or red accents. Bored stiff. Tired of shabby chic, pseudo french, and country minimalist. Tired of chalkboards, burlap, and feed sack pillows. Had quite enough crowns, birds, numbers, and subway signs.

This house may not be my style, but it sure isn’t cookie-cutter! I love that things don’t ‘go together’. Homes should give off a vibe of having evolved over time, and with the aquisition of found objects collected for their appeal . . . and not just for how well they would take a coat of Heirloom White spray paint.

Empress Lockness September 23, 2011 at 10:37 am

This makes Betsy Johnson look tame.

Julie B. [Holland] September 24, 2011 at 4:36 pm

too much color for me also, Im a pastel kind of gal. But to each their own ;)

Kimberly Ward October 27, 2011 at 9:09 pm

I absolutely LOVED every bit of this house! All that wonderful eye popping color just makes you smile! Your home should be a reflection of you, and I bet the owner of this house is every bit as colorful and fun! Wonder if she could come to my house and recreate this?!!!! :) Thanks for sharing!

NJ Cellulose Insulation Contractor January 5, 2012 at 12:05 pm

It is a little too busy for me but it definitely does work.

Laurel January 20, 2012 at 10:12 pm

This is SO Austin! Love it.

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