Happy New Year!

I’m just now getting back into the groove of things, enjoying a warm cup of coffee while finishing the last of the christmas cookies. Given that it’s a new year, I thought I’d try a new approach to the regular Tuesday Tourismo format. Instead of giving you a look at images and outtakes after publishing a tour, on Apartment Therapy or The Kitchn, I’m going to try and give you a look before the tour posts. I’m going to call it the Tour Sneak Preview! We’ll see if I can manage it.

As I’ve done in the past, these posts will serve as more personal, intimate looks into what went on behind-the-scenes of the tour shoot. I’ll try to give you more insight into the people who live in these homes and connect you with their stories, and their creative endeavors. I feel like last year was the year I grew the most as an individual and I think that was a direct result of meeting people through home tours and wherever else my camera had happened to take me. It’s my challenge to try and present these people – their emotion and their spirit – to you here (on this blog) so that perhaps they inspire you as they have inspired me.

So without further ado, I’m excited to present you my first post of 2013 and the first Tour Sneak Preview

There’s a common thread that weaves itself in and around the creative culture of Austin. It ties everyone together, and once you get a hold of it, you can’t wait to see where it’ll take you to next. You can sometimes follow this thread virtually through Twitter, which is why I’ve come to love that tool as a powerful social connector. That’s how I found out about Laurel Kinney. I followed her through mutual connections from previous tours, and then one day up pops an Instagram of some cute pups lounging irresistably (like only pets can). What struck me the most though was the house those dogs were enjoying the afternoon in. It looked amazing. I couldn’t get over all the tones in the wood paneling and I couldn’t wait to see more.

We eventually setup a tour shoot and the place was impeccably styled from every corner. It surprised me with the level of finish and detail, I wanted to put the camera down and just hang out. I was also surprised that this home wasn’t just where the brains of Trophy Boutique (which I’ll get to in a minute) resides, but it is also the place where Margot Wolf (of Margot Wolf Jewelry) crafts her wares.

Styling a home to this degree usually requires unbounded creativity. And that often means that the people behind the home have a variety of interests and talents. This of course is the case with Laurel Kinney. In fact, rumor has it that Laurel Kinney was on Jay Leno for a special talent. She didn’t divulge what that skill was during the tour shoot but luckily we have the internet…

Laurel is a painter, a karaoke phenom (standing ovations for a particular Guns N’ Roses song are just about guaranteed), and a personal stylist. After working under the wings of a great personal stylist for a bit, she decided to start her own venture – Trophy Boutique.

Whether you’re looking to get styled because you’ve been rocking the same tired look for too long, or are new to the Austin area and need some advice on where to go for great finds, Laurel will hook you up. Her consultations include a 3-part sort, shop, and style process that’ll show you what to buy (she goes out shopping with you), and how to wear it (even your old clothes will get new life). You can see a variety of looks and transformations on her site (TrophyBoutique.com). So it’s easy to imagine what she could do for you.

In a corner room of the home there’s a workshop for roommate Margot Wolf. It looks part science lab, part mechanic’s garage. You’ll notice a soldering torch, metals, and primary colored resins and molds. Margot learned a lot of her skills from a fast-paced internship in NY right out of school. It was sink or swim, and she took that experience all the way to Austin to start a jewelry design and fabrication business with her own namesake. In this room she sculpts custom molds, melts metals, and shapes her jewelry – putting her in charge of each and every step of the jewelry making process.

That kind of creative freedom allows her to make truly unique and interesting pieces, the likes of which are scattered throughout this workshop and the rest of the home. Her jewelry can be found in such boutiques as By George, and her website is on the verge of opening soon. In the meantime get the latest on her wares through her Facebook page. She even does custom commissions like this constellation wedding band.

Beyond being extremely creative and talented, Laurel and Margot also are just great and fun people. They’re excited about their crafts, love the opportunities the city of Austin has given them, and enjoy all its great culture and community. Get to know more of Laurel and Margot in the outtakes below, and tune into Apartment Therapy tomorrow to see more on the rustic modern home where all the imagination manifests.



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